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Comment: Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 5, Informative) 451

by MalleusEBHC (#49289841) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

Not only do automated cars not panic, but they can notify and coordinate with other cars on the road. With human drivers, even if you spot the obstacle up ahead, what's to prevent the asshole behind you from rear-ending you as you brake? With automated cars, the braking car can signal the cars behind it, and they can start applying the brakes before it's even humanly possible to react.

Automated cars will surely not be perfect, but human drivers have an atrocious safety record.

Comment: Re:Yup (Score 2) 532

by MalleusEBHC (#49097381) Attached to: Stephen Hawking: Biggest Human Failing Is Aggression

The data doesn't support your assertion. The centuries-long trend is a decline in homicide rates. It appears that, on the whole, our "intelligent brains" are quite capable of choosing to be a non-homicidal member of society. The homicidal deviants you mention are an inconsequential percentage of the total population.

I found this chart to be especially interesting. The US homicide rate was roughly constant throughout the 20th century.* At first glance, this contradicts the overall trend, but it's more encouraging when you look at the demographic changes. In 1900, there were 75 million people, and 40% lived in urban areas. In 2000, there were 280 million people, and 80% lived in urban areas. Urban areas have much higher homicide rates than rural areas, so it's quite impressive that the per capita homicide rate didn't rise dramatically.

*The drop from 1940 to 1960 was a combination of the Great Depression and WW2. Young men commit most murders, and you won't have many young men if your families are too poor to have kids or your young men are off fighting a war. Predictably, the homicide rate shot back up when baby boomers started becoming young men.

Comment: Re:How much money are we talking about? (Score 1) 387

by MalleusEBHC (#47864145) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

This is the complement to the other comments about C++ not being popular, although I disagree with them on the degree of popularity. The knowledge you mention about data structures and algorithms is transferable to any language. I often see jobs for Java, Python, etc. that say C++ experience is an acceptable substitute, but I'm also able to drop down into C.

C++ programmers are generally way smarter

Well, I did my best to disprove this by writing "extremely very large" in my OP. Note to self: when upgrading very to extremely, remove the original very.

Comment: How much money are we talking about? (Score 2) 387

by MalleusEBHC (#47862373) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

I'm a software engineer who works mainly in C++. There are tons of jobs available to me, and they generally pay a metric fuckload of money. How much more could these jobs for unpopular languages pay? Having the choice of many employers is a big benefit of being strong in C++, and that allows me to choose a company that will treat me well both in terms of compensation and work/life balance. There would have to be an extremely very large premium for me to focus on an unpopular language and limit my choice of employers.

Comment: Re:Made it! (Score 1) 117

by MalleusEBHC (#47387165) Attached to: Lessig's Mayday PAC Scrambling To Cross Crowd Funding Finish Line

First, your taxes are spent on things you don't agree with. So are mine and everyone else's. You have a right to complain about how that money is spent, but nobody sane advocates a system where your taxes are only spent on things with which you agree.

That said, I'm not convinced that spending tax money to support campaigns is the ideal solution. However, it's perhaps the only solution that is politically viable but could still produce meaningful change. The Supreme Court refuses to put any limits on campaign spending, and fat chance for a constitutional amendment to overrule them passing.

Comment: Re:Harder Idea - Shutter the team (Score 4, Informative) 398

by MalleusEBHC (#47179703) Attached to: The Ethics Cloud Over Ballmer's $2 Billion B-Ball Buy

Let's not forget that Sterling has been a Grade A fuckwad for decades before this. He has been sued multiple times for his racist housing discrimination practices. He lost one case outright. The terms of the other were confidential, but he had to pay millions in attorney fees, so let's guess how that one ended.

That's just the tip of his douchebag iceberg. He should have been run out long ago, but the league is a bunch of cowards. Fortunately, the players forced their hands by pretty much promising that no one would play for him again after this season.

Comment: Re:"Tech bro"? (Score 5, Informative) 427

by MalleusEBHC (#46951307) Attached to: In SF: an App For Auctioning Off Your Public Parking Spot

While I hate the term, the SF Weekly assuredly did use "tech bro" intentionally. You can see that it's not the first time they've used it, nor are they the only ones using it. The term usually refers to the SOMA, app-of-the-week startup crowd that's more interested in pitching VCs than building something useful.

Comment: Re:The STL is too general purpose (Score 1) 435

by MalleusEBHC (#46879655) Attached to: C++ and the STL 12 Years Later: What Do You Think Now?

I second a lot of these points. In the vast majority of cases, STL is plenty fast as long as you choose the correct container. If you're not able to pick the correct container, you'll be equally hopeless creating your own data structure.

In the absolutely performance-critical pieces, rolling your own data structure is often worth the cost over STL. However, many people mistake how many pieces are truly performance-critical. As Knuth correctly pointed out, premature optimization is the root of most/all evil. In most cases, you're better off with the consistency, readability, and reliability of STL over a homegrown data structure with unfamiliar syntax and potential bugs.

It's trendy to bash C++ nowadays, but I've yet to see another language that can compete with C++ on performance and features, and best yet direct compatibility with C. I do hope that's a cleaner language that can supersede C++ without loss of its strength but so far none has come up.

Have you tried C++11? It makes it possible to write much cleaner code than C++98.

Comment: Re:I must be in the minority. (Score 5, Insightful) 467

by MalleusEBHC (#46775589) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

I'm tired of all this "six figures is just-getting-by" bullshit. I'm a software engineer in the valley who only a few years ago was making almost exactly six figures, and I was doing far, far better than just getting by.

I bought a house even before making $100k. It's a small house in a good part of San Jose. I probably would have had to get a roommate for the first few years had my then-girlfriend not been chipping in rent, but that's somewhat expected with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. My monthly payment will stay the same forever, and inflation and salaries, even for non-engineers, are generally only going up in the long run.

Even with the house payment, I've always been able to stuff a significant amount of money into my 401(k) and IRA. By starting early and investing in index funds, I'm going to easily have enough money in retirement.

Even after putting a lot of money into a house and retirement, there was still plenty of money leftover for fun stuff. I was able to go out to nice restaurants, I bought myself nice toys like laptops and bicycles, and I generally didn't have to worry about money.

Admittedly I don't have kids and wasn't trying to support a family by myself, but a second income would also balance that out.

Are you able to buy a 5 bedroom, 3,000 sq ft house in Palo Alto on $100k? Hell no, but you can still live an extremely nice life. It's an insult to the people living paycheck to paycheck to say that six figures is just getting by.

Comment: Re:This is unholy (Score 3, Insightful) 107

It's not a perfect analogy, but German and Belgian beers are a good example of what you can do with narrow and open views on ingredients, respectively. The Germans were limited by the Reinheitsgebot to what they could use in their beers, and they produce a relatively narrow range of lagers which are, in my opinion, unspectacular. In contrast, the Belgians use a much wider range of ingredients and adjuncts. They produce what are widely considered some of the finest beers in the world, and they have a much wider range of styles.

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.