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Comment Re:Well, goodbye passenger car diesel! (Score 1) 371

In terms of regular or anticipated natural disasters, the UK has it pretty tame. There's flooding to worry about, and that's pretty much it. On the other hand much of the US and Canada is either in an earthquake zone, or gets regular hurricanes, both of which can knock natural gas (as pointed out by GP). And many backup generator scenarios cannot be solved by a second site outside the disaster area. Hospitals come to mind immediately, and I know someone who's condo uses a backup generator for emergency power.

Comment Re:What makes someone a Troll? (Score 5, Informative) 153

You need to look at the rational for granting patents. The original rational was that by providing a monopoly on an invention for a limited period of time, it would encourage inventors to publish new and useful inventions instead of keeping those inventions as trade secrets. So the original inventor would be guaranteed exclusivity for a period of time, and in exchange everyone would benefit after the exclusivity period had expired.

But now people have started filing for patents which do not describe an invention in a useful manner, and then suing anyone who makes a similar invention. This basically reverses the intended purpose of patents.

Analogy: patents were intended to protect invention prospectors from claim jumpers, but instead are being used by speculators who see an idea railway going a certain direction and buy up all the mindspace in its way.

Comment Re:As always, guidelines are for beginners (Score 1) 262

I think the classic one is error handling in C. Usually each error case has some standard unlock all the locks; free temporary objects; close files, etc. Instead of copying & pasting for every error, put it at the end of the function and do if (error) { goto error_handler; }.

Dosn't apply to C++ though since you can use exception handling. I think modern compilers will even convert the exception into a goto in many cases.

Comment Re:That's not a bomb, it's a clock! (Score 3, Informative) 657

It would be nice if we stopped painting entire organizations, professions, states and countries every time a story like this comes out.

If the head of an organization (e.g. the Irving PD Chief) says something in their capacity as head, it's supposed to reflect on the organization. That's why they've called a press conference; are responding to interviews; etc. is to explain the position of the organization (although not necessarily the position of the members of the organization). If they give a dumb response it reflects poorly on the organization, the same way as if they give a good response it reflects well on the organization.

The rest of your post is either a straw man or you're responding to the wrong post. I didn't talk about any of those things.

Comment Re:Regeneration (Score 1) 269

I'm not the poster you were originally replying to. Not that this changes anything of substance, but just so we're clear.

You mentioned "covered in tree sprouts". Cut down a tree and you will get dozens, sometimes hundreds, of competing saplings in its place. But those eventually will be whittled down to only one or maybe a few surviving trees in the long term. It wouldn't be accurate to count those samplings on a 1:1 basis for replacing lost, fully grown trees.

Fair enough. But my naive assumption would be that absent land use changes (such as converting the land to farmland) logged forest would eventually, through naturally processes, regrow into a similar forest. Forest management practices would merely either (1) accelerate this process, and/or (2) favor the growth of more economically profitable trees for future harvesting.

Comment Re:Regeneration (Score 1) 269

You have to take into consideration land cleared for building or agriculture where trees won't be allowed to regrow. If those types of land use are happening at a higher rate than other uses where trees are replanted or allowed to come back naturally, then you will have a net loss.

This is true, as far as farmland expansion, but doesn't explain why toilet paper & timber are counted as a net loss.

Even in those areas where they are allowed to regrow naturally, there will be attrition as the trees grown and compete with one another for space, light, and resources.

I don't see how this follows. The old trees also competed for space, light & resources.

Comment Re:The one true language (Score 3, Insightful) 429

I find being able to read assembly incredibly useful when debugging optimized C/C++ code. In my experience it's not infrequent for a debugger to not be able to find the value of a variable in memory, even on lines where the variable is being passed into a (non-inline) function.

And debugging optimized code is required a fair amount when fixing performance & reliability issues (when the problem may disappear on non-optimized code), and embedded (where the program may not fit on the device without optimization).

Comment Re:LTS (Score 1) 167

Not the OP, but Ubuntu does have the point releases (i.e. 12.04.1, 12.04.2, etc.) on LTS. You're not generally not required to use them, except if there's a security patch which applies to a package included in a point release. In this case I believe Ubuntu will only publish a patch on the updated package.

Comment Re:Comparison? (Score 1) 257

Intermittent doesn't mean not reproducible. E.g.: A claim that "Saving file XYZ fails 0.001%" of the time is reproducible. Attempt to save the file a > 1 million times. If it never fails, you can say with high confidence the problem does not exist as described. If it fails ~10 times, you've reproduced the problem.

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin