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Considering that "Fred" deliberately burned down a client's factory during payment negotiations, I think that "asshole" is quite an understatement.

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I was playing with FUSE, and had managed to mount a loopback filesystem. And then, for some ill-considered reason, I tried to delete the directory that I had mounted it inside.

I managed to Ctrl-C it before it ate any files in /home, but I still had some nasty cleanup work to get the computer back in working order again. Thank god for LiveCDs.

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In the same spirit, I once removed a chroot tree, forgetting I bind mounted /etc into it.

It took me half a day to recover from that.

Another one, even more stupid, is to recover a "backup" of /var, done without the proper rights to it. I noticed the problem after a lot of weirds errors cropping in. This one I did not recover - after a few hours, I ended up deciding that reinstalling linux on my machine would be faster and more reliable.

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I've found it's useful to look through the man pages of commonly-used tools for an option to prevent traversing filesystems.

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To anyone who learns the idiom, this code is fine, and perfectly readable. I don't even know Ruby yet, and it took me less than a minute to become fully comfortable with this kind of code. This isn't a huge barrier to "non-experts".

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It's always easy to claim something is okay when you "don't even know [language] yet", isn't it? ;)

All joking aside, the problem with this is not that "non-experts" don't understand what the code does at all. It's that they don't understand all that it does. If you never read anything that warns you about the difference between "and/or" and "&&/||" (or if you skim over it), it can bite you really bad.

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Of course it took under a minute, you were reading a nice blog post on the topic. The problem is not every instance of 'and' will include that information. And so I worry that if I drop 'and' into some minor glue script I write - it becomes less self documenting to my coworkers. It's a minor point, but it can become a slippery slope (see: perl)

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This entire argument is moot. No one cares how obscure a language looks to someone who is not familiar with it. Do you regularly sit down and decide, “I am going to use a language I don't know to accomplish something essential and immediate?” And even if the answer is yes, then do you still not know the language at the end of that exercise?

This is a very simple, easily understandable and easily readable feature of Ruby. It's not obscure, complex, or even that unusual. Precedence is something every competent programmer needs to understand, and it should be part of every programmer's research to learn a new language. After all, this is a conversation about the existence of "and" & "or", not their abuse.

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I used to be competent, but now I guess I avoid writing stuff that relies on any knowledge of operator precedence.

I try to learn what I can of such precedence in the language of the day, since I will have to maintain other people's "code" (cypher?), but I try to write obvious "programs" (who is in this play, what are the acts?).

I've been at this over 2 decades, and it's much easier to read something that uses a few parentheses, a well named intermediate variable or two, or even a few functions, than it is to read bunch of multiple operators on the same line gobble-de-gook. Watching somebody else generate a hundred thousand dollars of wasted product in a manufacturing preparation process a few years back, due to such a run-on if-statement being fouled up, was also a good confirmation of this bias. I'm sure my current job in finance offers similar opportunities for expensive blunders.

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A periodic table will make the atomic number and element type easy to look up. You can get it on coffee mugs. It'll be fun.

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This one isn't just a cache; it's a database with a simple key-value data model. It has very good clustering support. It can handle datasets too large for memory. It's fast, allegedly easy to set up (I haven't tried it), and you can communicate with it using existing memcached client libraries. I think it sounds like an interesting option.

I also think that, in a few months, Redis will probably have the same nice characteristics of Membase, but with a much nicer set of datatypes. Membase does everything I described right now, though, which is worth something.

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To clients, it looks exactly like a memcached server.

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It may indeed look exactly like a memcached server, but that's not enough. A client that speaks the memcache protocol assuming that it's talking to a cache can make assumptions and cut corners which a client talking to a persistent store ought not, and users and implementors of clients that speak the protocol need to be aware of these issues.

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Saying "probably" is a way of avoiding dishonestly over-representing his confidence in the marriage lasting. Obviously you're offended, but don't let that be an excuse to let your reasoning slip.

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No slipping reasoning here.

OP: "Any honest person would answer their vows with not "I do" but "probably".

I answered mine with "I do". Does that make me a dishonest person? Did you read my vows?

Are mortgages also a lie? Should everyone have signed "probably" in case they ended up in jingle-mail territory? Are then then dishonest people? I think not. Perhaps my honesty bar is set too low, but, again, I think not.

Saying that a commitment question (Yes/no, In/out, etc) should be answered with "probably" is a little strange, and a little naive, I think.

