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Comment: install development tools on the embedded system (Score 1) 257 257

See also the story about the Amiga HVAC controller which someone else already linked to...

If the system is expected to run for 25 years, then it should still be able to run its own compiler in 25 years too. As long as it's not underpowered, it should be able to build its own software. So do the development that way too. Although I do wonder if flash storage is up to a 25-year lifespan.

Comment: arduino (Score 1) 608 608

But on the flip side, it amazes me that some not-so-geeky people manage to make use of Arduinos. The whole package is a not-so-thick veneer over plain Atmel C programming, and yet it opened up the chance for many times more people than would have ever managed with the Atmel-provided IDE. And then there's Processing for an even less-geeky approach.

Web technology is just stupid... all the usual languages are bad ones, and even if you manage to find a cool language to develop in, you still have to use it to translate everything to XML and Javascript at the end. Web 3.0 will hopefully happen eventually. The language of the future should be declarative and imperative at the same time, extensible at the metalanguage level so that it can be adapted for every task on both client and server, and with elegant syntax too. I don't enjoy web programming as much as writing applications and frameworks, not because I couldn't learn enough about the technology but because it's kindof disgusting. And now it's hard to switch away from "the browser" to something else, because the replacement would have to be more compelling on so many levels that people would actually use it, and avoid getting corrupted too early with commercials and spying and malware and crap. It should be clean and elegant and there should be some kind of self-enforcing social contract that keeps it that way. I suppose that part is impossible though...

Comment: mitosis (Score 1) 324 324

Experience has shown that cell division is just a precursor to further growth.

How about we go back to having an unambiguously named War Department which is in recess whenever there is not war (which should be most of the time), and abolish the rest of the agencies that are determined to make enemies of everyone possible? Policing the people should be a matter for the states anyway.

Comment: We saw it coming (Score 5, Informative) 535 535

I worked at Nokia from 2011-2012. Everyone was saying then that the reason for Elop (who was otherwise so useless) was to devalue Nokia enough that it would be a good deal for Microsoft. And here we are... the other shoe drops. But there will be a third shoe when he becomes CEO of Microsoft. They deserve each other.

Comment: Re:The singularity has been "near" for decades. (Score 2) 244 244

Siri? Google Glass and the apps that run on it? Google Voice turning your voicemails into emails as fast as you receive them? Turn-by-turn directions developed independently by several companies? This stuff used to be called AI.

Comment: Good idea to teach about it (Score 1) 704 704

A course that covers the history of software would be about as useful as, say, music appreciation or art history. It could be taught in a non-CS department just to get some of that liberal arts flavor, maybe even count as one of the required humanities credits.

Comment: Re:Let's go retro... (Score 1) 590 590

That's a good idea actually. It just takes a lot of space relative to the cargo it can carry, but the sky is big so what the heck. I suppose it's just not going to be fast enough for passenger transport.

Maybe if the envelope was e-ink, you could make it rise by turning it black (to absorb sun) and fall by turning it white. Or use a tether to raise and lower the cargo so that you don't have to completely land in order to "drop-ship" something. Not that it would work so well when the wind is blowing...

Comment: Re:Arizona (Score 1) 344 344

Yeah that was nice, I lived in Phoenix until this summer; but have now moved to Oslo, so I had to change the clock for the first time ever. The result is that the sun goes down even earlier, like 3:30 or something, and it's quite dark by 4:00 PM. But it will still get worse.

Funny how Russia decided to just do DST all year.

Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side. - Han Solo

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