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Programming

Submission + - Some lesser-known truths about programming->

GreedyCapitalist writes: "Great programmers spend little of their time writing code — at least code that ends up in the final product. Programmers who spend much of their time writing code are too lazy, too ignorant, or too arrogant to find existing solutions to old problems. Great programmers are masters at recognizing and reusing common patterns. Good programmers are not afraid to refactor (rewrite) their code constantly to reach the ideal design. Bad programmers write code which lacks conceptual integrity, non-redundancy, hierarchy, and patterns, and so is very difficult to refactor. It’s easier to throw away bad code and start over than to change it."
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (Score 1) 124

Much of the blame for the mortgage lending meltdown has been placed on the "failure of the free market." But is there really any truth to this? The financial industry is the single most regulated industry in the economy. The failing institutions are precisely the ones that New Deal policies were meant to protect us from: the FDIC was supposed to prevent bank runs, the SEC was supposed to be stop shady investments, Fannie May and Freddie Mac were supposed to make sure that loans went to people who deserved them.

Opportunistic politicians are quick to blame the capture of regulatory institutions on lobbyists and "special interests." They promise to fix the problem by giving yet more money and power to corrupt government agencies, much like a mob boss who blames his enforcers for his protection schemes, and then promises his victims to lay off them if they just give him more guns and money.

The only reason that special interests are so involved in government is that the government has ingrained itself so deeply in our lives. Giving more power to the state to regulate markets and redistribute wealth and privileges from one group to another only increases the incentive to strengthen one's political connections.

Comment The One Minute Case for Designer Babies (Score 1) 847

From http://oneminute.rationalmind.net/designer%20babies/

Genetic screening via sexual selection has been practiced since the dawn of life itself. No one suggests that we should pick a mate entirely at random, so the objection to genetic screening and engineering is due to the element of technology. Their objections are not to "designer babies" as such, but to the use of technology to improve the lives of human beings. They apply equally to a child whose genes are altered after birth, or to an adult. The logical conclusion of this neo-luddism is the opposition of all man-made improvements to human life as "unnatural."

Comment The One Minute Case for Designer Babies (Score 0, Offtopic) 376

From http://oneminute.rationalmind.net/designer%20babies/

Genetic screening via sexual selection has been practiced since the dawn of life itself. No one suggests that we should pick a mate entirely at random, so the objection to genetic screening and engineering is due to the element of technology. Their objections are not to "designer babies" as such, but to the use of technology to improve the lives of human beings. They apply equally to a child whose genes are altered after birth, or to an adult. The logical conclusion of this neo-luddism is the opposition of all man-made improvements to human life as âoeunnatural.â

Comment Re:Okay, enough already (Score 1) 484

That is an interesting interpretation of "law" - any action a business takes must not go against the decision of some future court which rules that said action violated some non-specified standard of "anti-competitive" behavior. Such a standard is not "law" but arbitrary, dictatorial whim.
Space

Submission + - Mankind damages universe by looking at it.

ScentCone writes: The Telegraph covers a New Scientist report (subscribers only) about two US comsologists who suggest that, a la Schrodinger's possibly unhappy cat, the act of obvserving certain facets of our universe may have shortened its life . FTA, 'Prof Krauss says that the measurement of the light from supernovae in 1998, which provided evidence of dark energy, may have reset the decay of the void to zero — back to a point when the likelihood of its surviving was falling rapidly.' Warning: if you've read this summary, you may have already changed the article.
Education

Submission + - Did Hayek provide the inspiration for Wikipedia?->

GreedyCapitalist writes: "Jimmy Wales was a finance major at Auburn University when the Mises Institute's Mark Thornton suggested he read "The Use of Knowledge in Society," a now-famous essay written by Austro-libertarian economist and Nobel laureate Friedrich von Hayek.
The essay argues that prices in the market represent a spontaneous order that results from the interaction of individuals with diverse wants, allowing them to cooperate to achieve complex goals. According to a June 2007 Reason magazine interview, this insight of Hayek's is what led Wales to found Wikipedia. The rather lofty vision that inspired Wales? "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing.""

Link to Original Source
Patents

The End for Vonage? 296

TheRealSCA writes "The latest in Verizon vs. Vonage is in. The judge has basically stopped Vonage from accepting new customers. From the article: 'A judge issued an injunction Friday that effectively bars Internet phone carrier Vonage from signing up new customers as punishment for infringing on patents held by Verizon. Vonage's lawyers said the compromise injunction posted by U.S District Judge Hilton is almost as devastating as an injunction that would have affected Vonage's 2.2 million existing customers. "It's the difference of cutting off oxygen as opposed to the bullet in the head," Vonage lawyer Roger Warin said.'"

If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst

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