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Comment Entirely up to me (Score 2) 331

I'm doing theoretical physics, and for the last couple of years, roughly half of my time has been comprised of numerical simulations. I'm free to choose the language I want for the programming part, since the main results that I'm paid to produce are not the simulation codes themselves, but the physical predictions they result in. (In practice, I started this project using Matlab, but it was too slow so I ended up rewriting it in Fortran 2008 for computation and Python for data visualization.)

Comment Re:Don't be Dogmatic (Score 1) 331

If you've done enough programming and know at least 1-2 languages fluently, you should be able to pick up another very quickly (less than a week).

I hear this a lot, but I respectfully disagree. Rather, if you know at least 1-2 languages fluently you should be able to pick up another based on the same programming paradigms very quickly. For instance, it definitely didn't take a week to learn Haskell, even though I knew a lot of other programming languages at the point I first started to play with it. And I'm quite sure most people spend more than a week learning object-oriented program design properly.

Comment Re:Galactic North... (Score 1) 268

That means you could define a point in the universe (or several) from which ALL the mass would be on one side (within a hemisphere), or a point from which mass is roughly equal on all sides (center of mass)- unless the universe is curved, wraps around, etc. That could all the be the case, but I'm pretty sure we see no evidence of that. Am I incorrect?

According to the current cosmological models the universe is either curved or infinite, and both options make it impossible to define a unique center.

Comment Re:This windows 10 thing has gotten out of hand (Score 1) 443

The point is still that the update is being *forced* on the consumers, not just *offered* to the consumers. If you have some kind of mission-critical system, say a hospital computer that is relying on old drivers and commercial software that doesn't work with Windows 10, then having it automatically update is clearly a problem. Had Microsoft just *offered* the upgrade with an easy way to opt-out, that would have been great.

Comment Re:Galactic North... (Score 1) 268

Contrary to popular belief, the big bang wasn't a conventional explosion that hurled lots of mass into empty space, but rather the creation and expansion of space itself, which diluted the mass and energy of the universe. Discussing where in the universe the big bang happened, is kind of like filling a large balloon with air, and then arguing where on the surface of the balloon it all expanded from.

Comment Re:just stop using it already. (Score 2) 246

Stop sending them the contents of all your emails

I dumped GMail for Kolab, and am quite satisfied with that. Costs $3 per month for a privacy-friendly webmail based in Switzerland.

block their tracking shit that's all over the web

Using Disconnect, Self-destructing Cookies, and UBlock Origin seems to get rid of most of the crap on the web without breaking anything.

use alternate map services

There's the OpenStreetMap project: check out this online and this for mobile.

Comment Re:Fuck that... (Score 1) 244

That's why I had to add the qualifier "because almost everyone has an account, and most of them check it quite frequently":
* Email: I use it to communicate with colleagues, but most of my friends rarely or never check their email;
* SMS: I use it to communicate with local friends, but texting people abroad is expensive, and people keep changing their phone numbers anyway;
* Skype: I have Skype, but only ~1% of my friends have an account, so it doesn't work for the majority of people;
* Telephone call: Same problem as SMS;
* Tin cans and string: It's not that easy to get a piece of string that reaches from Norway to Australia;
* Smoke signals: Assuming that the smoke goes straight up, the curvature of the Earth makes them impossible to spot from the other end of the world;
* Cutting off a finger and painting the wall with your blood: Only works for local communication, I'm talking about keeping in touch with people abroad.
I do also have other communication apps lying around to talk to different groups people. I prefer using Signal or Telegram but only a few people I know actually use it; KakaoTalk is okay, but only the Koreans use it; Line is okay, but only the Japanese use it. But in the end, almost everyone I know are most easily reached using Facebook messenger, so for pragmatic reasons, that's what I use most frequently.

Comment Re:Fuck that... (Score 3) 244

Using Farcebook is already evidence of gross stupidity.

I don't like Facebook the company, but I do have a Facebook account, and mainly use it because of the messenger feature. It's simply the easiest way to stay in touch with friends abroad, because almost everyone has an account, and most of them check it quite frequently.

Comment Learned in the 2000's (Score 1) 515

My father gave me a computer with Linux back in 2002, and taught me the basics of how to use a terminal and bash scripting. I'm not sure if this counts as "programming" in itself, but I feel that interacting with the computer in this way was precisely what gave me the programming mentality, and what made me think of programming as something fun and cool in the first place. I then continued learning about Linux on my own, by basically breaking/fixing/reinstalling my system every second week or so for a couple of years. I also taught myself basic Python during this time. Then, in 2009, I finished high school and started university, enrolling in a math and physics programme. I then learned Matlab and C++ from two compulsory programming courses, and learned parallel programming with OpenMP/MPI/CUDA from taking two additional programming courses for fun. I also learned lots of other languages by just playing around in my free time, especially Haskell, Scheme, and Fortran. These days I'm doing a PhD in physics, and mostly use modern Fortran for simulation programs, Python for data visualization, and random Bash scripts for miscellaneous tasks.

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