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Comment Re:Decimal Numbers? (Score 1) 72

It works, but it makes your code kludgy. Without operator overloading, you have to do fun things like a = b.add(c) just to numbers together. Just hope you never have to do a complex mathematical operation. It's much harder to see what's going on when you can't use things like BigDecimal. Even a simple comparison just gets ugly.

if ( bigDecimal1.compareTo(bigDecimal2) < 0){
...
}

Comment Re:Decimal Numbers? (Score 1) 72

How do this work when calculating tax rates? Taxes can be at a fraction of a percent. Quebec for instance has 9.975 % sales tax. If you store your amounts as integers in total cents, what value do you multiply by to get the tax? If you have a proper decimal data type, you can store store the exact values. .Net has no problem storing 9.975, 0.09975 or any number up to 28 significant digits without worrying about weird floating point anomalies.

Comment Decimal Numbers? (Score 2) 72

Have they added support for decimal numbers yet? .Net has had support for decimal numbers for quite a few years now (At least since 2003). It comes in really handy for doing applications dealing with money, which quite a lot of applications deal with. Floats and doubles don't work well with currency values as they can't hold exact decimal values for many commonly encountered numbers. There are work arounds like using integers to store the number of cents, and using classes like BigDecimal, but both of those have quite a few drawbacks.

Comment Re:The universe. (Score 1) 127

These are what the IAU came up with, in a vote that was very controversial among its membership. An association dominated by astronomers, not planetary scientists, who were by and large against the decision. And a set of terminology that you can often find flatly ignored in scientific papers. Example. In short, the only group that the IAU is able to bludgeon into using their term is the general public (using the "We're scientists, if you don't use our term you're wrong and ignorant" gambit), not the scientific community itself.

Comment Re:They seem to think they have a say in this (Score 1) 179

What they haven't learned is the Universe doesn't care about the FBI, or even criminals for that matter. If mathematics makes hard-to-break encryption possible, then that is simply that. Unless Congress plans to pass laws banning encryption, or demanding back doors, which will set it up for a big fight in the Supreme Court, the government should just shut its fucking pie hole and get about investigating crimes. Criminals have been hiding and destroying evidence as long as there have been criminals, and I've seen absolutely nothing that suggests that more criminals are getting away with crimes now than they did a couple of decades ago.

Comment Re:For the Yanks who are confused. (Score 1) 397

It's not like a treaty, it IS a treaty. The ECC has been around in one form or another for nearly sixty years, and the whole point of the common market is to allow the free flow of goods and services between member states. That requires rules to deal with member states who try to gain unfair advantage by, say, granting large multinationals absurdly low tax rates, and, once they've set up shop, can now gain access to the entire Common Market.

I'm not clear what critics are objecting to here. Are they saying nations should be able to just ignore treaty provisions which they willingly and freely signed up for whenever they want? Are critics saying that other signatories to said treaties have no right to demand redress?

Comment Re:countries are no more? (Score 1) 397

If they want to be part of the European Common Market, they have to abide by the rules all the members, including Ireland, agreed to. If Ireland wishes to go its own way, it can invoke Article 50 like Britain has. Of course, that would likely mean companies like Apple and Microsoft would move their European headquarters, because the real reason that Ireland and these companies struck up these rather favorable tax deals was because they could gain access to the Common Market while gaining a very advantageous tax rate from being taxed in Ireland, rather than, say, Britain or Germany.

Comment Re:Numbers Are Easy (Score 1) 185

I dont trust the car manufacturers with any data at all, not just mileage claims and pollution ratings.

I was bitterly disappointed to find Ford Galaxies no longer look like aircraft carriers and have 7 litre engines, despite being "500" to compete with the Fiat 500, and the Fiat 500 is now 1300cc, and not 500cc.

The manufacturers are a dishonest as the salesmen.

For those who don't know, a Ford Galaxy is supposed to look like this: http://pinthiscars.com/image-post/334-67-ford-galaxie-4-door-wallpaper-4.jpg.html#gal_post_334_67-ford-galaxie-4-door-wallpaper-4.jpg

Comment Re:SubjectIsSubject (Score 1) 397

If Ireland doesn't like EU rules it can always depart the EU. If course then it will lose its privileged access to the Common Market, and let's be clear here, the tax deal with Apple was littl more than the creation of a tax haven for Apple to gain cheap access to the Common Market.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 397

If Irish tax law contravenes it's treaties with the rest of the EU, that very treaty requires Ireland to abide by the EU's decision. Ireland willingly and knowingly violated it's treaty obligations in its deals with Application and Google, so there is nothing arbitrary or capricious about this ruling.

Comment Re:If the singularity doesn't happen... (Score 2) 127

Stop feeding the troll ;) If a person can't handle an argument without name calling, they're not worth your time.

For what anyone not trolling :) There is nothing magical about existing on Earth that allows a nuclear reactor to run. Earth does provide a few conveniences, mind you - your mass budgets are unlimited, and cooling is easier. But nothing about either bulk nor mass prevents nuclear reactors from operating in space, by any stretch, and the two main things limiting their use have been a lack of need and NIMBY (the former being little applicable in the former USSR, they used them quite a bit, although they still lacked a need for high powers and so generally kept them fairly small; in the US, NIMBY limited the US to just one launch, although the US developed a number of other systems, some to flight-ready status, on the ground).

The typical mass balance for a in-solar system fission fragment rocket (measured simply by MWt, not MWe, since thrust is direct) is about 20% payload, 20% structural, 35% reactor, and most of the rest toward various aspects of cooling. The nuclear fuel makes up only about 2% of the total mass (figures from the Callisto baseline). For an interstellar mission, however, the fuel would make up the a large minority or the majority of the mass, trading significantly reduced acceleration for significantly longer acceleration times. On an in-solar-system version, power density is about 6kWt per kilogram of reactor mass (that 35% figure above). This is actually quite low by large-space-reactor standards; many modern multi-megawatt reactor research projects for NEP and defense purposes (example) often deal with density figures of 50-100 kWe per kilogram, including cooling. But a fission fragment reactor has a sparse core and has to rely extensively on moderation / reflection to keep up a sufficient neutron flux; higher core density is prohibited because then the fragments would thermalize.

One thing that's neat about a fission fragment reactor is that, like systems like VASIMR, it can operate in various output modes, trading ISP for thrust as needed. In pure fission fragment mode it's ISP is is ridiculously high, nearly 1m sec; your thrust is purely the relativistic fission fragments from each reaction, carrying the majority of the reaction's energy away. However, you can inject gas into the stream as reaction mass, limited only by the density to which your magnetic nozzle can keep the stream confined. So where higher thrust maneuvers are needed, you can use the same engine (up to the aforementioned extent, of course; you're not going to take off from a planet with a FFRE!)

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