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Comment: Re:Buggy Whip (Score 2) 119

by sunderland56 (#49333315) Attached to: GNU Nano Gets New Stable Release

The tiny editors do have their uses. They tend _not_ to require dozens of unrelated and bulky graphical packages to support them, the failure of any of which can disable the graphical editor. And they work well over poor bandwidth connections to remote servers, and even work well on overburdened, very lightweight virtualization servers for software routers or proxies.

So making them work really well can save work time and be very appreciated by people doing critical work with very real constraints.

Oh, absolutely. That's why vi is so useful.

Comment: Not a watch (Score 1, Insightful) 111

A watch is a mechanical timepiece you wear on your wrist. The Apple product mentioned is a small computer you wear on your wrist.

Expensive watches are mainly expensive because of the internals, not because of the case. Sure, gold/silver/etc will drive up the price - but a good mechanical watch in a stanless steel case can still cost $10,000 - because of the intricate, hand-assembled internals. Replace those internals with $10 worth of silicon circuitry and a display, and it won't be worth $10K any more, even though there's the same name on the face.

Assuming that all things you wear on your wrist are interchangeable is like assuming all automobiles are interchangeable. Taking an Aston Martin and replacing the engine/transmission/driveline with one from a Ford Focus isn't going to create a desirable vehicle, and it won't be worth $140,000.

Comment: Re:"FORTRAN in any language" (Score 1) 757

by sunderland56 (#49231439) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?

The major problem with C++ is that it's popularity means there's more crap code written in it

I think Linus' point was: C++ makes it extraordinarily easy to write crap code. Even otherwise intelligent people, who can produce solid functional code in other languages, produce unmaintainable garbage in C++. And, when they do, it's so much harder to clean up afterwards.

As for C++ being so popular, that's because well-written C++ can beat most other languages in performance.

Not C.

Comment: Re: No AI is a Wizard (Score 1) 148

by sunderland56 (#49134171) Attached to: Artificial Intelligence Bests Humans At Classic Arcade Games

Well, that would be the point. Things like driving a car and performing surgery need both (a) computing capability and (b) a real-world interface. It would seem that taking a pinball machine, a handful of linear motors, a camera, and some compute power would be a much, much more useful real-world learning exercise.

When playing an electronic game, the exact same input will produce the exact same result; but on a mechanical pinball game, there will always be a slight variation - which makes the whole thing far more realistic.

Comment: Hire decent people (Score 2) 101

by sunderland56 (#48962499) Attached to: Building a Good Engineering Team In a Competitive Market

There is really no way you're going to get the people you want based on perks, salary, benefits, and the like.

However: virtually every company has some insufferable ***holes on staff, either in engineering, or management, or both. If you're lucky, you get to meet one during your interview process, and strike that company from your list. In other cases you think you're golden - only to meet the offending employee(s) during your first week or two. Then you have to restart the whole job search thing once again.

I'm not saying that everyone needs to be perfect. Everyone is a jerk once in a while; but the fewer loud, arrogant, sexist/homophobic/prejudiced/intolerant people on staff, the happer everyone will be. If I'm going to spend 10 hours a day with people, then they should be people I'd choose to hang out with anyway, not people I'd avoid.

Comment: Commission (Score 2) 238

by sunderland56 (#48858373) Attached to: Google Thinks the Insurance Industry May Be Ripe For Disruption

So commissions are $50/$481 = about 10%. In other words, a fairly minor factor; you can usually save that by switching companies. Sure, it would be nice to chop 10% off your bill; but that is hardly a "major disruption". Even a caveman can chop 15% off your bill; who needs technology?

Most major carriers are moving towards online services already. If Google enters the market, their efforts can quickly be matched, leaving no net advantage for Google.

Comment: Re:Who knew? (Score 2) 62

by sunderland56 (#48427009) Attached to: Google Maps Crunches Data, Tells You When To Drive On Thanksgiving

If Google really wanted to help out, they would scan their database to find your blog/twitter/facebook/etc. postings about your family; then they could make much more useful suggestions, like "Hey, Uncle Norm is a real pain - why don't you relax and stay at home this Thanksgiving?"

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure