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Comment: Re:the problem with Twitter (Score 1) 74

by physicsphairy (#48897809) Attached to: Twitter Moves To Curb Instagram Links

One of the beauties about 140 characters is you have to think about what you want to say and how you say it. Editing for brevity often makes it punchier and better phrased. Many are the occasion when I have written a joke or insight for facebook, modified it for twitter, and then posted the twitter version in both cases because the twitter version was just better.

300 characters is not almost as quick to read it is quite clearly twice as long to read. For me, that would mean that instead of having time to follow 100 people on twitter I would only be able to follow 50. (Another of the other main features of twitter is allowing followers to interact with popular figures with their fans which I imagine also benefits greatly from a terser format.)

Personally, I think twitter has the potential to be one of the social media that survives in the long term. Yes it has obvious limitations but I get much more bang for my buck reading those condensed updates than I do using any other media platform. Sometimes when life gets busy I will quit other sites but twitter remains perfectly manageable and useful. It's great for news, politics, humor, and interacting with relatively large numbers of people. If you have an essay you need to share, you can link to it.

Some examples of how much you can pack into “It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.” -- Albert Camus

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." -- Søren Kierkegaard

"We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep." -- William Shakespeare

Comment: Re:Poor Alan Kay (Score 1) 129

by lgw (#48896749) Attached to: Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded 2015 Dahl-Nygaard Prize

True, because it is basically terrible for everything, it is terrrible also for using it in the same way as C.

We get it, you don't like C++. I don't like strawberry ice cream.

Yes, RAII is nice. But only *some* memory and resource leaks go away, basically the ones which are trivial, because allocation and deallocation simply follow lexical scope. Ofcourse, this is only trivial in languages which do not have exceptions. Exceptions make this simple thing very complicated, and without RAII it is indeed almost impossible to avoid resource leaks in C++. But without exceptions, it is not so much of a deal. In other words, RAII had to be invented after the fact to make exceptions usable in C++ because - again - some feature were introduced without much thought.

Exceptions are absolutely the right way to do error handling. This was controversial last century, maybe? But it's more than simple RAII - if you have non-trivial destructors, you're likely doing it wrong. Shared_ptr combined with scoped objects fixes the non-trivial ones, and basically everyone uses shared_ptr for everything now. Perhaps over-used, but it gets it right.

This is only a tragedy for people who have to use C++ or think they have to. There is nothing more liberaring than to realize that all this complexity of C++ is completely unnecessary.

I haven't paid much attention to D, but C++ is in a space where none of the othe mainstream languages are. C is quite overused for lack of expertise in C++ - and Java likely is as well.

Comment: Re:That makes sense! (Score 1) 90

by ScentCone (#48896591) Attached to: Bomb Threats Via Twitter Partly Shut Down Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport

Bringing a fighter jet to a bomb threat. That makes sense!

You don't have much of an imagination, do you? Or pay any kind of attention to actual events, pretty much ever?

Escort aircraft can make observations and help with communications and recordings that can't be made any other way. One of the threats suggested the bomber was on board, implying the possibility that he might make demands which could include, possibly, making that aircraft into a weapon aimed at a metropolitan area ... which might require destroying the aircraft before that could happen. Fighters are routinely deployed when other aircraft stray from where they're supposed to be, cease communicating, etc. Which you'd know, if you paid attention.

Comment: Re:Poor Alan Kay (Score 3, Insightful) 129

by lgw (#48896099) Attached to: Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded 2015 Dahl-Nygaard Prize

You can wrote very fast an elegant code in C++ just as easily as in C - it's just a different tool set. C++ is not for writing code using the same approach one uses with C; It's terrible for that. But once you understand scoped objects, all memory and resource leaks go away (well, you can attach something to a global structure and forget about it, but you can mess that up in any language). That alone is a huge win.

C++ has one terrible, fundamental flaw: the learning curve is too high. There's just about nothing where the "right way" is obvious, or even common. And so few people get to real expertise that there's not a common library that collects all those right ways and makes them easy to learn! It's a tragedy, really.

Comment: Re:Interstellar missions... (Score 1) 199

by lgw (#48895995) Attached to: At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

You could set up a mirror array to focus all the light of the Sun into a point. You still couldn't heat up an object there hotter than the surface of the Sun - it would be radiating heat away fast enough to stay at that temperature.

Temperature is a potential: like torque, or voltage difference. It limits what you can do, no matter how much light you focus, just like torque limits the force you can apply no matter how much power you have, or similar with voltage and current. For mechanical and electrical power, getting more potential (with the same total power, less losses) is easy - just add a gear or a transformer.

With light it's also possible, but it's not optics, and it's pretty rare - fluorescent materials which absorb multiple photons of a lower frequency and emit one of a higher actually do exist, and could passively raise the temperature of part of a system, (much to the horror of thermodynamicists). It doesn't violate any conservation rules, any more than a low-temperature heat engine driving a high-temperature electric heater does. But that's not at all what's happening with mirrors and optics, which like are putting your batteries in parallel, not in series.

Comment: Re:Interstellar missions... (Score 1) 199

by lgw (#48895947) Attached to: At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

When light pressure is the dominant force, balancing gravity, and the energy of the system is dominated by the energy of the photons and electrons, conduction isn't playing a big role, percentage wise. The difference between 5/2 power and 4th power means the latter dominates at millions of Kelvin, no?

Comment: Re:Flash? (Score 1) 129

by HornWumpus (#48893757) Attached to: By the Numbers: The Highest-Paying States For Tech Professionals

My folks and brother and sister still live there. I visit regularly enough. Nothing fundamental has changed. Olatha is still whitebread. N KC still rolls up the sidewalks at 7pm. Johnson county is still a massive cookie cutter burb. KCK is still whitetrash and black ghetto.

About the only thing I noted was they built a new Plaza further out. So the Johnson county people don't have to see a black person.

Comment: Re:Flash? (Score 0) 129

by HornWumpus (#48893493) Attached to: By the Numbers: The Highest-Paying States For Tech Professionals


You've got Sprint, some Aviation related work in Olatha, Black and Veech, the government tit suckers building medical database software and the usual assortment of small businesses building apps for local business.

You should visit N.Cal. We've got single zip codes with 10x the tech as the whole KC area.

Comment: Re:Flash? (Score 1) 129

by HornWumpus (#48893463) Attached to: By the Numbers: The Highest-Paying States For Tech Professionals

I grew up in midtown KC. Bullshit on you! Massive piles of bullshit.

Only KC residents think they are diverse. Because they have both Baptists and Methodists in the country club.

And Olatha? Where the tech jobs (such as they are) are. White bread 'burb from hell. Only good thing there was 'The Roundup' nudie bar.

N. KC? OMFG I'm in new Topeka from 'A Boy and His Dog'.

Weekends were made for programming. - Karl Lehenbauer