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Comment: Re:life in the U.S. (Score 1) 253

by Reziac (#48916813) Attached to: Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Spec-Bump For Broadband Definition

If good upload speeds were widely available, I suspect online backup would quickly become a mainstream market, especially as more people become aware of the need to back up (witness the solid market for flash drives and external hard drives, mostly to ordinary folks and largely used for personal backups).

I know I'd use it, but my paltry 600k up will not cut it.

Comment: Re:Not sure it's a good job choice (Score 1) 216

They're already past the "make things worse" stage. That's what austerity brought.

No, austerity didn't bring it. If anything, trying to spend within your limited means will postpone making things worse. Do it long enough and things might even get better.

But borrowing and spending isn't going to make it better, even if they can find someone from whom to borrow.

Comment: Re:This doesn't sound... sound (Score 1) 216

Leftist borrowing and spending? As opposed to the Right's strategy, which is to borrow much more and give it to your rich business partners?

I don't know how folks like you can live in the real world and parrot these lines over and over again with nothing to show for it. When the left "borrows and spends", the "spending" side all goes to rich business partners. Every single time.

Why do you think that the "recovery" in the US has gone mostly to the top 10%? What do you think about Solyndra? Geeze. Get out of the partisan gutter and join us here in the real world.

Comment: Re:Boiled at 90C? (Score 1) 154

It's a pretty central fact to cooking.

Okay. How does the fact that water boils at 100C help you when you cook? Let me state this another way. Imagine that the inventor of the Celsius scale arbitrarily decided that the boiling point of water would be 1000C. What would you do differently when cooking?

In case you're scratching your head trying to figure out my awesome brain-bender the answer is "nothing".

If water boiled at 385 Kelvin, we'd have made 100C = 385K.

Okay. So? All arbitrary numbers. Like 32 and 212.

Comment: Re:Hints from an over-the-hill programmer (Score 1) 477

by Reziac (#48908415) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

"To be a great programmer, you need to write code that reads like English."

That's an interesting observation, and see what I (not a coder but an interested bystander) say above about two programs I know equally well as a user -- one in Pascal (I can pretty much grok what all the code does despite zero comments), the other in C (lots of comments, but still makes my brain hurt even when I can figure it out).

Comment: Re:One important use left for Pascal (Score 1) 477

by Reziac (#48908347) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

From the user standpoint (I'm not a programmer, but I take an interest, and have rooted around a bit in various source codes), these are my observations:

1) When a program written in C crashes, it may do damnear anything on its way out.

When a program written in Pascal/Delphi crashes, it simply closes down and returns you to the OS.

2) I have an ancient (1990) database program I can't live without. When it was retired from the market, its owner kindly shared source with me, which happened to be in Pascal. There's not a single comment in it, but as I know the program so well, I can tell what nearly all its code does.

I can't say that of the other antique program which I still use and know very well (and have perused much of the source), but is written in C.

I doubt it's entirely coincidence, or even relative marketshare, that's given us those marvelous Obfuscated and Underhanded Code contests for C, but no such for Pascal.

Comment: Re:Boiled at 90C? (Score 1) 154

Celsius is only arbitrary if you ignore the fact that it's anchored to two immediately useful temperature for most people in most places.

Sigh. Please read my post repeatedly until you get it. I never said that "0" and "100" celsius aren't "useful", just that it's entirely arbitrary. Also note that it won't work in "most places" - it only works at sea level at normal atmospheric pressure for pure water. Anything other than that is slightly off.

Remembers the freezing point and boiling point of water in Kelvin would suck just as much as it does in Fahrenheit. When I've doing physics calculations, I'll use Kelvin, where it's the logical unit leading to the simplest form of equation.

Which again supports my point. For real world use there's little difference between Celsius and Fahrenheit for people who use them. That celsius is based on properties of one chemical compound (out of millions of compounds) really doesn't make it more useful for anything. I mean, if you're at sea level with normal atmospheric pressure and you're boiling a pot of distilled water then you can safely say that it's 100 degrees Celsius. What, exactly, does that gain the normal person? Nothing more than saying it's 212F. Yes, 100 is a pretty and round number but in the real world it is, again, not relevant.

Comment: Re:Boiled at 90C? (Score 2, Interesting) 154

0 is the freezing point and 100 is the boiling point at normal pressure. How is that arbitrary?

LOL. Let me help you:

1. the freezing point (arbitrary but easily observable state)
2. of pure water with no dissolved substances (arbitrary but common chemical compound)
3. at sea level (arbitrary but easily located place)
4. at normal atmospheric pressure
5. on earth (arbitrary but very convenient location)
6. is 0 degrees (arbitrary value which kind of makes sense until you realize that you can still get colder)
7. and the boiling point of water at sea level on earth at normal atmospheric pressure (previous comments still apply)
8. is 100 degrees (arbitrary number chosen for convenience of the units - "10" would be too course grained and "1000" would be too fine grained)

So, yes, the celsius scale is arbitrary, the Fahrenheit only slightly more so. At least the celsius scale can be kind of reproduced in a pinch if you're at sea level and normal pressure and you have water and the ability to freeze and heat it. But, then, if you have all that you can reproduce the Fahrenheit scale, too.

For an idea of a less arbitrary scale look at the Kelvin scale. On it, "0" is the absolute lowest temperature where matter has absolutely no heat content. Of course the scale is the same as celsius so it still ends up being arbitrary in scale, which *any* temperature scale will be. But "0" being "absolute 0" is what sets it apart.

Comment: Re:Boiled at 90C? (Score 1) 154

Is their lab at the bottom of death valley or are they using a pressure cooker?
Every time C vs F comes up, the C fans invariably point to C being vastly superior mainly because 100 C is water's boiling point.

"Boiling an egg" really means "heating it in hot water to cause the yolk and albumen to solidify". That can be done at a temperature far below the boiling point of water. This is good because in the summer local news stations can show how hot it is outside because you can "fry an egg on the sidewalk!" complete with a demonstration.

If I remember correctly 120F is the temperature needed. I used to make a custard ice cream which included a dozen uncooked egg yolks that couldn't be congealed. In order to accomplish this safely they had to be heated in a double boiler setup to around 105F and held there for 10 minutes which was supposed to be enough to kill the nasty bacteria that might be in there. It was a bit of a trick because if it got much hotter the yolks would congeal and become unusable.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 2) 381

This is exactly what I came here to say, too. It's easy for someone to sit in their office in DC or wherever and eavesdrop on the entire internet if traffic is unencrypted, so there's an incentive to simply be lazy and collect as much as possible. When they have to physically visit a person's home, office, whatever in order to eavesdrop - this is GOOD. Now there's an incentive to actually *think* and make sure you're doing the right thing before investing the resources needed to eavesdrop.

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"