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Comment Re:Oh no (Score 2) 95

Well you CAN write maintainable code in perl, you just have to use some discipline. Turn "use strict;" on everywhere, break your project up into packages across functional lines and have unit tests on everything. You know, all that stuff that no companies ever do. Given the choice between having to maintain a perl project and a ruby one, I'd take the perl project every time. At least you'll have some chance that the developers wrote some decent code, if only in self defense since they usually end up maintaining it themselves for a few years.

Comment This Again? (Score 1) 307

I thought we put image formats to bed in the 90's. Hell, it feels like png is just barely starting to be used by reputable companies even though browsers have supported it for a while. It also seems like we still don't have a viable replacement for animated GIFs either, even though png was supposed to take care of that as well. I suppose even if this image format is wildly successful by those standards, I'll just about be ready to retire by the time we start seeing it in widespread use.

Comment Re:Let me recycle my joke from Reddit (Score 1) 256

Yuh huh. Served in their school system there, it was a disgusting greenish hue, in an even more disgusting pineapple... "sauce". I may have only been 6 at the time, but I still count it as one of the more disgusting things I've ever put in my mouth. And I've had durian and natto.

Comment Re:Thaty's the wat to do it ... (Score 1) 256

Yeah, that's a good point. I've met a couple of people who were apparently traumatized by canned peas growing up, at least one of them so severely that I thought he should seek therapy to address his food hang-ups. I've also met several people who were apparently traumatized by fish growing up. Again, at least one of them probably needed therapy for it. Given that we've been screwing up our kids to the point where they need therapy, we'd probably be better off if we just gave them all a brick and let them fend for themselves.

Comment Re: Gun-free zone? (Score 1) 1148

I am not "Rambo", and real life is NOT a movie.

It could be, though! Think of the possibilities! Give everyone and gun and let the games begin! After all, we must enjoy this sort of thing, or we'd have put a stop to it long before now. All I'm saying is that maybe we should just play the hand we're dealt!

Comment Re:I'm curious (Score 1, Insightful) 206

He's basically just a pawn at this point. Putin keeps him around because it embarrasses the US Government. He'll probably find himself extradited in a heartbeat if Putin can get something valuable in trade. I'm also guessing he's not exactly a prisoner, but that he would find it to be very difficult to leave Russia if he wanted to. You know, pawn stuff.

Comment Re:Linux - forced updates?? (Score 1) 288

Yeah, that's true. Last year I was in a job that was maintaining some decades-old X11 apps. Shit honestly hasn't improved since when those apps were written. There are still half a dozen or so competing widget sets, all of which suck (Yes, Even Qt, although Qt sucks a good bit less than everything else I looked at.) If you're concerned about performance sending graphics across a network, there are two or three X11 extensions to do things like double buffering and pixmap caching. They mostly seem to be unmaintained and undocumented. And nearly everything is written in moldy old C.

And yes, I could start a widget set project or something to try to rectify the situation, and then we'd have one more competing widget set that probably sucks. The programming's really not that hard once you start learning your way around the various tools, but it is pretty tedious and writing even a widget set is a fairly large undertaking with no guarantee anything you do will ever be adopted by anyone.

Comment My Prediction About How That Will Go Down (Score 0) 62

Just so I can say "I told you so." Just from the summary, $1 billion really isn't enough for the scope of work that has to be involved. I suspect they'll burn through that in the first year and come back looking for more. I also wouldn't be holding my breath for anything useful to ever actually get done. Although, as bad as civilian agencies are at security, they might actually accidentally improve the security at a few of them.

Comment Re:Aww... (Score 1) 33

Is Gvim still the de-facto thing? I always just use EMACS. I haven't really used Gnome for quite a while, though.

To stay somewhat on-topic, "Swell, now I'm going to have to learn assembly language for DNA." Which I probably would also use EMACS for. Maybe we could code an ACTUAL gnome, though. That would be confusing and funny at the same time. I'm sure the Germans have a word for that.

Comment Re:Linux - forced updates?? (Score 1) 288

Sure, and if you don't like that behavior, find a distribution that doesn't jam it down their user's throats. There are plenty that didn't. A lot of them aren't as shiny as some of the distributions that did, but that's also a trade off you make, isn't it?

Comment Re:Nothing to see here, move on (Score 4, Interesting) 348

We've had an anti-government undertone basically since the nation was founded. The revolutionary war was clearly a traumatic event for a few people, and they don't like the idea of anyone having any power over them. We all kind of had to pull together for the second World War and the cold war that followed kind of kept those guy in line for a long time. They started getting louder again when Russia fell apart back in the 90's. It's like some of us are stuck in the angsty sixteen-year-old mentality that "Everyone's oppressing me!" They've long since learned that directly talking about shutting the government down doesn't get them anywhere, so they're currently trying to chip away at it. The nation gets more polarized and the government shutdowns and brinkmanship become far more common.

There are some potentially sensible candidates on the left and right, but no one's paying much attention to them right now. It doesn't really matter who becomes president as long as Congress remains broken. Voters are largely indifferent because the two party system is effectively rigged to keep those two parties in power. I could see Trump getting elected on name appeal alone. It's still pretty early, though. I suspect Trump and Hillary will end up getting ejected from the race. Whatever happens, it's going to be a wild ride.

One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor... is to discourage... from expecting too much from mathematics. -- N. Wiener