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Comment: "What's coming out of our high schools." (Score 1) 523

by emil (#47767637) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Recent comments by Alan Greenspan paint a dire picture of primary education in the United States:

"We cannot manage our very complex, highly sophisticated capital structure with what's coming out of our high schools."

"If we're not going to educate our kids, bring in other people who want to become Americans."

Under such dire circumstances and an existential threat, now is not the time for bias.

Comment: pkexec?? (Score 1) 98

by putaro (#47764017) Attached to: Project Zero Exploits 'Unexploitable' Glibc Bug

Sorry, old Unix guy here. My first reaction was "What the F is pkexec and why is it running setuid?"

Yet another way to execute arbitrary privileged executables is yet another potential security hole. This dumb thing is apparently part of the "Free Desktop" but it's depended on by all kinds of stuff including the fricking RedHat power management. What's wrong with plain old sudo?

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 508

by putaro (#47744755) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

The question is, who is "you" and when does that checking happen? I don't do a lot of work in Python, Ruby, etc. and all of the programmers that I know who do are fairly young and working on fairly small projects so they don't have a good answer for refactoring.

If I change the arguments to a method in a statically type language any place where I forgot to change the call to that method will be exposed at compile time. As far as I've been able to learn so far, in most dynamically typed languages that check won't happen until runtime. The pat answer to that is "you should have unit tests that cover everything" - but getting complete code coverage is hard and for large projects, the test suite takes a non-trivial amount of time to run - usually much, much longer than compile time. So, you wind up with bugs at runtime. Or is there a better solution?

Comment: Re:All that packaging (Score 1) 508

by NormalVisual (#47744741) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?
Except nobody actually does that. The whole JVM thing was done to make browser "applets" work. Nobody uses those any more. Most Java is server-side, running on farms of x86 machines.

Those farms of x86 boxes aren't necessarily running the same OS on each, necessitating different JVMs. I've personally worked in server environments where the same code had to run on x86 machines under Windows, Linux, HP-UX, and Solaris simultaneously.

Comment: Problems getting merchants to accept it? (Score 4, Insightful) 78

by putaro (#47741399) Attached to: Major Delays, Revamped Beta For Credit-Card Consolidating Gadget Coin

Technically, I see how it works but why would a merchant accept this thing? It doesn't look like a credit card and it's missing all of the anti-fraud elements built into the physical cards. According to their FAQ, Coin is trying to substitute an image on your smart phone plus their gadget for your physical card but I don't see that any of the actual credit card issuers are actually endorsing this. As a merchant you might be in violation of your merchant agreement by accepting this thing.

Comment: Re:Why not just use hard drives and then store... (Score 1) 193

by putaro (#47741177) Attached to: Facebook Experimenting With Blu-ray As a Storage Medium

The Blu-ray disc needs to be mounted before it can be accessed. The ratio of robotic mechanisms to discs becomes important. If you need to mount ten discs, it takes ten times as long (if they're all using the same arm) whereas you could spin up ten hard drives simultaneously.

I've worked with large scale robotics since the late 80's. The performance of the arms has not increased significantly since then. When you're dealing with scientific datasets or backups it's not as much of a problem. In random access storage, though, it starts to be an issue.

Comment: Re:Dobsonian (Score 1) 187

by NormalVisual (#47740253) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?
An alt-az mount almost has to be motorized to be useful, and it drives up cost.

Something like a Meade ETX-80 isn't terribly expensive, the alignment procedure is easier, plus you get the benefit of go-to functionality with automatic tracking which really helps those that don't know the sky yet. German equatorials really are only necessary for photography, IMO, and are a royal pain in the butt to deal with when the optical tube is of any appreciable size.

My 10" Dob works just fine with an equatorial platform, and the platform costs a LOT less than a decent German mount that can deal with a 30 pound tube.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)