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Comment Direct Democracy (Score 1) 634

As a Swiss citizen, with several decades of experience in direct democracy, I'm half amazed and half amused at this whole Brexit referendum fiasco.
The quote says "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility". With the referendum, the UK people received a great power, but certainly were not aware of the associated great responsibilty.
Consequences, like the generation split or the secession of members of the Union were not even discussed.
There might be a lesson to learn - let nations first try direct democracy on simpler issues before asking them important questions.

Comment Print at home against scalping (Score 0) 214

The company I work for has developped a ticketing system that can severely hurt scalping.
The buyers purchase tickets on-line and receive a PDF file that contains textual information (name of buyer, date and place of venue, etc.) as well as a unique 2D scan code. Before going to the venue they print them at home, or load the code in their smartphone.
At the venue entrance, tickets are scanned by hand-held scanners and the ticket code is checked against a database. If it corresponds to a ticket that has already been checked or to a ticket that has not been sold (forged code), the venue goer is not let in.

Scalping is severly reduced, because buying from a scalper presents a risk that the print at home ticket is forged, or that the same ticket has been duplicated and reselled many times. As the validity of the ticket can only be checked at the venue entrance, there is no way for the potential buyer from a scalper to know if he will be able to enter the venue, or will just be parted from his money.

Comment Garmin saw it coming (Score 3, Interesting) 146

I was wondering why Garmin (FitBit competitor) was proeminently displaying the disclaimer below on their Web site.
Now I know why..

Activity Tracking Accuracy

Garmin activity trackers are intended to be tools to provide you with information to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle. Garmin activity trackers rely on sensors that track your movement and other metrics. The data and information provided by these devices is intended to be a close estimation of your activity and metrics tracked, but may not be completely accurate, including step, sleep, distance, heart rate and calorie data. Garmin activity trackers are not medical devices, and the data provided by them is not intended to be utilized for medical purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Garmin recommends you consult your doctor before engaging in any exercise routine.

Accuracy of Wrist-based Heart Rate (Elevate)

The optical wrist heart rate (HR) monitor for Garmin wearables is a valuable tool that can provide an accurate estimation of the user’s heart rate at any given point in time. The optical HR monitor is designed to attempt to monitor a user’s heart rate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The frequency at which heart rate is measured varies, and depends on the level of activity of the user. When you start an activity with your Garmin optical HR device, the optical HR monitor provides feedback more frequently as the optical sensor is on all of the time and is trying to measure heart rate on a continuous basis during a given activity period. The intent is to provide the user with a more frequent and accurate heart rate reading during a given activity.

While our wrist HR monitor technology is state of the art, there are inherent limitations with the technology that may cause some of the heart rate readings to be inaccurate under certain circumstances. These circumstances include the user’s physical characteristics, the fit of the device and the type and intensity of the activity as outlined above. The HR monitor data is not intended to be used for medical purposes, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition.

Comment Re:"Are" or "could be"? (Score 4, Informative) 104

Not sure how the tourist tax works in Catalonia, but here is how it works in Switzerland.
A typical example is a ski resort, where in the non touristic seasons (winter, autumn) there are 500 permanent residents, while in the high seasons (winter, a bit less in summer), there are up to 5'000 residents. The 500 permanent residents have to provide, through their local taxes, the infrastructure (roads, energy, garbage collection, etc.) required for the 5'000 people in the high seasons, which is not fair. So the tourist tax is meant to correct this, a tax is due for each day a tourist spends at the resort, to finance the overall infrastructure. The hotels and rented flat owners have to collect this tax from their customers. Some include this tax in their overall prices, some others, to look cheaper, do not and charge the tax extra.

Submission + - Sports smart glasses start shipping

krouic writes: Earlier this week Recon Instruments started shipping their long-awaited Recon Jet heads up display for sports, to real-life actual consumers.
Jet's core features are designed for the cyclist and runner, and allow automatic upload of stats to activity tracking services.
They feature an on-board GPS generating real-time performance metrics, an on-board high definition camera for short videos and photos, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and ANT+ for connectivity to 3rd party sensors for heart rate, cadence and power data and smartphone connectivity for caller ID, text messages and music player access and control.

Initial review by DCRainmaker

Comment In Switzerland (Score 5, Interesting) 386

Here in Switzerland, canton Vaud, Tax Day was March 15. It is quite easy : you download a Java app from the government Web site. It works on Windows, Mac or Linux. You can open last year's return to prefill the relevant information, then you are guided through the application as to which fields you need to fill. When done, the electronic form is sent back, encrypted, to the government. In many cases, you do not need to join any other justification document, but they may ask you for them later. Usually, you do not need to send your salary statement either because your employer is required to send it directly to the government so they already have it.


EU To Allow 3G and 4G Connections On Planes 106

jfruh writes "In America we're celebrating the fact that we don't have to stow our Kindles during takeoff and landing anymore, but the EU is going a step further and not requiring passengers to switch their phones to "airplane" mode anymore. If you're on an airplane with a Network Control Unit that regulate cellular connections, you can text and make calls over standard 3G and 4G networks. You'll want to watch out for roaming charges, though, especially if you're on a flight crossing national borders."

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