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Comment Re:But why? (Score 1) 304

Rust would have to exist between C and python.

Rust is a compiled language. Presumably, the first Rust compiler was written completely in C, with newer versions having progressively more Rust source.

Obviously, Rust, with it's run time checks, can't match the performance of C without those checks.

A friend of mine who did a lot of Ada programming told me that his project turned off array bounds checking because it was just too slow for their application to function. There is little difference between that and coding the app in C.

A co-worker told me that early C compilers put bounds checking (and other checks) in to the generated code. He and his classmates routinely disabled the checks, only turning them on to demonstrate their code passed the checks.

I see no compelling reason to switch to Rust. If having those run time checks "built in" is desirable enough, I think it would make more sense to re-introduce those checks to C compilers, (Yes, I know, Rust has other features "built in", but most, if not all, of those features are available in libraries with many years of use and testing. (They might even be used by Rust.))

Comment Re:What happens to Rust when Mozilla is gone? (Score 1) 304

C ignores array bounds

According to a co-worker of mine, that wasn't always the case.

When he was a student in the early 1980s, the C compiler, installed on the BSD Unix systems at his college, generated array bounds checking, pointer de-reference checking and a few other run-time "sanity checks". He also said there were options to disable these features.

While I can certainly understand that re-adding these checks to the code generated by the C compiler would reduce performance, I doubt it would be any worse than the performance of Rust (or most of the other "safer" languages).

Comment Re:Not being used any more (Score 1) 171

Actually, during the brief recount effort in Michigan before it was shut down, roughly 60% of the ballot boxes opened did not contain the number of ballots they were supposed to.

According to someone from Michigan I met, that meant that the ballots in those boxes were, under Michigan law, not allowed to be recounted.

I don't know if that's true, but I am more and more concerned over just how much of a mess the US election system is.

Comment Re:At least, Mozilla is socially just! (Score 1) 98

Mozilla had a great browser, and a great community. Someone spooked at Chrome's early success and decided that change for change's sake was necessary,

Very true. While I can forgive the change in version numbering scheme, the rest was a shift away from great innovation, as well as needles dumbing down.

Years ago, I switched to Palemoon. Still in the Firefox family, but preforms better then either FF or Chrome and is less dumbed down.

My employer, meanwhile, has joined the crowd in standardizing on Chrome, I had hoped they'd at least have gone to a variant that doesn't phone home, for example Iron.

Comment Re:Giving parents more control (Score 1) 788

It's much *much* better when the local population has a say in how their kids get schooled.

From my and my girlfriend's prospective, the Obama-era nutrition requirements are a mix of both bad and good.

Since we went to a private school, in theory, our parents - and the other kids' parents - had a say in what food was served in the school cafeteria, but, for budget reasons, the school bought food from the same vendors the public schools did, so what we got was only a little better than what the public school kids got. Slightly less added sugar and salt, and (slightly) leaner meats. As I recall, it cost the school about 25-30% more, but it was still cheap food. By standards of my and my girlfriend's families, it was still too heavy with salt, fat and grains. (We are part Native American, so, at home, we ate a version of our ancestors' diet: Berries and other fruits, leafy vegetables, lean meat (venison when possible) and a small amount of grains, mostly maize (aka "corn").)

Side notes:

Common core and "no child left behind" was a disaster.

1. Much as I hate "Common Core", I know that it was a multi-state initiative that the Obamas liked, so supported. But it was the creation of many states, not the Obama administration. The only blame I place on Obama for it is for not seeing it for the disaster it is.

2. Despite the idea behind "no child left behind" being admirable, the rules it put in place were disastrous. The effect of those rules was not limited to the schools that actually needed them. The rules also penalized schools that had artificially low rates of improvement: Either they had a high turn over (such as schools with a high portion of children of new immigrants), a small number of "special needs" students, and/or were already high performing. These situations skew the results.

Comment Re:What problem? What PROBLEM? (Score 1) 456

I need to have a bunch of different apps using a bunch of different accounts, running on multiple different platforms, just to keep track of text messages. I can't consolidate them into one app because the services aren't compatible with different clients

Because the service providers want it that way. They choose to make their services incompatible with each other and with 3rd party clients.

