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Comment: Re:python white space (Score 1) 399

by narcc (#49745537) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read

Then I realized how easy it was to read other people programs.

I find it it frustrating. It's unnecessarily difficult to tell where various blocks begin and end, particularly when two or more nested blocks end together.

On top of that, the myth that python is inherently easy to read has lead to some ridiculously illegible python code. I cringe every time I need to deal with anything written in python.

+ - Jason Scott of Wants Your AOL & Shovelware CDs-> 1

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes: You've probably got a spindle in your close tor a drawer full of CD-ROM media mailed to you or delivered with some hardware that you put away "just in case" and now (ten years later) the case for actually using them is laughable. Well, a certain mentally ill individual named Jason Scott has a fever and the only cure is more AOL CDs. But his sickness doesn't stop there, "I also want all the CD-ROMs made by Walnut Creek CD-ROM. I want every shovelware disc that came out in the entire breadth of the CD-ROM era. I want every shareware floppy, while we’re talking. I want it all. The CD-ROM era is basically finite at this point. It’s over. The time when we’re going to use physical media as the primary transport for most data is done done done. Sure, there’s going to be distributions and use of CD-ROMs for some time to come, but the time when it all came that way and when it was in most cases the only method of distribution in the history books, now. And there were a specific amount of CD-ROMs made. There are directories and listings of many that were manufactured. I want to find those. I want to image them, and I want to put them up. I’m looking for stacks of CD-ROMs now. Stacks and stacks. AOL CDs and driver CDs and Shareware CDs and even hand-burned CDs of stuff you downloaded way back when. This is the time to strike." Who knows? His madness may end up being appreciated by younger generations!
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Comment: Re:what might go wrong (Score 1) 118

It could be worse: It could be running Android.

Honestly, is more competition in this space a problem? Is your objection to "Smart TV's" in general or the OS specifically?

It's not like you can't just use a Matchstick or Roku box if you want. At worst, smart TV features are harmless.

Comment: Re:What does it say about you? (Score 1) 461

by narcc (#49687513) Attached to: Does Using an AOL Email Address Suggest You're a Tech Dinosaur?

In 1997, it would have been hell. I don't know if you remember dialup back then, but even a high-end V.34 33.6 would not have been sufficient.

The web, of course, wasn't ready for that kind of application either. You'd have been running IE3 or (if you were leading edge) Netscape Communicator 4. Even on your impressive 166mhz Pentium with 32mb of RAM, javascript performance was absurdly slow. This is to say nothing of the incredible differences between IE and Netscape at the beginning of the great browser wars. If anyone were to have attempted such a thing, it would have undoubtedly been a Java applet simply for speed and compatibility. Let's face it, Java applets were not known for their speed!

A table of images would have taken minutes to load -- no one would dare scroll or zoom. Further, something simple today like "JS overlays" simply wasn't possible. (I'm fairly certain layers and position weren't available until IE4 and a later version of NN4 sometime near the end of 1997). Even then, users would have needed a high-end computer, the latest software, and a lot of patience for something even approaching Google maps.

What did we have in 1997? MapQuest. You typed in your starting location and final destination and got a set of turn-by-turn directions with a few static maps. It was still slow, but far more than sufficient at the time. Something like Google maps would have been significantly slower and, consequently, much less useful.

Comment: Re: News for nerds (Score 1) 849

by narcc (#49685691) Attached to: Religious Affiliation Shrinking In the US

If you want to define sentience as something other than 'what brains do' you will have to justify it.

Why? That presumption is unjustified. Why would I offer some other unjustified presumption? Why would we prefer one to another?

Isn't it much more sensible to say, simply, "we don't know" to questions to which we have no justifiable answer?

By definition I can also assert without further empiricism that blue is 450–495 nm

Sure, but that's not science either.

I think I see what you're going for with the "fixed by definition" but it's very silly. Consider this bit of nonsense: "By definition, digestion is what the heart does". You'd reject that, obviously, as it's completely unjustified.

You accept the phrase in question here not because it's been established through scientific means, but on a purely metaphysical basis. It's just as foolish as any other reason to accept an unjustified proposition, but far more dangerous as it unjustifiably lends scientific credibility, and distorts the public understanding of science.

Comment: Re:Finally (Score 1) 849

by narcc (#49685139) Attached to: Religious Affiliation Shrinking In the US

Theistic theologians often describe god as a "ground of being", a phrase so meaningless that it cannot be parsed.

Oh, you're thinking of Paul Tillich. A rather famous and influential theologian. His "ground of all being" marks a radical shift in ontology (think: god as a being vs god as the ground of all being). Google the name and I'm sure you'll find a better explanation.

Fun fact: Tillich was an atheist.

Comment: Re: News for nerds (Score 1) 849

by narcc (#49684967) Attached to: Religious Affiliation Shrinking In the US

Sentience is what you get if you

Let's stick to reality, please. Baseless assumptions masquerading as science aren't going to get us anywhere. Anyhow, let me explain the quote, which you clearly misunderstood:

Why if you are a biological machine, are you also sentient? What's the point of sentience? It is irrelevant to life. Ants and birds might not be sentient, they are just machines running, like plants or trees, so why is there also this odd and unnecessary and frankly, annoying sentience?

The unstated assumption here is that, if you are a biological machine, consciousness is epiphenomenal. As an unavoidable consequence, free will would be illusory. Sentience, necessarily lacking causal efficacy, would be irrelevant to life. It could not contribute, in any way, to survival -- or anything else!

If all else fails, lower your standards.