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Statistically, 4 in 10 people who say "I do" will be proved wrong eventually, but nobody ever considers for a minute that it will be them. Everyone thinks that they are special, that they will beat the odds, that the rules of probability do not apply to them.

If 40% of mortgages ended in default, it would be a national emergency, but for some reason we accept that close to half of marriages end in divorce. The vows of marriage clearly fail to reflect how people actually decide to live their lives. In that sense, marriage is an outmoded institution, one I feel is in urgent need of revision.

We have to accept as a society that while the majority of us say we want to pair for life, a very large proportion of us actually do not want that. The cultural fallout of these dashed hopes and broken promises is truly toxic. We are collectively living in denial. We are telling children that mummy and daddy will be together forever, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. We need to be more honest and rational, to ourselves and to others.

Fifty years ago, divorce was rare. A hundred years ago, it was unheard of. At some point in the near future, divorce will be the most likely end of a marriage. The costs to society are clearly enormous and we urgently need to revise the legal nature of marriage to better reflect the practical reality. I do not oppose marriage; I oppose an outmoded version of marriage that enshrines self-deception and the deception of others into law.

Our cultural and legal concept of marriage is very specific and is in no way definitive. In many parts of the Islamic world, marriage can legally be of a fixed length, with exit terms prearranged. This to me seems far more rational, in preserving the true purpose of marriage (the protection of patrilineage) while allowing for more long-term flexibility and reducing the costs of divorce to near-zero.

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> Statistically, 4 in 10 people who say "I do" will be proved wrong eventually

Being proven wrong does not make you a liar, nor dishonest.

A commitment question is not a probability question, it asks whether you are in or out. Is it more honest to answer "probably" when asked whether you want another card when drawing 14 at blackjack? Are you dishonest if it turns out you made a mistake?

> the majority of us say we want to pair for life, a very large proportion of us actually do not want that.

So...the one group should force their viewpoint on the other?

> We need to be more honest and rational, to ourselves and to others.

I think I am being completely honest and rational. I don't tell my kids mummy and daddy will be together for ever, I tell them what the plan is.

> The costs to society are clearly enormous

Do you mean social costs or financial costs? How are the costs reduced if there is no marriage (except for in litigious societies, and if you removed marriage in them then lawsuits would simply shift to the next level)?

> Our cultural and legal concept of marriage is very specific

Yours or mine? You state that "marriage is a lie". I think it is not for everyone, but some people like it.

In my country, the costs of divorce are near-zero. Maybe it is expensive in some countries. Why then is that a problem with marriage, and not with that countries legal and social system?

Why is marriage "a lie"? Why is it dishonest to say "I do"?

Edit: Note that I think you are very likely right about marriage needing reform in the way that it fits into some modern societies. However, the terms you use to describe many people's happy lifestyles, people who may well think about things just as much as you, are somewhat inflammatory.

My marriage is one of the best things in my life, and having it described as a lie and myself described as dishonest is offensive, I guess.

Society has changed a lot, but maybe marriage is not the thing that needs changing to fix the problems you see.

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Why would any computer automatically run programs on USB sticks? It just seems like a really obvious security hole for negligible benefit.

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Because... Windows? Plenty of thumbdrive and portable harddrive manufactures make use of this 'feature' to show a splash menu/crapware launcher on insertion of the drive, so I guess they like the idea.

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I would actually really like for my search engine referrer headers to be blocked, even without the privacy concerns, for one simple reason: some web sites highlight the search terms they find in search engine referrer headers. That annoys the crap out of me, and I usually end up either closing the tab or going to the URL bar and adding and deleting a space in there, then reloading the page without referrer headers.

Web developers: please, please don't highlight search terms. What the hell is the point of that? Oh well; I guess it's soon to become moot.

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Not only that, but sites like ExpertExchange abuse the referrer header. Since EE uses the referrer to build the content (or at least it's part of the process), can this be a problem to their business?

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Honest question: Is adding and deleting a space necessary? I think it is sufficient in all browsers just to focus the address bar and press Enter.

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the same reason google do it?

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=terms

people dont like reading stuff, when the search they scan for the relevant content.

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I guess people will just have to use one of the many other BitTorrent search sites with similar features and torrent coverage. This sucks for the IsoHunt folks, but for the people actually sharing files, it's more of an inconvenience than a crippling blow.

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Or just:

http://anonymouse.org/cgi-bin/anon-www.cgi/http://isohunt.co...

And pretend that nothing happened...

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