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Comment You're all too civilised for all of this (Score 1) 174

Let me break it down , there's two possible reasons.
One , as other readers have suggested , the article might be purposely omitting various facts or mixing up total cost of ownership with purchase value.
Two , it's not that the buyers were stupid , they might be to some extent (not knowing the market well enough to shop around for the best deal) but that doesn't cover such a deep discrepancy.
Most often than not , at least in the ex soviet block , these things are done to take money away from the institution. The buyers just agree with the sellers to up the cost dramatically and get a part of that money back as incentive to do it. And these things happen ALL THE TIME , in all corners of all public institutions. That's why these states are doing so poorly , budget wise. It's called corruption.
This may come as a shocker to you if you were brought up in some place where these are not common day activities. Criminal penalties should be enforced against such wrongdoers.
I can not emphasise enough , this is the kind of stuff that brings a nation down , one expensive toilet seat at a time.

Comment Re:Strange (Score 1) 395

Actually IRC was massively popular in Romania in the 90's. Everybody would hop on dial-up after 8:00 pm when the phone tariffs where lower. It was not just for the technical. Radio stations used to read comments and play tracks requested on IRC.
Undernet was _the_ network of servers to hang on , huge wars took place for control of popular channels. Meanwhile everybody was looking for a "non-free" email account (non yahoo/msn , etc ) so they could register with Undernet and have their ip hidden.
Later on everything moved on to msn and yahoo messenger , the victor being yahoo in the end. Currently facebook seems to rule the masses after everybody migrated off of hi5 or myspace.

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