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Comment: Re:And all for what? (Score 1) 417

by ELProphet (#36241400) Attached to: Google Is Serious, Chrome 13 Hides URL Bar

What's next, the back button?



Next time, I want to revisit the Back and Forward buttons more deeply, to rethink the way they’ve functioned since their inception


Solar Flare Interferes With Radio, But No Big Auroras 37

Posted by timothy
from the well-that's-no-fun dept.
RedEaredSlider writes "The largest solar flare in several years has disrupted some communications, though it was not in the right position to create auroral displays visible from lower latitudes. The flare, which erupted on Feb. 15, sent what is called a coronal mass ejection, or CME, towards the Earth. A CME is billions of tons of charged particles, mostly protons." Most of the reported disruptions were in China, says the article.

Comment: Re:It's always refreshing (Score 1) 1090

by ELProphet (#33458442) Attached to: Armed Man Takes Hostages At Discovery Channel HQ

Research in child development clearly shows the most important factor in the well-adjustment in a child is the presence of attentive adult influence. In a situation where older (adult and nearly adult) children are the primary care providers and role models for young (infant and preschool) children, it is very possible that the younger children would receive the attention and encouragement needed to grow up as a well-adjusted adult. Thus, it is not necessarily factual that these parents are providing a deficient environment for their children- they may have found an alternative support structure for their family. However, I do not know of any studies examining the well-adjustedness of children from such large families (the vast majority study two-parent heterosexual one to three children families compared with one-parent one-to-three children families). Citations: Perry V Schwarzenegger (9th Cir. 2010) Findings of Fact 69 through 73, and discussion (ruling pages 94-96, or pages 97-99 at

Comment: Re:Visual Studio replacement on Linux (Score 1) 310

by ELProphet (#30842940) Attached to: What Tools Do FLOSS Developers Need?

Haven't seen anyone mention IntelliJ Idea yet. It's Java-centric (which may be why no one's mentioned it, but people have been whining about Eclipse), it integrates more tightly between code and debugger than VisualStudio. It has a set of refactorings out-of-the box that I miss terribly when working in VS. When I can put only the properties of a class in, then generate working stubs for *all* the getters and setters in one keyboard command, I call that win. With version 9, there's an open source community edition. Pretty much the best IDE ever. Plugins galore... IntelliJ Idea is done right.

Comment: Re:Billions and billions... (Score 3, Funny) 356

by ELProphet (#29803907) Attached to: VASIMR Ion Engine Could Cut Mars Trip To 39 Days

Let's run the math:

(Using classical mechanics, Google Calculator, and some rounding)
40 days, 60 million km to mars at closest approach.
Spend half the time accelerating, half the time decelerating.

For acceleration:
x = x0 + v0t + (at^2)/2
2 * 30 million km / (20 days) ^ 2 = 2e-2m/s^2

Let's use a Space Shuttle, 2,029,203 kg
The force of the engine is
F = ma = ((2 029 203 kg) * 2 * (30 million km)) / ((20 days)^2) = 40 774.5587 newtons
Work along a straight line is Force time distance
W = Fd = (40 774.5587 newtons) * 30 million kilometers = 1.22323676 × 10^15 joules
Power is work over time
P = W/t = 1.22323676 × ((10^15) joules)) / (20 days) = 0.707891644 gigawatts
Of course, we need to do this twice:
Ptotal = 2P = 2 * 0.707891644 gigawatts = 1.41578329 gigawatts

Which is surprisingly close to the power needed to propel a DeLorean through time...

Note that this is only the power needed to get the ship to Mars and then stop it; I have no idea the efficiency of their engine, life support, etc, but hey, the math works close enough for me.

I'm a little weak on my power generation math- anyone who knows something about solar panels and PV arrays want to take a shot at the power requirements?

Comment: Re:De Icaza Responds (Score 1, Insightful) 498

by ELProphet (#29665327) Attached to: London Stock Exchange Rejects .NET For Open Source

>It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that a GC-based, VM-based language that has layers of intermediate execution is going to be slower >than is required for a trading system. What I don;t get is that MS thought they could throw hardware at it until it worked.

You're massively under-representing .Net. First, the common belief that it's nothing more than Microsoft-does-Java, never mind the C++ development tools that work to allow developers to write native, as-fast-as-you-want-as-close-to-the-machine-with-inline-assembly that interoperates cleanly with code written in VB, C#, or F#- what other platform allows you to literally mix inline assembly within functional programming? (Not saying it's a good idea, just saying it works that way). There's a reason that VisualStudio/.Net is the best tool Microsoft makes. What we actually have is a team of 15-year-olds playing with an elephant gun and an angry elephant- people get trampled, because the developers do not know how to solve their problem.

>The moral is that you don't want to use the simple-to-code MS platform when you can get a best-of-breed system, based on Linux and good engineering >for a lot less. IT managers around the world should be looking at this and thinking what similar lessons their IT departments could learn.

The moral is that it you're developing something as critical as handling all the monetary transactions of a stock exchange, you want to do your damndest to actually hire developers who know what they're doing!

