Re: Partial Failures
You're switching one catastrophically bad and very hard to diagnose thing for one that's catastrophically bad but which I assume leaves a log with the exact problem somewhere. That's a pretty good improvement.
946 posts • joined 24 Nov 2007
"According to research from academics in Spain and the UK, this reluctance has been fuelled partially by an incident where the CIA used a hepatitis B vaccine drive in its search for Osama bin Laden. The operation sought to obtain DNA samples from infants in order to find a genetic match with the fugitive terrorist leader."
I didn't know that. That's horrible. Undermining trust in medicine ought to be a war crime.
At least part of it has to be this. I, for one, immediately hang up and blocklist anyone who calls from an unknown number and declares to represent an utility provider. They do not get a chance to explain. And it could be worse; I know several people who just don't answer to unknown numbers, period.
I am well aware that I might be missing on some relevant communication this way, but what else am I supposed to do? I get several such calls every day, and determining whether they are genuine takes a significant effort - and 99.99% of times they are either spam or scammers or both.
If my provider really needs to tell me something, they'll have to contact me via snail mail, or an email that I can recognize as genuine.
Or, even better, phone companies should take action to stop unsolicited calls for real, and then they may get to use the medium for its actual purpose again.
Not necessarily. It's true that corporations pass any increase in costs to the customers, but this makes them less competitive against companies that weren't dodging taxes to begin with (i.e. small/medium businesses). And more competition is just about the only thing that can actually lower prices for customers in reality.
Venus is substantially closer to the Sun than Earth. That probably accounts for a good bit of its temperature. However, Venus is a lot hotter than Earth - more than what can be attributed to its position alone. That's because its atmosphere is full of greenhouse gases that trap heat, or at least that's what we figure based on the data we have.
The point of the missions is to get more information about that. If there's some currently unknown planetary mechanism that can have a big effect on heat retention (in either direction), it would be really, really nice to know about it, given the current issues on Earth.
Fun fact: there's an altitude on Venus, high up in the sky, where both the temperature and pressure of the atmosphere are nice for humans (alas, the composition is still deadly, so no cloud cities).
The fundamental issue is that exponential growths are one of those things that the human mind is really, really bad at modelling. Another one is very low probability events, e.g. getting severe side effects from a vaccine.
For such concepts, you cannot just trust your instinct. You have to run the numbers, at least in a crude way. Problem is, the vast majority of people do not run the numbers on anything, ever, for any reason. They trust what their gut tells them. That includes politicians, and how could it be any different? The whole system is supposed to make them represent majorities, after all.
In late February, even first days of March 2020, I wasn't too worried about the virus.
Then I fit the numbers into an exponential model, and I still wasn't worried, because I just thought that it could not possibly be that bad, and surely I was just using an oversimplified model, and I am not an epidemiologist after all.
I only crapped myself when I saw that, 10 days later, the actual numbers matched my prediction to within a 1% margin. If I had been in charge of anything, that would have been 10 critical days wasted.
And that's me, with my STEM training and all. What chance does a regular Joe have, when half the media tells him to panic and the other half tells him to chill?
That "test" is testing for the wrong parameter. The problem being denounced is not "we are not raising enough taxes" or "we don't have enough money for the poor"; it's "the current taxation scheme is unfair". You can fix "we need money" with voluntary payments, but you cannot fix "unfair" that way. You just can't; it would literally be making the problem worse.
You can, of course, argue that the current system is not unfair at all, and that would be an opinion worth debating.
But people who don't share that opinion don't need to give to charity and/or voluntarily pay more taxes in order to be coherent. Because those actions don't do zilch to make the system more fair, and arguably work against that objective.
That doesn't work. You can't base a system around voluntary taxation, because it gives a strong competitive advantage to non-volunteers. Such a system is inherently unstable. Taxation must be as evenly spread as possible (for some vaguely reasonable definition of "even"); a voluntary basis is the opposite of that.
These people who protest, I'd wager the reason they protest is because they understand the above perfectly. So, no, volunteering money would be against the ideals they're pushing.
The original philosophy was extremely hostile to anything centralized. However, a currency that anyone can arbitrarily make more of doesn't work. Hence, decentralized but difficult to make.
I hear that other cryptocurrencies consume less power, but I don't know how that works in practice. It seems to me that any cryptocurrency must either be centralized at some point, or consume massive amounts of power as it becomes more successful. I don't understand how a decentralized-but-not-power-hungry scenario could be possible, and I'd welcome pointers in that direction.
"Sure electric vehicles may ultimately burn fossil fuels as well but they burn less than a directly fossil fuelled vehicle does because the generating apparatus can (usually) be run at peak efficiency whereas a fossil fuel powered car seldom does. The electric car therefore (as far as I can see) does less harm than those vehicles that it replaces."
