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Comment Global Shutter (Score 1) 491

I would like global shutter to return to cameras again. CMOS image sensors usually have rolling shutter, a step backward from CCDs. With rolling shutter, each line of the image is taken at a different time, as the sensor's reader rolls down the frame. This leads to many artifacts: camera flash banding, leaning trees and buildings as you go by, bent golf clubs, scattered fan blades, and others.

Comment A rose by any other name (Score 1) 160

More than any other language English is a hybrid, so it has more words for the same thing. This goes way back. English's roots are Germanic, but even then it was mixed from Anglo, Saxon, Norse, and Frisian. Then you have the influx of Latin, twice: first by Roman conquest in early A.D., then by academic fashion in the Middle Ages. Between those two, in 1066, you have the Norman Conquest. That's why the words for the animals in the field are chicken and cow, which are Old English, the language of common folk. But the words for the same animals as food are poultry and beef, which are Norman French, the language of the rich rulers. English's heavy borrowing, as we all know, goes on to this day.

While sometimes one synonym is more precise than another, more often it's like saying gato has a different shade of meaning than cat, when really it's just the same idea from two different lands. A writer trying to help his reader can exploit English's large vocabulary to be clear, precise, and quick to understand. A writer trying to hold onto his job with the least effort can abuse English to hide mediocre thoughts in a thicket of long, important-sounding, often Latinate words.

Comment Re:I don't understand. (Score 1) 129

Thank you for trying to explain it to me. I guess I should say I don't understand how the theoretical meets the practical here. Then again, I'm just a web programmer.

The theoretical. Sure, I read the article about a circle and trying to find the better, smaller circle within it, and I can imagine slicing into the circle to find it. No problem there.

The practical. Also, I noticed how they started off with real-world problems like designing the thinnest, most durable smartphone with the longest battery life.

But I don't see how designing a smartphone has anything to do with a circle, or a circle within a circle, or slicing the larger circle to find the smaller one. If I want to design a smartphone that's thin, then I will seek the thinnest of each of: battery, processor, etc....

Oh, I get it. The thinner I make the phone, the smaller the battery. The larger the battery, the thicker the smartphone. Likewise, thickness and durability are related. I guess I forgot that they have very complex formulae figured out to tell them ahead of time exactly how durable a material will be at a given thickness and a given shape, exactly how much charge a battery of a given size holds, exactly how much charge a given component will consume, etc. So they have all these number floating around, and normally they try different combinations to arrive at the best compromise. Or they have some formulae for doing some of the recombinations for them, but they're slow. And these researchers say that they have found a way to speed that last part up.

I guess industrial designers are a lot further along than I normally imagine them. Normally I imagine them just trying different stuff, sketching it out until looks nice (first on paper napkins, then in 3-D computer programs); then trying different materials; then trying the materials at different thicknesses (or going by past experience, learning that, say, 3mm of magnesium is ideal at this particular point).

Comment Like is Fine (Score 1) 127

I just took it to be something object oriented:

($happy_story)->like() = function () { echo 'Yay!!!' };
($sad_story)->like() = function () { echo 'I am sorry' };

(No the syntax above is not any particular language, which is good.)

Or as a layman would simply state, "It depends on the context."

Comment Re:Programming's a lot about design, so yes! (Score 3, Informative) 266

I would hire a gifted musician, painter, or journalist that shows the seed of understanding good design, over a humdrum programmer

False dichotomy. Sure a gifted musician may be better than a bad programmer. But why not hire a gifted programmer?

That's not a false dichotomy. A false dichotomy would be to say, "There are only gifted liberal arts majors and humdrum programmers." A gifted programmer would be wonderful, no doubt. Isn't that what I was saying a gifted artist might become?

What I was saying was, so important is a sense of design that it trumps college major, at least for entry-level programmer positions. Right now I'm looking for that PostgreSQL guy with 10 years of experience and a good sense of design, but . . . no dice.

Comment Programming's a lot about design, so yes! (Score 4, Interesting) 266

As a tech employer, I would not hire a liberal arts major for a technical position

As a programmer for ten years, I would definitely hire a liberal arts major for a programming position. After working alongside several and interviewing others, I have to echo the professor who wonders if his students have any kind of taste.

They may know the syntax. In fact anyone can learn that in a couple of weeks. What I keep running into, though, are programmers who can't program their way out of a paper bag, who would stare at me blankly if I quoted Brian Kernighan when he said "Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming."

Actually lately it seems a liberal arts major is about as likely as a science major to know anything about design. But I will tell you that I would hire a gifted musician, painter, or journalist that shows the seed of understanding good design, over a humdrum programmer who's like, "If it runs it's good."

Comment Re:Maybe I'm too old (Score 1) 128

As a web developer, it's attractive to me because it would let me write my server-side and client-side code in the same language. It's a small nicety, not an earth-shattering advantage, which is why I haven't used Node yet.

In fact, I've grown so accustomed to Apache, with all its modules and short-and-sweet "programming" with just a few lines of declarative-language directives, that it's going to be hard to pull me to Node, or even Nginx for that matter. I guess maybe if I were writing a real-time chat or video streaming app for a large swath of users, or something like that.

Comment Quite a version jump (Score 1) 128

That's quite a jump in version numbers: from 0.12.7 to 4.0.0! Windows has got nothin' on that. From another article:

Having a converged project means converged release numbers which is why Node.js is jumping to v4.0 and avoiding overlap with any existing io.js version numbers.

This explanation doesn't persuade me. The version number is namespaced by the product name. It would have been Node 0.13, not io.js 0.13. I wouldn't have gotten confused.

I never heard about much version-number skipping until recently: Windows 10, PHP 7, and now Node 4. Has this always happened every now and then? It seems like before, doing just a dubious major-number increment, like from 3.4 to 4.0 instead of just to 3.5, would cause controversy.

Comment Put ads at the end (Score 1) 296

Put the ad at the end, not the beginning. It will be seen less but also hated less.

Do you really want to associate your brand with interruption and irritation?

When you click on a video, you're eager to see it, and here comes an add to kill the mood.

On the other hand, when you're done with a video, you're usually laughing or smiling or in a good mood, and there's maybe more of a lull as you try to decide what to do next.

"I've finally learned what `upward compatible' means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes." -- Dennie van Tassel