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Comment: Re:Time for a new date (Score 1) 198

Peak oil isn't about quantity of oil, it's about rate of oil extraction. For example, Mexico's Cantarell field at its peak produced oil at a greater rate than the entire Canadian tar sands despite being around 0.1% of the size of what Canada has. We don't yet know whether the rate of production from this field will do anything at all to when peak oil happens.

Comment: 5v lines (Score 4, Informative) 165

by Alioth (#48010695) Attached to: Why the Z-80's Data Pins Are Scrambled

It's not at all unusual for the 5v and 0v (Vcc and GND) lines to be in the middle of a DIP package (the Slashdot summary sort of implies it's an odd thing). It means the leads within the package are shorter for those lines, lowering parasitic inductance and capacitance for the power supply to the chip, generally you want the decoupling capacitors to be as close to the actual chip as possible so they can be as effective as possible as the power demands change. Putting the supply pins at opposite corners (like it's done on things like 14 pin 74-series standard logic) would very significantly lengthen the distance that the actual supply rails on the chip are from the decoupling capacitors.

Comment: I love Obj-C. I've used it since 1989. (Score 1) 310

by jcr (#48008177) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

But as I've said many times since then, I'll switch when something better comes along. That time has come. Swift is a major improvement over Obj-C, and it was developed to meet Apple's internal needs, by engineers who know Obj-C inside out.

It's kind of a kick being a beginner again. Swift takes some getting used to, but I expect it to give me as much of a productivity improvement over Obj-C as Obj-C gave me over C++.


Comment: Re:Someone explain please (Score 4, Insightful) 210

by jcr (#47991163) Attached to: Australian Senate Introduces Laws To Allow Total Internet Surveillance

What is it with governments and wanting to spy on every citizen, just because the technology might allow for it?

As Robert Heinlein pointed out, there are two kinds of people in the world: those who seek to control others, and those who have no such desire. Governments are comprised of the assholes in the first category, and mass surveillance is all about power.


In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.