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Comment: Re:Internet Explorer (Score 4, Informative) 93

Kinda. It wasn't impossible to write cross platform browser stuff in the late 1990s, when most corporations started this whole "We'll standardize on browser X" policy making, but it required a discipline that had most developers throwing their hands up in the air in disgust.

Unfortunately the situation in the late 1990s was:

- The major browsers were incompatible.
- IE4+ was the most standard. Yes, really. Those versions had a relatively complete implementation of CSS.
- IE came preinstalled with the standard operating system of that time.

That was it. That was why corporations went with it. It's why they adopted the monoculture in the first place. If Netscape had been a little quicker with Mozilla, or been more enthusiastic about CSS in Netscape 4.x, and if CSS had been a little more complete, things might have been different.

Comment: Re:Translation: (Score 1) 155

by squiggleslash (#48885687) Attached to: Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10

Well, Apple is running a modified OS X on its iDevices, and Android is Linux based. Now, before you state the obvious: in both cases, the primary userland, that is, the userland that you're interacting with right now, is a stripped down power-optimized version.

And that's true of Windows 8.1 if you use the Metro UI too. Yes, OK, the desktop stuff is there, it's on "disk", ready to be swapped into memory if you want to run it, but it's not actually active in any serious way, it's waiting for a mouse click that isn't coming. Start your task manager now if you don't believe me, and take a look at the CPU usage of, say, Explorer (explorer.exe). 0%? That's because you're not doing anything with it. You're reading this web page.

I'm guessing that if I were running one of those "Ubuntu under Android" things that you can get for Android (I've never tried them as every device I've had had some kind of hardware issue preventing it from being likely to work, and the descriptions have always suggested they suck anyway...) I'd also see next to no increase in power usage, after starting it but not actually launching any X11 applications, despite that literally being an entire desktop operating system running on a phone, with all the components being in place.

So there really aren't any power implications when it comes to Microsoft shipping a full version of Windows for power saving devices, as long as - and they do - Microsoft includes a power efficient UI (Metro) for the tasks you'll be using the device for.

The only real reason for Microsoft not to ship their desktop OS on phones is that it takes up way too much disk space. As in "That 32G you get with an HP Stream 8 sounds sweet, but actually Windows takes up about around 20G of it, so get ready to buy an SD card straight away."

That really is it. I'm using that very device. Battery life is pretty ordinary for a tablet. I've seen much worse.

Comment: Re:No way! (Score 1) 502

What if your preconceived position is unbiased?

I know it's unlikely, but it's entirely possible the Senator researched the facts and drew his conclusion based upon those facts.

I personally think the STEM shortage H1B thing is more complex, but the view he's expressed isn't unusual from those looking at the facts. The very fact tech companies insist H1-Bs are the right approach, rather than a slight relaxation of green card standards, suggests the motivation here is cheap slave labor, not attracting talent.

Comment: Re:Who What Where When Why (Score 1) 101

Basically to increase page impressions, which means sweet advertising dollars. Essentially you take something that's a known quantity in terms of clickbait, in this case "Google is going to start a mobile phone company!", add some details that seem slightly plausable - it'd be awkward starting from scratch, and they'd obviously not get into bed with Verizon or AT&T as both are too large to allow themselves to be influenced, so you pick the two struggling operators instead, and BANG you end up on the front pages of numerous news aggregators, your links are retweeted wildly, and you get that sweet, sweet advertising cash.

Oh, wait, you meant "Why would Google..."? They wouldn't. The story is ridiculous. Sprint and T-Mo don't even use the same network technology with the exception of LTE, and the latter is suffering from a lack of widely supported standards in key areas.

Comment: Re:tl;dr version (Score 1) 103

So, basically if you use a completely BS measure of "productivity" (# of commits) teams that are more diverse and with longer tenure tend to be slightly (1% to 2.5%) more "productive".

Where do I sign up for grant money to produce crap research like this?

It's worse than you think - If X and Y are responsible for 2.5% of $FOO, X could be zero while Y could be 2.5%. It's very telling that they cannot give the correlation numbers for either exclusively X or exclusively Y in their paragraph, it has to be given as a sum, because then you can't tell which of them actually has the measured effect.

Poor research (again!) - 2/10 for trying. Good troll though - 10/10 for all the baffling numbers that most people are unable to see through.

