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Comment: Re:Then there was War Plan Red (Score 1) 210

I have done a poor job of communicating, because that is not what I meant to claim at all. The British Navy was pretty much supreme for a long time. WWI marked the rise of the American navy and sparked (or accelerated) a battleship arms race that the Brits could ill afford to keep pace with, nor lose. The American population mostly wanted nothing to do with it, either - thus the arms control treaties.

Comment: Re:Then there was War Plan Red (Score 1) 210

an ally

Using the word "ally" here insinuates that the British-US relationship was as close as it is today. In fact, the WWI relationship was not nearly as cozy. The US provided the UK with massive amounts of war material, but at great cost. It's not absurd to say that a century or so of accrued wealth flowed from London to NYC. As a result of the UK's near-suffocation at the hands of German U-boats, they developed a healthy new respect for having a top-notch navy. Their problem was that the now very wealthy US also learned how important a top-notch navy was, and proceeded to get into an arms race with their ally. There was a very real fear that the new power would necessarily get into a conflict with the old power - kind of the same fears you hear about Sino-US relations today, though the analogy is not perfect. This tension was diffused quite a bit by the Washington Naval Treaty and follow-on treaties, but hopefully this illustrates that the relationship was not the same as it is today.

Comment: Re:Hints from an over-the-hill programmer (Score 1) 454

by Reziac (#48908415) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

"To be a great programmer, you need to write code that reads like English."

That's an interesting observation, and see what I (not a coder but an interested bystander) say above about two programs I know equally well as a user -- one in Pascal (I can pretty much grok what all the code does despite zero comments), the other in C (lots of comments, but still makes my brain hurt even when I can figure it out).

Comment: Re:One important use left for Pascal (Score 1) 454

by Reziac (#48908347) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

From the user standpoint (I'm not a programmer, but I take an interest, and have rooted around a bit in various source codes), these are my observations:

1) When a program written in C crashes, it may do damnear anything on its way out.

When a program written in Pascal/Delphi crashes, it simply closes down and returns you to the OS.

2) I have an ancient (1990) database program I can't live without. When it was retired from the market, its owner kindly shared source with me, which happened to be in Pascal. There's not a single comment in it, but as I know the program so well, I can tell what nearly all its code does.

I can't say that of the other antique program which I still use and know very well (and have perused much of the source), but is written in C.

I doubt it's entirely coincidence, or even relative marketshare, that's given us those marvelous Obfuscated and Underhanded Code contests for C, but no such for Pascal.

Comment: Re:$30/mo is a terrible price (Score 1) 39

by MightyYar (#48905739) Attached to: For New Yorkers, Cablevision Introduces a Wi-Fi-Centric VoiP Network

I've used it with CallCentric. It works, but as others have stated it really sucks down your battery life. Instead I now just have an Obi device plugged into regular cordless phones, and I have the unit ring my cell and work desk phone as well. The result is that I get away with using T-Mobile's $30/mo prepay plan that only includes 100 minutes, but has 5GB high speed/ unlimited Edge and unlimited texts.

Comment: Re:Translation ... (Score 3, Informative) 361

No-knock warrants are an anti-liberty product of the Drug War. Police know how to secure a building so the only way out is through them, but the suspects can easily dispose of "evidence" (illicit drugs) in the toilet. Since it was impractical to ban toilets, the courts decided to let them barge in and assault everyone they saw.

Comment: Rumor: Fox Is Planning an X-Files Revival (Score 1) 368

by eldavojohn (#48904215) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?
In the news recently are rumors that Carter, Anderson and Duchovny will reunite for new X-Files episodes. Fox has sorta confirmed this.

I own all the DVDs, a couple years ago I rewatched them. I may come off as a rabid fan at times but the background music was atrociously horrid. Also the story arc plot became overly convoluted and impossible to explain at times. That said, one of the most convoluted characters (Krycek) was my favorite. Aside from several minor valid criticisms like that, I really think it's a great platform for modern storytelling.

I do have to ask myself, at times, if there is some level of insane conspiracy theory today that we owe at least in part to those people watching X-Files when younger. I have to admit that the 9/11 inside job truthers movement claims could have been ripped from the pages of an X-Files script.

My biggest concern, of course, is whether or not it could still be fresh. With recent high quality additions to television canon, we'd have to be prepared for Chris Carter coming back at us with a 90's angle when episodes like Home really aren't as shocking anymore. The bar has been raised (thankfully).

Right now, The X-Files is going to occupy a contextual place in television history like The Twilight Zone. A revival could very well tarnish that. On the other hand, I've never felt like I really received closure on the whole story arc ...

The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.