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Comment: Re:Perspective (Score 1) 138

by HeckRuler (#47415755) Attached to: Dwarf Fortress Gets Biggest Update In Years

Last couple of times I touched it I thought it was too easy.

It's almost trivial to get a farm going in a good spot. Being able to gather seeds, till the surface, and plant instantly makes the food economy dirt simple.

It doesn't give you a super-powerful fortress that can repel the goblin hoards and megabeasts, but it certainly makes the early game less engaging. I mean, remember when you seriously needed fishermen just so you wouldn't starve before your first harvest?

Starting a fortress on the tundra, or with an aquifer, or in a desert makes for a more interesting time.

Comment: Re:Crazy rant full of BS except for one thing (Score 4, Insightful) 586

by HeckRuler (#47415637) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Yeah, I was going to say that. He's just facing burnout and age.

But "New technologies, once exciting for the sake of newness"? That phenomenon is known as being young and stupid. The new technologies are exciting because of the additional capabilities they give us. If you thought the technology was exciting just because it was new, then you've been misguided the entire time, and marketers must have loved you. They could slap "NEW" onto an old product and generate some more sales. A fresh coat of paint and it's a top seller again.

Ignore the paint. Cut through the bullshit. Does the new thing work better? If so, it's worth learning.

Or hey, you can stick to the stable and clear COBOL platform that you know so well. Since all your peers are dying off you can charge an arm and a leg for being a master at it. Hopefully you didn't gamble your decades on something like RPGII.

Comment: Re:Know your history (Score 1) 361

What dirty secrets?
Me and a friend regularly chat about this sort of social trends. His father was an enforcer for the Hell's Angels. He's lead a slightly more colorful life than I have. I have to remind him at regular intervals that some of us actually kept our nose clean and don't have a sordid past and a laundry list of activities that others could hold over our head forever.

But sure, in such a hypothetical scenario: I'D ABSOLUTELY OPPOSE THE NSA'S ILLEGAL PROGRAMS! (especially when it gathered said dirty laundry). I'd just do it anonymously, because otherwise they could end me at a moment's notice. Because I'm not sure I'm such a martyr that I'd make that sort of sacrifice just to showcase how badly they could abuse their power.

Now... if I were a hypothetical politician, becoming a martyr and exposing such actions is actually good for the career. Sooooooo maybe I'd try to exchange the dirty laundry for the good deed.

Comment: Know your history (Score 5, Insightful) 361

Time to remind everyone of the last time this happened.

Except it was J Edgar Hoover, the FBI, their programs like COINTELPRO, and those crazy radicals like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Albert Einstein as well as people on the list for being part of the women's right movement, civil rights movement, "the new left", criticizing the Vietnam war, and the typical boogy-man organizations of socialists and communists.

Or hey, how about MINARET? or SHAMROCK?. Both of which had no warrents, but when people got a whiff of them, congress came down hard and the projects were discontinued.

What's so different about this time? Why are the power that be not doing their job?

Here's a great quote by meta-monkey, from A YEAR AGO:

Re:"Congressional hearings" (Score:5, Insightful)
by meta-monkey (321000) Friend of a Friend on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @12:39PM (#44437417) ...
Scarier part: why aren't they blaming each other for this "serious overreach?" That they will then investigate, have some hearings, and then go right back to biz as usual? That's all politicians do. Make vague, meaningless statements and take no responsibility, blame everyone else, then do nothing. Instead they're making firm, direct statements. "Legal!" "Constitutional!" "Full oversight!"

Why are they so far off script? Here's how the script is supposed to go:

Snowden: "They doin' teh snoops!"
Democrats: "Bush started it!"
Republicans: "Saint Bush never would have authorized this! This must be part of a secret communist Muslim plan to install sharia law!"
Obama: "No, really it was just the Cincinnati branch of the NSA!"
Senate committee: "Thank you for your service, Mr. Snowden for bringing this overreach to our attention. We've got top men working to correct it. Top. Men."
Snowden: "No prob, I'll go rot in obscurity now."
Clapper: "Ow. My wrist. From the slapping. Wheeeeeelp, back to the shadows for biz as usual."

The mask isn't just slipping. It's on the floor. The man behind the curtain is doing a tap dance. Just what the fuck is going on?

One YEAR. The exact same trend is continuing. No one of power is fighting this. No one is backing down. Just what the fuck is going on?

Comment: Re: Perl (Score 1) 534

C is not merely a language, with syntax and flow control -- its specification ties it to the hardware

What hardware? I mean, ANSI C, C99, and C11 don't lay out the X86 i/o map nor tell the compilers how to talk to ARM chips or MSP430's. What spec are you talking about?

I'm not sure you can claim "unofficial extensions" to Lisp are disqualified while saying C is more than it's spec.

I'm just saying, if you can do it in one language, you can do it in any other. As long as they're all turing complete. You seem to put assembly and C on some sort of pedestal. I'm just pointing out that the pedestal isn't real. There are so many better reasons to praise C, use one of those.

Comment: Re:Perl (Score 1) 534

Not the best example, but you managed to point out what the problem is.

