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Comment: Re:Start spreadin' the rants... (Score 1) 166

by SoftwareArtist (#49633861) Attached to: The World's Most Wasteful Megacity

Did you read the article? He repeatedly points out how bad NYC is on a per-capita basis, not just absolute. To quote just a few examples:

"The New York metropolis has 12 million fewer people than Tokyo, yet it uses more energy in total: the equivalent of one oil supertanker every 1.5 days,”

The average New Yorker uses two dozen times more energy than someone in Kolkata, and creates 15 times as much solid waste.

Yes, NYC is one of the most visited cities in the world. So are Tokyo, Paris, and London, all of which use less energy and produce far less waste. That doesn't explain it.

Comment: Sounds quite reasonable (Score 1) 174

'A lot of working scientists assume that if it's published, it's right,' he says. 'This makes it hard to dismiss that there are still a lot of false positives in the literature.'

Ummm... they do? Like, who? Not a single one I know.

If a result is published, I assume (as do most other scientists) that means very little until it's been reproduced, and even then I remain quite skeptical until it's stood the test of time. I assume many published results will turn out to be wrong. That's just the nature of science. Every paper is a work in progress, a snapshot of someone's research at one moment. And that's fine.

So 39% were successfully reproduced, and another 24% came close? I'd call that pretty good, especially in psychology where you're studying an incredibly complex system (the human brain) while trying to sort out hundreds of interacting factors.

Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 1) 540

"Low income housing" does not mean slums. It generally just means housing that costs less than a certain fraction of the median housing cost in the area. Given that this is Marin, most of the people living in this development will probably be very solidly middle class.

Also, vandalism, crime, etc. are generally problems that appear when you have absentee landlords who don't care about keeping up the property and don't do anything to evict problem tenants. That's unlikely to be the case here. I expect Lucas will just pay a company to manage the property for him, and they'll do a fine job of keeping things running.

Comment: Re:STL (Score 1) 757

by SoftwareArtist (#49235577) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?

Exactly. It isn't really a full featured collections framework. It's more a set of low level primitives that you're expected to use to implement the higher level functions that every other collections framework provides out of the box. And of course, the functions you write will be different from the ones every other programmer writes: different names, different behavior.

This is one of the common complaints about C++. It leads everyone to basically create their own personal language, and then it's hard to work on any other person's code because you first have to learn the non-standard language they've created.

Comment: Re:STL (Score 1) 757

by SoftwareArtist (#49235535) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?

You can do the same thing in other languages too. Just about every collections framework includes something equivalent to find(). But very often you don't want to access the element, just check whether it's present. So for that common situation, they provide a concise, easily readable way to do it.

Comment: Re:STL (Score 1) 757

by SoftwareArtist (#49230691) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?

That won't work, for a few reasons. First, strlen() expects a char* as its argument, not a std::string. You need to write strlen(s.c_str()). But what are you gaining from using strlen? It's simpler to write s.size(). Second, you're dereferencing the null at the end of the string. You really wanted to write s[s.size()-t.size()] == t. Oops, but that's still not correct! It contains a very subtle error. If t happens to be longer than s, you'll be trying to access s with a negative index, which could lead to a (nondeterministic, of course!) segfault.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could just write s.endsWith(t)? Why the @#$% do the C++ designers refuse to add methods for all these standard functions that every other language provides?

Comment: Re:STL (Score 1) 757

by SoftwareArtist (#49229815) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?

Thank you, you just illustrated my point beautifully. :) You're right, instead of "s.rfind(t) == s.size()-t.size()" you could write "!s.empty() && (*s.rbegin())==t". And instead of "c.find(e) != c.end()" you could write "std::count(c.begin(), c.end(), e)>0". That's just so much clearer than "s.endsWith(t)" or "c.contains(e)". STL gives you lots of convoluted, hard to read ways of solving trivial problems. That makes your code even harder to read. Because not only is it obfuscated to begin with, but there isn't even a single "standard" way to do anything, so every person's code looks different.

Comment: STL (Score 5, Informative) 757

by SoftwareArtist (#49229215) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?

You can argue about whether C++ is a horrible language (I lean toward "yes") in itself, but the libraries are what really push it over the edge. STL is hands down the worst collections framework I've ever encountered. Consider just a few examples of how you do some common operations with it, compared to doing the same things in Java and Python.

1. Check whether a string s ends with a suffix t.

Java: s.endsWith(t)
Python: s.endswith(t)
C++: s.rfind(t) == s.size()-t.size()

2. Check whether a collection c contains an element e.

Java: c.contains(e)
Python: e in c
C++: c.find(e) != c.end()

3. Split a string s into tokens based on whitespace.

Java: s.split()
Python: s.split()
C++: ... do you really want to know? Ok, check out There you will find dozens of proposed solutions (many of them quite indecipherable), along with lots of debate about which one is best. The top voted solution has a comment on it (with several hundred votes) saying that it's a bad solution and you shouldn't use it.

Doing even really basic, common operations with STL requires way too much work and produces absurd, hard to read code.

Comment: Re:Price Controls? (Score 1) 279

by SoftwareArtist (#49225413) Attached to: California's Hot, Dry Winters Tied To Climate Change

That's why when scientists talk about arctic sea ice, they almost always talk about the minimum extent at the peak of the summer melt. That's basically a measure of how much of the multi-year ice is still left, a good indicator of long term trends. The peak amount in the middle of the winter is mostly irrelevant, as you point out.

