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Comment K&R Text (Score 1) 525

I am not sure if your 11-year old is ready for the K&R text, but if he wants a full stack education, the K&R book will give him in-depth knowledge of how low level languages work. It's clearly written, succinct, and arguably one of the best technical manuals ever written. I will caution that It will require more maturity and self motivation to finish, but he'll go through the book understanding how almost all software works. If he is truly motivated, I would even go lower level to leading him to computer organization and have him play around with assembly using a MIPS emulator. Things like caller or callee saved conventions will make more sense to him, as well as pointers and such. Knowing C opens the doors to all programming languages, and if he's more pragmatic he'll probably pick an interpreted language to learn next, or if he's more math-minded, a language like Haskell will follow.

Comment Creative energy gone from Apple (Score 1) 300

If you looked at the recent Apple store front displays, or even their recent TV advertisements, they're horrible. They're nowhere as good as the Steve Jobs era TV ads (the Siri ad was very robotic, and the iPad ad didn't put the human using the iPad in the limelight, but the iPad itself and how wonderful its screen is: the narration made me think it was a bank commercial when I didn't look towards the TV). Instead, the Apple storefront displays feature some preprinted image of their latest product, instead of the crazy floating balloons.

Comment Re:Sun vs Apple's margins on hardware (Score 1) 154

To build on a point that you are making, though, Oracle would like to be Apple for the business world. Steve Job is known to be a close friend of Larry Ellison. Larry Ellison also takes business very personally--to him, if he has a grudge against you, it's not enough to just crush you. He wants to see you suffer.

I'm not surprised Oracle wants to provide an entire database stack like Apple systems and Apple's software, in the manner of how they are sold. I don't think it will be too long before we will see Oracle taking many of Apple's steps, such as supporting their software on only their equipment, as that is part of their "systems" strategy. Rather, they're not in it for the hardware business, but in order for you to have an Oracle database, you might just be forced to buy Oracle hardware to run it. Fortunately, Oracle cannot afford to do it just yet. If they can convince a significant number to do it, you may just be required to be running Oracle DB on an Oracle server with Oracle OS.

It's not much different with Apple's software such as Logic Studio or Final Cut. If you want to run either of those packages, you'd have to buy a Mac system. I can see why such a business model seems so attractive to Larry.

Comment Re:What the... I don't even... (Score 1) 981

Exactly! There is also the "moral" question on whether or not doctors should treat diabetes or any genetic condition, because essentially what "survival of the fittest" would normally take care of is being artificially perpetuated by human beings. I personally think that's a load of BS, but the argument is valid. But that's what differentiates humans from animals is that the "survival of the fittest" also includes using your head.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 352

Taiwan is a part of the Republic of China. Theoretically, there are two Chinas (PRC and ROC). KMT and DPP have been wrangling on renaming ROC to just Taiwan, but the threat of missiles being deployed to Taiwan upon renaming has all but stopped the debate.

Comment Re:Cultural revolution (Score 1) 352

He is correct. When China was celebrating its 60th anniversary, it was a sore point for many in Taiwan (Republic of China). 1949 was the year that the Communists moved the capital of China back to Beijing (closer to Mao's power base). Nanjing was the capital of Taiwan (Republic of China) until last year (2009, hence PRC's 60th anniversary).

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 352

I thought it was interesting that it was only last year that the Republic of China (Taiwan) Legislative Yuan changed the official capital from Nanjing to Taipei. The reasoning was quite sound, given that ROC doesn't of yet have much a chance of winning Nanjing back, so the provisional capital might as well become the permanent capital.

Comment Jasig CAS - OpenSSO Alternative (Score 1) 128

Why not use Jasig CAS instead? Not that it will be any consolation that Oracle is trying to profit off its expensive SSO solution, but CAS is easy to implement with a Java and Ruby version available, and hundreds of universities are using them. We're a private business and we use CAS easily with phpCAS and RubyCAS-client. It's easy to use and implement, and systems such as PeopleSoft can easily be CASified. While it's sad OpenSSO is being discontinued, CAS is not an option likely to disappear any time soon. We strong recommend those considering replacing their OpenSSO system to move to CAS.

"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes