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Comment Explaining the benefits of fusion power (Score 1) 267

Fusion should allow us to push out the limit of our unbridled exponential population growth for an extra ... decade or so. Increases the chances of the Malthusian catastrophe happening after my lifetime.

So please, we need fusion ASAP.

Oh, yeah, I guess we could start to think about some population planning too. Might be nice.

Comment Re:Reminder: Holographic theory != Simulation (Score 1) 157

Some words, like "inflammable" and "hologram", are irreversibly broken; don't use them. (Unless communication is less important than the smug sense of superiority you get from thinking you're smarter than everyone else).

Physicists, can you come up with another name for this? I know, your definition got there first, and it's a shame, but it's time to give up and move on.

Comment Looking in the wrong place. (Score 1) 115

The real fault seems to be in classes like AnnotationInvocationHandler or PriorityQueue (both part of the Java library), whose readObject() methods trustingly call some methods on their child objects.

AnnotationInvocationHandler calls map.entrySet(); PriorityQueue calls compare(). You just make sure the child object executes malicious code when executing those methods. For the child object, you can find a utility class such as LazyMap (from Commons) that executes a function while calling entrySet(). The function can be another utility class that executes some method by reflection (e.g. a Runtime method). These utility classes are all over the place to support functional-style or config-as-code programming.

But I think the real fault lies in those classes that execute child code during readObject(). It doesn't lie in the Commons classes that are used for the children.

Comment Re:Literally (Score 1) 307

"Literally" does not mean "very much like".

Actually*, "very", or "verily" (from Middle English "verray" = true, real) does (literally) mean "literally".

* And for that matter, so does "actually". In fact, it seems that almost every word ever invented that means "truly" or "actually" or "literally" or "completely" gets degraded though overuse of hypberbole to eventually mean "quite a lot".**

** Including "quite".

Comment Games don't age (Score 1) 102

Games don't get worse as they age. Don't hundreds of years of chess and poker teach us that? How about Scrabble or Monopoly? Is Tetris no longer fun? Prettier graphics aside, if games are outdated after a few years, they're either poor games to begin with, or the game was deliberately designed to be obsolete and no longer fun after you "solved" it, or it's a completely illusory perception encouraged by game makers who want to sell you more stuff.

Submission + - Issue tracker for non-engineers?

purplie writes: My non-technical spouse is an analyst in a small county government department, a handful of people plus some contractors for projects. Their project/task management is mouth-to-mouth, sticky notes, and emails, and it's driving them crazy.

I want to suggest something like an issue tracker. It would have to work for tasks both large (year-long investigations) and small (arranging catering for a meeting).

The issue trackers I'm familiar with with are too software-development-oriented, or make too many assumptions about your "agile" religion. Are there any good options for non-engineers?

They use mainly Windows and have iPads. I don't like web-based tools, but that might work better for them because they don't have administrative privs on their machines. Something that also incorporates a wiki might be nice. There will be resistance if it's not really easy to use.

Comment "expected value", really? (Score 1) 480

People usually point to the "expected value" as an argument that it's a bad bargain.

But it seems to me that the expected value is meaningless unless the experiment is performed often enough for the Law of Large Numbers to even out the results.

So, if a person plans to buy daily a ticket at 1/100 odds, you can make an expected-value argument. But if they plan to buy daily a ticket at 1/175000000 odds ... well, yes it's inadvisable, but it's hard to make an expected-value argument.

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