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Not a native speaker either, but "will" vs "shall" is awfully complicated, at least if you try to speak Southern English: http://www.bartleby.com/116/213.html

For practical international usage, I was taught to always use "will", except in first-person questions such as "shall we go?".


Fascinating. As a native northern-US speaker, I literally had no idea how these used to work until now. (I guess most people know this, but here the sense you mentioned is the only one acceptable in speech; otherwise, "shall" sounds more commanding than "will" but archaic; and "should" always means "ought to".)


As a native German speaker, the way I understand it is (generally):

sollen = shall

sollten = should

werden = will

würden = would


Werden wir gehen? = Will we go?

Sollen wir gehen? = Shall we go?

Sollten wir gehen? = Should we go?

Würden wir gehen? = Would we go?

At least Google Translate seems to agree with me (although of course it recommends "Are we going to go?" for the first one).

In other words:

"Would" is speculative but about behaviour: "If this happened, would we do that?" (i.e. does this accurately describe our behaviour?) "I wouldn't do that if I were you..." (you aren't going to see me engage in that kind of behaviour and it's probably a good idea to follow my example)

"Should" is speculative but about obligations: "If this happened, should we do that?" (i.e. are we morally obliged to do that?, or: is it a good idea to do that?) "I shouldn't eat this cake..." (I may or may not eat the cake, but I know it's not a good idea to do so)

"Will" is also about the future but fairly objective: "When this happens, will we do that?" (Yes/No/Maybe) "I will not buy this record, it is scratched!" (Me buying this record isn't going to happen and there is no reason to doubt this prediction)

"Shall" is about an imminent decision: "Now that this has happened, shall we do that?" (Yes/No/Maybe) / "I shall eat this cake!" (I have decided to eat this cake and wish to inform you about my intent)

Of course those rules of thumb aren't entirely foolproof.

"Thou shalt not kill" (or "You shall not kill") is different because it is a command. It makes the decision for you. If it were "you should not kill", it still leaves it up to you to actually follow through on that command.

I'm not entirely sure about Fowler's description of "I will" as "it is my will to". This seems to contradict the equivalent usage of "ich werde" in German (where "ich will" actually means "I want", merely declaring a desire -- e.g. "I want a pony" doesn't mean you are intent on acquiring a pony it just means you'd really prefer having a pony over your present state of pony-non-ownership).

EDIT: Also note that in German "werde" can also mean "to become" (and "bekomme" means "receive", leading to the common mixup "I become a hamburger" at fast food parlors). Going by that meaning "I will kill you" could also be read as "I {am most certainly going to become} {a person who kills} you"). There's probably a clever observation of the usage of nouns and verbs here for a proper linguist.


According to http://stackoverflow.com/a/1573715 the IEEE-754 committee decided to make NaN != NaN in order for programmers to have a simple way of detecting NaN before there was a standardized isnan function or macro.


I'm lacking sleep a bit here, but wouldn't NaN == NaN do the same trick?


Yes, if you take the false result to be the indication that you have a NaN. Either polarity comparison will work, if you correctly interpret its result.


Show me a video of that half-hour conference presentation, and it takes me half an hour. Give me a well-written report with the same ideas, and I'm done in ten minutes, and understand the ideas at least as well as if I had watched the video.


Yes. This is sometimes called The Strong Law of Small Numbers, see e.g. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/StrongLawofSmallNumbers.html and https://www.maa.org/sites/default/files/pdf/upload_library/2...


Somewhat roguelike, but since it was played on a teletype, you have a separate "look around" command that prints out a section of the map (line 06390). The undocumented command 10 (line 10730) prints the whole map, and another undocumented command 12 (line 11000) invokes a simple map editor.

The dungeon files contain just 25*25 numbers, and looking at line 02370 onwards their meanings are: 0 for empty space, 1 for wall, 2 for trap, 3 for secret door, 4 for door, 5 for monster, 6 for gold, 7 and 8 perhaps mushrooms (they increase your HP or CON by 1, then randomly choose whether to poison you; they are randomly scattered when reading the dungeon file on line 01445 onward).


I live in Helsinki and have tried this service a couple of times. Every time I have had the whole van for myself, except once there was a journalist doing a story on the fancy new service. It's not really fair to compare the price to a single bus ride: if you live in Helsinki and don't own a car, you already have a monthly ticket and the incremental cost of getting on a bus is zero. This is in effect a cheap taxi that's a little less convenient.

What I think they're really doing is getting around Finland's taxi permit system (there's a limited number of taxi permits so there is no real competition) by building a taxi-like service that can only pick you up and drop you off at bus stops, which apparently avoids getting the vans classified as taxis.


Nah, the service is not private but public transport project, and it isn't viable business. The trips are covered by the tax money paid by you (and me). There is no way a taxi trip could cost $5 using that kind of vehicle. You also have to factor in the operational costs and note that the cars are Mercedez Benz vans with wifi etc.


Well, yeah, it's the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority getting around another branch of government (it's the ELY-keskus that gives out taxi permits, part of the state instead of the city). I agree that there is no way this can be a profitable business now, but if they can get a sufficient user base it could become one.


The Kutsuplus van operators are required to have either a taxi permit or a public transport permit, which is also granted by ELY but much easier to get: http://www.ely-keskus.fi/en/web/ely-en/trafik

Ajelo Oy has projected that the service would be sustainable at 100 vans and profitable at 1000 vans.


On the subject of supply constrained taxi permits, here's an interesting NPR story on NYC's taxi medallions:



There's http://www.peerageofscience.org/ which is trying to fix the problem of peer-review quality and speed: instead of submitting to a sequence of journals and waiting for reviews from each one before you can submit to the next one, you would first get your paper properly reviewed and then offer it to journal editors. There would be some kind of peer control of review quality, so reviewers would have an incentive to do a good job.

That company is explicitly not trying to do anything about evil publishing houses, but if it takes off, it will move one part of the publishing process out of the control of publishers, into the hands of scientists. If reviews through this system get to be known for high quality, then maybe a good review from them for your open-access paper will be more prestigious than getting it published in an Elsevier journal.


One thing that many commentators seem to ignore is what exactly the PISA tests measure. For example, the PISA math problems (http://www.pisa.oecd.org/dataoecd/38/51/33707192.pdf) are very specifically meant to assess how well students can solve pretty easy problems that could occur in their lives and where basic math literacy is needed, and the PISA exam is given to a random sample of all students. Contrast this with the International Mathematical Olympiad (results at http://www.imo-official.org/country_team_r.aspx?code=FIN) which measures how well the very best students do on very hard problems.

It should not be surprising that an education system emphasizing social equality instead of individual excellence performs well when you measure how well the average student does on an easy problem. It just shows that Finland's and PISA's values align well with each other.


I have a static IP, and I'm pretty sure that no-one at my home has downloaded the tv episode this service mentions. It's of course not entirely impossible that someone has hacked my wifi router, but I think that is less probable than it is for some random web service to show some made-up data.


Some trackers inject fake peers.



Part of Langner's point is that if you can insert code into the PLC, which Stuxnet shows you how to do, you don't need any insider information to create a damaging payload. Just stop the PLC from running after a given date, or for thirty seconds every half hour, or whatever. The PLC is there for low-level, real-time control of actuators that direct some physical process, and once the control stops, the process will go on in some unwanted way.

Of course there are safeguards to prevent catastrophes, but even stopping some part of the automation in an industrial plant could easily cause serious problems such as damaged equipment and downtime for debugging.


you do need insider knowledge to know that the PLCs cessation of function would cause your effect. stuxnet didn't stop the PLCs, it changed their operation. how did they know what to change it to..?



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