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Comment: Re:Minecraft Mods (Score 3, Informative) 315

by samkass (#49443607) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce a 7-Year-Old To Programming?

This is how my kids started with Minecraft plugins, a plugin called ScriptCraft: https://github.com/walterhiggi...
It lets you write mods in JavaScript, either with separate .js files in a directory or directly on the command line in-game. JavaScript was very approachable and forgiving, and gave them immediate visual feedback on their code. Now my 10-year-old has written a Java mod while my younger one is interested in trying. I swear the desire to mod Minecraft is doing more for STEM than any Pearson curriculum...

Comment: Re: It depends (Score 1) 486

by samkass (#49337671) Attached to: No, It's Not Always Quicker To Do Things In Memory

Actually, even beginner Java programmers know to use a StringBuilder for these cases, which allows for constant-time appending. It's a little harder to do "right" in C and accidentally get O(n^2) time by reallocating memory each time, but still not hard. The language here isn't making the difference it's their algorithm.

Comment: Re:Reasonable royalty (Score 1) 32

by samkass (#48985575) Attached to: Dept. of Justice Blesses IEEE Rules On Injunctions and Reasonability

The problem comes from "reasonable royalty". The price list should be set by the vendor and once set they shouldn't be able to change it depending on who wants to pay for it.

You can't ask one million or 1$ per unit from company XYZ and then turn around and ask a company that is your competitor ten times the price "just because".

I would add that no standards essential patent should ever be allowed to require a percentage of the final product price as a licensing fee. Your contribution to, say, a networking technology is not necessarily more valuable because someone else added a more expensive case, screen, or battery. It can hardly be "non-discriminatory" when the price is different for each product.

Comment: Re:Academic wankery at its finest (Score 4, Insightful) 154

by samkass (#48836017) Attached to: The Anthropocene Epoch Began With 1945 Atomic Bomb Test, Scientists Say

Also... from TFAbstract, they chose the date because all of the nuclear explosions have left a clear marker of radioisotopes which can be easily located when tracing the geological record.

And importantly, this will be true globally. This seems to be what most posters here seem to be ignoring... A hundred thousand years from now you'll probably be able to dig into the ground and identify this epoch anywhere on Earth where the rocks are old enough by the distinct atomic decay signature, among other things.

Comment: Re:Qualifications (Score -1, Flamebait) 479

by samkass (#48831421) Attached to: Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

"1) Push your technical recruiters to hit 20% thresholds for female candidates"

At the expense of the qualified candidates?

No. Just make sure that 20% are considered as candidates, even if it means adding 20% more candidates. We all know that the exact same resume with a female name is much more likely to be rejected without being considered. This is just to push back against this bias.

Comment: Re:It helps to actually use the thing. (Score 5, Informative) 296

by samkass (#48217865) Attached to: How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

Pay no attention to the fact that Apple has sold an entry-level Mac Mini for $499 for the last 9 years.

They have sold the entry-level Mac Mini for $499 for 1 week. Before that, it was $599.

It used to be $499, then went up to $599 for a few years, now back to $499. Which is all beside the original point: there is not a high barrier to entry for the Mac. And it has a lot of additional value to a lot of people: simple for the beginner, and an entire open-source UNIX for the advanced user, combined with high-quality parts and great service, a big ecosystem of software and services, and almost no viruses or threats to worry about, and a lot of folks (me included) think life is too short to deal with Windows at home.

Comment: Re: Issue with FSF statement... (Score 4, Insightful) 208

by samkass (#48008657) Attached to: Apple Yet To Push Patch For "Shellshock" Bug

It's true, Apple releases the full source code to the UNIX underlying MacOS X, including all the user land command line utilities and the OS kernel. You can rebuild them all.

So what is this article about?? Things are working exactly like FSF intended. Apple users can download the source to bash, patch it, and install it on their own machines. If people wait for the vendor to patch, what's the difference between it and closed source?

Comment: Re:Obj-C (Score 1) 316

by samkass (#48007441) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

Apple has explicitly said in their "Using Swift with Cocoa and Objective-C" document that Swift isn't compatible with Objective-C++. You have to create a C API for the C++ code and call it through that. Hopefully that will be remedied soon, but in the meantime using Objective-C++ instead of Swift is a no-brainer for new development that needs extensive compatibility with a C/C++ installed base or set of libraries.

It looks like a fun language, and perhaps appropriate for small projects, but it's definitely not there yet.

As to the original poster, I think the answer is "yes". Learn them all. And Java and Scala and whatever else. The more language you learn the more you see it's 98% syntax changes and you can appreciate the 2% of each language/environment.

Comment: Re:HALO (Score 1) 368

by samkass (#47867893) Attached to: Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

If that happened everyone would just stick with the old version and tell Mojang-rosoft to f*ck itself. Just like open-source reveres engineered bukket server became the default Minecraft server for most servers the cracked client would become the default. As is many people run old versions already just to maintain compatibility with various mods already so its not that much of a stretch. I bought Minecraft specifically because they have Linux support, that would end if MS ever got their hand on it.

Not sure if you're aware what's been happening with that Bukkit server you cite. Turns out, Mojang AB secretly bought it two years ago when they hired away the lead developers. So Microsoft would own Bukkit, too. So it would have to be re-reverse engineered...

I agree... A Microsoft purchase would destroy Minecraft. Microsoft doesn't know how to do Java, or "open", or Mac/Playstation/iPad games... It would become just another banal property that gets milked for Microsoft Entertainment Division profit.

My older son literally burst into tears instantly when I was stupid enough to read the Verge headline out loud. He apparently shares my opinion...

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