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Comment Re:"Accident" waiting to happen (Score 2) 112

Y'all have it all wrong though. There is no equivalent to the American, semi-inebriated uttering "hold my beer" ("beer", when referring to the stuff made in the USA, should be in air quotes) in German, and for the following reasons:
* German beer is still proper beer full of natural goodness, not so dissimilar to that effervescent multivitamin some people like to pop into a glass of water and drink daily for good health. Only better tasting and more effective.
* Germans grow up on beer. They drink it at breakfast instead of coffee or cacao. They have beer dispensers instead of water coolers at the office.
* Germans don't get drunk. After consuming copious amounts of beer, their noses may turn red, but that's it.

Source: I'm German myself. Also, if some humor-deficient mensch claims that Germans have no sense of humor, they may just find out how little humor I do have.

Comment Pearl Harbor was an inside job (Score 1) 319

Yeah, the Mercator is also the reason why there are people that think that this meme about Pearl Harbor being impossible for Japan and thus an inside job is not a joke but the truth. {/sarcasm}

Seriously. Having latitudinal lines on the a map is a big clue that the map is a projection that distorts shapes progressively towards the poles. Also, the occasional globe in the geography classroom or at least the library. Oh and before I forget, the ubiquitous Earth as seen from space photographs and reproductions, often featured on posters, the corners of world maps, atlas covers, and the introductory pages of atlases where projections are discussed.

Maybe there is something more fundamentally wrong than the choice of map projection - perhaps the lowest common denominator approach to education?

Comment I'm using an Orange Pi (Score 3, Informative) 55

I recently picked up an Orange Pi Zero due mainly to price and availability, just to tinker with. After some initial struggles I got Armbian running on it and some other basic software - the Java Dev Kit and Tomcat to be specific, although once you have some sort of Linux box (Windows also available) you can obviously set it up in whatever way you like.

While competing mainly with the Raspberry Pi "ecosystem", the Orange Pi "ecosystem" lacks a lot in terms of support (official and community). Official support is all but nonexisting - needs a lot of googling and trial&error to find the right pin outs, ampere requirements, where to find (working) OS and other packages, etc. etc. etc. (in unambiguous, complete and standard English). In short, not really hitting the mark for a cheap system where a complete noob can learn about computers and programming easily. At least Raspberry has some momentum behind it in that regard.

Both the Raspberry and Orange Pi user communities have a lot of potential to spew ill-informed "help" by users with more enthusiasm than knowledge - the RPi community being so much larger.

Can't really comment on the quality of the hardware. My sample size of one, with only anecdotal testing, seems to run along fine - so far. I'm still in two minds if I would continue with the Orange Pi if I wanted to develop some more serious (semi-commercial) IoT device on it.

Comment Re:Leave the original (Score 1) 542

the reason is that they are lazy and just re-use what did work one more time.

The irony is that The Matrix's success/cult following took them quite by surprise. Seems elements of success are not well known even in that industry, and they may just miss them the next time around - culture changes over time, after all; what may have been great in 2000 may be meh 2 decades later.

Comment How I solve it (Score 1) 456

I solve the "problem" by not being connected 24/7. This thus removes the "problem" of constantly having my 2-bit attention span interrupted.

Or did you refer to any other so-called "problem" with IM?

Want to contact me? There's always e-mail. Which I can use on my computer, no telephone number needed (or on my mobile phone if I want to). Which I can mark "unread" when I want to come back to it later for a reply or action on it. And I don't need any proprietary app - anything that is nice to use goes.

By the way, if I have my phone's data switched on, I get notified as an e-mail comes in; same with my computer - like any other IM. I would reply using the same little keyboard as I would for an IM.

Not "instant" enough for you? Well, you probably also save hours and hours of time by typing "ur" instead of "your" and "k" instead of "OK".

Comment Re:The following would happen: (Score 1) 383

Some manufacturer makes an device that is incompatible to the universal software ecosystem, but cheaper/faster/better/better marketed.

And the situation is back to the current state.

Agreed. And I bet in the majority of cases it would be option (a) (cheaper). Because not so well tested and/or documented.

Comment Re:It sounds great (Score 3, Interesting) 136

I love grocery shopping because I usually strap on a backpack and get on the bicycle to do it, so I combine the chore with exercise, in lieu of the gym etc. It's not the destination, but the getting there.

