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Comment: Scam? (Score 2) 92

by (#46846767) Attached to: Why Speed-Reading Apps Don't Work
Many years ago I got pulled into a scam around speed reading. A good friend (at the time) was in the thrall of a conman with an interesting proposal. The elevator pitch went something like this: "Imagine a system that flashes words at you subliminally and when it detects you haven't understood a word (via a biofeedback mechanism) it then flashes the dictionary definition of that word. You could read an entire book in minutes and have complete understanding of the content."

Even though I was young I still could smell bullshit. A small group of similarly-minded people tried to pop the bubble, but when the true believers had invested so much time and emotional energy there was no turning them around. The was more to it than this: crazy mind games, a three-car pile up and other weirdness (including an impromptu cover of "The Rainbow Connection" in an upmarket restaurant), but I won't bore you with the details. The end-point is it soured a friendship which never recovered.

Maybe I'm biased by that experience, but any technology that promises to solve problems by getting people to read faster - instead of, say, with better comprehension - leaves me with the taste of snake-oil in my mouth.

Comment: Re:Javascript is paradigm-free (Score 4, Insightful) 505

by (#46128989) Attached to: The JavaScript Juggernaut Rolls On
Why pick one when you can pick all three in the same application? :)

No, you're absolutely right - being able to choose a mode of programming is neat and Java does lend itself to doing neat things. But it still feels like a language that someone quickly hacked together. And the freedom to pick a paradigm means your fellow coders get to pick whatever happens to be in their clue bucket for the day. At least with a language that focuses on imperative or functional coding you can be reasonably sure that the guy sitting next to you has a similar view of reality as you do. "Multi-paradigm" is a bit like saying "post modern", with all the positive and negative connotations. I prefer my languages neo-classical :)

Comment: Re:I has a sad (Score 2) 505

by (#46128917) Attached to: The JavaScript Juggernaut Rolls On

In my 35 years of professional programming, getting good at dozens of languages, I've only run across 2 I've actively disliked. Javascript is one of them (tcl was the other). JS is a crap language that IMHO can't be fixed. If they ever add an honest garbage collector to the base language then most programs will delete themselves upon execution.

Lol. And the garbage collector would then send out an email to every web designer who says "I know how to code in Java" when they mean Javascript and clean up that confusion once and for all.

I've been forcing myself to get good at writing JS lately (if only because Node looks like it'll make all my other skills irrelevant in the web development market). It.. just.. feels.. wrong. Nothing in the language lends itself to building architectured solutions. Maybe the testing tools have caught up with other languages now, but you're still testing ugly code.

Javascript is the smallpox of coding languages. Maybe once it's finally eradicated Brendan Eich will only be remembered for this, the equally damaging Rust language and attempting to remove the marriage rights of same-sex couples in California. Hey, did I just politicise Javascript there? Flame on.

Comment: Re:well the good news. (Score 1) 279

by (#45994533) Attached to: Heat Waves In Australia Are Getting More Frequent, and Hotter
Well.. as everyone knows in this country, drop bears are if anything MORE aggressive during heatwaves. You rarely get reports of attacks during the winter months, but there's been a spate of deaths in the areas outside of Brisbane this summer - again, mostly visiting tourists who never seem to take the danger seriously.

Comment: Re:If you can't take the heat, (Score 1) 279

by (#45994203) Attached to: Heat Waves In Australia Are Getting More Frequent, and Hotter
It's not the desert you schmuck. The city I live in was the hottest city on the planet yesterday. Air-conditioning was failing under the heat - not from lack of power but from the basic heat differential between outside and in. Trains had to run on reduced schedules, transport staff were handing out free water bottles so no-one dehydrates. It's crazy. The bush fire season has started in earnest, and houses near cities have been destroyed. This affects day-to-day living of people living in large cities (millions of people).

The best laid plans of mice and men are held up in the legal department.