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Comment: Re: "The real problem..." he explained (Score 1) 131

by jma05 (#47386261) Attached to: Damian Conway On Perl 6 and the Philosophy of Programming

Well. I do write Python. I have seen no cause for hostility. I still write in Python 2.7 (there is no reason AFAIK to still use 2.5 or 2.6 other than just not bothering; 2.5 is just too old) but intend to switch whenever Linux distros make 3.x the default.

> "if you want to start a Python 3 fork, fine, but you'll get zero recognition or help from me"

That's pretty anecdotal. Here is something a bit more objective.
Of the 197 Python 2.7 packages from Anaconda distro, 141 are there in 3.x. So it is 71.5% there among the more common packages. At large, pypi shows 3.3 at 35% of 2.7 or 50% of 2.6.

Comment: Re:Great for India (Score 1) 85

by jma05 (#47382409) Attached to: India Launches Five Foreign Satellites

True. Indian Internet is not great for heavy media usage. It is quite adequate for posting to "forums" the OP was talking about.

The broadband plans I have seen have x speed, a relatively low cap, but an unlimited x/2 speed hence after. Not too bad. The cheapest broadband I have seen is 1 mbps for $8, 20 GB cap, further usage is unlimited at 512 kbps. I don't recall what the more expensive plans offer. Low-cost, lower-tier alternatives are more important for India. India's primary concern ATM is access, not throughput. The speeds and caps are not show stoppers for most part. HD Video and game services like Steam (or even plain game consoles) won't take off in this environment, but everything else should be fine.

Comment: Re:First "OMG the common sense" post (Score 1) 185

by jma05 (#47378461) Attached to: Judge Frees "Cannibal Cop" Who Shared His Fantasies Online

Your sig: "Eat Locals!" somehow does not go well with the case you just argued :-).

> I am sure if a common person used a database to collect information on the judge or the judge's family and then wrote a detailed plan of how the family was to be murdered, we would not be getting of with a simple misuse of private information.

Which is why the law will not allow that judge to take up that case because he will no longer be able to judge objectively. That argument... what if he did it to the judge?... is never a good argument.

Comment: Re:Great for India (Score 1) 85

by jma05 (#47375647) Attached to: India Launches Five Foreign Satellites

Jokes aside, many Indians just use laptops and 3G data cards which have quite cheap and affordable plans compared to US (start at $2 a month). So power cuts don't really effect computer use. If you are middle class in India, you probably might also have battery backup or a generator subscription for the house essentials.

Comment: Re:Great for India (Score 1) 85

by jma05 (#47366971) Attached to: India Launches Five Foreign Satellites

> A power grid that can't be kept up reliably? That's not something customers want to see when you're trying to convince them to let you launch multi-million dollar pieces of equipment up into space.

Wanna bet? Go to Indian forums and try to find people complaining that no space projects should go on until they get uninterrupted power supply.

Don't do space projects that get us (or help get in near future) profits in foreign exchange said no Indian ever.

Comment: Re:Lack of Trust (Score 1) 139

by jma05 (#47185569) Attached to: Parents Mobilize Against States' Student Data Mining

> Educational research is profoundly flawed, and often reflected the biases of the researchers.
> Most education are humanities people, without the decades of training in the scientific process and statistics.

That's not true. Every one with a PhD is expected to have statistical training. You don't need "decades" of training in stats. Most hard science PhDs don't have that. 4-5 grad courses will generally do. Research projects with any quantitative component will typically consult a statistician for at least a sanity check.

Scientific process differs from discipline to discipline. As for rigor, it is mostly dependent on subject issues. Rigor is hard in any discipline where human subjects are involved and where the research question involves multiple factors that cannot be easily controlled for (often for the lack of money, since very large samples will be required, if done by the book - so researchers settle for more humble expectations of clarity).

As you said it yourself, brain research is still not quite operational for everyday use. Isn't brain research (whatever you mean by that: neuro science, psychology, psychiatry?) a hard science? Even something as basic as nutrition science is pretty poor today for the basic questions we have for it. So why have great expectations over education research? Its just the nature of the problem domain.

Comment: Re:If he is such a believer of constitution... (Score 1) 389

Snowden did not engage in civil disobedience in the vein of Gandhi/MLK/Thoreau. But that's fine. Civil disobedience is just one type of civil resistance. Civil disobedience only works against petty laws with limited punishment.

