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Comment Software engineering, not maths or physics. (Score 1) 1067

Arguments from mathematical or physical theories or axioms miss the point.

When writing code we need to understand how our code will behave over it's possible inputs. There's nothing inherently wrong with deciding that in a particular bit of code you're going to ensure that "dividing" by 0 gives you 0 (for example), as long as you know what the consequences are for the behaviour of the programs relying on this.

The reason mathematicians get upset by this is that this is not what is normally understood by division. Division by zero isn't defined. Whatever we do in our programs isn't going to change that

Comment civil vs criminal (Score 4, Informative) 87

The police should be interested in criminal offences, not civil matters. Copyright is complicated because (in the UK at least) infringement can be both, but the two aspects get conflated. The criminal offences (broadly) are to do with dealing in infringing items for profit, and it's reasonable that the police pursue people committing such offences.

The issue of whether these things *should* be offences is a separate matter. What we don't want is the police deciding which offences they're going to try to enforce. If society doesn't want criminal copyright infringement then that should be for legislators to decide, not law enforcement.

Comment Re:First, find out what the lab provides. (Score 1) 385

VMs are in some ways better than dual boot - you can switch between linux and windows applications without the need to reboot.

I run an Ubuntu VM under Hyper-V on my Windows 8.1 Pro Thinkpad Yoga. The linux filesystem is made available to the host as an SMB share, so files are accessible from host and guest OS.

Cygwin is also a good thing on windows machines in any case.

The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much.

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