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Comment: Re:More ambiguous cruft (Score 1) 497

Why did the courts believe that those seeds were not his? They were on his property. If those seeds were not backed by a state issued monopoly (patent), there is no issue what seeds he wants to collect on HIS property.

Which is a totally valid complaint. The courts and legal system disagree and belief that patents should be allowed in this case though.

The point I was drawing was that Percy didn't accidentally start planting the patented seeds, he deliberately and intentionally set out to get his hands on the patented seed instead of his own that he'd been growing before.

Your bias is showing. There is nothing legally, morally or ethically wrong with "deliberately and intentionally" culling seeds from your own land and selectively breeding them. You are trying to make it look like doing what he did was wrong. It was not. It is only legally wrong if you're too poor to afford justice.

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

by goose-incarnated (#48902611) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

For a beginner, curly braces may seem more readable. For an experienced programmer, Python wins. Curly braces lead to ambiguous interpretation, whereas indentation guarantees a single interpretation and stands out well.

To both beginner and experts alike, making invisible characters, such as whitespace, possess significance is too much of a religious thing ;-)

Comment: Re:tl;dr version (Score 1) 106

So, basically if you use a completely BS measure of "productivity" (# of commits) teams that are more diverse and with longer tenure tend to be slightly (1% to 2.5%) more "productive".

Where do I sign up for grant money to produce crap research like this?

It's worse than you think - If X and Y are responsible for 2.5% of $FOO, X could be zero while Y could be 2.5%. It's very telling that they cannot give the correlation numbers for either exclusively X or exclusively Y in their paragraph, it has to be given as a sum, because then you can't tell which of them actually has the measured effect.

Poor research (again!) - 2/10 for trying. Good troll though - 10/10 for all the baffling numbers that most people are unable to see through.

Comment: Re:This guy hasn't done his research. (Score 1) 648

by goose-incarnated (#48859219) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

I'm really confused as to how this works: at least if I understand what you're saying correctly, that certainly would break the principle of least astonishment. Is there a more thorough explanation of the topic that I could look through?

Yes. As an amateur language (lisp-ish) designer myself I was curious. The explanation is as follows (as far as I can tell from the mess that is the reference implementation for 2.3):

Python implements variables as dictionaries. Each scope gets a new dictionary created. When encountering a reference to a variable that must be read the engine traverses the stack upwards until it finds the variable name in a dictionary. If it reaches toplevel without finding a name an exception is thrown.

When encountering a reference to a variable that must be written the engine only searches up to the nearest stack pointer, at which point if the variable is not found it is then created and assigned. Hence the reason swapping around the LHS and the RHS in an assignment changes the scope of those variables, which (usually) loses data if the variable exists in a higher scope. This is the reason for using a global keyword when you want to write a variable but not when you want to read it - the global keyword was a hack around the dictionary implementation. The dictionary may be gone but the hack remains.

My informal discussions with the python community results in "this is pythonic - and besides, if you forget the global keyword you deserve to lose data silently" (you can search stack overflow for this exchange). Python really is the only language that has these (and other) warts. Unfortunately, because I've maintained a ton of python in the past I've run into almost all the gotcha's - it has more than C :-(, which is a pity as it might have been a really great language if only a little language design went into it rather than (like PHP) it having evolved from "runtime config management for C".

Comment: Re:Lower Level != "Complex" (Score 1) 648

by goose-incarnated (#48859131) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

You want them to learn the abstract concepts of programming. With C, you quickly get bogged down in memory management, notions like pointers, the complete lack of object-oriented programming, awkward functions and weird workarounds like variadic functions. You can learn that stuff after you've understood what a loop is and how variables work.

You don't have to get bogged down, use a library! Anyway, why would someone learning python learn how to construct a linked-list (the basic structure of most CS fundamental concepts)? What C misses is a library, but there are plenty for your taste [shameless plug] - here's one that I work on when I have the time and/or the inclination.

You most definitely don't want to teach a language where all the things that happen are "magic" under a hood that no one can open. C is perfect for teaching engineering students. Not so much for CS students - for them use SICP. For neither student do you want to perform vocational training. You want to educate thinkers, not train drones.

