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Comment: Quite accurately? (Score 2, Interesting) 170

by The Mysterious Dr. X (#47879177) Attached to: Universal Big Bang Lithium Deficit Confirmed
"Astronomers can calculate quite accurately how much lithium they expect to find in the early Universe," can they? How do they know it's accurate? What control values are they using?

It's not entirely semantic, either; it goes on to say, "But the numbers don't match."

So how is that "quite accurate"?

Comment: Re:veterinarian (Score 1) 158

I work as a lab tech in a veterinary clinical pharmacology lab, and I can see what you mean.

Personally, I spend a large portion of my time working on our pharmacology database. One of my favorite projects was using VBA to make MS Access fax results to our clients. Other projects include generating lists of samples and the tests they need to run, as well as scripts to integrate chromatograms.

Comment: Re:Suggests Meaning, Yet Lacks Any (Score 2) 458

by The Mysterious Dr. X (#44597111) Attached to: My SSID Is...

Do you first confirm that it lacks meaning? If not, I imagine it wouldn't be terribly uncommon for your subconscious to pick up a word somewhere without your knowing what it meant, and you might assume it had none and that you'd made it up yourself. Could lead to some awkward moments if the other party actually knows what it really means.

Otherwise, this sounds hilarious.

Comment: Re:Can't Go Backwards (Score 1) 736

Yes! I saw this just yesterday, when an installation progress bar filled completely. I was pleased, but a moment later, it started over again with no indication that anything had happened. This repeated several times, each one reinforcing the hard truth that I had no idea how long the process would take.

Comment: Re:Can't Go Backwards (Score 1) 736

Even better would be something like a "63 out of 150 MB copied" meter that was 42% filled. I would think total file size might be more accurate than number of files.

I think that's kind of what the OP was wondering: is there some simple reason (like counting number of files-- a fairly arbitrary number-- instead of number of kilobytes) why are they so inaccurate? How hard would it be to make a list of the procedures to be executed, determine the amount of work to be done, and have the meter reflect how much of that work had been completed? I can understand the "estimated time remaining" varying greatly when downloading over a questionable internet connection, but surely disk write speeds could be estimated relatively accurately, right? And how much could "unexpectedly" happen? When Step 1 of the installation is "Preparing to install," wouldn't the application know already what it planned to do? Or have we actually progressed to the point of our scripts having whims?

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.