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Comment: Re:jessh (Score 4, Insightful) 143

by Nemyst (#48914919) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms
Yeah, this was absolutely the right call. There were four possible scenarios here:
  • -There is no snowstorm and the officials shut the city down. At worst, people lose a day's worth of work, some businesses are affected. Whiners abound.
  • -There is no snowstorm and the officials leave the city running. Nothing happens, nobody notices.
  • -There is a snowstorm and the officials shut the city down. Everyone congratulates them for their foresight.
  • -There is a snowstorm and the officials leave the city running. Possible severe damage to infrastructure, possible death toll, cleanup is significantly more complicated and takes far longer. Officials are berated for their carelessness.

The best course of action by far is to shut the city down. The downside of doing so when there is no snowstorm is far lesser than the opposite. Those who complain have no idea what the fuck they're talking about (and who really expects a cabaret singer to have any knowledge of risk assessment and weather prediction?).

Comment: Re:In after somebody says don't run Windows. (Score 1) 467

by Nemyst (#48891393) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?
What's next, are you going to start talking about how there's a worm hidden in everyone's ring 0? Look, as much fun as it is to fantasize about a super smartly designed virus which "tells windows not to report it" and "doesn't show up in the registry editor" (why a virus would have to write in the registry in the first place is beyond me), they're unlikely to be on your computer. All those botnets you keep hearing about? They're far, far more likely to be built off CatPicturesScreensaver.exe than from some crazily smart drive-by which is completely undetectable and doesn't do anything... until the doomsday comes.

This isn't to say that "visual cues" and "checking stuff" aren't ridiculous, but you're also not a character in a Bond movie.

Comment: Re:Really Neat (Score 2) 139

by Nemyst (#48888109) Attached to: Scientists Slow the Speed of Light
Wait. They're slowing the group velocity, which isn't what most people think of when they read "velocity".

Group velocity is the speed at which the signal carried by a photon propagates. Essentially, if you look at a moving sine wave, group velocity is the speed at which it's moving. We already know that this velocity can be altered and can even be faster than c. This is different from signal velocity, which is the speed at which the individual photons carrying the signal propagate. Each photon is also a wave thanks to particle-wave duality, so the wave you're analyzing when you look at photons is the wave embodied by every photon you catch. You can't have faster than light communication even if group velocity is higher than c because the signal is still only going at c. The little packets carrying the wave travel slower than the wave's oscillation, essentially.

Altering group velocity is neat and cool, especially doing so in a vacuum, but it's not what a lot of people here believe.

Comment: Re:Religious reasons? (Score 1) 655

by Nemyst (#48885299) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?
Quite frankly I don't see why religion would be held to a different standard from any other reason people can think of to not get vaccinated. If someone doesn't want to be vaccinated for ideological reasons (say, Big Pharma conspiracy theorist) or because their religion says no, they should be treated the same way: as a potential danger to others. If it means Disney wants to fire them, well, they should be able to, for both of them. To do otherwise would be discrimination!

Comment: Re:Lower Level != "Complex" (Score 2) 643

by Nemyst (#48857271) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming
You want them to learn the abstract concepts of programming. With C, you quickly get bogged down in memory management, notions like pointers, the complete lack of object-oriented programming, awkward functions and weird workarounds like variadic functions. You can learn that stuff after you've understood what a loop is and how variables work.

Comment: Re:Javascript (Score 1) 643

by Nemyst (#48857205) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming
I dislike Javascript as an intro course because it's not strict enough. It's better, I find, to start with a stricter language and remove constraints once you're familiar with them. Otherwise, you'll get used to the language doing magic typecasting and to building objects haphazardly, and when you get to a language which requires class definitions and has strong(er) typing, you'll be confused and have to relearn everything. When you do it the other way around, you'll have a tendency to be more structured and to rely less on the language figuring out what you wanted to do.

I still think the best languages for starting out are Java, C# or Python, probably in that order (if Microsoft's open source thing pans out, I'd place C# above Java).

GREAT MOMENTS IN HISTORY (#7): April 2, 1751 Issac Newton becomes discouraged when he falls up a flight of stairs.