>Aside from the prefix ordering, Common Lisps syntax is already a bit more elegant because you can set arbitrarily many variables without repeating the assignment operator over and over again:
; Have to type out `=` three times x = 10 y = 20 z = 30 ; But only one `setf` required (setf x 10 y 20 z 30)
When the economy was growing like crazy in the 80s, Japan had the most expensive real estate on the planet, and the same zoning they do now.
This was a great post. Mixed use cities are generally much more desirable in my eyes. The American suburbs are a blight on the land which make our nation so much more carcentric than it needs to be spreading the population out and reducing the efficacy of our now underfunded and sprawled out public transportation system.
Of course it's not a shocker that such a system evolved in a nation with such a staggering amount of land available to it's citizens who live and have lived in a nation with huge amounts of racial segregation.
The idea of a set of national guidelines makes sense from an engineering perspective because small towns can't afford engineers often (or may not even think to seek out their expertise) and in the end you have a group of individuals with no qualifications determining the fate of their town with arbitrarily decided rules.
And rating things by their nuisance (traffic plus noise) levels is a really neat way to quantify whether a building should exist in a given area.
Awesome! Lots of new things to entertain the mind.
While the Japanese system is implemented and managed on the national level, I can imagine this being more effective on a more granular level, while still being much higher up than the city level as to avoid the political repercussions of local special interest landowners.
I remember my mind being blown by barcodes. But the idea seemed far-fetched and unrealistic. To put a barcode on EVERY single item in the grocery store? That would take decades to implement!
Then we emigrated to Canada and I was shocked to see it was already in place (and must have been for a while).
Maybe this isn't the best example of tremendous human achievement but it taught me to not take for granted what is unrealistic and how quickly humanity could achieve it if we put our minds to it.
With apologies to Cliff Stoll and his magnificent brain, let's not forget a pretty common perspective on the Internet from 1995: http://europe.newsweek.com/clifford-stoll-why-web-wont-be-ni...
Space exploration and rocketry is not cheap, and requires new innovation. Only SpaceX is doing anything on that front. But if humanity set getting to Proxima Centauri as a goal, I have no doubt we could achieve at least kicking off a single-generation journey within my lifetime (ie sub-80 year journey time in the next 80 years)
This is nonsense. The point is that the exoplanet was (potentially) found orbiting the nearest star, which means it's as close as it can be.
The only real solution will be some kind of essentially magical faster than light technology - never say never, but it doesn't seem likely without some staggering breakthroughs in areas of physics we don't even have an inkling about.
Maybe it's the American exceptionalism and internalization of Manifest Destiny as the natural order of things, but the idea of being effectively stuck, as a species, on this one rock for eternity is pretty depressing. Especially if that is the fate, not just of ourselves, but of all life intelligent enough to look up at the stars and imagine walking among them. If the best we can hope for is a Motey-like Malthusian cycle, it's not much to look forward to.
> We'd need a whole raft of breathroughs, including radiation shielding techniques to kick the interstellar medium out of the way of the probe
Game changer for nuclear power and propulsion, in terms of safety. If we did this with matter, that means we can get closer to hot things . If we did this with energy, ha! - we can now start harvesting edge-of-magnetosphere antimatter and explore mining and terraforming using directed energy.
> as well as some sort of beam propulsion system
If we can beam massive amounts of power out that means we (a) have massive amounts of power up there and (b) can beam (a) home .
> and then some way of getting data back home across interstellar distances
Either we figured out how to keep lasers (or some other stream of stuff) columnar over super-long distances or we broke new ground in information theory. Either way, getting a grainy picture home from Proxima Centauri on an apple of an energy budget means getting lots more closer to home around faster and more efficiently.
Holy cow, that's multiple times longer than humanity has even existed as a civilization, and in all likelihood it might perish before that probe could even make it there. What a reality check. I don't think incremental improvements are going to cut it for space travel.
Lots of people have no clue just how big the solar system is, and how small the planets are in comparison. (Never mind the distance to exoplanets). Here's one video that gives a nice demonstration using a soccer ball and pin heads, from Mark Rober (who worked on a Mars rover at Nasa): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR5VJo5ifdE
Whenever one of these articles comes out I like to think of this fun paper:  Are Black Hole Starships Possible?", http://arxiv.org/pdf/0908.1803
 https://xkcd.com/936/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole_starship
The Project Orion design was for 10% of light speed, and didn't assume any scientific breakthroughs like fusion - it would require a massive amount of engineering , but the core technology (that used in nuclear weapons) was mature in the '70s.
We're still talking about a 40+ year journey, for a craft whose cost was estimated at $367B at the time - about $2.5T now. It's not easy by any means. But it is doable. We'll get there.
It's fun to think of probe-based exploration, but apart from acceleration/energy based problems we haven't even figured out how to make machines last that long. This is all very, very far off.
I agree. It's high time we started on near light speed space travel.
Wrong. It is, quite literally, just about a order of magnitude better.
The author states:
"We might get a small probe up to arbitrarily high velocities if we cheat by using an engine that stays back home where we can keep it running, but then we run into other problems."
Does anyone know which rocket propulsion technology he is referring to there? In the paragraph before he is referring to plasma beam but he doesn't say what this is.
Even with current technology, a hyper-telescope could be self-assembled in space, built from billions of 3-d printed & smoothened mirror segments, all aligned to half wavelength of visible light. We need to have a 1000px x 1000px resolution of earth-like planets out to 100 light years away, which would be several thousand miles in diameter.
