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Comment Re:Original Article (Score 1) 68

Also important to note: in all of those countries English is a very strong second language, especially for the younger generations who get taught English from age 12 in The Netherlands (and it's lowering to 7 now). As for Sweden, "There is currently an ongoing debate among linguists whether English should be considered a foreign or second language in Sweden (and the other Scandinavian countries)[11] due to its widespread use in society. " - source:

It's not the only explanation though: all 3 countries have an open outlook, meaning they are immigration countries, mostly depend on trade with the rest of the world, and benefit from open exchange of ideas. Germany, France and Japan are much more heavy production countries.

Comment Re:19th and 20th century powerhouse (Score 1) 206

It's only cheaper when we ignore the output of the plant, which is more carbon in the air. And it's only cheaper *now*, but the cost-down property of coal is nil, while the cost-down property of solar is still being explored. Which means that solar can keep becoming cheaper for a while, and coal will likely become more expensive.

Comment Re:Sucks, but derivative work (Score 2) 137

First off, your fair use criteria may not apply - we're talking Dutch law, not US law.

Second, "the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole"
The judge judged that this was about 100%. That's basically the whole discussion. Translation does not mean adding new insights or pages, it's just a transcription into a different language. And I have translated several articles myself, I know there's a fair amount of creativity involved if you want to transfer the meaning of the text, not just the words, but it is limited compared to the creation of the original text (or script). The gist of the articles I translated would have been transferred regardless of who the translator was. And given the very limited amount of text in movie subtitles the creative input is very limited indeed. Much more limited than derivative works like "Larry Potter and His Best Friend Lilly".

Non-profit is debatable, the sites that publish the subtitles certainly make a nice profit off the ads.

Effect on sales: since sales are subtitled, subtitles only apply to movies that are pirated. While you can hardly prove that people would have bought the movie just because it was translated, it's hard to prove otherwise too - and since the FSF was bringing the suit, they had to prove that this was the case. Good luck with that.

I'm not opposed to pirating, but at the same time let's not pretend this type of reasoning will hold up in court. It certainly didn't today.

Comment Re:Sucks, but derivative work (Score 2) 137

So all translations of any book are now fair game? After all, you would interpret the book in your own way and write a completely original translation...

Feel free to try your luck in court with that reasoning. So far, it didn't help any of the Harry Potter derivatives, who actually had more claim to originality than someone doing a translation. The keyword here is "substantial".

Comment Re:So, what's the problem? (Score 2) 300

Think of Joel Spolsky hiring C++ programmers because they can reason deeply how code works and then he puts them in front of Visual Basic 6 to pound out his application because they don't have to fiddle with MFC to get the GUI part?

Well, what's wrong with that? I was a C++ programmer throughout my education and my first job as scientific programmer, and moved on to VB6 and then VB.Net. Double the pay for half the effort, what's not to like :) And in the end it's all just a Turing Machine anyway, we're just debating the syntactic sugar as long as we stick to imperative languages.

So nowadays I just use the tools that make it easiest to code and test a solution, not the tools that are generating the most work for everyone. For most applications in office automation there is zero reason to use C++. Heck, there is little reason to actually code anything when you look at office automation: a good logical model coupled with a business rule engine and a decent code generator could work up 99% of most applications without even breaking a sweat. You may not build SAP with it, but I bet you could give it a darn good run for its money when looking at specific modules - the joke that is the Student Lifecycle Module springs to mind immediately but I'm sure there are plenty of examples.

Comment Re:Hey GM, how about that EV1? (Score 1) 289

Hybrids have been around for a while and their value is no different of another car. Most hybrid owners can prove a significant cost saving although I still think Hybrids are a joke and have too many moving parts for my liking.

I drive a Prius. Most reliable car I've ever had. Also the one with the best average gas mileage. Well, that is compared to the two Mercedes cars (diesel) and a Nissan Primera 2.0L (gasoline) I had before. And while that is anecdotal evidence, I based my purchase on the breakdown statistics of Germany's largest auto organization. They seem to have the same idea about Toyota as I do.

Not every hybrid is great, but you can't really go very wrong with a Toyota, even if it is a hybrid.

