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Comment: Re:Maybe just wishful thinking but... (Score 1) 142

by FlyingGuy (#48024439) Attached to: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison Steps Down

I think that it is very context dependent. Think of it this way:

You have an instrument monitoring something, it is remote. You poll it every hour. In the first 10 hours you get some values. One of those values is zero (0) and that is a valid value for that particular measurement. In second 10 hours you notice you have some null's. Should I interpret those as zero or should I interpret those as no data acquired ?

I do know that Oracle will not count null values when doing any kind of averaging.

Comment: XCode aint there yet.... (Score 0) 66

by FlyingGuy (#48023029) Attached to: Building Apps In Swift With Storyboards

As someone who is a programmer, but had never had an Apple Desktop or Laptop until my wife and son got me one for Christmas this pas year I have to say X-Code needs more polish.

I say this because I was / Am a heavy user of Delphi ( Yup Object Pascal ). You might think OP is a toy but you could not be more wrong, but that is another argument. What I can say definitively is that Borland and now Embarcadero know how to do an IDE better then just about anything I have ever seen.

Apple needs to take a page out of their playbook. In Delphi when you add a component to a form, it adds ALL the code that you need to the unit that is handling the form. A simple double click on the element adds the code shell for that particular action, either from the object browser or from the form. You simply write the code that makes that action do what it needs to do, nothing else.

Now contrast this with X-Code... It will let you drag a component onto a form, in iOS Mavericks or whatever, but after that you have to and start screwing around in .h files, adding this adding that just so that element will be recognized and will compile. Couple that with the syntax of Objective C and you have a program that can only be written by someone who fairly in-depth knowledge of Objective C. I mean not they should not have to have that knowledge but it should not be a requirement to do basic forms and the like.

As it is mentioned, using the "Story Board" concept you can only write very simple apps that don't accomplish a whole lot. So while Apple is getting there they have a lot of ground to cover.

Comment: Re: Why do they even have a Starbucks? (Score 2) 241

by AthanasiusKircher (#48016967) Attached to: At CIA Starbucks, Even the Baristas Are Covert

Until Starbucks came along, though, we really didn't even pretend very hard to have good coffee.

That's not strictly true, at least not in some big cities and college towns that had decent coffee shops pre-Starbucks. It was really quite sad where I was living at the time when Starbucks came to town and basically started taking over spots that used to be indy coffee shops. Sure, not all of them were great, but they were generally better than Starbucks... Which frankly is terrible. Even if they had decent coffee, I wouldn't prefer to go there because of the pretentious BS of it all. No, I don't find it sophisticated or even cute to call sizes by some bizarre names, no I don't want to be asked 20 questions including my name just to order a plain standard drink. In Italy, you can find better coffee on any block at the local bar, and they don't need any of this crap "grande white chocolate mocha 1% with whip" to serve up something decent. You don't need white chocolate syrup and whipped cream to make a decent espresso taste good. I'd personally rather get a coffee from Dunkin Donuts than Captain Ahab's mate's joint.

Comment: IBM CLM publicizes their bug backlog on jazz.net (Score 1) 157

by SysKoll (#48014263) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?
IBM Rational has a product called CLM, an expensive software lifecycle management system, for which the bug and backlog lists are public. So your marketing might want to consider this. Then again, CLM is targetting developers, a crowd that is used to the notion that software has bugs. If you are selling your product to marketing, sales and other professional liars, you might want to hide the bugs. Reality frightens these guys.

Comment: Re:Rushing to mars is crap science (Score 1) 252

by AthanasiusKircher (#48013259) Attached to: Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

The cost of launching from earth is much higher than from space because we have to break Earth's gravity and pass through the atmosphere.

While this is certainly true, I don't think your general conclusions follow from this fact.

Build the next space station already. Build it big and ship it people and supplies and do it there.

The biggest expense is getting things into orbit, as you point out. It requires a certain amount of fuel for every pound or kilo of stuff we want to lift up there.

Given that space isn't exactly filled with random supplies (food, fuel for other missions, etc.) floating around, most of it is still going to have to come from Earth. So, exactly HOW is it cheaper to launch a mission from space if we still need to lift all the supplies from Earth anyway? Eventually, if we start being able to ferry people between a space station, the moon, other places, etc., we wouldn't have to lift the PEOPLE up again (if they're willing to basically live in space), but it's going to take quite a while until we can actually have a mechanism for deriving most of the other necessary SUPPLIES for missions from space... which will just have to be lifted up off the ground from Earth anyway.