Comment: Re:This guy hasn't done his research. (Score 1) 648

by goose-incarnated (#48858507) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Are you talking about switching the values of two variables? Python can do that in one line: "a,b = b,a" (no quotes).

Or is this some kind of syntactical thing where you're asking to write "b = a" and having it mean "a = b"? I don't think Python can do that, but I don't know how you do it in VB either.

No, I'm talking about the pythonic way of losing and/or changing scope of the variables x and y when the statement:
x = y
is changed into:
y = x

No other language that I know of changes the scope when the LHS and RHS variables are changed - it breaks the law of least astonishment. The 'x' and 'y' that you access when you do 'x = y' is not the same 'x' and 'y' that get's accessed when you do 'y = x'. The end result is that you silently lose data 'cos no errors are thrown.

(What's really ironic is that I'm actually writing some python code now to do string processing - ideal time to bitch about a language is when you're using it :-))

Comment: Re:This guy hasn't done his research. (Score 1) 648

by goose-incarnated (#48857801) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

I'd love to see *any* "complex construct" that C can do, that Python cannot do in a general computer science/algorithm sense.

More to the point, I'd love to see any "complex construct" that VB can do, that Python cannot.

Handle assignments without scope changing if you switch the lhs and rhs of the assignment? Last I checked, python could not do that.

Comment: Re:What a load of rubbish (Score 2) 219

by goose-incarnated (#48851263) Attached to: Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others

The more women, the better. I suppose that's why there are so many successful "all-women" companies out there.

I'm starting to wonder if all you jokers read the same paper FTFA as I did, and not just the article. The paper points points out in no uncertain terms that the inverse correlation between group performance and participation dwarfs the (almost insignificant by comparison) correlation between number of women and group performance.

Is there a correlation between number of females and group performance? Yes, but it's only marginally stronger than the correlation between the highest-IQ of the group and group performance. The inverse correlation (-0.41,0.001) between group participation and group performance is a good deal larger AND highly statistically significant compared to the extremely weak correlation between number of women and group performance (0.23,0.007) which is merely statistically significant. And really, a p-value of 0.007 when they only tested 600 odd people (not 600 odd groups)?

They call this science?

Comment: Re:I have grown skeptical of these experiments. (Score 1) 219

by goose-incarnated (#48850977) Attached to: Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others

For Agile to work well, you need to have experienced, capable team members, who can manage themselves.

If you have that then why would you use Agile? If you have experienced and capable members with the maturity to manage themselves then trying to micromanage them ala Agile is counter-productive. Agile is almost exclusively for poor and/or inexperienced teams who lack the maturity and self-discipline to manage themselves, which is why they have to be micromanaged and reminded once/twice a day about what they are doing.

Comment: Re:8chan in the House! (Score 1) 335

by goose-incarnated (#48849161) Attached to: Lies, Damn Lies, and Tech Diversity Statistics

Did you just point out that those people insulted men twice as much as they insulted women?

Women who weren't there. The men were there.

When women are present in the discussion, the numbers skyrocket.

This is not getting better for you - you have just stated that no women were on the forum to be harmed, but plenty of men were. You've just stated that more men are the recipients of abuse on that forum than women! And to think that you were insulting the intelligence of others :-)

Nevertheless, I'm reposting this the next time /. is assaulted with a non-story by the "you-hurt-my-feels" brigade - PopeRatzo's preliminary research shows that men are twice as likely to be abused by gamergators as women are. All your own research, mind - I've never been on a chan forum :-)

Comment: Re:8chan in the House! (Score 1) 335

by goose-incarnated (#48848145) Attached to: Lies, Damn Lies, and Tech Diversity Statistics

The word "autist" or "aut" appears 17 times.

The word "nigger" appears 8 times

The word "faggot" appears 26 times

These are the words they use when addressing each other. But when it comes to referring to women, they lose all creativity.

"Cunt" appears 12 times. "Slut" appears 5 times. "Pig" appears 3 times (in reference to a woman). "Whale" appears 5 times (again, in reference to a woman's appearance).

Did you just point out that those people insulted men twice as much as they insulted women? Clever - you deserve an award for that.

I feel I should save a link to this post so that anyone who goes on about gamergate being against women can have a read. Well done for the research.

There's no sense in being precise when you don't even know what you're talking about. -- John von Neumann

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