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Comment: Why play minesweeper... (Score 1) 132

by pjf (#26365089) Attached to: Playing Tetris Is Good For You

...when your machine can play it for you?

In today's modern lifestyle, it's hard to find the time to do everything. But now with SweeperBot, there's no need to give up minesweeper!

SweeperBot plays mineseeper for you! It's free, it's efficient, and it's open source! Simply download and double-click, and then spend your time doing more productive things... like playing freecell.

Comment: What's killing Perl... (Score 3, Informative) 963

by pjf (#24670527) Attached to: Why Corporates Hate Perl

...is backwards compatibility. In general, you can take some obscure piece of code that someone wrote almost a decade ago, and it will run on your modern Perl system. Unfortunately, people then take those obscure snippets of code, and try to learn from them. They may have been the best way to do things eight years ago, but they're certainly not now.

As such, one of the hardest problems with Perl is education of new techniques. Too many systems still use CGI.pm when they could use Catalyst. They use some home-grown system of objects, when they could be using Moose. They put up with outdated techniques when Perl::Critic would find them in a heartbeat.

So, if everyone learnt the new techniques, we'd be fine, right? Unfortunately, it's not that simple. I teach Perl for a job, it's still an incredibly popular language here in Australia. But because that old code still works, I still need to teach people how to understand it, even if I then proceed to teach them better ways so they can avoid it. That increases cognitive workload, and there's only so much one can fit into a fresh brain during its first contact with a language.

Perl still remains the language of choice for writing minesweeper bots.

Science

The Squid's Beak May Revolutionize Engineering 79

Posted by kdawson
from the fortuitous-gradient dept.
Ace905 writes "For years the razor-sharp beak that squid use to eat their prey has posed a puzzle to scientists. Squid are soft and fragile, but have a beak as dense as rock and sharp enough to break through hard shells. Scientists have long wondered why the beak doesn't injure the squid itself as is uses it. New research has just been published in the the journal Science that explains the phenomenon. One of the researchers described the squid beak as 'like placing an X-Acto blade in a block of fairly firm Jell-O and then trying to use it to chop celery.' Careful examination shows that the beak is formed in a gradient of density, becoming harder towards the tip end. Understanding how to make such hardness gradients could revolutionize engineering anywhere that 'interfaces between soft and hard materials [are required].' One of the first applications researchers envision is prosthetic limbs."

After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the bench.

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