Even more important, though, is that my shopping basket mostly consists of fresh produce and other perishables like meat and dairy. Hardly any processed foods, tins, sealed bags, boxes, or other long-shelf-life goods. Furthermore I am the single person in the household. For all these reasons, I pay close attention to the quality and freshness of the things I buy, as they need to last a couple of days at least until they are consumed and need restocking. I inspect e.g. apples and tomatoes for damage sustained during stacking (shelf packers in my city all seem to think they are handling bricks or bags full of golf balls, across maybe a dozen stores), make a selection of bananas were some are riper than others for staggered availability. I closely look at the Best Before dates and choose items that have a date furthest in the future. Wrappers are inspected for damage (e.g. cheese, butter). One head of lettuce is not fungible with another like one can of soup is with another. None of this will work too well if some could-care-less minimum wager selects items for me and subjects them to more of the same handling. We in fact do have a supermarket chain locally that offers online shopping and delivery. Last I heard, that program was on its last leg. I'm not too surprised.

Mind that grocery retail practices (and quality) in my locale differs somewhat from what I have experienced in the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. So obviously someone else's mileage may differ.

Comment Cool, almost like (Score 1) 138

That's nice. It's almost like the Orange Pi Zero, only with a single core instead of quad, and only running at 1GHz instead of 1.2.

I only mention this as I recently wanted to become more acquainted with the RasPi ecosystem, and this looked like a cheaper option than the Revision 3 Model B, albeit still sufficient for my purposes, so I picked an OrPi up just today.

At least the included networking should make either Zero board easier to set up in a headless configuration than the plain Zero.

Costs in my locale are still crazy, about 30 USD for the Orange Pi Zero and around 60 USD for the Raspberry Pi 3B. There are some other boards (and clones, and stuff like PcDuino) around, but these 2 seemed to me the most likely for my purposes, prices are usually even steeper than those given.

Comment Re:Dust? (Score 1) 203

Just send a guy up the side of the building with a bucket and squeegee like they already do now.

You seem to think of glass-covered skyscrapers, and that this film is to be installed over windows. I don't know that that's the case, as you can see from the photo in the article that the film is translucent, not transparent like a clear window. In fact, the article states that they apply a mirroring backside to the film, which is left off only for photovoltaic application.

The applications I mentioned were applied to both commercial as well as residential buildings, often on the roof, or otherwise under it as either another roofing layer or as a ceiling - and only the outside surface application is amenable to washing.

As to this plastic film, I'm thinking that constant washing will accumulate micro-scratches, and exposure to the sun's UV will discolor or otherwise deteriorate the plastic, both of which MAY alter the effectiveness of this invention. I guess that needs to be seen in practice.

Comment Dust? (Score 1) 203

I've seen a lot of films and paints the last couple of years using some form of reflectivity to lessen heat absorption. All fine and well until they get a fine layer of dust after a couple of weeks. Then they are useless.

I'm not to well versed in the physics of this (meaning not at all), so I wonder how this invention will hold up under real world dusty conditions.

Comment Like learning to focus telescopes for astronomy (Score 1) 142

I hear all this talk about learning "The Language". And I am reminded of the Edsger Dijkstra / folklore quote "Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes." IMHO, kids need to learn some basics of the machine and what it does, before going into learning a language to do those things. (And yes, I am aware of the Bill Gates quote that seems to say the opposite (if taken without context). But I'm not a big MS fan, so maybe I'm biased against Gates in any case.)

On the other hand, Finland seems to introduce their school kids to the principles and concepts of e.g. looping, conditionals and variables without computers and in conjunction with other (real-life) activities. But hey, who has time for Linus' home country and their crazy ideas?

Comment Re:Ramadam, Buddhism (Score 2) 166

The answer seems to be no, at least for muslims.

From http://care.diabetesjournals.o...: "The prevalence of diabetes in several countries with large Muslim populations appears to be similar to the rates observed in western countries and increasing by 10% per year as a result of urbanization and socioeconomic development."

I haven't the patience to search for research on other religions. I do know (from Indian colleagues with diabetes) that South-East Asian populations are genetically predisposed towards a greater diabetes incidence.

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