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Comment: Re:ok then... but (Score 1) 211

by gbjbaanb (#48941631) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

Batteries wear out and you need a very considerable number of them to store enough energy for everyone's evening use watching TV, lighting, heating, cooking and whatnot.

I think you'd be surprised just how much gets used overnight just on street lights, let alone all the use for heating water when the cost is cheap.

A better way to store the energy is to pump water uphill, then let it drop to power turbines in the evening, but that requires a lot of infrastructure. Simply put, we don't have an easy solution to the problem of our massive energy consumption.

Comment: ok then... but (Score 1) 211

by gbjbaanb (#48938979) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

I understand biofuel may not be very efficient, and that's fair enough - altrhough I'd love for there to be an unlimited, carbon-free supply of cheap energy... there isn't, so we need to be a bit intelligent about it all.

the problem with solar is that you do get energy supply from it, but only during the day, so we need to come up with much more efficient ways of storing that energy. We don't have this yet.

The problem with wind is that it can be quite intermittent, not working on non-windy or too-windy days.

The problem with wave is that its in a corrosive environment so will not be as efficient if you have to continually maintain the equipment.

So what else do we have that can be used. Biofuel, and biomass generation, as part of an overall strategy is something that will help to plug the gaps in the areas when the other renewables stop working. We just need to focus it at an appropriate level rather than thinking its another silver bullet.

Comment: Re:For example (Score 1) 145

by gbjbaanb (#48938921) Attached to: LibreOffice Gets a Streamlined Makeover With 4.4 Release

Why should there be any sort of limit, other than exhausting all memory in the computer?,/i>

I don't know, maybe you should first find out which version of Excel you're having difficulty with and seeing their limitations page.

16,384 columns max in Excel apparently.

At least with LO, you can at least edit the code to fix this and make columns dynamically allocate!

Comment: Re:A great developer knows how shitty he is at cod (Score 1) 210

by gbjbaanb (#48922801) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Great Software Developer?

For most of us, though, finding and fixing bugs is a chore that we'd rather avoid because writing code (and therefore more bugs) is more fun

maybe that's the fundamental thing - the greater a programmer, the more he treats the work as work and not fun. A professional working on building a product and not some amateur playing with his hobby.

A great programmer will use whatever tools are needed or suitable, the 'coder' will use the tools he really prefers using. Like my mate, when presented with his new job that involves creating an updated embedded PoS terminal, rather than reusing as much of the legacy C++ code blocks the old system has and putting it on a Linux platform, is only interested in rewriting it all in .NET on Windows 7 (or 10 probably).

Comment: Re:The most important prerequisite (Score 1) 210

by gbjbaanb (#48922591) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Great Software Developer?

I think you highlighted the wrong part.

"Identify the need and/or problem" is the crucial part and is what differentiates the great programmer who fixes that need, and the adequate programmer who is so focused on the solution he can forget what it is he's really supposed to be doing.

Or to put it another way, the great are those who listen before talking, the rest just prefer to talk.

Comment: Re:The problem is the interface (Score 1) 174

by gbjbaanb (#48913117) Attached to: Windows 10 IE With Spartan Engine Performance Vs. Chrome and Firefox

The "good" one wastes screen space

and whatever you use is wasting space on bits of chrome - unless you run it in full-screen kiosk mode.

There's a reason you have things like title bars and menus even if you don't use them all the time. Its because they do get used. The best UI is the one that fits with what the OS says is the primary design. Consistency is key.

Besides, Microsoft did optimise Office's UI for actual use, based on metrics from their UI labs and people actually using menu items. This resulted in the ribbon and a double-size Paste icon (as everyone uses paste twice as often as either cut or copy, so obviously it has to be twice as important)

Comment: Re:Modula-3 FTW! (Score 1) 488

by gbjbaanb (#48903493) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Rubbish. Once you have 3 or 4 levels of nested braces you're not going to be readable at all.

The only thing that gives you the symmetrical blocks is indentation, in this respect Python is the most readable, but all other languages are just as good if you format your code nicely.

So given that code readability depends on the quality of the programmer,. and that programmers taught using Pascal are better, then it stands to reason that we should be teaching using Pascal. You use whatever is appropriate for the industry you work in after that.

Comment: Re:Modula-3 FTW! (Score 1) 488

by gbjbaanb (#48903379) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

#in a way your comment is backwards, considering Pascal came first - why did you choose a different toolchain of Java Python or C++ when you already had a Pascal one?

As for productivity, the amount of typing is overrated, considering a) thinking is (or should be) the activity that takes up most of your programming effort, b) IDEs do most of it for you, and c) nothing in Pascal comes close to the verbosity of Java or C#. So what if you have to type Begin instead of { when your method names are 40 characters long :)

so yes, you're right - but not when applying it to Pascal. Besides, I can think of one area where Pascal is a good thing - education. It was designed to teach programming after all.

Comment: Re:Oh yay, more about the bullshit clock (Score 1) 216

by gbjbaanb (#48897995) Attached to: Doomsday Clock Moved Two Minutes Forward, To 23:57

Well, I've been listening to the BBC's history of the first world war, particularly how it started in the first place. What was just some useless (and lucky!) Serbian terrorist turned into a European catastrophe remarkably quickly through a chain of events based on one country not liking another country and manoeuvring the situation to give them an excuse for local 'peach keeping' annexation.

At the same time I was listening to how Russia was entering the Ukraine "to keep the peace", even though they were not sending any troops over there, and Europe and America were getting unhappy with them, giving them an excuse to impose financial sanctions. Trivial politicking just like our World Children like to play, except this is just the same as happened back in 1914.

I think it'll all be fine, but Russia won't back down but might just enhance its action in a fit of pique, and you never know where it might end, despite no-one wanting war. Just like in 1914.

Comment: Re:Who the hell still uses Silverlight (Score 1) 55

by gbjbaanb (#48864103) Attached to: Silverlight Exploits Up, Java Exploits Down, Says Cisco

Microsoft says "silverlight s dead", ex Silverlight team (now working on WP) announces Silverlight as the thing for WP.

I guess its the natureof Microsoft's non-joined-up team structures, one team likes something another team doesn't. I think things are changing now with Nadella actually taking charge.

The thing for WP and Metro, according to Microsoft is Cordova! I can't argue against that, even Microsoft knows cross-platform toolsets are the way forward :-)

If a thing's worth doing, it is worth doing badly. -- G.K. Chesterton

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