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Comment: visual programming languages (Score 1) 220

by heli_flyer (#36037834) Attached to: JavaScript Gets Visual With Waterbear
I've worked with (actually, had to replace) a visual programming language before. One huge problem with the language was printouts. It's very hard to print large programs. If you have a conventional text-based programming language, you can print out a 10000 line program on a printer, and it's comprehendable.Now try that with a visual program with 10000 interconnected blocks. You have to print it in sections on letter-sized paper, then tape it all together, and it becomes about 20 ft wide and 15 ft tall. In order to show someone a bug in the program, you needed to schedule a conference room so you have a large enough table to unfold the printout. Another huge problem was inserting new code. With a text-based programming language, you can just insert a new line. With this visual programming language, you had to move all the graphical elements out of the way to create space so you could plop down a new graphical element. It turned what should have been a single keypress operation into a five minute task for rearranging graphical elements. I could go on and on, but needless to say, managment thought the visual programming language was a "differentiating feature against our competitors". The people who actually used it hated it.
Classic Games (Games)

GOG.com Not Really Gone 276

Posted by samzenpus
from the stepped-out-for-a-minute dept.
gspr writes "On Sunday, Slashdot and many others reported that DRM-free games site GOG.com was shutting down. Now the site is back, revealing that it was all a hoax. According to the site: 'Now it's time we put an end to all the speculations once and for all. It's true that we decided that we couldn't keep GOG.com the way it was so we won't. As you probably know by now, GOG.com is entering its new era with an end of the two-years beta stage and we're launching a brand new GOG.com with new, huge releases.' So it was all an advertising stunt."
Image

Opossums Overrun Brooklyn, Fail To Eliminate Rats 343

Posted by samzenpus
from the urban-opossum-blight dept.
__roo writes "In a bizarre case of life imitates the Simpsons, New York City officials introduced a population of opossums into Brooklyn parks and under the boardwalk at Coney Island, apparently convinced that the opossums would eat all of the rats in the borough and then conveniently die of starvation. Several years later, the opossums have not only failed to eliminate the rat epidemic from New York City, but they have thrived, turning into a sharp-toothed, foul-odored epidemic of their own."

Comment: impending American Cultural Revolution (Score 1) 1093

by heli_flyer (#30420178) Attached to: The Limits To Skepticism
I think this is just one facet of a larger problem, which I call the "impeding American Cultural Revolution" aka "The rise of the idiocracy". If you look at conditions today, they are similar to the start of the Chinese Cultural Revolution: disrespect for the science and facts (climate change deniers, creationists, birthers, teabaggers, health care death panelers, etc) and the glorification of the common man (Joe the Plumber, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, Gretchen Carlson dumbing herself down, etc). The scenario which scares me is: the idiots vote Sarah Palin into office, and she prevents control of greenhouse gases until a massive global catastrophe (where we lose a significant portion of the world's arable land) that makes the Three Years of Natural Disasters look like a minor problem...

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