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Comment Re:Unlikely (Score 1) 208

There was also some damned fine trowel-work in the original excavation. I take my handlens and knee-pads off to the archaeologist who did that salvage excavation and recording.

Part of the criticism of the paper is that the excavation was time-pressured, impossible to reconstruct and also had to leave out a few things that would have helped answer some questions.

Like: is there no possibility at all that the mammoth died in an accident? What was the exact geology of the area? And other questions raised in the comments above. As one scientist replied: "extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence, and we don't see that here."

Comment Re:slashdotters are happy (Score 0) 183

he number of pro-life folks who are actually misogynists is probably fairly small, though I'm sure that they do exist.

They're all misogynists. All of them have decided they can control the body of a woman just because she is a woman. They can dress it up however they want to, it remains misogynist. They all know that "protecting the unborn" is just code for "forcing women to bear children they don't want". In countries like Ireland, this includes children born from incest, rape, or even when the woman is dying because of the pregnancy. Even more gruesome is that the father can them claim paternal rights. Oh joy, that will certainly make for some interesting thanksgiving meals.

And in the USA there have been such lovely items as women dying because the doctors were afraid to give them chemo. It might have caused an abortion, which would be illegal. let's not even get started about all the desperate women who do NOT want these children and go for back-room abortions, a procedure that kills tens of thousands of women each year. Apparently the protectors of life suddenly have a callous disregard for life when the women in question are concerned. Another red flag for misogyny as driving force.

In my opinion, the whole ani-abortion movement is misogynist through and through, from the base to its policies, wherever you look. There is no compromise possible with that movement for anyone who values personal freedom, for if you have no right to determine what happens to your own body, you have no rights at all. This goes for abortion, suicide, medical treatments, hunger strikes, hairstyle, piercings... all of them are based on the same right: the right to self-determination, the right to control what happens with your body. If that goes out the window, everything goes, because it is the most fundamental right of all.

Comment Re:Programmers should grok logic (Score 1) 433

Oh, and coal is maxed out for cost-down potential, while solar and wind are still nowhere near their limits. That fact alone has lead enough companies in the past to abandon or adopt technologies. I predict this will be no different. Except for the old guard with vested interests in coal to protect.

Comment Re:Programmers should grok logic (Score 3, Insightful) 433

Coal is only cheap when you ignore the environmental damage it does. Even disregarding the CO2 issue. Once you factor in all the measures you need to take to protect the environment from the radioactive waste, the sulphur and other nice byproducts of burning coal, well, it's not that cheap anymore.

Comment Re:Original Article (Score 1) 78

Also important to note: in all of those countries English is a very strong second language, especially for the younger generations who get taught English from age 12 in The Netherlands (and it's lowering to 7 now). As for Sweden, "There is currently an ongoing debate among linguists whether English should be considered a foreign or second language in Sweden (and the other Scandinavian countries)[11] due to its widespread use in society. " - source:

It's not the only explanation though: all 3 countries have an open outlook, meaning they are immigration countries, mostly depend on trade with the rest of the world, and benefit from open exchange of ideas. Germany, France and Japan are much more heavy production countries.

Comment Re:19th and 20th century powerhouse (Score 1) 206

It's only cheaper when we ignore the output of the plant, which is more carbon in the air. And it's only cheaper *now*, but the cost-down property of coal is nil, while the cost-down property of solar is still being explored. Which means that solar can keep becoming cheaper for a while, and coal will likely become more expensive.

Comment Re:Sucks, but derivative work (Score 2) 137

First off, your fair use criteria may not apply - we're talking Dutch law, not US law.

Second, "the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole"
The judge judged that this was about 100%. That's basically the whole discussion. Translation does not mean adding new insights or pages, it's just a transcription into a different language. And I have translated several articles myself, I know there's a fair amount of creativity involved if you want to transfer the meaning of the text, not just the words, but it is limited compared to the creation of the original text (or script). The gist of the articles I translated would have been transferred regardless of who the translator was. And given the very limited amount of text in movie subtitles the creative input is very limited indeed. Much more limited than derivative works like "Larry Potter and His Best Friend Lilly".

