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Comment Popularity vs usefulness (Score 1) 687 687

Of course, checking how often Mac users use the right mouse button would really skew things, would it not? Besides, popularity and usefulness are not the same thing. If a two men were standing on a street corner handing out money and one was handing out free $20s while the other was handing out free $10s, which would be more popular? Probably the one giving out $20s. Does that mean the $10 bill isn't useful?

The reality is that there are some very good use cases for the caps-lock (as others have pointed out). If it isn't hurting anything where it is, then why move it? What other key would you put there that you would want to hit with your pinky to do something else, that most people would find as a useful improvement? Right now if I accidentally hit the caps lock, I get capital letters -- a nuisance but not terrible. What if you replace it with the ctrl or alt key as some have suggested? There could be far worse ramifications.

Regardless, popularity does not dictate usefulness. Chances are, you will never have to use the flotation device on an airplane or the oxygen max. Based on frequency of use, they must not be very popular. However, for the right user case, they are very useful.

Comment Re:The moral of the story... (Score 5, Interesting) 59 59

Except Google didn't offer it to the public. It is an unpublished API that is and was unsupported for external use.

I don't see the problem here.

Actually, they did offer it to the public. This was an undocumented API. However, like the undocumented maps API, it was exposed to the public. As such, it was offered, just not documented.

Don't rely on undocumented APIs

Google actually encourages people to experiment with their public but undocumented APIs as part of their strategy. However, however experimenting with and releasing a product based on it are two different things. Google has a tendency to throw things against the wall and see what sticks. Maps, definitely stuck and they could even monetize it. Likely, this API also stuck, or it wouldn't be news. However, it probably was being used in ways that they couldn't monetize. Which, is why double-speeak of trying to protect the integrity of what it was originally designed for (aka Google Search).

Of course, it is their API and nobody was charged anything to use it, so Google is free to do as they wish with it.

Comment Re:Problem? (Score 1) 162 162

The function of language is communication . I think u understood what the title means but are being an asshole just because it's in your nature to be one.

On the other hand, if standards are not maintained, then quality will decrease. That is true whether machining a part or language and grammar.

Comment Re:Does it make a difference? (Score 1) 100 100

If you send it to a laser printer or copy it on a copier there are watermarks. Doesn't matter the format used. Unlike the old fashioned typewriters where law enforcement could match the document to the typewriter based on how individual keys hit, in the digital age they had to find some other way. So, every laser printer and copy machine prints a tiny watermark that can trace the document to the machine that produced it.

Comment Does it make a difference? (Score 1) 100 100

Does it make a difference whether the software is doing this or your printer/copier does it? For a long, long time, laser printers and copiers have been doing the same thing to show where the document came from. Isn't this just the paperless version of what we've all been living with for a a very long time?

Comment Re:This is why physics is the king of the sciences (Score 1) 95 95

Because you say so? Oxford dictionary disagrees with you.

The "study" of mathematics is a science in the broad sense, just like the "study" of theology is also a science. But mathematics itself, particularly as used in the context of this article, is a descriptive language.

Comment Re:11 rear enders (Score 1) 549 549

Or at 11 it's still not their fault. Remember, these vehicles are logging 10,000 miles per week - there's a lot more opportunities to be rear-ended by an inattentive driver when one is on the road that much than there are for a typical driver. By way of example, in the video from the article at Medium there were two cars in front of the driverless car that had also stopped at the light - there was nowhere else for the driverless car to go.

I agree that usually if you are rear-ended that it is the other driver's fault (not always, but usually). However, there aren't a large number of google cars on the road, so I would be curious as compared to a random sample from the general population how many non-google cars were rear-ended in the same time period? In addition, it would be interesting to know if any of the google cars have been rear-ended more than once?

Comment Re:Extremist (Score 1) 75 75

but he is one of the most proactive.

Nuclear bombs are proactive, but we can both agree they are pretty much never a good thing, can't we?

He takes the nuclear approach, ALWAYS. More harm than good.

Nuclear bombs are not proactive. Nor are they reactive. Nuclear bombs are just that -- nuclear bombs. However, they can be used proactively or reactively, but it is the human person that makes that choice, not the bomb.

Comment Re:Wouldn't apply to Netflix (Score 3, Interesting) 85 85

What this is about is people in the middle without any direct customer relation to Netflix or the end user, wanting Netflix to pay them too.

Which is normal, when two ISPs connect, and one sends far more data than it receives.

That's the point. It shouldn't be normal. As a consumer, you pay your ISP for x amount of bandwidth. It shouldn't matter that those bits are used for receiving video or text files. You are already paying your ISP for the data you use. With regards to Netflix, they pay their ISP for the bandwidth they are a sending. Would anybody seriously contend that Netflix should pay extra for the data that you are already paying for? No, of course not, so why should the consumer pay for the data that Netflix is already paying for?

Netflix is an easy target, but think this through. Amazon does a tremendous amount business on the internet. Should consumers pay a surcharge for the privileged of shopping there? What about Google? It is the leading search engine. Should there be surcharges to access it? Does it cost an ISP more to send a packet containing video versus a packet containing data? No. So why should they be allowed to charge more for it?

Comment Re: kindergartners? (Score 1) 74 74

I was referring to the various programming languages for young children that have been around since the late 60s.


What programming languages for young children were around in the late 60s? Name ONE. Name ONE kindergarten or primary school that was teaching ANY programming language to young children the late 60s. Name ONE high school that was teaching ANY programming language to students in the late 60s. Name ONE UNIVERSITY teaching undergrads a programming language in the late 60s.

You either have a very different definition of "young children" than the rest of the world, or you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

I believe that Logo was invented by MIT in 1967. With it, a child could give it simple commands to move a cursor to draw various shapes. I think it was called turtle graphics or something like that. It was demoed with five year olds drawing simple geometric shapes and older children producing Spirograph type drawings (although still pretty simple and crude by today's standards). By the mid-to late 70s, it was available on the Apple II, C64 and other microcomputers.

Being available for use and actually being used are obviously two different things. However, it definitely could be used if somebody chose to do so beyond MIT.

Comment Re: kindergartners? (Score 1) 74 74

I would concur with that, at least structured programming. OTOH, young people do quite well with Logos and derivatives there of.

Apparently they do much better with tablets than legos or building blocks. Swiping is more important than constructing these days.

I was referring to the various programming languages for young children that have been around since the late 60s.

As for swiping versus building things, it's too soon to tell how that will developmentally manifest itself in the adult population. "Building things" is prevalent in many cultures and is probably an inherited trait in the human genome. Even other primates exhibit the trait to some degree. So, substituting tablets will be an interesting social experiment.

Comment Re: kindergartners? (Score 1) 74 74

That said, the structures in the brain that allow for critical thinking aren't formed until around the age of 7, so it isn't really useful to attempt to teach critical thinking skills, except at a most rudimentary level, in kindergarten.

Yeah, and the structures in the brain that allow for learning computer science aren't formed either.

I would concur with that, at least structured programming. OTOH, young people do quite well with Logos and derivatives there of.

Comment Re: kindergartners? (Score 3, Informative) 74 74

They can't even do basic addition without using their fingers. And yet you want to teach them critical thinking? Idiot.

In the US, today, kindergarten is what 1st grade used to be. The emphasis is on reading and math. They aren't allowed to count on their fingers after pre-school. That said, the structures in the brain that allow for critical thinking aren't formed until around the age of 7, so it isn't really useful to attempt to teach critical thinking skills, except at a most rudimentary level, in kindergarten.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.