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Comment: Science and politics are orthogonal (Score 1) 466

by 91degrees (#48874445) Attached to: Science By Democracy Doesn't Work
The point to the vote wasn't to establish the science. It was to provide an argument to politicians that this issue is real. Poltiicians don't understand science so the argument they use is political.

A senator may well want to argue that the science is wrong. It's a lot harder to argue that democracy is also wrong.

Of course we don't like this. Slashdotters like science. Many of us are scientists. This is a terrible way of carrying on, but the important issue is we deal with the environment. If we need to back up our scientific argument with a political one, so be it.

Comment: Re:What Kind (Score 1) 382

by 91degrees (#48864149) Attached to: Is D an Underrated Programming Language?
The thing about a String type is that it's a common means of sharing data, but there are dozens of incompatible implementations. Qt uses QString, I remember using a regex library that uses a UnicodeSting type, and I've worked with more than one toolkit that uses its own custom string class. Mixing and matching these can be a headache.

Complex types are less of an issue because they're a lot more specialised. You're more likely to want to read a value from a widget input field, parse it using a regex and then use the result in a third library than to do the equivalent with a complex number. I'll grant you, this is more of a perceived problem with std::string than a fundamental issue with C++ but still, I rather like the fact that any Java library I use will use java.lang.String if it needs a string.

Comment: Bit late isn't it? (Score 1) 329

There must be hundreds of online message boards that support SSL and private messages, and operate outside of UK jurisdiction. Technically this would include facebook, except they're a bit too chummy with governments to actually protect this stuff. And if I PM a bunch of people on a forum about crochet or whatever it's not even likely to be flagged as suspicious behaviour.

Comment: We already knew this was a possibility (Score 2) 319

by 91degrees (#48772883) Attached to: MI5 Chief Seeks New Powers After Paris Magazine Attack
This was a possibility before. It's still a possibility. Crime happens. We know this. We'll never get 100% crime free. We just have to do the best we can, balancing the risk against other factors such as civil rights and cost.

It's unlikely that anything short of 100% surveillance would have prevented this, and the last islamist extremist attack in the UK was a nutter armed with a car and a machete. Is there really anything MI5 could have done to prevent that?

Long computations which yield zero are probably all for naught.

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