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Comment Re:Nothing New (Score 1) 477

Ah, yes, 1993, the year September never ended. I remember it too.

But it was a bit better than what you say before 1993. The noobs were usually well in hand by October or so. It didn't take until May. Well, usually... :-) (I didn't get access until 1988 myself as Sweden wasn't hooked up until then... We missed the Morris worm by a month by virtue of not being on the Internet... :-))

Comment Re:The end is near? (Score 1) 481

The problem with a "cost" analysis is that you're comparing apples and oranges. If it was only a matter of cost/kWh then solar and wind would be fine and dandy. There'd be no question that that would be the way to go.

Unfortunately running on unreliable sources like solar and wind doesn't work as our use of the grid presumes stability of delivery and being able to follow load. We're already having problems in Europe due to wind having to be dumped at negative cost on the market (i.e. they produce more wind than we can use); wind being especially problematic in that the power delivered varies as the cube of wind speed. You only get nominal power in a very narrow range of wind speeds.

Now, of course, these aren't problems that are insurmountable, but it would take a substantial change of the grid with large scale long range interconnects (to even out differences in wind/sun) and storage (to further even out e.g. day/night). These costs are substantial, and must be factored in when talking wind/solar.

As it stands now we have the figures already. Sweden with a hydro+nuclar mix where we've switched as much to electricity as possible we emit roughly half as much CO2 per capital as the "forerunner" Germany. If we factor in industry production we're even better of. Germany's getting rid of nuclear means in actual fact that they have tied themselves to lignite coal (the largest source of particulate pollution in Sweden is actually coal power refuse blowing here from Germany and Poland). They pay about three times as much for electricity as we do, and hence do not use it if it can be avoided. They use fossil fuel for as much as is practical. (I.e. heating their houses etc.) Same is true of the Denmark to a large extent.

But with the current government here, they'll finish off our nuclear in short order, and we'll be changing our energy mix to the same dirty mix as Germany in short order. Don't you worry... All in the name of becoming "green". It's enough to make you bloody weep.


Are Gates, Musk Being 'Too Aggressive' With AI Concerns? ( 311

gthuang88 reports on a talk titled "Will Robots Eat Your Job?" Bill Gates and Elon Musk are sounding the alarm "too aggressively" over artificial intelligence's potential negative consequences for society, says MIT professor Erik Brynjolfsson. The co-author of The Second Machine Age argues it will take at least 30 to 50 years for robots and software to eliminate the need for human laborers. In the meantime, he says, we should be investing in education so that people are prepared for the jobs of the future, and are focused on where they still have an advantage over machines -- creativity, empathy, leadership, and teamwork.
The professor acknowledges "there are some legitimate concerns" about robots taking jobs away from humans, but "I don't think it's a problem we have to face today... It can be counterproductive to overestimate what machines can do right now." Eventually humankind will reach a world where robots do practically everything, the professor believes, but with a universal basic income this could simply leave us humans with more leisure time.

Comment Re:They took the worst part of Python (Score 1) 199

Doesn't change the fact that the Python block syntax can cause serious problems and offers *no* actual benefit over using delimiters like {} and using delimiters solves the problems Python's syntax can cause.

Yes it does have a benefit. Since people actually read indentation and not braces, a brace in the wrong position, aka wrong indentation, leads to bugs as well. Enforcing what people actually read, instead of differentiating between a convention for humans (indentation) and syntactic rules for the compiler lessens those risks.

That's not to say that Python's choices are perfect, and that there aren't gotchas. But to say that it carries no benefit isn't true either.


Donald Trump Is Sworn In As the 45th US President ( 1560

Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, succeeding Barack Obama and taking control of a divided country in a transition of power that he has declared will lead to "America First" policies at home and abroad. Reuters reports: As scattered protests erupted elsewhere in Washington, Trump raised his right hand and put his left on a Bible used by Abraham Lincoln and repeated a 35-word oath of office from the U.S. Constitution, with U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts presiding.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 1) 798

If we are interested in curtailing re-offense and encouraging re-integration after prison, I don't think that disenfranchisement is particularly productive. There is considerable doubt over deterrent effect of the death penalty - I suspect that the deterrenc effect of disenfranchisement is pretty small.

Exactly. Here in Sweden you can even vote when in prison. I don't see the point of excluding present or ex convicts from the voting ranks. You could even argue that, if you have such a large fraction of your population in prison that they become a political factor as a group, then maybe fresh blood in the legislative chamber would do you good...

Comment Re:We love functional languages except using them. (Score 1) 205

Functional Languages are really cool in theory. However I find that for Real World development. Your code is often too tight for proper maintenance. Where Procedural and OOP is much better at fixing issues.

That's not the experience we had at Ericsson.

I can't help but think that you haven't really been involved in designing, building, fielding, and maintaining large systems based on FP. I have. With Erlang in particular we saw a four to ten fold increase in productivity.

And "too dense to fix" didn't even show up on the radar as a problem. Not by a long shot. Quite the opposite in fact, not having to wade through page after page of boiler plate (that could still trip you up, mind you) does wonders for focusing the mind on what the real problem actually was. As a colleague of mine was fond of putting it "After a day with Erlang I feel like I've solved business/domain problems, rather than 'doing programming'.

And good/competent, to half decent programmers could be retrained in a matter of days. The ones that couldn't, we didn't want anyway. And you shouldn't either.

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 285

Artillery ranges on the other hand, spread the metal further and thinner.

Yes, but that metal is mostly soft steel, that isn't that problematic from an environmental standpoint. OTOH it isn't that lucrative to collect either.

Fun fact, the difference between a live and training artillery shell is only the heat treatment of the shell itself. The hardened shell of a live shell burst into approx 50000 sharp fragments (155mm shell), while the soft training version bursts into dozens/hundreds of large dull fragments. (This according Bofors). Notably, the type and amount of explosive is the same in both versions.

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