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Comment Re:5th Admendment? (Score 1) 446

it may be fundamentally unknowable.

Or maybe it should just be expressed as a probability distribution. Returning to you heap example, let P(x) be the probability that x grains is a heap. Certainly P(1) is approximately 0 and P(100000) is approximately 1. Likewise let P(x) be the probability that a certain animal at a certain point in time (x) is a chicken.

Comment Re:Dumb ruling (Score 1) 142

From the statute:

23123. (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.

"Using a wireless telephone" is the part that is open to interpretation. I never said anything about any other object (map, etc.). The person had the phone in their hand. The vehicle was running and on a roadway (i.e. "driving"). I disagree that using smartphone functionality doesn't fall under the "using a wireless telephone" part of the statute.

Comment Re:Dumb ruling (Score 2) 142

Read the article, there is a relevant clause of the legislation that is open to interpretation. This is why we have courts, so that the interpretation of laws can progress with changes to technology, society, etc.

How are police supposed to distinguish between drivers texting and drivers using their GPS? Texting requires hands-free operation, so should using a GPS.

Comment Dumb ruling (Score 0) 142

I think that a smartphone mount should be mandatory so that the device isn't in your hand. Texting and driving is a huge safety issue, and I'd imaging that screwing around with a GPS (entering text) is similarly dangerous. It's unfortunate that the court isn't willing to uphold the spirit of the law here.

Comment Re:Blatant Shill (Score 1) 99

Woah, can't believe anyone else knows about Arc. I was one of the unfortunate few that had to use it for a regression class in college. The language is used in the textbook Applied Regression including Computing Graphics. Since the professor also wrote the textbook and Arc has strong ties to my alma mater, I figured they just had blinders on since the rest of the statistics world was already using R.

If you are interested in trying this (awful) software out for yourself, it is available for download here

Comment Re:Questions (Score 4, Informative) 115

It runs OK (google Chrubuntu), but the WiFi and trackpad drivers were so finicky that it was a deal breaker. ChromeOS actually is a stripped down version of Linux, which means that you can actually run a full-blown linux desktop along side it via Crouton (using a chroot). If that sounds tedious, it is actually fool-proof to install.
Since the trackpad and WiFi drivers are still handled by ChromeOS (again, a linux kernel), it works great! If you are looking for a good linux laptop, I'd highly recommend it, especially if price and battery are your two main considerations.


Comment Pretty darn useful little machines (Score 5, Interesting) 115

I recently replaced my MacBook Air with a Acer Chromebook refurb I picked up for $150 on ebay. It is an awesome portable dev machine. Good battery life, and Crouton is incredible. You can run Linux and ChromeOS simultaneously (via a chroot); it makes switching between the a matter of two keystrokes. I never thought I'd actually like ChromeOS, but it's actually pretty slick.

Comment Not what university education is about (Score 2) 220

Universities are not technical schools. Ideally, they provide a broad theoretical framework that allows people to develop a career over the next few decades following their graduation. What the article is suggesting is that people be forced to pay for narrow training, pigeonholing them into a career path which may or may not exist (or be practical) in 20 years.

University education is meta-education. It enables life-long learning. Businesses expecting fresh graduates to have received (and paid for) training in technology-dejour is a disturbing trend in the software industry.

Comment Re:Rapid change in IT is the problem (Score 5, Insightful) 397

It's not a matter of maturity. Many organizations hide behind the disclaimer "we are not an I.T. company", despite having sizable I.T. departments. And despite having this sizable department, which offers mission-critical applications and infrastructure, zero effort is made towards working smarter. Problems are fixed with mandatory overtime, cutting staffing/costs, and "quick-and-dirty" fixes to long standing problems.

I think some companies are starting to understand that their project management methodologies are flawed, but most cannot connect the concepts of "software debt" to decreasing marginal output in their I.T. efforts. An hour of work today is less effective than in the past because you are paying "interest" on your previous bad decisions.

I think that the 27% is reflective of companies that can connect the longevity and cost-effectiveness of I.T. systems to proper project planning, management, and I.T. expertise. Whether or not this is an upper-bound remains to be seen, because a lot of organizations simply don't understand that inventing your own project management ideas dooms you to repeating the same failures that have happened over the last 50 years.

Comment Re:Yes but (Score 1) 437

Objective-C usage is based on Vendor lock-in

You can write Objective-C on Linux and Windows, it's fully supported by GCC. You meant to say Cocoa. There is no reason why you can't write a QT GUI, or WinAPI application using Objective-C.

Windows is not tied to a language

But the .NET managed code environment, which is essentially MSIL (a language), certainly is tied to Windows. Most new Windows applications are written in .NET, which creates the same vendor lock-in problem you are trying to bash objective-c for. Mono is too incomplete to count, I'd imagine it lacks support for WPF, WCF, and other emerging .NET technologies.

It's not hard to admit errors that are [only] cosmetically wrong. -- J.K. Galbraith