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Comment: Re:Yes to Brexit (Score 2) 102

Many of us who are labelled "europhobic" are actually in favour of a Union, even a strong one. The problem we see in the EU is that it has become a bureaucratic, intransparent, undemocratic monster with a far too wide mandate. And if you look at the people building the EU, that is no accident. Considering what this EU might turn into, I think it would be better to not have it at all.

What the EU lacks first and foremost is a proper constitution: a simple document that describes what the EU does and doesn't do, who does what, how, and under what conditions, and what the rights are it grants to its citizens and national governments. Since we don't have one, the EU can grow in any direction and in any way its architects desire. And that direction might not be what's best for Europe or its citizens, but for those running the show in Brussels. As Juncker once said: "When it becomes serious, you have to lie". And that is sort of what they did with the thing that is called the European constitution. It's a huge document and you have to be a legal expert to make any sense of it. And that too is by design: when several countries voted against the "constitution", they took out one part (making "An die Freude" the European anthem) and rewrote the rest in impenetrable legalese.

There are many good reasons for having *a* union. And there are many more for not having *this* one.

Comment: Clear code: Cultural background (Score 1) 403

by DrYak (#49754219) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read

if you took someone that never read or wrote code before and showed them 100 line, idiomatic programs in Java, Javascript, Python, Ruby, PHP, Perl, Lisp, Haskell, C, Fortran, COBOL, Basic, and a few other languages that Java would not top the list for readability. My guess is that the winners would be Basic, COBOL, and Python.

Depends. My bet is that it entirely depends on the background of the "someone" you've taken.
- english speaker ? mostly used to litterature and philosophical logic ? yes, maybe as you list them.

- background in mathematics ? The order will probably be reversed, with probably Haskell, C and Fortran near the top. And probably APL topping them all. And the guy complaining that most of them still miss support for greek alphabet.

some people are used to see things written down in plain text, other are better used to see things written with symbols.

plain text has the advantage of being a little bit clearer for a person who happens to be fluent in the language which was used to create the language (say hello to dialects of Logo and Excel macros translated into various languages). Otherwise it's completely useless (most of the language you mention are based around english. useless non-english speakers. when I was a kid, I started learning to code in basic before I knew english).

symbolic notation has the advantage of being more compact (requires less typing, quicker to read)
cf. the well know geeky joke of "add 1 to cobol giving cobol" vs "C++"

And well, Perl, let's forget about Perl. It's a write-only language.
The only language your cat can write legal code in just by walking across the keyboard. :-D

(Disclaimer: I used to code a lot in Basic as a you kid. Started C a bit later, and learned english about this time. I code also regularily in Perl, C++, awk, php, 386 assembler, etc. I know bits of R, javascript, python, FORTRAN, did some Logo in french in school as a kid, etc.)

Comment: Board replacement... meh (Score 1) 131

by DrYak (#49753569) Attached to: Pre-Orders Start For Neo900 Open Source Phone

Motherboard replacements and case replacements will gain traction just like in the assemble your own PC era.

Well not very likely.

That did work for the openmoko because the neo 1973 and neo freerunner (i have one!) have been designed from the gound up with an open hardware approach.
They have been designed to be easy to open, easy to hack, easy to replace parts.
Thus upgrade kits like gta04 were likely.

That does work now for the N900, because they are a little bit older generation, back at a time when case were a bit bulkier, battery was replaceable, etc.
There are also a lot of them out in the wild. (Basically, for a long time the Maemo where *THE* definite platforms for geeks to go, N900 was the most popular, and there were only 2 others before).
You could make a Neo900 upgrade kit that is more or less practical.

That won't work with modern smartphones:
- first they are absurdly compact and small (just to have a "better number" on the check list. not that it's actually usefull, specially when the end users will enclose them in an over-priced after-market case anyway).
- they are often very hard to dissassamble (both because of the previous point, but also because it makes them more resistant to moisture etc. if they are in an enclosing never designed to be opened)
- some don't even have removable batteries.
- to make quick buck these companies tend to launch one new model every 6 months (yeah, imagine a replacement borad for iPhone. iPhones are popular, isn't it ? except that there are a dozen of them by now)
- also most of these companies aren't targetting geeks in the first place (unlike nokia maemo platform) and thus aren't likely to be held by users actually able to use an upgrade kit.

I suspect that the Jolla's sailfish phone is the only probable next target for an upgrade kit.

But in general, the case is the least problematice in smart phones.
It makes more sense to 3D print a new case around an existing board, rather than try to fit a new board inside an existing phone.

Usually, the screen is the most complex, instead.

Comment: Be gentle (Score 1) 368

by DrYak (#49752467) Attached to: How Java Changed Programming Forever

On a related issue, I still hold my position: In a near future, (and perhaps because of this stupid IOT thing) {...}

I'm under the impression that: as currently lots of the precussors of future IoT projects are from the maker culture it's probably one of the more hipsterish languages like Python and Ruby which might see more rise.

If you think of it, currently it's platforms like Raspberry Pi which are the forerunner of all the future connected small things. It's the "plant tweeting when it needs water" of today, that are the "intelligent fridge which automatically fills your grocery list" of tomorrow.
And currently, Python is *the* most popular rapid prototyping language on these platform.

all the Java based appliances will start to work together and bring Skynet to life. Prepare yourselves to run away from hordes of Java-powered T1000s!!! I for one welcome our CPU and memory hungry robotic overlords.

