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Comment What is a "toy" language? (Score 1) 414

I'm not sure why these are labeled "toy" languages.

If you're literally programming a toy, you'd use an embedded controller and something like Arduino (based on C/C++), or lua.

If it's intended to be languages that can't be used to build real stuff, that excludes Scheme, Scratch (SmallTalk), BASIC, and Logo, all of which are fully functional languages capable of expressing anything you like, and have all been used to write "real" software. Admittedly it'd be painful to write complex software in very old versions of BASIC, but it was certainly used to do so back in the day. Scheme, Smalltalk, and Logo are fully capable languages.

If they're going after languages used by kids to learn programming, the joke languages don't belong. And Python is a very popular learning language.

So what's "toy" supposed to mean?

Comment Re:Making fun of Trump is easy - HAIR! POMP! LOL! (Score 1) 154

Actually in Vermont Sanders was _great_ for business. It turns out that when you break down the anti-competitive barriers put in place by the biggest companies, all other businesses do better, and their innovation and competitiveness is GREAT for the economy.

Want to try again?

Comment Re:Advertising 101. (Score 2) 154

According to people who work for Trump he's not particularly smart - mainly a raging egotist who's pretty good at structuring deals so as to stiff vendors and partners, so business people really don't like dealing with him. Perhaps as a result, or just due to bad judgement on his part, his business hasn't been terribly successful either - he started by his Dad giving him a ton of money, which in total he managed to grow at half the rate of the stock market, making him a dramatically below-average investment.

Comment Re:Money for nothin... (Score 1) 456

Things people care about, like infrastructure and education, get cut because "there's not enough money". If corporations paid historically normal tax rates, there would be "enough money", so that excuse would be gone.

Of course, there's always some excuse for wasting money on defense instead of on constructive things...

Comment Re:Money for nothin... (Score 1) 456

To be clear, government spending relative to GDP in the US isn't particularly high by historical standards. The reason that there are deficits is largely because corporations are actually paying far less in taxes than they did a few decades ago, and the US real-world corporate tax rates actually paid are lower than in most other countries.

The result is that infrastructure, education, etc., are all underfund. The government ran better in the 50s through the early 70s, when corporate taxes were balanced with individual taxes, and there was enough money to run the country well, build highways, etc. Now corporations have managed to manipulate the tax laws such that they pay very low taxes, so even with government spending down quite a bit, there are still deficits. If corporate tax breaks to profitable companies (e.g. to oil companies) were stopped (since they're completely unnecessary) the budget would be in great shape. Cut defense spending to just being high (e.g. after the Carter/Reagan buildup) and we'd have huge surpluses, and could achieve really great things. Remember when the US dared to be great instead of terrified?

Comment Re:Moot Point Now (Score 1) 347

Any any non-programmer can download and run secure communications software. All that outlawing secure online communications in the US would do is destroy a large chunk of the US technology industry, as everyone would shift to buying technology from more rational suppliers.

Comment Re:IP matching (Score 2) 136

A big problem with "VPNs" is that there are a ton of incompatible, proprietary VPN tools out there, generally horrible and incompatible with each other, and/or expensive, so it's far from surprising that the security company doesn't want to deal with any of it.

If the goal of the OP is to make sure that nobody is watching his home's video other than the security company, I'd suggest using https streaming (which is what his system likely already does) with a certificate configured at the security company, verified by the sending side (in the house) so that can prove the stream is going to the security company. For extra credit, put a cert on the sending side, verified by the receiver.

Of course, you still have to trust the security company. But there's no way around that.

Comment Re:Anonymous Has Already Done This (Score 1) 69

Terrorism isn't a military contest, it is a political contest, taken by people who are committed to a cause that is clearly losing (islamic fanatics, christian fanatics, white supremacists). If you kill terrorists, you kill many non-terrorists as well, and that just makes more people hate you, aiding their recruiting. Layer on top idiot politicians (Trump) that spew racist broadsides that promote terrorist recruiting even more, and the situation never gets better.

