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Comment: Re:The real question is about Emacs (Score 1) 252

by mangobrain (#45846983) Attached to: Emacs Needs To Move To GitHub, Says ESR

This; a million times this. The problem is exacerbated by the long-running trend towards computers as consumer appliances, instead of specialised tools. I grew up coding in BASIC on an Acorn Archimedes, which was state-of-the-art at the time; when my family finally "upgraded" to a Win98 PC, the second thing I noticed (the first being the massive jump in performance) was the lack of printed reference manuals and built-in development tools. When I was at university, the teaching language was Object Pascal (via Delphi), I had a vague knowledge of Linux due primarily to the social circles I moved in, and I eventually ended up doing the bulk of my work in C++ on Solaris for the simple reason that the UNIX labs on campus always had plenty of free machines (which could not be said of the Windows labs). This rekindled my love of plain-text editors and the command line, to the extent that I still bind F12 to spawn terminals on my Linux machines (any RISC OS user will know where I'm coming from ;) ).

Had my background and social set been different, I could very easily have graduated knowing only how to do RAD on Windows via graphical IDEs. Not really fitting for a comp sci course with software development modules.

Comment: Re: MUAHAHAHAHA (Score 1) 240

by mangobrain (#44657181) Attached to: NASDAQ Trading Halted Due To "Technical Issue"

Why wouldn't he? An investor isn't trying to time the market that narrowly, so he'll pull as close to a real-time quote he can get confirm its still in the region he was looking for and submit the order.

If you're worried about the nebulous, evil effects of HFT affecting your order price between entry and execution, why enter anything but a limit order?

Actually, if you set a limit price on an order, it should close at the asking price if the asking price is lower.

Then my point still stands - if you enter a limit order, an HFT algorithm can't make money by raising the asking price then selling to you higher than you expect. Firstly, there's a limit price on your order; secondly, how is the algo supposed to raise the asking price without buying something? It makes no sense to buy high just so that you can annoy someone else, because the algo still ends up selling to them for less than it bought.

Comment: Re: MUAHAHAHAHA (Score 1) 240

by mangobrain (#44648587) Attached to: NASDAQ Trading Halted Due To "Technical Issue"

I think you have it backwards. Unless you are entering an at-market order, your order will be executed at the price which it is originally entered. So an algorithm which "bids up" the price, which it can only really do by entering an order with a higher execution price (just entering high quotes makes no difference if nobody executes), then executes a sell to you at your (lower) bid price, will *lose* money.

Comment: Re: Foolish assumptions (Score 1) 208

by mangobrain (#44648383) Attached to: GM Rice Passes Unexpected Benefits To Weeds

Surely though this is entirely dependent on the effects - expected and otherwise - of those extra proteins? The energy argument sounds convincing in its simplicity, but I am doubtful precisely because of that simplicity. We are not dealing with simple organisms in simple environments; the very existence of this article speaks to a complexity and subtlety of interactions which cannot be easily predicted.

Comment: Foolish assumptions (Score 1) 208

by mangobrain (#44616517) Attached to: GM Rice Passes Unexpected Benefits To Weeds

From TFA: “The traditional expectation is that any sort of transgene will confer disadvantage in the wild in the absence of selection pressure, because the extra machinery would reduce the fitness,” says Norman Ellstrand, a plant geneticist at the University of California in Riverside.

Well, that seems like a foolish expectation. These modifications aren't already common in the wild, therefore they must be disadvantageous? This seems to be assuming that evolution has already made these plants as fit as they are going to get, and can't possibly be altered in a way that might make them more so (regardless of whether the alteration has any desirable side-effects). To me, it seems pretty stupid to assume that evolution has somehow peaked, for *any* species, given the time scales, diversity and mechanisms involved.

It's not often I come away from an article like this thinking "those stupid scientists, this is clearly wrong because of X", because normally they've been looking at it for a lot longer than I have and there is something (often a whole wealth of things) I don't understand or am not aware of. But in this case - those stupid scientists, this is clearly wrong because evolution will keep going unless we somehow eliminate all natural sources of genetic mutation.

Comment: Re:Profit! (Score 1) 208

by mangobrain (#44616425) Attached to: GM Rice Passes Unexpected Benefits To Weeds

Really, +5 Insightful? I actually thought the summary and headline were quite good. Let's take it point by point:

1. "A genetic-modification technique used widely to make crops herbicide resistant has been shown to confer advantages on a weedy form of rice, even in the absence of the herbicide."
Yep, that seems to be what they're saying - they took genetically-modified rice, cross-bred it with weedy rice, cross-bred the offspring to make a second generation, and found that the resulting plants were fitter than their weedy grandparents, according to several fitness measures.

