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Comment: Re:another language shoved down your throat (Score 1) 411

by Ottibus (#47422495) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

Could have been worse? Python is a fantastic first language to learn how programming is done, especially in the context of getting another job done (Science, Math, etc.)

This is about Computer Science, not Science/Math, so you need a language that teaches the basic principles of languages and programming, not something that just "gets the job done".

Python lacks features that have been shown over the decades to be a good idea for creating solid, reliable codebases, such as strong typing and a class/library system that allows proper data hiding and abstraction.

Comment: Go should be a contender (Score 1) 466

by Ottibus (#47246975) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Rapid Development Language To Learn Today?

This is another (non-anonymous) vote for Go (golang). Here are some reasons:

* Type Safety
For any serious project type safety provides a massive boost to productivity and correctness. Go's type system is powerful but not too intrusive to more generic coding.

* Fast compilation
Although it is not interpreted the language and package design allow very fast compilation so that it can be treated as a scripting language and compiled at run time.

* Good libraries
There is a large and growing collecting of libraries, mainly focussed on web service applications but other areas are also supported. You can create a web server that handles multiple concurrent requests in a single page of code.

* Good package (module) support
Go provides the ability to create packages with a certain amount of encapsulation and data hiding without it being a burden on development time.

* Built-in concurrency
Language support for concurrent execution and synchronised communication makes it very easy to develop modular applications that support multiple activities.

* Clean Syntax
Go code is easy to read and missing lots of fluff from other languages. The gofmt command tidies up code and makes it consistent throughout a project

* Built-in unit test framework
Go makes it easy to check that you code does what it is supposed to

* Good performance
Not quite up to C++ standards but faster than interpreted solutions

* Can generate JavaScript!
There are at least two solutions for converting Go code to JavaScript, so you can can use one language for client and server code.

I also like the type system (interfaces) and other language features, but these are more a matter of taste.

Comment: Big Science is expensive (Score 1) 62

by Ottibus (#47171267) Attached to: Lepton Universality In Question, a Standard Model Assumption

Gosh science is so expensive. Let's shut it down so we can remain ignorant [] forever!

Science in cheap, Big Science is expensive. So, yes, let's shut down some of the expensive Big Science experiments and fund hundreds of other smaller experiments in a range of different fields. No so flashy, but much better value.

Comment: Re:No DRM + multicast (Score 1) 200

by Ottibus (#46831249) Attached to: How Much Data Plan Bandwidth Is Wasted By DRM?

You know, there's a technology, at least as old as IP networks, that's multicast. If you couple it with a nice lack of DRM, you can reduce the required bandwith.

Even if you could build a workable internet-wide multicast streaming solution it would still not reduce the bandwidth to your phone. The same number of packets come over the air to your device whether they are multicast or unicast. The benefits of unicast are in the network infrastructure not the transmitters or receivers and, so far, these benefits have not been seen to outweigh the disadvantages.

Comment: Re:re; You Should? (Score 1) 600

by Ottibus (#46824755) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

The problem with a misinformed public is that they rapidly become the pitchfork and torch wielding public when it comes to public funding for science endeavors ("We don't need no moar money wasted on that thar space thingy!!!")

Accepting the Big Bang as scientific fact doesn't necessarily mean that you think that Big Bang research should be publicly funded. And it is arguable that the public visibility of these large science projects draws funding away from smaller, more valuable efforts. We are going to make many more interesting discoveries by spending millions on 1000 widely different projects than spending billions on just one narrowly-focussed project.

And just to be more contentious I would point out that the Space program is engineering, not science, and people don't have a problem with engineering because they can see that it works.

Comment: Borderline Facist (Score 2) 385

by Ottibus (#45861535) Attached to: Isaac Asimov's 50-Year-Old Prediction For 2014 Is Viral and Wrong

If you read a lot of his stories, they are about communist societies.

Most of his societies were based on benevolent Scientocracy: a small group of wise and powerful scientists ran the society for the benefit of the rest of the population. Look at the end of the Foundation series in particular, in which a highly secretive organisation called the Second Foundation was controlling and manipulating the whole of society with no form of accountability whatsoever.

I read a lot of Asimov as a teenager but stopped liking his writing when I realised just how much he was promoting right-wing authoritarian government rather than any real form of democracy or even accountability.

Comment: Where is Mobile? (Score 3, Insightful) 385

by Ottibus (#45861383) Attached to: Isaac Asimov's 50-Year-Old Prediction For 2014 Is Viral and Wrong

The science and technology are amazingly accurate

I must have been reading a different article. The one I read had working Fusion reactors, cars that float above the ground, Cubic TVs, windowless underground houses, no electic cords, colonies on the moon and automatic cooking machines in every kitchen.

But the article has absolutely no mention of mobile devices which seems, to me, to be a massive failure of foresight.

Comment: Re:Very different code (Score 1) 225

by Ottibus (#45744663) Attached to: Comparing G++ and Intel Compilers and Vectorized Code

All my code is compiled with

    -Wall -Werror -pedantic

What is the problem writing correct code?

There is nothing wrong with writing correct code, but I would not use gcc warnings as a way of defining what is and is not correct code. In fact code that generates a warning is (by definition) correct, otherwise it would generate an error.

There is a problem with using "-Werror" because you cannot predict what code is going to generate warnings in future versions of the compiler or with different processor architectures. This may not be an issue for personal projects, but it can be a real pain when used on a large, long-running code base.

Comment: Computation is not the big energy drain (Score 4, Interesting) 154

by Ottibus (#45730367) Attached to: 'Approximate Computing' Saves Energy

The problem with this approach is that the energy used for computation is a relatively small part of the whole. Much more energy is spent on fetching instructions, decoding instructions, fetching data, predicting branches, managing caches and many other processes. And the addition of approximate arithmetic increases the area and leakage of the processor which increases engergy consumption for all programs.

Approximate computation is already widely used in media and numerical applications, but it is far from clear that it is a good idea to put approximate arithmetic circuits in a standard processor.

Comment: Re:Probably Apple (Score 1) 59

by Ottibus (#45512983) Attached to: Intel Opens Doors To Rivals, Maybe

Android I think is only scheduled to get 64-bit support in late 2014 as well.

I suspect that Android will get 64-bit support when there is a phone that needs it, but it feels like that will be closer to the middle of 2014 rather than the end.

I'm sure Intel's worried - the latest Bay Trail Atoms are basically even with the A7 in performance.

And Bay Trail is on a newer 22nm process compared to A7's 28nm. I don't know the mind of Intel, but they have to be concerned that their "process advantage" is still not delivering concrete benefits.

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.

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