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Comment: Re:Because I'm lazy (Score 1) 279

by bythescruff (#47318697) Attached to: Why Software Builds Fail

"Variable declared but not used" isn't noise. If you declared a variable, that means you thought you'd need it. If it turns out you didn't need it, then your understanding of your code evolved while you were writing it, and you didn't clean up your code to match. If you missed one loose end, there's a good chance you may have missed others as well.

Also, unused variables reduce readability.

Comment: Re:The transformation is startling (Score 1) 539

Nonetheless, melchoir55 is right. Ask anyone who went to high school at an American international school in Europe; the local kids going to European schools were receiving a much higher standard of education. They worked a lot harder, too; we had it easy by comparison.

Another example: if a UK university offers a place to a student with an American high school diploma, the university will often require the student to do a preliminary year at the university to catch up with European students before starting the degree itself.

Comment: Re:Drudge and other U.S. bloggers are next (Score 2) 349

by bythescruff (#44881987) Attached to: Arrested Chinese Blogger "Confesses" On State TV, Praises Censorship

"In the military they get extensive training in weapons safety, weapons handling, following order, etc."

This is a crucial point which is usually overlooked: in order to use a gun safely, you need to learn the rules and practice them. Believe it or not, a car analogy actually works quite well here: no one would suggest that you don't have the right to travel, and therefore it would be wrong to deny you the right to drive a car, correct? But before you're allowed to drive a car, you have to learn the rules so you know how to do it safely, and you have to pass a test in order to prove that you've done so. No one complains about this because it's perfectly reasonable; unless you know how to use a car correctly, you're a danger to others. Guns are the same.

Comment: Re:Hey (Score 1) 535

by bythescruff (#44706977) Attached to: Pastafarian Wins Battle To Wear Colander In License Photo

Nope. You assume that the claims of an atheist and a Christian are equally likely to be true. They aren't; in fact, atheists aren't claiming anything at all. Atheists simply respond to the religious person's claim that a god exists by saying, "Really? Got any evidence for that? No? Then why would I believe it?"

Try replacing the word "god" with "giant invisible man living in the sky" and see how the logic works. Now try it with "tooth fairy", or "unicorns", or "my invisible friend Jerrol". There are equal amounts of evidence - none - supporting the claims that these exist, and that's why the atheist doesn't believe in any of them.

Comment: Re:Collateralized vs Non-Collateralized Loans (Score 1) 461

by bythescruff (#43350671) Attached to: Let Them Eat Teslas
This. Education is good for society. It may not be practical to give everyone a PHD, or even a bachelors degree, so you have to choose who gets to go to university. The optimal selection criterion is obviously academic ability. Making people pay means the selection process is at least partly based on how much money a candidates's family has, and that will necessarily result in a less-than-optimal selection, and that means less benefit for society. Oh wait, I forgot, politicians have their *own* best interests in mind, not yours.

Comment: Re:We are half way down the slippery slope (Score 1) 597

by bythescruff (#42842727) Attached to: DHS Can Seize Your Electronics Within 100 Mi.of US Border, Says DHS
A country's constitution is important, but "what's morally right" is important, too, and "moral" essentially means you cause the least suffering for the fewest. Over-permissive gun laws cause harm to many, and so do over-reaching search and seizure powers. There is a strong case against both.

Comment: Re:How to (not) get people to use your OS... (Score 1) 946

by bythescruff (#41629309) Attached to: Alan Cox to NVIDIA: You Can't Use DMA-BUF
That doesn't matter. The whole point of technology is to get things done, and Android phone manufacturers have been able to get things done more easily and cheaply because Android exists. Incidentally, the phones also enable people to get things done - even if that *is* mostly doing something or other with avians in bad moods.

This system will self-destruct in five minutes.