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Comment: "Clean power foes"? (Score 1) 32

by steveha (#49178621) Attached to: The US's First Offshore Wind Farm Will Cut Local Power Prices By 40%

From TFA:

held up by a tangle of clean power foes, regulatory and financing woes, and Cape Cod homeowners afraid it'd ruin the view.

Who exactly are "clean power foes"?

This seems like using an epithet to delegitimize others.

I'm sure there are people who oppose this project for stupid reasons, like "it'd ruin the view". But I am equally sure that absolutely nobody opposes this project because it is too clean.

I suppose that if you looked and looked, you could find someone who is so certain that an ice age is coming that he wants all power generated by burning stuff. But even this imaginary guy isn't really a foe of clean power, he's just a fan of carbon dioxide.

Comment: Re:on *average* (Score 4, Insightful) 162

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#49177303) Attached to: Study: Refactoring Doesn't Improve Code Quality

It needs a lot more qualifiers than that.

For a start, as with an unfortunate number of academic studies, it appears that the sample population consisted of undergraduates and recent graduates. That alone completely invalidates any conclusions as they might apply to experienced professionals with better judgement about when and how to use refactoring techniques.

Even without that, there seem to be a number of fundamental concerns about the data.

One obvious example is that they consider lines of code to be a metric that tells you anything useful beyond the width you need to allow for the line number margin in your text editor. I doubt most experienced programmers would agree that a LOC count in isolation tells us anything useful about maintainability or that the mere fact that LOC went up or down after a change necessarily meant the code had become better or worse in any useful sense.

Another concern is that they talk about "analysability", but this seems to be measured only by reference to a brief examination of a small code base in one of two versions, unrefactored and refactored. I'd like to know what the actual code looked like before I read anything at all into that data -- what refactoring was performed, what was the motivation for each change, and how do they know those two small code bases were representative of either refactoring in general or the effectiveness of refactoring on larger code bases or code bases that developers have more time to study and work with?

I'm all for empirical data -- goodness knows, we need more objective information about what really works in an industry as hype-driven and accepting of poor quality as ours -- but I'm afraid this particular study seems to be so flawed that it really tells us very little of value.

Comment: Re:FDE on Android doesn't work as of yet (Score 3, Informative) 110

by phayes (#49170899) Attached to: Google Backs Off Default Encryption on New Android Lollilop Devices

What is lame is people posting ignorant comments as Anon Cowards.

Apple has control of both the hardware & the software & has optimized both to make use of FDE as painless as possible. This is clearly not the case in Android.

Stealing from Seillac's comments on ARS:
"Apparently, Google has not merged the various drivers that optimize Qualcomm's QCE module for encryption and decryption into AOSP. The generally-assumed reason is that this code is proprietary. Without these optimizations, the Nexus 6's hardware decryption module on the Snapdragon 805 is essentially hamstrung."


Open Source

Ask Slashdot: Which Classic OOP Compiled Language: Objective-C Or C++? 372

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-as-classic-as-COBOL dept.
Qbertino writes: I've been trying to pick up a classic, object-oriented, compiled language since the early 90s, but have never gotten around to it. C++ was always on my radar, but I'm a little torn to-and-fro with Objective-C. Objective-C is the obvious choice if you also want to make money developing for Mac OS X, but for the stuff I want to do, both languages would suffice on all platforms. I do want to start out on x86 Linux, though, and also use it as my main development platform. Yes, I know quite a few other languages, but I want to get into a widespread compiled language that has good ties into FOSS. Both Objective-C and C++ fit that bill. What do you recommend? How do these two programming languages compare with each other, and how easy is cross-platform development in either? (Primarily GUI-free, "headless" applications.)

Comment: Re:Did *everyone* miss the point here? :-( (Score 1) 371

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#49166827) Attached to: Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links

It remains the case that either my original statement is true, meaning a counter-example for the reliability of fact-based ranking has been identified, or my original statement is false, in which case the statement itself becomes a counter-example because it is widely repeated but incorrect.

Comment: Re:Viewing Launches (Score 1) 22

by Bruce Perens (#49166815) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Dual Satellite Mission

With luck, they'll start incorporating our radio transceivers. I hear that SpaceX flies with several USRPs now, so that's not completely unrealistic. That might be as close as I can get. Anyone who can get me a base invitation, though, would be greatly appreciated and I'd be happy to do some entertaining speeches while there. I need a base invite for Vandenberg, too. I got in to the official viewing site for the first try of the last launch (and that scrubbed too), but this next one is on Pad 6.

Comment: Re:Not actually batteryless (Score 1) 109

by david.given (#49166525) Attached to: Ultra-Low Power Radio Transceiver Enables Truly Wireless Earbuds

I totally didn't know that! That's awesome!

Here's one I found with four components:

I am curious how that tiny antenna can produce enough energy to drive even a crystal earpiece. Most crystal radios need huge antennae, don't they? And from the writeup it looks like the FM decoding more or less happens by accident as a side effect of signal interference.

If this really works, I reckon it should be possible to build a miniaturised FM crystal set into a pair of headphones. I wonder if you could do stereo?

Comment: Viewing Launches (Score 3, Interesting) 22

by Bruce Perens (#49164783) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Dual Satellite Mission

I was in Florida to speak at Orlando Hamcation and went to see the DISCOVR launch at Kennedy Space Center. I paid $50 to be at LC-39 for the launch, an observation tower made from a disused gantry on the Nasa Causeway between the pads and the Vehicle Assembly Building. A crawler was parked next door! A hot sandwich buffet, chips, and sodas were served. It was cold and windy! I watched for a few hours and unfortunately the launch scrubbed due to high stratospheric winds.

The next day, Delaware North Corporation, which operates tourism at KSC, decided not to open LC-39 or the Saturn 5 center for the launch. This was the third launch attempt and I guess they decided most people had left. I was annoyed.

The closest beach was going to be closed in the evening, it's a sensitive ecological area. I ended up seeing the launch from Jetty Park. This turned out not to be such a great location, the tower wasn't visible at all and the first 10 seconds of the rocket in flight were obscured before we saw it over a hill.

What's a better viewing location?

Comment: Did *everyone* miss the point here? :-( (Score 1) 371

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#49164283) Attached to: Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links

Oh, the irony!

Erm... It was intended to be ironic. Well, paradoxical, technically. Compare my final sentence

Remember, not so long ago, the almost-universal opinion would have been that the world was flat.

with the classic "This statement is false".

If my statement were true, it would illustrate a problem with Google's proposal.

But as my statement is false, it is itself a demonstration of the problem, because it perpetuates a myth sufficiently popular that it even has its own Wikipedia page. I was a little surprised that I couldn't also find it on Snopes.

Anyway, it's disappointing that no-one seems to have noticed that. Were none of you even a little suspicious about a post that in one paragraph said "Just because something gets repeated a lot, that doesn't make it factually correct" and then repeated one of the most popular myths there is? Really?

Comment: The Optimistic viewpoint hade a source (Score 4, Informative) 230

by phayes (#49162453) Attached to: Spock and the Legacy of Star Trek

The reason TOS had such an optimistic viewpoint is because it's creator, Gene Roddenberry believed firmly that in the future, Mankind would get beyond the childish violence. You youngsters also need to remember that the TOS was shot at the height of the Hippy/Flower Power movement.

Gene was still around for TNG but passed in 1991 before DS9 (1993) & it shows in the subject matter & tone. DS9 becoming much darker than the previous series for example.

Comment: Re:Last straw? (Score 5, Interesting) 515

Finally, someone uses their brain. Sure, we could send a big army over there and stomp them into the ground. But then what?

And if anyone thinks Saddam's dead-enders were a big headache, what do you suppose a bunch of religious zealots will be?

Cue Mencken on problems and solutions.

The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much.