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Comment: Death is immanent, if not imminent (Score 4, Interesting) 72

by argStyopa (#49759459) Attached to: Death In the Browser Tab

On the other hand, in pre-modern eras (as well, sadly, for much of the 3rd-4th-world today) death was everywhere.
Most people lived/worked on farms, where animals were killed more or less in front of you, for you to eat that night, or later. Every family lost children, with medieval death rates for 2 yr olds reaching 50%, mostly to drowning. The slightest injury could easily (and more or less quickly) be lethal through infection, while waves of typhus and other communicable diseases were almost a constant fear.

I think what the author meant to say is that our little niche of modernity when we were safe from most random environmental deaths, yet insulated and never actually confronted by death, may have ended.

Comment: Yes, and? (Score 1) 324

Of COURSE they're studying the consequences of a potential Brexit; believe me, the fact that there will likely be a referendum on it means the chance is greater than zero and thus EVERY responsible financial entity is doing the same.
And chattering that they are who they are, it would be almost criminally negligent if they weren't studying it closely.

In the same sense the U.S. army had http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki..., because unless they're busy with an active war (and even then), their job as a government agency is very specifically to consider and plan for any conceivable future.

Of course the troubling bit is the incompetence of mailing this to the news agencies, unless that was deliberate, which itself doesn't seem that unreasonable/incomprehensible, now that I think of it (except if it actually costs the minister a job he'd have preferred to keep).

Comment: Not so sure (Score 1) 224

by argStyopa (#49752613) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

It's very trendy to say "When it comes to risk assessment, there's one type that humans are notoriously bad at: the very low-frequency but high-consequence risks and rewards" but I'm not so sure that's true?

These kind of talks seemingly always look at risk/reward calculations as symmetric, which they very abundantly aren't.

The fact is that people are extraordinarily conservative when it comes to the rare-risk, high-cost cases, but rather daring when it comes to rare-but-high-reward cases because, well, we're alive and we'd rather stay that way. A 0.000001% chance that you and everyone dies *should* be regarded far more seriously than a similar chance you win a big pile of cash because one of those situations you survive either way.

Nota Bene: I don't play the lottery; well, I did play it ONCE, recognizing that my odds of winning were the highest possible with that one play, and only decrease from there.

Comment: Re:Ha ha ha ha..... (Score 1) 825

by argStyopa (#49748183) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

And to believe that "The purpose of a cigarette tax is to either impose a penalty or to pay for public treatment for the resulting negative externalities " speaks of a naivete of government in general.

The more people want/need something, the more the government recognizes that is a revenue proposition; and in the US if you can make it a "sin" tax with just a whiff of punitivity, all the better.

Comment: Re:Bad headline (Score 1) 60

by Qzukk (#49746691) Attached to: Academics Build a New Tor Client Designed To Beat the NSA

your traffic wasn't interesting enough

How interesting is interesting enough? Interesting enough to spend $5 on? $0.05? GCHQ redirected the slashdot site for Belgacom users to their own servers, so slashdot readers are at least that interesting, and mass observation programs like PRISM make it cheaper and cheaper to watch you.

Comment: Ah, good play (Score 2) 98

by argStyopa (#49739501) Attached to: Do Russian Uranium Deals Threaten World Supply Security?

Make sure the discussion is about whether this is dangerous to the world uranium supply (it isn't), and not about the president/presidential candidate team that took $millions$ from one of the USs main geopolitical opponents to secure said deal.

90% of magic is making sure the audience is looking where you want them to be looking.

Comment: Re:If I use an IDE, does it mean I'm a bad program (Score 1) 439

by Just Some Guy (#49737369) Attached to: Choosing the Right IDE

Why do you assume that your IDE has features that Emacs doesn't? It's been in active development for 39 years to be a great, productive programming environment. Do you honestly believe that it's had 4 decades of worldwide contribution and not become reasonably good at helping people write software?

Without exception, everyone I've heard decry Emacs and Vim as "just text editors" has never used them beyond "open file / type / save" and has no idea what they were working with. It's like dismissing Linux because you've only used it as an AWS shell, and you feel sorry for people who won't upgrade to Windows so that they can use a web browser.

Comment: Ha ha ha ha..... (Score 2, Insightful) 825

by argStyopa (#49736037) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

...you didn't REALLY think that by driving your electric or hybrid car that you were going to permanently somehow avoid the government's rapacious tax-addiction, did you?

It's just like the cigarette taxes or any of the 'sin' taxes: they've worked so hard to get people to stop smoking, they are suddenly realizing they're losing revenue.

There's no question that we need to pay taxes for the roads we drive on.
Formerly, the connection between general road use and gasoline was irrefutable; now they need another mechanism.

Comment: Re:There can be only one. (Score 5, Insightful) 439

by Just Some Guy (#49730405) Attached to: Choosing the Right IDE

Longer answer: IDE? No thanks. At least, I've used Eclipse variants and various Visual Studios, but they map onto how I think about writing and managing software. I want a blank screen with lots of keyboard shortcuts, some basic autocompletion, perfect syntax highlighting, maybe some Git support, etc. I don't want code generation or any refactor-all-the-things functions; I won't be using them.

I used Emacs for years and years, only eventually switching to Sublime Text. ST was beautiful and fast but didn't have nearly the ecosystem of Emacs, plus its non-Freeness started showing when it went many months without an update. Life's too short for a proprietary editor, which is where I spent approximately 60% of my work life. I dependent on it more than any other tool and the prospect of my chosen tool dying on the vine wasn't appealing. I tried Atom for about a week, but it was slower than ST2, lacked a broad ecosystem, and, well... JavaScript.

So one day I decided to revisit Emacs. Hey! It grew a package manager! Since that afternoon, I've had zero desire to look back. Emacs will outlive me and my children, will support every new language and tool that comes along, and will always be Free. There's nothing out there good enough to make me consider switching.

PS, in concession: I could make the same cases for Vim and its grandchildren. Once you've learned them, if they do what you need then there's very little compelling reason to change.

In the sciences, we are now uniquely priviledged to sit side by side with the giants on whose shoulders we stand. -- Gerald Holton