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Comment: Re:There is science here (Score 2) 16

by hey! (#49178195) Attached to: Rosetta Photographs Its Own Shadow On Comet 67P/C-G

Hmmm. While your explanation is unquestionably true, I don't think you quite understood what the poster was asking. His question is, I think, about the sharp shadows behind ridges on the surface, not the shadow of the vehicle itself.

I think his problem is an implicit assumption that if you drew a line from the center of the sun through the spacecraft, it would intersect the surface at a right angle. In that case you wouldn't expect cracks on the surface to display in such relief. However I believe that assumption is faulty, and that the rays of the sun intersect the surface at a considerable angle.

This is not unlike seeing the shadow of a plane you are riding in on the surface of the Earth. Unless you are in the tropics, that shadow won't be directly beneath you. It will be off to one side. It will also be distorted as it is spread out across the non-perpendicular surface, but you won't necessarily notice that because of foreshortening.

Comment: Re:Easier to Analyze or Change == More Maintainabl (Score 2) 162

by hey! (#49177955) Attached to: Study: Refactoring Doesn't Improve Code Quality

I once took over 30,000 lines of code that had been written by a subcontractor and trimmed it to around 4000 LOC. And you better believe it ran faster! Not because refactoring is magic, but because once all the mind-numbing almost-repetition was mucked out you could actually see what the code was doing and notice that a lot of it wasn't really necessary. Ever since then I have always maintained that coders should never ever copy and paste code. I've had people disagree, saying that a little bit of copying and pasting won't hurt, but I say if it's really such a little bit then you shouldn't mind re-typing it. Of course if you do that very soon you start putting more effort into devising ways to stop repeating yourself, which is exactly the point. Repeating yourself should be painful.

That's I think a reliable litmus test for whether you should refactor a piece of software. If it's an area of code that's been receiving a lot of maintenance, and you think you can reduce the size significantly (say by 1/3 or more) without loss of features or generality you should do it. If it's an area of code that's not taking up any maintenance time, or if you're adding speculative features nobody is asked for and the code will get larger or remain the same size, then you should leave it alone. It's almost common sense.

I don't see why anyone would think that refactoring for its own sake would necessarily improve anything. If an automotive engineer on a lark decided to redesign a transmission you wouldn't expect it to get magically better just because he fiddled with it. But if he had a specific and reasonable objective in the redesign that's a different situation. If you have a specific and sensible objective for reorganizing a piece of code, then it's reasonable to consider doing it.

Comment: Re:File extensions? (Score 1) 473

by tepples (#49177411) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

Windows do: they'll both pop up a thing saying 'You are trying to run a program downloaded from the Internet, do you really want to?', which isn't normally something that happens when people try to open a file

I beg to differ. Occasionally on Windows 8.1, I've opened a text file and still seen an alert to the effect "You are opening a text file downloaded from the Internet; are you sure?".

Comment: Improving crap code (Score 4, Insightful) 162

by davidwr (#49177065) Attached to: Study: Refactoring Doesn't Improve Code Quality

I've seen the before-and-after when crap code was rewritten and refactored by hand by a good coder.

The improvement was huge.

Was it better than if the same coder wrote the code "from scratch" from the problem-description or design document? I don't know, but my point is that crap can be turned into gold by a good coder, and that refactoring can be part of the cleanup.

Comment: Re:Also can be some of one and some of the other (Score 1) 511

by Sycraft-fu (#49176779) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Well in the case of civilians, you are in a special situation when you have access to classified data. You agree not to release it on penalty of criminal charges and you do so explicitly to be granted access. If you aren't ok with the restrictions, then you don't agree, and don't get clearance. Normal people like us aren't under any such restrictions, which is why the press doesn't get in trouble publishing it. They never agreed to shit.

As such it could be a situation where even if they agree it was just, it was still illegal.

Comment: Re:Yes, I agree (Score 1) 473

by tepples (#49176345) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

Take away their local admin privileges already, and address the real issue (that users privilege should never exceed their knowledge.)

