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Knowing C++ Beyond a Beginner Level 345

Nerval's Lobster writes: C++ is not an easy language to master, but many people are able to work in it just fine without being a 'guru' or anything along those lines. That being said, what separates C++ beginners from those with 'intermediate' skills, or even masters? According to this Dice article, it comes down to knowledge of several things, including copy constructors, virtual functions, how to handle memory leaks, the intricacies of casting, Lambda functions for C++11, (safe) exception handling and much more. All that being said, is there one particular thing or point that separates learners from masters?

Submission + - A State Goes Dark . . .

misteralexander writes: "Washington State has experienced a "Catastrophic Cascading Power Loss", taking the entire states' digital resources ( and all sub-domains) offline. The Department Of Information Services (DIS) was working on Generator power because of unsafe power spikes in the civilian grid system. It was during this "Extended Use" when the generator system became "Unstable". A switch to the UPS backup proved faulty as well, taking the entire state, all state agencies & resources (fingerprint sub-system, State Patrol, Food Stamps) offline. One internal resources is quoted as saying "It will be hours before we can even know what caused this, and possibly several hours beyond that before a system restart will be attempted"."

Submission + - Microsoft buys Skype (

OneMadMuppet writes: Microsoft–in what would be its most aggressive acquisition in the digital space–is buying Skype for $8.5 billion all in with an assumption of the Luxembourg-based company’s debt.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.