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Comment: Re:Ppl who don't know C++ slamming C++ (Score 5, Insightful) 126

by hey! (#48894501) Attached to: Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded 2015 Dahl-Nygaard Prize

Well it's been many, many years since I've used it, which was back in the late 80s and early 90s. My impression from this time is that C++ is unquestionably a work of genius, but that I didn't particularly like it. Part of that is that we didn't really know how to use it effectively. In that era most object oriented programmers used concrete inheritance way too much. Part of that is due to aspects of what we thought an OO language should have that turned out to add complexity while being only marginally useful in practice (e.g. multiple concrete inheritance and operator overloading).

But in terms of meeting its design goals C++ is a tour de force of ingenuity -- even if some of those goals are questionable by today's standards. The very fact that we know some of those features aren't necessarily ideal is because they were taken out of the realm of academic noodling and put into a practical and highly successful language that could tackle the problems of the day on the hardware of the day. It's hard to overstate the practical impact of C++ on the advancement of both theory and practice of software development.

Any prize for contributions to OO programming pretty that didn't include Stroustrup in its first recipients would be dubious.

Comment: Re:I have an even better idea (Score 1) 256

by hey! (#48894185) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

I have an even better idea: let's find a way to fix human beings so that they're perfectly consistent in their behavior.

While certainly taking demonstrably bad drivers off the road is a no-brainer, even good drivers have lapses. My teenaged son is learning to drive, and whenever someone does something like cut us off I make a point of saying we can't assume the driver did it on purpose, or did it because he was an inconsiderate or bad person. Even conscientious and courteous drivers make mistakes or have lapses of attention.

It's the law of large numbers. If you spend a few hours on the road, you'll encounter thousands of drivers. A few of them will be really horrible drivers who shouldn't be on the road. But a few will be conscientious drivers having a bad day, or even a bad 1500 milliseconds.

Comment: Re:Salary versus cost of living in each city (Score 0) 129

by bill_mcgonigle (#48892555) Attached to: By the Numbers: The Highest-Paying States For Tech Professionals

The gag is that the seriously wealthy aren't worried about Obama's new tax policies, because they can afford a tax lawyer who can prove that they earn nothing.

If you haven't been paying attention for the past few millennia, the purpose of government is to transfer resources from the masses to the few. I know, they don't tell that to the masses in their indoctrination centers, but if you look at all available evidence, it's pretty clear.

Sure, they throw a few bones to the dogs to make sure they don't turn on their owners, but look at every available trend and analyze the data.

Comment: Re:I have an even better idea (Score 0, Troll) 256

by bill_mcgonigle (#48892529) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

Let's just enforce existing laws and get dangerous drivers off the road.

Correct.

THERE IS NO RIGHT TO DRIVE.

Stop acting brainwashed. The Right to Travel is a fundamental human right. Go check out the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that your government probably signed on to if you don't believe me. It does not mean that humans have a right to crawl through the muddy forests to get from place to place - it means all humans have the fundamental right to travel in the common manner of a society. Whether that's a donkey cart or an SUV with DVD Entertainment System or an Airbus A340.

There are even places where automobile travel is the only allowed method of travel - we have an area around here where the local road was taken over for an Interstate and the only way in or out is an exit.

If you are a dangerous driver you can and should be taken off the road.

Correct. There's a mechanism for that.

No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law

The Right to Travel is a fundamental liberty and we have a way to deal with taking away liberties for the protection of society. It doesn't require parroting some bullshit statist rhetoric your phys ed. teacher told you in high school.

Now your insurance company - they ought to have a lot to say about your competency as a driver. Sadly, they almost never do, except in aggregate, such as very high insurance rates in MA where the passing grade on a DMV test is 60%. You ought to be able to save $400 a year if you score 95% or better, but no ... that wouldn't be _fair_. Regulators gotta regulate, whether it does harm or not, so everybody pays high rates and the incentives to improve are eliminated.

Comment: Re:Why would anyone buy something from those catal (Score 3, Insightful) 63

by bill_mcgonigle (#48892427) Attached to: Smartphones, Tablets and EBay Send SkyMall To Chapter 11

Long before those things ever existed people weren't buying SkyMall's useless, overpriced crap.

Obviously false, since people don't stay in a business for decades just to piss away money.

However, the economy is the worst it's been in 60 years (vis-a-vis age-discounted labor participation rates) and so there's just less of a pool of money to waste.

Skymall took some cream off the top but we're down to whole milk now.

Smartphones might have helped it along, but there are people posting here about reading the catalog for entertainment because they couldn't figure out how to bring a book with them on the airplane. Those people aren't planning ahead on their phones either.

Comment: Re:What's the difference between China and EU? (Score 1) 186

by bill_mcgonigle (#48892401) Attached to: China Cuts Off Some VPNs

And if anyone thinks they should be, let them and their loved ones be the first victims, for "their cause".

That's certainly a risk. Not a huge one, but a real one. One in a million is not zero.

This is why freedom requires courage and bravery, and an acceptance of personal responsibility. To be sure, such concepts are anathema to many individuals.

Then perhaps the rest of us in the world can then live better lives.

You mean to say 'safer' lives. A life without freedom is never better for people who value it.

It may be that we'll all be happiest if people who do not value freedom separate themselves from those who do. If only there were a Natural Rights Republic somewhere that the freedom-loving people could flock to ... maybe China will take those who want a centrally-planned society.

Comment: Re:Translation: (Score 3, Informative) 155

by bmajik (#48885689) Attached to: Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10

RT has desktop mode.

It's patently untrue that the web is the future for "the kinds of apps that made windows dominant"

Actually, windows was dominant for every kind of app. The growth in apps of all sectors - LOB, entertainment, etc -- is on devices, and people regularly pan device apps that are just thin shells around a browser control.

People want native apps on their devices. MDD (multi-device-development) is something enterprise is very interested in -- they need to deal with a BYOD workforce, and they always want to economize on IT spend.

If it had been feasible to make Win32 apps run well on ARM, don't you think we would have done that?

The most insightful thing you wrote is this:

"But yes, Intel hasn't been asleep, and ARM is no longer as much of a requirement for mobile devices"

Consider the following -- and note that while I work at MS, I am neither privy to, nor attempting to disclose -- any high level strategy

1) Microsoft delivers a lot of value to enterprise customers because of app compat
2) think back a few years at what the CPU landscape looked like -- think about the power consumption of Intel's offerings. Remember, there was no ATOM yet.
3) app compat, battery life, performance -- if you don't have a low-power native x86 processor, you can only get two of these at a time.
4) Enterprise customers want all three
5) Intel, years ago, didn't appear to have any intention to deliver a low-cost, low power x86 part
6) this meant that MS would be unable to deliver low cost, new form factor mobile devices that could still run legacy software
7) this would force a wedge between new form factors and the Microsoft platform advantages (great compatability)

Clearly, what needed to happen is that something had to convince intel to develop a low cost, low power, good performing x86 chip

Based on 20+ years history, considering ARM, AMD, dec Alpha, etc, what makes intel innovate well and do its best work?

A credible marketplace threat to Wintel.

Claim: The purpose of Windows+ARM was to force intel to develop a low-power, low-cost x86 chip. If Windows+ARM took off in its own right, great. But the main purpose has been to secure a $99 x86 windows tablet -- which means that enterprises have the price points and form factors they want, and the app compat they need.

Exhibit A:
http://www.amazon.com/HP-Strea...

I happen to like my RT tablet -- but the Surface Pro is a credible do-it-all device, and now software that runs on the Pro is the same software that runs on your $99 HP tablet and your $4999 gaming rig.

Back when windows+ARM started, the intel hardware to allow that continuum didn't exist.

As I said -- nobody at MS tells me how things really go down. But this is a high stakes game. The people at MS aren't stupid.

Comment: Re:its a tough subject (Score 1, Insightful) 626

by jdavidb (#48885507) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

We can disagree over the rights of herd immunity, but those who maintain that refusal to vaccinate hurts only the one who refuses, as the OP argued, are just plain ignorant of the facts.

Some of us still see a distinction between hurting someone by taking direct action against them, and hurting someone by not taking an action that would benefit them. It's an impasse and I doubt either side is going to persuade the other, no matter how many times it repeats on slashdot, and no matter how many people do or do not understand herd immunity.

Comment: Re:its a tough subject (Score 1) 626

by jdavidb (#48884737) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

Long and short - employers should be able to discriminate against people who voluntarily refuse vaccinations.

That's a completely libertarian position as well. Taken to a logical conclusion, employers may discriminate against employees and even customers on the basis of vaccination, employees and customers may discriminate against businesses on the basis of vaccination policy. I think businesses choosing to have a vaccination policy may be a great innovation that the free market can bring to bear on this issue.

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