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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Refactoring often done for understanding (Score 1) 239

by laughingskeptic (#49177791) Attached to: Study: Refactoring Doesn't Improve Code Quality
Most refactoring that I have observed over the last 30+ years was done primarily because the person handed the code did not understand it as it was. The refactoring process is very often the process through which a new developer figures out how old code works. Everyone likes to think that their refactoring was some sort of improvement over the previous code base, but the truth is this is only likely to be true about half the time. Considering that inexperienced engineers do more refactoring than experienced engineers, refactoring probably only brings actual improvement of any form to the code base less than half the time. The big plus is you now have a new guy that has ownership of something in the product. This benefit is hard to quantify, but should not be underestimated.

Comment: Apple knew this would be abused (Score 1) 57

Apple made the business decision to have the instant credit provided by a 3rd party. There was a lot of money to be made in this channel and Apple is sitting on billions in cash so why did Apple not provide the credit directly? Because they knew this would be abused and they couldn't put a solid number on the potential downside. There are probably some interesting emails to be subpoenaed by an enterprising attorney on this subject. I would guess the Apple CFO would have been for offering the credit directly and the CMO against it.

Comment: Re:The problem isn't science its ethics (Score 1) 958

by laughingskeptic (#48969321) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness
We ruthlessly study the digestive biology of commercial animals. We perform surgery on thousands of cows, sheep and goats to intercept their food as it passes through their system and we study their excrement in excruciating detail. Commercial operators know exactly how lean the beef will be based on the animal's food. We don't come close to doing this humans. Humans also don't eat the same thing every meal which greatly complicates the entire study. But at no point would we study humans in the way we do commercial animals.

Comment: Re:Time for a class action lawsuit (Score 1) 468

Wouldn't it be bigger pain be for UbiSoft if innocent victims all sued in small claims court? UbiSoft would loose almost all cases by default. Class action lawsuits only exist to make attorneys rich. Settlement money never reaches the consumer. If the consumer is lucky they get some sort of discount coupon that has no value if they no longer want to business with the company sued.

Comment: Tax IP Usage (Score 1) 312

by laughingskeptic (#48717623) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Should We Do About the DDoS Problem?
Make ISPs want to put their customer's behind NATed firewalls in order to avoid this tax. This would cut down on the botnet infection rate and make these infections more visible to the ISPs themselves. Grandma's computer does not need and really should not have an internet routable address. The 'service' ISPs are providing their customers has not evolved since the 1990's but the nature of the internet has drastically changed.

Comment: Just a small matter of science and technology (Score 2) 216

by laughingskeptic (#48500099) Attached to: How the Rollout of 5G Will Change Everything

From Wikipedia:

Terahertz radiation occupies a middle ground between microwaves and infrared light waves, and technology for generating and manipulating it is in its infancy, and is the subject of research. This lack of technology is called the terahertz gap. It represents the region in the electromagnetic spectrum that the frequency of electromagnetic radiation becomes too high to be measured by digitally counting cycles using electronic counters, and must be measured by the proxy properties of wavelength and energy. Similarly, in this frequency range the generation and modulation of coherent electromagnetic signals ceases to be possible by the conventional electronic devices used to generate radio waves and microwaves, and requires new devices and techniques.

The number of UNIX installations has grown to 10, with more expected. -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June 1972

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