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Comment: Re:Formal specifications are pretty useless for th (Score 1) 105

by squiggleslash (#47578837) Attached to: PHP Finally Getting a Formal Specification

Unless we're using "formal specification" in a form uncommonly known in the English language, ANSI C (hint hint) does, indeed, have a formal specification or three.

In fact, that's part of the problem with C. ANSI spent a lot of time trying to make their specification so generic it could be implemented on all kinds of different hardware, leaving us with a language that means virtually every bit of "obvious what it does" readable code can be re-interpreted by every optimizing compiler to mean something completely different. A big problem, considering C's system programming roots.

Comment: HYPE THE MERCH (Score 0) 69

by Thud457 (#47575673) Attached to: Nevada Construction Project Could Be Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory
You fools, this is happy fun reeducation camp #1 for Muskianity. This is where people judged to be unfit to join his new world order on Mars will be forced to build hyperloop components and cybernetic carbon sequestration modules. Expect the stolen NASA Space Shuttle to turn up there.

A recent invention by a noted inventor, 49-year-old scientist Dean Kamen, is generating excitement and mystery. "IT", is so extraordinary, that it has drawn the attention of technology visionaries Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and Steve Jobs (Apple) and the investment dollars of pre-eminent Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr, and Credit Suisse First Boston, among others. Those who have seen the two prototypes have been variously amazed, delighted, surprised and awestruck. Jeff Bezos is reported to have snorted uncontrollably (his laugh sounds like a pig snorting).

Kamen, who was just awarded the National Medal of Technology (the highest such award in the US) has been called "a combination of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison". John Doerr, of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers, the noted VC who funded the launch of companies like Sun, Lotus, Compaq and Netscape, says that he had been sure that he wouldn't see the development of anything in his lifetime as important as the World Wide Web - until he saw IT. Another investor, Credit Suisse First Boston, expects Kamen's invention to make more money in its first year than any start-up in history, predicting Kamen will be worth more in five years than Bill Gates. Jobs told Kamen that IT would be as significant as the PC (high praise indeed from Jobs, who feels that he originated the PC).

Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 1) 411

by Chas (#47559805) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

It's a system for a company to call into the credit card clearance office and obtain an authorization in case their system cannot contact the CC company (like during maintenance periods, etc). It's had historical use in the past. And yes, it should probably be phased out at some point. The fact is, it exists now and there's a legitimate reason for it existing.

Comment: Re:When going into business with Friends (Score 2) 182

by Chas (#47557107) Attached to: How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D

The arrangement made sense right up until TSR actually started making real money. When you and your friends bust your asses to build a business, and have no substantial income or assets to fight over, running it as a labor-of-love makes perfect sense. But once they started bulk-hiring new staff and pulled off 5000% growth over five years - Why the hell didn't they hire a competent CFO???

It's a NORMAL pitfall in hobby companies.

It starts out as a hobby/lark. And there's a certain looseness in how the company is run.

However, once the company starts employing dozens of people and pulling in multiple millions a year, it's definitely NOT the best way to run the company and things DO need to change. It's just very difficult to see where that jumping-off point is when you're in the middle of things (especially if you haven't encountered this sort of managerial divide before).

This is speaking from experience. A few years ago, a partnership of mine nearly ran our company into the ground. Quite by accident. You go to bed one evening and everything's cool. Then next morning, the books are going "AUUGH! WHAT DID YOU DOOOOOOO!".

We were lucky we caught it when we did (though catching it SOONER would have been nice). And we were able to get the company turned around and working in a healthy manner.

Unfortunately, TSR wasn't able to do the same thing. Mostly from sheer inertia. And then, after the takeover, primarily because Lorraine Williams just didn't care about anything at the company or customer base other than what added to her personal bottom line.

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.

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