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Comment IEEE fragmentation (Score 1) 213

The same fragmentation exists for their conferences. Say, you're convinced that none of the established, reputable data mining conferences have a satisfactory number of hype words in their title, or possibly you couldn't get your paper accepted, and it's time to go to a conference on Big Data instead. Luckily, IEEE has you covered: this year you can attend the IEEE International Conference on Big Data Science and Engineering (BDSE 2014), the IEEE International Congress on Big Data (BigData 2014), and the IEEE International Conference on Big Data (IEEE BigData 2014). In any case, if you expect to meet colleagues at "this year's IEEE conference on Big Data", you better check they're actually going to the same city.

Comment breakthroughs of imperative programming (Score 1) 285

Imperative programmers, thou shalt not forget:

Edsger W. Dijkstra : first ALGOL 60 compiler (with Jaap Zonneveld), the THE operating system, correctness proofs, saving us from unstructured code, ...
Peter Naur: ALGOL 60 language definition

"Program testing can be used very effectively to show the _presence_ of bugs, but is hopelessly inadequate for showing their _absence_."
(an overhead slide by Dijkstra, quoted in The Dawn of Software Engineering, 2012)

Comment vacuum and thermal expansion (Score 1) 385

LHC pumps 9000 m^3 to ~10^-9 atm to insulate their cryomagnets. That's the volume of a 2.4 km stretch of the passenger-only hyper-loop, at a million times deeper vacuum. Now, that they're doing that at CERN doesn't mean in any way it's easy or cheap. And the hyper-loop is still a volume a few hundreds of times bigger, without any compartmentalization.

Thermal expansion is also interesting. Back-of-the-envelope:
1.5*10-5 (thermal expansion coef stainless steel) * 40K (guesstimate max delta-T day/night) * 563*10^3m
= 338m thermal expansion/contraction, or 169m at each end.
They'll want to insulate it or at least shield it from direct sunlight -- which the solar panels will partially do.

Comment Re:I'd be fine with this, as long as... (Score 1) 337

I live in Belgium, and I am required to pay the tax for the radio...

Move to the North. ;-) There's no radio nor TV tax in the Flemish part of the country. Well, not a specific tax anyway, they just pay the public broadcasts from general tax income. Of which there is a lot.

It is basically the same everywhere, let's steal money from people

Right, the motto is: if it moves, tax it. Oh, and did you think about declaring private use of that company laptop in your tax form? That's another ~$100 please... more if it comes with internet access.

Where all the tax money goes? As an illustration: the Parti Socialiste, very powerful in the South, has just decided in the face of evidence that Mr. Daerden is too corrupt to be mayor of a small town... but he can stay as a minister of federal government. Maybe they don't have anyone less corrupt to succeed him. Maybe Happart. Oh, wait...

Comment Yes: 2.8% of income +VAT (Score 1) 337

Large radio stations currently have to pay 2.968% of gross income up to 1.46 euro per head of the population in their broadcast area. Income over that is "taxed" at 1.59%. That tariff includes only FM radio. Anything else, e.g. online streaming, is extra. The rules for small radio stations are somewhat more complicated -- available in Dutch here:

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