From the perspective of colonization: by the time future sentients descended from or created by present humanity get to other planetary systems, we-for-some-definition-of-we would be capable of living anywhere, and space and novelty will be things that you get by computing more efficiently, not by going places.
From the perspective of adding data to the Fermi Paradox: assessing the possibilities of life being out there by looking for places in which bacteria of the known varieties could survive probably tells us little about the true range of life.
From the perspective of resource assessment: by the time descendant entities get to other systems, it won't much matter how the matter there is distributed. It will used efficiently whether a gas disk, rock and ice condensations, or (improbably) somehow all in the star.
Edit; probably a bit too much self promotion, as commented below.
I remember some cool shops in Montana where you could buy slabs for $20. Awesome for science class
As someone who speaks Chinese, I got a chuckle out of reading 'put your favorite snack in your and t it!' due to the association in my mind of that character and its Chinese pronunciation, immediately followed by a 't'.
An interesting consequence of this is that you only need to learn around 3000 symbols to read a Chinese newspaper, just like how you can ascertain the meaning of an unfamiliar English word by having knowledge of a small set of Latin/Greek roots.
Languages are weird, man.
It is really interesting that in China people often ask their friends '? (Have you eaten?)' rather than ' (Hi)' in daily life. So initially I thought this post was describing something in Chinese w/o my noticing the URL.
Also, why is translated as "Eclipse" in Google?
It was/is far easier to ensure redundancy of scripts and books since the costs of reprinting/copying was far lower compared to other forms of phonetic systems.
The compactness explains how so many archaic, buddhist scripts could survive to this day.
And when you get to more complicated characters like it becomes even more confusing.
I've just spent the last few hours learning all about languages how they developed and each culture's spin on adding as much meaning as efficiently as possible to written symbols. I've always loved languages so this was more of a brush up plus learning.
It seems and rightly so ambiguity is death to any characters and efficiency is also fundamental to the character.
I'm not Korean but I like their style literally I like how their language style is so efficient in context to mouth position. It was created because Chinese characters didn't suit Korean language. Japan also streamlined Chinese characters to better suit their culture.
Mayan is another wild language full of meaning in such compact symbols. I had a hard time following their characters.
I was like ()!!!
I have no , but I must ...
Edit: Nevermind, HN swallowed the Emojis.
I recognized what the author is doing from the start as a Chinese speaker.
By the way, I'm happy your site is rockin! I saw it when you launched candyjapan and I am happy for you =)
English has 26 letters, but there are 40+ sounds; which is to say that there are NOT symbols for all the sounds.
Each one has more than 1 reading, a particular stroke order, and many other things.
If king is , kingly is ly, and royal is al, what is regal?
If mouth is and mouthed is ed, why would ate be t rather than ed?
Japan misinterpreted the Chinese writing system (already terrible) into easily the worst writing system known to mankind. It won't look cute when you go beyond two symbols.
Other articles are fine. Reload, clear cache and reload didn't help.
EDIT: Unflagged and sorry for the noise. I clicked on the article's domain and not on the article's title () just as fenomas suspected.
The TechCrunch article didn't address this specifically, but the license for MaxScale requires a MariaDB Enterprise Subscription if you use MaxScale with just 3 or more database servers at your company.
Since MaxScale is a proxy, it isn't particularly useful for companies that only have 1 or 2 database servers, except as a very limited trial. So this move effectively makes MaxScale commercial software for most production use. This is a strange business decision, considering there are other third-party proxies available, such as ProxySQL, that have same (or better) functionality and no requirement for purchasing a commercial license.
I also wonder how MariaDB Enterprise Subscription pricing works for companies that just want to use MaxScale to connect to stock Oracle MySQL or Percona Server MySQL? Seems strange to tie the licensing to MariaDB Enterprise even for companies that just want to use MaxScale alone. Although a good proxy takes a lot of development work, it's still tiny compared to building a relational database. I wouldn't expect the two to be priced the same.
There was a culture of fear for open source promulgated by proprietary vendors and major consultancies in the early 00's - the "know the facts" campaign by Gartner and Microsoft springs to mind.
Although this idea is generally dead now, the scars live on in the purchasing and licencing approval flows at many large enterprises.
I am familiar with several organisations where a paid for software licence can be acquired with nothing more than trivial approval for the spend. Yet adoption of an open source product requires multi layer approval of the licence and recording of licence risk against the project.
There is a valid case for that due diligence but its not a particularly strong case and if it were the reason for this situation, then proprietary software licences would be subject to the same scrutiny.
My one concern is that the thrifty users will ride the expiration line, installing versions that don't cost money but which are outdated. I can see where that would be an acceptable tradeoff in many situations where the latest-and-greatest is not required. But from a security aspect I wonder if that also means that vulnerability fixes would only be available to the paying users. They are definitely worth paying for, no doubt; but would that then foster an ecosystem of not-really-patched installations out there?
(Then again, that might not be that different from the current situation.)
I worked at a startup and companies would want us to put a version of the software into escrow and were wary of us going under, giving them something like this would have been perfect.
I mean, it's genius from the business side. Unless i got the story wrong, he sold MySQL after people helped him create it. Forked it, and now it's turning the fork into MySQL/Oracle profit cow.
Either somebody correct me, or I'm going to assume "for as long as there's are sheep..."
I've seen sites do this like readme.io but can you do that for a software library?
Sold. I will be moving my project searchcode server over to this within a week.
The open source freemium is cool, though. Those are two powerful forces.
Are we supposed to take this seriously?
However, it actually sounds like a great idea to me, and a great way for companies to make money licensing software to commercial users while still keeping it free and open source for individuals, while providing a safety mechanism in case the company goes belly-up.