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Comment Re:Smart man (Score 1) 378

Implement a whole miniature ecosystem inside a ship. Harvest raw materials from asteroids and comets, build it on space, maybe using a massive 3D printer. Make it large enough to be able to support a stable population for an arbitrary period of time, yet small enough to be mobile.

Make lots of these, because many may never reach a suitable destination. Most likely they will run out of fuel and become too far away from any star or source of energy. Some may wander for millions of years, their crew becoming increasingly adapted to their constrained, harsh environment, and become exotic intelligent lifeforms. Some may reach a suitable destination, either clashing with the existing lifeforms or giving life to a previously lifeless planet.

Also, options today vs options tomorrow. Since how long ago do we dream with what we can do with, say, carbon nanotubes? When was the first time we reached a comet? It's just a matter of time.

Comment Re:Official? Hah. (Score 1) 93

Hahaha. I'm from Chile, of course I know about Moai. But let me tell you about U+1F5FF.

$ grep --after-context=1 '^1F5FF' NamesList.txt
        * Japanese stone statue like Moai on Easter Island

Specifically, it refers to the Statue of Moyai, a gift from the people of Niijima island, which is located at the south exit of Shibuya Station in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

The fact that the character is often rendered as an Easter Island moai doesn't change the fact that the original emoji refers to a different, specific object.

Comment Restore Dr. Patricia Sutherland (Score 1) 197

While you're at it, Canada, let her resume her research in Baffin Island.

She was fired because of the complaints of some thin-skinned lowlings who don't have what it takes to work with someone like her.

If you have to scold her, if you have to tell her to chill out, do so. But don't shut down scientific research just because of stupid personal problems.

Comment Official? Hah. (Score 2) 93

They're not official until they get their own Unicode block.

I applaud the idea as a jab against the many emoji that are specific to Japan that got through Unicode's standardization process (*cough*U+1F5FF*cough*). Because if Japan could do it, why Finland can't?

Comment Re:Just remember ... (Score 1) 77


Fuchsia is the name of a flower, named after German botanist Leonard Fuchs. It's also the name for a specific subset of purple, fully saturated and roughly halfway between red and blue.

Magenta is essentially the same color; it was named so to celebrate the the French and Sardinian Army victory at the Battle of Magenta near the Italian town of the same name.

Purple is the name for the set of colors between red and either violet or blue depending on who you ask. Either way, it's a larger set of colors.

And assigning anthropocentric meanings to individual colors is akin to numerology and astrology, i.e., total bullshit.

Comment Re:Not all of these are in one's control (Score 1) 217

I offer no guarantees, as bad stuff does happen and things don't always go according to plan. In particular, what to do if you become the victim of an accident, crime or natural disaster is beyond the scope of my previous post.

All I wanted to do is to give a few tips on how not to fall on the debt trap by yourself, things that are within your reach.

I've been in my current job for 15 years. Before this, I had two other jobs, none of them lasted a whole year. In the first one, I was laid off because I was stupid and didn't do well enough. In the second one, I quit because I didn't like my new position.

I stayed at my current job mainly out of patience and usefulness. I learned a lot while at this job, and I weathered plenty of awful moments, and I also helped build a legacy that's still in use today. I've seen a lot of other people come and go, we're always looking for new personnel but most applications are quite unsatisfactory.

I learned about apprenticeships while I was wasting my time at University, but unfortunately this is something that you find out by chance; they don't really talk enough about the chances you could have at your disposal to further your career while you're pursuing undergraduate studies. Maybe they want students to look for those chances themselves. I'm sad to see that you missed it out.

They specifically want students because they're perceived as more malleable and trainable and less overqualified for the job than graduates. As you're already graduated, they expect you to be ready for the kind of position a graduate can do, they want you to already have built that experience. as I've never been in your position, there are other people that can give you better advice.

Oh, I forgot to say. I got my current job specifically because my hobbies seemed unusual and interesting while still related to my field. Think about what else have you achieved so far besides your degree, maybe if you include that in your resume you will be considered in your next job.

Comment Re:Grrr (Score 1) 217

As the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, I'll bite:

"How not to fall into the debt trap", a few tips from a formerly heavily-indebted loser:

- Things can and will go wrong. It's better to prepared than to borrow money for an emergency.
- Never spend more than what you can earn.
- Pay all of your debts before you borrow again.
- A breather today is a greater burden tomorrow. Don't make it a permanent issue.
- Never pay a debt with another debt.
- Never lose your job while indebted.
- Borrow only to pay for variable expenses, never to pay for fixed expenses.
- Borrow as a last resort in case of an emergency, or as an investment. Never for pleasure.
- Sometimes you must realize that what you really need is a better paycheck.
- Forget about attempting to give the appearance of a social standing and quality of life that you can't actually afford.
- Mind your priorities.

"Why being educated is actually worth some effort so you don't end up on welfare", a few seeming obvious things that never cross the mind of most adolescents.

- You're not going to live off your parents forever. Think about the kind of adult life you want to lead and how much it'll cost you.
- You'll always be expected to have a minimum level of knowledge before being accepted at a job. Said minimum is very different from job to job.
- The more you know and the more useful your skills, the better your job and your paycheck.
- Maybe today you just want to have fun, but someday you'll want your own place, family and kids, and you need to start building your future right now.
- A measure of success is to be able to live the life you want to live while working at something you like.
- Let's face it, a lot of the things we like to do aren't really useful in the workplace. Many jobs don't pay well or are in little demand.
- You must learn how much things actually cost. The easiest things are also the least valuable, and the widest roads are the most crowded.
- Education is a good start but it's not everything. Most of what you need to learn to get a good job position are things you can only learn by working at a lesser job position.
- How about looking for an apprenticeship? How about a part-time job while you learn? Start low, start early, grow up in the way.
- If you don't have your own place, you're not ready to start a family. If you're not ready to have children, you're not ready to have sex. Condoms do break from time to time. Don't ruin your life.
- Don't have more kids than you can afford to raise properly. Be responsible about your kids.

Comment Completely selfish set of goals (Score 1) 842

0. Avoid fame at all costs. It ruined Notch's, Nguyen Hà Dông's, and many others' life.
1. Buy a large-enough plot of land and anonymously transfer its ownership to my mother.
2. Tell them that I got a job abroad in [insert developed country name that's *not* the U.S.] so they finally leave me alone.
3. Fix my teeth.
4. Learn that country's language.
5. Actually find a job there.
6. Buy a decent house there.
7. Become a citizen there.
8. Find a lonely single woman. Date her. Marry her.
9. Donate anonymously, mainly to educational non-profit projects in my country. Never disclose my identity.
10. Spend the rest of my days as a writer, cartoonist and hobbyist.

Comment Re: Gotten very lucky (Score 1) 179

15 years here too. I've felt tempted to quit many times, but looking for another job would be too much of a hassle. Also, I've grown a bit attached to this place... and, in my current economic situation, I'd rather play safe.

Comment Re:Exactly (Score 3, Informative) 409

Oh, here's a catch.

Some PDF creators link the character for each font to the internal representation in order of character appearance, not in Unicode order. This means that things like pdftohtml, screen reading or even plain copy/paste no longer work, as they yield gibberish instead.

For example, the string:

"This is a PDF test."

Would get stored as something like:

And pdftohtml yields something like:

Oh, and each typeface gets a distinct ordering, so the same string in different typefaces would probably get encoded differently...

In order to decode this you have to both read the actual graphical characters AND know which typeface is used in each segment of text. Which is a PITA. Otherwise, you're lost.

OCR may or may not be of any help, depending on the typeface used...

Machines take me by surprise with great frequency. - Alan Turing