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Comment: Re:various card games (Score 3, Insightful) 327

by BitterOak (#47777201) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

maybe you should check out boardgamegeek. catan was a great game in its days, but it has been surpassed

It's been surpassed largely by its own expansion modules. My sister's family just got Explorers & Pirates last Christmas and they've been playing almost non-stop ever since.

Comment: Re:Why Java? PASCAL is THE learning language (Score 1) 505

by BitterOak (#47743267) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

I really wish the academic world would go back to the actual proper learning languages, such as PASCAL. In my university, the introductory course for programming is C++ (as a freshman.) C++ has little 'English logic.' However, if you know English, you should be able to read PASCAL code much better than C/Java code. PASCAL is closer to pseudocode, which is (usually) the first assignment in these classes. Why would you jump from pseudocode to a 'stricter language' like Java? What does /. think?

If you want a more English-like language more closely tied to pseudo-code than C++ or Java, why not a language like Ruby or Python? At least that way students could learn object oriented programming as well. Pascal really doesn't have a niche anymore. It was a good teaching language in it's day. As a more up-to-date Algol it was a good language for teaching structured programming, but by today's standards, it's structures are not as flexible as they need to be, and classic Pascal is not object oriented. (There may be object-oriented versions of Pascal now, but that's not the original language any more than C++ is C.) Ruby and Python are both very easy to start programming in (one line "Hello World" programs) and scale well to more sophisticated projects. And they both remain very close to pseudo-code type designs at each step of the way.

Comment: Performance improvements have helped it survive. (Score 4, Insightful) 505

by BitterOak (#47742771) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

One of the main reasons Java may be "cooler" today than when it was first introduced is performance.

In the early days of Java, it's VM architecture meant that it was significantly behind fully compiled languages like C/C++ in terms of performance. People were supposed to sacrifice speed for portability. Even for non-speed critical applications, slower languages were thought to be "less cool". Real men used C, and real, real men still coded in assembly language.

But the VM technology in Java has gotten so sophisticated that it isn't significantly behind languages like C/C++ in terms of performance, and that can't be ignored. This is allowing some of the advantages of Java over C/C++ such as garbage collection, dynamic class loading, a certain degree of reflection, various safety systems, etc., to win over some programmers. Java may well be cooler today than it was 10 years ago, because it's really grown up and become a fairly useful language.

Comment: Re:Okay... and? (Score 3, Insightful) 316

by BitterOak (#47738363) Attached to: For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit


-Microsoft develops product in U.S, generating tax credit for R&D.

And paying salaries to U.S. employees who pay income tax on it and spend their money in the US, thereby also paying US sales taxes.

-Microsoft shifts ownership, or "Profit Rights" of product off-shore, to say....The Bahamas.

Which only makes sense, since the US is one of the few countries in the world to tax people's oversea earnings. Only makes sense then that people and companies would move those profits offshore. If tax policies in the US were more reasonable, Microsoft wouldn't have to do that.

-Microsoft Bahamas subsidiary sells U.S developed product to Americans.

On which those Americans pay sales tax.

-Microsoft Bahamas claims all profit. Microsoft America gets all Tax Credits.

But as you said in your first part: the tax credits are for R&D, not for making profits!

Comment: Re:Okay... and? (Score 2) 316

by BitterOak (#47738329) Attached to: For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

without US political and military might, Microsoft wouldn't be nearly as safe doing business abroad as they are now.

i don't know exactly how much they should owe for this service, but it's stupid to say it's nothing.

By your logic everyone in the world should pay taxes to the US for keeping the world a safe place to do business.

Comment: Re:Definition of Irony (Score 1) 243

by BitterOak (#47737139) Attached to: It's Dumb To Tell Kids They're Smart

Trying to tell other people they are wrong all the time is a liability. Telling people, "I am smarter than you, so you are wrong" is a liability [...] If you're so smart, you should have figured this out by now.

You literally just did this with your own post. You told the parent he was wrong, and then implied it was because he wasn't smart enough.


Comment: Re:Now this is funny. (Score 1) 109

by BitterOak (#47657679) Attached to: Type 225 Words per Minute with a Stenographic Keyboard (Video)
I'm sure all you're saying is true, but I'm not sure he's marketing solely to court reporters. I think the idea is that it will be a keyboard that anyone who does a lot of typing (secretaries, journalists, writers, coders, etc.) might be interested in using to increase their typing speed, even if they don't reach 225 wpm. Many people would be happy to increase their typing speed from 75 wpm to say 150 wpm.

Comment: Re: Translated into English (Score 4, Insightful) 306

At the same time, they sure do like the granted right-of-way that allows their grid to exist.

As does the vast majority of the population. Imagine how much your utilities would cost if the utility companies had to pay rent to each property owner that their wires, pipes, cables, etc., crossed.

Comment: Re: Translated into English (Score 1) 306

While that's true for lots of the objections raised, it isn't true for all of them. This, for example:

When Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., installed solar panels a few years ago, for example, the local utility, Dominion Virginia Power, threatened legal action. The utility said that only it could sell electricity in its service area.

Government-created incumbent monopolies seem to be playing their part as well.

The keyword there is sell. They're not objecting to her generating solar power for her own use, they only object to her selling it to others. That's what a monopoly means.

Comment: Re:Looks like a fairly simple hack they did. (Score 1) 182

by BitterOak (#47609561) Attached to: The FBI Is Infecting Tor Users With Malware With Drive-By Downloads

In a nutshell, they simply had any computer that contacted the web site send back the computer's real IP address and its MAC address. The actual security of the Tor wasn't affected.

Ummm, the whole purpose of Tor is to make it impossible for the web host to determine your real IP address, so if it is so easy to get the browser to send that information back to the server then they've COMPLETELY disabled the security of the Tor network, so I really don't understand your statement that the "security of Tor wasn't affected."

Comment: The problem here isn't the FBI. (Score 4, Insightful) 182

by BitterOak (#47609279) Attached to: The FBI Is Infecting Tor Users With Malware With Drive-By Downloads
I know this won't be a popular position here, but the problem here isn't with what the FBI is doing, but rather the fact that they can do it. The problem is with the technology: it just isn't as secure as it's supposed to be. When a hacker finds a vulnerability in a security system, most people on Slashdot say don't blame the hacker, but rather fix the underlying vulnerabilities in the system. Instead of pointing the finger at the FBI for using vulnerabilities in TOR, web browsers, and/or operating systems, we should be glad that they're making this public, so the vulnerabilities can be fixed. After all, if the FBI can do this, so can criminals, governments hostile to free speech, and many other malicious parties. Let's learn from what the FBI is doing and harden the systems, to make legitimate users of Tor and similar services safer.

Heisenberg may have been here.