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Comment Re:which part (Score 4, Interesting) 345

Scientific (matlab but faster): who cares, you just want the answer, not the software, right?

Not always true. Sure, there is plenty of well-motivated ad-hoc coding in scientific research. However, we sometimes have supercomputers working for months to generate the answer. Even with well-written software this could mean many core-years of number crunching. Without good high-performing software we would not get the answer at all. Developing good scientific software takes time and effort too, but if the software can be used over and over to efficiently solve >1000 problems (for instance, the GROMACS papers have been cited by users ~15,000 times), then the time invested can be very good use of taxpayer money. C++ is not a bad choice for such software in that it enables very good performance and decent maintainability.

Comment Re:Ask the EPA (Score 2) 172

Correct. Expropriation is done on the basis on market value in Sweden. Guess what the market value is when there's a mine about to devour the house? Exactly the same issue with the town of Malmberget, located 100 km or so south of Kiruna, where the mine has created several holes mid-town that has grown and engulfed numerous buildings over the last few decades.

Comment Re:Why not just fill the mine? (Score 2) 172

It's still an active mine with a huge body of ore beneath the city. The problem is not mainly that the rock is like swiss cheese under Kiruna, but that further mining risk destroying the city. Filling it up would require new tunnels to be built anyway in order to get the ore up, hence the need for unorthodox moves.

Comment Re:Natural result of government power over somethi (Score 2) 207

In addition: The head of the Swedish Academy, which is the institution that produces the most comprehensive dictionary of the Swedish language (SAOB) and also the dictionary that is generally considered most standard and normative (SAOL), recently commented that what Google is doing is actually making people more aware of the word, with the consequence that it's now much more likely that the word will make it into SAOB and perhaps even SAOL. But maybe that was Google's intention all along. I should probably also mention that the Swedish academy is an independent cultural institution and not under government control.

Comment Not such a novel idea (Score 1) 227

So a few years ago I met this old retired engineer who explained what he'd been doing in his working life. The one thing he was most proud of was being part of a project where (waaait for it...) turbines that condensed water from the air were installed somewhere in Asia (can't remember exactly where) where drinkable water was hard to come by. Although I applaud this effort, it seems that the concept is hardly novel and similar machines have been used before.

A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you. -- Ramsey Clark