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Comment Re:Change Is Life (Score 1) 147 147

Most users I know were happy to see that icon pop up to find out they would get the next upgrade at no cost.

If the Win10 upgrade notifier is the only thing the stories are about then that's my fault for not digging deeper. Yeah. The upgrade offer is good-guy stuff, I was glad to have it too.

Comment Re:Change Is Life (Score 1) 147 147

I'm out of the loop on this one. What $80 are you talking about?

Win10 Home: $119. Win10 Pro: $199. On Pro you get the delay/select. capability.

It's their declared intent to force that choice. Grandma ponies up or some morning she'll be cut off and understand only that it's apparently okay for corporations to lock people out of their computers and demand $80 (or she could wait whatever number of days MS think they can get away with) to unlock them again.. That's literally, as in in concrete and exact detail, the situation Microsoft have openly declared their intent to force on their customers.

Comment Re:Change Is Life (Score 1, Troll) 147 147

Switching to unrefusable automatic updates in the face of unavoidable (but forgivable, it's generally acknowledged that no one is immune to at least some of those) system-breaking bugs is pretty awful. As it stands with just a little research you can restore to before the last batch and selectively apply the good ones; unless I'm misreading something there will now be no way you can restore usability at all. It's just a matter of time before some driver incompatibility makes anything beyond safe mode unbootable.

Maybe GP's got a history of overreacting, but being forced to suffer the inevitable system-breaking bug -- taking the downtime from hours to days or for anything that falls through the fissure to finger-pointing hell, weeks -- just because you don't want to pay an extra $80 for the privilege of a system you don't have to let them break -- is pretty clearly unethical. And this from a company that has recently stooped to pushing adware. This deal Microsoft's pushing is laced with shit, no matter how good (and I'm betting they're very good) the good parts are.

Comment Re:100 million quest to waste 100 million (Score 1) 208 208

There may be millions if you look far enough, but you have to start with BILLIONS of solar systems to get to that number

You are aware, aren't you, that there are about a hundred billion solar systems in this galaxy? Also,

what I'm discussing the impossibility of

runs up straight against one of Arthur Clarke's more famous quotes,

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

. . . and it isn't the impossibility part I think you're up against, it's Stephen Hawking putting $100,000,000 into a SETI effort. I think that qualifies as stating it's possible, and I think he's probably got a decent idea what's involved.

Comment Re:100 million quest to waste 100 million (Score 1) 208 208

Proof of what, non-uniqueness? Water is ubiquitous. Planetary formation is ubiquitous.Look at the damn universe crosseyed and you get biological-building-block soup. Just the life forms we we've seen made with that stuff _here_ can live on anything from water superheated by volcanic vents, in the complete absence of oxygen and light, to straight gamma radiation to sulfuric acid.

Comment Re:MUMPS: are you kidding? (Score 4, Informative) 166 166

I'm used to anti-{language,tool,method} screeds being ignorant braying in lieu of effort, but this . . . This isn't even remotely the worst of it, it's only that it's soundbite-able. That first link deserves the word "mindboggling". The list here starts out slow, easing you in to it gently. No, seriously..

  • CASE SENSITIVITY: Commands and intrinsic functions are case-insensitive. Variable names and labels are case-sensitive.
  • COMMANDS: may be abbreviated to one letter, case-insensitive. Includes commands such as IF, ELSE, GOTO, WRITE, and XECUTE [which is my personal favorite, it allows arbitrary execution of code contained in a variable]
  • OPERATORS: No precedence, executed left to right, parenthesize as desired. 2+3*10 yields 50.
  • DATA TYPES: one universal datatype, interpreted/converted to string, integer, or floating-point number as context requires.
  • DECLARATIONS: NONE. Everything dynamically created on first reference.
  • LINES: important syntactic entities. Multiple statements per line are idiomatic. Scope of IF and FOR is "remainder of current line."
  • LOCAL ARRAYS: created dynamically, any number of subscripts, subscripts can be strings or integers. Stored in process space and expire when process terminates.
  • GLOBAL ARRAYS: arrays that start with a caret symbol. Stored on disk, available to all processes, persist when process terminates. This is M's main "database" mechanism.

He who is content with his lot probably has a lot.