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Comment Re:The same old story (Score 1) 223

OK, I'm not a programmer and never will be but the phrase 'duck typing' is so off-the-wall that I just have to ask what the hell it means.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then for all purposes it's a duck.

In my understanding, duck typing doesn't require the explicit declaration of "is-a" relationships in a class system. If a type (or object, depending on the language) fulfills sufficient requirements, it can be considered as a sub-class or object of another type. Depending on the language, the requirements may be expressed by interfaces, prototypes, pattern matching or some other means.

Comment Re:Over private property? (Score 1) 733

I believe the minimum altitude for operating an aircraft is 500 feet

Nope. There are minimum altitudes over congested areas (with an exception for landing and take-off, of course). There's also a blanket provision about not operating at an altitude that would endanger people or property. The 500 feet you're thinking about is the minimum safe distance a pilot must maintain from people or structures. That distance can be lateral, so as long as the other endangerment clauses are not violated, you can fly a plane at any altitude.

Comment Re:If you're going to crash (Score 1) 239

No emergency alarm, maybe, but anyone who's done aviation high altitude training should be able to detect half a dozen symptoms of hypoxia that they might have. Whether you'll detect them in time to do anything about it is another matter.

Mine included: racing pulse, tunnel vision, blue fingernails, inability to do simple maths problems. Some people get aggressive, some euphoric, some break out in a sweat.

Comment Re:Virtualization (Score 2) 239

But I'm not a consumer. I'm a software developer, I need to be able to develop, run, test and automate an application that runs on 64-bit Windows, 32-bit Windows, 64-bit Linux, 32-bit Linux, MacOS X, and various embedded ARM and PPC-based SOC systems. Sure, I have a network of machines for this, but managing many of the OS flavours under virtualisation saves time and money.

Comment I call BS (Score 1) 311

I've been reading articles for years about failed IT streamlining projects, and they want to make me believe they're different?

Fine, offer to do it on fixed-price contracts instead of time and materials, and I may start to believe they're serious about fixing problems instead of their own balance sheets.

Comment Re:NoScript FTW (Score 1) 122

Just how did this get modded insightful?

Yes, you can often tell the shitty sites from the URL, and you can avoid obvious phishing messages. But there are plenty of moderately reputable sites that have been compromised at one time or another. All it requires is one of these to have a drive-by download on it when you visit it, and you've got the lurgi.

Also, who hasn't accidentally clicked the wrong link at some time? Either by being a bit quick and missing, poor hit boxes on sites, or an RSS feed updating just as you click?

NoScript is a very valuable tool to prevent all the crap that goes along with the web nowadays, whilst allowing it to work in exceptional circumstances. It does need a certain level of sophistication to use effectively. In fact, I think I'll go and donate to its continuing development.

Comment Re:Why didn't they push LEDs instead of CFL ? (Score 1) 797

Pushing LEDs is the wrong thing to do too.

Legislate for results, not for the means. The law should (maybe it is, I haven't checked) be written to set minimum standards for lumens per watt. Then let manufacturers develop whatever technology they want to comply.

There were reports a while back of a more efficient incandescent bulb technology (sorry, no reference). That technology would not be allowed under a law that promoted LEDs or CFLs.

Comment Re:Interference in another country's laws (Score 4, Informative) 268

The court itself was in the Netherlands. How is that not an international court?!

The trial was held under Scottish law. That was part of the compromise that led to him being handed over in the first place. The physical location of the court, in this instance, is irrelevant.

- and was also released under Scottish law - which, by the way, Cameron cannot legally interfere with, as it is separate from the English legal system.

What on Earth are you talking about? Scotland is part of the UK. David Cameron is the UK Prime Minister. And you're telling me he has no grounds to interfere? I must seriously be missing something here.

You are missing something. Scotland has a separate legal system from England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The continuance of the legal system was one of the conditions of the Act of Union in 1707. As the UK PM, David Cameron cannot directly interfere with decisions of the Scottish courts. He can't interfere by proposing Scottish laws either, since that power is devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Since this is criminal law, the new Supreme Court of the UK does not have jurisdiction either.

Comment Re:Comments are good (Score 1) 660

Comments are good for many reasons:
1. Showing the next person what you were doing.
2. When you have to explain what you are doing, it helps you to discover possible errors in your code. Particularly logic errors.
3. It helps you if you have to come back and look at it in a few years so you will immediately have an explanation of what you were doing.

Of course for those of us who code perfectly the first time, they aren't really needed. :-)

I don't want to know what the code does, I can see that. I want to know why the code does what it does. Why was the algorithm chosen? Why isn't it simpler? Comments that just repeat the code in prose are only useful when they precis a large section of code.

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval