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SpaceX Capsule Returns To Earth With Lab Results

Alomex Re:Curious economics of private spaceflight (60 comments)

Contrary to what you say, many studies have found that the better educated and informed you are the more likely you are to be a liberal.

Of course it makes you feel better to state the opposite opinion as if it were a fact, which is yet another confirmation of the studies above.

3 days ago
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Law Lets IRS Seize Accounts On Suspicion, No Crime Required

Alomex Re:and they use cash businesses as examples (421 comments)

Actually, I recall reading articles in Newsweek in the early 80s which were already outrageous. Most of them are a consequence of the war on drugs, which was intensified by Reagan and followed up by all other administrations (Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr. Obama).

3 days ago
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SpaceX Capsule Returns To Earth With Lab Results

Alomex Re:Curious economics of private spaceflight (60 comments)

Flynn, an ardent libertarian,

Ardent libertarian is the term used in polite society for "emotionally immature and intellectually unsophisticated". A libertarian society replicates the current status quo in terms or taxes and tariffs but with the difference that now you have no power over the revenue collector, which is as private corporation.

In a libertarian society I can simply refuse you to drive on my highway because I don't like your face.

3 days ago
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Ballmer Says Amazon Isn't a "Real Business"

Alomex Re:IBM no longer a tech company? (275 comments)

It is easy to post growing sales if your profits are zero. The hard part is to have a growing business that actually makes money on each sales. Every time they seem to have gained traction on a market (like books) they seem to negate it by offering incentives such as Amazon prime. T

hey have yet to prove that they can sell products at operating costs+3% on an ongoing basis.

4 days ago
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Ballmer Says Amazon Isn't a "Real Business"

Alomex Re:Wow (275 comments)

Microsofts success was BUYING DOS for $50k.

Minor quibble: Microsoft licensed DOS for $50K, while Patterson held back some rights. Later on after various payments and negotiations it is estimated that the final cost was more like $500K. By then DOS was already a screaming success, so they got off easy.

4 days ago
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Ballmer Says Amazon Isn't a "Real Business"

Alomex Re:Wow (275 comments)

Many other people were introduced to IBM including Gary Kildall from Digital Research, yet he didn't become a billionaire.

And by the time he was introduced personally to IBM he was already well known for shipping the dominant basic interpreter for all personal computers, IBM compatible or not.

4 days ago
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Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

Alomex Re:Remember when WSJ had a modicrum of decency? (712 comments)

moment you view data through a lens of politics is the moment you stop noticing opportunities.

Or as Krugman likes to point out, how are the right wing inflationistas doing? Yet their rants are still welcome at the WSJ in spite of the fact that their views have meant losses in the tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars for WSJ readers.

5 days ago
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Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

Alomex Re:Remember when WSJ had a modicrum of decency? (712 comments)

Here's a quip on the low quality editorials at the WSJ from The Economist, using subtle British humor:

The WSJ, a newspaper famous for publishing its comics in the Editorial page.

5 days ago
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How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

Alomex Re:Being different was a boat anchor. (296 comments)

The main advantage of the PPC was supposed to be higher clock rate, and looking at press releases there were supposedly higher clock rates chips available for PPC over x86.

Yet at one point I took the time to track down the actual "shipping now" announcements for the main PC manufacturers and for Apple and almost invariably by the time computers came out the door speeds were comparable.

The fact that PPC wouldn't commit to a mobile low power version was the final straw.

about a week ago
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First Evidence of Extrasolar Planets Discovered In 1917

Alomex Re:Actually... (58 comments)

If you are going to count Leif Ericson as a "discoverer" then you must count the Mongols who populated America across the Bering Straight as earlier discoverers.

If on the other hand we use "discoverer" in the standard sense or person who first widely disseminated a fact then there is no doubt Columbus deserves the moniker.

about a week ago
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3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

Alomex Re:Maybe it's time... (331 comments)

Then why is it in places where guns are banned or severely restricted, like London, that the violent crime and murder rate is obscenely high?

