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Comment: Re:When will we... (Score 1) 150

"Neither Americans nor the rest of the world signed up for a fucking security agency which is no longer under anyone's control except people who feel they can do anything they want."

Uh, the CIA has been pretty much like this since its inception during World War II as the OSS and the CIA immediately after. It was reined in briefly by the Churck and Pike Committees in the 70's but that oversight and those reforms were pretty much rolled back by Reagan. Sure, they got to reach new lows after 9/11 with no hold barred torture, but the CIA has been torturing people through proxies for its entire history, so that wasn't exactly new either.

Not exactly sure why everyone is acting like this is some kind of revelation or anything new, other than its kind of amazing Brennan was foolish enough to admit to it. I predict his career at the CIA will soon come to an end, and he will be replaced with someone with larger brass balls.

The chances you all are gonna change any of this airing your indignation on /. are vanishingly small.

Comment: Re:A clean break is needed, like "Visual Fred" (Score 1) 67

by Dogtanian (#47576505) Attached to: PHP Finally Getting a Formal Specification
Which would significantly reduce the appeal of the "new language" and probably result in people continuing to use the old version- with masses of support, extensions, accumulated wisdom, and software already built on it- probably forking it at some point if the current owners tried to force the change through.

Let's be honest; VB.Net was a good example of one that *didn't* succeed. It was very different to VB6, effectively a whole new environment and tech tied together with a similarly-syntaxed language, and it never achieved the popularity of its predecessor.

Yes, MS may have forced many to move to .Net by making clear that VB6 and its related infrastructure was obsolescent, but that translated to C# use, not VB. Presumably people either remained with VB6 and those who used .Net were either newcomers who had no need of a legacy language (*) or VB6 users who decided that C# was a more sensible choice (since it was clearly MS's favoured language for .Net, and wasn't hobbled by syntax that was effectively a comfort-blanket holdover from 8-bit home computer BASICs).

(*) I'm guessing that classic VB gained its userbase from the generation (and group) who started with "old school" 8-bit BASICs, and found its syntax accessible, then were able to grow while their "BASIC" grew in capability. Thing is, if you didn't start or grow with VB, then what it became is no simpler or easier to learn than C-influenced syntax like C# (and I'm speaking as someone who *did* use old-school BASIC as my first language, but not VB, and I'd much rather use a C-style language).

Comment: Re:Formal specifications are pretty useless for th (Score 1) 67

by Dogtanian (#47576105) Attached to: PHP Finally Getting a Formal Specification

Besides, not having a specification is what led to PHP being such an ad-hoc mess in the first place.

Yeah, but unfortunately it's *way* to late in the day to avoid having to retain (and, ironically, formalise) the ad-hoc mess without breaking countless existing programs.

The most notorious example being one of the simplest, but also the most obviously naff; the fact that the ternary "?:" operator has incorrect precedence in PHP (compared to every other C-derived-syntax language). This quite obviously *was* a fsck-up early on (IIRC they said as much), but will always have to be kept in, an unwelcome reminder of PHP's amateur, ad-hoc origins that'll look bad to anyone learning the language, regardless of how well it improves in other areas.

Comment: Re:Limits of Measurement (Score 2) 126

is the electron ACTUALLY doing that, or was that simply a mathematical/logical proof that correlates highly with what we see?

Ummm. physics has been all about testing for discrepancies between the two for at least a century now. There's a nobel prize waiting for anyone who can show an electron not behaving itself in accordance with the standard model.

Comment: Re:It's not a marketplace.. (Score 1) 229

by putaro (#47571943) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

Apple claims developers have made $15B since 2008. That's 6 years. If you divided it out equally, that $2.5B per year. In contrast, Adobe alone takes in $4B a year in revenues. Even if you assume that the market has grown substantially and 2013 developer payouts were half, that's still $7.5 billion.

The iOS marketplace is still a lot smaller than the general software marketplace in terms of revenue thanks to the ridiculously low prices Apple has pushed on app developers.

Comment: Re:Such a Waste (Score 5, Insightful) 152

by khasim (#47562675) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

What's so horrible about The Hobbit?

The book? Nothing. It's a decent story. I like it.

But if you're talking about the movie trilogy then there's a problem. It isn't "The Hobbit". It's a movie that wants to be "tolkienesque" and uses names and scenes that Tolkien had used in his stories. The same as the "I, Robot" movie was with Asimov's stories.

