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Comment Not all that long ago (Score 4, Interesting) 382

You dont have to look that far into the past. Back in the 1980s, I was flying about once or twice per year between Prague and Lisbon and back. Always used Czechoslovak Airlines. The plane was largely empty, so I got to sit in the front, in facing seats with a table between them. Even when I had to sit in the "regular" class (I hesitate to call it economy, because it was nothing like today's cattle pens), we got a stewardess taking orders for drinks and snacks. And we got linen napkins with the main meal...

Ok, enough nostalgia. I'm now at the stage where speed is secondary to comfort. I want my zeppelins back!

Comment Re:Nice new business model (Score 5, Insightful) 203

This would be true, if Megaupload willfully stopped paying Carpathia. However, they expressed the willingness to continue paying them for the servers, if they had the funds available. These funds, however, were frozen by the US government, who is thus responsible for Carpathia not getting paid, and as such has taken over the duty to maintain the data integrity. It's actually nothing new - authorities in the US have been doing similar things with physical property for a while, via asset forfeiture; the only difference here is that it's digital property. And that can be much more easily routed outside the authorities' reach in the future.

Comment Nice new business model (Score 5, Insightful) 203

1. Take people's data, hold it hostage
2. Tell people to pay if they want to see the data ever again
3. Profit!

All this, of course, is contingent of the hostage taker having access to the data storage. Solution is simple: don't store your data in a country with such practices, or with a company with ties to said country. The Internet should finally recognize the US as damaged area and route around it.


Submission + - Slovak version of RIAA charges for public performance of public domain works (

NetDanzr writes: And you thought you had it back with the RIAA... On special occasions, such as religious holidays, villages all over Slovakia customarily have children concerts of centuries old folk songs. SOZA, the Slovak version of RIAA, has started sending invoices for these performances, despite the fact that the songs are hundreds of years old, have no known author and would have been considered public domain even before the country existed (if there were a concept of music copyright back then). SOZA's argument: Because the villages did not notify the organization about the concert, along with the list of songs to be performed (as required by the law), they had to assume the villages were planing to include copyrighted songs, and as such are guilty and must pay. Here is a Google translation of the story.

Comment Re:Here comes the complaning... (Score 2) 737

Same here. I was never willing to spend the money for Photoshop, so I "grew up" with GIMP. And with Inkscape, instead of Illustrator. So when my company, where I designed the marketing materials as a side job, decided to "professionalize" and get me Photoshop and Illustrator (I believe versions C2), I struggled for a while with the UI and then decided to go back to my old software. I'm sure Adobe products are amazing - otherwise they wouldn't sell so well - but after all the time, it's difficult for me to readjust.

Comment I'm always happy when I have a tax liability (Score 5, Interesting) 394

Many people are happy when they get a tax refund. These people probably play the lottery as well. Personally, I always strive to owe as much as possible without incurring penalties ($1000 in the US). It may not be much, but this is a money that I have at my disposal throughout the year, to accrue interest or capital gains. It may not be much, but every penny counts.

Comment Time vs. environment (Score 4, Insightful) 185

I have productive environments, not times. It just so happens that the most productive time for me is early in the morning - not because of the time frame, but because I'm still alone in the office, without any distractions. Had my coworkers worked from midnight to noon, my most productive time would be in the afternoon. Generally, at least for me, an empty office (not home - too many distractions there) is my most productive environment. Time is unimportant.

Submission + - How do you deal with priorities inflation in IT projects?

NetDanzr writes: I work for an IT company that has a steady stream of projects, new features to our existing products and technical support issues. As it is customary, though, our development resources are not sufficient to cover the amount of projects. As a result, our delivery dates are slipping, and as a result the average priority of projects is rising. Where the goal was to have only 10% of projects rated high, within a year nearly 50% of projects is rated as such. Our solution is to completely wipe out the project list once per year and start a new, properly prioritized list. How does your company deal with this inflation of priorities?

Comment Re:Policy City-State (Score 4, Insightful) 961

As someone who grew up in a police state (communist Czechoslovakia), I find quite a lot of parallels between the Wall Street protests and the beginning of the anti-communist revolution in my country (I'm not implying these protests will spark a revolution).

On November 17, 1989, a massive student demonstration took place in Prague. This, by itself, was not all that unusual - another took place the day before in Bratislava, and others took place from time to time in all large cities. What was unusual, though, was the police brutality. They attacked the peaceful protesters to the extent that rumors started circulating that one of the students died. This sparked the "Velvet revolution" that overthrew the police state in Slovakia. What we see here is a similar scenario: instead of lack of basic freedoms we have an economic crisis that started a series of protests. Police is showing a comparable level of brutality. Fortunately, largely thanks to much more fragmented information system with mainstream media downplaying the protests (in Czechoslovakia, the only two TV stations sided with the protesters and informed the public about the police brutality), the brutality on Wall Street won't grow into a much larger movement.

Comment Re:Vernal equinox in September... (Score 1) 454

And today it's supposed to hit only 68. God, I wish it was the weekend and I could go hiking instead of sitting in the office...

Anyway, I recognize the start of fall as the Day of Balance - when we get 12 hours of sunlight (approximation). It's one of the two holiest days in the year, the other being Vernal Equinox.

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