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Comment: Good analogy -- music and programming (Score 1) 520

by pem (#49060615) Attached to: Nim Programming Language Gaining Traction
I like your analogy.

I've seen people buy the 'best' musical instruments thinking it will help them play better, it doesn't. Know what does? Practice,experience,time...

I play an instrument. I now play a lot better, because I practice a lot more, because the instrument I bought two years ago is a joy to play and listen to compared to the one I had before.

Different people prefer different instruments, just as different people prefer different languages. Your plea to stop creating/using new ones sounds suspiciously like the argument that everything has already been invented.

Comment: And I'm so tired of this (Score 2) 190

by pem (#48657893) Attached to: Uber Pushing For Patent On Surge Pricing

The "rounded corners" were not a utility patent -- it was a design patent, and only one element of it.

Yes, it was included in a design patent, but it shouldn't have been -- at least not in a way that allowed Apple to beat up Samsung over rounded corners. Rounded corners on a device you slip in your pocket are purely functional.

Comment: So are you trying to say... (Score 1) 720

by pem (#48543389) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?
that the other political party in the US doesn't really believe in forgiveness?

Whether you believe in punishment by the state or by a higher being, whether you believe in the death penalty for chewing gum, or don't believe in it for murder -- it doesn't make sense to not kill somebody, to let him out of jail, and then to make it impossible for him to earn a decent living.

Comment: Development effort not considered (Score 4, Insightful) 217

by pem (#48316863) Attached to: The Effect of Programming Language On Software Quality
They discuss prior studies that looked at development effort, but hand-waved away the fact that dynamic languages take less development effort.

This may well be because their study cannot discern the amount of programmer effort per check-in, but it is a fatal flaw. Open development methods mean that a lot of dirty laundry gets checked into repositories. If dynamic languages have more bugs per check-in, but require significantly less work per check-in, then measuring bugs per check-in without measuring effort per check-in is meaningless, and that's before you even get to the functionality provided by the checked-in code.

Comment: Re:This was no AP. (Score 1) 339

by pem (#48250683) Attached to: LAX To London Flight Delayed Over "Al-Quida" Wi-Fi Name

That seems an awfully low threshold for disrupting air traffic, since wireless access points can be had for just a few dollars these days.


If our threshold for fear has become so low that some kid's not-so-funny practical joke can now result in several hours of delays to long distance transportation,


Don't scare the horses.

Seriously. Even before 9/11, any joking about a bomb in an airport would be problematic. You can't expect everybody in a position of power to be intelligent, so don't frighten the ones at the airport.

Now, you can argue it shouldn't be that way, and you may well be right. That's just like arguing you ought to be able to walk anywhere in Chicago any time of the day or night. True, but immaterial to reality.

Comment: Re:What snapchat claimed to do was a form of DRM (Score 1) 90

by pem (#48121175) Attached to: Snapchat Says Users Were Victimized By Their Use of Third-Party Apps
If a bank were to make a claim that their credit card is perfectly secure, they would be claiming that you can actually use it as you expect, and even if you buy something at a bad merchant, or a merchant that has been hacked, you are protected.

Even though they disclaimed it in the fine print, Snapchat's entire premise was that you could send you pictures to people, and they could only see them once, for a little bit.

The analogy about the cash is off-point -- the entire reason people use credit cards instead of cash is security; same as the reason they use snapchat instead of email.

The difference between the bank and snapchat is this: with the bank, although they didn't promise and you didn't expect perfect security, they will make you whole financially by refund money taken due to fraud, while snapchat is completely the opposite -- they effectively promised better security than they delivered, and none of their users will be made whole.

Comment: Re:What snapchat claimed to do was a form of DRM (Score 2) 90

by pem (#48116439) Attached to: Snapchat Says Users Were Victimized By Their Use of Third-Party Apps

I'm not sure if this has always been the case, or was added later, but for a very long time now, at least the Play Store's description has included:

Yeah but that's like the really fast voice at the end of the drug commercial talking about death.

So nobody should have been under the illusion that it was, in fact, impossible to save these images even if they lived a sheltered life and never imagined the analog loophole.

Snapchat's entire premise when it started out was that things were transient. Everybody told the founders it was a stupid idea, because, well, it's a stupid idea. But the people saying it was a stupid idea were making those statements based on impossibility, that the concept was akin to founding a company that would rent out genies that could give out wishes to people.

Obviously, the founders have the last laugh, because one way to make a lot of money is to rely on a gullible public and ignore the laws of reality. They aren't the first, and won't be the last, to make fortunes based on snake oil.

Comment: Re:What snapchat claimed to do was a form of DRM (Score 1) 90

by pem (#48116401) Attached to: Snapchat Says Users Were Victimized By Their Use of Third-Party Apps

No, it's like a bank telling you that it's not their fault when you make a check out to "cash" and someone other then who you intend cashes it.

I don't think that analogy is right at all; OTOH, I think I can improve mine a bit: it's like the bank telling you to use their credit card for all your transactions because it's safer than any other banks' credit card (never mind cash), but then disclaiming all liability when there is a hack that makes that not true.

All the evidence concerning the universe has not yet been collected, so there's still hope.