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Comment: Re:Modula-3 FTW! (Score 1) 484

by Teckla (#48900359) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

I would say that Delphi's advantages over Python and Java are native compilation and its advantage over C++ is the speed of compilation.

A lack of good, free Java compilers that produce native binaries (with no additional dependencies!) is the Achilles' Heel of Java. I'm convinced languages like Google Go would never have been invented if Java's ecosystem wasn't missing such an important piece of the puzzle.

I say this as someone who thinks Java struck the right compromises in most design decisions.

Comment: Teachers and Nurses? (Score 2) 335

by Teckla (#48841963) Attached to: Lies, Damn Lies, and Tech Diversity Statistics

How come there are never any reports on the fact that elementary and middle school teachers are overwhelmingly female? How come there are never any reports on the fact that nurses such as LPNs and RNs are overwhelmingly female?

What's being done to close these gender gaps? Why is it never reported? Why is it not important? Wouldn't it be good for kids, who spend a lot of their life in school, to also have male teachers as role models?

What about college admissions? Female admissions have been much higher than male admissions for quite a while now. Why isn't this being reported? Shouldn't we be discussing what to do about that?

Forgive me, but I've seen this "gender gap in technology" thing reported over, and over, and over and over and over and over and over and over ad nauseum, the last few years. It's a discussion that's worth having, to be sure, but it astonishes me how gender gaps in other, probably much more important areas, are completely ignored.

Why is that?

Comment: Re:pfsense (Score 1) 403

by Teckla (#48826897) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Migrating a Router From Linux To *BSD?

So software written in C is bad now? What if you find a bug in the kernel, or in ls? You do know that ls is also written in C?

The application domains for which C is an appropriate choice has been shrinking for a few decades now. For example, C is not memory safe and pretty error prone. For those application domains where security and/or reliability trump maximum performance and/or low resource usage, languages other than C are probably appropriate.

Comment: Re:Hypocrites, liars and communists. (Score 1) 441

by Teckla (#48826839) Attached to: Why We Have To Kiss Off Big Carbon Now

My family did pretty much the same stuff. And since we're really not exceptional in any way, I have to assume that there are more people doing the same thing.

I'm not a climate change denier or anything, just trying to stress the (probably insurmountable) scope of the problem. Kudos to people who care, and do the right thing, but I don't think there's enough of them, sadly enough.

Comment: Re:Hypocrites, liars and communists. (Score 2) 441

by Teckla (#48826115) Attached to: Why We Have To Kiss Off Big Carbon Now

Some of us are doing quite a lot ourselves, actually. Starting a couple years ago I actually started refusing to commute to do work that can be done just as well over the internet. Sure, it meant turning down some jobs, but it also cut my total miles driven per year (at low speed in stop-and-go traffic no less) by thousands, and my total gasoline consumption by a factor of over 90%, and though I didn't plant a tree (I don't own any land to plant it on), I did plant an herb garden on my balcony.

Awesome! Only 6,999,999,999 humans to go!

Comment: Re: noooo (Score 1) 560

by Teckla (#48722335) Attached to: 2014: Hottest Year On Record

On current trends solar and wind are set to hit that goal within a decade or so. There are some interest engineering problems around storage/demand management and power transmission, but the trend lines look quite good. Especially if you enforce even reasonable local environmental standards on mining and burning coal.

I think wind and solar are already quite competitive, except for the base load problem. I'd love to see a lot more R&D money go into things like storage and distribution.

Comment: Re: noooo (Score 3, Insightful) 560

by Teckla (#48720209) Attached to: 2014: Hottest Year On Record

Let me start my comment by saying I very much believe in global warming and that I believe it is primarily caused by humans dumping enormous amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

I would suggest sheer perseverance of publishing the science in the face of such unfounded denialism will eventually do the trick, in the same way that it worked to convince the public of the link between smoking and cancer despite the opposition from vested interests at the time.

There's a big difference this time that makes your analogy break down. Smoking does not give people that much of a boost in their quality of life. (In fact, it costs them a lot of money, and it makes them horribly sick--possibly even killing them!)

Lots of cheap energy gives people an enormous boost in their quality of life. Even if you get everyone agreeing that global warming is real and caused by human industry, they're still going to want their cheap energy--even if that means we continue dumping unprecedented amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

The two primary camps today are the deniers (who are obviously deluded) and the believers (who are also deluded--they actually believe humanity will solve the problem, given enough evidence or education or whatever).

There are billions--billions--of humans on the planet, and a large percentage of them want to improve their quality of life--or, at the very least, not see it drop. There are hundreds of countries, many of them ready, willing, and able to burn all the coal and oil they can afford. (If some countries use less--in an attempt to reduce CO2 emissions--there's less demand, thus prices will drop, thus it'll become more affordable to those people and countries that so desperately want that energy to improve their quality of life.)

