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Odd Lots


  1. Phil Jurgenson says:

    Just so you’re aware: Visuino is developed in Delphi, that dead, long-forgotten development tool that uses (gasp!) Object Pascal. Yeah, it’s still alive, and yeah, it’s still extremely useful, despite its current owner’s seeming attempts to squeeze every last dollar from its customers.

    That being said, they currently offer a 100% discount on the Starter Edition, and it’s worth looking at.

    1. Yes, I should have mentioned that; it was the Delphi connection that led me to it. And it was all the dollar-squeezing that prompted me to keep an eye on Lazarus/FreePascal, which I’ve been using now for six or seven years and consider mature. Delphi will never run on the Raspberry Pi, where I’ve been doing most of my programming in the last couple of years.

      1. Phil Jurgenson says:

        I myself stopped upgrading Delphi at 2006 – it rapidly got too expensive after that, and it was mostly a hobby tool for me (though I did manage to use it earlier to make a pretty good living for a while). I’ve used Lazarus a little, but just on Linux for various utility programs for my own use. It always feels just a bit unfinished to me…but it’s marvelously useful anyway, considering that it’s been developed by volunteer work!

  2. Erbo says:

    Michelle Malkin and her family (residents of the Colorado Springs area) just lost their third health plan since the advent of ObamaCare.

    Even if ObamaCare worked perfectly (which it does not), it’s still the answer to the wrong question. The question is not “How can everybody have health insurance?”, it’s “How can everybody afford the health care they need?” To answer that, you have to answer the question, “Why does health care cost so much?” And, to answer that, you have to expose the medical monopolies and their strategy of cost-shifting, cost-hiding, and outright blatant ripoffs that, if they were practiced in any other industry, would result in people going to jail.

    This is the one issue that will destroy the nation if it is not addressed now. See this post and others by Karl Denninger for the gory details.

    1. Saw that, thanks. We’ve had basically the same experience: Our longstanding policy pre-Obamacare was cancelled almost as soon as the law was passed, and we’ve had every policy we bought canceled the same year since then. We would have had to buy a new one this year anyway, but there isn’t much available.

      The solution is elusive, but certainly some antitrust suits would help. The law could be easily amended in a couple of respects:

      1. Require that providers either cover the whole state or none of it. No cherry-picking by county.

      2. Require that a policy, once purchased, cannot be canceled for five years.

      3. (This is more speculative, and would be harder:) Abolish individual policies entirely, allowing only group policies, **and allow any individual to buy into any group.** If you want IBM’s insurance, you can get it, as long as you pay the same as IBM does. (This isn’t cheap.)

      I would do a series on health insurance (lord knows I have the research close at hand) but it would ignite a firestorm, and I don’t have the time or energy to deal with that right now.

      1. TRX says:

        You could see if Sarah Hoyt would host a guest post on her blog, and let the firestorm run over there.

        1. Like Sarah needs more firestorms? I’d rather she write. In fact, I’d actually rather *I* write.

          1. Carrington Dixon says:

            Amen to that.

  3. Rich Rostrom says:

    I used last night.

    Do you recall S.M. Stirling’s Island in the Sea of Time (a modern enclave translocated to the Bronze Age)? For some reason this idea and variations on it are very popular. At, people throw out “ISoT” scenarios like confetti (though in a sub-forum reserved for goofy stuff).

    Yesterday, someone asked “What if the Doolittle Raid task force was translocated from 4/18/1942 to 12/6/1941?” (Apparently thinking that the raid would go through, so that the U.S. attacked Japan first.)

    With the assistance of, I pointed out that (from the TF’s viewpoint) the translocation would cause the Moon to jump from the eastern to the western horizon, and change from new to full. The sun would also jump about 20 degrees. That would alarm Doolittle and TF commander Halsey, and they would cancel any operations.

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