Also, an EV can in principle become cleaner as the grid becomes cleaner, while an ICE would still be burning fossils even if we had a 100% green grid. In theory you can make clean synthetic fuel from green energy, but in practice the efficiency is horrible.
I was worried about this when I got a car with adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. It's not enough automation to allow you to just do something else, but it's enough to give your brain significantly less to do. I was concerned that driving would fall under the threshold of too boring to pay attention to.
In practice, it turns out that I use the spare bandwidth to pay a bit more attention to other objects besides the car directly in front and the lanes, e.g. cars on other lanes that look like they may switch without signaling, cars further ahead whose behavior may suggest problems ten seconds from now, things like that.
It's when you get enough automation that you start feeling like you could check your emails - that's where the real danger begins.
Can't talk about everyone else's, but lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control in my car generally behave very nicely towards cyclists or motorcyclists, in that they are considered the same thing as a car, i.e. the bike occupies the lane. By comparison, most human drivers will attempt to overtake a bike within the same lane, or only partially switching lane. I suspect that auto-pilot cars may easily turn out to be safer for bikes than human-driven cars.
Yeah... there isn't any reliable way to tell a phishing attempt by writing style alone. You also can't trust the sender address; it can be spoofed.
My main rule is to ask someone I trust for verification, before visiting any URL with a public-usage domain or a domain I don't know (remember to look at the actual link, and not at what the text says), or answering to an address from any such domain (remember to look at the reply-to field, and not at the from field). That should cover most cases.
Also, I assume anyone who calls me on the phone and tells me he's from my (or any, really) bank/utility company/insurance provider/whatever is a scammer until he can prove otherwise. No, knowing my name, date of birth, or other easily obtainable information, is not proof.
I'm about to go replace a DOS-based system that has been running for nearly 30 years. The new version has a WPF GUI. I fully expect the system to last 10-20 years. I don't give a carp that WPF won't be receiving any more updates. It's a framework that works, that has been around long enough that its bugs are either fixed or well-known, and if there's one thing I can trust Microsoft for, it's to keep legacy stuff running as long as it's reasonably possible.
Roughly two thirds are suicides. A very small amount are accidents. So, if you only count homicides, the number is "only" about 40 times bigger than in the UK. And yes, that's adjusted for population.
Honestly, if you want to attribute that to "public attitude", be my guest, but I would then argue that if the populace has *that* attitude, then they *most definitely* should not have firearms.
Switzerland and Israel are small countries. They also both have extremely unique historical and cultural traits that are not really seen anywhere else. Basically, you've cherry-picked the most outlying outliers there are.
I'm not saying you should ignore them, but you can't just pick them while ignoring Australia, UK, Japan and almost all of western Europe. If you put all the experiences with gun regulation in these countries together, even with the outliers, it's pretty clear that strict gun control makes the average citizen safer.
Chances are the resources required are greater than either, and I don't see how it could be otherwise given that the described setup is basically running both. I really don't think anyone, anywhere, has ever attempted to claim that WSL would be more efficient that straight Linux.
Obviously, you would not do this just to run gedit. But the point of the article is to demonstrate how WSL works, not how some big and complex piece of Linux software works.
Also, the ability to run simple things is a necessary stepping stone on the way to the ability to run complex things. If, every time a system got to that stage, people said "it only runs simple things, so it's pointless", we would not have systems that run complex things.
Why does this need to be a problem? Who said that it is desirable to have one IDE to rule them all? I've used both VS and VS Code, each for different purposes.
Yes, it would be nice to have an IDE that has all the features of VS but at the same is as fast as Code, and so wonderfully designed that the gazillion of features don't feel like bloat. And I understand that's really difficult to do in practice.
But, frankly, I can just use Code for some stuff, VS for some other, and be happy that way.
They can't. That's (part of) why there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the AI evangelists. There's this neat statistical analysis thing we call "AI" (but we probably shouldn't), and it has some fundamental hard-to-fix problems. One of the biggest is that, once you train it, it's a black box.
It may have retained some personally identifiable information, and it may not spit it out in millions of tests, and then spit it out in production for no discernable reason. It happened before, and nobody can prove their shiny new model won't do it again.
In order to be consistant with the spirit of GDPR, this type of model should either be demonstrably not trained on PII at all, or should be considered as itself containing PII and therefore not be released to the public. I suspect the new legislation will think along these lines.
Certain applications, while interesting and superficially harmless, will simply not be possible under such restrictions. Hence the wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Depends on the consultant. My personal philosophy is that I should never charge the customer for my own mistakes - whether in analysis or development or whatever. If it turns out that something I thought would take a week takes two, I do not charge an extra week. If bugs are found years after installation, I fix them for free.
