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Comment Re:Genuine question - Why Modal Text Editors? (Score 3, Insightful) 131

Emacs -- provides a functional and highly customizable editor. It's got a lot of very nice packages (org and magit, for example, are both superb). It also has a different user interface paradigm -- it's usable entirely from the keyboard. Once you are used to this moving back to something with all that clicking around is rather hard to cope with. And it's very easy to add new functionality.

VIM -- like Emacs, it is entirely usable from the keyboard. It's not as functional as Emacs, but is it very regular. The main editing commands are very predictable which makes the raw editor of text very efficient.

That's about the best quick description I can give -- I am mostly an Emacs user, and use VIM for systems administration, so there is a bias in what I say. They are both fantastic tools and it's worth trying them out.

Comment Re:Oh yeah? Then what are you gonna do about it? (Score 1) 410

Brexit happened for many reasons -- including 350 million for the NHS, which pretty much demonstrates that many people in the UK cannot add up.

Dredging, no, that doesn't help. If you dredge upsteam, then the water goes downstream quicker and floods somewhere else. The solution is to slow water down, so that drains over time.

At least that's what the experts say. But, you know, they are just people who have studied and experimented with these issues over a lifetime and so have good knowledge, rather than people who just think of an idea that they suppose is good. It's no wonder that the British people are tired of experts.

Comment Re:Oh yeah? Then what are you gonna do about it? (Score 1) 410

Not really. If you got a tax bill for 0.005%, then you might think that something was potentially wrong. The argument, "well I paid it in good faith, and you cannot retrospectively ask me for more cash" does not really hold water.

In Apple's case, it really doesn't hold water, because they are not short of a tax lawyer or two.

Comment Re:SubjectIsSubject (Score 1) 564

It's nothing to do with an American company. As you know, the complaint is against two companies, Apple Ireland, which is a subsidiary of another company called Apple based in Bermuda, I think.

Nothing to do with the US at all, which is why neither of these companies pay tax in the US.

Comment Re: Good (Score 2) 564

Asserting the tax law as it always stood is not retroactive. It's quite normal when tax has not been levied as it should have been. Obviously, if Apple can show that the late demand is going to cause it difficulties, it should be given a year or two to pay.

Apple has access to plenty of lawyers and tax consultants; they should have advised it that paying a 0.005% corporate tax rate was likely to be wrong, and might come back to haunt them. I mean, the rest of us can work this out, why can't Apple?

Comment Re: It was user error, not a spreadsheet problem . (Score 2, Interesting) 349

No, this would be a disaster. The acronyms have the advantage that they are, relatively, semantics-free., If we turned them into long hand, then they would describe the gene in some way. Which means that the descriptions in the knowledge would go out of date, or would have to be changed. It's a recipe for instability.

It is very easy to laugh at biologists and think that you know how to manage data better than they do. In some cases, you may be right, but in this case it is not so. Identifiers are there to identify and not describe. This is something we learned with Linneaus, and have stuck with since.

Comment Re:It was user error, not a spreadsheet problem .. (Score 2) 349

The problem is that the not all tools require a ' to stop this behaviour. And, in fact, adding this may well break these tools.

Ultimately, this is not a new problem. It was first noted about a decade ago in yeast (which uses a lot of very date like gene names). It's a bit depressing it's still happening.

I'm unconvinced that this can be classed as a user error, though. Excel is using a heuristic to determine the data type of a field (probably on a per cell, not per column basis). And that heuristic is failing.

Comment Re:As it's been said... (Score 1) 621

The situation is not equivalent. If remain had won, then yes, there could have been calls in the future for a new leave vote. The leave vote on the other hand, if it is enacted, is very hard to reverse, although, if we leave then yes, there will have to be a campaign to re-enter.

It may not happen. It all depends how quickly the economy gets screwed, both by the uncertainty, by the significant cost of rewriting 40 years of laws, as well as half the countries IT systems, aside from the problems that will occur when very little of what we voted for actually comes to pass.

Comment Re: Naw, it's Doctors (Score 1) 696

There is actually good research on this. In the UK, the cycling position that is recommended by the Department of Transport as a result of, you know, actually looking systematically at the evidence is called "primary position" which is well out from the left, near the middle of the lane. It massively increases your visibility, although it does sometimes cause irritation to drivers.

So, the OP is probably correct that this works in the US as well, except that you should be well out from the right. The space you need is the space that is necessary to keep you safe, and nothing at all to do with the space you need to manoeuvre.

Still don't let evidence stand in the way of your good anecdotes which are, I am sure, a far better basis for public policy.

Comment Re:Four word subtitle (Score 1) 1032

Actually, I don't think he said he was a victim -- quite the opposite. He said "now I have used the system to my advantage". He got an education, and avoided paying for it.

And he has. If he was richer, of course, people would say "you're just criticising because you are jealous". But because he only gained enough to allow him to spend time as a writer, he will be portrayed as a scrounger.

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