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Comment Re:DC power (Score 1) 99 99

Well, I think we are getting better at converting DC voltages, which is why HVDC is being used for transmission lines for example.

I suspect the reason is in part portable electronics. We're trying to eke out as much power as possible for multivoltage devices (one voltage for the processor, another for the screen, another for the HDD (portable electronics includes laptops too...) another for the USB bus, etc) from a single (DC it goes without saying) battery. The amount of R&D into the voltage conversion field over the last thirty years must have been extraordinary, yet not sexy enough to warrant much media coverage.

Comment Re:Swift (Score 1) 338 338

Swift isn't going to make it so "anybody can write apps." That is something that's been tried for decades, with things like drag-and-drop programming. SQL was originally intended for non-programmers. It doesn't work, because the difficulty of programming isn't the syntax. The difficulty of programming is logic.

While true, the danger exists that making the syntax easier will encourage more people who don't understand logic to try to write code anyway, usually with disastrous results. Maybe it's the UNIX greybeard in me, but I've always seen the complexity of language as sort of a "you must be this tall to ride" bar, limiting the amount of damage that clueless people can cause.

And it isn't just that the software that new programmers create is usually bad. It also clogs the marketplace with low-quality apps. The more bad apps people write, the harder it will be for well-written new apps to gain footing, because they'll start out with several times as many poorly written apps ahead of them in their sales ranking.

But the biggest problem with making it easier to write code is that every step down that path requires ever-increasing resources. Right now, it takes about an order of magnitude more effort to write a beginning programming guide than to write a programming guide for experienced programmers, even for a moderately complex technology. And that's if you assume that people understand basic logic, control flow, etc. If you go one step beyond that and try to make it practical for non-programmers to write code, you'll spend two or three years writing a good, solid introductory textbook. And I have yet to see any evidence suggesting that any significant percentage of those folks will be able to write decent code even after reading such a book.

The kernel is stable not just because it has to be, but also because it scares people away until they are reasonably competent at programming. The web is filled with bad code because it doesn't. IMO, apps should be more like the former than the latter. Just my $0.02.

Comment Re:No kidding. (Score 1) 253 253

Neither of those provides any mechanism for downsampling an image before uploading it. In fact, from a same-origin security model perspective, JS code isn't even supposed to be able to access the image data before uploading it, though I think they've left some holes where devs can get around that....

Comment Re:wrong question (Score 1) 43 43

Honestly, I'd beg to differ. When you cut a human body open you're likely to find a relatively standard set of organs. Even with all conditions and permutations it is a whole less open-ended than say driving a car, where arguably a lot of odd conditions could happen at any time. In short, there's a few vital functions that that the body must uphold and if a robot surgeon does he's not making anything worse. He might not cure everything, but that's not the point.

Comment Re:Everybody List What You Think Went Wrong (Score 1) 545 545

Beta was unfinished, everyone knew that, so the grousing that somehow it was "clearly inferior" or would break Slashdot was completely misplaced. Slashdot made it clear from the start that this was being put out for feedback purposes, not because it was feature complete. They said it wasn't feature complete.

Comment Re:My Pet Peeves (recent Windows laptop keyboards) (Score 4, Insightful) 601 601

It's possible to have capslock functionality without giving it its own key. What about Alt-Numlock for that tiny subset of situations where it's necessary?

Also https://xkcd.com/1172/

(Yay I posted an XKCD at last! That means I automatically get +6 Insightful!)

Comment Re:What we have vs. what we want (Score 1) 294 294

A conversation about the internet that is long, long overdue: Is what we *have* what we *want*, and if not, what can be done about it? What we HAVE is a global network that will never, ever let you forget that silly thing you did whilst young and drunk that everyone thought was so hilarious at the time. Is that really what we want?

Maybe not. But it's kinda meaningless to quibble about the negative side effects when it's obvious the positive effects are so huge there's no way we'll give up on it, nobody likes drive-by shooting but it's obvious we're not going to give up cars. Yes, we would like a free global information-sharing network.

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.

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