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Comment: Re:It's a question that WAS relevant (Score 1) 160

by psmears (#47782729) Attached to: Research Shows RISC vs. CISC Doesn't Matter

I can see how Java being in a VM to begin with presents a similar model to running assembly on the actual machine but comparing the two in terms of efficiency and overhead is laughable. I was signalling my cognitive dissonance of conflating Java and assembly so directly.

You are aware that there are CPUs capable of executing Java bytecode directly? I.e. that use Java bytecode as (one of) their native assembly instruction set(s)?

Comment: Re:from the PoV of someone who has actually studie (Score 1) 419

by psmears (#47773597) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

In England, we now have Police Commissioners, who are themselves serving police officers.

I assume you're talking about Police and Crime commissioners, in which case no, they're not serving police officers, and indeed police officers are barred from holding that office.

Comment: Re:He claims this himself (Score 1) 391

by psmears (#47653649) Attached to: Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

His 2:1 is also not from Sussex University as he claimed (which is a reasonably reputable establishment) but from the University of brighton according to his own source.

You're right, the article does say that, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was the (non-UK) newspaper that mixed up"University of Sussex at Brighton" and "University of Brighton"...

Comment: Re:Automate them (Score 2) 228

by psmears (#47629641) Attached to: What Do You Do When Your Mind-Numbing IT Job Should Be Automated?

If your design documentation couldn't be directly executed by the computer and tested, then we cannot say that it was even remotely complete or correct.

That's not true - it's perfectly possible to give a specification that's complete and comprehensive, and yet is not executable by a computer.

For instance, you could specify a "sort" function by saying that (1) it must return a list that contains a rearrangement of the items passed in, (2) that list must be in ascending order, (3) the time taken must be less than K*n*log(n), where n is the number of items passed in.

I've given that specification in English for brevity, but you could equally specify it in a more formal way - and indeed in one that the computer could verify for any instance of the problem that you put in. (Some might call this "specifcation by unit test".) But the computer could not, in general, go from the specification to an implementation completely automatically.

Comment: Re:What's wrong with html and javascript? (Score 1) 466

by psmears (#47254889) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Rapid Development Language To Learn Today?

Have you ever used perl?

As it happens I've been using perl for longer than your 17 years of JavaScript, so I'm well aware of how its references work... but nothing about that changes the fact that your assertion about JavaScript's "==" comparing values is wrong; in fact, it would be truer to say that "===" compares values.

b = {}; doesn't modify b, it re-assigns b. Please learn how variables work.

I know how variables work, thanks ;-). Assignment is how you change a variable's value in imperative languages. You can't just arbitrarily assert that words like "change" and "modify" have different meanings from their standard ones..

And if you think that "1" and true are different values, then you don't understand what a "value" is.

I've got a very good idea what a "value" is. One property of values (in the context of computing) is that, if two things have different effects when passed to the same function, then they're different values. Perhaps you have a different definition of "value" that contradicts this? If so, do enlighten us, and can you provide a link to a credible source to back up your definition? Again - you can't just arbitrarily assert that words have different meanings from their standard ones.

You're either really old, used to bit-registers not complex objects, or you're really young reading text books, or you've navigated the industry by avoiding business-level programming.

Haha... actually none of the above are true. And even if they were - your assertion about "==" would still be wrong, so your comment to angel'o'sphere to "try harder" would still be uncalled for.

Wow, you are incredibly confused.

I agree that one of us is, indeed, quite confused :-)

Comment: Re:What's wrong with html and javascript? (Score 1) 466

by psmears (#47246257) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Rapid Development Language To Learn Today?

You might also try a='1', a=1, a=01, a='01', a=0, a='0', a=false, a='', and a=null.

Using a simple scalar integer isn't an example of anything.

Yes it is - it's an example of your explanation being wrong. Here are some more. You claimed:

Double tests to see if two variables have the same value.

However,

a = "1";
b = true;
result = (a == b);

... gives a result of true - when clearly "1" and true are different values - for instance, you'll get different results if you pass them to alert(). You also said:

Triple tests to see if two variables point to the same place in memory -- are actually the same variables.

"Pointing to the same place in memory" and "actually being the same variable" are two entirely different concepts. For example, after:

a = {foo: 1, bar: [1,2,3]};
b = a;

then 'a' and 'b' refer to the same object ("point to the same place in memory", if you like), and a===b will return true. But they're still different variables, because after modifying one of the variables

b = {};

the other variable will not be affected in any way.

The reason for wanting to use triple-equals is not because "double-equals compares values", it's because double-equals sometimes behaves in a way that's confusing and not very useful. For instance, I'd expect, for any sensible equality operator, that if a==b and b==c, then a==c... but for JavaScript's double-equals, that's not true (put a="", b=[], c="0" - then ""==[], and []=="0", but "" != "0"...)

Comment: Re:Cops Won't Carry 'Em, Neither Will I (Score 1) 765

by psmears (#46983785) Attached to: A Look at Smart Gun Technology

Hyperbole never fixes anything.