Comment: Re:Obsession (Score 1) 313

by ELProphet (#26345545) Attached to: A Hacker's Audacious Plan To Rule the Underground

Climbing is an obsession and an addiction. It can easily take over your life, especially if you are good at it. Finding your next route is like getting in your next fix. It offers the ultimate escape, diversion and self-esteem. In a sense, it is a power trip. The kind of rush you experience when your skills pay off is incredible. For some, it is a rush better than sex and drugs combined. It adds a new dimension to an otherwise mundane and seemingly predictable reality. Some perspective ;)

Hunting is an obsession and an addiction. It can easily take over your life, especially if you are good at it. Finding your next deer is like getting in your next fix. It offers the ultimate escape, diversion and self-esteem. In a sense, it is a power trip. The kind of rush you experience when your skills pay off is incredible. For some, it is a rush better than sex and drugs combined. It adds a new dimension to an otherwise mundane and seemingly predictable reality. Some perspective

Running is an obsession and an addiction. [...] Finding your next route is like getting in your next fix. [...] Some perspective

Fly fishing is an obsession and an addiction. Finding your next hole is like getting in your next fix. [...] Some perspective

Skiing is an obsession and an addiction. Finding your next hill is like getting in your next fix. [...] Some perspective

Shall I continue?

Comment: Re:So, What's the *Actual* WinVista ONLY use? (Score 1) 595

by ELProphet (#25965477) Attached to: Windows Drops Below 90% Market Share

From the original data, "Windows" and "Microsoft" are synonymous, unless Windows is specified as Vista, XP, or 2000. The actual data is as follows:

Windows XP 66.31%
Windows Vista 20.45%
MacIntel 6.51%
Mac OS 2.35%
Windows 2000 1.56%
Linux 0.83%
Windows NT 0.77%
iPhone 0.37%
Windows 98 0.29%
Windows ME 0.17%
Windows CE 0.05%
Pike 0.05%
Unknown 0.05%
iPod 0.05%
Series60 0.03%
Hiptop 0.03%
PSP 0.02%
Windows 95 0.01%
SunOS 0.01%
Nintendo Wii 0.01%
Win64 0.01%
FreeBSD 0.01%
Wi 0.00%


They claim these are actual usage statistics (presumably from net usage, so already a bit dubious regarding older systems), not sales statistics. It looks like MacOS and MacIntel are "Apple"- I'm assuming MacOS is everything not running on Intel chips, and MacIntel is the newer OSX versions. They seem to group everything "linux" as anything with the Linux kernel. Again, these are net machines, so there's no accounting for server usage. Hate to say it, but this is not the Year of the Linux Desktop. This is more likely the Year of the Apple Anti-trust Lawsuit.

Comment: Re:Hmmm... (Score 1) 727

by ELProphet (#25960671) Attached to: Twenty Years of Dijkstra's Cruelty

As a result, it tends to get waved away as "magic" or "this will be explained later" but there's so much waved away that the students get disconnected. For instance, to simply output a line to a command line in Java you're looking at
whereas with c++ (for instance) you have
cout "output" endl;
As someone who's teaching this stuff, the second is easier to explain in detail and doesn't rely on saying "don't worry what System.out is".

I think both have an equal amount of hand-waving.

System is a class that contains many useful run-time features your program can use. The out property is a way to write to the console. The println method of the System.out reference is a way to write text or other objects to the standard out, with an appended new line. If it gets passed an object, it calls the object's toString method first, giving each object control over how to display itself

The is an operator that is overloaded by many classes. The cout overloads the operator to print to standard out. The cout itself requires a bit of hand waving. Also, you need to return an int from the main (Why? Don't worry, just return 0), you need to import a namespace, and you need to explain that endl is a magic (but platform independent) line terminator.

Guess what? There is no good language to teach computer science in. They all require a lot of hand-waving for the intro programmer. The college I go to is shifting very heavily to not using any language in the first semester of the CS program. It's entirely flowcharting and basic UML- design first. 2nd semester is Java, 3rd semester is Data Structures (using JCF). 4th semester is C and Assembler. Junior and Senior years are electives, including Architecture, Distributed, Networking, Graphics, OSes, and Compilers. Also required is an internship.

A great programmer doesn't give a rats ass about what language they're programming in. A great programmer will program into the language, using the language to the best of its ability. A great programmer will, however, choose languages and environments that give them their greatest desire: the ability to be lazy. Good CS programs will teach people how to program, not what to program. Good professors must find a way to present all aspects of CS in an appropriate fashion, and that does mean design first.

Comment: Re:Dunno, but I'm blaming the crooks (Score 1) 96

by ELProphet (#25766909) Attached to: US State Sues Web/SEO Firm For Deceiving Mom-and-Pops

You're assuming the "wannabe crook" is actually a crook. I don't get that impression. It seems that Mom & Pop simply didn't know much about this new-fangled "Google" thing, and someone came up and said with confidence "I can make Google work for YOU!" Still not knowing about Google or the internet, Mom & Pop said "Ok, sounds good. You seem like a nice guy, and guarantee me 100% return on investment, sure I'll pay for that." Now, Crook has come close to committing fraud by mis-selling his services. Google did what Google does well- whacked the SEO (the crook). The only thing Mom & Pop should have done differently was a bit of research.

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten