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Comment: Re:The Dangers of the World (Score 5, Insightful) 783

by rjstanford (#48830827) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

What happened to your family was terribly unfortunate.

It bears repeating though that it is also terribly unusual - more so now than it was in the '80s. We live in a far, far safer (although not perfect) world today then we did when we were kids by almost every possible measurement.

I'm sure that the independence you got from your paper route and your relative freedom helped to make you the strong person that you are today, even though it wasn't without some small risk.

Comment: Re:It's never been a "real" dictionary (Score 1) 174

by rjstanford (#48811371) Attached to: Authors Alarmed As Oxford Junior Dictionary Drops Nature Words

In what way would the 2-3 word dictionary definition of acorn actually help you, really? Bearing in mind that you wouldn't be able to figure out what that oak nut was if you didn't already know its name, so that doesn't count.

The random online definition from google is "the fruit of the oak, a smooth oval nut in a rough cuplike base." Very useful I guess assuming that you know the word acorn, you don't know what it is, but you do know what an oak tree is.

This is also just the "top 13K" words edition - think of it like a cache rather than long term storage.

Comment: Re:Mmm... (Score 1) 174

by rjstanford (#48811277) Attached to: Authors Alarmed As Oxford Junior Dictionary Drops Nature Words

Really? When I was a kid, I caught minnows (and tadpoles-- are those in there?) and collected acorns. We had a blackberry bush. Seriously, these are rather everyday words in the Western world.

Everyday words that everybody knows would actually be great candidates for removal from a small pocket dictionary. You want moderately common words that not everyone would understand, but where a few word definition is more useful than an encyclopedic explanation.

Comment: Re:Secret Ballot? (Score 1) 480

by rjstanford (#48796739) Attached to: How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

Its simpler than that. Present ID, get a token. Use an electronic voting machine (eliminates multi-language issues, hanging chads, etc) to do two things - generate an electronic record of your vote and fill out a nice human-readable record of your vote. Read the human-readable portion, if you're not happy then you can swap it for another token (it gets shredded and your electronic votes get invalidated). If you are happy then you post it into a one-way slot into a sealed box.

Votes are counted electronically. Some percentage of all polling places have their boxes opened in public and the votes counted by hand; this is then compare to the electronic record to ensure accuracy. In case of a dispute, the human-readable versions win.

95% of the advantages of (in-place) electronic voting, better-than-ever transparency, no abusable audit trail to tie your votes back to you.

Comment: Re:MicroSD card? (Score 2) 325

Turned out USB-only wasn't so nice as advertised. Broken USB drivers? No keyboard. Oh, and the drivers on the Windows CD might be broken. What fun that was figuring out why the keyboard worked in BIOS but not in Windows at install time.

Wow. Sounds like Microsoft released a really shitty implementation of the USB only switch. Why would breaking the USB driver be any more likely (or even possible short of deliberate sabotage) than breaking the PS/2 driver anyway?

Comment: Re:MicroSD card? (Score 1) 325

So, no. The much vaunted "Apple showed their foresight by ditching floppies" was a red herring if everyone needed to rush out and hang an external drive off the USB port anyway.

I'd agree that lots of people did go and get external floppy drives, I knew quite a few of them myself. The vast majority used them rarely, if ever, but wanted the perceived security - and since they were external, most of them ended up in a drawer gathering dust after a little while anyway. Those habits generally lasted far less than the lifetime of that form factor too, which helps everyone else who comes along.

Again, somebody has to be first - and the first major provider to do something always ends up getting slammed by their competitors since spreading FUD is easier than dismissing it and it makes for great checkbox-advertising points.

Comment: Re:MicroSD card? (Score 1) 325

Bullshit. That is the same excuse Apple fans have been using for Apple for the last 15 years. Apple leaves out a VERY common feature and choice that everyone else but Apple has and uses with little to no problems and people claim it is for YOUR benefit. How many different things in this world have the ability to plug in some type of standard memory card? How many does Apple have? It has nothing to do with support and the overall the overall experience.

