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Comment Levitates like a beach ball? (Score 1) 159

Now I can understand that the BBC felt the need to fill the article with stupid comparisons, but why can't the summary here just replace them with ellipses for the sake of the presumably more technical readership here? One would think that the typical slashdot reader would understand 600 Mrpm just fine and wouldn't need such twaddle as "This spin speed is half a million times faster than a domestic washing machine and more than a thousand times faster than a dental drill" for edification.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm just old and bitter. Now get off of my lawn.

Comment Can't follow simple instructions? (Score 1) 430

If you can't follow a simple style guideline, what does that say about the rest of your code? When reviewing code, if I start to see a pattern of not adhering to the coding standards, I'll kick it back immediately. Why? Well, if you can't figure that out, then I don't expect you can figure out whatever algorithm you're working on either.

Coding standards are in place to enforce consistency throughout a code base and to save developer time. When reading code, you shouldn't have to be scanning for how things are indented or whether or not a bug is caused by a dangling else, you should be able to focus on the code. Looking through inconsistently formatted code takes additional time and effort - not much, but scale to a few thousand developers over a period of years, and that's a serious amount of wasted effort.

As others have said, if you want to write code your way, do it on your own time.


Thousands of Blackbirds Fall From Sky Dead 577

Dan East writes "In a fashion worthy of a King or Hitchcock novel, blackbirds began to fall from the sky dead in Arkansas yesterday. Somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 birds rained down on the small town of Beeb, Arkansas, with no visible trauma. Officials are making wild guesses as to what happened — lightning strike, high-altitude hail, or perhaps trauma from the sound of New Year's fireworks killed them."

Comment Flash cards (Score 1) 237

The low-tech kind. When learning Russian I was able to memorize a new wordlist (40-50 words) in 10-20 minutes after having written them all out on flash cards. The writing itself was a major part of the learning process. As for retention once learned, a lot of practice is really the only way. Reading out loud is actually fairly helpful, and conversation is the very best.

Comment A tent in Afghanistan... (Score 1) 1127 the middle of summer with a broken air conditioner and a RAID whose power supply kept beeping loudly because it was sensitive to the fluctuations in voltage provided by our loud diesel generator parked just outside. I was coding up an interface to an Access '97 database on stripped down Win2k running on a very dirty laptop (mud made from the very fine dust I was breathing combined with the sweat dripping off my fingers would occasionally cause a key to stop working) in Perl using OLE, with *no* internet access and little documentation. Funny thing was, I actually was having a pretty good time.

Comment Re:more nonsense from the same people (Score 1) 242

That's one of the cool things about virtual machines: physical addresses in a VM are, in fact, virtual addresses. And anyways, I'm not sure about Xen and friends, but vmware has its own BIOS and own SMM code, and taking control of one VM's SMM (which none of these exploits can do, so it's a moot point) wouldn't affect the rest of of the host system at all.

GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - RMS Talks about Binary Drivers & Free Software

Mitchell Bogues writes: Richard Stallman recently gave talk titled "The Free Software Movement and GNU/Linux Operating System". RMS fielded a number of interesting questions relevant to the future of the free software movement including, "Do you support the Creative Commons license?" and "Can I use ATI and NVIDIA drivers because Mesa isn't nearly as complete?". Can we expect Linux ever to see main stream adoption with these persistent driver and licensing issues still hanging around?

The first version always gets thrown away.