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Comment Hey, not fair! (Score 1) 553

I am a Mexican, and I don't consider myself prone to confuse data types.

Also, mindwhip's version makes sense in many, many C-derived languages where every statement is evaluated to a truth value. Of course, setting interesting=true makes this code less useful for multi-story usage. I would use story.mark_as_interesting() or story.interesting=true... But that's just sugar :-]

Comment Re:Vibrant economy? (Score 1) 55

It is in the long term. This last year, Brazil had a civil coup. The president, in line with over twelve years of impressive economic growth (compare it to Brazil's many neighbouring countries), was outsted and power was given to the vice-president - Who was a bad choice to partner with, coming from the rival party. He immediatly took it to derail the economic path of Lula / Dilma.
I am Mexican. My wife is Argentinian. We often travel via Brazil, and have many Brazilian friends. And, yes, the economic growth of Brazil over a decade is quite impressive.

Comment Not understanding the USA culture (Score 1) 491

I am a Mexican, grandson of immigrants from Europe. One of the things I don't understand about the USA is how easy people seem to relocate over there. It seems to be most easy to go at age 18 and study the university in a city nobody knows you. Then, you get a job at a different state. Two, three times, you move state because you got a job. Then, you settle... And having a family means it's harder to move (although by far not unheard of).

My grandparents moved quite a bit – Out of Europe due to poverty in the late 1920s (they were all born 1903-1910). My mother's family tried luck in rural Mexico, Panama, Peru, then came back to Mexico; my father's only moved from Northern Mexico to Mexico City.

I am married to an Argentinian woman; we met while travelling. Our only choices of where to live was, close to my family or hers. We came to Mexico, as I had a better, more stable work position. And, were we to move away, we would only consider to go near her family.

I stand by what you said, family is a wonderful support system. Going anywhere where your family does not live is a huge cost by itself.

Comment Re:high tech mind tricks (Score 3, Interesting) 115

Nice for those hospitals who can afford high tech entertainment devices and the attendant communication systems required. Could be iffy though if there is a bad connection.

Right. I am a Mexican. I laughed when I read the summary's Mexico's cash-strapped hospitals (copied straight from TFA)... Yes, our public health care system is cash-strapped. Our private hospitals? I don't think a first-world hospital has much to offer than what we do here. Although the article mentions very poor regions in Guerrero state (South), I really doubt the described case happened there.

Not only can hypnosis distract the patient, it can allow the patient to participate in the procedure. Being fully aware, the patient can move muscles, control blood flow and report to the surgeon various sensations.

Ugh. By far, not my cup of tea.

I personally had three teeth pulled with only a mild hypnotic sedation. There was no pain, no bleeding at the time or after although I was fully aware of the crunching of bone during the extraction and the vigorous muscle applied to get those molars out. I spit chunks of bone for several days after.

You should change your dental specialist. I have a molar pulled out. A mild shot of local anesthesia, and I was completely aware of everything happening throughout the procedure. Yes, the crunching during extraction is... Quite impressive. But the tooth goes out easily. I had a swollen gum for some days, no t a single residual piece of tooth.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 537

It is a third world country, yes. However, were it not for that, it would fare much worse.
I work at the largest university in the country; it has (among all of its levels) over 350,000 students. Yet, every year it accepts less than 10% of the applicants. There is a lot of room to grow to make our country fairer and richer (and I hope that's the priority in which it's done!), but following this model is IMO fundamental.

Comment Re:Include all costs (Score 1) 537

I work at UNAM, the largest university in Mexico (public, of course), and among the largest in the world. Our university does have some athletic "brands" that produce quite a bit of money (as thet "Pumas" soccer team, among the country leaders, selling a lot of merchandise and tickets and whatnot). However, how can you recoup the investment on lesser-known athletic activities? There are not many sponsors for them. Few people practice the disciplines, and the university provides trainers and fields. But that's part of the social mission of a university.
Mexico has quite a bit of history of world-known champions of different disciplines that come from quite poor backgrounds. Were it not for the money invested by universities such as ours (that, yes, are funded by taxes that everybody in the country pays), they would have never participated in the sports events that qualified them to improve and excel.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 537

At the not-precisely-first country where I live (Mexico), public universities are free for the Technical and Bachelor degrees, but as postgraduate students are likely to produce more for the society, most postgraduate programs grant scolarship to all of their students so they can devote full-time to them.
Of course, we also have private universities of all sorts, from the quite cheap ones to some where tuition rivals the USA one.

Comment Re:enjoying the job, why leave (Score 1) 261

I had this mindset for some time, around twenty years ago. I wanted to get a job at something *not* related to computers, because I didn't want to hate my hobby. I am not formally educated (I'm now a university professor, but because I formalized my "knowledge equivalence" after ~15 years of professional experience; I never went to college as a student). I am Mexican... So my outlook at age 18 was somewhat bleak. Maybe work as a store clerk? That'd be a sure way to have enough money for food and leave my mind free after the boring hours... ...Fortunately, I took a job at a small ISP when the small ISP fever took over, in the late 90s. Then, I moved on as a school systems administrator. I learnt a *lot* (and charged very little... But enough for a 20-year-old). After a couple of years, I became the systems administrator for a smaller campus of the country's main university. And... Well, with some minor fluctuations, I'm still here, and I enjoy my work. Over the years, besides a systems administrator, I also became a programmer, got involved with free software projects, and found that I also enjoy writing — I have two published books, a handful of academic papers, tens of columns...

I have professionalized myself, I decided to study a Masters degree on Information Security (which I should be finishing this semester), I teach Operating Systems at the College level. Of course, there are issues that get to my nerves in my work, with the people I work with... But overall, after 20 years in the trade, I love what I do and get quite reasonably well payed for it.

So, no, it's not a rule you will hate your work.

Comment No comments on Acer Aspire One so far? (Score 3, Informative) 288

I'm quite surprised to see nobody has yet recommended an Acer Aspire One for this use case. I got my first AAO in 2008, when they were still little crappy 9", 1024x600 screens, and when the keys were actualy not at a standard distance. From the period when "Netbook" was being defined. It was far from perfect, but I loved it. Back then, I also had a 12" Dell XPS, wayyyyy heavier and bulkier, but of course, terribly more powerful. I took the AAO with me to way more places than the Dell.
Five years later, it was time for an upgrade. I got a new AAO; its models by 2013 had improved to a 10" 1366x768 screen, full-sized keyboard, but kept basically the same weight (the computers are quite thinner than the older generation).
I have recommended and bought seven such computers for friends and family. Never regretted it. As the original poster says, I'm after portability much more than power-- And having a US$300 computer that travels with me... Is just great.
Of course, I never had a hiccup recognizing all of its modest hardware with Linux.

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