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Comment: Re:The Golden Path (Score 1) 191 191

Frank Herbert's son later teamed up with a sci-fi author and published some books which wrap up the story and also explain some of the events that happened before the Dune books take place. Supposedly from his father's notes. Not everyone considers these books canon. The catastrophe, however, is revealed but at this point it mostly seemed the first book had some parallells with the Middle East.

The reason that many don't consider it canon is that it directly contradicts not just small events in the originals but the entire premise. In Dune, the Butlerian Jihad was an ideological struggle against people who were willing to delegate their thinking to machines without considering the long-term social consequences (hmm, still seems pretty relevant) and ended up being controlled by oligarchs who controlled the machines. The outcome was an overreaction against machines, banning even simple calculating engines. In the cash-in novels, it was recharacterised as a war against a two-dimensional and completely unbelievable machine intelligence.

The final revelation in the sequels was then that this machine intelligence had survived and had been building an empire in secret all of the time that humanity had been building their own and eventually decided that it wanted to destroy all of the humans (why? Because that's what evil robot overlords do! Obviously). These books could have been written by the Bene Gesserit sister that Leto just managed to restrain himself from killing in God Emperor, for her stupidity. He explained that humanity had moved past the point where machines could be a threat (remember: they were never a physical threat, the threat was always stagnation and decay as humans delegated more and more to machines until there was no point in continuing to live).

The point of the scattering in Leto's Golden Path was that humanity would spread out so that nothing could be an existential threat (the old Empire had more or less stopped expanding and didn't have exponential growth to protect it). Part of the point of Chapterhouse was that the conflict that was going on, in spite of engulfing more worlds than the Empire in the time of Dune, was a tiny sideshow - nothing that happened would affect humanity and the descendants of humanity as a whole. The big hint about the changes that were happening out of the empire was the extent to which the Honoured Matres and Futars had diverged from what was considered human. The implication was that they were the ones that had diverged the least and were no longer able to compete with far more predatory creatures that had evolved from humans.

Comment: Re:First Book Is Still Solid (Score 1) 191 191

What do you think they introduced that made sense? The House series ended up having to do a load of hard resets that just didn't make sense (the no-ship technology appearing a few thousand years early? Well, just brush it under the rug - we all know that technologies are developed in a vacuum and so if you cover up an invention that has all of its prerequisites it won't be reinvented for a long time). The only redeeming feature of the House books was that they weren't as bad as the Butlerian Jihad series.

Comment: Re:Lawrence (Score 1) 191 191

A much milder Christian version was some Puritans who banned Christmas

Minor clarification, but Puritans didn't ban Christmas, they banned the non-religious parties and traditions rooted in Saturnalia that had become associated with Christmas. Puritan Christmas involved spending most of the day in Church. They certainly tried to ban fun at Christmas (and at most other times), but not the Christian festival.

Comment: Re:Modularity (Score 1) 79 79

38MB sounds only a bit larger than just ICU (31MB on my machine), so Qt isn't adding much there. ICU is used by most GUI frameworks (Microsoft has their own version, but OS X ships it as part of the standard install) and includes things like fast unicode collation (locale-aware sorting is hard!) and fast unicode regular expressions. Most apps that need to work in places that aren't just the English(ish)-speaking parts of North America need most of that functionality.

Comment: Re: i switched back from chrome to safari (Score 1) 307 307

WebKit != Safari

This is true, but it's also completely irrelevant. Safari uses WebKit, including WebCore and JavaScriptCore. All of the Safari features that are not part of WebCore and JavaScriptCore are entirely user-facing and irrelevant to web developers. If you look at what's actually included in the WebKit nightly builds, you'll see that it's a build of Safari.

Comment: Re:Virtulize it (Score 1) 66 66

Comment: Re:i switched back from chrome to safari (Score 3, Interesting) 307 307

I also use Safari, though I'm still pissed off with them for combining the URL bar and search box (which means that I keep typing one-word search terms and having it try to resolve them as domains, which then go in my history and so become the subject of autocomplete. The only way to avoid it is to get into the habit of hitting space at the end of a search, which is no saving on hitting tab at the start to jump to the search box). Chrome doesn't properly integrate with the keychain. I use Firefox on Android (self destructing cookies makes it the first browser I've used with a sane cookie management policy), but overall the UI for Safari does exactly what I want from a browser: stay out of the way.

TFS is nonsense though. Developers don't know what's going to be in the next version of Safari? Why don't they download the nightly build and see?

Comment: Re:Today's computer science corriculum is practica (Score 1) 153 153

Meh. When I was an undergrad, you really needed to understand netmasks if you wanted to set up a network for multiplayer games. Now, it's much easier (although Windows makes it stupidly hard to create an ad-hoc WiFi network. No idea how people think it's ready for the desktop), and you can do a lot without caring. I can't remember the last time I needed to know about them.

Comment: Re:Probably GPL, but depends on Apple (Score 1) 167 167

The GPL is "viral" in that if you use even a smattering of GPLed code, you are required to release ALL of your code as GPL as well.

Not true. Go back and re-read the GPL. You are required to release your code under a license that places no more restrictions on it than the GPL. You must also license the combined work under the GPL. It is, however, completely fine to take a few files of GPL'd code, combine them with some BSDL'd code files (as long as those files are not a derived work of the GPL'd code) and ship the resulting program under the GPL. If someone else takes only the BSDL'd files for use in another project then they are not bound by the GPL.

There are two ways in which the GPL is 'viral'. The first is that you cannot change the license of something that you do not own, so any derived works retain the copyright and license of the original. The second is that the GPL is a distribution license and, if you wish to retain the right to distribute it, then you must not distribute it in a way that does not pass on the freedoms listed in the license (meaning that the combined work must grant all of the permissions as the GPL'd parts).

Comment: Re: What a confusing summary! (Score 1) 128 128

The test says that the class with private members and no setters is intended to be immutable after creation, so that's not a problem. Having a single linked list for the entire grid (rather than a list of lists) is completely insane though. I'd expect a student who actually knew what he or she was doing to be more confused than one that would end up writing code with horrible algorithmic complexity. Looking at the rest of the test, it's not much better. If this is what AP tests look like in the USA, then I'll make sure not to weight it very highly when looking at applicants next academic year.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351

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