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Comment: assert side-effects and gcc fp optimizations (Score 1) 729

Gotchas more than quirks:
- the day you realize you put a side effect in an assert() call.
- the day you realize GCC, maybe it was V2, not sure this is still an issue, exploits extra bits of precision in the Intel FPU, *only if* optimizations are enabled, which causes certain iterative floating point algorithms (eg SVD) to fail to converge.

In both cases everything works great in debug builds but goes to hell in release builds and it's incredibly painful to get to root cause.

Comment: Re:Key is non-programming skills (Score 1) 466

by robbo (#46990663) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Minimum Programming Competence In Order To Get a Job?

+1000. The OP has embedded hardware skills which is a relatively rare skill-set- the barrier to entry is for sure a lot higher than basic software programming. My advice would be to leverage the hardware skillset into some new embedded programming domain (learn new hardware-specific tricks). There's little-to-no value in reinventing yourself as a generic programmer.

Comment: block indenting = visual (Score 1) 876

by kisrael (#46202189) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

I'm probably coming at this too little too late, but:

for C-looking languages (C, Java, Javascript) etc that use curly braces and block, there's usually a strong visual element: no one wants to look at code that's not "properly formatted". So while language is super awesome and powerful (almost any programmer is going to have a hard time expressing himself or herself in, like, that block language that came w/ the original Lego Mindstorms), the graphical element is still present

Comment: Outlook + Onenote (Score 1) 133

by robbo (#45831337) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Life Organization With Free Software?

If you're using Outlook I assume you've got Onenote too. Create a daily meeting in outlook titled diary or whatever, and when you want to take notes open the meeting for today and use the meeting notes feature to take notes. The only issue I see with this is that it might not organize the daily notes by date in Onenote, but there are decent features for moving pages around and reorganizing them. Plus everything is searchable and if you want you can save the whole notebook in skydrive and open them from your phone. Say what you will about MS, in my day-to-day work OneNote is the best thing since sliced bread.

Comment: advertising on faulty assumptions (Score 2) 120

by kisrael (#45650047) Attached to: Twitter Will Track Your Browsing To Sell Ads

Man, there's an err of pathos to when similar strategies are applied elsewhere, somehow Youtube noticed I went to a standing desk site, now half my adverts are from there. And also, they don't notice when I've actually bought a damn thing, so more advertising is just down the drain... I guess advertising is such a small % game that they'll take whatever "bump" they can get, no matter how stupid they look.

Comment: Re:In Depth Fisking for the time crunched: (Score 1) 1255

by robbo (#44738643) Attached to: Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

Actually, although I lean towards agreeing with the article, I think it sucks.
Here is a far better article about private schools and why maybe they are not good for society:
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/12/what-americans-keep-ignoring-about-finlands-school-success/250564/

Comment: Re:Oh, really? (Score 1) 1255

by robbo (#44736537) Attached to: Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

Mostly agree that geography/demographics matters a lot. The article is terrible but she has an important point to make, which is summed up much better here:
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/12/what-americans-keep-ignoring-about-finlands-school-success/250564/

Public school in America has declined as an institution because the wealthy have abandoned it and everyone thinks that's ok. But it's not. This is in part because the people who set public school policy happen to be wealthy, and therefore have no skin in the game. It's also because egalitarianism is all but dead as an American ethos. Level playing fields are for suckers.

If you're wealthy you look at the public system and decide you can do better for your kids. So you make a locally optimal choice which is perfectly reasonable in isolation. It's sort of an inverted tragedy of the commons.

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