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Comment Re:As unpopular as it will be to hear... (Score 1) 121

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 Re:Because Manufacturers Suck (Score 1) 100

Blackberry cares... at least as a business model.

My PRIV has had *monthly* updates. That's the best I've heard of.

My phone is basically ASOP, with some added security and Blackberry calender, etc.

Overall.. not bad. Lots will badmouth BB, but they've come far now that they're pure android.

Comment Re:Huh? I use these all the time. (Score 2) 262

I just select the tabs that I want to close in gang (either with shift or ctrl/cmd) and then close them either with ctrl/cmd-w or a right click. For me it would be very rare that I want to close all but a single tab.

But I admit that I'm weird. I still can't completely let go of Firefox because of Tree Style Tabs. Tabs on the top is madness! :)

Comment Re:I guess /. still approves this crap (Score 1) 270

We set up institutions up like this all the time when the goal is a level of detachment from popular politics or cooperation across jurisdictions. In local government, they are usually set up as "authorities", such as the entities which administer the bridges between states (e.g. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Delaware River Port Authority, etc.).

More broadly, every single corporation in the US gets its charter from a government. What we think of as "private" are actually entities that exist only at the whim of government.

At the end of the day, congress could dissolve the Fed with a single law, and that's what is important.

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