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Comment Re:Code should be as concise as possible. (Score 1) 185

I never use variable names of more than one character unless all possible single character names have already been used, which rarely happens.

If you're not routinely using up all possible single-character variable names, then you're not making your functions large enough, and/or you're not using enough global variables. You can do better.

Comment Re:Thank god for Trump! (Score 1) 316

But what happened to all the good Republican candidates? I'm a long way away from the US, but trying to make sense of it.

The short summary: The primaries are extremely dominated by special interest groups (SIGs), because if they can get a sympathetic candidate the actual election will be a coin flip of who people dislike the least. So what happens is that a lot of moderates get caught in no man's land because the SIGs support their hardline candidate and if you can't get any momentum out the gate the chances of recovering 5-10 states down the line as people realize their favorite won't make it is slim and none. It's hard to find a moderate that many people would be happy with, until it's clear they'd lose and would rather compromise.

Comment Re:Anything incriminating? (Score 1) 425

it was the *DEMOCRATS* who refused to sit some delegates simply because they were the wrong sex

Yeah, the Democrats have a policy concerning equal numbers of each gender which the Vermont delegation initially violated. Not seeing an example of sexism here, but an attempt to avoid it.

"Racist" is thrown out by the left so often it no longer has any meaning.

I'm pretty sure it does, it's just a sizable number of the right, particularly the alt-right, both understands that "being racist" is considered bad, but that they have no problems with a society that deals black people the short end of the stick, that they have an irrational fear of brown people, and even - in some quarters, most Republicans don't fit into this category, but many on the alt-right do - that they're worried about the influence of Jews.

Comment Re:I get the feeling that (Score 1) 123

I get the feeling that dark matter is today's epicycles

Well you're not the first one, there have been multiple attempts to modify gravity so that it gives the right answers without introducing additional matter. Unfortunately that tends to break other results that our current theory of gravity gets right and trying to "fix" that usually ends up in just as convoluted theories as dark matter/dark energy. Personally I think it's easy to feel like solid matter is a wall but we know radio transmissions pass through it like it was nothing. And neutrinos pass through the planet without even noticing. I don't find it particularly hard to imagine that there are particles that have even less interaction, given what we already know.

Comment Re:Anything incriminating? (Score 5, Funny) 425

Dunno, I went through them, and the only emails I saw that looked kinda shady were between her and an apparent long time friend with a pseudonym of "yugedeal@hotmail.com" where she appeared to be orchestrating some attempt to hijack the Republican nomination by having her friend win the nomination. Apparently "Yugedeal" would spout a lot of the kinda racist, sexist, what-liberals-think-Republicans-like crap before the nomination, insulting most of the party's big wigs (leaving them in disarray) while attracting support from the grassroots, and then reveal it was all a hoax the day before the election.

Not sure what came of the plan. The last email in the thread was just a "Good luck today Don!" sent June 16, 2015. I assume from the silence since that nothing came of it.

Comment Re: Really, this happens in America? How?? (Score 1) 179

Proposition 13 froze the property tax rates of all homeowners in the 70s, and leaves them uncorrected for inflation. It basically creates a landed gentry, where you move in and pay the property taxes of your neighbors. I was angry about it and refused to buy a house in California, which turned out to be a good decision. I used to have a "repeal Prop 13" bumper sticker for a while, but when I would leave the car parked, people kept keying the car all round the front and back and ripping or tearing off the sticker.

Comment Re:Amazon 'marketplace', wish I could disable it. (Score 3, Interesting) 334

You can't do it account wide, but you can do it on a per-search basis. Near the bottom on the left, once you've chosen a department, you'll see a "Seller" section. Curiously Amazon has itself listed as both Amazon and Amazon.com, I have no idea why.

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 101

Oh, well, if reddit users say it is so, then it must be true. [eye roll]

Argument from authority? Really?

The "east takes you up" phrasing is just a handy mnemonic for epicycles, which are a useful (in some cases) simplification of elliptical orbits (which is what a circular orbit becomes if perturbed). Fairly useless for accurate orbital modelling, or for (significantly) suborbital trajectories. (Both of which apply if you're trying to land a booster on a barge or parking lot.)

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 101

Oh really?

Explain highly elliptical (eg cometary) orbits then.

Orbit is a freefall where the horizontal* component of speed at apoapsis is sufficient to avoid hitting the source of gravity at or near periapsis. The first stage booster doesn't come anywhere near fast enough at its apogee.

*horizontal: i.e, perpendicular to a line drawn between the object and the center of gravity of the system.

Comment Re:Most "automation" isn't, just like this. (Score 5, Insightful) 322

No, "better healthcare outcomes" is a measurment anomaly.

The fact that the average is dragged down because a large percentage of the US population doesn't get adequate health care is not a "measurement anomaly". It's an epic failure.

It's like a C average student claiming: "I'm really a straight-A student! I got As in all the classes I didn't flunk. (And BTW, for some reason my education cost twice as much as that of any other student.)"

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