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Comment Don't let people bully you away from a topic (Score 4, Insightful) 308

We should always reject and ignore demands/requests for consideration or special treatment of some topics in discussions that take in the general public. Maybe in the workplace it'd be good to avoid some topics, likewise at some special events, but otherwise talk and joke about whatever you want, and if someone must be ostracised it should be those trying to fence topics off rather than those who ignore the fences.

Comment Re: If you say your Christian, you are Christian.. (Score 1) 229

What does it mean to define something objectively?

Another model would be that for contested terms, different people will assign different boundaries to the terms, and so there will be disagreement as to who fits what model but each viewer rather than each subject chooses how to categorise things. Even though it leads to disagreements when the subjects are humans with their own views.

Comment Careful with distinctions here... (Score 5, Interesting) 786

There are some people who really are awful to women, and they're often (but not always) really awful to work with in other ways too. Finding ways to get them to either improve or get out is tricky because they exist in the same career ladders as people who want a decent place to work.

Then there's a subset of people opposing them who insist on overly narrow notions of how people should be allowed to act, talk, and think. They take it on themselves to police speech and behaviour far more than is reasonable or necessary. In their effort to deal with a legitimate problem, they become another kind of problem.

Making all this less clear is that the boundaries between these are unclear and they tend (but don't always) to line up with political views, and political witchhunts in the workplace (or broader society) are dangerous and ill-advised.

It's messy enough that it'd be tempting to just step back from the whole thing, but the stakes are too high for that. We neither should want to waste the potential of half our population (or other subsets of the population) nor should we create a work environment or society where most kinds of differing views on gender or jokes are curtailed. So navigating this is damned tough.

Comment It's a mission-driven org (Score 2) 325

It's not a social club, it's a mission-driven org. A lot of people are not suitable for participation, and they'll get weeded out. Others just have knowledge that's very common and don't want to do boring stuff. How many people does the project need? How many can it productively use? I don't think the answer is everyone on the planet.

Doesn't mean that some of the other criticisms are not also right.


Should a Mars Colony Be Independent? ( 295

An anonymous reader writes: The BBC has an article about a recent essay (PDF) from researcher Jacob Haqq-Misra, who argues that any future colonies established on Mars should be independent from nations or corporations on Earth. He suggests that such colonists be entirely disentangled from Earth, to the point of revoking their Earthbound citizenship. Haqq-Misra also thinks we should establish laws on Earth to prevent governments, companies, and individuals from interfering with the politics or economics of Mars. That might be harder to do; clearly, even innocent communications between family members can have an effect, and surely there will be a continuous flow of supplies to help support a colony. Where would we draw the line? It may be hard to secure investments for a Mars colony if it is guaranteed to cut ties with those spending the resources to build it. At the same time, enforcing a relationship seems impossible at interplanetary distances. Still, we're starting to ramp up our Mars exploration plans, and it's a good idea to start debating these issues now.

Science-Fictional Shibboleths ( 508

An anonymous reader writes: SF author Charlie Stross has put together a short list of what he considers to be shibboleths for implausible science fiction. (If you're unfamiliar with the term, read the Wikipedia entry first.) So, what tops his list? "Asteroidal gravel banging against the hull of a spaceship. Alternatively: spaceships sheltering from detection behind an asteroid, or dodging asteroids, or pretty much anything else involving asteroids that don't look like [a pock-marked potato]." Another big red flag for Stross is when authors fail to appreciate Newton's second law, having their characters undergo impacts or accelerations that would turn them into a thin, reddish paste on their starship's hull. Some interesting examples from commenters include: futuristic yet manually-aimed weapons, technobabble as a plot device, and science officers with Ph.D. levels of expertise in dozens of fields. One of mine: entire races or planets full of people who behave the same, often based on some keyword. What are yours? Stross's focus is on books, but feel free to bring up movies and TV shows as well.

Wih Messenger Revamp, Yahoo Joins the 'Unsend' Trend ( 49

An anonymous reader writes: Yahoo has announced a new version of its almost-mothballed Messenger app, which, in addition to new integration with Flickr and Tumblr images, now permits users to 'unsend' messages at any time, a facility which Viber added last week. The ability to erase sent communication has been a dream of business and personal users for many years, and if messaging eclipses email, it seems likely to become a reality.

Comment Re:Pittsburgh? (Score 1) 464

Agreed. Pittsburgh has really come around from what older generations remember it as; it once was a smoggy industrial town without much to recommend it. A tech boom that started in the late 90s has picked up a lot of steam recently (having great universities eventually pays off) and it's affordable, livable, and has good public transit while still being car friendly. I lived there from 2002 to 2011 and was very happy there.

(It does have bitterly cold winters and transit to other cities is lacking, but those are the only faults I see)

Submission + - PostgreSQL getting parallel query 1

iamvego writes: A major feature PostgreSQL users have requested for some time now is to have the query planner "parallelize" a query. Now, thanks to Robert Haas and Amit Kapila, this has now materialized in the 9.6 branch. Robert Haas writes in his blog entry that so far it only supports splitting up a sequential scan between multiple workers, but should hopefully be extended to work with multiple partitions before the final release, and much more beside in future releases.

Comment Re:Why the hell would anyone use Go? (Score 2) 185

Why the hell would anyone use Go?

(Serious question, since our editors didn't tell us why Go was created, what Go's intended purpose was and whether or not anyone is actually using Go.)

As a software developer here that likes to fiddle with all languages, the second paragraph from Wikipedia seems to answer your question nicely: "It is a statically typed language with syntax loosely derived from that of C, adding garbage collection, type safety, some structural typing capabilities,[2] additional built-in types such as variable-length arrays and key-value maps, and a large standard library."

So from the first few words someone might know C and desire garbage collection to be handled for them? Golang might be a better selection for them than Java.

Personally for me, the built-in primitives for concurrency make it a great language for tinkering in realms of software design that were once onerous to me. But that's only one of a few of the language's goals.

Maybe a better set of questions would be for an elevator pitch on why someone should use golang? Or perhaps if they have dropped some goals of golang for others as development went forward?

Comment Re:Wisdom of naming it "Go" (Score 2) 185

There's already a game called Go, which has about a gazillion articles on how to program it. Couldn't you come up with a name that would be less ambiguous? Now, when you see a user group for "Go programming", you have no clue which one it is.

In conversation, I refer to it as golang. You are right on your point about potential for confusion but I don't think your example is apt anymore. Googling for programming go appears to yield only results about golang. Also, it is not without tangential benefits like being able to call Go developers "gophers."

I think when I first started programming Groovy long ago I stumbled upon a website promising that software development was groovy ... that's no longer the case when I google for groovy programming resources.

In short the success of your language is a big enough concern than the name of your language is negligible (with the exception of negative words). The search results will follow.

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