The way to defeat terrorists is to remove the desperation that makes people vulnerable to being recruited to do horrible things. If people have decent lives, jobs, schools, family ties, etc., they're not tempted to join crazy causes. That's why the millions of Moslems in Indonesia (for example) aren't terrorists.

Comment Re:Anything Is Possible . . . (Score 3, Insightful) 69

Ads can afford a low 'hit' rate, because the cost of being wrong is very low. A good ad gets a 3% response rate, meaning 97% of the time it's a "false positive", but it's still profitable because ads are dirt cheap (0.5 cents would be high) so if you make a few dollars on the 'hits' you can easily cover the misses. In counter-terrorism, each false positive requires detectives to work the lead, making them extremely expensive to pursue. That's why every data mining approach to counter-terrorism has failed so far - the cost of pursuing the false positives gives data mining leads negative value, because they pull resources away from more productive approaches.

But the government's non-technical management loves the idea, and keeps allocating money to it, and unscrupulous researchers will keep taking the money.

Comment Re:Anthropomorphic Aliens (Score 1) 508

Star Trek came up with a pretty good excuse for this - an ancient race seeded "humanoids" throughout the galaxy, so the "aliens" came from the same source, which is why we all have the same basic shape and structure, eat basically the same food, doctors can heal aliens, etc.

Of course, the real reason is that it's very hard to hire actual aliens to play parts on TV shows, or to put humans in sufficiently alien costumes. And even if you could, emotions (and production) would be a real challenge. There are a few cases where it worked (e.g. Devil in the Dark, the episode with the Horta) but that was a one-episode character which made it possible logistically. And they got an amazing athlete to play the part.

Pretty much the same reason that aliens all speak English (or are magically translated by a computer or microbes) because it'd be really annoying to have every visit to a new planet in a weekly SF show start with months or years of working out how to communicate.

Comment Re:How? (Score 1) 486

Militarily ISIS is in terrible shape - shrinking area of control, no industrial base or educational system, and alienating nearly every government on the planet - the Arab governments, in particularly, are directly threatened by ISIS because ISIS wants to overthrow them and establish their own Theocracy.

But that's why they're turning to terrorism. The attacks in Paris and elsewhere are a sign that they're losing. Note that almost all of the attacks are against other Moslem countries, not Paris, the US, etc., which (IMO) is why the Islamic world is largely turned against ISIS.

Comment Re:Not a psychopath... (Score 1) 486

True, so far he's revealed a wide range of illegal activities, breaking both US and international law, as well as extensive lying to the public (also arguably illegal) and to Congress (clearly illegal). Revealing illegal government activity is quite embarrassing to the US government, so of course they're trying to punish him. Of course, they might also want to think about stopping doing illegal things that are damaging to the country when they're revealed.

Comment Re: Sounds like a psycopath. (Score 4, Informative) 486

Exactly. Friends in the security business tell me that these data mining leads have large negative value, because they require human effort to follow up on, and so far have a 0% success rate, meaning the pull resources away from more productive leads. Unfortunately the non-technical leadership LOVES the idea of data mining magically finding the bad guys, and keep pushing the programs forward.

Comment Re:Catch the rounded ones early (Score 2) 300

IMO, the value of teaching kids computer programming are many:
1) The learn to think logically. Theoretically this could be done in a logic class but there's a value in expressing the logical thinking in a context where it can be validated, which weeds out incorrect logic.
2) They learn that they can control computers, not just use them. Even if they're not going to write software professionally, knowing that you can control the computer gives you confidence in using it, and
3) Some will actually program the computers, whether it's using "power user" tools like scripting and spreadsheets. And sone kids who never would have taken an optional computer science course might turn out to be amazing engineers!

Comment Re: Clear evidence of over-reaction (Score 1) 193

Of course, no matter how they're detonated they don't have blinking LEDs on a PCB on someone's chest. The whole point of a bomb vest is that it's NOT OBVIOUS, so the bomber can get into position without alerting security. So is someone wearing an obvious PCB with blinking lights, and no explosives, isn't a bomber.

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