Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re: better reasons (Score 1) 386

by nten (#49677887) Attached to: Criticizing the Rust Language, and Why C/C++ Will Never Die

They know they need to work on the compile times and if you consider the time it would take the static analysis tool then it is understandable. The dependency detection part of the compile time issue is with cargo. I haven't gotten another make system to work yet but it might solve that problem too. They intentionally decided to hide the compiler flags in cargo so I intentionally decided not to use it. There are people using both autotools and cmake.

The other stuff is just minor as you said.

Comment: better reasons (Score 3, Informative) 386

by nten (#49677539) Attached to: Criticizing the Rust Language, and Why C/C++ Will Never Die

Given the support for the functional paradigm that rust has, I am dissapointed that parallelizing folds and maps is so verbose and thought requiring. Not sure why a fold can't just use all the cores like in haskell.

Sting slices vs strings. Verbose again but it works.

No tail call optimization, makes some FP stuff impossible.

No metaprogramming.

Regex library is slow. But I don't use regex and it is on the long list to improve.

Compile times. It rebuilds everything in a library or exe even if you only changed one line. Also it is just slow. Even hello world takes surprisingly long. This is really annoying because I have a habit of recompiling quite regularly as I code.

Cargo, the package manager and build system is inflexible in that it does not let you pass command line parameters to rustc. This means that if you want to cross compile or use simd or any of the other cool stuff you get by building on the llvm back end, you have to roll your own build system with make or cmake or whatnot.

That said, I am still excited about it.

Comment: And India (Score 4, Insightful) 703

by nten (#49577375) Attached to: Pope Attacked By Climate Change Skeptics

The four most populous countries use the death penalty and in total over 50% of the world population lives in nations where state aurhorized executions occur. Capital punishment is not unusual even among the worlds economic leaders. There are many good arguments against capital punishment but this isn't one. Instead cite 4% of those executed being innocent or the higher cost relative to incarceration.

Comment: risk aversion (Score 4, Insightful) 112

by nten (#46557893) Attached to: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Controls Learning Speed

I disagree. The inventors of the trebuchet had no idea about the Higgs, the inventors of the windmill didn't understand Bernoulli's work, and the first people to take Valerian root had no concept of biochemistry. We can use observed patterns to serve our needs without understanding the reasons for those patterns. Yes a lot of people died eating random plants, but there are a lot of us, and we learn quickly. My favorite part about engineering is using techniques to solve problems that no one understands yet. Its like magic. The best is when a true subject matter expert tells me "that shouldn't work!" and yet it does. Science always catches up and we are the better for it, but that is no reason to proceed with caution when we have so many people, and so much to learn. I would qualify this by saying test subjects should be informed and consenting.

Comment: redundancy (Score 1) 158

by nten (#46217035) Attached to: DDoS Larger Than the Spamhaus Attack Strikes US and Europe

As someone above pointed out, load balancing and redundancy are valid reasons to send packets with source IPs not in the originating AS. That mostly doesn't apply to residential subnets where the zombies are, but one reason does. I sometimes use LTE tethering and my home internet connection simultaneously because the LTE is as fast or faster than my home connection during non peak hours. I don't know if it is doing load balancing between the two uplinks, but why shouldn't it?

Comment: loud party (Score 1) 248

by nten (#45864371) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: State of the Art In DIY Security Systems?

If your alarm is a very loud sound system playing an obnoxious song, the police might get called for free, no monitoring. Add another track over the song of people talking and perhaps vomiting noisily, and you are set. They won't show up as quickly as if an alarm had been tripped though, unless your neighbors are important.

Comment: go (Score 5, Insightful) 237

by nten (#45469421) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can You Trust Online Tax Software?

I have heard circumstances like this multiple times. It really bothers me that we have invented a tax code that is on par with the game "go" as far as its ability to be computerized. There are extremely talented individuals making a living interpreting our tax code. Those same people could be doing something far more useful to society than they are now, but we have created an entire industry that sucks them away from more useful endeavors by cobbling together a tax code that is a mashup of bribes to interest groups, bribes to voters, authoritarian interference with our individual lives, and a glass ceiling protecting the one percent. If any highschool graduate can't just sit down with a calculator and pay the *exact* amount owed, we have done something wrong.

Comment: used to think that too (Score 1) 440

by nten (#45411567) Attached to: Soylent: No Food For 30 Days

I got down to a healthy weight by counting calories (or so I thought). Much later, I decided I wanted to lose more and see my sixpack, so I divided my caloric intake by 3... and gained 25lbs. I'm now overweight again. That is impossible I thought, thermodynamics works! But I realized I was sleeping almost 12hrs a day, and barely moving the rest of it. It seems fairly clear that at least *my* body can save energy. The military studies that indicate the body will not enter starvation mode until you hit 6% body fat no matter how little you eat only worked that way because the soldiers maintained the same level of daily activity. They were forced to. You have to monitor your calories expended, it can vary. The previous time I had lost weight, I had been doing a lot of weight lifting just before cutting calories, and I think my lost weight was a combination of losing a huge amount of muscle mass, and the high number of calories burned by that resting muscle that I had built. So now I'm off building muscle again and eating the number of calories I would expend if I were the weight I want to be, so that I asymptote down to that weight.

Comment: employers (Score 5, Insightful) 545

by nten (#45311397) Attached to: A Plan To Fix Daylight Savings Time By Creating Two National Time Zones

It would be easy for your employer, and for schools to simply adjust the time at which people are expected to arrive. If some employers did it and others didn't, or some did it by different amounts or on different dates, it would also thin traffic at rush hour and lunch which could save lives, but cost more in labor for places that are only open at those times. If I were an employer I would have the work day begin after sunrise by the amount of my employees average commute, plus some margin. So your start time is different each day by a minute or two. I would rather have them mix up now and then and be a little late, than wake up in the dark and be groggy for a few hours.

Comment: eye of the beholder (Score 1) 204

by nten (#45301329) Attached to: Larry Page and Sergey Brin Are Lousy Coders

Maintaining and extending software is *always* hard. If abandoning concepts such as minimizing coupling, or hiding data make the design/implementation easier, then do it. Code that tries to adhere to these best practices when the problem space makes it difficult is consistently horrendous to extend and no easier to maintain. Not all problems can be partitioned out into neatly abstracted uncoupled cohesive realms of responsibility. Beauty is code that works well and is easy to extend, not code that is easy to understand. The latter is often impossible despite all our best efforts.

Full disclosure, I mostly write research code now, and my observations are based on over a decade of production coding experience that is probably not representative of normal business/web software.

Comment: all noises? (Score 1) 262

by nten (#45300179) Attached to: Do You Need Headphones While Working?

What about binaural beats (or however you spell that)? I thought they specifically forced the left and right brain to communicate. And would white/pink noise act as an impairment, or just raise the noise floor effectively deleting all the other background noise? On my todo list is to make a completely analog battery powered pink noise generator for isolation purposes.

There's no such thing as a free lunch. -- Milton Friendman