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Comment: What is there on a fighter that could help? (Score 1) 107

by istartedi (#48895859) Attached to: Bomb Threats Via Twitter Partly Shut Down Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport

What is there on a fighter jet that could possibly help? It's a bomb threat. Fighters have... bombs, guns and missiles. Well, since we already don't want an explosion at the airport, bombs don't help. Missiles, pretty much the same deal except there's a nice WhhoooooOOOSH before it hits something. Seems bombs and missiles would only make matters worse. That leaves guns, typically used air-to-air or for strafing. Since they aren't under threat of air attack, strafing seems to be the most likely course of action, should the fighters actually engage.

That doesn't make a lot of sense though. A device, if found, will typically be removed and detonated or detonated in place after the area has been cleared.

Maybe, just maybe... the logic is something like, "Hey, can we strafe the bomb this time?". CO: "No, EOD is going to follow procedure". Pilot: "Damned EOD. Maybe we'll strafe the bomb next time".

Comment: Re:Times have changed. (Score 1) 778

by istartedi (#48830641) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

Scrolled down for this. Walking to school with Mommie was a kindergarden thing for me in the 70s. From 1st grade on, I walked to school or the bus stop all by my ittle bitty sef!

Oh and yes, no cel phone of course. If you were in real trouble you could find some parent who was out in their garden, and ask to use the phone.

Comment: ASN.1? (Score 1) 242

by istartedi (#48747549) Attached to: Little-Known Programming Languages That Actually Pay

I thought ASN.1 was just a data representation, not a programming language. Went and googled a,.... seems to be right; but I only skimmed the Wiki. Of course you could represent code in any good data representation language; but why? I've heard people say that data is passed using ASN.1, but never "I wrote that application in ASN.1". That just sounds wrong.

Comment: Make something worth fixing (Score 2) 840

Trouble is, a lot of today's appliances aren't worth fixing. I junked a blender recently. Problem? plastic coupling between the motor and the blades. What's that you say? Machine a new one out of metal? OK maybe... if the motor didn't already spark and smell like ozone when making one smoothie. No, crushing ice was not pushing this thing. It was specifically advertised as being OK with that. It was just. A piece. Of crap. Now a BlendTec, that'd be worth servicing... but even the consumer version is $400.00. Many of us can't afford that, or we rationalize the 5-year disposable $40 blender as potentially cheaper even though trashing things is somehow less satisfying. There is no pride in ownership when there's no pride in manufacturing. This is by design. The companies don't want people fixing things. Everybody knows it.

Maybe that's why the younger generation is more interested in making. If companies won't put pride in manufacturing, maybe individuals will.

Comment: Re:Encapsulation (Score 2) 303

by istartedi (#48731111) Attached to: Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

It sounds like you might be somebody who learned to program someplace other than a CS degree, or who got a CS degree and forgot some academic stuff that you haven't used in your day-to-day work.

You've run afoul of the "functional" doesn't mean "uses function calls a lot" problem and some chest-pounders here are slamming you for that. As an EE who only had a few undergrad CS courses, I've had similar problems. Somewhere out there is a USENET thread in which I'm assuming that "side effects" are "bad side effects" as opposed to manageable outcomes of calling non-pure functions. Thus, I can empathize with you.

Chances are you're a fine programmer who just never studied functional programming. Forget the pedants, and google Lisp, Haskell, "pure function", "functional programming", etc. I'll wager you won't want to write programs in those languages but will find it interesting. You'll also be less likely to bring pedants out of the wood work once you're familiar with the terminology.

Comment: Re: Tiny Island (Score 1) 115

by istartedi (#48648741) Attached to: Cuba Says the Internet Now a Priority

Holy crap, that's the last place I'd expect a cable. It sounds like the only reason they did that is politics because of Chavez. The latency will suck. Why couldn't they get to Mexico? If the relationship with the USA progresses, a cable from the Keys is a no-brainer. You'll get much better round-trips to Miami which a lot of Cubans will want for VOIP, video, etc.

Comment: What should happen (Score 1) 628

by istartedi (#48643213) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

What should happen is a graceful transition from the scarcity-driven model to a virtually non-scarce model. We could start by issuing shares in public companies to the poor (financed by taxes), with the restraint that they aren't allowed to sell shares. They would receive dividends each month in addition to welfare. Eventually they might receive enough so that traditional welfare isn't required. As robots replaced workers, more and more people would end up on this kind of "dole" but it would be less and less onerous, and less and less of a stigma.

Eventually, you end up with almost everybody living off investment income. You still have a free market since there are no restrictions on *buying* new shares--you are only barred from selling your dole account. It's just that the market employment become less important.

That's just the financial aspect of the transition, with a very simple sort of social justice thrown in. It could be lousy or great, depending on a lot of societal factors. I think it's just important to realize that a gradual transition is possible without going to war over words like "socialism", "communism", "libertarianism", "fascism" or whatever -ism du jour is getting blow-hard pundit panties in a bunch.

Comment: How much coding was involved? (Score 1) 221

by istartedi (#48635251) Attached to: Hackers' Shutdown of 'The Interview' Confirms Coding Is a Superpower

How much coding was involved? I'm not aware of the mechanics of the break-in. It could have been pure social engineering. It could have been a mole. That doesn't involve any coding. It could have been spotting a vulnerability. People who do that usually do some coding, but such attacks involve a lot of analysis of existing code as opposed to creating new code. The actual attack may require code; but it's usually not a lot. So. "Coding" as the "super-power" behind the attack? Meh.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...