Humans are simply not going to stop dumping enormous quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere. It. Just. Isn't. Going. To. Happen.

Our only hope at this point is some breakthrough technologies that produce energy at a lower cost than alternatives like burning coal and oil. If that happens, the free market will take care of the rest. If you want to slow, stop, and reverse global warming, we need to throw money at alternative energy research. Anything else is doomed and hopeless. There's simply too much demand for (cheap) energy.

Comment: Re:You know what would get me going again? No 3D! (Score 2) 400

by Teckla (#48719859) Attached to: Box Office 2014: Moviegoing Hits Two-Decade Low

My wife and I stopped going to the cinemas a year or so ago because every movie we wanted to see, there was no option within a 45 minute drive to see these movies in anything but 3D.

I also dislike 3D movies. The goofy, uncomfortable glasses. The higher ticket prices. The fuzziness. Blech.

The good news is, Hollywood is slowly but surely discovering (for the second or third time) that people don't like 3D movies. You probably won't have to put up with them for much longer.

Comment: Re:not just many eyes (Score 2) 255

by Teckla (#48719625) Attached to: 2014: The Year We Learned How Vulnerable Third-Party Code Libraries Are

TLS is the issue. It isn't simple. It isn't even secure in many compliant configurations. It invites implementation errors.
A good spec of a secure protocol would make secure implementations easy. If you don't think about the implementability while you're writing a spec, you're doomed, like TLS is.

Well said! You deserve +5, Insightful. Get on it, mods!

Comment: Re:not just many eyes (Score 1) 255

by Teckla (#48719569) Attached to: 2014: The Year We Learned How Vulnerable Third-Party Code Libraries Are

Very few people or organizations are likely to be able to securely implement their own version of TLS.

Security and Complexity are enemies. Call me paranoid, but given recent revelations, I suspect TLS was purposefully made complex--so that any implementation was likely to have bugs that could be found and exploited.

Secure communication shouldn't be, and doesn't have to be, so mind-bendingly complex. It should be relatively easy to implement secure communication libraries. It should be fall-off-a-log easy to use said libraries, so that software developers can get client/client apps, client/server apps, and even server/server apps communicating over a secure channel without needing 20 years of security experience first. The code examples showing how it's done should fit on a single printed page.

Until the (purposeful?) complexity is ejected, secure communication will continue to be a fantasy.

Comment: Re:MicroSD card? (Score 1) 325

by Teckla (#48719179) Attached to: Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit For Shrinking Storage Space In iOS 8

There would probably be almost no debate if Apple wasn't ridiculously stingy with their storage and charged so damn much for more. 16 GB is pretty much a laughable amount these days. The flash memory used in smartphones and tablets costs like 1/3 or less compared to 5-6 years ago. There's no good reason to sell iPhones or iPads with only 16 GB of storage these days.

Wait, I take that back. There is a good reason. Apple wants to push you to grossly overpay for more storage--or push you into iCloud. i.e., They simply want more money.

Comment: Re:OK Google? (Score 2) 35

by Teckla (#48652881) Attached to: Chromebook Gets "OK Google" and Intel's Easy Migration App

It means Google has given up, and admitted that they are listening to everything you say.

Obviously, it needs to listen so it knows when you say, "OK Google." Also, it's trivially easy to turn off. Lastly, you can clearly see there's no Internet traffic (uploading of audio) unless and until you say, "OK Google."

I'm opening up my chromebook to install a hardware switch on the microphone wire.

Are you doing the same on all your smartphones, tablets, and laptops, too? Or are you just paid to write anti-Google posts? Does it pay well?

(Goes without saying that there is already duct tape over the webcam. )

It goes without saying you're wearing a tinfoil hat to stop government mind control rays from getting into your brain, too.

How you got modded +5 is beyond me. Damn mods on crack again.

Comment: Re:The thing that made the Sinclairs popular ... (Score 1) 110

by Teckla (#48552747) Attached to: Spectrum Vega: A Blast From the Past

That was wonderful time. I really look forward to when we get a new generation of computers as easy to pick up and develop for as home computers were. It's a shame Microsoft didn't bundle VB with Windows back in the 1990s, and we're still stuck with relatively impenetrable - for newcomers - tools for mainstream development elsewhere.

The web was kind-of sort-of another programming renaissance (of sorts), but as the years go by, I'm not sure such a thing as our beloved 8-bit years or the web will ever happen again. Software expectations are too high. Nobody is amused by simple text games anymore. Once in a while a retro graphics style game makes an impact but it's pretty rare and not much of an impact.

I fear those days are over, never to return.

"Don't think; let the machine do it for you!" -- E. C. Berkeley

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