"Punishment" implies that someone did something wrong, which is not necessarily true of all gunshot victims. Like the unarmed homeless guy my local PD shot in the back last week.

Unless, of course, we consider being homeless as a punishable offense.

Haha, I'm using hyperbole?

Yes, for obvious reasons which I already pointed out - not every gunshot victim was shot out of punishment. Yes, it's a pedantic difference, but so was your completely unnecessary addition about gunshot victims, so fair's fair.

Wasn't it equally hyperbole when you talked about the "population as a whole" being punished

No, because that's exactly what laws that would remove everyone's civil liberties based on what a few people might do are for - punishing everyone for the (potential) actions of a few. It's not hyperbolic if it's not an exaggeration. For the record, your statement wouldn't have been hyperbolic if you'd have qualified it with something like, "... and some of those who get shot by them." Again, it's a pedantic difference, but pedantry is what got us to this point in the conversation.

Tthat logic makes no sense. As you say, most people haven't done anything wrong. You say that bad treatment can't be punishment if the person undergoing it didn't do anything wrong. Therefore intrusive gun control is, by your own reasoning, not punishment for those people, and your statement is hyperbole if mine is. You can't have it both ways.

The point is that, to make a balanced comparison, you have to consider the positive and negative effects experienced by everyone in society. If (and, of course, it is very much an "if") the negative effects on the population as a whole of (insert proposed freedom-reducing gun control measure here) are less than the positive effects that come from people not getting shot as a result, that's a strong argument that that measure should be implemented; if that's not the case (because the measure is so draconian that its negative effects are large, and/or the measure is not effective, or actually counterproductive, in reducing gun crime injuries), then the measure should clearly not be implemented.

Maybe I'm missing something,

Yes... you are. I'm explaining why it's important to consider the negative impact of gun crime as well as the negative impact of gun control measures, in order to be come to a balanced conclusion on whether any given gun control regime, or absence thereof, should be implemented. Do you disagree with that?

Balancing these factors is hard to do in any scientific way - not least because the value of "freedom" versus the value of not being shot is very hard to pin down quantitavely - but neglecting the harm done by gun crime is bound to unbalance the equation.

Again, how does this apply to the conversation at hand?

Because what you appear to be saying is that one should ignore the victims of gun crime when considering what the law should be. (That may not, in fact, be your position, but it's what your words are suggesting.)

Comment: Re:Cops Won't Carry 'Em, Neither Will I (Score 1) 765

by psmears (#46983299) Attached to: A Look at Smart Gun Technology

Hyperbole never fixes anything.

"Punishment" implies that someone did something wrong, which is not necessarily true of all gunshot victims. Like the unarmed homeless guy my local PD shot in the back last week.

Unless, of course, we consider being homeless as a punishable offense.

Haha, I'm using hyperbole? Wasn't it equally hyperbole when you talked about the "population as a whole" being punished - or do you consider being part of the population a punishable offence? ;-)

The point is that, to make a balanced comparison, you have to consider the positive and negative effects experienced by everyone in society. If (and, of course, it is very much an "if") the negative effects on the population as a whole of (insert proposed freedom-reducing gun control measure here) are less than the positive effects that come from people not getting shot as a result, that's a strong argument that that measure should be implemented; if that's not the case (because the measure is so draconian that its negative effects are large, and/or the measure is not effective, or actually counterproductive, in reducing gun crime injuries), then the measure should clearly not be implemented.

Balancing these factors is hard to do in any scientific way - not least because the value of "freedom" versus the value of not being shot is very hard to pin down quantitavely - but neglecting the harm done by gun crime is bound to unbalance the equation.

Comment: Re:I must live in a different country... (Score 1) 1374

by psmears (#46897675) Attached to: "Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

Home invasions are rare because of the 2nd Amendment. Look up the "hot burglary" (burglaries when people are in the structure) numbers for the United Kingdom sometime.

I haven't been able to find good stats on that, but what I can find suggests that the burglary rate overall is broadly similar - at most 20% higher in the UK. But even assuming the UK rate is five times the US one, it's worth noting that the gun murder rate is over thirty times higher in the US than in England&Wales. To me at least, that doesn't sound like a great tradeoff :-/

Comment: Re:There aren't many 404s (Score 1) 72

by psmears (#46813705) Attached to: 404-No-More Project Seeks To Rid the Web of '404 Not Found' Pages

There aren't many 404s left anyway. Domain dealers are quick to put their hands on every dead link. Which is a shame, because a 404 would be more informative.

You don't get a 404 for a non-existent domain. You only get a 404 if you try to go to a non-existent page within a domain that's registered and has a web server running. If the domain's not registered, there's no web server to even return a 404.

Comment: Re:Missing the only useful comparison. (Score 1) 134

by psmears (#46572301) Attached to: GNU C Library Alternative Musl Libc Hits 1.0 Milestone

The compare page is missing the only other entry I wanted to see.... and that is, BSD libc. This is widely used by QNX

No, QNX has its own libc - the microkernel architecture means the system call interactions work substantially differently from traditional Unix/Linux/etc.

We are Microsoft. Unix is irrelevant. Openness is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.

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