Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:I would prefer a train where I board in a city (Score 1) 72

Just make a normal working WiFi in trains. Still in 19th century there was a direct train from Saint Petersburg to Nice via Vienna. Nowadays despite a lot of talking about European Union Association for such countries as Ukraine, it is not possible to go by train from Vienna to Kiev directly. The same as during the Cold War, nothing changed.

In the past decade I went by plane between Kiev and Vienna a decent number of times. There are probably a couple of reasons for a lack of a direct train line. One is that Ukrainians need visas to go everywhere in the EU, even next door Poland. Some former members of the Warsaw Pact made it pretty easy for Ukrainians to get visas to visit there, but once Schengen came into force, that all changed. Austria wasn't particularly easy for Ukrainians to get visas for, even before Schengen. The other is that there simply may not be that much demand for it. I've flown into Odessa, Kiev and Donnetsk (RIP Donnetsk Airport, a casualty of fighting in the east), multiple times for the first two and almost always from Vienna on those, and the planes were usually half full at best. On the flight over to Ukraine there were a few times that the plane was mostly full, but on the way to Vienna it almost never was, probably due to the visa issue. Keep in mind too that until roughly 11 years ago Ukraine required visas for just about everybody unless they lived somewhere in the former USSR. Visas were easy to get and Ukraine never had that crazy visa registration nonsense that Russia used to do to tourists, but the fact that you had to get them in advance did discourage a lot of foreigners from going there at the time. On the flights I took, most of the passengers were businessmen. There's been talk of the EU dropping visas for Ukrainians and that has finally gotten approval to negotiate the terms between the EU and Ukraine. Once that happens, the chance of a direct train line may increase. Note that Ukraine, as a former part of the old Russian Empire, uses a different gauge than western Europe, so even if a "direct" line is established, it will require a train change at a border.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 2) 1003

How would you know? Seriously, this is not trolling. How many countries has Russia invaded for profit or global politics and how many did the USA? Who used nuclear bombs on civilians? When has Russia ruled the world so that we cab compare?

It seems to me that the old-fashioned communists in Russia [and their modern day descendants] were much worse towards their population that towards foreigners, whereas USA seems to be the reverse. As I a neither American nor Russian, I prefer the Russian way.

Russia invaded Afghanistan for starters. You might have heard of that. That is the starting point for Al Queda and Daesh in so far as religious opposition to the Russian invasion led to the kind of thinking that started Al Queda and Daesh both. Osama Bin Laden got his start fighting Russians in Afghanistan. Hungary and the former Czech Republic were both essentially invaded by Soviet troops to put down liberalizing political regimes that came to power.

In the past decade I was engaged for a while to a woman in Ukraine. We didn't end up getting married and she's now married to a guy there and happy. I still have some limited few times a year contact with her. Her family was ethnically Ukrainian, born and raised in Ukraine, and in the 1930s one of her grandfathers had both of his parents killed by Stalin's henchmen for supposedly supporting Ukrainian nationalism. He was orphaned because the Russians thought his parents might want an independent Ukraine. Let me guess. I bet you are Dutch. For some reason it seems like everytime somebody here says some crap like the Russians and Americans are both super evil or "I prefer the Russians", the guy posting it is Dutch. I'm probably going to lose points for saying that, but if that wasn't true so many times I wouldn't say it.

Comment Not surprised given how they did it here (Score 2) 202

I live in one of the largest metropolitan areas of the USA. Like pretty much all US metro areas, the number of people who actually live within the city limits of the major city we are named for is a lot lower than then entire metro area. Roughly 10% of the metro residents live with the city limits and 90% live outside it. In fact, the county where I live has more than double the population of the city itself, but no parts of my county are within the city limits. Google negotiated a deal with the city only in our metro area to keep their costs down. So nobody in my county can get Google fiber. The problem with Google's deal is that they didn't study the demographics here. Very roughly speaking, there are only two kinds of people who live within city limits because of outrageous property prices - the very poor and the very rich. The poor don't buy Google fiber. The rich can afford whatever they want to pay so there's no real reason for them to get Google fiber unless they really want to. Google advertises a surprising amount on local TV. Well, I'd love to be a customer, Google, but you didn't want to deal with my county, so you're out of luck. Maybe if you had instead offered it to my entire county instead of only the metro's city limits, you'd have had more business. Believe me, many of us would love to leave Comcast and AT&T but they are the only games where we live.

Comment Re:BULLSHIT US saved Russia (Score 1) 1003

Actually, both the US and Russian people downplay the role the other played. The average US person acts like the US did 99% of the work in WWII, the UK maybe did 1% but they can't remember their old high school history exactly to be sure of that, and nobody else was even in the war for the Allies, right? On the Russian side, they act like the US, UK, Canada and whoever else were just playing cards on the beach until the Russians marched into Berlin and ended everything.

