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Comment Re:Or just go back to the way things were before (Score 1) 5

This is personal to me. A friend I knew in high school, went into the service with, and kept in touch with couldn't afford insurance and caught appendicitis. It ruined his credit and nearly his family. In 1992 when he had a heart attack, he just laid down and died rather than calling 911.

That's what happens in the US when you work full time and can't afford insurance.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Sixteen: The Final Chapter 2

It's that time of year again. The time of year when everyone and their dog waxes nostalgic about all the shit nobody cares about from the year past, and stupidly predicts the next year in the grim knowledge that when the next New Year comes along nobody will remember
that the dumbass predicted a bunch of foolish shit that turned out to be complete and utter balderdash. I might as well, too. Just like I did last year (yes, a lot of this was pasted from last year's final chapter).

Comment Re:Has the Internet Killed Curly Quotes? (Score 1) 207

The most common way of highlighting special items such as filenames, functions, variables, command-line invocations and suchlike in documentary text is to put them in an alternate font, sometimes italics or bold. In code, quote-characters mark the beginning and end of a string to be displayed, and there are escape-conventions for including the same quote characters within the string as part of it. As far as the compiler looking at that is concerned only the non-escaped quote characters at the ends are taken as meaning begin and end string.

If there is something more of a nontechnical work, say, a novel where protagonists A and B are discussing their concerns raised by the absence of a file and the spelling of its name, it might be useful to show what we could call human and non-human audience quote characters. But here the audience is human, and we are known to be pretty good at understanding even when faced with moderately severe syntax errors.

Consider also the convention in print that long quotations that go over several paragraphs have open quote characters at the beginning of each paragraph, but only one closing quote character at the end. Useful for human readers, but makes for many complications to a system that expects quote-characters to appear in pairs separating what is inside and outside.

Comment Re:So annoying (Score 1) 207

Indeed, they also would confuse us using those fancy text-figure numerals that makes lowercase o and zero indistinguishable, just so that even if you can read and ignore the curly-ness of the quotes, you won't be able to get this other distinction right when it isn't obvious from context. Same for uppercase I and lowercase l in most sans-serif fonts, but copy-and-paste might be able to handle these. It it wasn't for these stupid quotes of course...

It all comes from having overloaded some characters: the ASCII 0x22 character has been pressed into service for denoting inches, seconds of arc, beginning a quote, ending a quote, ditto mark. Similarly, there is the characters for minus, em-dash, en-dash, hyphen all being represented by ASCII 0x2d. So how do we know which ones we will want to use? I can think of writing prose where the storyline might have to include pieces of programming code, and thus will want to have all these different ones there at the same time.

Comment Re:Not subsidies (Score 1) 16

Teslas and other electrical cars do not have VAT charged on the sale price, and once on the road it can be driven for free on all the toll roads and toll-enclosed city centers. Annual registration charge is also the minimum rate otherwise applicable to veteran cars, older than 30 years, and they are allowed in most of the bus and taxi lanes. The term subsidy has been used for this, maybe it should be called tax relief, or incentives, or something else. However, whether the government pays extra for something or just refrains from charging taxes on something doesn't make much of a difference in the end: it does make these cars much more popular than they would have been otherwise.

Now as for autonomous cars in this place where the winter is an inferno in white with snow or an inferno in black with the grime and mud produced by salt and studded tires grinding up the pavement ending up all over the cars and the road; snow or mud covering road markings such as the center, lane divider, and edge lines (provided there are any there at all) -- then add the unique tendency of Oslo pedestrians to wander into the street in front of anything that moves (cars, buses, streetcars, bicyclists) never mind trafic lights... and the large population of moose and deer in the woodlands all over the place which isn't exactly known for their good traffic discipline either, and it is going to be really interesting to see how this experiment turns out!

Comment Re:Garages? (Score 1) 11

Think about the power to weight ratio--with as little as a plastic vehicle with a passenger or two would weigh on Ceres, the ratio would be very high, especially after they found the ferromagnetics in the belt that could be magnetized a hundred times as strong as today's (that story, "The Pirate", is still in edit), replace the magnets in a 100 watt motor with them, and one watt will run that motor as well as 100 did the old.

They already had real moon buggies, they're still up there. They used wheels, but the moon is a LOT heavier than Ceres.

Imagine playing basketball on Ceres? I might add that to a story, there were microgravity sports in "Mars, Ho!".

Comment Re:Hard drive or software? (Score 1) 106

I don't back up daily, more like weekly, plus whenever I have a rash of new data. I keep the backup drive unplugged except when backing up, and never in s thunderstorm. Losing my non-backed up data would only hurt a little, it isn't like I'll lose a 10,000 customer database or anything.

Before I retired, backups were automatically done daily by software. I had to change the backup tapes weekly.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Santa Killed My Dog!

They say that Santa's coming,
He comes 'round every year.
He comes he'll meet a shotgun slug
'cause he ain't welcome here.

Five years ago this Christmas
The fatass came around
With jingle bells and ho ho hos
And looking like a clown.

He came in for a landing
As I let out a yawn
My house is pretty little
So he landed on the lawn.

Comment Re: Don't give him ideas (Score 1) 555

Those were all bad presidents. My grandmother, born in 1903, said Coolidge caused the depression but Hoover was a terrible president, too. Most historians consider Lincoln's predecessor, James Buchanan, .was history's worse.

I never thought I'd ever see a worse president than Carter, but GW proved me wrong.

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