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Comment: Re:So I'm confused... (Score 1) 69

by buchner.johannes (#47703581) Attached to: Iceland's Seismic Activity: A Repeat Show for Atmospheric Ash?

...the headline and article summary at the top says that air travel is threatened

Read again. The headline and the beginning just state that ash can be expelled again, and we remember this from last time when it caused air travel to stop. It does not say air travel is threatened.
In fact, by the end of the last event, I believe it has been established that those ash clouds do not harm the air planes, and you can just fly through them without worry (Airplane companies' CEOs got together to do a fly-through to inspire confidence). Anyone got more detail on that?

Comment: Re:What trolls (Score 3, Interesting) 381

by buchner.johannes (#47694477) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

The reality of the internet is different for different groups of people. Everybody lives in their own bubble depending on what websites they log into, and what software they use. That also dominates the civility or absence thereof.

Remember back when you were 14, what you understood as the Internet was an entirely different thing. All of us have made one or a few transitions between the bubbles -- but it is extremely difficult to do so except serendipitously or through contacts.

Comment: Re:Bullshit.... (Score 1) 133

by buchner.johannes (#47555897) Attached to: A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

This point comes up often in genetic algorithms, when more than one quantity should be optimized for. A common solution is to build a Pareto frontier, and declare them the best.

A combination between two quantities is always a personal weighting. It may be useful, but it may also be limited in application. In the case here, the balance between compression speed and achieved size is too personal to be general-purpose, but perhaps the metric is useful for the use case of TV streaming content providers.

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 381

by buchner.johannes (#47441071) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

A smart watch is a smart phone with less functionality that you have to wear around your wrist. I don't understand the appeal at all. Everything it does a smart phone does better, only a smart phone is not strapped to one of your body parts.

A smart phone is a laptop with less functionality that you have to put in your pocket. I don't understand the appeal at all. Everything it does a laptop does better.

Comment: Re:Python (Score 5, Informative) 466

There are two possible answers to the question: Python and Javascript.

Python is a general-purpose language, with a large number of user areas. It is your best bet for general applicability.
However, if you want to aim for the web market -- which, granted, is huge -- go with Javascript.

That's pretty much all you need to know to make your decision.

Comment: Re:Eskimo?! (Score 1, Interesting) 166

Alaskas perspective:

Although the name "Eskimo" is commonly used in Alaska to refer to all Inuit and Yupik people of the world, this name is considered derogatory in many other places because it was given by non-Inuit people and was said to mean "eater of raw meat."

Linguists now believe that "Eskimo" is derived from an Ojibwa word meaning "to net snowshoes." However, the people of Canada and Greenland prefer other names. "Inuit," meaning "people," is used in most of Canada, and the language is called "Inuktitut" in eastern Canada although other local designations are used also. The Inuit people of Greenland refer to themselves as "Greenlanders" or "Kalaallit" in their language, which they call "Greenlandic" or "Kalaallisut."

Perhaps we are trying to force a term on a group of peoples which never considered themselves as a group of peoples.

Comment: Re:Eskimo?! (Score 4, Informative) 166

Some Inuit in Canada and Greenland object very strongly, which is as good a reason as we need not to do it.

This whole topic is a bit of minefield, it's fair to say. We can initially divide the Eskimo/Aleut people into three - the Inuit, the Unangax (Aleut), and the Yupik.

The Unangax of the Aleutian Islands don't care to be called Inuit or Eskimo. They see themselves as distinct from Eskimos and don't mind being described as Native Americans; other Eskimo/Aleut people don't identify as being such. The Unangax are easily distinguished by their language (many borrowings from Russian, including the system of verb inflexions) and their religion (most are Russian Orthodox).

The Yupik have no objection to being called Eskimos, and will use that term to encompass both themselves and the Inuit. The main groupings within the Yupik are the Alutiiq of the coast, the Yuit or Siberian Yupik, and the Yup'ik of Central Alaska.

Then we come to the Inuit. The two largest groupings are the Canadian Inuit and the Kalallit or Greenland Inuit, both of which would prefer you not to call them Eskimos. (The Greenlanders are happy with Inuit to mean both themselves and the Canadians.) Ethnically speaking, two smaller groupings - the Iñupiat of the North Slope and the Inuvialuit of the Western Arctic - are also Inuit, although the Iñupiat would rather be described as Eskimo.

I said it got confusing ...

by "suze", from
further in

The word "Eskimo" is non-PC in Canada, much as it's fine in Alaska. The particular indigenous person of the north who was featured on QI was a Yupi'ik from Alaska - Sarah Palin's husband is one of those as well - and hence "Eskimo" rather than "Inuit" is the term to use. The plural of Yup'ik is Yupiit.

Had the person been an Aleut, then again "Eskimo" might have caused offence. The Aleut are very sure that they are not Eskimos; while they don't object to "Aleut", they prefer one Unangax, two Unangax, three or more Unangan. (Note that most of the Eskimo-Aleut languages have what's called a dual number; this comes between singular and plural and is used when there are two of something. It's rare in European languages; Slovenian and Sorbian have it, and it's on the point of vanishing from Lithuanian.)

The indigenous people of Baffin Island and such like places absolutely are Inuit, although "an Inuit" or "lots of Inuits" are always going to be wrong since "Inuit" is the plural. One Inuk, two Inuuk, three or more Inuit.

While the people of the central Arctic would prefer Inuinnaq to Inuit, they won't get especially upset at the more general word. As for indigenous Greenlanders, the preferred term is Kalaallit, singular Kalaaleq. (There's no dual in Greenlandic.)

Wikipedia is not informative on why/where it is considered offensive. But it has a nice map of the tribes.

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.