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Comment: Re:Given how C++ is taught. (Score 1) 342 342

Why would reference counting effect performance? Oh, and beyond a certain program size, Java (not the theoretical exercise, but the actual written code) will perform better because it will make it more difficult to write use poorly performing algorithms. The actual slowdown of writing the same code in Java vs C++ is around a factor of .8, but if it means that even one tight loop will use O(log n) instead of O(n) (due to programmer's laziness), you win.

Comment: Re:Given how C++ is taught. (Score 1) 342 342

Good luck with that in multi-threaded code.... which you (of course) don't need. But the library that you linked against 2 years ago is all-of-a-sudden using now. So that free() that you are sure will get reached in all code paths won't be reached anymore because the thread which called your function (your callback function) got interrupted. Congratulations! You just leaked code from a program which never leaked before.

Comment: Re:Experts... (Score 4, Insightful) 342 342

Just think about it! (TM) A function gets automatically executed just because you leave scope. Doesn't matter how you leave it. Forget that it's a destructor. It's a function which gets called automatically without anyone writing any code to call it. Show me how to do that in C. And that's the fundamental difference between the 2 languages. The rest is syntactic sugar.

Comment: Re:why? (Score 1) 196 196

Recruiting tens of thousands of experts at the top of their game would not be possible in secret. The building was still in construction stages when Snowden came out. Possibly some of it was already operational, but according to the reports it was still being built. It's the comic-book-like personality of Snowden (last name sounds like a punk sci fi novel, ready-for-tv look, stripper girlfriend) that was over the top. Let me ask this question: if he wanted to make this story about himself, rather than about the story, what more could he do?

Comment: Re:why? (Score 1) 196 196

Oh, and the idea that he has a refuge in Russia is laughable. US recognizes the concept of trial in absentia (Roman Polanski was tried and convicted in absentia). Snowden could have been tried and convicted a long time ago if he was not an NSA operative. And given that even prominent politicians get assassinated in Russia, Snowden (if convicted) would have been gone a long time ago if he weren't so useful to the NSA.

Comment: Re:why? (Score 1) 196 196

The size of the building and the number of people it had to eventually employ would have brought the conversation into public light. Re-targeting the conversation towards 1 person is what allowed the program to survive the inevitable political scrutiny. It's true that no one outside of the building would have known exactly what goes on inside. But it's so huge that its purpose would have been known just like the purposes of Pentagon and NORAD are known (even though no one outside of them knows what goes on inside). Shifting the righteous indignation towards an individual is what allowed the program to survive and has made it a permanent fixture. If Snowden is not an active NSA agent, he is, at the very least, a useful fool whose activities were known and used to shift the politics in the direction beneficial to the spy community.

Comment: why? (Score 1) 196 196

Why do you assume that Snowden is not an NSA operative? An active one. He took a story which was in the public eye (the SLC building is huge so everyone knew about it) and turned it into a story about him for at least half of the population. He could have stayed anonymous. Instead he made the story that would have galvanized 80% of the population against NSA into a story that galvanized 30% of the population against him, 40% against the NSA and 30% not care at all. He couldn't do NSA a bigger favor if he tried.

Comment: illegal? (Score 1) 776 776

I am not sure it's illegal, but I do not understand how she was "off the clock" if she was required to perform company functions. They didn't monitor refute the fact that she was monitored when she asked. So they can't really be said to have hidden it from her. She is certainly owe back pay for every hour of the day and the company should certain pay the penalty for not paying an employee's salary in a timely manner. But those are civil matters... I am not sure anything illegal was actually happening here... Now if they denied spying on her while they in fact did spy on her, then I can see how criminal laws would apply. Oh, and I am not a lawyer.

Comment: and everyone's worried about 3d printed guns (Score 1) 110 110

When they should be worried about 3d-printed propellers. That's that's the only component of a drone that can actually be improved. The rest can be built with cheap consumer parts. Single drones will get out of the communication range of most hobbyists though before reaching any place where they can do any harm to any passenger plane.

Comment: license (Score 1) 420 420

Any job that requires a license cannot be performed by someone off shore. Immigrants *can* do them, but only permanent ones. You can't make a claim that a guest worker is needed because he (as a foreign national) is licensed. But even that doesn't really hold up. The only people who still have the job they had 40 years ago are the ones who have stake in the company. So chose employment which offers partnership.

Comment: Re:This is what the war on terror gives us. (Score 2) 241 241

Funny. I don't feel any safer than I did before 20010911.

Why not? The airplane pilots' doors are now locked. Now most people can no longer commandeer a missile and fly it into a large building at their whim. That is the most dramatic improvement in security that has happened in response to 9/11. The rest is show business designed make it easier to find statistically improbable patterns of behavior in order to identify flanking threats (rather than the face-frontal attack threats that they purport to thwart).

Comment: survivor bias (Score 1) 241 241


There has not been a tradeoff between liberty and security in our response to terrorism in this country and in our efforts to offer security to the people of the United States

is an attempt to take advantage of this:

and the reason it will succeed is that those who are smart enough to know better than to make logic errors in public don't make them in error. They make them because they are selling something. And if they are selling it in the open, their sales pitch is just the tip of the iceberg.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming