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Comment: Re:This Is Ridiculous (Score 1) 210

by Will Fisher (#36261600) Attached to: FSF On How To Choose a License

Look at SQLite. It's used _everywhere_ these days. Their own list is only a small segment of it's pervasiveness. I'm a programmer for a large company, and I use it in internal software I develop as part of my job.

Has SQLite made the world a better place? Definitely.
Moreso than a GPL equivalent would have? Of course.
Have they got the full credit they deserve? Perhaps not.

Of course, BSD vs GPL is a matter of personal preference, but after all, how is using SQLite in a proprietary program any different from using Linux in proprietary hardware? I don't see a philosophical difference. It's not as if anyone is taking SQLite, modifying it, and selling their modified copy. Who'd buy it when SQLite is so good?

Comment: Re:Its not politically correct to say it. (Score 1) 259

by Will Fisher (#35758880) Attached to: Scientists Create a "Worth Saving" Index For Endangered Animals

Cost/benefit is not a uniquely human attribute. When a big cat is hunting, it performs cost/benefit analysis on whether it's pray is worth chasing - based on the energy required to chase it down (cost) vs the amount of energy to be gained by eating it (benefit).

All animals do this, more or less.

Comment: Re:Silly Brits (Score 1) 568

by Will Fisher (#32154854) Attached to: UK Election Arcana, Explained By Software

I'm certainly against safe seats, but this could be fixed very easily by having open primaries. If you live in a (for example) safe labour area, you could then at least decide which person within the labour party represents you area, and vote them out if you wish.

I'm also not arguing that the conservatives deserved a majority this time, clearly they didn't (and nether did labour in 2005 for that matter, they only got 36% of the vote). A hung parliament is probably the correct outcome this time.

PR results in coalitions. Coalitions give:
1) Too much say to smaller parties
2) Too many decisions made behind closed doors

Now, imagine if we had this same outcome in seats terms with PR. This is what would be happening:
A party with ~45% of the vote is being blackmailed by a party with 10%, and extracting demands and cabinet seats. This would be quite wrong. The views of the 10% would be vastly overrepresented and the ~45% under-represented.
Plus everything would be happening behind closed doors.

This would clearly be quite wrong, and is what I am arguing against.

Comment: Re:Silly Brits (Score 1) 568

by Will Fisher (#32152282) Attached to: UK Election Arcana, Explained By Software

Yes, because what I want is the politicians deciding everything important behind closed doors in back room deals, like they are doing right now.

Seriously, what is happening right now is a terrible advert for PR. I would hate for this to happen after every single election, but it's what we'd get with PR.

To say that our system is unfair is untrue, every constituency has equal weight in parliament. You could argue that the constituency boundaries are unfair, and you'd probably be right and they probably should be fixed. But to switch to a system where minor parties get overrepresented in coalitions (like the Israeli system) and back room deals override the electorate (like right now) is a huge mistake.

Comment: Re:Silly Brits (Score 1) 568

by Will Fisher (#32152224) Attached to: UK Election Arcana, Explained By Software

The idea that an unelected figurehead can simply sweep away the electorate when it's convenient is terrifying.

What she'd be doing is forcing a new election. Not overriding democracy, but saying to the people that the politicians have failed and the country requires politicians who can succeed.

I think you misunderstand the idea of a constitutional monarchy.

Comment: Re:Buying ARM for a leg? (Score 4, Insightful) 695

by Will Fisher (#31939394) Attached to: Apple To Buy ARM?

Er. TFA say the offer is 400p a share. Currently they trade at around 250p a share. This represents a 60% premium. Given that ARM is very close to its 52 week high, at 400p it's a no-brainer for the shareholders.

I, however, don't really think that Apple is going to buy ARM. The Inquirer has a very good analysis of why not here: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1602331/apple-arm

Comment: Re:No, +2K is not very small, esp with positive fd (Score 1) 1100

by Will Fisher (#29201541) Attached to: Global Warming To Be Put On Trial?

Exactly my point. If these strong positive feedback loops existed, then they would have already occured in the course of human history.

This frozen methane? Worst case scenario the global methane output goes up by 5-10%. That's about the same as the can be attributed to cow farts.

Comment: Re:What happened as a result? (Score 1) 1100

by Will Fisher (#29201325) Attached to: Global Warming To Be Put On Trial?

We know wtf happened. It's all over the fossil record. Sea levels rose, species died out, new ones emerged.

The problem here is that it's going to be very fast. Instead of changing over hundreds of millenias (which is very rapid indeed by geological standards), this is going to change in a matter of decades.

1) The temperature changes predicted are very small compared to the various "great dyings" we do see in the fossil record.
2) Temperature changes of this size have already occured in the course of human history and were non-fatal. Which was my original point.
3) I am neither american, christian nor rich. Just skeptical. Keep your trollish statements to yourself.

Comment: Re:You find it hard to believe? (Score 2, Insightful) 1100

by Will Fisher (#29200931) Attached to: Global Warming To Be Put On Trial?

ok let me rephrase because you clearly didn't understand.

If global temperatures are going to go up by 2 C, then it would be useful to find out when the last time in history the earth was 2 C warmer than it is now and what happened as a result, no?

Because of the constant change in global temperatures (I assume you're not going to argue against the fact that there have been ice ages) it is likely that this temperature has happened at some point in the past.

If it has happened in human history (and evidence suggests that it has) then any catastrophe that they are predicting would have happened already.

I'm not denying that the climate changes, and I'm not denying that humans have had an impact, I'm simply questioning the doomsday senarios that appear hyped up in the media and from politicians. It is you, by angrily dismissing this out of hand, that is showing religious fevour, not I.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen

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