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Comment Generally happy with Cox (Score 3, Interesting) 175

I've had both residential and now business grade internet with Cox, and I've been generally happy with the service. It's been reliable, tech support when I've needed it has actually been helpful and on-site repairs are usually same-day or early the next day. The only real problem I had was when their repairmen mis-coded a service call and I got billed for it. But Cox billing fixed it right away.

So it doesn't surprise me that Cox is bucking the anti-consumer wave by challenging music industry subpoenas. And it's also good business, so they don't have a bunch of lawyers poking around their data, while paying their own lawyers to watch over them.

Comment The problem is using operators for other things (Score 1) 304

It's one thing to use ">" for "less than". It's a whole nuther thing to use it for things like bit shift ">>" or dereference "->" And then there's the various uses of "+" and worst of all "=" vs "==".

I'm firmly convinced someone will write a paper on "C Syntax Considered Harmful," and symbol misuse is one aspect of C that causes bugs.

Comment Re:Rehashing all the old arguments.... (Score 1) 568

In some jurisdictions, you cannot call yourself an Engineer without a license. Civil Engineers, for example, have to take the EIT exam, gain some experience, and then apply for the Professional Engineer designation and license.

Having a diploma that says "Medical Doctor" doesn't entitle you to practice medicine, either.

Comment Rehashing all the old arguments.... (Score 1) 568

Nothing new here, move along... We've been debating this for most of my 35 year professional career.

(Personally, I'm in favor of distinguishing 'software engineers' from 'programmers', and licensing 'software engineers' -as a means to establish professional liability.- But I can assure you that very few companies are interested in the idea of liability for software products. Nor are they interested in paying the substantial costs for professional liability insurance.)

Comment Re:Ada had this in 1995 (Score 2) 262

And that's what makes Ada95 (and subsequent versions) so interesting from a language design perspective. Ada95 built on the Ada83 language (which itself built on Pascal, as well as CLU and other research languages), adding OOP (including supporting concurrent objects in a way that I haven't seen in other "modern" programming languages in this era of multi-core processors). There are design trade-offs, and these are well-documented. If you're interested in such things, the published design team rationale documents (for both Ada83 and Ada95) should be required reading. Ada83: http://www.adahome.com/Resourc... Ada95: http://www.adahome.com/Resourc...

What Ada95 accomplished was to graft a full OO design mechanism (i.e. inheritance) , while preserving type-safety (for scalar types, as well as "objects" or classes), keeping the safety properties (e.g. impossible without unchecked conversion to dereference a null pointer), and providing nearly 100% backwards-compatibility with Ada83. (There were a few inconsistencies, but these were at the edges of the language.)

Oh, and Ada2005 adds support for pre-conditions and post-conditions that matches what Eiffel now provides for defining and enforcing contracts. And it does so while providing the SPARK subset that supports theorem-proving for proof-of-correctness (including concurrent programs), starting with "cannot generate runtime error". See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... A lot of this grew out of David Luckham's work at Stanford on annotation languages such as ANNA and TSL, see http://www.springer.com/us/boo...

Comment Re:Ada had this in 1995 (Score 4, Informative) 262

That "piece of shit" is in most modern commercial aircraft these days, as well as the ground ATC systems. Guess maybe you shouldn't fly, then, if that's your opinion, Mr Coward.

There are legitimate criticisms that can be levied against any programming language, as well as against the Ada program. But this comment addresses none of them.

Comment Ada had this in 1995 (Score 3, Informative) 262

Ada95 added OO features including clear mechanisms (enforced by the compiler) on how to get OO design benefits without runtime performance costs or risks for dispatching.

Much of what I've seen in C++ is a response to problems in the original language design, particularly gaps or errors of omission.

Computer Science in the 21st Century seems to be full of stuff we knew about in the '80s and '90s, but forgot.

Comment Re:Tesla not on that list? (Score 1) 535

Pontiac was 'just a brand,' there was really not much difference between Pontiacs and other GM cars (although in my experience renting cars, Pontiac had worse than average fit and finish.) Saturn showed both new auto technologies and a different approach to sales. The original Saturn polycarbonate side panels had a lot of advantages, including no rusting and more ding resistance than metal.

But much more important was Saturn's "no hassle/no negotiation" approach to sales. That alone got Saturn a lot of traffic and sold a lot of cars to a lot of people who were pretty disgusted with the auto industry's "high hassle/high pressure" sales tactics (including me, proud owner of a '94 Saturn. We sold that car with almost 100k miles to a friend for a couple bucks, who put another 40k-50k on it himself.) As the saying goes, "your mileage may vary," particularly if you're driving a VW diesel.

Comment Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc? (Score 1) 106

What about the spam sent by the big email providers? It's a really interesting question what to do when you get -recurring- spam from these. (I get an offer for "Sun Microsystems User Lists" once a month from a chronic spammer sent either through Gmail or now Outlook. I report them to the abuse@xxx, but they keep on coming.) Do you blacklist a chronic spam source, that also has legitimate users? Do you quarantine everything from them, placing the burden on users/administrators to inspect and release legitimate mail from quarantine?

There are certainly lots of IP addresses that can be 'safely' rejected. Unfortunately, the growth of outsourced email makes it increasingly hard to depend on DNS information for sanity checks (e.g. there's an MX or SPF record that associates the "From" domain with the domain actually establishing the SMTP connection.)

Comment Re:uh (Score 1) 429

Well that just goes to show how little you know about programming languages as a topic. Ada is one of many languages that guarantees array bounds are checked and null pointers cannot be dereferenced. (If either of those are attempted, an exception is thrown.)

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.