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Comment Re:Explanation for Americans (Score 1) 621

Perhaps the majority of citizens of the UK don't want to "regard the EU as (their) country".

Perhaps. Sadly we may never know though because a huge number of British citizens, myself included, were denied the right to vote in the referendum simply because we were not living in the UK. I would argue that a huge majority of these, and there are over 2 million in the EU alone, would have voted in favour of remaining because they were actually treating the EU as their country.

As citizens of a sovereign state it is their right to make that determination.

I agree and as a citizen of that sovereign nation I was denied that right which is rather ironic since one of the major complaints of the brexit camp was the lack of democracy in the EU. As a result I and my kids will lose their EU citizenship and my only recourse is to finally get Canadian citizenship so I give a final parting two fingered salute to my former country as it turns its back on Europe and loses the right to call itself either 'Great' or 'United' - quite literally as Scotland will secede. It is a very sad time to be British.

Comment So this is the "natural state"? (Score 1) 259

The "natural state" is me hitting you and taking your stuff.

Which is exactly what is happening here. In deference to several thousand years of progress though the weapons of choice to hit you with are either armies of lawyers or, in this case, new laws (or rather new interpretation/enforcement of existing laws). Plus ça change.

Comment Check Carefully (Score 1) 61

Is that $70/month or $70/month*. There is a big difference with the '*' usually meaning that in 6 months time the rate will become huge. At least that's the trick they use all the time here in Canada. Still US$70/month is only a bit more that I pay here for just internet alone. Mind you I don't have to deal with Comcast which is probably worth quite a bit per month.

Comment Re: cc65 doesn't optimize much (Score 1) 348

Don't even thing of trying to do the Mandelbrot set.

I actually did that on a 6502 in BASIC (floating point in assembly was beyond me at the time) on a BBC Model B. I was a school kid and got the algorithm off the back of a maths brochure from Leeds University which had a picture of the set on the front. It used to take all night plus most of the following day to run and you could not really zoom in that much but it worked albeit rather slowly!

Comment Root (Score 1) 331

How do you do c++ scripts?

You use a package like ROOT which we use at CERN for data analysis. The original author had the idea that he would save physicists the time to learn a separate scripting language by using interpreted C++ as a scripting language. As you can imagine this did not work out very well. Firstly C++ has an appallingly bad syntax for scripting use and secondly there are many features they were unable to script like virtual functions.

The result that the scripting language was more of a C+/- which was badly documented and also very buggy. One of the worst ones I ever found ws actually using compiled code where adding a blank line i.e. just a new line character to the source code caused duplicate symbol errors due to using the C preprocessor to generate a symbol which only differed by the line number the macro was called on!

Debugging in general was also bizarre because the error messages you got rarely if ever pointed you to the problem and the memory management is also extremely unclear. The only thing which kept it somewhat usable was the development of the python interface...which of course completely undermined the original vision of scripted C++.

Comment Re:cc65 doesn't optimize much (Score 2) 348

There is another reason: the 6502 assembler is relatively easy to program (I was doing it at ~13-14) and you get a very significant performance boost. Modern CPUs have complex pipelined architectures and for efficient, fast execution modern assembly requires hints etc. so the CPU can make effective use of pipelines etc. This makes it far, far harder.

Even with a CPU as old as DEC's Alpha back in the late 1990's I was astounded when DEC's C++ compiler produced faster code than I could with basic assembly. Once I saw the hints it added I was able to up my game and beat it slightly but the speed gain was nothing like as impressive as it was for the 6502 based BBC Model B plus it required far more effort e.g. knowledge of the CPU architecture etc.

Comment Re:He is lucky he did not get shot on the spot (Score 1) 235

I call BS on professional airline pilot.

If you include all commercial pilots this seems plausible by the time you have included private business jets, cargo transports, crop dusters etc. It's also not clear whether this is just for the US or worldwide. If the later that would include non-western countries where pilot deaths may be higher and non-US countries where police deaths may be far be lower.

Comment Re:Awful (Score 1) 208

So, just in theory, what would happen if the Queen invoked some ancient but technically never repealed power to put an end to the Brexit?

Actually from the discussion in the UK media it would be quite easy for her to do this without resorting to arcane and ancient laws. Apparently invoking article 50 requires use of the "royal prerogative". Effectively the queen invokes the article herself as head of state. However this is only done on the advice of the prime minister. Technically the queen could just say "no" and refuse to invoke it. There is also a legal question in the courts at the moment about whether invoking the article lies under the royal prerogative or requires an act of parliament because entering the EU required an act.

The problem is that if the queen were ever to refuse the prime minister in this there would be an even bigger constitutional crisis which would probably result in the UK becoming a republic. However it does give the queen a chance to talk with the prime minister and to use her 60+ years of experience as the head of state to offer advice to the PM which is probably one of the few times the PM gets to talk to someone who is not part of the political machinations of Westminster. It might not be the most modern system in the world but it has stood the test of time so we can only hope it works now because we really need it to!

Comment Explanation for Americans (Score 4, Interesting) 621

I take it that you like people you never voted for or have heard of in a foreign country (Belgium in this case) decide what you have to do, too?

Brussels is the seat of the EU government (or at least parts of it) so when we refer to rules from Brussels we do not mean "rules from Belgium" (whose national laws have no sway outside Belgium) but "rules from the EU government in Brussels". This is the same way that Americans refer to "Washington". It does not refer to the mayor of Washington DC enforcing rules on the rest of the US but you national government in Washington passing laws. So its the same with us, just a different city.

As for "foreign countries" passing rules that makes as much sense as someone in California saying that some federal law they do not like was passed by "foreigners" in other states and forced on them without their say. Since California has representatives in the US government this is clearly false and it is the same with the UK in the EU. The difference is that California has been part of the US for long enough that they are used to this give and take between the local and national governments.

In contrast the UK has only been in the EU for just over 40 years and it does not have any recent experience of give and take between regional and national governments because the Tories stripped all meaningful power from county, city and town councils to centralize it all in Westminster and the areas which DO have experience with strong regional government, Scotland and Northern Ireland, voted overwhelmingly for the EU and while Wales has a national assembly it is very limited in power.

So really "foreign" is just a matter of perspective. If you are still stuck 40 years in the past then yes the EU means that "foreign" countries have some sway over the UK. However if you regard the EU as our country and UK as a part of it then no, foreign countries do not have any sway because a foreign country is one outside the EU.

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