You know, somebody always has to go first.

People acted like the sky was falling when Apple got rid of PS/2 ports and moved to USB only - then when they realized what a superior experience it gave, they all followed suit. Similarly when Apple got rid of the floppy drive and then, years later, the optical drive and on some of their machines even the Ethernet ports. In all cases there were adapters available for the (very) few people who actually needed them, and in all cases despite the massive FUD being produced everything worked just fine.

Comment: Re:MicroSD card? (Score 1) 325

Apple wants to avoid cases where users blame Apple for sluggish application performance, skipping music/video, bugs, etc... that are a result of something that Apple can't control or exert influence over.

Than how about they add some memory dedicated to the OS? The stuff is not that expensive these days...

And if they did people would be complaining about Apple using up memory that they paid for that's currently vacant just to handle a once-yearly iOS upgrade. At least this way most people can get use of the memory most of the time, its a damn sight simpler, and it allows Apple to report bigger numbers legitimately. Why wouldn't they do it the way that they are, especially knowing that they'd get abuse for it either way?

Comment: Re: tfa says carry-on, one-way (Score 1) 349

by rjstanford (#48696577) Attached to: United and Orbitz Sue 22-Year-Old Programmer For Compiling Public Info

Yup. When my last company was a fledgling and we had more time than money, I was flying from Austin to Boston (through Dallas) and it saved several hundred dollars for my coworker to hop a SWA flight from Dallas to Austin and then join me on the AUS-DFW-BOS trip. Really stupid, and yes he simply got off the plane in Dallas on the way back.

Comment: Re:Luggage? (Score 2, Interesting) 349

by rjstanford (#48696557) Attached to: United and Orbitz Sue 22-Year-Old Programmer For Compiling Public Info

I would like to fly Delta leaving my destination, but Southwest on my return. Can't do that with a round trip purchase, despite the availability of flights! Absolute bullshit!

How is that bullshit? You want to buy two different things from two totally different merchants!

That's like complaining that you want to get a Chipotle burrito for lunch and an In&Out burger for dinner and its bullshit that you can't do that with a single transaction.

Comment: Re:MS has been late to every recent tech movement (Score 2) 421

by rjstanford (#48645167) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Up To the Job?

Someone as simple as YouTube could probably handle that, but for any complex interactions I'll be damned if I'm going to take my time statefully rendering HTML pages on the server (about the most expensive and restrictive operations you can do) just for the truly minute fraction of one percent that won't trust their browsers to execute dynamic code in a nice secure sandbox. Sorry, but I'm with those guys now. You're gonna need a lot of rakes.

Comment: Re:MS has been late to every recent tech movement (Score 1) 421

by rjstanford (#48645159) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Up To the Job?

Almost everything but for an easy kill let's talk about real clustering that f'n works. MySQL, even with the 3rd party solutions out there (and I've tried many of them) doesn't get close to Oracle for a truly vertical and horizontal multi-datacenter cluster.

If you don't need that, MySQL is decent, although at least recently was still lacking in simple things like online index creation (adding an index to a table with hundreds of millions of rows shouldn't lock the table for hours, mmmkay?). Sure, there are very elaborate workarounds involving machine failovers, but there shouldn't have to be.

Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 4, Informative) 421

by rjstanford (#48645149) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Up To the Job?

Its not the language, its the libraries, the conventions, the external resources. I picked up Ruby and Python, Node and even dusted off my PHP chops to write some modules for a client a few months ago. It wasn't hard, but I spent 20% of my time on the language, 50% figuring out what libraries to use, and another 30% making damn sure that my novice attempts were at least idiomatic and didn't come across as novice (including having them vetted by more seasoned users).

Anyone can write a for() loop in anything. Knowing the massive standard libraries for a language well enough to leverage them (for example, in Java I still see people dragging in external Base64 implementations that haven't been needed in a decade but once were) takes far, far longer.

I want people to write clean code that will be well understood and maintainable by others 5 years from now, not someone who just figures out how to get code to compile.

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -- Confucius