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Comment: Re:There is science here (Score 1) 15

by hey! (#49178195) Attached to: Rosetta Photographs Its Own Shadow On Comet 67P/C-G

Hmmm. While your explanation is unquestionably true, I don't think you quite understood what the poster was asking. His question is, I think, about the sharp shadows behind ridges on the surface, not the shadow of the vehicle itself.

I think his problem is an implicit assumption that if you drew a line from the center of the sun through the spacecraft, it would intersect the surface at a right angle. In that case you wouldn't expect cracks on the surface to display in such relief. However I believe that assumption is faulty, and that the rays of the sun intersect the surface at a considerable angle.

This is not unlike seeing the shadow of a plane you are riding in on the surface of the Earth. Unless you are in the tropics, that shadow won't be directly beneath you. It will be off to one side. It will also be distorted as it is spread out across the non-perpendicular surface, but you won't necessarily notice that because of foreshortening.

Comment: Re:Several stories say Marissa Mayer was demoted. (Score 1) 167

by rtb61 (#49178117) Attached to: Marissa Mayer On Turning Around Yahoo

When it comes to major corporations. The CEO is there as an ideas person, there are a range of managers to manage the company. Sure American egoistic pseudo celebrity worship tries to create the illusion that it is all the CEO who is to be credited with everything but the reality is, beyond new ideas, revision of existing ones, setting actual directions for the company, the CEO role is no where near a large as claimed. Of course one without ideas and the ability to set new courses to follow is pretty much useless and just occupying a space whilst trying to take credit for every one else's efforts. A good CEO only really needs to be there a few days of every week, needs to effectively delegate and should be spending more time thinking about the future of the company than wastefully spending time bureaucratically micro-managing it (because that is actually all they are good at). Spending a lot of time making sure they have very little to do is part of their function, the more than do as a manager, the less they do as the Chief Executive Officer and that is a straight up fact.

Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 74

by gstoddart (#49178065) Attached to: Physicists Gear Up To Catch a Gravitational Wave

The machine doesn't just go ping. It provides information about frequency, phase, polarization, and time of flight between two points.

LOL ... Temba, with his arms open!

OK, this is really big science ... and I just need a few more small words ...

We have two small widgets a known distance apart, these widgets are essentially fixed in place, but will wobble when acted upon by ... well, obviously gravity waves.

Since there's nothing big enough to make two things that far apart wobble at the same time (short of something very kinetic, which we'd measure through several other means) ... .. we infer that we have measured the passage of the only phenomenon which could make out widgets wobble? Shit.

So basically a long baseline widget wobbler which weighs waves of gravity. (Assuming of course the theory is right, the engineering is right, and these events happen often enough to measure.)

That's some wacky science right there. Still not sure I got it even close.

Comment: Re:Easier to Analyze or Change == More Maintainabl (Score 1) 128

by hey! (#49177955) Attached to: Study: Refactoring Doesn't Improve Code Quality

I once took over 30,000 lines of code that had been written by a subcontractor and trimmed it to around 4000 LOC. And you better believe it ran faster! Not because refactoring is magic, but because once all the mind-numbing almost-repetition was mucked out you could actually see what the code was doing and notice that a lot of it wasn't really necessary. Ever since then I have always maintained that coders should never ever copy and paste code. I've had people disagree, saying that a little bit of copying and pasting won't hurt, but I say if it's really such a little bit then you shouldn't mind re-typing it. Of course if you do that very soon you start putting more effort into devising ways to stop repeating yourself, which is exactly the point. Repeating yourself should be painful.

That's I think a reliable litmus test for whether you should refactor a piece of software. If it's an area of code that's been receiving a lot of maintenance, and you think you can reduce the size significantly (say by 1/3 or more) without loss of features or generality you should do it. If it's an area of code that's not taking up any maintenance time, or if you're adding speculative features nobody is asked for and the code will get larger or remain the same size, then you should leave it alone. It's almost common sense.

I don't see why anyone would think that refactoring for its own sake would necessarily improve anything. If an automotive engineer on a lark decided to redesign a transmission you wouldn't expect it to get magically better just because he fiddled with it. But if he had a specific and reasonable objective in the redesign that's a different situation. If you have a specific and sensible objective for reorganizing a piece of code, then it's reasonable to consider doing it.