Antarctic sea ice is completely different. There is almost no multi-year ice (the south pole being in the middle of a continent, and thus far from anywhere that sea ice could form), so the summer minimum is essentially zero. Instead they talk about the winter maximum, but that has little to do with long term changes and everything to do with current conditions in that particular year.

Comment: Re:Price Controls? (Score 5, Informative) 279

by SoftwareArtist (#49219877) Attached to: California's Hot, Dry Winters Tied To Climate Change

I'm going to do something very foolish and imagine that you actually believe what you're saying, that you're not just being a troll, and that you actually think the data supports your conclusions. And now I'm going to explain why you're wrong, indulging in the fantasy that you'll listen with an open mind and, once you realize your mistake, freely acknowledge it. Prove me right. Or wrong. Your choice.

Also, ignore the arctic ice that's been increasing for three years,

Three years? Three years is random noise. The climate consists of steady, long term trends with lots of short term fluctuations superimposed on top of them. Take artic ice, for example. It shrinks every summer and grows every winter. There are lots of factors that affect the summer minimum: wind patterns, ocean currents, etc. A few years ago, lots of factors converged to give an exceptionally low minimum. It hasn't matched that since; but it's come close, and has remained far below anything seen until just a decade ago.

Here's a graph showing sea ice for almost 40 years: Yes, it fluctuates up and down from year to year. But look at that and tell me it shows anything other than fluctuations around a steady decreasing trend that remains upbroken.

Let's look at something even more convincing: world wide temperatures. Look at those graphs, and then tell me they show anything other than short term fluctuations on a long term warming trending that has been in place for the last century.

Ignore Niagara falls that has frozen over two years in a row and ignore all the record cold around the country.

Wrong! There has not been record cold "around the country". Believe me, the whole western half of the country has been getting record heat, as has most of the planet. Here's a map showing it: Those are the difference between Jan. 2015 temperatures and historical (1981-2010) average temperatures. The red areas are hotter than average. The blue areas are colder than average. Yes, there's a small blue patch over the eastern US. But overall there's a lot more red than blue.

This is why scientists tend to prefer the term "climate change" to "global warming". Yes, the globe is warming up, but that doesn't mean everything is exactly the same, just uniformly warmer. Some times and places are a lot warmer. Others are only a little warmer. Others are actually cooler. Wind patterns are changing. Ocean currents are changing. Precipitation patterns are changing. Sea level is rising. Permafrost it melting. The climate is changing.

And if you want to know precisely how global warming is causing unusually cold weather in the eastern US, take a look at

Ignore the fact NAS falsified the CO2 hypothesis in 2010

Sorry, but that is just BS. You linking to a story about how fungi help to hold onto carbon and keep it out of the atmosphere, and somehow translated that into "NAS falsified the CO2 hypothesis". No. I don't know what you think that article actually meant, but I can assure you that isn't what it meant. (OK, I see you also linked to that Register piece that totally misrepresented the conclusions of that study. The Register is a notorious denialist website. Believe me, the scientists who actually did the work would not agree with the conclusions they're trying to draw from it.)

No one has "falsified the CO2 hypothesis". In fact, it was recently proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, by actually directly measuring the incoming and outgoing radiation, showing that the CO2 absorption bands directly led to a net inward flux of energy, and even showing the magnitude of that flux had increased over the last ten years.

Ignore the fact not a single IPCC prediction ever came true.

Once again, this is simply BS. They predicted that temperatures would continue to increase. They have. (Don't believe the nonsense you hear from denialists about "no warming since 2010". 14 of the 15 hottest years ever recorded were in the last 15 years, and last year was the very warmest.) They predicted that sea level would continue rising, and the rate of rise would increase. Correct on both counts. They predicted that extreme weather events would become more common. They have.

And now you'll probably reply with some sort of flame indicating you weren't really interested in facts after all. Well, I tried.

Comment: "Requirements" == "Guidelines" (Score 2) 292

by SoftwareArtist (#49219355) Attached to: Do Tech Companies Ask For Way Too Much From Job Candidates?

Never take requirements too literally. I've done a fair amount of hiring, and been involved in writing job descriptions of this sort. If it says, "Requires 5 years C++ experience", what we really mean is, "Requires C++ proficiency typical of someone who has been doing it for several years." If you've only been doing it for 3 years but your skills are solid, that's good enough. It's also kind of a wish list. If it lists four required skills, that means we'd really like someone with all four skills. But if the best candidate only has three of them, that's not a deal breaker. A competent person can pick up the last one fairly quickly.

If you think you can do the job, don't let "requirements" prevent you from applying.

Comment: Re:TOTALLY fair use (Score 1) 255

by SoftwareArtist (#49176847) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

> Honestly? Neither do you.

Thanks, and I like you too. Now can we be polite to each other? :)

> Fair Use is decided on a case-by-case basis using these guidelines and the principles behind them.

This is at best a pretty severe distortion. You make it sound like every court starts from scratch, considering the case as if no similar case had ever been considered before. That's far from the truth. In fact, there's a huge body of case law on the subject, including a whole bunch of supreme court decisions establishing what does or doesn't count as fair use. Sure, there are occasionally new corner cases involving particular combinations of factors that haven't been considered before. But that's pretty rare, and this particular case isn't anything like that. And contrary to what you say, a work that "scores highly" on all four criteria is clearly, unambiguously fair use. The courts settled that long ago. The ambiguities are in cases that do well on some criteria and badly on others.

> But in actuality, fair use of copyrighted material isn't even the issue here - it's the use of trademarked material.

Yes, trademark is a completely different subject. But that isn't what the poster was talking about, and I was replying to what he said.

If God had a beard, he'd be a UNIX programmer.