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Comment Ah, Farnell / Element 14... (Score 1) 35

I wanted to buy some connectors from them. "NO MINIMUM ORDER" it said, on or near the front of the catalog. ...goes to the item page... "MINIMUM ORDER 10" or something like that. End of attempting to order. I went to eBay and bought exactly what I wanted, in the quantity I wanted.

Comment Crush honeycomb leg used in the Apollo LM (Score 4, Informative) 107

For interest's sake, the idea of a crushable hhoneycomb landing leg arrangement was used for the Apollo Lumar Modules. It was very light as it only needed to be used once, unlike a hydraulic or spring system. Have a look at page 6 of the LM Structures document at http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a...

Comment Command non-orthogonality is its weak point (Score 3, Insightful) 203

Like others, I both love git and hate it. The bit I dislike the most is the inconsistency in commands and their opposites.
For instance, it is easy to add files to staging:
git add .
Oops! A bunch of other things got added, because I'm a newbie and haven't yet tuned my .gitconfig. Fine, I'm still learning.
OK, have a guess at undoing it:
git unadd
wtf?...nope..
Frustrating searching to find that git reset is really unadd. Yeah, I could guess that! not.
And that's the crux of it. Sure you can add git aliases, but an xxx/unxxx pattern could have been built in right from the (ahem) git-go for any sensible command. Git commit/uncommit... merge/unmerge... etc etc.

And the great thing about git: Linus realised disk space was becoming to cheap to meter. Why bother crunching a delta on something when it was easier to just store compressed blobs. Thus the advantage of simple, fast and cheap (pick any three) branching.

Comment Blame these Space News websites (Score 1) 74

They all seem to do it - Space.com, Spaceflightnow.com, Spacefellowship, Nasaspaceflight. They know their audience is educated yet they persist in writing articles with both metric or imperial units. Or worse, they mix them as in this instance. They also take the let-me-convert-everythgin-for-you approach and put the complementary units in parentheses. Why they don't just stick to one measurement system - SI makes the most sense - I do not know. However I do believe spaceflight enthusiasts are NOT idiots.
Patents

Patent Suit Leads To 500,000 Annoyed Software Users 180

ciaran_o_riordan writes "A rare glimpse at the human harm of a software patent lawsuit: company receives 500,000 calls complaining about video quality after a video call system was forced to change to avoid a patent. That's a lot of people having a bad day. We don't usually hear these details because the court documents get ordered sealed and the lawyers only say what the companys' communication strategists allow. However, for VirnetX v. Apple, Jeff Lease decided to go the hearings, take notes, and give them to a journalist. While most coverage is focussing on the fines involved, doubling or halving Apple's fine would have a much smaller impact on your day than the removal of a feature from some software you like. Instead of letting the software patents debate be reduced to calls for sympathy for big companies getting fined, what other evidence is out there, like this story, for harm caused directly to software users?"

Comment No, strongly disagree here (Score 0) 656

I earned a second major in Statistics alongside my Comp Sci degree. In my 25 years of systems programming, application programming, *nix, Windows, GUI apps, data gathering, data analysis, web, comms, you name it - in a wide variety of fields I have NEVER used any of my statistics knowledge more complicated than a mean or median to this day. Not one single bit.

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