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Comment Re:Its pretty important... (Score 1) 305

I'm actually pretty impossible to please in this department. I would like to see yet still more indication that the problem is well understood. Predictions that are precise to 15 digits, and that unlike all other scientific endeavors don't need to be "corrected" post hoc would do most of it for me.

But that's the thing: it is very well understood, and scientists have made many predictions that are panning out. No one's ever going to say "the earth will get x.xxxxxxx% warmer on this date". Predictions are in the form of "we believe the atmosphere will get between x and y% warmer, with a confidence of z". And they've been accurate as stated. Any claims to the contrary are radical restatements of history.

Comment Re:Its pretty important... (Score 1) 305

Question: what would it take to get you to admit that measurably rising sea levels due to climate change is causing problems? We're losing goddamn Louisiana to it. Literally everyone who studies this stuff for a living agrees with this. No one seriously doubts it. But you'd rather blame some river hacking for literally submerging Louisiana.

What are you going to blame when we lose Florida? Is there a convenient river there to point the finger at? What ungodly amount of river water is flowing through the Solomon Islands that's causing them to disappear7?

Comment Re:Sponsors? (Score 2) 215

How can an artificial sweetener that is not absorbed by the body, like sucralose, have any physical effect, unless the brain hates being tricked and is getting even.

Nailed it. From Wash U med school:

The elevated insulin response could be a good thing, she pointed out, because it shows the person is able to make enough insulin to deal with spiking glucose levels. But it also might be bad because when people routinely secrete more insulin, they can become resistant to its effects, a path that leads to type 2 diabetes.

Basically, the part of your digestive tract that identifies incoming sugar and triggers an insulin release can't tell the difference between sugar and sweeteners. That's not a shocker: if our taste buds can be tricked, it's not crazy to imagine that our sugar-detecting circuits are also fallible. When your body is continually flooded with elevated insulin, it becomes resistant to it. Another term for insulin resistance is type 2 (adult onset) diabetes.

Comment Re:Don't forget about open source projects. (Score 2) 286

I don't think that's a good analogy. Most things in life are fungible: while we might prefer Safeway's canned corn to Costco's, for all intents and purposes one can substitute for the other. Marketing aside, Shell and ExxonMobil gasoline are mostly identical. I like Levis jeans, but there are other brands on the market and my Kohl's shirt and Target socks are 100% compatible (well, my wife might make fun of my pairings, but I don't go into anaphylaxis if the brands don't match).

The same is true for Debian and Red Hat - while I have my preferences, software I write on one will run on the other with minimal tweaking. Linux is the product I need and there are many, many vendors who will provide it to me. If Red Hat closes tomorrow, I'm a couple of Dockerfile lines away from not noticing or caring. That's absolutely not true of macOS or Windows. Again, I don't think Apple or Microsoft is likely to pull the plug on them tomorrow, but they could (and have) so substantially modify them that stuff no longer runs unchanged on them. If/when they do, there's literally not a thing you or I could do about it but ride the unsupported legacy tail as long as we can while we rushedly port to new platforms.

Comment Re:Don't forget about open source projects. (Score 5, Insightful) 286

I disagree. RMS is supremely practical over long periods of time. His core message is "if you tie your fate to something you don't control, you will get burned." I've never seen this not be correct. Vendors come and go. Sometimes they change their pricing model from reasonable to extortionate. Maybe they discontinue features that were critical to you. Perhaps they throw away the whole thing and start over. But whatever form it takes, the end result is the same: if you can't control it, it will control you.

Apple and Microsoft have probably been the best major companies for keeping their changes small and manageable. Eventually you had to migrate off VB6. Eventually you had to click the "also compile this for Intel" checkbox in Xcode. But that doesn't change the fact that if you use their platforms, you are subject to their business decisions, even when they conflict with yours.

Perhaps hypocritically, I'm typing this on a Mac. I've decided that given Apple's track record, they're probably not going to yank the rug out from under me overnight. But you can bet that all the code I write is in FOSS languages and deployed to FOSS operating systems. I can change my desktop OS - with some pain and gnashing of teeth to be sure - without compromising the things I design. That's because RMS is correct: he's convinced many of us that it's practical to choose open platforms instead of closed shininess where it really matters.

Comment Re:No trackpoint (Score 1) 163

ALL trackpads are ass. Only the worst of the Apple fanboys claim Apple trackpads are good. They're not. It's simply an inferior tool.

So no, you haven't used Apple trackpads. Gotcha. So, I'm sitting at my work desk surrounded by all sorts of things plugged into my Mac - monitors, keyboards, etc. There's plenty of room on my desk for a mouse. And yet I have a Magic Trackpad because - wait for it! - it suits me better than a mouse. I have gaming mice at home, but at work the trackpad is much more comfortable.

It's OK that you don't like them. To each their own. But you can't objectively claim that Apple's trackpads are bad, because plenty of people who use both devices and have the money for any kind they want still choose the trackpads. We're not buying them because we have Apple neck tattoos or some crack. We buy them because we like them more.

"I prefer mice" is justifiable and reasonable. "It's simply an inferior tool" makes you sound like... an inferior tool.

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