Comment: Re:Attitudes (Score 2) 221

by squiggleslash (#48864169) Attached to: The Current State of Linux Video Editing

This is ultimately the problem with linux. There is no defined platforms anywhere. Software that wants to use anything can't ever guarantee that it will be there.

Linux is a kernel. It doesn't have a video codec API, and (hopefully, khttpd suggests it's possible) never will.

I'm saying this not to be an ass, but to point out that people don't write video software for kernels. They do it for operating systems. Debian is an operating system. Ubuntu is an operating system. Mint is an operating system. Android is an operating system.

Those do, actually, have predictable support frameworks installed.

What's more, you don't even have to aim at those systems. You can just aim at commonly supported standardized infrastructure such as GNOME, and let the caretakers of the distributions install the software you need for you.

Now you can, if you want, complain that "Oh no, I want my software to run on all the Linuxes", but it's not like anyone's out there complaining that Mac OS X is berefit of video editing software because that Mach kernel it uses doesn't come with a predictable set of video encoding APIs, and have you tried to write a video editor that works on both Darwin AND Mac OS X?

Comment: Re:work from home users (Score 1) 371

by squiggleslash (#48862377) Attached to: FBI Seeks To Legally Hack You If You're Connected To TOR Or a VPN

Different issue, but it's ultimately one of those times you recognize you're more likely to be under surveillance simply because you're doing something very similar to what a large number of other people are doing that's illegal. Not even necessarily a majority, but a large enough sub group that you'll be watched.

Think in terms of walking through the red light district in your local city at night, or getting groceries from a convenience store you know is a front for a drug dealing syndicate.

Comment: Re:So (Score 1) 331

by ShieldW0lf (#48859999) Attached to: Lies, Damn Lies, and Tech Diversity Statistics

Yeah, no shit.

My post wasn't directed at the lusers, though, it was directed at the editor.

But yeah, I think it's true... our community was bought and paid for by outsiders, and it's going to be used as a vehicle to attack us until it's finally been rendered irrelevant.

Shame. I've been coming here for a long time, and I'm still on the cutting edge of my field with lots of knowledge and wisdom to share.

Done now though... the well is poisoned, time to move on.

Comment: Re:This guy hasn't done his research. (Score 1) 629

by goose-incarnated (#48859219) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

I'm really confused as to how this works: at least if I understand what you're saying correctly, that certainly would break the principle of least astonishment. Is there a more thorough explanation of the topic that I could look through?

Yes. As an amateur language (lisp-ish) designer myself I was curious. The explanation is as follows (as far as I can tell from the mess that is the reference implementation for 2.3):

Python implements variables as dictionaries. Each scope gets a new dictionary created. When encountering a reference to a variable that must be read the engine traverses the stack upwards until it finds the variable name in a dictionary. If it reaches toplevel without finding a name an exception is thrown.

When encountering a reference to a variable that must be written the engine only searches up to the nearest stack pointer, at which point if the variable is not found it is then created and assigned. Hence the reason swapping around the LHS and the RHS in an assignment changes the scope of those variables, which (usually) loses data if the variable exists in a higher scope. This is the reason for using a global keyword when you want to write a variable but not when you want to read it - the global keyword was a hack around the dictionary implementation. The dictionary may be gone but the hack remains.

My informal discussions with the python community results in "this is pythonic - and besides, if you forget the global keyword you deserve to lose data silently" (you can search stack overflow for this exchange). Python really is the only language that has these (and other) warts. Unfortunately, because I've maintained a ton of python in the past I've run into almost all the gotcha's - it has more than C :-(, which is a pity as it might have been a really great language if only a little language design went into it rather than (like PHP) it having evolved from "runtime config management for C".

Comment: Re:Lower Level != "Complex" (Score 1) 629

by goose-incarnated (#48859131) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

You want them to learn the abstract concepts of programming. With C, you quickly get bogged down in memory management, notions like pointers, the complete lack of object-oriented programming, awkward functions and weird workarounds like variadic functions. You can learn that stuff after you've understood what a loop is and how variables work.

You don't have to get bogged down, use a library! Anyway, why would someone learning python learn how to construct a linked-list (the basic structure of most CS fundamental concepts)? What C misses is a library, but there are plenty for your taste [shameless plug] - here's one that I work on when I have the time and/or the inclination.

You most definitely don't want to teach a language where all the things that happen are "magic" under a hood that no one can open. C is perfect for teaching engineering students. Not so much for CS students - for them use SICP. For neither student do you want to perform vocational training. You want to educate thinkers, not train drones.

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