Here we go:

If we simply remove the semicolons:

Then we have variable names starting with numbers which is invalid.

If we replace the semicolons with spaces, then the compiler can infer the end of a statement, and everything is peachy. AH, but the complaint is that whitespace is now significant. But let's look at an example that doesn't run afoul of the "numbers starting variable names" issue:


If we remove the semicolons we get:


fooj and bark are not the variables you intended. And that could cause problems. For everything else in C, the variable names are going to have some sort of operator or symbol or whatnot on either side of them.

Hmmm. But you sill need a space between void and main(), and any other such keyword. So I'm not sure you can say that whitespace is insignificant in C. But getting rid of the semicolons would make whitespace more significant.

Comment: Re: Perl (Score 1) 534

Serious problems like avionics, medical software, space-probes, life-support. Critical applications. Where errors and bugs are absolutely unacceptable. Or back-end OS software, or server software where you care about speed of execution.

Not ALL problems however exist in that abstract problem domain.

And this is the bit you're getting wrong. Turing-completeness has deeper ramifications than the ability simulate a Turing machine. It has to do with computability. The question of CAN we describe an algorithm to do X. And it turns out that if you have some basic building blocks like the ability to branch and remember things (and an infinite amount of space to work with), then you can compute anything that any other Turing complete machine could do.

High level languages lack the expressive capability to exert precise direct control over the hardware.
You can't write a device driver for a peripheral card in Lisp, because you need memory and port mapped IO, and Lisp lacks the ability to address the hardware directly.

As does EVERY language. Even Assembly. Microsoft's masm, or yasm are specific programs that know how to map x86 hardware to software, but the exact same thing can be done for a Lisp compiler. You're confusing an implementation of a language with the language itself. I could say that the KEIL51 C compiler gives me special function registers, sfrs, which are mapped to the 8051's serial port. BAM! just the same functionality that the assembler gives. Either you consider that an aspect of the language or you don't, but assembly, C, and Lisp are all in the same boat.

Comment: Re:Streisand effect (Score 2) 238

by HeckRuler (#47371271) Attached to: Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

It does now. Because it's rare and uncommon. And if it goes well for him and people like him, then you're going to see more and more people performing PR campaigns on their own histories, re-writing the past, and burying their past sins.

The streisand effect only happens when someone steps out of line and deviates from the norm. It was an oddity that Streisand sued Kenneth Adelman and for some aerial photography. Because it made waves, it attracted eyeballs.

Stan O'Neal using this law is a oddity right now. Let's see how commonplace it is in 5 years.

Comment: EU has gone too far for my tastes (Score 1) 238

by HeckRuler (#47371203) Attached to: Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

"right to be forgotten"
Sounds like a con-artists wet-dream.

I understand the whole forgiveness thing. Some people deserve a second chance. Some people can change.
But what about my right to tell my friends that that asshole just screwed me out of a ton of money and that he can't be trusted?

Comment: Re:Perl (Score 1) 534

It certainly is needed, if you want to keep white space insignificant.

Huh? Have you ever written a compiler? A C compiler could infer the end of statements, regardless of semicolons or whitespace.

Getting rid of semicolons would needlessly complicate lexical analysis.

Well, yes, a little. But so what if it's a little harder to make a compiler for the language? That has nearly zero impact on the vast majority of people using the language. I mean, have YOU ever contributed to the GCC?

Or were you talking about coders' ability to read the code?

The response to that would be that new statements should go on another line, what kind of barbarian are you if you don't do that? Whether or not the line ends with a semicolon doesn't especially make anything more readable.

Just take a chunk of C code. Now delete all the semi-colons. Is that so much harder to read?

Comment: Re: Perl (Score 1) 534

Whoahohold on there buddy, let me fix that for you

but almost any idea that can be imagined can be expressed (implemented) in any Turing complete language.

When people talk about "expressiveness" they usually refer to how easy it is to express such thoughts, not if it's possible.

Anything else is just a subset of what you can do with assembler.

No, actually, that's not true. You see, anything any Turing complete language can do, can be done by any other Turing complete language... eventually. The actions are 100% translatable. It might take you a whole boat-load of code to replicate objects in C, but it can be done. And sometimes that a Turing Tarpit.

some things that can be done in assembler that can't be done in C

Not conceptually. I mean, sure, you can do things faster in assembly, using less opcodes, just as you can do things faster in C, using less lines of code. But if you want result X, C can get you result X.

Not easily. Not concisely. And not safely

And here's the crux of the argument. That C is harder, less concise, and not as "safe" as other languages. Now, I love C. I'd even say that it's the best language to tackling serious problems. But for web-dev? For "expressiveness"? No man, no. I have to disagree. C is unsafe as all get out. It let's you shoot yourself right in the foot. We don't need no stinkin' safties! C can do anything, but it takes a lot of work to wrangle it into shape. Have you looked at the GTK? You CAN make you own garbage collector, but that's a lot of code. And simply put, C is hard. It's not a good language to learn on.

"I'm not a god, I was misquoted." -- Lister, Red Dwarf