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The situation may differ greatly among fields? For CS, ACM digital library is $99/yr which is pretty reasonable (I've been paying it for years and willing to chip in that range even ACM allows the author to put up the submitted version on his/her own site for free). I do occasionally hit paywalls of other publishes, and wish they make non-member per-article fee cheaper---like $5 or $10 instead of $35; they might set the per-article price that high to encourage institutions to sign up the package?

I'm not a researcher though, so my pursuit of papers are mostly purely interest-driven and can be given up easily. If you need to survey large number of papers I'd imagine the fee quickly accumulates.


Using macro fails if I happen to pass a variable named _args as one of the arguments to bar(). Is there any clever trick to simulate gensym in C macro?

Usually for those situations I just try to pick something that's a little more unique (maybe __bar_args). For things that end up defining globals I've used this technique before:

    #define CAT2(a,b) a##b
    #define CAT(a,b) CAT2(a,b)
    #define Unique(symbol) CAT(symbol, __LINE__)
and then use

    #define my_useless_macro(value) \
        static int Unique(__macro_var_name) = value
…with the (large?) caveat that it won't work if you put 2 on the same line:

    my_useless_macro(0); // works
    my_useless_macro(1); my_useless_macro(2); // Fails
If you expect to call my_usless_macro() multiple times on a line (hint, macro expansions are always on the same line), then you might put an extra optional parameter in there with __VA_ARGS__, like this:

    #define my_useless_macro2(value,...) \
        static int Unique(CAT(__macro_var_name, __VA_ARGS__)) = value
and then this will work:

    my_useless_macro2(1,a); my_useless_macro2(2,b); // works
    #define doubly_useless(a,b)    \
        my_useless_macro2(a, __1); \
        my_useless_macro2(b, __2)
    doubly_useless(3,4);
The C preprocessor is a bit of big hacky mess, but you can do some fairly powerful (and often type safe) things with it.

This is clever. I agree that usually just picking some obscure name would suffice. Fun to know nevertheless.

The magic __COUNTER__ macro supported by some compilers can be used to simulate gensym.

Thanks. Never realized gcc had it.

Either side can be responsible. Communication is a mutual process, and if your goal is to communicate, you have to do what you can do---if you're writing, try various tactics to find which one can penetrate the reader's precognition. The reader, otoh, try various way to interpret what's written to make sense.

If communication fails, then it's a loss for both side. You can blame another side but that doesn't make things better...

It's interesting that pg has already written how difficult a nonconventional idea to be heard. This can be another instance. It might take 10 more essays. Not the direct rebuttal like this, but tackling the issue from different angle and/or different abstraction level; e.g. ok, how could we attack wealth influencing politics?

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No, the station isn't staffed since 1983. I think the photo with a desk, books and timetable is a waiting room.

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Sadly it is pretty common that someone copy & paste some witty tweet and get attention. There's even a service to discover that. In Japanese it is called pakutsui (pakuri (= plagiarism) + tsui (= tweet)).

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It doesn't need to be the default/transparent behavior, isn't it? Mechanisms like LD_PRELOAD can be used for the same purpose in more controlled way.

Not having the current directory in PATH / LD_LIBRARY_PATH is a well-known wisdom now to avoid inadvertent interference. I suspect Windows behavior is more like an overlook, designed when environment was less hostile, but now they can't change because of the backward compatibility. It's not a vulnerability per se, but a bad choice in retrospect, imho.

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It was a design decision from a time when software management was non-existent. "Installing" meant creating a directory in the root of the hard drive and copying all your files there. Shared libraries didn't exist.

But this type of exploit still existed even under MS-DOS in the form of BBS door hacks. Remote access systems would let you run external programs connected to the serial line. But some would leave the CWD in the download directory after an upload thus allowing you to send a file with the name of an external program then when you activate that program you have a shell.

The solution then still applies today: Don't run external programs without sanitizing your environment. Quarantine all uploads. Don't allow the remote client to control the filename of uploads.

And it's not like Windows doesn't have an executable bit on files. The shell already prompts you for permission to run downloaded programs. Why is it not clearing execute permission by default then adding it when the file is confirmed safe? (I know from experience that a non-executable ACL will prevent a DLL from loading.)

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That was added as part of XP SP2 as an ADS I think.

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> I suspect Windows behavior is more like an overlook

I prefer to have dynamically loaded libraries (dll's) but never shared locations, other than for OS level libraries and runtimes (which are rarely installed by applications). Everything I manage myself I prefer to keep in the application directories. This is also the normal behaviour of application installers on windows.

