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Comment Re:duh? (Score 1) 48

The point is that the relationship between sleep and the strength of the immune system has been well know and tested for years...

For a certain value of "well-known" and "tested". You could actually read the paper abstract and see what was novel about this particular study.

Comment Re:duh? (Score 2) 48

Knowing it in principle and knowing when to put that knowledge to work are two different things.

I used to catch *everything* that was going around, including some things most other people didn't. I got sick three, maybe four times a year. I always put it down to having a lousy immune system, until in one checkup I mentioned to my doctor that I'm a pretty loud snorer. "Better have you checked for sleep apnea," he said, and sure enough I had it, although only a relatively mild case. He prescribed sleeping on a CPAP machine, and since I've been doing that I almost never get sick. Maybe once in four years.

Anecdotal evidence, I know, but my point is this. Now that there's research demonstrating the impact of sleep on immune system performance it makes sense to make questions about sleep quantity and quality a routine part of health surveillance. I just happened to mention snoring to my doctor on one visit; if I'd been asked twenty years earlier it would have saved my employers a lot of sick time and me a lot of misery.

Comment Re:Here's the thing about disasters. (Score 1) 159

A win-win game is not the only kind of non-zero-sum game there is. Suppose I set up a game in which the amount I win is 1/10 of what everyone else loses. I win $100; everyone else loses $1000. If I add up the net gains in the whole game, what we have as a net loss of $900 for all players. It's not fair; it's not reasonable for the community of players to favor such rules, but nonetheless I'm still up $100.

Broken windows may not be a net good thing for the community as a whole, but it certainly is a good thing for the glaziers.

Comment Re:Free speech hundreds of miles out in the desert (Score 1) 155

I'll bet a lot of people love the fact that all this "free speech" will be taking place hundreds of miles out in the desert...

You don't know people very well then. As Lord Macaulay observed in his The History of England from the Accession of James the Second,

“The Puritans hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.”

You see it is not enough for prigs and busybodies that they're not involved in any way in the things you do that give you pleasure; their problem is with you enjoying something they don't enjoy, or perhaps understand.

Comment Here's the thing about disasters. (Score 1) 159

There's no such thing as a disaster that's a disaster for everyone. War is a disaster for people in general, but it's great for munitions makers. Hurricanes are no good for the people who live through them, but very good for companies that sell them building materials.

Every catastrophe is a windfall for someone. If the public saves tens of trillions of dollars by slowing down climate change then that's tens of billions of dollars of revenue somebody won't be making.

Comment Wait your turn. (Score 1) 155

They're giving it away free and they pushed a little "install me" button on current Win 7 and Win 8 installs. I'm actually surprised it's not higher. This 5% should be seen as a failure not a success.

The roll-out was always meant to move forward in manageable stages.

It was clear from the beginning that distribution to low-end tablets and other systems with very limited resources would be delayed.

Comment I'd like to take a moment to express appreciation (Score 4, Interesting) 119

for the maintainers. The bootloader is a not particularly glamorous problem to work on, but it's critical to everyone and because it involves differing interpretations of standards by manufacturers and various OS developers it had to have been a headache.

Of course later projects had the luxury of a clean sheet, hindsight, and more hardware resources, but without a solid bootloader in the early says of Linux, history would have been very different.

Comment Re:yeah right (Score 1) 66

Python is a useful language for prototyping things, or trying out some new algorithm.
It allows me to test these things out without worrying about all kinds of details like I would if I were programming in C.
Of course if I want performance for whatever it is I'm doing, then yes, I'll rewrite in C eventually.

And yet you don't need to be able to dynamically rewrite entire class definitions in order to do most of the useful stuff that Python lets you do quickly. And if you do use a lot of the stuff that makes Python Python, it will be a tough job to rewrite into C at a later date. As such, I personally feel that Python is a double-edged sword, and I would like the core of it without the ultra-dynamic, self-modifying stuff that (for my purposes) only serves as a source of potential errors.

Comment Re:yeah right (Score 1) 66

You can compile Python into C. I had a Python script to roll a pair of dice one million times that took 123 seconds. Compiled Python to C, it took four seconds.

Great. However, all of Python's weaknesses exist to support its use as an interpreted language. There are things I really love about Python (eg list comprehensions look almost mathematical, and are designed for readability), but just compiling it doesn't get round the limitations of the language architecture.

A commune is where people join together to share their lack of wealth. -- R. Stallman