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Comment Re:Sounds like a good thing (Score 1) 85

This isn't data like health or tax records - those they're keeping. It's things like fisheries data from the 1950s - what was caught where and when, which birds were living in northern Saskatchewan in 1985, etc... It's largely mundane data, but when researchers need to look for trends in trying to manage fishing quotas, being able to get that old data is invaluable.

Comment Re:The problem is that landfills are too cheap (Score 1) 371

This is the critical short-fall in over-emphasizing the individual right. It's not merely short-sightedness. Each individual can be perfectly rational in not doing the extra work to sort recycling, as there is almost no benefit to them to do so, and essentially no harm if they don't - in fact if recycling is charged for, then there is a loss for them to recycle. From that point of view, one would be foolish to recycle.
However, on a large scale, it's a benefit to each individual if everyone recycles, so it's again rational to vote for measures that force everyone to pay for recycling through taxes, and to fine people for not sorting recycling.

Comment Re:GOTO is a crutch for bad programmers (Score 4, Informative) 677

What would you propose as a better alternative to this idiom in a language that lacks exceptions:

void func() {
if (!AquireResource1()) goto end;
if (!AquireResource2()) goto cleanup1;
if (!AquireResource3()) goto cleanup2:



Comment Re:Well that's a start... (Score 1) 163

I'd love to see an expert system that could take in some form of legal jargon, the details of a specific situation, and spit out an unambiguous application. Of course, then it could lead to all sorts of "hacking" the system. Imagine winning a court case because of an off-by-one error in a law, or a buffer overrun vulnerability in a contract that allowed for arbitrary code execution.

Comment Re:Silly (Score 1) 764

And I wouldn't be surprised to hear someone say they were "proud" to be 5'2" or 6'6". Nobody gets mocked for being 5'10" (at least in a predominantly Caucasian crowd - when I'm the only white guy in a crowd of Pilipino people, I get the occasional comment)

"I have five dollars for each of you." -- Bernhard Goetz