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Comment Re:License (Score 1) 255

Let's not forget that originally, Steve Jobs tried to screw over the GCC project by making a proprietary closed-source fork of it.
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No, he didn't.

He tried to claim that NeXT's own code in the Objective-C front end was proprietary. He was more than happy to distribute the rest of GCC freely, but wanted to keep Objective-C closed. He failed.

Which is exactly the same thing as the OP said, once one uses precise language: the GPL's requirements also apply to the Objective C frontend precisely because the compiler as a whole is a single program (program = "copyrightable work licenced under this license").

Comment Re: +1 for privacy supporters -1 for gun control (Score 2) 620

Cars are designed to be as safe as possible. Guns are designed to be as dangerous as possible. Yet, cars kill more people every year than guns, including suicides.

That doesn't seem to be true. The only numbers I found in a quick web search are for 2013:
32,719 deaths in car accidents (source:
33,636 deaths from firearm injuries (source:

In 2013 "people with guns" led to more deaths than "people with cars" — and that in spite of the much higher frequency and spread of vehicle usage.

Comment Re:How about building subways? (Score 1) 163

It is also misleading. It may be true that there is nothing being build right now (which may need a source) however work on additions to the main sections of the S-Bahn network is planned to start this year

We'll see if that ever happens, recently the news haven't been too encouraging, but this line in particular is doing nothing to cure the fixation of the network on the center.

and extensions to the U-Bahn network are in planning.

That may need a source. There is one new station currently being planned (Martinsried), and that's it. Everything else is still very much pie in the sky status.

Further the tram network is also constantly extended.

True, and this comes at the expense of not extending the subway, as once the tramway is extended, it's hard to argue for a subway running in parallel see also my comments about the actual existence of a ring: its eastern part is a tramway (line 16), and the western part is currently being upgraded from a bus (line 51, if memory serves correctly) to a tramway.

The reason nothing is build right now is also less related to public debt and more with politics. The city is run by the SPD and the state around it is run by the CSU. Any large scale project that involves both ends up with everyone trying to sabotage the public image of the other party and disagreements for the sake of disagreeing.

Well, and this sabotaging happens during the financing stage. I cannot disagree with there being a political side to it as you describe, but at times where Munich's debt is at a historic low even in absolute, non-inflation-adjusted terms, while it's experiencing unprecedented growth, it's silly to assume that Munich couldn't finance building subways by themselves. If only debt weren't considered bad.

Comment How about building subways? (Score 5, Interesting) 163

Munich is growing faster than any time in recent history. Yet, for the first time in 50 years, no subway is being built. Leaving aside the reasons for this (mainly the German obsession with public debt), this is simply wrong, the two parts don't fit. Bulding more subways would help traffic more than bike highways (as much as I like them) -- and it would do so even in bad weather.

What could be done? Well, one of the main problems is that the public transport infrastructure is organized in a way where basically every connection runs via the center. So even if your destination isn't on a straight line from where you're at towards the center, you will still have to go there, change trains and then move out on another radial line. Now, with the ever increasing numbers of passengers this leads to lots of congestion on the stations in the town center (anybody who has e.g. tried changing subway lines at Sendlinger Tor during the morning or evening rush hours can confirm this).

The logical conclusion is of course to build a loop subway. Reduce dependency on the center and increase priority. This should become a priority.

(It is perhaps noting that such a loop exists in the public transportation network, but it is a patchwork of tramways and busses. So the necessity was recognized already, only the implemented solution falls short.)

Comment Naming? (Score 1) 210

Since you tend to name things after yourself, do you regret not naming Mathematica differently?

The first question is a joke, nothing one would ask in polite conversation. My real question to him is this:

I assume it was a pivotal moment in your life when Veltman showed you Schoonship, which was essential to the work later earning him a Nobel with t'Hooft. It was probably the first computer algebra system able to transform the large expressions that you had to deal with in your preceding work on particle physics. Can you describe how and if that changed your perspective on what you would do in life?

Comment Re:How much benefit? (Score 2) 226

The slow paths are "several thousand times" slower, according to the article. You only need to hit them rarely to see a significant degradation of performance.

I was recently dealing with a code that spent most of its time in pow(). Some basic algebra significantly simplified the math, and I could do away with the call to the function, but this shows its performance is a real-life concern for some people.

Comment Re:except crimea is home to a Russian fleet (Score 1) 789

How the fuck is invading from preexisting bases any less serious than invading from the mainland?

For starters, one difference is that you're not invading when you're not crossing any borders. How is that difference relevant? Well, Russia's actions made very much sense and didn't require violence as an outright invasion probably would have. And that's true whether one likes them or not (I don't, you seem to imply something different).

