539 reputation
28
bio website vyznev.net
location Helsinki, Finland
age
visits member for 2 years, 6 months
seen 11 hours ago

I like programming in Perl and C. I know Java and PHP too (I'm a MediaWiki developer), but I can't really say I like them. I keep meaning to learn Python some day, but never seem to get around to it.

I'm working on a Ph.D. in biomathematics. I also like programming puzzles and cryptography.

Please consider any (original) code I post to Stack Overflow (and other Stack Exchange sites) to be released under CC-Zero unless stated otherwise. You may do whatever you want with it and don't have to credit me in any way, although of course that would be nice.


Mar
1
comment Why do we use the word “oops”, if something goes wrong?
I'm pretty surprised that it seems to be such a novel innovation, given that it's so ubiquitous and that variants of it seem to have spread into most of the world's languages (see e.g. this rather incomplete list on Wiktionary). That's a pretty fast spread for a word not obviously linked to any novel technological or cultural phenomenon.
Feb
3
awarded  Quorum
Dec
9
comment When does thousand turn into thousands?
Actually, a dozen or so digits of pi should be plenty enough for an astronaut, or for pretty much any other practical purpose. Anything past that is just showing off.
Dec
9
comment When does thousand turn into thousands?
@Susan: The real question is not whether the lawyers studied math, but whether the judges (assuming it did end up in court) did. Anyway, it's just plain old risk management: if the cost of later losing the rights due to a silly court decision was in the millions, then spending an extra £1000 to eliminate even a 0.1% risk of such a decision would be well justified. To a big corporation, £1000 or £2000 is just pocket change, anyway.
Dec
3
comment Does the word “except” increase the negativity of the sentence?
No, I can't, because the negatives don't (look, another "double negative"!) really cancel out. The statements "there is no reason to do this" and "there is no reason not to do this" could both be true at the same time, if the choice between "doing this" and "not doing this" was irrelevant and there was no reason to prefer either option over the other. Indeed, their respective opposites, "there is a reason to do this" and "there is a reason not to do this" could also both be true simultaneously, if each option had its own advantages (say, one was faster and the other cheaper).
Dec
3
answered Does the word “except” increase the negativity of the sentence?
Dec
3
comment “Czar” vs “tsar” - origins and pronunciation
@FumbleFingers: Case matters here, since both "Czar" and "Tsar" are much more common than the lowercase versions. And in the "English One Million (2009)" corpus, "Czar" has actually overtaken "Tsar" in the last few year, although lowercase "tsar" is still slightly more common than "czar".
Nov
18
comment Why do all negating words start with the letter N?
@Janus: Seem to me like your comments would make a nice answer to complement the existing ones. At least I'd upvote it if you did that.
Nov
18
revised Why does “Please approve it” sound wrong?
added 25 characters in body
Nov
18
answered Why does “Please approve it” sound wrong?
Nov
17
awarded  Nice Answer
Nov
17
answered what is it called when your fingers turn in shape after being under water for a long period
Nov
15
awarded  Critic
Nov
14
awarded  Yearling
Nov
14
comment Meaning of “Thanks for your insights”?
+1 for noting that this phrase can easily be used sarcastically (even if it isn't necessarily always so used), since it doesn't really say anything about the nature of the insight provided. It could mean "insight into the issue at hand", or it might mean "insight into how a crazy person may see the issue". In that way it's similar to, say "with all due respect", which, while a common form of polite address, doesn't actually say anything about the amount of respect the speaker believes is due.
Nov
14
revised How does the false-conditional work in “I made sandwiches if you want some”?
tweak the last example
Nov
14
awarded  Commentator
Nov
14
comment How does the false-conditional work in “I made sandwiches if you want some”?
@Cerberus: Anyway, the point I was trying to make (which, admittedly, might be seen as a hair-splittingly fine one) is that there's a difference between the expanded sentences (2*) and (1*) above, since in (2*), as in the examples in your answer, the conditional is taken as qualifying an implied imperative or potential statement ("have some" / "I'd be thankful"), whereas in my (1*) it's answering the implied question "Why are you telling me this?" At least to me, the latter more closely matches the way I'd understand (1), and it seems to fit the broader "[fact], if [you care]" pattern better.
Nov
14
awarded  Editor
Nov
14
revised How does the false-conditional work in “I made sandwiches if you want some”?
add (1*) label