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Comment Re: Information wants to be free (Score 1) 52

I can think of better ways to "showcase" my divorce paperwork. YouTube can be used for private videos, too, but the public default does not seem to rankle. It seems like this site was trying to be the "YouTube of documents". It wouldn't surprise me if that's how it got pitched. Anyway, I hope you take a stop over to and see how grossly unsuited it is to tasks requiring security or discretion. I think this may rank up there with "do not insert into any orifice" labels on curling irons.

Comment Exactly that (Score 3) 119

I'm out of mod points or I'd mod you up.

My two cents - we have an open office plan where I work. So I like to stay after hours and work. Why? Because the lights are off, I don't have to listen to people milling around me all the time having conversations about the weather or last Sunday's game. Just me and the work I have to do. No distractions. It's blissful.

I can get more done in 2 hours like that than the previous 8.

Comment Re:Isn't the cloud great? (Score 4, Insightful) 52

Because sometimes it's just sort of "fuck it". You can stress over every move you make online, or you can take reasonable precautions and risk recovering from something like identity theft later on. One of those reasonable precautions should probably be using something reputable and purpose-built like Dropbox or Drive rather than something that proclaims on the front page "Showcase and discover Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Sway, Minecraft world and PDF documents for free". Don't use a showcase site for your private files...

Along the lines of "fuck it", I regularly put my tax documents in Dropbox during tax season. It's reasonably safe, I think, compared to putting them in my pocket in an easily-lost USB stick or on a frequently-stolen laptop. It's not like the physical world is completely safe, either, and Dropbox and Google are going to be better at IT than I am.

Comment Re:As unpopular as it will be to hear... (Score 1) 155

On the surface I agree with you. In practice, I've gone the other direction and have become more pro-open-source over the years.

One example is MATLAB. I like MATLAB, and consider myself fairly good at it. People come to me to ask MATLAB questions. With that said, my company has floating licenses and these are a pain. Mathworks is very responsive in their customer service, but when you find a bug, you have to work around it or wait until they fix it. On the odd occasion where you want to actually distribute a script, you need to (maybe?) have the end-user download and install the (free as in beer) runtime separately.

I've switched the vast majority of my data analysis and other scripts to Python, and I no longer have to search for co-workers who left their copy of MATLAB open. When I find a bug, I can actually fix it myself and even return the fix to the module's project, along with any other feature that I find to be missing. When I need to distribute a script, I just make sure that I'm not using some forbidden-fruit GPL module (the ecosystem is mostly BSD) and zip the whole shebang up with one of the py-to-exe tools without consulting the frigging lawyer.

It's not all-rosy, for sure. Scientific/technical computing on Python has a higher learning curve than MATLAB. While vast help exists for Python trouble, MATLAB has all of the help concentrated in one place which makes finding solutions easier. One unexpected benefit to Python is the GUI. At first blush, MATLAB holds the high ground with its GUIDE visual GUI builder. But for anything more than a few simple controls, GUIDE is an unholy beast to work with. I've found my life much better with Python and it's wide choice of GUI frameworks. Even setting up the whole GUI with a text editor in Tkinter is worth the up-front time investment vs. the misleading initial ease of using GUIDE.

On the topic of SAS, one product that I do use of theirs is JMP. I have to admit it is faster (for me) for quick-and-dirty data analysis than using Python. I think I'd like to code up a Python application to do some of my most common JMP workflows... not try to reimplement the whole thing.

Comment Hubris! (Score 1) 255

One of my very most favorite old-timey sins! Hubris.

"The DRM is supposed to thwart copyright infringement by stopping people from ripping video and other content from encrypted high-quality streams."

Sounds an awful lot like "The Titanic is Unsinkable" doesn't it?

Submission + - SPAM: Modified Gravity vies with Planet9 to explain Solar system structure- and fails.

RockDoctor writes: One of the serious contenders to the majority opinion Matter/ Dark Matter/ Dark Energy hypothesis for explaining the structure of the universe is the "MOdified Newtonian Dynamics" or MOND hypothesis in which the gravity field strength decreases not according to a 1/(radius^2) factor, but according to some other function of (radius), which would then explain the movements ("Dynamics") of galaxy-scale structures — the original evidence for postulating the existence of Dark Matter. This hypothesis dates back to 1983 — before the observations that prompt the Dark Energy hypothesis — and has been championed mainly (but not only) by physicist Mordehai Milgrom. While it is definitely not "mainstream" physics, it is certainly a respectable hypothesis.

One way to look for MOND effects is to look closely at the outer Solar system, where distances are larger than can be examined on Earth, but things are close enough for small effects to be measurable from Earth. And in a new paper published on Arxiv, people have done just that. The known "Extreme Trans-Neptunian Objects" ("ETNO"s — closest separation from Sol outside Neptune's orbit ; furthest separation 150 ~ 1500 AU) are closely clustered in direction — the evidence that Batygin, Brown, Sheppard and Trujillo have used in the last five years as evidence for a ninth planet in the Solar system. (No, Pluto is not a planet. Unless you want it to be about 10th or 11th in a 100+ planetary system.) It was possible that the MOND hypothesis might explain the orientation of the ETNOs, so the idea has been examined in detail (paper) — and found it less than 1% likely to explain the observations.

MOND remains an attractive type of hypothesis to explain the observational evidence of the universe's structure without postulating major changes in our understanding of physics. But again, it has failed at the test of new data types. Which still leaves physics with no viable alternative to the Matter / Dark Matter/ Dark Energy hypothesis.

Link to Original Source

Comment When (did) change happen ? (Score 1) 1

They [telephone customer service staff] required a full bank account number to identify the customer. When this information was refused and a supervisor was requested, no supervisor was available. Although the phone number called was correct and I made several tries (reaching the same person each time), I could not clearly verify that the party reached was actually a Metavante employee, as the security process breach observed would be unusual for a banking company.

Are you implying that this procedure is a change from previous (Intuit) procedures? (I've never knowingly used any such service, so wouldn't know SOPs).

Comment Re:Big dig (Score 1) 138

So the boston big dig is 3.5miles so about 3 times the length.

The Boston big dig has to avoid collapsing buildings above and beside the dig. That is somewhat less of a problem on any random hillside in Norway.

Is that dig still going on? I remember it being a thorough-going row last time I was in America - '90 or '91.

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