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Comment: Really nice, but... (Score 4, Insightful) 75

by ianezz (#47380427) Attached to: Duolingo is a Free, Crowdsourced Language Learning App (Video)
I'm trying it these days (to refresh and improve my German), and I have to say I've become sort of addicted. I can't really vouch on the quality of their courses, since the only one available for speakers of my mother tongue (English for Italian speakers) isn't that good yet (fine for most lessions, but the more advanced ones have definitively weird italian translations that could throw you off a bit). Hopefully, the courses for English speaking people are better. The web interface for the courses seems to be well-thought (lots of easy keyboard shortcuts) and works surprisingly well, didn't try the mobile applications yet.

On the other side, for what I could see, the translations you are kindly asked to do "to repay" them are usually poorly-written descriptions of commercial articles/ads, nothing really interesting, and the related web interface has some rough spots (just some quirks, but they get distracting).

That being said, I believe it's still the best online resource I've seen yet to get your feet wet with a foreign language (provided you know English)

Comment: Emacs, Vim (Score 1) 359

GNU Emacs for every programming language but Java (C, C++, SQL, Tcl, Python, Perl, Javascript, shell scripting), XML, HTML and CSS. Because it's the same on all platforms and ELisp comes to the rescue when I need it. Vim for configuration files (because vi is everywhere and it's the same on all platforms). Eclipse for Java code, because it does the job and because of the plugins that sometimes are required (but for large edits, I use GNU Emacs as an external editor - because it's faster). After 20+ years in the field, I have to have a really good reason to try other editors. These fill all my needs.

Comment: Re:Here's how it goes: (Score 1) 98

by ianezz (#36278214) Attached to: BBC Site Uses Cookies To Inform Visitors of Anti-Cookie Law

Back in the day, I remember a setting on iBrowse (Amiga) that caused the browser to ask before accepting each and every cookie. I don't see that setting on my current browsers, though I may just be overlooking it

Firefox has such setting, with the option to ask what to do for every cookie a website tries to set/update (which quiclky gets annoying), plus an option in to remember your choice for all subsequent cookies from that website. It's there in Preferences->Privacy->History->Use custom settings.

Comment: No X servers required on servers... (Score 1) 264

by ianezz (#36256612) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Linux Distro For Computational Cluster?

It has to have an X-windows server since we use that remotely from our Windows

Just to clear out a misconception that arises from time to time: you do not need an X server on a server exactly in the same way you don't need a web browser on your HTTP server. To understand that, you can think of an X server as a "browser" for the X protocol. On the server you just need some support libraries (which help applications in talking the X protocol).

Comment: Re:Here is the list. (Score 1) 610

by ianezz (#34757498) Attached to: NASA Names Best & Worst Sci-Fi Movies of All Time

I find it interesting that NASA showed no love for 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I'd say that's because of the story bottom line: human intelligence as a gift from aliens refusing any further contact until men can fly into space. And men creating their human-like intelligences. Fascinating? A lot (I still watch it in awe from time to time). Realistic? The possibility of that actually happening are frankly remote, but not plateally impossible (so that's why 2001 doesn't make it in neither category).

Comment: Re:It will prety much suck for quite some time. (Score 1) 320

by ianezz (#34678106) Attached to: After IPv4, How Will the Internet Function?

It's difficult to manipulate binary digits in hexadecimal, too. I don't see any advantage to this.

One hex digit represents exactly 4 binary digits. One octal digit represents exactly 3 binary digits. A decimal digit represents... something between 3 and 4 binary digits. ;-)

A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love"

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