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Comment: Re:You can't earn a lot while working for others (Score 2) 219

by Roger W Moore (#47925529) Attached to: College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

REALLY want to earn a lot of money, working for others won't make you rich

Tell that to the banks and the finance industry in general. You might not make it to billionaire but millionaire is easily achievable, all for risking other people's money with apparently almost zero risk to yourself even if you are the one responsible for messing up.

Comment: Worst Forecast Ever Made (Score 1) 127

by Roger W Moore (#47925101) Attached to: I think next winter will be:
The UK met office always used to complain that the reason they could not accurately predict the weather was because they could not have ground sensors over the north atlantic so they could not make accurate models. now living in Alberta with ground sensors for 1,000+ km in all directions the Canadian weather predictions are still no more accurate than the UK's are.

Still, thanks to Michael Fish, the UK still holds the record for the least accurate weather forecast ever made: not only did he fail to predict the worst storm to hit the south of England in a century or more he actually took time to rubbish the concerns of a woman who called in worried about it!

Comment: Re:The merging must be dramatic, explosive even... (Score 1) 68

by Roger W Moore (#47924285) Attached to: Astronomers Find Star-Within-a-Star, 40 Years After First Theorized

The only sad thing about living when we do, is we will never get to watch solar collisions from under 100 AU.

Given that the only star within 100AU is our sun and we are rather reliant on that continuing in a very stable way for our continued existence "sad" is not exactly the word I would use.

Comment: Re:Wait, these are for real? (Score 1) 68

by Roger W Moore (#47924261) Attached to: Astronomers Find Star-Within-a-Star, 40 Years After First Theorized

Why wouldn't it be stable? More gravity means more fusion, not less.

That's exactly why you might expect it not to be stable for long. The mass transfer to the neutron star would be presumably quite large since it is inside the companion, and then, at some point, it will go nova again. Would the companion star survive that?

Comment: Filter of Time (Score 2) 178

by Roger W Moore (#47915085) Attached to: Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future

Anyone remember the seventies pre-Star Wars? You couldn't produce an SF film unless it had a downer ending.

Rather than cyclical I'd suggest that it might be just the historical filter. The SciFi you remember looking back are the upbeat, wonderful future stories. It's similar to the filter that gets applied to modern music: it always seems to appear that things were better in the past because you forget the bad songs and only remember the good ones.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 287

by Roger W Moore (#47888505) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails
I expect that part of what colours my experience is that the companies I typically have to call most often for customer support are the ones with the longest waits and slowest response times (that's if you even get one). I suspect that there may be a correlation. The couple of times I've had to contact Apple over the past several years they have been amazingly fast but try talking to Shaw Cable or Air Canada (other than to book a flight) and make sure you can sit by the phone for an hour or more and you can forget email because they certainly seem to!

Comment: Re: ...and say what exactly? (Score 1) 362

by Roger W Moore (#47888423) Attached to: BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates
That's what the summary says but the summary is WRONG. Read what they actually said in the article. Deliberately mis-stating what has been stated to make it ridiculously inflammatory is counterproductive and makes any criticism easy to dismiss. All the BBC says is that pirates use VPN. The troubling part of what they say is not this but that ISPs should act on any wild accusation they get to cut, or restrict, people's internet access. There is plenty to criticize there without the need to make up crazy stuff that was never stated anywhere.

Comment: Really? (Score 4, Interesting) 287

by Roger W Moore (#47888041) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails
The only difference between Google and most customer service today is that at least Google are honest about it and tell you that you will be ignored. Most other companies will just ignore your email and not tell you or leave you in a call queue for so long that you end up having to hang up and go do something else.

Comment: ...and say what exactly? (Score 5, Insightful) 362

by Roger W Moore (#47860905) Attached to: BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates
But what exactly are you going to say? Despite the inflammatory slashdot summary the quoted text from the BBC submission only says that pirates use VPNs. This is not at all the same as saying that all VPN users are pirates. The troubling part is that they are advocating that ISPs should throttle and disconnect users based on accusations from other companies which, as we have seen time and time again are often inaccurate.

So lets go after the real issues and not invent new ones based on deliberate misinterpretation since the latter will result in loss of all credibility and leave the field wild open for really draconian suggestions.

Comment: Cheapest Ticket (Score 4, Interesting) 812

The only way this would work is to place height restrictions on the different classes of seat. I'm an academic and when travelling for work I have to purchase the cheapest ticket. Without a height restriction I would then be forced to purchase a ticket for a seat I physically could not sit down it (I already have to pull out the magazines on US carriers to allow blood flow to my feet).

This can then open the debate about whether it is reasonable for an airline to charge someone extra just for being tall - something they had no control over and which is gender-biased. After all they don't charge more to provide special meals for those with dietary preferences or religious beliefs and, with the exception of medical conditions, that is a voluntary choice. Nor, I hope, do they charge disabled passengers extra for transporting wheelchairs etc.

Comment: Tcl (Score 1) 728

Tcl is strange in a number of ways. One is that you don't assign variables by saying "x=5", you write "set x 5" instead. Nor can you do any calculations outside of the expr command (in most cases), so instead of writing "x=5*y+3", you would write "set x [expr 5*$y+3]"

I'm still fond of Tcl/Tk, in spite of that. :) What other language can give you a text editor in one line? "pack [text .t]"

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!