The actually reality is that Russia had some smart generals, but that was almost by blind luck because paranoid "Uncle Joe" Stalin had actually killed off a rather large part of the Russian Amy's leadership by the time the sneak German invasion happened. The Russians are lucky that a few good ones somehow survived. A lot of the Russian "tactics" involved just throwing large numbers of troops at the Nazis and overwhelming them by sheer numbers. I don't want to suggest that there wasn't any better planning than this or there weren't legitimate victories by just outsmarting the Nazis, but in some cases the Russians simply had the numbers. A small part of their strategy at times involved suicidal attacks that seemingly didn't lack for volunteers, which was something the Germans weren't willing to do. Suicide bombers willingly blew up tanks for example. And I think it's fair to state that in general the Nazis didn't put their best on the Eastern front and the Russians sometimes faced poorly trained and equipped troops from places like Romania and Hungary instead of solid Nazi troops. It took longer in the west to march to Berlin because of geography and better Nazi troops. I agree with you that lend-lease is hugely overrated for the "help" it provided to the Russians and arguably it's biggest "accomplishment" was that Stalin ordered his boys to disassemble some plane (I don't remember which one) they got that ended up providing the basis for a huge jump in their aviation industry and had some impact on the Korean War where Russian pilots pretended to be either Chinese or North Korean pilots and unofficially flew for both of those countries.

Comment Apparently it impacted news trends, not posts (Score 1) 427

Yeah, it's unreal how many posts in my feed I get pushing a pro-Trump agenda, even from people who I know that I never in any way respond to anything they post. In fact, the crazier the post, it seems like it makes more likely to get a big push from Facebook. I remain appalled by a post a former classmate shared from another person who equated voting for Hillary Clinton to be identical to being a Jew "willingly" matching to the Nazi gas chambers in WWII. No joke. I have a policy that I don't post political stuff in my account and I almost never respond to what others post, but that is just so appealingly wrong that it amazes me that people actually don't think at all about what they pass on that others say. I see stuff constantly from right wing friends who post insisting that the US is teetering on the edge of disaster and that if Hillary Clinton becomes president it is GAME OVER for the USA. Apparently Facebook has some trending news stories section that I never use but enough people do use and that's where the shaping of articles was going on.

Comment My personal experience agrees (Score 1) 185

A couple of years ago I was in a relationship with a lady who lied throughout our relationship. She told one fairly big lie in the beginning and got caught and I forgave her and gave her another chance. My reward for this was that she continued to lie to me about various things. It just took a lot longer to figure that out. In fact, I'd say that her default position on just about anything was to lie about it. She just had a lot of issues and I guess she was afraid that even the smallest issue would be a major problem for me, so she continued to lie. In the end I caught her in very big and longstanding lie that completely destroyed my ability to trust her ever again and also brought to light many other related lies that she had told to support the big lie, so our relationship ended. In the end I was left not really knowing what, if anything, she had ever told me was true. It really brought home to me the idea that trust is the foundation for a relationship and when there is no trust, there can't be a successful relationship.

Comment It doesn't matter (Score 2) 354

It really doesn't matter if this is true or not. Either way, it won't be fixed in time. The bottom line reality is that Russia, China, Brazil and India simply don't care. China does care a little but only a little. None of them are going to reduce emissions if it harms economic growth. They've all been clear that they think it's unfair that the more developed countries who got there faster got to pollute all they wanted to with no consequence in the past. So everybody should really hope that the climate change folks are mistaken because this is simply not solvable with those 4 at a minimum being unwilling to do anything about it.

Comment Re:I am amused by this. (Score 1) 236

There is starting to be some pushback in some places over this. St. Louis refused to subsidize a new stadium and they don't have an NFL team any more. Currently in MLB, the Arizona Diamondbacks are demanding that the county where their stadium is located either build them a new stadium or pay for upgrades on the current one so costly that they might as well just build a new stadium. The county is calling their bluff and telling them that they'd rather lose the team than pay even for the upgrades and the Diamondbacks are threatening to move, but nobody knows if there even is anywhere that wants them.

Comment Why is nobody questioning Ken Bone? (Score 1) 95

OK, ,I admit that his weird popularity is just one of those strange, unpredictable things that happens. I don't think it was part of any great plan that went any further than trying to maximize his chance of getting allowed to ask a question on TV. But why is nobody questioning Bone's claim that he's still somehow "undecided"? I mean, I guess it's possible, but he's probably just about the only person who is. And exactly how much more info does he need to make up his mind? At this point everybody has not only made up their mind but they're hardening their positions and no more future revelations of misconduct on either side are likely to get people to change their vote. I honestly don't know a single person who has told me that they don't know who they are going to vote for. I know a lot of people who are really unhappy with who they are going to vote for, but I don't know anybody who still can't come to a decision about it. And yes, these FCC "guidelines" are pure crap.

Comment Re:Has Wikileaks jumped the shark? (Score 1) 269

Perhaps not the convention. In California, the night before the primary election, there was an announcement on the news that Clinton had won. Guess what, turnout of Democratic electors was lower than expected. And the claim that Clinton had already won: false. Was that false claim an accident? I don't think so.

This statement, while correct, is so condensed that it's extremely misleading. The Associated Press announced the night before the California primary that by their reckoning Clinton had enough Super Delegate votes to clinch the nomination for her. As you write it, ,it could be interpreted to mean that somebody announced the night before the primary vote that Clinton had already won the California primary, which is not what happened. I'm not arguing that the AP shouldn't have done this nor am I arguing that there for sure wasn't any kind of insider deal going on with the announcement, but you're going to have to provide more than speculation that this made any difference in the outcome. Sanders failure to clean house on Super Tuesday put him in the position of having to capture an unrealistic number of votes to get the nomination and he didn't even come close to hitting his target.

Comment Counting the days until Facebook is back (Score 1) 77

I'm not convinced that there isn't any price Zuckerberg wouldn't pay to get back into China. But I also admit that I don't have a great opinion of him.

During this decade I had two girlfriends (not at the same time) who were both born and raised in China ladies. They weren't very fond of the Chinese government, which is why they didn't want to live in China any more. I used to think that a lot of Chinese people were like that. Then I read recently that a Western news agency did a survey in China and they found overwhelmingly that while Chinese people didn't think their government was perfect and they thought that there were some important things that they still needed to do, basically everything was negotiable and they were willing to give it up in terms of personal freedom if they kept making good money. So now I think that the ladies I once dated were the exceptions to the rule and maybe most Chinese people really don't care at all if they have any freedom as long as they're making some sweet cash. This does not bode well long term for western Democracies. Some forces in China in the military are barely under control of the CCP and it's not going to take much to make them go off on their own and start a war that will have disastrous consequences for everybody, including the winners.

Comment Additionally (Score 1) 813

In addition to pla's excellent reasons, I'd like to point out that most Americans live pay to paycheck. There simply isn't any savings to fall back on if they suddenly get unemployed and it takes a while to find a new job. Additionally, if you don't cooperate in training your replacements, you may be fired for cause and my understanding is that you won't get unemployment money if you are fired for cause. I don't want to digress, but my previous job was working for a US office of a European company and my company gave my team 6 months notice that they were outsourcing our jobs to another country. I ended up leaving for another job before those 6 months expired and I got no severance package. They made us sign forms earlier in the year that basically said we agreed that they could do some tricks, like lay us off and rehire us, to get out of paying severance. I'm sure it was highly illegal, but who has the time and money to sue them? And we had a post here some years ago where an employment lawyer told us that lawsuits against employers rarely succeed, even when the employer has clearly been in the wrong and it can be proven. He said his standard reply to clients was to not hire him and not sue and just move on with their lives because the odds were they'd be happier that way.

Comment Re:Yeah. (Score 1) 348

While I'd love it ever to be true, I can't imagine any post Obama congress will fund it at all.

No Congress has ever been willing to fund it or even a Moon mission since Nixon stopped the Moon missions. In the past the main argument was that there were too many other problems that needed to be solved or paid to fix first. Of course what happens is that you never run out of problems you say need to be fixed first, so you never get back to going. Now Congress won't fund it because each major party is only willing to pay for it by ways that are completely unacceptable to the other party. This allows them to pretend that they are in favor of it but in reality they know it will never happen.

The Democrats only want to pay for it by slashing defense spending, which the Republicans will never agree to. The Republicans only want to pay for it by cutting social programs, which the Democrats will never agree to. Since the Republicans are very likely to retain control of the House for maybe decades to come, they're never going to agree to fund it with a Democratic president to take credit for it. And the presidency is very likely to remain in Democratic hands for a while to come too as demographics favor the Democratic party. Note that the reason the Democratic Party is likely to retain the presidency is that young people skew towards the Democratic Party big time. But as these same new voters move to large urban areas, that leaves rural districts mostly in the hands of the Republican Party, which is why that favors them retaining control of the House even as the nation leans towards the Democratic Party. It sure doesn't help that the last time a major candidate for president, Newt Gingrich, tried to make it a platform plank he was ridiculed for it. I'm convinced that the only thing that will ever get it funded is if China looks like they're going to do it first, which is how the movie The Martian had us going to Mars.

Comment Re:Lame duck making lame promises (Score 1) 348

What's sad here is that this is *obviously* Obama searching for a legacy, not a full hearted attempt to actually do this. Had this been important, why didn't he do it 8 years ago when his party had both cambers? Oh, no, wasn't important then. He has 180 days left with Obama Care is as popular as getting a root canal,

Not disputing that yes, this probably should have been done at the start of his presidency, but you're betraying your Republican bias with the next statement. Obamacare seems to be pretty popular with those who are actually using it. The only people I still hear bitching about it are people it doesn't apply to any way. One of my old friends is a small businessman and he hates Obama with a passion but admitted to me that Obamacare has lowered the health care premiums substantially for him and his family.

Slashdot Top Deals

So... did you ever wonder, do garbagemen take showers before they go to work?