2. "A common assumption has been that if such herbicide resistance genes manage to make it into weedy or wild relatives, they would be disadvantageous and plants containing them would die out."
Well, yes. From TFA: "“The traditional expectation is that any sort of transgene will confer disadvantage in the wild in the absence of selection pressure, because the extra machinery would reduce the fitness,” says Norman Ellstrand, a plant geneticist at the University of California in Riverside." Seems legit.

3. "But the new study led by Lu Baorong, an ecologist at Fudan University in Shanghai, challenges that view: it shows that a weedy form of the common rice crop, Oryza sativa, gets a significant fitness boost from glyphosate resistance, even when glyphosate is not applied."
This is taken almost word-for-word from TFA, so is also pretty accurate.

4. "The transgenic hybrids had higher rates of photosynthesis, grew more shoots and flowers and produced 48 — 125% more seeds per plant than non-transgenic hybrids — in the absence of glyphosate, the weedkiller they were resistant to."
Yep, these numbers come from TFA. The point being that this "extra fitness" was measured under normal conditions, with no glysophate application; so the weeds are not only glysophate-resistant, but natural selection will operate in their favour.

So yes, this is totally botched; an outrage, I say! Oh, wait...

+ - Crowd-Funding Mesa3D development

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""After years of wanting to I recently decided to make a real attempt at contributing to the Mesa project. I found a good extension to work on that was not to technical in the GL_KHR_debug extension (OpenGL 4.3) and set about trying to understand the Mesa codebase. I have made a good start in understanding Mesa and in setting up some infrastructure code for the extension and believe I will be able to come up with some working patches without too much trouble. My problem however is time, unlike most new Mesa contributors I'm not a University student and I'm not hired to work on the project as part of my day job. I also have a young family at home therefore my contributions to open source usually consist of hacking on my laptop while I commute on the train to and from work. While I would eventually come up with some working code continuing to work on this only in my spare time. I would be able to come up with something much faster and of better quality if I had some dedicated time to put towards this cause.

So, I've decided to setup an experiment of sorts. Multiple times I have read ideas about using crowd sourcing to fund open source driver development. Rather than go all out trying to raise a huge sum of money I have setup a small project on indiegogo as a type of proof of concept to see whether a larger project would really be viable. To make things a bit more interesting if I reach my stretch goal I will dedicate some of the time towards creating some documentation on Mesa based on my understanding of Mesa throughout development. This would hopefully be useful to others considering contributing but with no idea where to start.

For more information see my indiegogo campaign here: http://igg.me/p/475220/x/2053460""

Comment: Re: Sad, if true (Score 1) 376

by mangobrain (#44373565) Attached to: The Last GUADEC?

Wow, what an angry response. MOC itself is one huge hoop, the necessity of which proves my point that Qt hasn't ever really been C++. The slots & signals stuff *can* be done in pure C++, see libsigc++ (as used by the glib and gtk C++ bindings), similar functionality in boost, or the contents of standard . Introspection is overrated IMHO, but it does now exist in the gobject world as well.
I know exactly what sort of hoops have to be jumped through for ABI compatibility, and I am aware of how many libraries piss all over them, which is why I stand by my statement that writing gtk in C made sense.

Comment: Re:Sad, if true (Score 1) 376

by mangobrain (#44369121) Attached to: The Last GUADEC?

Have you seen the hoops that older versions* of Qt jumped through to maintain ABI compatibility? It wasn't really C++, it was C-with-classes-plus-a-bunch-of-horrible-macros. Based on when the project started, I think C was the better choice on the grounds of stability, compatibility and portability. If you don't want to do it in C, use the C++ bindings, which avoid (most of) the ABI compatibility issues by virtue of being an OO wrapper around something with a stable ABI.

* I say "older versions" because I don't work actively with Qt, but have read things here and there suggesting the situation is improved in Qt 5.

Comment: Re:KDE and Gnome are still comparable (Score 1) 376

by mangobrain (#44369095) Attached to: The Last GUADEC?

It's no less valid than the original Google-trends-based premise that interest in GNOME is declining. If anything, the fact that we have a GNOME-focussed article about this, but no KDE-focussed one, shows how bogus it is. TFA actually has a lot more to say, so perhaps the summary would have been better not to call out this one small point.

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