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Comment: Re:Python for learning? Good choice. (Score 1) 409

by jeremyp (#47414543) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

The problem is that different humans have different ideas about exactly what white space to use and where. For instance, for brace indentation, I prefer Allman style whereas most people go with some variant of K&R style.

The other problem is that white space is actually invisible to humans and glancing at a piece of code that is indented, a we cannot tell how many white space characters are there. Think of make files where it matters if the indent is made of tab or space characters. For human readability, the number and type of white space characters (including line feeds) should make no difference to the meaning of the code. If you need to enforce a project standard, there are tools that can do that and that obviate the source of errors that you think Python eliminates.

Comment: Re:another language shoved down your throat (Score 1) 409

by jeremyp (#47414281) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

I disagree. When somebody is learning how to program, you wan the language to be as easy to use as possible. You want to be able to solve real problems with a minimum amount of "boiler plate" and extraneous concepts.

For instance, in Java, you cannot write anything without having a class, so you have to introduce classes and methods (including static ones) to the beginner right at the start. Whereas with Python, you can pretty much type statements that do things straight away.

Also, you want the error messages to be simple and descriptive in terms that a beginner can understand. So when you index off the end of an array, you want the computer to print an error message that says "you've indexed off the end of the array", not to silently scribble over the process's memory.

This is not to say that Java and C don't have their place, they are just less suitable as a first teaching language than Python.

Comment: Re:What the fuck is this thing? (Score 2) 69

by jeremyp (#47375003) Attached to: ARM Launches Juno Reference Platform For 64-bit Android Developers

The segmented memory model was actually more flexible than the flat memory model, because even individual processes could manipulate their own segment registers to address the full 1 MB range.

Should really be written

The segmented memory model was actually less flexible than the flat memory model, because individual processes had to manipulate their own segment registers to address the full 1 MB range.

There's no doubt that, from the point of view of a programmer, the flat memory model is simpler and more flexible. You only have to see the kludges that 8086 C compilers introduced to make the full 1 Megabyte available to C programmers to understand that. Also check out every operating system, designed for the 386 and up which immediately set all the segment registers to point to segments that were 4Gb in size and that started at address 0.

Comment: Re:Hey... (Score 1) 173

by jeremyp (#47354901) Attached to: Julian Assange Plans Modeling Debut At London Fashion Show

Well, for a start, its address is

Flat 3b, 3 Hans Crescent, London SW1X 0LS

In Wikipedia, it is described as "a suite of rooms occupying part of the ground floor of the building, which has been described as an "apartment block".

It's likely not very big. It would probably be quite comfortable for Assange if he didn't have to share it with the Ecuador diplomatic staff.

Comment: Re:Turing Test Failed (Score 4, Insightful) 432

by jeremyp (#47192179) Attached to: Turing Test Passed

People were fooled (really, really fooled) by Eliza way back in the day. It doesn't mean squat.

No. They weren't. I speak as somebody who's had a go with Eliza and you could spot that it was a computer program in a couple of minutes if you wanted to. It's more likely that people were suspending their disbelief than really fooled.

Comment: Re:But... (Score 1) 490

by jeremyp (#47136607) Attached to: UK Ballistics Scientists: 3D-Printed Guns Are 'of No Use To Anyone'

And, in the decades since England banned guns, violent crime has gotten much worse.

This is false. Violent crime is on a downward trend in the UK.

You are arguing that the USA is more violent than the UK for cultural reasons and yet you think the answer is to make lethal weapons more available in this violent society. That doesn't make sense at all.

Ban guns, or at least put restrictions on where they can be carried and how they must be stored and you will at least see several hundred fewer people being shot accidentally each year.

Comment: Re:Killowatts are power, not energy (Score 1) 262

by jeremyp (#47062913) Attached to: The Brakes That Stop a 1,000 MPH Bloodhound SSC

Regenerative braking systems work by having a generator driven by the wheels that drives an electrical load - typically a battery charger. Charging the battery generates a current through the generator making it act like a motor but in the opposite direction to the way the wheels are making it spin.

Clearly storing charge in a battery is useless in a car whose only motive power is a rocket engine, so we can do away with that. We can just put a wire across the terminals of the generator. The generator itself can incorporate the axle as one of its parts, so it seems like it might work.

Of course, the wire will get very hot, so some form of cooling arrangement will be needed and since the wire is a continuous loop that goes through the generator, the cooling arrangement needs to keep the generator cool too.

Also, regenerative braking effect drops off at low speeds, so you'll need some ordinary disc brakes to bring the car to a complete halt.

This is all looking very complicated and heavy compared to the simple solution of metal discs and callipers.

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