Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:So What (Score 1) 287

by Marxist Hacker 42 (#49379395) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

2nd potential mechanism. Due to competition for rare leadership positions, serfs showing leadership potential are killed outright, leaving behind only those with brains enough to do the job that the lord wants them to do. Once a dynasty and traditional economy are established, eight nor nine generations of this and you'll end up with a genetic separation between "noble blood/highborn" and "serf/lowborn" populations.

For an extreme comedic version of this, see https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCscVT3d-EEQsq-5rPozTyJw/, these English actors portrayed the four class English system perfectly, complete with simulated IQ levels.

Comment: Cents as integer (Score 1) 73

Most [non-CLR] languages have very little support for decimal data types, which is essential when making applications that deal with money.

Of course there's a money data type in Java. It's called multiplying all your dollar/euro/pound amounts by 100 and using int (or long for big B2B transactions over 10 million dollars or so) to count cents.

Lack of unicode support is rampant.

The native string type in Python 3 and Java is a UTF-16 Unicode. And PHP ships with libraries perfectly capable of UTF-8 Unicode.

Comment: Re:So What (Score 1) 287

by Marxist Hacker 42 (#49379219) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

In feudalism, and in certain forms of tribalism, the chief/King and his family eat first, and then everybody else eats what is left over from their table. (in Calapuya Chinook, the title of the chief was the Hias Mucktymuck- quite literally "the dude sitting at the head of the table", from which we get the saying "Lord High MucktyMuck"). I'd call that a very powerful selection mechanism.

Comment: Anti-JS sentiment (Score 1) 73

I think you'll see the browser based languages such as Javascript finally crack this nut [of a cross-platform application environment].

Not from what I hear from some Slashdot users, who are opposed to the concept of JavaScript in general. They believe that HTML should be static and anything with "behavior" should be native. See previous anti-JavaScript sentiments by CastrTroy, epyT-R, and Anonymous Coward.

Comment: Platform dictates language sometimes (Score 2) 73

Specially when there is no shortage of high quality languages and run-times to chose from that do not come with a loaded gun pointing at your forehead.

On some platforms there is in fact such a "shortage of high quality languages and run-times". Which other languages that you mention worked on Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7 back when those were current? A few years ago, before Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox One came out, people were demanding ports of phone apps to Windows Phone 7 and ports of games to Xbox 360. All XNA games for Xbox 360 and all third-party apps for Windows Phone 7 were required to use .NET.

Comment: You can't use Python on a .NET-only device (Score 2) 73

Some devices require all third-party applications to be verifiably type-safe CIL compatible with the .NET Compact Framework. This means you won't be able to use IronPython because it and other DLR languages rely on Reflection.Emit, which was omitted from the Compact Framework. Nor will you be able to use CPython because standard C is not verifiably type-safe. Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360 XNA come to mind as examples of such platforms.

Comment: Re:Same question as I had more than a decade ago (Score 3, Informative) 73

Why do people want to take proprietary languages and libraries and use them on open source projects?

For two reasons. One is to run the proprietary software on the free platform, much as Steam games run on Valve's Debian-based Steam OS or other Windows desktop applications run in Wine. The other is to run free applications on an incumbent proprietary platform. With .NET in particular, there have been a couple widely used platforms that use the CLR as their only runtime environment, such as XNA on Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7. The same is true of the Java platform, which all third-party applications for a J2ME phone were required to use.

Comment: Re:There's a lot of stuff (Score 1) 63

by mrchaotica (#49378837) Attached to: No Film At 11: the Case For the Less-Video-Is-More MOOC

This. The class I'm taking right now has videos that consist entirely (except for the intro) of the professor writing on the screen with a Wacom tablet. It's exactly like watching a lecture, except the whiteboard is a computer. By the way, I've previously taken an in-person class taught by the same guy [when I was an undergrad], so when I say it's the same I know what I'm talking about.

Comment: Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 1) 292

by mrchaotica (#49378767) Attached to: Sign Up At irs.gov Before Crooks Do It For You

And no, if you want to make a consumption tax regressive, you don't have to make it complicated. You can exempt the first $X of purchases, where $X is some "living wage" line according to some politician's favored theory. You now have a progressive tax.

That's not progressive; that's regressive with a discontinuity. For example, assume the sales tax rate were 25%. In that case, a middle-class person making and spending 2*$X pays 12.5% (25% * 50%), which is a higher tax rate than a rich person who makes 10*$X and spends 5*$X, who pays 10% (25% * 40%). And the really rich person making 100*$X but who ran out of things he wanted to buy at 10*$X has a tax rate that's even lower than that: 2.25% (25% * 9%).

By the way, I wrote that example using easy numbers to illustrate my point. The actual difference in saving rates between normal people, the rich, and the very rich is large, but not quite that large (see the second chart on this page). However, even at realistic savings rates (2.5% for the bottom 90%, 15% for the top 10 to 1%, and 35% for the top 1%) the principle is still valid.

And since everybody would be helping to carry the load of the government they ask for, the big winners in this system are the upper middle class, who are currently getting screwed from both ends of the income spectrum.

On the contrary! As you can see from my example above, the middle class person making significantly more than $X, but not enough to easily save a large fraction of his income, pays the highest tax rate of all. The peak tax rate would occur somewhere around the 50th income percentile, while if the goal were to be progressive it should occur at the 99th percentile.

Comment: Re:A Corollary for Code (Score 1) 164

by TheRaven64 (#49378147) Attached to: Why You Should Choose Boring Technology
Not knowing about trickier parts of a language doesn't mean that you don't use them. I recently discovered some code where experienced C programmers didn't know that signed integer overflow was undefined in C. This meant that the compiler could optimise one of their tests away in a loop (nontrivially, in a way that's difficult to generate a warning for) and turn it into an infinite loop. After a few weeks, their code would hit this case and infinite loop and freeze. Unless you know that this tricky part of the language exists, you don't know enough to avoid using it.

Comment: Re:More... (Score 1) 164

by TheRaven64 (#49378133) Attached to: Why You Should Choose Boring Technology
The original justifications for hating goto referred to a non-local goto (or, exceptions, as the kids call them these days) which made it very difficult to reason about control flow in a program. The new reasons for hating goto in language like C/C++ relate to variable lifetimes and making it difficult to reason about when variables go out of scope.

What is worth doing is worth the trouble of asking somebody to do.