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Comment Re:most people who've studied science disagree (Score 1) 358

Mathematically speaking, "convergence" is not the same as the "monotonic convergence" strawman that you raised. A series can converge even if its partial sums jump wildly about (c.f. alternating series).

We can judge how effectively science converges by the rapid expansion of our capabilities over time. This is good enough for me, as the ultimate questions are almost certainly unanswerable.

Comment Re:most people who've studied science disagree (Score 1) 358

In particular, it is certainly not true that science converges asymptotically to the truth.

Well, it depends on your timescale. It might occasionally be necessary to dump things like phlogiston and string theory, as counter evidence comes to light. In the long run, however, this very weeding out is why science tends to debug itself, to converge to better and better explanations of the universe.

Comment Re:And then? (Score 1) 354

I'm no friend to mosquitoes, believe you me - if we could wipe them out without any consequences I'd say do it, just like small pox. But just be very very sure before you press the big red button.

We could save the mosquito DNA, then wipe them out. Then we could resurrect them if their absence turns out to be a problem.

Comment Re:The best things in life... (Score 1) 293

First off being tied to a platform isn't exactly a death sentence.

Zillions of Visual Basic programmers all over the world would disagree with you vehemently. Microsoft's abandonment of VB has left them twisting in the wind (VB.NET is not even close to being compatible).

Meanwhile, Linux just keeps chugging along. An open source app never dies as long as anybody is still interested in it.

Comment Wear leveling question (Score 2, Interesting) 480

As I understand it, flash drives use wear leveling to spread the writing burden over many sectors of the disk. So each time I overwrite the same sector, say logical sector 100, the data goes to a different spot on the drive. That makes sense.

However, suppose I fill up the drive with data, then free half of it. My question is: how does the drive know that half its sectors are free again for use in wear leveling? As far as the drive knows, all of its sectors still hold data from when the drive was full, and no sectors are available for levelling purposes.

Is there some protocol for telling the drive that "sectors x, y, z are now free"? Or does the drive itself understand the disk layout of the zillions of different filesystems out there?

Comment Re:Can't answer your question (Score 1) 386

Profanity does not enhance your case.

I've had it up to here with the many, many bogus reliability claims made by Microsoft and its fanboys over the years. At this point, only suckers still believe.

Unix and its derivatives such as Linux have literally decades of proven reliability, security, and cost effectiveness. Until Windows has a similarly long track record, only fools will use it.

Comment Re:Can't answer your question (Score 1) 386

Windows "scales" only if you define scaling as "spending three or four times more money than necessary". Wide experience has proven that you need three or four Windws machines to do the same job that a single Linux box, no more expensive than any of the Windows boxes, can do. You also spend much more on administration, as the Windows systems need much more babysitting.

And as I said in my original posting, Windows cannot be relied upon to keep your data safe -- that's why E-Bay uses Unix machines to do the important work.

Comment Re:Algebraic data types (Score 1) 612

Because forcing inherently procedural/algorithmic code into a functional paradigm makes for readable code, AMIRITE?

No, you're wrong, and there's no need to be so aggressive. No law says that algebraic datatypes can only appear in functional languages. They are in fact quite conceivable and useful in normal procedural languages. For example, see Pizza, a variant of Java; it has functional aspects but is very definitely procedural.

Comment Social Insecurity (Score 1) 561

Wall Streeters' foreknowledge of impending doom could be why they were so urgent about breaking into the Social Security piggy bank. If the $35 trillion stored there had been moved into the stock market, the stealing by Wall Street could have continued for much longer.

Of couse, the rest of us would be even more thoroughly raped when the crash finally did come -- but what would those new millionaires and billionaires care?

Comment Re:Why do you need a special OS to run a server ?! (Score 1) 386

A typical server with 256GB of RAM would run about $60,000. This server would require the Enterprise editions of Windows Server, so that would run about $3,000.

Think how much more hardware you could buy with that extra $3000, if you went with Linux instead. Three grand would pay for a nice data backup solution, for example.

Comment Re:Here we go again... (Score 1) 369

If folks want a better battery then the market will provide it WITHOUT Government subsidies.

Not always. The "market" is short sighted: it evidently prefers to spend money on developing Viagra copies rather than a cure for malaria, even though the latter would actually save millions of lives.

And even when the market chooses correctly, the decision may not happen soon enough. Better batteries may eventually emerge without government assistance, but maybe not until long after the oil crash. Do you want to take that risk? I don't.

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