In this case, the legal consequences were dire. Can you name any act of civil disobedience (submitting oneself willingly to punishment as an act of disobedience) that carried the maximum possible punishment of death or life in prison? Gandhi, MLK and Thoreau broke laws where the punishment was just a few days/weeks/months. I am sure Snowden would gladly accept such a punishment if that was the choice, since the current alternative is to spend his whole life, in fear, in a foreign country.

What he did was different. He broke a law with dire repercussions in his attempt to expose constitutional violations. What you are suggesting is closer to telling the members of the White Rose Movement to willingly expose themselves to the law. Yes, I know: Godwin. A better US example would be demanding the FBI burglars to submit themselves to law. I happen to think the burglars did the right thing by not submitting themselves to the law then. Do you? How do you see Snowden as different from them?

Unlike the burglars, Snowden could not keep himself anonymous after the leak, since the NSA, unlike the case with the FBI burglary (since the burglars were completely unrelated to the FBI), would have quickly identified him. They sent someone to his house, almost immediately after the leak. So he had to run and go public. And if he ran to the only places that can resist US extradition, without going public as he did, he would have been easily labelled a spy. Going public made that charge not stick with most people. I believe that Snowden, once having chosen to expose the constitutional violations, had no real choices other than the ones he exercised.

Comment: Re:So what's the alternative? (Score 1) 422

by jma05 (#47107097) Attached to: Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work

The problem here (Piketty, as well as Reinhart and Rogoff) isn't simple, data-intensive apps (that would be a business app developer's problem, perhaps you are one). It's demonstrating an innovative, scientific analysis in an easy to review format. These economist papers aren't that data intensive... they usually have much less data than a typical business app.
(169K as uncompressed text)

Its the analysis that is the value here. The rather short, and a computationally non-intensive analysis in Reinhart and Rogoff paper triggered financial effects to the tune of probably trillions of dollars across Europe, some would argue prematurely.

The solution for this problem is a statistical package with a notebook presentation. The ideal case would probably be R with knitr. It allows one to combine snippets of code, with data, output and documentation to discuss the analysis & results in easy to understand chunks.

IPython notebook is also an excellent alternative.
Here is a demonstration of how Reinhart-Rogoff paper should have submitted the data.
I am sure, someone will do a Piketty one soon as well.

Comment: Re:Linux doesn't really have any advantages... (Score 1) 293

by jma05 (#47044873) Attached to: Linux Sucks (Video)

> Meh * 2

Those are your preferences. I have mine. But they are functional features nonetheless.

> you also get a bloated semantic desktop shoved down your throat for no good reason

As opposed to Windows (the post I am responding to) not having any features that I don't need?

> What makes you so sure?

It's not a question of being sure. I said *better* trust, not absolute trust, which does not exist.

Comment: Re:Linux doesn't really have any advantages... (Score 1) 293

by jma05 (#47044009) Attached to: Linux Sucks (Video)

Aside from the shell, these are the things I do get with Linux that I don't with Windows, out-of-the-box.

- Virtual desktops
- Compiz effects
- KDE Activities
- A package manager with a huge package repository
- All open source libraries that just compile and work. Mingw works, but doesn't quite cut it.
- No upgrade costs
- No need to pay for each and every machine/VM
- Better OS trust in a post-NSA world.
- Ability to run the latest OS that still receives updates on the weakest hardware (with IceWM).

What I do miss
- Speech Recognition
- Better Text to Speech

Comment: Re: KDE 3 (Score 1) 94

by jma05 (#47006155) Attached to: KDE Ships First Beta of Next Generation Plasma Workspace

> more awesome at what

Everything. But if I had to pick one feature, I would say Activities.
Apparently, they are not still that widely used. But they are the defining feature of KDE 4 and are quite impressive once you understand to exploit them (docs could be better).

> eye candy?

KDE 4 does not look good, out of the box (Gnome 3, Cinnamon, Pantheon are what I consider to be good looking DEs, out of the box). With a little tweaking though, it looks as good or better than all my (also tweaked) desktops.

Right now, I feel that KDE 4 is a potentially great looking desktop, that is the most functional and the most configurable of the lot - just like KDE 3 was in its day.

The earlier KDE 4 releases were not good. The recent KDE editions are excellent.

User hostile.