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Comment: Funding Cut (Score 1) 291

by Satis (#36520930) Attached to: Boeing's Enormous Navy Laser Cannon

The funding for this and the rail gun was recently cut by the Senate Armed Services committe.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/8157653/senate_armed_services_votes_to_kill.html

Hopefully this sees the light of day... some day... but I don't think it'll be under the current project. Too bad too. The FEL and rail gun are probably the coolest weapons projects out there.

Comment: Better to spend it on infrastructure than bailouts (Score 1) 1026

by Satis (#35156754) Attached to: Obama Calling For $53B For High Speed Rail

As much as I hate the idea of Obama spending even more of my money, building up our train infrastructure can only have good long-term effects, in my meaningless opinion. I'd love to take a train instead of fly or drive for a long time... it'd be awesome if I could hop on a train to New Orleans instead of driving for 10 hours, or dealing with an hour or two of security checkpoints and another 2 hours in a plane.

Hell, our national infrastructure is in a mostly-crumbling state... bridges collapsing, highways constantly being "repaired" for 2 years, only to have to be repaired again a few years later due to the lowest-bidder shoddy workmanship.

I'd much rather sink 53 billion into infrastructure than into bailouts.

Comment: Choose groping as civil disobedience (Score 1) 728

by Satis (#34470090) Attached to: A Nude Awakening — the TSA and Privacy

I chose to be groped rather than be scanned this last weekend on a flight to Colorado. Not flying is not an option... I refuse to have my travel curtailed. So my choices are to be technologically raped or physically groped. I choose the groping. Ultimately, I think the groping was worth the expression of shock and indignation on the part of the TSA goon. My rights were violated either way, but at least I made some sort of stand.

Comment: Going West? (Score 1) 84

by Satis (#34289078) Attached to: Japanese Game Developers Go West

Like into China? Or West as in the Western world? The title, at least, is a bit confusing, and we certainly can't expect everyone to read the article. :p

I think it's great that Japanese game developers are working with Western publishers (western as in American). Anything to provide cross-pollination of ideas and styles is always a good thing. I'm not a big fan of the art style or the grinding that seems to be in vogue for a lot of the Japanese games, but there's plenty there to love, as well.

Comment: Been done (Score 1) 164

by Satis (#32557276) Attached to: Lenovo Trying Face Recognition For Logins On New Laptops

My Dell laptop I bought a year and a half ago shipped with software to do exactly the same thing. I ended up disabling it because it took so much longer for the webcam to fire up and the software to do its thing than for me to just type in a password. This is with a Dell Studio XPS 13, though I wouldn't be surprised if this software shipped on other lappies as well.

Comment: algorithms, code design, proper use of objects (Score 1) 396

by Satis (#31199850) Attached to: What Knowledge Gaps Do Self-Taught Programmers Generally Have?

I am/was self taught as well, mostly web-based to start with... PHP, then javascript, then C# over many years and up to using OO in all three. A year ago I started taking c++ classes in college and I can say I picked up a few very helpful things.

1. C++ gave me a look into pointers and how stuff runs at a lower level than any of the other languages.
2. Object use. I used objects before, but I didn't leverage them quite as heavily as I could have, including inheritance and polymorphism. What I learned in C++ has greatly affected how I code in PHP and C#.
3. One of my C++ classes was about efficiency in algorithms... so I learned a bunch about how stuff is done deep down and how to write efficient code. Very helpful for some of the stuff I do in PHP and javascript when working with large data sets.
4. Code design is a big one... before, I just put all my methods into a single class and called them there. The class ended up being more of a repository for functions and data than a real class. Now I have a better grasp of breaking stuff into parts and either creating child classes or whatever is appropriate.

It's still a learning process. I'm only on my 4th c++ class and haven't even taken the data structure class yet, but I've learned a tremendous amount, even in just the first intro to c++ class. My suggestion... take at least intro to c++ at a community college.. you'll probably be surprised how much you'll learn. As an added bonus, being familiar with programming makes getting an A a breeze, so you can concentrate on actually writing decent code and learning stuff.

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