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Comment Making policy but not thinking of the future...? (Score 2) 157

who are usually more concerned about giving policy recommendations than in making forecasts

What? Is this implying that they want to make suggestions about what to do in the present and future to change the future without being the least bit concerned with forecasting the future? I don't think I would listen to anyone who wants to make important changes/suggestions without them being very concerned with attempting to predict the future of the situation at hand.


the field of economics frequently uses math in an unhealthy way

As an EE having taken many econ classes, I can wholeheartedly agree with this statement.

Submission + - RTOS Vs. General Purpose OS 1 writes: I have been working with VxWorks and Linux for real-time solutions. My main focus has been in the voice market. I don't see any impact on the servers we deploy running Debian and/or RedHat. We even have most of our infrastructure virtualized. So my question is, is there still a market for any Real-time Os and if so what is that purpose? From my experience Linux if tweaked, it is stable enough to run efficiently at least for most of the stuff I have done. That is why I would like to know a good argument for running VxWorks or any RTOS vs a Linux distro.

Comment It changed me. (Score 5, Interesting) 159

I've lived in the NO area my entire life. I was in college at Tulane University when the storm hit. It changed my life. In a big way. I was living in an apartment in the city at the time. The night before we all realize that this was no normal storm coming, this one was different. My family and I quickly got a plan together to get ourselves to Texas, we had family to stay with in Corpus Christi. Got there, storm comes, we watch the city and area around it crumble before our eyes*. Within two days me and a few others in my family (mainly healthy men, elderly/children/sick stayed back) made it back to where most of them lived a bit north of NO. The city itself was still shut off from the outside world so we still didn't know really what things were like there. Where we were was no better though, the country outlying the area where my family lived was also cut off in it's own way. We had no cell service, no power, no water, no access to 911 or the fire department. There were no gas stations open and not even an FM or AM radio station still broadcasting. It was weird. There was no one willing to travel on public roads without a 4-wheeler, a chainsaw, and a shotgun. Too many trees in the road everywhere and too many looters trying to steal everything in the area, even far from the city...
After dealing with the immediate things we could deal with we went back to Texas and as a group stayed there for a couple weeks. I didn't leave. Tulane was still shut down so I went to A&M for a semester. Also weird. I walk into admissions and enrollment with no records of anything. No high school records (high school also in NO and shut down completely at this point) no college records. No way to even access a bank account at this point. So, they just told me to take what I thought I needed to take regardless of the pre-reqs, and gave me full tuition and books and room and board (I will forever be grateful for the people there at TAMUCC for making that part of the experience very pleasant). After all that and things have setlled down I return back to Tulane, in the middle of the first semester back (a week after the next tuition is due of course) they announce 'whoops, not enough funding left after reconstruction efforts, we are going to cancel all engineering curriculums'. This understandably pissed off a lot of people. (seriously, who gets rid of civil engineering right when the city probably needs them more than ever before in history). What this all meant to me was that now I had been to two different schools, about to have to jump to a third. None of these schools would accept all the credits and each wanted their own little courses here and there; thus took me 6 years with summers to get a B.S. Electrical Engineering degree without ever having failed a single class.

tl;dr: Katrina fucked up my life.

*I had tears starting when I wrote that, this experience will forever be exceedingly emotional to me to recall.

Comment Re:More social decay. (Score 0) 319

Regardless of where you're from: Either be open and honest with the person you're with, or accept that you're a total douchebag.

This. My partner and I are in an open relationship where we see other people. The only thing that has made what we do OK is the fact that we are very open and honest to each other about everything. In fact, the only real "rule" we have is to be honest with each other. There is nothing worse than sneaking around and lying to the person you are supposed to be the closest with.

Wrt why people get into poly-amorous* relationships in the first place, there are many reasons for different people. In our case I tend to want a full on relationship with the others and my partner tends to simply want more varied physically sexual experiences. It's all OK because we don't lie to each other.

*or poly-whatever, not big on putting labels on things like this.

Submission + - Celebrating Workarounds, Kludges, and Hacks (

itwbennett writes: We all have some favorite workarounds that right a perceived wrong (like getting around the Wall Street Journal paywall) or make something work the way we think it ought to. From turning off annoying features in your Prius to getting around sanctions in Crimea and convincing your Android phone you're somewhere you're not, workarounds are a point of pride, showing off our ingenuity and resourcefulness. And sometimes artful workarounds can even keep businesses operating in times of crisis. Take, for example, the Sony employees, who, in the wake of the Great Hack of 2014 when the company's servers went down, dug out old company BlackBerrys that, while they had been abandoned, had never had their plans deactivated. Because BlackBerrys used RIM's email servers instead of Sony's, they could still communicate with one another, and employees with BlackBerrys became the company's lifeline as it slowly put itself back together.

Comment Re:Zero is wrong... (Score 0) 1067

Exactly. Another reason to not have some dumb default value come up. Mathematically it isn't even infinity conclusively all the time. It is really undefined. Generally speaking it becomes either positive or negative infinity when the division is one which makes sense to evaluate under a limit. Just endless reasons to not do something as asinine as defaulting x/0 = 0

Comment Zero is wrong... (Score 0) 1067

First issue, x/0 mathematically is infinity, not zero. Plus, you want the same exact result across all applications ever? There are certainly times where zero is appropriate, there are also many times when one would want to have some representation of infinity; yet others where this simply indicates an error of some other sort and zero is a valid result.

Comment Almost all my twitter accounts are bots... (Score 0) 84

The only reason I ever signed up for twitter in the first place was that it was the easiest of the social networks to create a bot. I wanted to see how hard it would be to set up something like that... and twitter makes it super easy...
15 or 20 minutes and I set up @piDigits which is tweeting out 140 digits of Pi every hour...
So simple, I did this with a few lines of code sitting on a Google spreadsheet doc and set a trigger to run the script in the doc once every hour. Completely legit free services + 30 minutes = your very own twitter bot, not tied to any of your own physical hardware.
Makes me wonder if twitter really does like the bot idea... I think it helps the system as a whole, because people want some kinds of automated news, or whatever else can be automated... Plus, it's usually really really easy to spot the TRULY useless *FOLLOW ME FOLLOW MY FRIEND* bots.

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Mathematics is the only science where one never knows what one is talking about nor whether what is said is true. -- Russell