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Comment: Re:Debunking a myth (Score 1) 297

by Entrope (#49453783) Attached to: Would-Be Bomber Arrested In Kansas; Planned Suicide Attack on Ft. Riley

Cole's thesis is that Islamic law forbids terrorism. The bailey version of the argument is that this is somehow relevant to modern life. The motte version is that there is textual support for this prohibition.

Personally, I think he knows that he is engaging in a motte-and-bailey argument. Did you realize what he did when you cited him?

Comment: Re:Easy grammar (Score 1) 624

Worked for me for the most part in Switzerland and Italy.

The only odd exception was a tech store clerk in Zurich who didn't speak English. I speak a smattering of Spanish and my wife conversational French, but he only knew German, Dutch, Italian, and Portuguese. Between seven languages, we couldn't find a common one (and for those that were similar to Spanish, I don't know enough Spanish for the overlap to be meaningful). Eventually, our Swiss friend found us and was able to help us find what we needed.

Comment: Re: the Qt is vastly superior to .net (Score 1) 223

by Entrope (#49411623) Attached to: Mono 4 Released, First Version To Adopt Microsoft Code

What made the Qt4 breakage "a necessary evil" but also prevented them from adopting remotely modern C++ principles at the same time? Why was that breakage good, but making it practical for developers to adopt standard C++ practices could, and can, be so lightly set aside?

The sad thing is that Qt people are probably going to remain stuck in a 1990s mindset about C++ as long as people like you are willing to make apologetics for their misdesigns.

Comment: Re: the Qt is vastly superior to .net (Score 1) 223

by Entrope (#49410685) Attached to: Mono 4 Released, First Version To Adopt Microsoft Code

As you point out, Qt 4 broke source compatibility in a major way -- so obviously it is not the kind of showstopper you suggest it should be. I would propose using idiomatic C++ design approaches, rather than sticking to architectural decisions that made sense 20 years ago before there was much consistency between C++ compilers. Nowadays, there is no good reason to prefer QString over std::string or std::wstring (and many good reasons to prefer the latter), and the same applies to every Qt container type. The Qt idiom of pass-by-copy-on-write-value makes runtime performance hard to predict, requires care in multithreaded use (do all types implement COW in a thread-safe manner?), and is very much at odds with the standard C++ library. Qt's efforts to make things "just work" end up hiding build-time, storage and execution-time costs, making it hard to figure out how to optimize code.

As you say, it is not Qt's fault that C++ took so long to really be a cohesive, modern language -- but it is Qt's fault that it continues on as if the state of C++ were the same as it was 15 or 20 years ago.

Comment: Re:Check their work or check the summary? (Score 2) 486

by Coryoth (#49336973) Attached to: No, It's Not Always Quicker To Do Things In Memory

And this is why we should not teach CS101 in Java or Python. If they'd been forced to use C this whole experiment would have turned out differently.

Not at all. If you wrote your C in memory string handling as stupidly as they wrote the Python and Java you will still get worse performance in C (e.g. each iteration malloc a new string and then strcpy and strcat into it, and free the old string; compared to buffered file writes you'll lose). It's about failing to understand how to write efficient code, not about which language you chose.

Comment: I'll worry when... (Score 2) 294

by alispguru (#49329427) Attached to: Steve Wozniak Now Afraid of AI Too, Just Like Elon Musk

The people who actually DO AI worry publicly about it.

People in the field are painfully aware of:

* The limitations of existing systems
* The difficulty of extrapolating from existing systems to general-purpose AI - things that look like easy extensions often aren't.

I did AI academically and industrially in the 1980's; at the time we were all painfully aware of the overpromising and underdelivery in the field.

Comment: Of COURSE you can have it both ways... (Score 3, Informative) 760

Just say that fine revenue above police administrative costs goes somewhere else, so the people issuing the tickets don't directly benefit.

Since these are local/state offenses, the obvious place would be the state general fund.

There's potential for abuse, of course - states might have to specify maximum admin costs.

I bet the enthusiasm for local speed traps would drop way off under such a system. Sounds win/win to me.

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.