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Comment "Electrabel Radiates, The Citizen Pays" (Score 1) 319

"Doel, Tihange remain: Electrabel radiates, the citizen pays"

"The campaign manager of Greenpeace Energy, complains that the federal government (Michel I) failed, and will force obsolete nuclear plants to remain open.This choice creates new power shortages, it makes a transition to renewable energy impossible and offers Electrabel more profiteering that will be paid by the taxpayer. "

Mr Eloi names the Belgian minister of the Interior "Nuclear Ali". And given the state of the reactors, I fear this will turn out to be more accurate than intended. IMHO is it more to the point, already today, than the orginal nickname he's referring to.

Article (in Dutch)

Dodgy but serviceable Google Translation into English:

Comment It's a moot point. TTIP will not happen (Score 1) 181

> It is alleged that releasing the study would hamper the drive to
> harmonize safety standards as part of the Transatlantic Trade
> and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal.

It is a moot point, since we will not allow TTIP to happen, and will not respect it if it does happen, and will sabotage it with everything we have, at every point, if it is forced down our throats:


Submission + - The most beautiful keyboard ever made (

marienf writes: CNET: "We don't usually give much thought to keyboards. They're utilitarian devices that help make our computers function and our commands known. But what if keyboards were also works of art, something gorgeous to look at, a pleasure to view as well as type on? That's the concept behind the Keyboardio Model 01, a unique keyboard pulling in lots of backer money on Kickstarter.".

It's sculpted from blocks of maple, totally hackable, extremely ergonomic.. Wrists and eyes, rejoice!

Submission + - Keyboardio Kickstarter: "heirloom-grade keyboard for serious typists" (

marienf writes: The Keyboardio (see is now a Kickstarter project: The punch line on the KS: "With a hardwood body, mechanical switches & custom-sculpted keycaps, it's a dream to type on. It comes with source code & a screwdriver".

In fact, it's Arduino-based so you can do whatever you want with it using standard Arduino dev tools. If you're like me: Not the youngest of Geeks *and* using a keyboard 9-12 hours or more out of every 24, I'd recommend getting something like this, before your wrist really hurt like mine, and this one looks like the best thing that's come along in a while, short of creating one specifically for yourself. If you have the time for that sort of thing in the first place.

That they have an individually-addressable RGB LED beneath every single key is not really interesting, from my personal POV. I don't really see what I would do with that.. or with the ANY key (yeah, they've included an ANY key..)

But otherwise.. wow.. I just pledged for 2 of these. I realise there have been a lot of attempts at better keyboards. But seriously. I haven't see any that took it to this level.

Comment We'll Party Like It's 1999. (Score 5, Interesting) 131

I remember new year's eve Y2K, and everyone expecting blackouts, etc.. and me driving around with an X10 wireless remote,
sending random commands to sequential channels. People's lights went on and off, burglar alarms (dis)armed themselves,
garage doors opened, sprinklers sprinkled water onto the cold pavement (with great ice potential). People panicked. X10 had no notion of authentication. Probably still hasn't.

Now, I had to drive around, because I was using a commercial-grade transmitter, my range and impact were limited.

Now, Imagine that kind of attitude, but with everything just a few network hops away, no range limits, and with the Invisible Hand clearly not having spanked the market into having a clue.

Image a person less mature than me and that same kind of attitude, today. Or several thousands of them. Spread over the globe.

I can image the havoc, I'm having trouble imagining the useful applications.. A matter of age? I'm not near to connecting stuff I don't have to.

Imagine what would happen if the Silons attacked, also.

Comment De Facto Political Prisoner (Score -1, Flamebait) 191

Mr Assange is a de facto political prisoner.

That these judges were required to show "loyalty" to their government by walking out, instead of asserting the independence of the judiciary - a basic requirement for a democracy that takes itself seriously - exposes, in my view, much about the sorry state of the United Kingdom. And it looks like it's the same everywhere I look..

Bewigged Fools! You of all people should know better!

Comment Re:Moot Point and useless debate. (Score 1) 319

That's another thing I will never understand: Back in the days (1998), we used an Object Store (*nix version of NeoAccess, in our case) .. because we bascially thought RDB would be over by the turn of the century, and good riddance. We were extremely happy with the results. These site ran on minimal hardware (as we couldn't afford anything else in the data center), and flew, as compared to the competition (and anything else we'd ever done on that scale and online before).

In the following years it turned out everyone else insisted on keeping SQL around, and so we had to turn to manual SQL wrapping again (we created code generators, because it's too error-prone and boring to do manually) until ORM came around, which IMHO is a totally ass-backward way of dealing with a DB from an OO point-of-view. Also, clients demanded that we run stuff in J2EE containers and hence, that we write it in Java, which I still consider to have been a marketing exercise by Sun Microsystems to obtain more broad meaning for their ailing Spark CPU line (Java has always ran suspiciously better on *nix than any other platform). Little did they count on GNU/Linux taking over the server universe. We did go Java, but never liked it, and still consider it the result of brainwashing, and don't understand the need for all those extra layers. There is not one thing that the container does that the OS cannot do better, except packaging, and ever there, J2EE is "write once, debug everywhere" in the field and therefore of little real help. Since then, other enviroments and languages came along, all with their strengths and weaknessess, but all with a common goal, from my POV, which is to make development more abstract, less error-prone, more specialized, easier to package and deploy etc.. and to take up a lot of extra CPU power and memory. I don't believe in making development easier: It resulted in the extremely dangerous monsters that are online, written in PHP by good-intentioned dilattantes with an excellent grasp of their fields but with little development skills. Same in Java, same in Python, same in Ruby.. While these are all interesting languages with interesting frameworks, they do not, IMHO contribute anyhting new except runtime inefficiency, and some extra layers to make debugging harder.

