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Comment Magic (Score 1) 536 536

We need the computer fairies to handle our errors, that way the beauty of our code will not be marred by mundane things like error checking.

Seriously, error checking is part of the process. It's not the fun part of the process but it's a necessary part. Return values and exceptions work just fine as long as you get off your high horse and realize that your code will not be hung in the Louvre. Working is more important than pretty.

Comment Re:Same war, different day (Score 1) 1055 1055

Yes. We should not accept Climate Change based on a POLL!!!

We should believe scientists because they have DATA to back up their assertions. Science is not a popularity contest or a political race. Polls of what scientists think is not science.

This is my main complaint about the way this issue is framed. We appeal to the high priests (of either side) to tell us what is right, rather than look at the data and what it tells us. It's become just one more shout-fest.

Comment Re:Half of circumference? (Score 1) 332 332

The culture in the USA tends to be very dependent on where you are. In the larger cities, it's going to be more of the formal cultural stuff you are used to. In the more rural areas the culture tends to center around local events and quieter things.

Unfortunately, those rural areas tend to also be the more 'clannish' areas. It may take them a while to think of you as a local.

Of course, there's always the issue that TV is replacing local culture with pureed culture-like pablum and force feeding it to everyone.


No Charges For Child-Whipping Judge Caught On YouTube 948 948

theodp writes "Federal prosecutors will not charge a Texas judge seen lashing his teenage daughter with a belt on a YouTube video taken seven years ago and posted online last week, closing the door on the possibility of criminal charges in the case. The viral video, uploaded by now 23-year-old Hillary Adams, shows her father, Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams, whipping her with a belt for downloading music when she was 16 (full video, requires login). 'F*****g computers,' the judge tells his now ex-wife on the video. 'I told you I didn't want one in the god damn house. See all the problems they cause?' Judge Adams issued a statement asserting that his daughter released the tape to retaliate against him for withdrawing his financial support."

Google Reader's Social Features Merging With Google+ 100 100

MrSeb writes "Moments ago, Google announced that Reader, as soon as next week, will be moving closer to Google+. Many of its social features (friending, following, sharing) are being buried in favor of Google+ equivalents. Fortunately, Reader has always had the ability to export your RSS subscriptions and feed groups in the widely-accepted OPML format, and over the next few days this will be expanded to include your shared items, friends, likes, and starred items as well." Update: 10/21 01:15 GMT by S : Updated headline and summary to reflect that Reader will be sticking around as a standalone product. According to Google, only its social features are being merged.

Comment Not a matter of math (Score 2, Interesting) 358 358

The actual math needed to understand the basics of relativity[1] is actually quite simple. If you've had calculus, you have more than you need.

The hard part is wrapping your brain around the concepts and the fact that the rules you use to interact with the world around you are a subset of the rules of the universe.

A book I have recommended several times for people who want to start learning about physics is 'Asimov on Physics'. Dr. Asimov was a master of explaining difficult science in a way that laymen could understand.

[1] Going beyond the basic, or getting into odder corners of general relativity, is another matter.

Comment Beyond the protection of the law, too (Score 2) 692 692

It will be interesting the first time a band of pirates (the killing and looting kind, not the sharing kind) storms one of these 'sovereign nations'. I'm guessing they will develop a sudden affection for the country with the nearest naval vessel who can save their bacon.

How much net work could a network work, if a network could net work?