Because they don't? London's murder rate is lower than that of any US state including generally considered safe states like New Hampshire. If you now compare with metropolitan areas London blows most cities right out of the water with its lower murder rate.

about a week ago
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Cell Transplant Allows Paralyzed Man To Walk

Alomex Obligatory /. comment (161 comments)

Correlation does not imply causation.

(ducks)

about a week ago
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Help ESR Stamp Out CVS and SVN In Our Lifetime

Alomex Re:Umm, what? (244 comments)

He was a nutbar way before that, I assure you. I had my first runs into him in the first half of the 90's. The Cathedral and the Bazaar remains his single shining moment.

about two weeks ago
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Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

Alomex Type and touch? (252 comments)

I'm on my second touchscreen computer and fifth tablet. I do not like touch screen for a laptop/desktop. For a smartphone I can think of no better way than a touchscreen given the lack of input device. For a portable TV otherwise known as iPad a touchscreen is about the same as a dial on the side. For a Microsoft surface or a laptop with touch screen removing your fingers off the keyboard to touch the screen is cumbersome. I also found myself rarely detaching the keyboard.

about two weeks ago
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The One App You Need On Your Resume If You Want a Job At Google

Alomex Re:Who wants to work for Google nowadays? (205 comments)

The data points I have is that they offer about the same salaries outside the valley, so if you happen to be working in one of the remote offices you are making good money.

about two weeks ago
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The One App You Need On Your Resume If You Want a Job At Google

Alomex Re:Who wants to work for Google nowadays? (205 comments)

And they do not even pay that well.

This is not what recent hires have told me. Do you have any (suitably anonymized) examples in mind to back up your assertion?

about two weeks ago
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Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'

Alomex Re:Too much of a good thing (240 comments)

I'd be more interested in replacing the equality operator, which would accomplish the same thing.

The problem is that C usage of = goes against elementary school ingrained math usage. Any UI expert will tell you that this alone is a source of confusion. The supposed time savings of having to type := over = are bogus. You spend about 0.25s extra time typing the colon. Now let's say you've written a 100K lines of code a year. This means you spent 7 hours typing that extra character. A single nasty = bug will easily exceed the 7 hours just in terms of finding it, before we account for the cost of the security breach.

There is no reason to make it actually difficult to turn off bounds checking

Again you are mistaken. Any UI designer will tell you that dangerous options should not be easy to activate (i.e. the three finger salute), or the double turn key for nuclear launch. Given how dangerous buffer overflow is in terms of security it shouldn't be easy to deploy code that does no bounds checking.

Your argument for stdio is non-sense. All you say applies equally to malloc. Other languages do not require loading the I/O library in the header to do the linking. If you are writing a bare bones high-level assembler as C was originally meant to be I can see why you would like to load as little as possible, but heavy footprint languages such as C++ and Java have no excuse for this cumbersome call.

about two weeks ago
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Designing Tomorrow's Air Traffic Control Systems

Alomex Re:NASA is on it (72 comments)

This might be news to you, but NASA does very little work in house. Most things are contracted out.

about two weeks ago
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Designing Tomorrow's Air Traffic Control Systems

Alomex NASA is on it (72 comments)

People often forget that the first A in NASA stands for aeronautics. They have been hard at work at fully computerizing air traffic control. However as you can imagine this requires lots of testing given the potentially fatal consequences. NASA has held several competition rounds among contractors for the next air traffic control system, providing feedback to all candidates for the next round.

Here is one such paper. There are many others, from various academia and industry consortia. The work they are doing is rather cool.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'

Alomex Re:Too much of a good thing (240 comments)

Dude you are suggesting ways in which I can cope with a design flaw in the language, whereas it should be obvious to anyone that this is the job of the language designer, not the programmer.

Look, let me put it in simple terms: programs have bugs and languages have design flaws. It comes with the territory. That's why we issue patches for software and that's why we should release new language standards every so often cleaning up said bugs, particularly when designing a new language.

It might be too late for C, but designing a new language is a particularly apt time to fix flaws such as the = and == rigamarole. Go managed to do it, but neither Java nor Ceylon cleaned up that mess. Too much backward compatibility that we could have easily done away with,

about two weeks ago

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