Look at the page count in The Lord of the Rings. Then compare it to the page count in The Hobbit.

Now compare the run time of the movies. Either LoTR got butchered or The Hobbit was puffed up with standard Hollywood hero crap.

I'm skipping it because I do not want ANOTHER generic Hollywood cliche driven green-screen-spectacle-fest.

Comment: Re:pre-crime (Score 1) 159

by Dogtanian (#47556571) Attached to: London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites

This police bunch, it is worth noting, is the police force of the "square mile"

Indeed. This is specifically the police force of the City of London "square mile", i.e. the historic, tiny core of London, long-dominated by financial businesses, and not the police force of London as a whole.

In fact, the rest of London is served by the Metropolitan Police Service. Why would the City need its own special police force? Hmm...

which is pretty much run by private corporations, making this essentially a private police force in government-backed livery. It is not strange that it would be acting "proactive" and "innovative" and whatnot in furtherance of private corporate goals.

This article may also be of interest.

Comment: Re:pre-crime (Score 4, Informative) 159

by Dogtanian (#47556525) Attached to: London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites

This police bunch, it is worth noting, is the police force of the "square mile"

Indeed. To clarify, this is specifically the police force of the small area confusingly titled the "City of London" (AKA the "square mile"), i.e. the historic, tiny core of London, long-dominated by financial businesses, and not the police force of London as a whole.

In fact, the rest of London is served by the Metropolitan Police Service. Why would The City need its own special police force? Hmm...

which is pretty much run by private corporations, making this essentially a private police force in government-backed livery. It is not strange that it would be acting "proactive" and "innovative" and whatnot in furtherance of private corporate goals.

This article may also be of interest.

Comment: Re:Why stop there? (Score 1) 114

by demachina (#47553681) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

Didn't say it was. I just said NASA should abandon it to whomever wants to pay to keep it operating. Prettty sure its past its original end of life anyway which I think was 2010.

If Russia doesn't want to play nice, or pay to run it themselves, I doubt ESA, Canada or Japan will be able to keep it going if the U.S. pulls out.

Comment: Re:There have been attempts before (Score 1) 40

by TapeCutter (#47548219) Attached to: How Bird Flocks Resemble Liquid Helium

Can this claim even be proven or disproven?

Silly question on a nerd site, you don't "prove" anything with science, and Jurassic park was a movie, not a scientific model.

Back then the short cut they took probably saved them weeks in rendering time, and as you say, came out looking realistic. A scientific simulation would be comparing real data points to the output, it would be able to identify the "handful of leaders" that initiate each manoeuvre of a real flock, it would definitely not be a bunch of lab coats looking at the pretty pictures and nodding.

Disclaimer: I like Crichton's stories too, but he tends to write in "false document" style and every story has the same "science gone mad" plot.

Comment: Re:Oh, bore off (Score 1) 571

by TapeCutter (#47546291) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine
Yeah right, the infamous "mushroom cloud" comment was all about chemical weapons. Also I'm old enough to recall the attack on the Kurds, it happened in the 80's long before Clinton was elected. The Bush administration lied about nukes and lied about Saddam's connection to 911 because they wanted to "fix" the ME once and for all.

Sure most people wanted Saddam gone but most people could also see the end was not worth the means. The US should have backed down when it did not gain the support of the UN but they did the exact opposite. The US should have kept Iraq's public service intact but they disbanded them on the third day and the entire nation went on a looting rampage from which they still haven't recovered.

Comment: Re:Why stop there? (Score 2, Insightful) 114

by demachina (#47545081) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

Probably one of the best things NASA could do at this point is abandon ISS, stop paying for it, and tell the Russians its all theirs. There is a fair chance they would fly Americans to it for free rather than get saddled with that boat anchor.

If the Russians don't want it either its time to deorbit it. It would free up a LOT of money for more useful endeavors. Its never been good for much of anything, certainly nothing to justify the staggering price tag

SpaceX will have the ability to put astronauts in to LEO in a few years. Its not like its a crisis, there is very little for people to do in LEO at the moment other than to be lab rats for zero G physiology studies. You would think they would have done most of that work by now.

About the only point in putting people in space at all is as colonists, persumably on Mars. You can do just about everything else way better and cheaper with robots.

So until you are ready to fly people to Mars to stay, stop getting your panties in a bunch about getting them to LEO.

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