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Comment Software engineering, not maths or physics. (Score 1) 1067 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 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) 385 385

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.

Comment Re:Depends on what your goal is. (Score 1) 327 327

If you're offgrid and storing excess power in batteries then point in the direction of most efficiency.
If you're connected to a meter and can run it backwards then point in the direction of most efficiency.
If you're only producing half your own power and pay a flat rate for electricity then point in the direction of most efficiency.

There are only a few specific situations where an individual would benefit from aligning solar panels with their usage patterns instead of maximum efficiency.
My guess is the majority of homeowners don't fall in that category.

I live in the UK and have solar panels. I get a payment from the state for the amount of energy that I generate with the panels. How the energy is used doesn't really matter - it makes a very small difference, but really the financial incentive is all around generation.

Sometimes, too long is too long. - Joe Crowe