I belive you're the one missing the point. Russia legally has no right to decide where Crimea stays. That's for the Crimeans to decide... and they did, a few years ago: they decided to stay in Ukraine! There was no Crimean decision to join Russia.

The situation changed, and it's not irrational to assume that the opinion on Crimea would have changed to reflect that change. Technicalities again, even if you discount the referendum, it's still the Crimean government that asked to join Russia.

Trying to justify Russia's actions is as disgusting as trying to justify the third Reich's actions - because they're exactly the same where it matters.

Thanks, Godwin. Conversation finished. More to the point: Russia's actions concerning Crimea were logical and very sensible from their self-interest of continuing to have a fleet with access to the Mediterranean. It would have been stupid for them to hope that the status-quo on Crimea would be maintained with an American-chosen government in Kiev. If you think that's "justifying" their actions, then you are mistaken. Being able to think like the other side is the best means when trying to predict their actions. That's why it's important to note that it wasn't an invasion, that's why it is important to note that there are good reasons to assume the Crimean population welcomed joining Russia. Assuming that one's dealing with barbaric warmongers who act with no consideration of the consequences of their actions is idiotic.

Comment Re:except crimea is home to a Russian fleet (Score 1) 789

Sorry for getitng back so late.

To satisfy the pedants:

Russia denied having troops in Crimea outside their bases, only to later admit it was a blatant lie.

It makes a difference, doesn't it? Rolling into a country with tanks is fairly different from already being there on commonly agreed terms. Seriously, the autonomous ukrainian republic is one of Russia's most important military bases, and the US installs a prime minister of their choosing in Ukraine. What did the European and American governments think would happen?

You may also wonder who destabilized the Ukrainian government, leading to a putsch, without thinking about the well-known fact that Russia has a history of using political instability for their benefit. I cannot blame Crimeans for not wanting to end up in a civil war, BTW. In that light it was a very rational decision to join Russia.

That's brilliant. /s

They didn't decide to join Russia. The Russians set up a sham referendum.

Also, the "if we don't fight, it'll all be better" mentality is pure bullshit. It just encourages further aggression.

Misses the point. Was it foreseeable that the situation in Ukraine would deteriorate? Yes, as it usually does after coup-d'états. Was it therefore rational to want to join Russia? Yes. Did I ever say the referendum was fair and democratic? No. As for your last paragraph, maybe you want to apply that reasoning to the Russian perspective and you will understand much better what's been going on.

Comment except crimea is home to a Russian fleet (Score 1) 789

You might want to be precise. Crimea has always been a big Russian military base. So of course they had military there. So what exactly did they deny?

You may also wonder who destabilized the Ukrainian government, leading to a putsch, without thinking about the well-known fact that Russia has a history of using political instability for their benefit. I cannot blame Crimeans for not wanting to end up in a civil war, BTW. In that light it was a very rational decision to join Russia.

Comment Re:Misleading title & summary (Score 2) 579

Parliament on the other hand still appears to be solidly pro-Linux.

We should note the types of complaints: on the one had there are the usual complaints ("it's broken"). These would be the same in an MS Office world. Why? Because most of government office work is based on standardized templates which are custom implementations. These would have to be retrofitted to MS Office in a switch back. There's little reason to assume that they would become any better in that case.

On the other hand, there are complaints about interoperability with the outside world: outside people sending MS Office documents or being unable to read open formats. Yes it's annoying, but if you decide to go with a standard instead of proprietary stuff you expect this. It should be noted that the largest external groups the city of Munich has to deal with are the enveloping government bodies, namely the district of upper Bavaria and the state of Bavaria -- both run by the conservative party of the new 2nd mayor. These never liked non-proprietary software and history ahs shown again and again that they will do whatever they can to make administering a social-democratic town (which Munich still is) a bit more difficult.

Third, the new second mayor complained about something as great as Outlook not being available. So that's the real issue: taking office he had to change his habits, something that by definition is hard for a conservative :)

As for the new first mayor: he has been a big shot in city administration for a long time, and he has always been outspoken against the Linux switchover. Why would he change his mind now when he has negotiated Microsoft's move into the city from the suburbs?

Comment Re:Perhaps stupid question (Score 1) 310

Well, after they recognized what it was they knew its approximate size, thus could determine the distance and hence determine that it was dangerously close. This is not in contradiction to them not being aided by air traffic protocol and not being able to gauge the distance before that instant.

Comment Re: Perhaps stupid question (Score 1) 310

Please notice the qualification "steady flight". Birds are moving. That's how I wanted to avoid this question, but since you asked ...

You can probably recognize a bird as such and thus gauge its size (as it is an object you would expect to encounter), whereas a drone could have any shape or color or may even be made to look like a typical helicopter scaled down. There's no a priori estimate of such an object's size.

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