Comment Re:COBOL (Score 1) 300

Yeah... 20 years ago it was 1997. Visual *anything* was crashing regularly at that time. I remember Visual C++ 1.0... it froze the machine when you tried to edit icons and they just generated incorrect assembly at a few places as well. The fujitsu cobol compiler wasn't all that hot either. I was using that one in 1997. Not a huge improvement over Visual Cobol, but at least I could *generate* the code instead of having to type it and it usually didn't crash.

On the mainframe they had nightly builds, state of the art sorting software, source code control, backups... which we copied in short order as fast as we could.

Comment Re:A-Fucking-Men (Score 1) 300

Amen to that.

I was once tasked to get some data from the mainframe into the DWH I was building. We had an external COBOL programmer come in to do this because the rest was busy on fixing Y2K and doing the Euro implementation. His program was repeatedly returning really incorrect data. But no problem: I just printed out his program and pointed out all the bugs: yes, Cobol is so easy to read and debug that even without training I could just follow the flow of the program, see what it was doing and where it was copying the wrong fields into the copybook.

It's another reason why I go with the easiest language at hand for most tasks. You never know how long it has to run, and while you can build fantastic things in C++ or assembler, it's a pain to maintain.

Comment Re:Crazy (Score 5, Insightful) 656

The way I read Larry Garfield's statement is that he's into Dom/Sub relationships, and his club is as well, and the whole thing is mainly a roleplaying thing for him. I'm pretty sure you also have people in the club that take it way to serious, and probably a lot of sexist assholes too, but the same thing has been true for AD&D or gaming communities as well.

Given the pretty thoughtful nature of Larry's post, and how easy it is to claim a few snippets out of context and paint someone as a mass murderer (or worse, as someone involved in nonstandard sexual activity) I'd go a bit slower on this. I think the Drupal leadership could have been taken in by someone with an axe to grind, someone who doesn't know a thing about BDSM to begin with, abhors the concept, and then found some quotes he could use to hit the victim over the head with. I've seen this happen before in small, close-knit circles. Overreaction is common due to the shock of someone being different from what you thought.

Lord knows I'm not into BDSM, and certainly not a supporter of misogynist fucktards, but this feels way to much like the witch hunt versus gays or pedophiles to me. People had better be pretty careful before they damn someone based on some internet quotes taken out of context. They might regret it later when things become clearer.

Comment Re:Lack of residential charging infrastructure (Score 1) 468

I guess that an apartment complex without parking spots is unattractive now in the same way that place will be unattractive without recharging outlets in the near future. It won't be an issue in the EU or China, is my guess, because governments will do the math and stimulate EV. Once this actually becomes an issue, it will also become a political issue.

Comment Re:Infrastructure vs Independence (Score 1) 468

Ever heard of solar panels? They work just as well in those areas. In fact, I bet you could have a nice little hydro powered generator in mountainous areas.

Seriously, if they can do this in Norway, which is a lot more rugged country than most of the USA, I bet it's possible in the USA as well.

How about this scenario: a recharging station in the middle of nowhere, fueled by wind and solar power. No need to even send a truck to refuel, because it refuels itself. Seems even better than that gas station.

But don't worry: the EU and China will show our backward cousins in the USA how it's done, and after a while even the most dimwitted will see the benefits. A tad late, but that's just the good ol' USA for you: always a bit late to every party, from world war I and II to a better environment.

Comment Re:Look at the data (Score 1) 468

There are loads of reasons to assume that continually piling on the CO2 will eventually lead to runaway warming, but even if we assume it's not the case, even a mild increase in average global temperature of 4 degrees celsius will be disastrous for large numbers of humans living on this planet due to the extremes of temperature climbing into unsurvivable ranges in areas near the equator.

Tell me: do you think people will stay in places that become unlivable, or do you think they'll move to colder climates? Ready to welcome a few hundred million refugees? If not, you need to show that rising CO2 will not impact the climate that much - good luck with that.

And as far as your argument goes: there has never been a linear relationship between CO2 and temperature in history, AFAIK. So what you think that proves is beyond me.

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