    \app1\app1.exe 
    \app1\somelib-1.0.dll

    \app2\app2.exe 
    \app2\somelib-1.1.dll
Now it is pretty reasonable that the application searches for dependencies somewhere relative to the directory of the application. This has several benefits but a few security drawbacks 1) hijacking is possible since the current directory is used, 2) if there is a security vulnerability in somelib, you have to patch all applications that use it. I much prefer this to the idea of applications installing files to a shared location on my disk however.

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His previous bookstore had also a gallery space for rent, so it may be the case that this new store's model is actually closer to a gallery---author or sponsor may pay some fee. Just guess; I couldn't find an official document stating so.

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That's plausible. Indeed it would be pretty hard to break even without an alternative business model: books usually have a MRSP printed on the jacket and charging more than the MRSP is unusual; plus the rent in Ginza is over 400usd per sq m.

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The published MSRP is an issue, but generally books are available at wholesale for 40% off. So there is still a decent margin to start from, rent and staffing quickly eat into that cut. It's all about sales volume. Most mainstream hardcovers are around $16-35; after markup would be about $6.40-$14/copy in gross profit.

I used to work at an independent bookstore that had a niche for local and regional(WV/Appalachia) authors and stories. This worked great as we were in a tourist area, so the influx of new customers was readily available.

For local customers we offered custom orders, to address issues with limited supply. Though it would be cheaper to go to Amazon, a large portion of the community are artists and craftsmen so they liked to encourage the local economy.

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As patio11 mentioned in the sibling response, it is likely that family members had signed as guarantors. It is very common that the landlord demands that, even for short-term lease.

If family members aren't guarantors, then there's technically no legal ground for landlords to sue the family members. But just being sued is a big stigma in Japan. If the family member has certain social position there's a strong incentive to avoid being sued, or to settle it asap if they are actually sued.

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This just raises more questions. If the transfer of liability to family members isn't a thing wouldn't this just be thrown out at first hearing as a frivolous lawsuit?

And it's shameful to be sued but not shameful to file obviously frivolous lawsuits, or at the very least being the subject of a frivolous lawsuit would imply no shaming?

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Assuming the family members aren't a guarantor, I think it's highly likely that they can win if they go to the court. But even if they're not liable legally, they tend to feel morally responsible and reluctant to fight in court.

Note that I'm not sure what the actual contract terms were in those cases in the article. I suspect it's a guarantor thing. It's very very common to have parents or relatives signed, even if you're an adult.

And I also assume that who actually filed a lawsuit was the property managing company, and some of those companies doesn't care much about reputation. When the issue is between individuals, it's not as common to take it to the court as in US.

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Right, for direct guarantors it makes sense. But there's also occasionally news from Japan of "Japan Rail [..] charg[ing] families of suicide victims more than US $2 million" e.g. covered in this reddit thread:

https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/1khj2n/til_i...

So I can definitely see how this makes perfect sense when it comes to doing "damage" to apartments (even if only due to reputation / superstition) if there are direct guarantors, but as the news about JR show there must be something deeper going on here.

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I dug a bit. The legal ground of charging families of victim is this: When a person dies, his legal heir inherits all the rights and duties associated to his property (NOT his property itself. Civil Code, article 896.) The company asks damages from the deceased's property, which is a duty to be fulfilled by whoever inherited the property. In case the family members declared to abandon inheritance when the victim deceased, however, they are not liable.

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It'll be interesting if people can choose jobs freely and wages are purely determined by supply and demand, then those jobs people love to do tend to pay lower, while menial jobs people don't want to do tend to pay higher.

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I have a lot of friends who are professional artists - musicians, actors, painters, etc. They are all very talented, hardworking, professional-minded people who could have much more lucrative jobs in the mainstream workforce.

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That's norm. What's more interesting is that, if everybody gets choice, will some of blue-collar jobs such as janitors actually gets paid a lot more? Somebody has to do it, after all. (I'm not disgracing those jobs; as Prof. Maguire told Will in "Good Will Hunting", there's honor in it. But is it the case that their wage kept low because they're taken advantage of, having no other choices?)

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There was a tragic accident in Japan back in 1982: A dentist mistakenly applied HF solution instead of fluorides to a girl, who subsequently suffered extreme pain and died. Both materials are called フッ素 (fusso, which is actually the name of Fluorine), and there was a fatal miscommunication between dentist's assistant and the distributor. The dentist felt so guilty and stressed out that he died from stroke at the girl's funeral.

For Japanese in my generation, the fear of HF was imprinted by the accident. I couldn't find English reference, but here's Japanese wikipedia page:

https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%85%AB%E7%8E%8B%E5%AD%90%E5...

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Correction: After some more searching, it turned out the doctor did collapsed at the funeral from stroke but survived.

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