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Comment: Re:So fit people generally live longer? Go figure (Score 1) 90

by jedidiah (#49179797) Attached to: Treadmill Performance Predicts Mortality

A fit body is more ready for a nasty surprise. If you aren't very fit, you may end up as a freak heart attack statistic. No one may even know what really killed you.

It's all a mix of seemingly random events with the inclusion of at least one element that's under your control.

Comment: Re:Conventional weapons? (Score 1) 88

by Gr8Apes (#49179455) Attached to: Schneier: Either Everyone Is Cyber-secure Or No One Is
I'd have to disagree given how many countries now have long range rocket technology. It's merely a matter of scale after that. The biggest issue most have is guidance technology. Apparently that's still a big problem, much like the V1/V2s in WWII, they weren't good for eliminating a target, but they were excellent for demoralizing the populace.

Comment: Re:There is science here (Score 2) 19

by hey! (#49178195) Attached to: Rosetta Photographs Its Own Shadow On Comet 67P/C-G

Hmmm. While your explanation is unquestionably true, I don't think you quite understood what the poster was asking. His question is, I think, about the sharp shadows behind ridges on the surface, not the shadow of the vehicle itself.

I think his problem is an implicit assumption that if you drew a line from the center of the sun through the spacecraft, it would intersect the surface at a right angle. In that case you wouldn't expect cracks on the surface to display in such relief. However I believe that assumption is faulty, and that the rays of the sun intersect the surface at a considerable angle.

This is not unlike seeing the shadow of a plane you are riding in on the surface of the Earth. Unless you are in the tropics, that shadow won't be directly beneath you. It will be off to one side. It will also be distorted as it is spread out across the non-perpendicular surface, but you won't necessarily notice that because of foreshortening.

Comment: Re:Easier to Analyze or Change == More Maintainabl (Score 2) 203

by hey! (#49177955) Attached to: Study: Refactoring Doesn't Improve Code Quality

I once took over 30,000 lines of code that had been written by a subcontractor and trimmed it to around 4000 LOC. And you better believe it ran faster! Not because refactoring is magic, but because once all the mind-numbing almost-repetition was mucked out you could actually see what the code was doing and notice that a lot of it wasn't really necessary. Ever since then I have always maintained that coders should never ever copy and paste code. I've had people disagree, saying that a little bit of copying and pasting won't hurt, but I say if it's really such a little bit then you shouldn't mind re-typing it. Of course if you do that very soon you start putting more effort into devising ways to stop repeating yourself, which is exactly the point. Repeating yourself should be painful.

That's I think a reliable litmus test for whether you should refactor a piece of software. If it's an area of code that's been receiving a lot of maintenance, and you think you can reduce the size significantly (say by 1/3 or more) without loss of features or generality you should do it. If it's an area of code that's not taking up any maintenance time, or if you're adding speculative features nobody is asked for and the code will get larger or remain the same size, then you should leave it alone. It's almost common sense.

I don't see why anyone would think that refactoring for its own sake would necessarily improve anything. If an automotive engineer on a lark decided to redesign a transmission you wouldn't expect it to get magically better just because he fiddled with it. But if he had a specific and reasonable objective in the redesign that's a different situation. If you have a specific and sensible objective for reorganizing a piece of code, then it's reasonable to consider doing it.

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 1) 568

by Grishnakh (#49176433) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Snowden does not work for the Russian government, nor is he ever likely to. What he's been doing for a job over there, I'm not sure, but I'm quite sure they're not going to employ him in a job doing the same thing he was doing in the USA. At best, he can just work in private-sector jobs there which have nothing to do with the government.

Yes, if he exposed government corruption in Russia, he wouldn't be treated well. But why would he ever be in a position to see such corruption and expose it?

Comment: Re:confused (Score 1) 100

With telephone service, it's fairly simple. In the US, it wasn't a case of the government looking at AT&T and thinking to themselves: "That looks nice, I want it.". AT&T was granted a legal monopoly on telephone service in exchange for being regulated as a public utility, providing universal lifeline service, and all that. Many other nations followed the US's lead and set up similar telephone monopolies.

In the '80s... during the Reagan administration no less... the US government finally realized how stupid a move that was and broke AT&T up into the "Baby Bells". Unfortunately, the government seems to have regressed to 1900's thinking and has been letting AT&T reassemble itself and to allow the other bandwidth companies to follow suit; leading to the sack of crap that our telecom infrastructure is and the reason that net neutrality is even an issue.

