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Comment Re:Not sure you have a lot of options? (Score 4, Informative) 52

The way Windows 10 manages updates in general is frustrating. We have some dedicated Windows 10 Lenovo micro-PCs whose only significant job is show videos on some large flatscreen TVs, and we're constantly having to cancel out the update nag screens. GPOs that would seem to work don't always apply, so it just gets to be an annoying problem. I think the next set of such micro PCs we buy will probably have some small footprint version of Debian.

Comment Re:Wouldn't need subsidies (Score 1) 101

Japan is closing its breeder reactors. They didn't work, always broken or having serious accidents. They want to try again, with the goal being a working demonstrator by 2050.

So good luck getting people to invest in a technology proven to need a great deal of development and decades to come to fruition, assuming it works next time.

Comment Re:Black swan events (Score 1) 101

Err, no, the problem with insurance is that an accident can bankrupt a country. No insurer will take on a risk so great that it could potentially wipe them out in a single hit, and no bank would back such a thing anyway.

Fukushima is looking like it will end up in the hundreds of billions of dollars range, maybe $500bn all said and done. In a more litigious country like the US there would be additional claims for lost business etc like with the BP oil spill.

Comment Re:Do away with them (Score 1) 80

Not sure what you actually mean when you say that SQL NULL means unknown but not absent? Is there a meaningful distinction you are making here?

It makes a difference when you start applying operations.

For example, if you compare a NULL to any value (even another NULL), the result is also NULL, rather than TRUE or FALSE. This doesn't make sense for absent values - two absent values should compare equal (and, indeed, two nulls in JS do). On the other hand, it makes perfect sense if NULL means unknown - if my last name is unknown, and your lastname is unknown, comparing them for equality can only produce "unknown" as a result, since it's not known whether they're the same or different.

Same thing with arithmetic operations. 1 + NULL equals NULL in SQL, again, because NULL is really "unknown", and so when you add an unknown value to 1, the result is also unknown. If NULL were an absent value, the expression should either produce an error, or give 1.

The most telling part, though, is the SQL truth table for Boolean operators that includes NULLs. Specifically:


Again, this makes perfect sense if and only if NULL means unknown. AND is always false if one of the operands is guaranteed to be false, so FALSE AND NULL is always false, regardless of what the actual unknown value is. On the other hand, FALSE AND NULL is NULL, because the result could be either false or true depending on the unknown value. With OR, it's the reverse - TRUE OR NULL is TRUE, because OR is always true if one of the operands is definitely true, regardless of what the other operand is. FALSE OR NULL is NULL because the result depends on the unknown value.

Philosophically, the difference also exists. Absent value means "I know what the value is, and there isn't one". For example, for a guy from Iceland, you know his last name - he doesn't have one. Unknown value means "I don't know what the value is, and there could be one". For example, you don't know if I'm from Iceland or not, so I may or may not have a last name, and you don't know which one if I do. These are two distinct states, and ought to be reflected as such in the database.

Comment Re:Let me google that for you (Score 1) 135

Cost to get a government appointment

Cushy ambassadorships go to prominent donors (or their kids). Fishy though far from a "price list", and it's also a standard practice for every administration. It's unfortunate but hardly a revelation, especially since I remember this stuff from 2009.

Comment Re:I for one thank them (Score 1) 135

If they are behind the release of the fact Obama used a pseudonym to email hillary, despite the fact he denied having any knowledge of her private email. That's good to know too.

This I have not heard of.

It was part of a Friday document dump... you weren't supposed to hear about it:

The POTUS using a pseudonym to communicate via email is hardly a scandal, more of an extra layer of security in case someone does get their hands on classified emails (and possibly a way to make finding records more difficult).

And without knowing his email setup it doesn't prove that he knew her actual email address, only that someone in the White House IT Dept knew it and configured his client to handle it.

Comment Re:I for one thank them (Score 1) 135

If they are behind the leaks of the DNC emails that showed Sanders was never going to be allowed to run that's something every registered Democrat had a right to know.

Are you thinking of a different batch of emails?

I saw some emails suggesting that the DNC really preferred Clinton (duh) but didn't really do anything pro-Clinton other than try to influence some reporters on stories that also involved the DNC.

If they are behind the release of the fact Obama used a pseudonym to email hillary, despite the fact he denied having any knowledge of her private email. That's good to know too.

This I have not heard of.

Then there is the price list for all the government posts that were handed out.

Yeah... I follow this stuff pretty closely and I don't even know what fact you're trying to twist.

Comment Re:What's wrong with this? (Score 1, Insightful) 135

"Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence officials are reportedly investigating whether Donald Trump's foreign policy adviser "opened up private communications with senior Russian officials -- including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president."

WTF? There's no reason for the 'intelligence officials' to get involved with this, it's perfectly legal behaviour for a candidate. That it is being sprayed about is a measure of desperation of some people to stop Trump. Whilst I have sympathy with their purpose, their behaviour is deeply wrong.

And if the talks included a quid pro quo about Russia disrupting the US election to help Trump win?

Hell, even if they didn't include include subtle mentions of Russia manipulating the elections what other reason would Trump's campaign have to secretly talk to Russia during the campaign? If Trump wins the election he's got 2 months to set up his transition, certainly that's more than enough time to have discussions with Russia as the President elect.

Secretly telling a rival power, who is already accused of disrupting the elections, that you're going to be their best friend is really damn suspicious.

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