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Comment Re:Linux Mint gets it right. (Score 1) 155

I've been using Mint at home for a few months. While I like the design better than any other desktop, I have one major problem with it:

If any program freezes, the WHOLE DESKTOP freezes. I get this about once a day where Firefox stops to think for 10 or so seconds. During those 10 seconds, cinnamon refuses to do ANYTHING except draw the mouse cursor.

You can't switch applications, you can't switch desktops, you can't run shell commands to try to kill the misbehaving program.

The only thing you can do is hit Ctrl+Alt+F6, and kill programs from that console. But it's not even obvious what program is causing the trouble, as it's has nothing to do with CPU utilization. It's as if cinnamon only has one thread for rendering the screen and since Firefox is (very slowly) updating the screen, then nothing else can happen in the entire system.

Comment Basic understanding would be nice (Score 1) 336

As part of my day job, I interview both junior and senior designers for jobs in C++. I get excited when people know about references. You might be amazed at how often someone applies for a SENIOR position and can't answer this question: Can you explain what a [C++] reference is, when you should use them, and describe their memory/time complexity. For a entry level position, if you SAY that you know C++, you better be able to answer that question. If you SAY that you are an expert, you better be able to explain virtual inheritance, vtables, templates, partial template specilization, etc...

If you say that you don't know C++, but you know SOME language which you can discuss in a meaningful manner, that's fine too.

Regardless of the job you are applying for, I expect you to be a quick thinker and demonstrate good problem solving skills. Beyond that, if you are applying for a senior position, you better know SOME language very well.

And anyone who says that C#, Java, Python or some other toy language is "better" must never have written software where performance actually mattered. If you are writing GUIs for a phone, then use whatever language gets the job done best, but when you are writing software that has to get massive amounts of work done, on limited resources, and needs uptimes that are measured in years, then you use a language with less run-time overhead and more predictable results.

Comment Re:Extradition? (Score 1) 299

Extra insurance *is* a higher standard. Now, maybe it's not meaningfully higher, but it's not the only difference. In my city, all licenced taxis must have a specific meter which charges at a predictable rate. You can find out ahead of time (from a web-site) what your ride is going to cost. Now, I get what you are saying. We probably don't require that they are better drivers. That seems like an oversight.

Comment Re:Extradition? (Score 2) 299

You are half right here. Driving a taxi is mostly the same as driving a normal car. I think that a surprisingly large percentage of regular drivers are terrible drivers; they should have their licences revoked. But any politician that changed the laws such that the bottom 20% of drivers lost their licence would at least be quickly voted out of office, and possibly assassinated for causing our economy to collapse [think of all the people that couldn't drive to work anymore]. We hold taxi drivers to a higher standard because we are not willing to hold everyone to that standard.

Comment Re:I don't see the problem (Score 2) 135

Distillation only works with liquids. Comet ice is not a liquid. Even if light water [on the surface] evaporates more quickly, since there is no process to replenish the light water on the surface, all you're going to end up with is a tiny crust of heavy water (a few molecules thick) and then the rest of the ice is going to be the original mixture.

Comment Re:Misunderstanding the halting problem (Score 1) 335

Take an X-ray machine for example. We know these can kill people (look up Therac-25). However, if we write an overall program that calls a supplied program to calculate the treatment duration, and have a routine to control the machine and which has a hard limit on the duration, then it doesn't matter if the supplied program can, in some circumstances, calculate an excessive duration, because the patient can't get that dose.

What makes you think that "hard limit" enforcing code can't have a bug in it? I assume your answer is that it's such a small program that you can do a formal proof that it has no bugs. Fine, but what about the OS it runs under? Or the memory controller? Or the actual memory? Any of those can be wrong in a way that could, in theory, cause a patient to be given an overdose. If we can make a robot that is more accurate than a human (at practically any task), we probably should (ignoring issues of liability and macroeconomics), but we have yet to make *anything* that is 100%, let alone a computer controlled robot.

Comment Re:There have been worse outages (Score 1) 133

I don't know what you mean by "analog", but unless you are talking about a single, physical wire connecting you with the 911 operator, then calls have been routed and core lines have been oversubscribed for decades (several). Even before rotary dial, you had to ask an operator to connect you. They probably had more outages than any modern system.

Comment Re:Easy to ACTUALLY solve (Score 1) 470

There is no such thing as a compostable plastic bag. There are bags which are LABELLED as compostable. My city (Ottawa, Canada), has a curbside city compost pickup program, but they do not allow any plastic bags (even ones marked as compostable) into that program. The bags gum up their grinders.

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