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Submission + - Hotmail users get a clean start to 2011 (

nycguy writes: Hotmail users may resolve to find a better email provider after finding their accounts have been reset, starting yesterday and continuing today. Microsoft's support forums are choked with complaints from users whose accounts have apparently been erroneously reset due to "inactivity", causing all saved emails and folders to be deleted.

Comment tags and search (find/grep) (Score 1) 235

I would just put each set of experimental data in a separate subdirectory. Within each subdirectory I'd put a file with specific name (e.g., "description.txt") in which you briefly write up exactly what the experimental data is, how it was generated (e.g., if generated by a program, give the arguments and/or pointers to input data), and some keywords to allow it to be indexed/searched. Then I'd use your standard OS search tools to find the description file(s) you're looking for, thereby allowing you to locate your data based on its description rather than some brittle directory hierarchy.

I have a pretty standard setup for generating experimental data in my work. Whenever I run an experiment (which are usually simulations), I have a wrapper script that generates a random (meaningless) subdirectory name, copies my simulation binary and configuration to that directory (so I can reproduce the results later in case either my simulator code or its configuration changes), and prompts me to enter a description of what it is I'm simulating, and asks me to provide some keyword tags. The only way I can find the data afterward is to search the description files from the last step, because the data is otherwise just in a randomly-named directory.

Of course, this scheme depends on you doing a decent job of describing your data and providing keywords, but I don't think you can get around that with any technique. At some point you have to inject some human labeling/categorization. Directories and symlinks are just a pretty restrictive way of organizing things.

Comment prerequisite (Score 1) 973

The main goal of humanity should be finding a sustainable source of energy (e.g., fusion). Our entire economy, lifestyle, etc., is driven by cheap, abundant energy. Getting out of the gravity well, building and running orbital stations, transporting people to other planets, constructioning and maintaining habital environments and colonies are all going to require even more massive amounts of energy. Moreover, the source of that energy must be transportable and work in a variety of environments to accomplish those aims. Until we have such a source of energy, our future is in doubt, regardless of whether we stay here on Earth or not.

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