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Comment: Re:Maybe C developers are more honest (Score 1) 72

by dgatwood (#49635891) Attached to: C Code On GitHub Has the Most "Ugly Hacks"

C developers are good enough to know when what they're doing is an ugly hack.

If PHP developers were at the same standard, every line would end with // Ugly Hack.

I think the reason PHP is #2 on the list is that the people who are still writing PHP are mostly pretty good. The ones who were awful have all moved on to Python or Ruby or whatever the scripting language of the week is these days.

In fact, I'd be willing to bet that a sizable percentage of the folks who are still actively using PHP are C programmers. I use it for all my web programming because it is exceptionally easy for me as a long-time C programmer. I basically write C with dollar signs and a few other minor tweaks, and it works. Even better, if there's some piece of code that has to be blisteringly fast, I can port it from PHP to C faster than you can say sed 's/\$//sg'. Okay, it really isn't quite that trivial, but it is pretty close.

And yes, I do occasionally take advantage of being able to mix PHP and HTML, but not very often. I mostly just use it as a compile-free web programming language with better string handling and basic support for classes.

Comment: Re:Price won't come down (Score 1) 311

by dgatwood (#49609683) Attached to: Tesla's Household Battery: Costs, Prices, and Tradeoffs

But extracting either from seawater does not really make any sense. Some mid-east countries desalinate so they can pursue idiotic schemes to grow wheat in the desert, when they could just buy wheat for far less. California has a few desalination plants, because of dumb policies that vastly inflate the cost of water to urban consumers, while subsiding the delivery of rainwater to farmers growing rice and cotton in the desert.

Forget rice and cotton. We'd be happy if they'd stop growing alfalfa and almonds in the desert.... With that said, even if we got rid of that problem, eventually California's growing population would still require desalination. The drought simply moves that date closer in many places.

Comment: Re: Kill the entire H1B program (Score 1) 631

by dgatwood (#49604111) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers

The H-1B program is different because H-1B workers who leave their jobs are also legally required to leave the country. This makes them captive labor, almost to the same extent that illegal immigrants are. IMO, we should make green cards easier to obtain and kill the H-1B program outright. By ensuring that foreign workers have similar employment mobility to native workers, it would reduce the ability of unscrupulous companies to bring in workers from overseas and pay them wages that are below the regional going rate. (They would still be able to do it, but they wouldn't be able to retain those employees, so they would eventually be forced to pay wages that are competitive within their geographical area.)

Comment: Re: Kill the entire H1B program (Score 1) 631

by dgatwood (#49591395) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers

There's nothing xenophobic about wanting to stop the H-1B program from being a way to cut costs. If you truly need to bring in talent from overseas because you can't get it in the U.S., that's one thing, but if you are firing American workers and bringing in foreign workers to do the same job at a lower cost, that's quite another. It is abusing the system, and unfortunately, the H-1B system was practically designed to make such abuse easy.

Comment: Re:Uh, only doubled? (Score 3, Interesting) 160

by dgatwood (#49591045) Attached to: US Switches Air Traffic Control To New Computer System

So how does a 40 year old computer system get replaced and only doubles the number of flights capable of being tracked?

Tracking double the number of flights likely requires about 4x the about of computing power. A naive comparison grows at a rate of (n)(n-1)/2. You might be able to reduce that by not comparing aircraft that aren't going to be anywhere near each other (e.g. a plane in Washington D.C. cannot readily crash into a plane in Los Angeles, CA until they get close to halfway across the country), but still....

Comment: Re:Safari Does (Score 2) 153

That's true, but FireFox and Chrome don't maintain backwards compatibility forever, either. Firefox 16 and Chrome 21 are the last versions that support 10.5. And older, 32-bit-only machines are limited to Chrome 38 even if they're running 10.6.x. Otherwise, I think they're both still supporting 10.6.8 for now, but it is probably just a matter of time.

IIRC, they already don't support certain features on old operating systems. For example, Chrome supports WebGL only on 10.8 and later (unless they've changed that recently). So although the UI might be getting updated and security holes might be getting fixed, they're still not getting the full upgrade experience.

Comment: Re:Kill the entire H1B program (Score 5, Insightful) 631

by dgatwood (#49583365) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers

Being anti-H-1B is progressive. Progressives generally believe that corporate abuse of workers is bad, and H-1Bs represent the ultimate pathway to worker abuse, by creating a class of people who cannot afford to demand equal pay (because if their employer terminates them, they have to leave the U.S.), who have a harder time moving from company to company (or at least who perceive themselves to have a harder time, which in practice is basically the same thing), and who therefore will end up working for substandard wages by local standards.

And then those H-1B workers end up depending on government subsidies, low-income housing, etc. because the cost of living in high-tech areas is based on typical salaries, not H-1B salaries. In effect, everyone else in the area pays to support these people, solely because their employers were too cheap to pay them properly.

Progressives tend to take a dim view of turning our country into a caste system. Just saying.

Comment: Re:Symmetry (Score 1) 301

All you have to do is put them on tables, with their wires stretching out across the living room floor. Sure, if you only use your laptop on a desks, it will never happen, but that's not how most people (outside of office environments) use laptops in the real world.

With that said, Apple's round plugs were way too big, and thus made great levers, so you didn't even have to trip over them to break them. Placing them on your lap in the wrong way was sufficient....

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