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Comment Re:What happened to Pascal, anyway? (Score 2) 123

The two major Pascal implementations (Free Pascal and Delphi) are fairly compatible with each other so it's not as fragmented as you think.

It's isn't fragmented now, because it's dead other than those two non-standard compilers, all the other implementations having vanished along with their communities...

Comment Re:What happened to Pascal, anyway? (Score 1) 123

The Pascal community fragmented. The 8-bit systems carried on using ISO Pascal or UCSD Pascal, but Wirth and other key Pascal experts went off and created Modula-2, which was much more practical for real world programming. (I used Modula-2 on the Atari ST, it was a much nicer experience than trying to program GEM in C.)

But instead of Pascal or Modula-2, Borland went off and did their own thing, producing a proprietary "Pascal" that wasn't compatible with anyone else.

Then the Modula-2 community split into the Oberon (Wirth) and Modula-3 (everyone else) communities to add OO, and Borland again did their own thing and ignored everyone else.

Now we have Go, which takes C and adds in ideas from Modula and Oberon. And Free Pascal still isn't even compatible with 1982's standard ISO Pascal.

Comment Not the first full recovery from space (Score 1) 121

SpaceShip One touched space and all elements were recovered and flew to space again.

BO's demonstration is more publicity than practical rocketry. It doesn't look like the aerodynamic elements of BO's current rocket are suitable for recovery after orbital injection, just after a straight up-down space tourism flight with no potential for orbit, just like SpaceShip One (and Two). They can't put an object in space and have it stay in orbit. They can just take dudes up for a short and expensive view and a little time in zero gee.

It's going to be real history when SpaceX recovers the first stage after an orbital injection, in that it will completely change the economics of getting to space and staying there.

Comment Re:Another in a long series of marketing mistakes (Score 1) 137

You'd need a popular product to pull off obtaining second-clientage from governments, and you'd need not to reveal that your device had legal intercept.

This is just a poorly-directed company continuing to shoot itself in the foot. It's not made its product desirable for government, or for anyone else.

Comment Another in a long series of marketing mistakes (Score 2) 137

There's a truism in marketing that you can only differentiate your product on the parts that the customer sees and uses. Blackberry just can't learn this lesson. They tried differentiating on the OS kernel, which the customer never sees. And now on an insecurity feature that the customer won't be allowed to use. It's been a protracted death spiral, but it's a continuing one.

Comment What's Wrong with the Hobbit? (Score 2) 175

The Hobbit books are to a great extent about race war. The races are alien and fictional, but they are races, and the identification of good or bad is on racial boundaries. This isn't all that unusual in the fantasy genre, or even some sci-fi.

Lots of people love those books. And there's lots of good in them. To me, the race stuff stuck out.

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead