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Comment Re:because desktop linux is a toy and novelty (Score 3, Interesting) 1215

I agree with you about generation of reports and other things for widely considered submittal. I was extremely productive in grad school and was spending my time on the subject at hand, not on technicalities and drudgery, precisely because for every homework problem or lab report I could do "make submit" and it'd end up where it was supposed to. Even graduate engineering students routinely seem to waste insane amounts of time on clicking their way through the most rudimentary of changes that, once you have scripted the process, become so routine you don't even think about them.

Ansys, for example, is a usability 7th circle of hell until you realize it demonstrably wasn't designed to be used normally in point-and-click mode (maybe it was, but the designers were on crack the whole time). You can point-and-click a bit to get a feel for things, but if you want reproducible analyses, you must script them from the start all the way to generation and saving of the plots. I would not trust any FEA done in Ansys unless accompanied by a script that starts with a system in default state and ends up with output files you're after (raw output, tabular data, plots).

Same really goes for, say, generating plots or generally data-dependent drawings in Office. Once you're down to populating the entire document from a template in VBA, it becomes even less hassle to do it on a Unix system using Latex and makefiles. Never mind the basics like version control. Text-based scripts and formats really mesh well with diff tools used with version control. VBA embedded into Office documents is not handled by normal differs; you pretty much have to whip your own to dissect the OLE compound file and feed the extracted text via diff. The work needed to maintain such a tool (I've had it for a while) is simply not worth it when in the text-based Unix approach it simply works quite effortlessly. Good luck to anyone wishing to develop a blame tool for Excel, for example - good luck dealing with figuring out who did what in to an Excel spreadsheet otherwise.

Comment Re:because desktop linux is a toy and novelty (Score 1) 1215

Spreadsheets are very bad at visualizing the errors in their implementation. I even question their use in "exploratory" endeavors that merely guide further development in a real programming language: you may well be misguided due to hidden bugs. There's plenty of frameworks/libraries that make it very easy to format whatever you might want to format in Excel, and at that point the primary benefit of using Excel vanishes. Once you are not using the presentation aspect of Excel, there's really no point to using the cell-centric computing aspect. Eventually what's left of Excel is VBA, and at that point you might as well ship a self-contained .exe file generated from Visual Studio, instead.

Comment Re:Quicken != TurboTax (Score 1) 1215

Given the sad state of most people's computers, I'd dread to be the one fielding something like TurboTax, where probably 10% of the machines running it are either owned or so loaded up with crapware that it's unbearable. At least with a SaaS solution you can go to a library or a similar managed computer lab where the machines are free of crap. I presume that the desktop TurboTax is just a thin shim around a local deployment of their SaaS code, or at least that's how it should be done if they cared about efficiency of development.

Comment Re:because desktop linux is a toy and novelty (Score 2) 1215

search is a crutch for a crappy interface

Search is just a command line in disguise. The best interface, as it turns out, is the command line, just not necessarily CMD command line. Most of what people want to do quickly is finding documents and applications and opening them. That's where you can't beat command line. For other things you need a bit more than a search bar, but really the search bar is just a command line with an all-encompassing path and autocompletion. These days you essentially get the same thing on a PC when you press the Windows key vs. a Mac when you press Cmd-Space to bring up spotlight. Heck, there's even more to the similarity: on usual keyboard layouts, you can click the Windows key as well as Cmd-Space just using either of the thumbs. Yep, that's right, on Mac keyboard you can whack Cmd-Space combo just using either of your thumbs, although for me the left thumb is more reliable at hitting Cmd just a bit before Space, as called for.

Comment Circumstances are EVERYTHING! (Score 1) 768

What you seem to be completely oblivious to is that the external circumstances, once you're in custody, place you at a serious disadvantage. Probably the major point about why you should only talk when and if you want to is that to give answers that have any semblance of truth to them, you must be controlling the circumstances. It's very easy to say things that will be taken to mean something entirely different from what the truth is, when you're under pressure/duress (interrogation just after arrest, etc.).

So, what are the positive outcomes? One positive outcome is that you'll not be asked about stuff in the heat of the moment, and you'll have your lawyer present. Your lawyer will direct you to be specific and to the point so that you don't say things that can be interpreted to mean what you didn't intend.

In other words, you're completely delusional in your belief that human speech is something that has only one meaning, and you're similarly delusional in your belief that you have full control over what you say. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. You are most definitely not in control of what you say when the external circumstances are set up for you not to be in control. When you are arrested or interrogated, you're interfacing with people who are trained to extract the information they want (not the truth!). The positive outcome you're looking for is that by 5th letting you keep your mouth shout you won't implicate yourself in stuff that you didn't even have any idea about.

Basically the whole idea that you're telling the truth is flat out wrong. You think you're telling the truth, but still you will be guided to say it in such a way that it'll be taken to mean precisely what you think is false. Remember, you're dealing with people who don't arrest you to have a chat with you. Once you're in custody, nobody presumes your innocence until you get into the courtroom. It'd make no sense to arrest people who are presumed innocent by the police or prosecutors. Nobody does that. When they arrest you, they think you're guilty, and their job is to prove your guilt in any legal way, and often in any illegal way that you won't object to.

You're naive beyond belief.

Comment Re:and how many people just cramed the test (Score 1) 304

There are fragments on the curve with no missing integer values. The marks for the individual questions themselves are docile - there's no reason NO ONE would get a particular score, other than tampering. The dips you see in the curves are ZEROES. As in not a single person getting such mark.

Comment Re:Reasons (Score 2) 229

At least in the U.S., if you've ever had a ticket, or was a plaintiff or defendant in a court case, or own real estate, or have liens on your property - you're out there already. The system that stole your identity was most likely automated malware that you had on your PC. That's how identities get typically stolen. No one has the time to give you personal attention, let's not be deluded about that. Identity theft by and large is an entirely automated process. What you do on Facebook is pretty much irrelevant.

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Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982