Well, try to be gentle with them. Do to run too fast so they can try to pretend they can keep up. And while running, please push aside all the various garbage laying on the ground so that these Javaminators don't trip on them and fall (or stop to automatically collect it up).

Also be kind: if you meet more than 1 of them, it would be proper etiquette to act as a translator between them so they can understand each-other (specially if one of them speaks microsoft dialect)

Try also to be understanding toward their sensitivities. There are a few of their kind that the remaining Javaminators consider untouchable (specially the one called Dalvik). Try not to madden them because you don't agree with that rejection (Even if you consider that actually that pastry-obsessed-outcast is the cool guy you want to hang around with).

Comment: Different continent, different results. (Score 1) 57

by DrYak (#49751607) Attached to: Forecasting the Next Pandemic

According tot he CDC at, the unintended pregnancy rate male condoms is 18%.

Funny that here around I've regularly seen and read different numbers (random source in fr. key point < 10% for latex based condoms, < 5% for polyurethan. that's just a random example. I don't have enough time to kill to do a complete litterature mining and meta analysis)
Either North American are much dumber or worse at using condom than European, or your condoms tend to be made of a self-destructin material~
Xenophobic jokes aside, actual result vary *wildly* depending on the considered population, specially the level of sex-ed.

*when used properly* condoms can be very much safe. When used *haphazardly* not so.
See this table (again quick search). Pregnancy rates vary a lot. (See the specially low level among "motivated women" in israel. They probably had better knowledge on proper prevention than the (poor) women in the philiphine that still did get pregnant up to 60%).

The difference in number seem to be linked in the level of education and motivation of the people. A *properly* used condom is effective. That means that you need to educate better the people, to that they use the prevention better.
(instead of completely ignoring condoms, and opting to outcast HIV positive people, as suggested by top troll).

(I know it's only an anecdote, but that also match my personnal experience with <1% breakage among the hundreds of protected intercourses I've done. But both I and girl(s) knew how to use a condom properly and the necessary precautions to take).

Comment: Re:Taxes? (Score 2) 219

You would think so, and you'd be right. Except that politicians beg (or rather: insist) to differ. Same here in NL, downloading was made illegal but the taxes remained in place. Over here they even renamed it to the "home copy levy". There's a levy on all storage media (hard disks, blank DVDs), which is for "compensating authors and artists for copies made of music and movies from legal sources for private use". And since downloading stuff from the internet is now illegal, this means that this fee is levied solely on CDs and DVDs that you already own. Fuckers.

Comment: Re:Gas tax? (Score 1) 822

by JaredOfEuropa (#49736833) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax
We're doing poorly even by European standards:
* €1.70 / l (about $7.20 / gallon)
* About €800 - €1200 in road tax per year (regardless of milage, and this is per vehicle; we own several. There are some special exemptions for old-timers though)
* VAT (21%) + a special car "CO2" tax on purchase of new cars. For some cars, the VAT + CO2 tax exceeds the factory price of the car.

We may be a small and densely populated country, but as one clever blogger remarked: "We do not have too many cars in this country, but too many people who hate them". That's also reflected in the fact that our roads, though generally in good condition, take ages to build. Between planning a road and the ground being broken, there's zoning, environmental impact studies, protests, court cases, etc. One case: a very short extension on one highway that will provide tremendous relief in congestion and pollition around a major city, is oonly now being built after planners decided to go ahead... over 40 *years* ago.

Comment: Re:Government Intrusion (Score 1) 822

by JaredOfEuropa (#49736621) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax
I think we should be able to trust our government with such data under a few conditions:
1) There should be a reasonable balance between the privacy intrusion and the benefits derived thereof
2) Data security and access restrictions to that data should be in line with the sensitivity of that data
3) The data should in principle only be used in ways for which it was collected, with a few limited and explicitly stipulated exceptions (such as law enforcement having access to subsets of the data with a court order). And always: not compelled by law to share means *forbidden* to share, no data may ever be volunteered.
4) Data retention should not be longer than needed for the purpose for which the data was collected.
5) There must be appropriate oversight to enforce these rules, with trustworthy audits and real consequences for those responsible in case of transgressions.

In many cases I do not in principle have issues with the goverment obtaining certain private data about me. However, in almost all cases, the reasonable conditions listed above are not met. In most cases, *none* of them are met.

In any case, you ought to be happy that your government at least set some limits on how and when this data can be used. When my country's government proposed a similar road pricing scheme, privacy was not addressed at all, on the contrary. No limits, any government agency would be allowed to use the data, and retention was pretty much forever. Politicians were already floating some alternative uses for the data: the police could use it to track suspicious movement, and the tax office could use it to catch fraudsters (such as catching people making private use of a company car and not declaring the milage, the way they recently did by requesting and receiving data from pay-by-smartphone parking providers). If our government sees no issue in buying data that was stolen from Swiss banks in order to catch undeclared offshore savings, they will certainly not stop short of abusing data they already own.

"Don't talk to me about disclaimers! I invented disclaimers!" -- The Censored Hacker