In principle, I agree with your "real issue". But in practice, a lot of PCs are in homes of less-than-competent people. If a machine's owner lacks knowledge, then who should have local admin privileges?

Comment: The GWB43.com private email domain (Score 1) 463

Bush While House Email Controversy

The Bush White House email controversy surfaced in 2007 during the controversy involving the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys. Congressional requests for administration documents while investigating the dismissals of the U.S. attorneys required the Bush administration to reveal that not all internal White House emails were available, because they were sent via a non-government domain hosted on an email server not controlled by the federal government. Conducting governmental business in this manner is a possible violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and the Hatch Act. Over 5 million emails may have been lost or deleted. Greg Palast claims to have come up with 500 of the Karl Rove lost emails, leading to damaging allegations. In 2009, it was announced that as many as 22 million emails may have been deleted.

The administration officials had been using a private Internet domain, called gwb43.com, owned by and hosted on an email server run by the Republican National Committee, for various communications of unknown content or purpose. The domain name is an acronym standing for "George W. Bush, 43rd" President of the United States. The server came public when it was discovered that J. Scott Jennings, the White House's deputy director of political affairs, was using a gwb43.com email address to discuss the firing of the U.S. attorney for Arkansas. Communications by federal employees were also found on georgewbush.com (registered to "Bush-Cheney '04, Inc.") and rnchq.org (registered to "Republican National Committee"), but, unlike these two servers, gwb43.com has no Web server connected to it — it is used only for email.

The "gwb43.com" domain name was publicized by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), who sent a letter to Oversight and Government Reform Committee committee chairman Henry A. Waxman requesting an investigation. Waxman sent a formal warning to the RNC, advising them to retain copies of all emails sent by White House employees. According to Waxman, "in some instances, White House officials were using nongovernmental accounts specifically to avoid creating a record of the communications." The Republican National Committee claims to have erased the emails, supposedly making them unavailable for Congressional investigators.

On April 12, 2007, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel stated that White House staffers were told to use RNC accounts to "err on the side of avoiding violations of the Hatch Act, but they should also retain that information so it can be reviewed for the Presidential Records Act," and that "some employees ... have communicated about official business on those political email accounts." Stanzel also said that even though RNC policy since 2004 has been to retain all emails of White House staff with RNC accounts, the staffers had the ability to delete the email themselves.

Smell that stench of hypocrisy? It its the smell of Republicans dropping their pants and shitting on the fire built for them by the media.

It blends perfectly with the hypocritical stench of "librul bias" in the media, which bares the scent of decades of Republicans pissing on objective facts. Fox News is where they go and swill cheap beer so they can keep going with that decades long pissing contest.

Ultimately they are pissing and shitting on the Constitution, and for some reason I don't understand nobody seems to care.

Comment: Composed vs. purchased (Score 1) 473

by tepples (#49175983) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

It's not clear if the music folder is for own composed music or purchased music.

I assume that Microsoft assumed that "own composed music" is such a small edge case that music industry professionals would be able to handle it with their own in-house best practices. Evidence is that Microsoft includes the "Xbox Music" (formerly Zune) app in Windows but doesn't include even the simplest sequencer. Or has Microsoft added one to Windows 10?

Comment: Re:Jerri (Score 1) 515

There are ways to prevent wars between hostile groups. The more obvious one is redrawing the border such that each gets its slice, and in disputed areas, allocating them one way or another and forcibly resettling the population (as was done in the aftermath of WW2). It sucks, but it's better than a genocide later.

And why is it a good thing exactly?

Comment: Where's this execute checkbox in Windows? (Score 1) 473

by tepples (#49175827) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

Let me guess why people don't change the executable permissions in Windows more often. One is that it's not as clearly visible as the "Allow this file to run as a program" checkbox in Nautilus or Thunar or other X11/Linux file managers. The other is that permissions other than "write" don't stick on most removable media, which is formatted FAT32 or exFAT.

The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much.