That aside, you're right. It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest regulating Google or Facebook as though they were utilities. Will they be granted similar legally-mandated search engine and social network monopolies in exchange for having their destinies essentially stolen from them? Either way, it's be the death of both companies. AT&T may have had Bell labs turning out some neat technologies. But the pace of innovation and upgrades of their network was appallingly lethargic. Any tech company forced to labor under the same conditions would just die the second the monopoly was broken, and no longer legally-mandated, under a more enlightened administration. (To be fair, that may be these particular regulators' goal.)

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 1) 568

by hey! (#49175719) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Well, this is the thing about civil disobedience. The classic formula is to keep up awareness of your issue by forcing the government to go through the embarrassing and drawn-out process of prosecuting and punishing you. I'll bet they had to drag Thoreau kicking and screaming out of that Concord jail cell when some joker finally came along and paid his poll tax for him. Holding court for his admirers in the town pokey no doubt suited his purposes nicely.

In that spirit, this announcement is very effective. When was the last headline you read about Edward Snowden? If he comes back for a long and drawn out trial that'll show he's pretty hard core about this civil disobedience thing -- if leaving a cushy, high paying job in Hawaii with his pole-dancing girlfriend to go to fricken' Russia wasn't enough.

It occurs to me, though, that this situation is a lot like what I always say about data management systems: the good ones are easier to replace than the bad ones. Likewise the better governments, the ones with at least some commitment to things like due process, are much easier to face down with civil disobedience than ones where being a political threat gets you a bullet in the head, like Ninoy Aquino or Boris Nemtzov. If Snowden *does* come back, and if he ends up "detained" in limbo somewhere, then it'll be time for everyone to go into the streets and bring the government down.

Comment: Re:Brain drain (Score 1) 167

by hey! (#49175549) Attached to: Marissa Mayer On Turning Around Yahoo

Everyone likes getting paid. And all things being equal, everyone likes getting paid *more*.

But one thing I've noticed is that the people who are most dissatisfied with their current pay also happen to be the most dissatisfied with their working conditions overall, particularly how they feel treated. The feeling seems to be that if they ought to get more pay to put up with this shit.

Now I wouldn't suggest to any employer, particularly in tech, to economize by offering low salaries. You want to attract and retain the best people you can. But this suggests to me that many employers would do themselves a favor by paying a little more attention to worker happiness. If you're paying people approaching (or even more than) $100,000, there's bound to be a lot more cost effective ways to goose worker morale than handing out raises they'll perceive as significant.

But oddly many employers seem to think paying someone's salary is a license for handing out indignities. This doesn't even qualify as penny wise pound foolish.

Comment: Re:Good operating systems Dont. (Score 1) 494

by Gr8Apes (#49175535) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

Sorry - it doesn't direct delete, if I implied that, my bad. Cmd-Delete sends it to Trash, so you can do a delete every other file entry, or some other non easy pattern, and then clear trash without ever leaving the keyboard.

FYI - some other keyboard short cuts:

  • (Shft)Cmd-Tab (previous)next process
  • (Shft)Cmd-` (back tic above Tab, with the tilda) (previous)next window within the current process

Those 4 combos keep me out of mission control entirely, which I can only recall having opened once or twice, and found it to be largely useless. Note that they are both process based, and it is possible to have multiple process open the same application. I have multiple instances of an IDE open right now, as an example, each in their own process. One or two may have multiple windows within the process. I sometimes have the same issue with mvim (macvim), depending upon how it is launched or the file opened.

Comment: Re:Good operating systems Dont. (Score 1) 494

by Gr8Apes (#49175323) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

Shift-Cmd-Delete has to be done while a Finder window has focus. Note that you have to have something in Trash, otherwise you get the "error" tone, which really indicates it's empty. It's worked for me ever since I found out about in, circa Tiger? Panther? I don't know, quite a long time ago. I know for a fact it works in Snow Leopard, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, and Yosemite, as I have all of those systems running currently or in the past 6 months Although, now that I think about it, the first thing I do with any mac is install QuickSilver on it. I don't think it affects this though, as I don't recall that ever being a problem on anyone else's mac either. Other than that, I run Caffeine and Fantastical and that's pretty much it for enhancements.

I've tried some other enhancements/replacements such as PathFinder, BusyCal (they have something new out recently) PostBox, and a couple of others, but don't really care for those, at least when I tried them. To be fair, PostBox was only used for a short while, and I am still in the process of getting back to evaluating that one. The drive to replace Mail was removed when I finally debugged my configuration issue with Mail (removing a second Gmail account) although I still have some oddities with it.

Nice on the tests, thanks for posting those. If you try that on a network connected disk in Finder, you'll probably find that the behavior is.... not what you'd like. I do not believe that Finder uses the remote system as a proxy, because if it did, it should be able to delete much faster than it does. Oh well, at least local files work fine.

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