So, what you're proposing is rather than flying ONE "high cost" mission up through the Earth's atmosphere, we should spend years or decades launching dozens (hundreds?) of times that material up through the atmosphere to build a giant space station or moonbase or whatever. And meanwhile, we have to keep sending up supplies continuously for any people there.

How exactly is that supposed to save costs??... except perhaps in a REALLY long term, assuming that space travel becomes an established thing in the next few decades (which is far from determined... maybe it'll catch on a few decades, maybe in a century or more).

If we cat accomplish that, we don belong in space.

From my perspective, this whole "Mission to Mars" idea is mostly a kind of propaganda move, though not in a negative sense. As other posters have said, why else bother sending humans? Robots can do just fine. But, just like the moon missions in the 1960s and 70s, this is supposed to reignite the public interest in space travel, which will make it easier to raise the kind of funds necessary to build your space station or whatever.

The first missions will be sort of "proof of concept." You're proposing investing in a giant infrastruction that will likely cost hundreds or even thousands of times the cost of one mission just to save some phantom money on not having to lift things out of Earth's gravity to launch a mission to Mars (when we had to lift most of that from Earth anyway to the space station or whatever).

I'm not saying your idea is bad in the (VERY) long term. But right now the psychological effect of launching one slightly more expensive mission that achieves a bigger goal may provide a spark. And that spark may get more people interested in the much larger amount of funding necessary to create the incredibly expensive infrastructure which you argue should make things cheaper.

Comment: Re:The film sucked; the miniseries before it was g (Score 1) 39

by FlyingGuy (#48010097) Attached to: Expedition 42 ISS Crew Embraces Douglas Adams

The film did its level best to condense a really great book into 90 minutes. The actors were genuine, they really got into it and they took some of the themes and made them poignant yet not overly so.

While it will never be among the worlds best movies, it really did better than I have ever seen trying to take a book like HGTTG and give it cinematic life.

And their use of actual costumes ( created by the late Jim Hensen's company ) was so MUCH better than CGI. All in all it was a good film.

Comment: Apple = cash cow for scumbags (Score 4, Insightful) 299

by Space cowboy (#48009555) Attached to: Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

As is the case a lot (not all) of the time with Apple. They're worth a lot in click-bait, so what you do is try to find something outrageous to say about a popular product, put adverts on the page to generate you cash, and try and profit from the massive public interest in yet another Apple product...

Or maybe I'm getting too cynical in my old age.

Simon

Comment: Re:iT'S FINE UNTIL.... (Score 3, Insightful) 50

by ScentCone (#47998681) Attached to: FAA Clears Movie and TV Drones For Takeoff

All this drone stuff will be fine until one manages to crash into an airliner, bringing it down. Then the FAA will be swamped with people demanding to know why the drones were allowed in the first place.

Which is also true of traditional RC aircraft, which have been flown for decades - with plenty of opportunities to get up into the path of full-scale aircraft. The carnage has been incredible, one plane after the next falling out of the sky.

The problem isn't going to be people shooting crop health, checking their gutters, doing an aerial during a TV shoot, or getting real estate photos. The problem is going to be malicious users. Just like wrong-headed people who choose to be malicious with lead pipes, shotguns, or kitchen knives.

A bunch of laws telling law abiding people not to fly their camera robot over 400' will mean exactly nothing to someone who doesn't care about laws.

Comment: Re:This has nothing to do with wasting food (Score 1) 383

by ScentCone (#47986721) Attached to: Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

And what does it have to do with technology?

Regardless of your take on how the editor wrote the headline, the concept here (the government empowering trash collectors to police your behavior after looking through what you throw out) is right there in keeping with the government doing all sorts of other things that involve prying into your behavior with an eye towards controlling it. Technology is the most common or at least a highly visible venue for that sort of intrusion these days, so other blatant examples of government micromanagement (like looking through your trash) serve nicely to remind technologists of the larger underlying issues, and that there ARE such issues.

Comment: Re:Another terrible article courtesy of samzenpus (Score 3, Insightful) 383

by ScentCone (#47986665) Attached to: Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

to excite slashdot's conservative majority

OK, you got me. For a moment there I thought you were taking yourself seriously, and having a rant, however misguided. It's a shame there's no satire/sarcasm tag to reward you for your sense of humor. That was a good one!

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