Moore's law saved our bacons, there, because as time progressed, everything became more inefficient, but everyone had bigger CPU's and a lot of RAM to be able to keep up.

So you see, for me, the current situation with the traction of NoSQL and the immense opportunily (and necessity, IMHO) to make the server-side efficient and lean again (power is now a major cost in the data center, vs bandwidth) is really a lot of "back to the future".

Comment Moot Point and useless debate. (Score 3, Interesting) 319

Javascript on the server-side is total bollocks. Now that the client has gone smart again, because the browser *is* the client-side env, therefore Javascript has clearly won as *the* client-side language, and this means the server may become lean and mean again, because it can dispense with all the GUI, HTML, etc.. nonsense. And that means it can be done in real programming languages again. The kind where mistakes will cause a crash, not just inefficiency, unreliability and an entire generation of ops that think "just restart" is "normal". Which means that bad developers are filtered out, not saved by a nanny language and environment. Which means there will be less, but far better developers. And good developers can make good code in any language. Whatever I may have said and thought about JS in the past decade or so, I changed my mind since owning Crockford's "Javascript: The Good Parts". ON THE CLIENT SIDE, that is. I have never like anything but C(++), on the server side, and experiencing J2EE Containers, PHP, RubyOnRails, and various python frameworks there has only entrenched me more into thinking there is not one among them that I ended up respecting. If I could do a full e-commerce solution in serverside C++ in 1998, and get excellent performance from the cheap boxen of that time, imagine what you could do today by doing it right, on the server-side, by not wasting CPU cycles on another interpretative layer and letting some dumb algorithm mis-handle your memory management for you.

Comment General Boycott Is In Order. (Score 1) 106

Dear concerned netizens,

I believe the correct message to send would be for backers to retreat en masse and generally boycott this project. They could always come back when a more sane plan is announced.

While this is a sad development in itself, we can also take it as a great opportunity to create awareness around the many dangers of DRM: A general boycott now would, IMHO, get press attention and make a clear statement to media companies that buyers are sick and tired of being treated like farm animals. /. can make it happen!


Comment agree with harmful (Score 4, Interesting) 104

Agree with this one. It regularly happens to me, as well.
I mean, I can sort of live with messages from people using Windows containing some sort of elongated lowercase j where, I learned years ago, they had inserted a smiley face and mistakenly assumed that this would be universally seen as such, but it's a whole different game where we're trying to be compact and logical, by using certain symbols such as brackets etc.. only to find one's correspondent is puzzled by the emotions conveyed by some round-headed Simpsons faces rendered by their email clients instead of what we meant. Not to mention the shame of apparently unpaired brackets.. Sorry for the long sentences: I'm in a hurry..

Comment Re:Great, make the Internet even more infantile (Score 4, Insightful) 104

> Or are you suggesting the world should be ASCII only?

I agree that we should make sure that our legacy of >5000 years of written language can be represented using whatever means of communications are currently in vogue. This is covered by Unicode/UTF. Great, so far.

However, I'm also suggesting that during those 5000+ years of written, and what is probably about a million years of spoken language, we have developed words, some of which express emotional state and attitude, inperfectly, of course, but please refer to the Great Poets in any culture. It can be done, and it has been done exquisitely by some.

Humans have been struggling to express their emotions in words, for millenia, and we're making progress.. Therefore, I loathe seeing all those subtle possibilities of expression replaced by a small subset of visual babytalk, taking us back to the level of grunting and shrieking, basically.

Bottom line of what I'm trying to say is: There are plenty of baby-faces in the standards already. If some group (you mention the Japanese) want to occasionally forego their magnificent written culture and make baby-faces at each other: why not: The technology is already there and they have been known to do far crazier things over there. What I don't think we need is to *standardise* some visual NewSpeak to dumb down *everyone's* communications.

> What about all those BBS/ANSI characters from zillions of documents from the 80s?
Yeah, what about them? They can all be represented. What's your point? I've been using :-) and :-( and ~%-} and such for decades. They're no replacement for the appropriate choice of words! There's no reason to formalise them!

Oh speaking of which, I confess to sneaking in control characters on BBS chat systems, I also confess to sneaking in UTF symbols into XMPP chat systems (my nick "had 5 stars"). That was cute for all of 30 minutes. Today, when I see that email that despairs of it's own lack of contents by using some graphical UTF-8 in the Subject:, I have pity on the author (but not on the message itself).


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