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Comment: Re:AT&T DSL/Uverse Data Limits (Score 2) 355

by cerberusti (#47770331) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

Lies, base64 encoding (as in e-mail) only bumps it up to 4/3. Even when you add TCP, ATM, and all the rest you are likely to run into, it will only be about 1.5x.

A worst case there and back is more like ever so slightly above 30 than 60. To get 60 on an e-mail you would need to bounce it between a totally stupid number of mail servers to get the mail headers to become 30MB.

Comment: Re:C++ is not the language you start with (Score 1) 548

I am not arguing the advantages of C for some tasks, it is my favorite to this day. I really only use other languages when I want to be able to hand maintenance off to someone else (if I think I will end up maintaining something anyway, I nearly always use C.)

While I have a fair amount of code running on Linux at work, none of my servers have the X window system installed. UI stuff is usually win32 or web based (if it can be.)

I still think the answer to the "I want to use C, but also want built in objects." problem is "Use C++."

Comment: Re:Know where your programming language is headed! (Score 1) 548

They have no reason to do so, that project fails a risk / reward analysis hard.

Old does not mean bad, there are many more recent but much worse languages which have not stood the test of time. COBOL works well for what they do, the existing code is written in it, and it is well tested.

Designing a new language requires that you have staff who can design, implement, and test that compiler / interpreter. You then need to task that staff with doing so instead of something else which could make the company money, and retrain the programmers who would be using it.

If you try to pitch a project to an insurance or banking VP which involves a lot of risk, a lot of cost, and has no real benefit... you will at a minimum get a polite no as an answer.

C is pretty old as well (40 years compared to COBOLs 55), but most really important modern code is still written in it. I would not be surprised if it was still a popular language at the century mark.

The syntax for general mathematics is about 400 years old, and still going strong.

Comment: Re:Must be an alternate earth. (Score 1) 441

by cerberusti (#47734199) Attached to: Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

We should just open immigration up again with some minor basic criteria (learn english, no communicable diseases, job offer or enough cash to live for a year, etc.)

I have no problem with someone who comes here to make a new life. I do have a problem with the way we run the visa program right now.

Comment: Re:That's why slashdot is against tech immigration (Score 1) 441

by cerberusti (#47734059) Attached to: Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

Down with all the barriers!

I should be able to choose which country I pay personal taxes in too, it is only fair that I also get to shop around for the best rates available. The US wants an over 65% effective tax when all is said and done? Screw that, Bahrain says I owe nothing.

The local pharmacy wants big money for a prescription? Some importing can fix that problem.

Cigarette prices in NYC getting you down? Time for some arbitrage.

Problem with my order of a 5 megawatt magnetron and 50,000 smoke detectors? A vacation to central Africa sounds about right, I doubt they have a problem with it.

Comment: Re:Know where your programming language is headed! (Score 1) 548

COBOL also happens to be very good at what it is mostly used for (insurance / banking.)

There are very few languages with fixed point and binary coded decimal support. You want this for financial applications.

Most other languages are C derived, and do not support these. The C solution is usually to use a scaled int, or two ints. This works, but is not obvious to a new programmer. New programmers tend to use floating point numbers, which is slightly wrong... banks hate being wrong, and hate having to staff a ton of very expensive programmers in order to get what should be simple tasks right.

Comment: Re:Know where your programming language is headed! (Score 1) 548

There is always C, if you can hack it.

It has a near monopoly in systems programming, is common in serious applications across a large range of industries, and the standard sees minor changes every decade or so. The combined usage is enough to make it the single most popular language, and it has been for a very long time.

Most operating systems, compilers, virtual machines, and scripting interpreters are also written in C, which makes it easy to learn these when you have a reason to do so.

It is not for everyone though, and the learning curve to become competent is longer than most languages.

Comment: Re:Kids These Days (Score 1) 548

I still end up hand optimizing a lot of code. There are many tasks which are at the limits of current computational capacity, and require a lot of optimization in order to achieve a run time which is acceptable.

That mindset, and the newbies who have no idea how to do it, lead to few people who can do so competently these days, and therefore make it a very valuable skill.

Comment: Re:Pick a different job. (Score 1) 548

I would refuse as well, there is no personal benefit to me. Most of what stops any attempt to unionize programmers dead in its tracks is that the ones who write the vast majority of the working code out there have no desire to join a union.

The people who want it are usually fluff, and would be no great loss anyway. Then again I always insist upon partial ownership, so maybe I would be considered part of the other team these days.

Comment: Re:Complexity (Score 1) 427

by cerberusti (#47674091) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

I have the same habits. One of the first things I do on a new compiler is go find the warning for assignments within conditions and turn it on. It produces errors which can be hard to find, and do not always come up in testing (since it effectively makes it always take one code path, and sometimes this is the far more common case anyway.)

I think pretty much every C compiler has that option, some issued a warning by default.

I like my braces to line up vertically as well, so the brace gets its own line indented a space from the prior line. I sometimes go without braces if it is going to be a long block of conditions I want on single lines and I cannot use a switch, but this is very rare.

I tend to make casts explicit and group everything myself, but do it inline (most of the time the type is the same anyway.)

assuming int is 16 bit and long is 32:
int a;
unsigned int b;
long int c;
c=((long int)a) * ((long int)b);

Or do you have a compiler which does not give the expected results there?

Comment: Re:Require H1-B visa recipients be paid more (Score 1) 529

It's easy, make the cost of an H1B 500k/yr payable to the IRS as a fee by the sponsoring company (with no deductions, you pay or it is not granted / renewed).

There are few enough positions which are paid at this level that you could be assured it really was a valuable and hard to find skill set if the company must pay this plus the actual salary. It does not matter what games they play if each license has a minimum fee of half a million regardless of why you want it or what you are paying as salary. This is low enough that in cases of real need it can be done, but will generally be a last resort.

Comment: Re:Why isn't the U.S. doing things like this? (Score 2) 156

by cerberusti (#47490151) Attached to: Japan To Offer $20,000 Subsidy For Fuel-Cell Cars

The most important thing for hydrogen as a car fuel is that it is impractically dangerous. Sure you can bind it to something else to mitigate that... but then we are talking about something like gasoline anyway (or your hydrocarbon of choice, but substituting other atoms for carbon tends to make it toxic.)

The safety issues with liquefied dihydrogen are so insanely bad that anybody seriously proposing it knows this cannot possibly work, or has very little chemical and engineering knowledge. The basic properties of this substance make it entirely unsuitable as a common fuel.

The suggestion that hydrogen will be useful as a fuel source on a moving vehicle would be hilarious if it was not suggested in all sincerity by individuals with the power to make laws.

The reality is that we are going to simply burn the methane (natural gas) as that is where we would be sourcing the hydrogen anyway, and it is much safer to transport.

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