Sometimes I lose money doing this, but I charge fairly large fees for my sector, so it evens out - however, my customers don't feel cheated by fees accruing for reasons they can't even understand, and I have a strong incentive to make tough-to-break and easy-to-use programs, because my margin lies in getting as few support calls as possible.
However, I work in industrial automation. I don't think my model could work in the fluffier sectors.
The trick is in the time scale. A Mars atmosphere will eventually escape, true, but you don't need it to last forever any more than you need to be able to build a house that lasts forever. It just needs to be reasonably easy to maintain.
Most claims that Mars had an atmosphere and subsequently lost it to space seem to imply that the process took many, many millions of years.
This means that, if you have the ability to terraform Mars in any time frame that makes sense for a human civilization, then maintaining the atmosphere afterwards would be an utterly trivial effort by comparison.
I can't run the actual math, but I wouldn't be surprised if you just needed to fling an ice-rich asteroid at it every hundred years or so. Any civilization capable of terraforming Mars would find such maintenance to be an irrelevant amount of effort.
The problem is not technical, it's philosophical. If you had an engineer who consistently made buildings that collapsed, you would not fix the issue by providing him with stronger structural materials; you would fix it by sacking him and getting another engineer. Or, even better, setting up a legal framework where people who can't build a stable house don't get to build any house at all, and if they do, they are personally liable.
Similarly, the fundamental issue cannot be fixed with better languages or better compilers or better OSes or better CPUs. Rather, the entire field needs to be rethought. But I don't see any way of doing that without making professional development so onerous that 90%+ of software companies fold, and the rest start charging 10x current prices.
Depends on what you mean with "DLL hell". I've always understood "DLL hell" to be the phenomenon where poor versioning of shared libraries can break an existing app in hard-to-diagnose ways. For example, an app could randomly decide to upgrade or uninstall a DLL, and break some other unrelated app that relied on it.
This is not an instance of that - .NET versioning is much better, so that existing .NET Framework apps will continue working just fine alongside new-style .NET Core apps.
This is more like an instance of, a new major version of your favorite framework is out, and it's not backwards compatible: you can keep using the old version and miss on the new features, or you can get the new features by investing significant work.
This situation happens all the time, not just in .NET - actually, .NET so far has been reasonably good at being backwards compatible compared to e.g. web development, where it seems to me that, if you want to stay up-to-date, you generally have to do major upgrade work every few months, and redo the app from scratch every couple of years.
Fatality rate is not the whole story. I hope you get better soon, but you should be aware that you have a substantial chance of needing multiple months to recover. A substantial number people still have symptoms after six months. Some are bad enough that they have difficulty working. I'm also young enough that death would be unlikely, but I really, really don't want to suffer fatigue or confusion for months and months.
Also, your mother is not attending MWC, but the man in the grocery line just ahead of her might have, the week earlier. Or the man's wife, two weeks earlier. Or the man's wife's boss, three weeks earlier. Or the man's wife's boss's husband, the previous month. Or... well, you get the point, I hope. Exponentials are nasty that way.
I'm sure people will find ways around this, but it's important to at least send the message that attempting to get people to do work out-of-contract is *bad*. I've got friends who are frankly being abused this way. Meetings getting scheduled for 9 PM, getting flak for not answering emails on Sunday, that sort of crap. It has to stop. You want this kind of availability, then pay consultant rates.
Visual Studio's project file format includes events, and that includes an event on project open. It's used to do things like update dependencies or whatnot, stuff that you may want to be done before build so that e.g. IntelliSense can work properly. With web development being the unholy mess that it is, people do all kinds of things with it.
I don't know when it was introduced, but it was probably there since they introduced XML project files. Which would be in, I dunno, 2005 or something like that?, definitely before 2010.
Anyway, I get being angry that you can get pwned by a spreadsheet or a fancy text file - but a vsproj? I mean, anyone who opens such a file is by definition a techie. They (should) know it contains scripts.
"History has shown us already what these kinds of tactics can eventually lead too, and it's not looking very sunny."
I agree wholeheartedly! Delegitimating the electoral process, openly discussing plans to murder opposition members, and breaking into parliaments to chase out regularly elected officials, has been shown time and again to lead to very dark places indeed.
O wait, that wasn't what you meant?
Putting those two in opposition is an extreme logical fallacy and research on renewables is fairly well-funded, but nevermind that. Exactly why would you shift resources from space exploration towards renewable energy, instead of shifting them from e.g. the military, or subsidies on entertainment (or on fossil fuels), or any of a long, long list of public monies that don't help anything that could conceivably be called "progress", and in some cases are larger than space exploration expenditure by entire orders of magnitude?
I still get a request like that every now and then, and it never ceases to astonish me. You've been customizing a bit of software for 20 years, how can you possibly think to just randomly find a bit of free software somewhere that does exactly the same stuff? Or that re-applying the same 20 years of customizations to a bit of free software is somehow going to also be free?
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