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Comment: Follow the money (Score 4, Interesting) 396

by chthon (#46795647) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

We should try to follow the money more when such rules are implemented.

Who benefits the most from this? Big, big breweries who feel probably threatened by people who brew good beer (as a Dutch colleague of me said, they make Heineken by pumping the Maas water into the bottles).

This is a US problem. What company bought (more or less recently) a US brewery? Those Brasilian pump-and-dumpers do not know anything about beer, only about making money by selling something that resembles beer and manipulating the stock market, and since it is rather easy in the US to bribe officials, this really looks a move from their side.

We are not here to decide if we are paranoid, but to decide if we are paranoid enough.

Comment: Distrust (Score 2) 742

by chthon (#46316365) Attached to: "Microsoft Killed My Pappy"

Me: distrusting Microsoft since 1990.

Of all signs warning not to trust MS stands out for me the following.

I was at my first job, PC technician and we installed Macs for the graphical sector, and Compaq servers for Netware installation, also for the same.

For Apple and Compaq, I had to follow courses so that the company could get its preferenced dealer status.

In the income of the building, there hung a small plaque, Authorised Microsoft Dealer with Gates' signature. At first I thought that my boss had also done a course for MS to get this plaque.

However, in the course of time I saw that companies did not need to do much to get this plaque from MS. That's the day I realised the extent of Gates' snake oil dealership. Never trusted 'em from that day onward.

Comment: Re:Labview (Score 1) 876

by chthon (#46201243) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

Yes. The thing about Simulink and the places where I have seen it used is very domain specific, e.g. transmission systems. These have to handle torque, acceleration and speed, three well-understood and relatively simple things.

Business software is much more complex in the kinds of things it needs to handle, and one fool can ask more questions than a thousand wise men can answer.

Comment: Re:The more simple you make it the less complex it (Score 1) 876

by chthon (#46196309) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

Hardware is relatively simple: there is only one kind of signal, a boolean. All properties of electronics, in relationship with this, are more or less known.

Now, most programs do not process simple boolean values, but characters, numbers, strings and combinations thereof. The way these things are processed, depends on their semantic values, something that must first be put into the computer before it becomes possible to even try to build a program generator (because that is what is done by graphical environments).

I have worked with different environments which generate code, and they are good for starting, but not good for building everything.

In code, the main mantra is: one fool can raise more questions than a thousand wise men can answer.

Software is limited by GÃdel's theorem: with one kind of consistent program it is possible to do what you want, but there will always be some wetware which asks something which cannot be implemented by such a program.

Comment: Re:Who the fuck wants to use GNU trash? (Score 4, Interesting) 166

by chthon (#45806187) Attached to: GNU Octave Gets a GUI

From experience, when doing my thesis:

For my thesis, I had to implement something (DSP) which was part of my advisor's doctorate. This entailed computing a whole lot of constants for a FIR filter. My advisor had implemented this using symbolic computation, which apparently worked up to MATLAB 2007, but not any more on more recent versions. When I tried his code on the school computers, I got no answers, or the code kept on running, so I could not obtain implementation constants for this filter.

Well, symbolic computation did not work either on Octave, but I could install it on all my computers, so I did not need to either buy a version, run with an illegal version or only do my computations in school.

I solved the problem, by the way, using convolution, which was much faster, and always worked.

I suppose that the main reason for people using MATLAB professionally, is in the more advanced tools which are built on top of the basic layer, like Simulink and model-based design, which are missing in Octave. Anyone know how SciLab stacks up in this region against MATLAB?

Luck, that's when preparation and opportunity meet. -- P.E. Trudeau

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