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Comment Re:Huh? (Score 4, Insightful) 260

Economies of scale are critical here. Only a handful of companies are that big, and that desirable as places to work. So for these behemoths the usual logic is inverted. For them, narrowing the field really does "help recruitment"--the semantics of that phrase are inverted when dealing with relativistic money.

A filter is only useful though if it removes the bad applicants and leaves the good applicants. Filtering by language (/framework) although common is also a very good way to exclude a significant amount of programming talent on the basis that you don't want to give them a few weeks to get productive in your pet language/framework. I've never interviewed (or applied) at either but both Google and Apple seem to have more farsighted hiring practices than that.

Comment Re:outrageous (Score 3, Informative) 363

You're wrong on two points.

One, he was given the maximum sentence available for the crimes he was charged with. In his sentencing hearing murder for hire was brought up by the prosecution, just as his supposedly good character was brought up by his parents. Both parties can say whatever they want in a sentencing hearing, as long as the judge sentences within the guidelines for the crime the criminal has been found guilty it is not an issue.

Two, he has been charged, separately with murder for hire. The case is in progress. If found guilty, he will be sentenced separately within the guidelines for that crime.

Comment Re:c++? (Score 5, Informative) 407

Objective-C is an ugly, clunky language, and the only reason Apple uses it is to intentionally make your code incompatible with other platforms.

I'm not a particular fan of Objective-C either but this is just wrong. Apple inherited Objective-C when they bought NextStep and used it as the foundation of OS X. OS-X got its start in life as a partial rewrite of the NS shell and the addition of some compatibility layers (Classic Mac OS, Java, .etc.) to make up for the lack of applications. At this stage, there would have to be really really major benefits to a rewrite to justify the direct cost, not to mention the opportunity cost.

Comment Re:what, Uber? (Score 1) 252

Something's definitely up if they're getting valued at $40 billion! That's 4 times the UK's annual agricultural output!

Interesting point. I dont't think that your statistics on farming in the UK are correct though. The total output of the UK agricultural industry in 2013 was 25,902 million pounds ( or at current exchange rates approximately $40 billion. The statistic you are using, I imagine, is the value added income (total ouput - inputs).

Uber is worth about one year of agriculture produce from the UK. Still seems like a very speculative valuation..

Comment Re:C++ is a travesty of design (Score 1) 200

Because its requirements, chosen by its designer, were misguided and impossible to achieve with a clean, elegant design.

I don't think a clean, elegant design was ever the goal. It was built as a practical set of design compromises to fill the needs of the industry at the time.

The ugly compromise approach set back OO programming momentum, cost millions of person-years of unnecessary debugging effort and allowed many, many continued buffer overflow exploits etc. that ruin the reputation of software in general.

I think it is worth pointing out that there are plenty of languages that took the non-compromising approach and have fallen into obscurity while C++ took off. In the end it was the compromises of C++ that the software industry as a whole actually wanted. C++ for a long time has provided tools such as std::string and std::vector, to mitigate/eliminate the risk of buffer overflow vulnerabilities. The C string functions are terribly designed, but programmers wanted to and chose to continue to use them, that's not the fault of C++.

Personally I'll take the productivity and maintainability of Java/C# over C++ if I can. When I can't though, C++ isn't a bad option. It certainly has its pitfalls/complexity. Some were bad design choices (e.g. exceptions can throw any type). Some were unavoidable (e.g. the interplay of virtual functions/inheritance with in place allocation). Some are technical debt.

Comment Re:His legacy is 2% (Score 1) 166

So 17.5 million men should have the same last name as him, if he had one.

Presumably the women he raped, who then bore sons for him didn't take on his last name. (That is if he had a last name)

Maybe someone else can do the math

I fitted a simple exponential curve. Assuming 800 years have passed, and one new generation is formed every 20 years we get the range t : [0,40]. Assuming for f(t): f(0) = 1 and f(40) = 17.5m, I get f(t) = e^(0.181076t). This means the ratio of f(t+1):f(t) is ~1.5, so each generation would have to leave about 1.5 male descendants.

Comment Re:Meanwhile... (Score 1) 578

I'm surprised that .Net doesn't have more popularity in other countries. It has full Unicode support for strings and identifiers.

I'm confused to what you mean by .Net not having more popularity in other countries. Do you mean, you expect that it would enjoy (even) greater popularity levels than it does in English speaking countries?

The simple answer to that is there are more important factors (fitness for task at hand .etc.) in influencing language choice. Where I am (Japan) .Net and Java have plenty of popularity, although nobody writes identifier names in non-ASCII characters. Conversly, desktop Linux which has rather poor Japanese support (Buggy, sub-standard input methods, poor translations, and painful font support) seems (I have no statistics) to have less popularity.

Comment Re:Chinglish (Score 1) 578

Most of us call that hard to learn.

Learning a language is a multi-year undertaking full stop (unless you already speak a closely related language) and novels are generally the most difficult reading materials. Even learning German or French, I expect it would take several years of study to reach the point where I could read a novel.

Comment Re:Chinglish (Score 1) 578

I think what you mentioned about alternate Japanese readings explains why I've heard Japanese write out or otherwise indicate which kanji are used in their name when meeting someone.

I imagine the Chinese and Koreans do that as well. The characters used to write names are part of people's identity and generally carefully selected by parents. There can be literally hundreds of different ways to write the same name in Japanese. 'Kazuo' is a good example. The name itself simply means first born (son) but there are many different choices of characters to represent it, with the characters for either 'one' or 'harmony' (wa) being common choices to write 'kazu'

The pragmatic side of me sometimes wishes everyone simply spoke a common language, but the artistic side of my brain would certainly lament the loss of so much culture that a multitude of languages represents. Hanzi/kanji characters are quite beautiful as an art form, even if I don't know the meaning of them.

I couldn't agree more. Language and orthography are fascinating topics, intrinsically linked with culture.

Comment Re:Chinglish (Score 4, Interesting) 578

Chinese characters aren't that hard to learn. I learnt them (a subset anyway) while learning Japanese. It took about 3 years of reasonably intense study to be able to pick up and read a novel without too much difficulty. After 2 years I could generally approach newspaper articles. Newspapers are generally one of the easiest written mediums to approach. While there are several thousand characters in use, there is a relatively small subset of frequently used characters. Additional most characters are formed in a regular fashion from simpler characters. Probably the most common form being one phonetic part to indicate the reading and one semantic part to indicate the meaning.

Chinese (apparently) has more characters in common use than Japanese but the difficulty does not scale linearly with the number of characters and Japanese adds the significant complication of having phonetic (Chinese derived) readings and often multiple, irregular native Japanese readings per character, and huge numbers of irregular readings for combinations of characters.

One interesting side affect of characters having semantic meaning is that it often makes the meaning of words even new to the reader, immediately obvious. Especially for science and technology related vocabulary the meanings of words rendered in Chinese characters is often much clearer and more immediately obvious than that of English words derived from Latin/Greek. As an extreme example I can often comprehend Chinese (esp. when written in traditional characters) even though I do not speak Chinese

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!