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Comment: breakthroughs of imperative programming (Score 1) 285

by kurtdg (#47415189) Attached to: The World's Best Living Programmers

Imperative programmers, thou shalt not forget:

Edsger W. Dijkstra : first ALGOL 60 compiler (with Jaap Zonneveld), the THE operating system, correctness proofs, saving us from unstructured code, ...
Peter Naur: ALGOL 60 language definition

"Program testing can be used very effectively to show the _presence_ of bugs, but is hopelessly inadequate for showing their _absence_."
(an overhead slide by Dijkstra, quoted in The Dawn of Software Engineering, 2012)

Comment: vacuum and thermal expansion (Score 1) 385

by kurtdg (#44585445) Attached to: Transport Expert Insists 'Don't Dismiss Wacky Hyperloop'

LHC pumps 9000 m^3 to ~10^-9 atm to insulate their cryomagnets. That's the volume of a 2.4 km stretch of the passenger-only hyper-loop, at a million times deeper vacuum. Now, that they're doing that at CERN doesn't mean in any way it's easy or cheap. And the hyper-loop is still a volume a few hundreds of times bigger, without any compartmentalization.

Thermal expansion is also interesting. Back-of-the-envelope:
1.5*10-5 (thermal expansion coef stainless steel) * 40K (guesstimate max delta-T day/night) * 563*10^3m
= 338m thermal expansion/contraction, or 169m at each end.
They'll want to insulate it or at least shield it from direct sunlight -- which the solar panels will partially do.

Comment: Re:I'd be fine with this, as long as... (Score 1) 337

by kurtdg (#35631964) Attached to: SABAM Wants Truckers To Pay For Listening To Radio

I live in Belgium, and I am required to pay the tax for the radio...

Move to the North. ;-) There's no radio nor TV tax in the Flemish part of the country. Well, not a specific tax anyway, they just pay the public broadcasts from general tax income. Of which there is a lot.

It is basically the same everywhere, let's steal money from people

Right, the motto is: if it moves, tax it. Oh, and did you think about declaring private use of that company laptop in your tax form? That's another ~$100 please... more if it comes with internet access.

Where all the tax money goes? As an illustration: the Parti Socialiste, very powerful in the South, has just decided in the face of evidence that Mr. Daerden is too corrupt to be mayor of a small town... but he can stay as a minister of federal government. Maybe they don't have anyone less corrupt to succeed him. Maybe Happart. Oh, wait...

Comment: Yes: 2.8% of income +VAT (Score 1) 337

by kurtdg (#35631738) Attached to: SABAM Wants Truckers To Pay For Listening To Radio

Large radio stations currently have to pay 2.968% of gross income up to 1.46 euro per head of the population in their broadcast area. Income over that is "taxed" at 1.59%. That tariff includes only FM radio. Anything else, e.g. online streaming, is extra. The rules for small radio stations are somewhat more complicated -- available in Dutch here:

I owe the public nothing. -- J.P. Morgan