Comment: Re:Yes? (Score 1) 88

The biggest reason for user optimised search is because of commercial disputes over who gets on the first page and in what order. When you make it user optimised,everyone ends up having to suck it up because the search engine and the owners of the search data are not directly controlling placement, many end users are. Can you augment the user selection with some refinement algorithms, sure but at the core you still want to be able to say oh well it is the way users rate it and it would glaring and extreme over the top censorship to limit user choices.

Google is going to keep getting attacked for this and corporations will corruptly seek to gain commercial search advantage through corrupt lobbyists and biased legislation. Google has a real problem that will only continue to get worse unless is can push some of that responsibility onto others, many, many others. Cheaply recruiting all those trusted others and keeping them going, of course will not be that easy.

Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 74

by gstoddart (#49177473) Attached to: Physicists Gear Up To Catch a Gravitational Wave

but since all our theory and all our observation says it should be detecting them and only them, it's fairly safe to assume it's actually doing so

So, build me a fucking god detector. And when it goes off, I'm going to call bullshit like I'm calling here.

Look, I'm no physicist ... but surely someone can explain how a machine that goes "ping" is proof positive that it has detected the thing it claims to be detecting, no?

It's clearly something glaringly obvious that I'm too dense to understand ... but the mere fact that a machine goes "ping" doesn't mean it worked, or that it proved anything. It means people invested in saying "see, it went ping, therefore it worked" will be happy ... but the rest of us aren't sure how.

So, a big giant expensive machine goes ping ... and the only plausible explanation, because we have great theories and everybody did their part ... is gravitational waves?

I'm aware I'm not qualified to refute that fancy physics, but it seems like there's a step in there that could use some dumbing down for the rest of us.

Because, let's face it, with a simple light switch, I can build you a bullshit detector. It's demonstrating that it actually worked, instead of just being a light switch, which is the tricky part. ;-)

Comment: Re:Leverage (Score 1) 484

by rtb61 (#49177407) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Past reputation for the US. They only keep deals if it advantages them to do so, once the advantage ceases so does the deal, just ask Native Americans and all the treaties they signed with the Yankees. I can not see how Edward Snowden can possibly expect to return to the US, ever. The nature of the country and it's government makes that impossible. Why the negotiations, likely an immigration step, simple proof of the impossibility of returning and the legal justification for the certainties of Russian citizen status. Russian moves with RT would be an indication that is reaching out to the rest of the world. They are now more likely to create say a multi-national technological development enclave within Russia to attract people from all over the globe to develop Russian commercial technology. That kind of cerebral melting pot is far more effective that a monocultural one and it helps to create an economic climate for other commercial developments in that enclave, tourism, content development etc..

Comment: Re:Maintainable... (Score 1) 128

by rtb61 (#49177345) Attached to: Study: Refactoring Doesn't Improve Code Quality

The biggest problem with the study is it seems to miss the whole point of refactoring code It is not about one project, it is all about a coding company and the code it produces over the life time of it's existence, about all of it's projects, past present and future. Is refactoring a technical waste for one project, depends upon the qualities of the initial code produced. Is refactoring a waste over 100 different projects over ten years, of course not and often because far less refactoring effort will be required for latter projects than earlier projects and those latter projects will be far more efficient.

It is much like the principles of TQM Does Total Quality management work for one project, rarely the administrative costs will readily out weigh the benefits because there is little or no opportunity to apply the improvements provided by TQM. Will TQM provide benefits for hundred projects over ten years, of course because. As there is plenty of opportunity to apply the benefits gained from the administrative efforts expended on TQM.

Comment: Re:5% Gross is a terrible deal (Score 1) 142

by rtb61 (#49177257) Attached to: Unreal Engine 4 Is Now Free

Gees bloody easy to go bankrupt from 5% of revenue. Say you built a commercial building and you bought 10 million dollars worth of material and paid 10 million dollars for labour to put in up and the land cost you a further 10 million dollars. Now your plane to sell that building for fifty million dollars and make 20 million dollars profit didn't pan out. You are following me, I hope I didn't make it to complex for you so far? Now people think you building sucks and only want to pay you thirty million dollars for it. You got that part ie no matter what you are asking or what you hoped for you will only break even. You got it, are your sure, I mean by now you should be able to guess exactly where there is going with out me finishing it but I suppose if your silly enough to ask the question, than an answer must follow, well, not always. So you thought no harm no foul, you are going to break even but wait, the person that designed the building wanted 5% of revenue for the design and 5% of thirty million dollars is 1.4 million dollars and you don't have the money but they are demanding it. You not what happens now, yep that last 5% sends you 'BANKRUPT', I mean like duhh, homer. Yep 1% can send you bankrupt if that 1% is more than you have to pay your debts, especially when it is 1% of revenue and not profit. 5% of profits of course is very unlikely to send you bankrupt but 5% of revenue most certainly can do it every time, especially when margins end up being tight or as sometimes is the case in gaming non-existent.

You see, they do not in fiscal reality want 5% of revenue, they want to apply a 5% tax on all investments costs of development and publishing. They want a 5% tax on all project expenditures. Now I know that will also go over your head, so I will explain it. The whole idea for the producer is that revenue will pay the full cost of development and of course generate some profit on the side, so the development cost is a wash in revenue, with profit being the focus but the game engine people want to charge a 5% tax on development costs not on profits.

Comment: Re:Secure is now illegal (Score 1) 195

Now how exactly do you decide what is fair and not fair if you never have investigations? "Is it fair to have investigation" sounds exactly like the kind of questions a very guilty party asks, hmmm. A reasonable just person would only ask about the nature of the investigation and how it was carried out, not whether it occurred or not. Yes, upon suspicion of criminal activities police investigations must always occur. The nature of the investigation logically becomes far more invasive as further incriminating evidence is uncovered or stops are relatively minor levels of invasiveness if no evidence is uncovered that warrants further investigation. Now that is totally straight up logical.

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 1) 484

by swillden (#49176897) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Civil disobedience has ALWAYS carried the potential for punishment and if you break the law to make your point that the law is unjust you should stand ready to be arrested, imprisoned and tried in court for what you choose to do.

Your argument would carry more weight if the government who'd be trying Snowden weren't the same one he outed for violating its own laws, with the active collaboration of its judicial branch. Not to mention all of the recent fully-public sidestepping of due process for hundreds of other enemy combatants. Oh, and the torture, including of US citizens. And... do I really need to go on?

Snowden has extremely good reason to be skeptical of the fairness of a trial... or if he'd even get a real trial.

Comment: Re:Leverage (Score 1) 484

by swillden (#49176761) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Snowden may be using what leverage he has left. He has not yet disclosed all the information he obtained so the US government might cut a deal to avoid further disclosures.

I see no evidence that Snowden didn't hand everything over to the Guardian et al, all at once, as he said he did. On what do you base your claim that he's still got something left?

Comment: Re:C++ important on Apple too (Score 1) 369

Cross-platform compatibility of C++ code is excellent these days, C++ can call low-level Apple APIs exactly as well as C, and there is no performance cost to C++ unless you choose it.

1) Good but not as good as C.

In most cases these days it's a distinction without a difference.

2) But it's an unnecessary third layer. Obj-C has the objects. C has the speed and compatibility. What do you need a third layer for?

I see this differently. Obj-C has the objects I need to interact with the framework. C++ has the speed, compatibility and expressive power I want. C has speed and compatibility, but lacks expressive power, which creates a lot of tedium and loses a lot of safety.

3) Indeed.

We agree on something :-)

So virtually no one uses it in this scenario.

Only time I see it used is when it's a library that was written in C++ on another platform and is simply being used on a Mac.

I haven't really done much on Macs, but I did a lot of work on NeXTstep back in the day, and C++ was quite common in scientific computing there. Actually, what I saw a lot of was "Objective-C++"... they may have grown further apart, to the degree that this no longer works, but in the early 90s gcc allowed you to mix Objective-C and C++ constructs freely in the same code. So a common approach was to build everything in an OO fashion, but to choose between Objective-C and C++-style classes based on performance and flexibility tradeoffs. The result required you to be fluent in both, but that really just means being fluent in C++ because a C++ programmer can learn Objective-C in a day (which is something I respect about the language).

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.