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Comment Accidental Complexity (Score 1) 411

This is old news folks.

Frederick P. Brooks Jr. wrote an excellent paper (No Silver Bullet: Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering) back in 1987 (link: that highlights how so much of the complexity that exists in software is *accidental*. This problem is in no way specific to Java, but the language and the supporting eco-system of conventions, libraries and the various supporting "enterprise" tools certainly contribute to the situation. As a language that champions OOP (note: the paper calls out OOP specifically), it makes sense that Java's mainstream-status would lend itself towards being a poster-child for Accidental complexity.

Having worked in the software industry, on various Java code bases, for the past decade: I have observed this curious phenomenon first-hand, repeatedly. It really is quite unfortunate, as it is very possible to write elegant, and concise Java code: one simply has to adopt a more functional programming style and limit mutability within their code. The problem is: most Java developers who appreciate the value of functional programming and immutable design, have already moved on to other languages that have a syntax, standard library and an eco-system that is centered around these principles. I've moved on to Scala largely for this very reason: I grew tired of spending an hour frantically searching through a mountain of convoluted procedural code and XML configs: just to to see why a boolean flag I set was not "seen" by a particular class method.

Comment Star Trek vs. The Prestige (Score 1) 163

Somehow, I think transporters where Picard has to shoot his other self twice, after each away mission (first, when he returns back to the ship, and then secondly from orbit -- or only the later if he wants to be a lazy ass) would sorta ruin the whole utopian vibe.

Of course, there was that episode with two Rikers but at least things didn't turn out as violent as they did in The Prestige.

Comment Computationally Speaking: This is garbage (Score 1) 513

computationally speaking, Microsoft's "Scroogled" Campaign it utter garbage.

Here's why (from a high-level technically stand-point):

Privacy is only truly violated when there exists some form of device IO of private information, in clear-text. For gmail to have code that performs in-memory comparisons of email text and advertisement content, to be considered a breach of privacy is complete crap. Yes, you can start nit-picking with issues such as whether buffers of data are not being left hanging around memory, or if gmail's method of requesting data from ad-servers can some how provide clues in logging files somewhere that could allow Googler #247 to infer that Johnny is sending emails about ant-farms. But, it all comes down to whether or not personal information is being written out somewhere for humans to read (whether indirectly or directly).

Having worked at software companies that jump through all kind of hoops to ensure that data is sanitized ad naseum: I highly doubt that Google is allowing their employees, let alone third-parties to freely spy on users.

Comment Re:Too much for an online class. (Score 1) 177

... Especially for Pre-Calculus.

It's not until one takes Calculus that everything in Intermediate Algebra and Trigonometry all comes together, and actually makes sense. Now if $2,400 bought you a high-quality, well-taught series of online courses that cover Calculus I, II, Diff. Equations, Vector Calculus, and Linear Algebra --- *then* we're talking.

I can see paying as much as 3-4k for something like that.

Comment Re:I say go ahead ... (Score 1) 342

That's what I said until I got divorced and started dating again. Thousands of text messages. Yes, thousands. You don't tell a hot chick to switch to gtalk, just because it's free. Nope, you're better off being a man and spending that $10 a month for unlimited text without mentioning it. I'll never regret that choice.

You make a damn good point.

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made. -- Jean Giraudoux