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Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 394

Do not lump C and C++'s memory management together. They're considerably different now. C++ has a uniform resource handling technique (RAII, or perhaps RRID (Resource Release Is Destruction)) which works well. C doesn't have that, last I looked. C# uses garbage collection for memory but (IIRC) IDispose or something like that for other resources.

I'm not going to suggest that you learn modern C++, because that's a lot of work, but C++ has progressed a lot since the original C with Classes.

Comment: Re:Old news. (Score 1) 250

by david_thornley (#48653907) Attached to: Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

Some red-running is annoying but harmless. If the light turns red and you go through the intersection 0.1 seconds later, you're not going to cause an accident. If you go through at the halfway point of the red cycle, you've got an excellent chance of causing an accident. I'd think that, if the cameras were a little forgiving, people wouldn't slam on their brakes at the last minute.

Having been rear-ended three times with serious back pains after two of the accidents, I may be prejudiced.

Moreover, you're arguing that, if drivers were better, the red-light cameras wouldn't cause accidents. In the absence of a plan to get people driving better, this is completely irrelevant. If we all drove properly, we wouldn't need red-light cameras because nobody would run a red. We want to either make people drive better or design systems to reduce injuries given the drivers we have, not blame bad drivers for accidents that wouldn't have occurred if there hadn't been a red light camera.

I assure you that, when you're semi-incapacitated and in pain, being able to blame somebody else's driving for the injury isn't really much help.

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 1) 580

by david_thornley (#48653637) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Actually, you just have to get robot labor down to cheaper than a human in all cases. The value of human labor varies, but if we establish some sort of minimum pay then it's likely that robots will eventually get under that. If the minimum wage is $10/hour and the fully amortized cost of robot labor is $5/hour, humans lose. Nor do we have to eliminate all human-occupied jobs to get massive social unrest. If we get 50% of the population as permanently unemployable, I'd expect riots and possible revolution.

Comment: Re:When Robots Replace Workers? (Score 1) 580

by david_thornley (#48653083) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Machine-made products are constantly becoming cheaper and/or better. We will probably soon be in a position where we can provide everybody with a reasonable living for free. (There are always going to be premium products that require rare materials, excessively long manufacture time, and/or highly skilled human input.) There are resources that will remain scarce (like land), and there will be a demand for the better locations etc.

The question is what we're going to do about it. The automation is mostly owned by corporations, and they'll need fewer and fewer people, so the wealth produced will mostly go to corporations. People who own large stakes in corporations, or who run them, will do very well indeed. People with some stock holdings are likely to have a decent income, expressed in stuff. People who don't own stock, and rely exclusively on employment, are going to be screwed.

In other words, the free-for-everybody world is going to require an economic revolution coupled with a social revolution.

Comment: Re:Good news, bad news (Score 1) 580

by david_thornley (#48652949) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

In most creative endeavors, there's stuff that's fun to do, and stuff that isn't, and the stuff that isn't often contributes immensely to the quality of the creative product.

Writing stories is fun. Rewriting them is less fun. Proofreading isn't fun. Playing music is fun, and so is songwriting. Coming up with a high-quality CD takes a lot of work that isn't really fun. Writing code is fun. Quality control isn't as much fun. Writing good documentation is typically not fun. At an extreme, something like the Avengers movie takes a lot of work that isn't really fun.

Without some sort of payment system, we've got to rely on a lot of people working hard to realize somebody else's creative vision out of some motivation I'm not actually coming up with right now.

Comment: Re:Meal breaks are generally state law ... (Score 1) 194

by david_thornley (#48638325) Attached to: Investigation: Apple Failing To Protect Chinese Factory Workers

Hi! I've never been made to work through breaks. I have at times not taken them, but that was voluntary. Being personally driven to figure out why the bug reporting system doesn't work is not the same as being told to work straight through.

I have worked uncompensated and unpaid overtime. In most of my jobs, I was paid for 40 hours a week, regardless of what hours I worked. (In another job, I found I minded overtime a lot less when my meter was still running.) As a general rule, I was not ordered to work overtime, but did it voluntarily. Now, from the employer's point of view it's very convenient to have an employee who takes company goals and efforts personally, but I accept responsibility for my voluntary actions.

I have never worked enough unpaid overtime in a year to make my annual salary unduly low. (This is not true of weekly salary.)

All my jobs that have paid me $1K or greater, over the course of my lifetime, have been technical and related in some way to computers.

Comment: Re:I blame Microsoft (Score 1) 147

by david_thornley (#48638135) Attached to: Critical Git Security Vulnerability Announced

As I understand it, in English a case-sensitive filesystem would have "fish" and "FISH" be the same, but that would be an error in a Turkish one. What's lower-case of "STRASSE"? Should the filename with the "ss" be the same as the one with the letter that looks like a beta? I used to be a fan of case-insensitivity, but I've come down on the side of preferring the system that actually works everywhere.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27