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Comment Re:Feedback welcome! (Score 1) 37

First of all: Thanks a lot!

I find practically impossible to get prebuilt binaries for Mac OSX.

I can run the windows version in a VM, but having a "native" version would be nice. Even if it trails a few minor versions behind.

Any pointers?

Submission + - aRrgh: a newcomer's (angry) guide to R (

pamar writes: Tim Smith has created a site that will try to explain and document how R works and shed some light on the bizzarre and convoluted syntax and structure of its programming features. From the introduction: "The goal of the document is to describe R’s data types and structures while offering enough help with the syntax to get a programmer coming from another, saner language into a more comfortable place."

Comment Re:Soft and hard credit inquiries (Score 1) 133

Not only that, but it would be trivial for Apple to "cache" the credit score as part of their infrastructure - so that even if you ask for "what is Pamar's rating" a billion times, Apple has "asked" only once for fiscal year or whatever.

Considering that you are not using the credit rating for actual moving money around, but only to show or not a different type of advert, even if your credit rating has changed in the last 3 months it's no big deal.

Comment Re:Who they do not attempt to stay relevant? (Score 1) 145

War has ALWAYS gone on. Never have we had wars with SO FEW casualties. Certainly never have we had wars with SUCH a small percentage of the population as casualties. Historically, wars have been known to obliterate 50% of the population of a country quite easily. Same for plagues, etc.

Is it really so? (I am asking out of genuine curiosity, or at most trying to challenge this specific point):

From what I understand war in ancient time were fought mostly between opposite armies meeting on a more or less "agreed-upon" battlefield.
This was more or less true for any kind of organized conflict up to WWI, and only with WWII (and the widespread use of planes as offensive weapons - so more precisely we should probably start counting from Spanish Civil War at the end of the 30s) warfare started targeting civilian (i.e. industries and cities) objectives.
Cities were "targeted" in the past too (sieges) and I don't mean that civilians weren't suffering for wars (aftermath of large battles would often result in pillaging, rape, slavery) but I really believe that civilians are more directly involved in warfare starting from the beginning of XX century.

Comment Re:the more things change... (Score 1) 130

I am from a European country, and I can assure you that there was a thriving clone market - you could get any at a much more affordable price basically everywhere. These were probably under the radar for Apple - or maybe they prosecuted only American-based makers/resellers because they couldn't afford international cases, but the fact is that, even if this was surely not part of Apple's plan - Apple ][ had a larger share of the market than what you would expect by just comparing "official" Apple numbers to Tandy or Commodore.

Comment Re:the more things change... (Score 3, Informative) 130

You apparently forgot the fact that Apple published schematics and was built with "off-the-shelf" components, and this soon resulted in a massive "clones" market, offering good if not perfect compatibility (the ROMs were easy to copy, too) at vastly reduced prices.

Comment I think I have a better idea... (Score 2) 313

The suggestion in the original article is (IMHO) completely and utterly wrong, for a mix of reasons explained in other comments.

So let me offer an alternative: instead of learning a smattering of markup language and how to copy JS fragments and trying to modify these for you purpose... learn the basics of being a competent SW TESTER instead.

So when you get a good idea for an app, before looking for a non-asshole programmer, draft a test plan. The more detailed, the better (because tests may also serve as specifications, as TDD teaches us).

When it's done you will have a better idea of the "technical complexity" of your idea, and you don't have to learn any specific programming language for it.

Comment Red Plenty (Score 1) 278

See the website to get an idea if this can be of interest to you...

And here is my own review (from anobii):

I love the smell of simplex in the morning...

Red Plenty is pretty difficult to categorize. As the author explains, this is about history, but at the same time most of the characters are either fictional, or are shown thinking and saying things that, while plausible and based on actual historical recordings, have been made up by the author.

And even most importantly, the various characters, some recurring, some briefly sketched never to return in the narrative, are just different ways to talk about the real "hero" of the story. Except that this hero is not character, either real or fictional. The main character, you see, is an Idea.

The idea that by using maths (especially Linear Programming) first, and applying computers later, you can run a centralized, planned economy and make it grow at amazing rate till it takes you, and all your citizens, to a sort of materialistic utopia.

Of course, we all know that history took a different turn, but up to the 80s the Soviet government really tried, and (for an admittedly shorter time) believed that this was possible, and that the "red plenty" of the title would really benefit the whole Soviet Union, and show the USA that Capitalism was inherently less efficient.
We see the whole dream unfold (and sadly turn into a nightmare) through the eyes of low-level citizen, Party members, scientists, criminals.

I am amazed by the technical tour de force that this book represents: it explains very complex (and probably dull and boring) events and theories in a clear and entertaining way - I do have a bit of experience with the specifics regarding the math theory used in here, but I was very ignorant in terms of Marxism, Russian history, Economy, how people gets cancer and a slew of other issues... so if have been entertained (and educated) about the latter themes, I suppose I can say that Marxism experts who don't don't know much about Cantor will find the book equally entertaining, and interesting.

Please understand that the book is a gripping read even if you really don't care about any of this. I can't really think of another example of a book that entertains so much while explaining so well... but I really hope to find another two or three in the future.

Comment They *do* listen (Score 3, Informative) 218

I suppose that the original post should have included at least two things:

a) Apart from the harmless prank, Google is actually moving towards sane aliases for G+ profiles:
b) For the impatients, there is a sort of "url shortener" providing the service now:

Apologies if someone else mentioned this already and I missed it in the discussion.

Comment Teamatic/Elementool/Redmine (Score 1) 221

I have used, in the past, Teamatic ( and - their offering may have changed in the last few years so check exactly what you can do for "free".


Comment Re:Issue for me is pattern recognition. (Score 1) 204

I have a similar problem (even if it looks way milder than those described here and in the OP).

I use an iPhone app called NatureSpace ( - even just the free soundtracks included in the basic version help me focus by covering human conversation (when I am trying to read during a commute, for example).

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