Non-profit is debatable, the sites that publish the subtitles certainly make a nice profit off the ads.

Effect on sales: since sales are subtitled, subtitles only apply to movies that are pirated. While you can hardly prove that people would have bought the movie just because it was translated, it's hard to prove otherwise too - and since the FSF was bringing the suit, they had to prove that this was the case. Good luck with that.

I'm not opposed to pirating, but at the same time let's not pretend this type of reasoning will hold up in court. It certainly didn't today.

Comment Re:Sucks, but derivative work (Score 2) 137

So all translations of any book are now fair game? After all, you would interpret the book in your own way and write a completely original translation...

Feel free to try your luck in court with that reasoning. So far, it didn't help any of the Harry Potter derivatives, who actually had more claim to originality than someone doing a translation. The keyword here is "substantial".

Comment Re:So, what's the problem? (Score 2) 300

Think of Joel Spolsky hiring C++ programmers because they can reason deeply how code works and then he puts them in front of Visual Basic 6 to pound out his application because they don't have to fiddle with MFC to get the GUI part?

Well, what's wrong with that? I was a C++ programmer throughout my education and my first job as scientific programmer, and moved on to VB6 and then VB.Net. Double the pay for half the effort, what's not to like :) And in the end it's all just a Turing Machine anyway, we're just debating the syntactic sugar as long as we stick to imperative languages.

So nowadays I just use the tools that make it easiest to code and test a solution, not the tools that are generating the most work for everyone. For most applications in office automation there is zero reason to use C++. Heck, there is little reason to actually code anything when you look at office automation: a good logical model coupled with a business rule engine and a decent code generator could work up 99% of most applications without even breaking a sweat. You may not build SAP with it, but I bet you could give it a darn good run for its money when looking at specific modules - the joke that is the Student Lifecycle Module springs to mind immediately but I'm sure there are plenty of examples.

Comment Re:Hey GM, how about that EV1? (Score 1) 289

Hybrids have been around for a while and their value is no different of another car. Most hybrid owners can prove a significant cost saving although I still think Hybrids are a joke and have too many moving parts for my liking.

I drive a Prius. Most reliable car I've ever had. Also the one with the best average gas mileage. Well, that is compared to the two Mercedes cars (diesel) and a Nissan Primera 2.0L (gasoline) I had before. And while that is anecdotal evidence, I based my purchase on the breakdown statistics of Germany's largest auto organization. They seem to have the same idea about Toyota as I do.

Not every hybrid is great, but you can't really go very wrong with a Toyota, even if it is a hybrid.

Comment Re:COBOL (Score 1) 300

Yeah... 20 years ago it was 1997. Visual *anything* was crashing regularly at that time. I remember Visual C++ 1.0... it froze the machine when you tried to edit icons and they just generated incorrect assembly at a few places as well. The fujitsu cobol compiler wasn't all that hot either. I was using that one in 1997. Not a huge improvement over Visual Cobol, but at least I could *generate* the code instead of having to type it and it usually didn't crash.

On the mainframe they had nightly builds, state of the art sorting software, source code control, backups... which we copied in short order as fast as we could.

Comment Re:A-Fucking-Men (Score 1) 300

Amen to that.

I was once tasked to get some data from the mainframe into the DWH I was building. We had an external COBOL programmer come in to do this because the rest was busy on fixing Y2K and doing the Euro implementation. His program was repeatedly returning really incorrect data. But no problem: I just printed out his program and pointed out all the bugs: yes, Cobol is so easy to read and debug that even without training I could just follow the flow of the program, see what it was doing and where it was copying the wrong fields into the copybook.

It's another reason why I go with the easiest language at hand for most tasks. You never know how long it has to run, and while you can build fantastic things in C++ or assembler, it's a pain to maintain.

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