Comment Re:Cake or death (Score 1) 917

Does she want this guy immediately fired no question asked?

At the company I work for, the stated policy is that upon receipt of a harassment complaint, the accused is immediately put on administrative leave (with out pay) and the complaint is forwarded to the local prosecutor's office for investigation. If the prosecutor clears the accused, then he is re-instated. Otherwise, he is fired. In the even the accused is cleared AND the prosecutor determines the complaint was filed with malicious intent, then the accusor is fired.

The company also has a policy of protecting the victim's privacy, so I don't know if the above procedure has been used.

The policy may seem harsh, but the company's legal department takes the position that it is better to err on the side of the victim, even if the accusations ultimately prove to be malicious.

Comment Re:Pharmacists can be replaced now (Score 1) 369

Pharmacy Technicians can be replaced by robots.

As for consultations, medical doctors still consult with pharmacists because pharmacists have in depth knowledge that doctors don't. Much like some doctors are specialists is various subfields of medicine. And much like general doctors send their patients to specialist doctors, pharmacists can continue to provide valuable services directly to patients.

And with robots to do the technician work, the pharmacists will be able to focus far more on supporting doctors and patients.

Comment Re:Common Sense At Work (Score 1) 203

I used to work at a hotel and helped select one of these key card systems

If key cards are being used, why choose a system that requires the locks be networked?

Sure, there is a convenience in the front desk being able to remotely update the stay duration rather than having the guests come to desk to have their kay cards re-written, but is that really worth the problems? I recently attended a convent held in the Intercontinental Hotel in Dallas - a 5 star, luxury hotel. Although I couldn't afford a room in that hotel, some of the convention attendees did. And some of those extended their stay y a night. They all had to have their key cars re-written at the front desk. Also, one attendee had problems with the lock on his room. Some one had to go to the room and plug a device in to the lock to fix it. Also, even though the lock failed, he was not stuck in his room.

Comment Re:Cue the incredulous comments from the Americans (Score 1) 234

In meetings with the Germans they can't understand why no American ever takes more than two weeks of vacation in a row while they routinely take the entire month of August off.

I also work for a multinational corporation.

In the US office, the middle and higher level managers routinely take all of August off. It's the rest of us that have trouble trouble taking even 2 weeks off, Not because management won't approve 2 or more weeks, but because after even a week off, the pile of problems we come back to is very oppressive. After 2 weeks, it's almost not worth having taken the time off.

Comment Re:Cue the incredulous comments from the Americans (Score 1) 234

At the company I work for, the European office has customers that are willing to pay 3 times the prices the US office is able to get from its customers. The European engineering staff is twice the size of ours in the US. Corporate manage seems happy to let the European office have that many engineers, but expects us in the US to handle twice the total workload as the European office.

Comment Re:Managing Expectations (Score 1) 114

For a prototype, we lifted *the customer's own marketing map graphic* and overlaid a colored disk at each location representing current status.

I had similar experiences years ago. This is because most people don't understand the difference between a model and "the real thing" if they can't "see" an obvious difference. Example: A canal lock system. You can build a fully functional model and (almost) no one will mistake that for the finished canal with locks. But a screen on a computer monitor showing a map with blinking dots (and whatever else) looks the same as what the finished application will. All the code "behind" the screen is invisible to them. As far as they are concerned, the screen with the map and blink dots is the application.

Since then, I've done "chalk talk" presentations. Actually, markers on poster-sized sketches.*

Using your example, what I might have done:

  • Plug my laptop into a project or large screen TV/monitor,
  • Go to the client's website and access their marketing map.
  • Right-click-Save Image on the map.
  • Load map image into Inkscape (or Photoshop or Illustrator, if you prefer).
  • Draw colored circles on the map image.

(Alternately, could draw the circles on transparent, plastic "post-it" notes and stick those to the screen.)

My "chalk talk" presentations have been very successful in getting my proposals approved. And there is no misperception that my mock-up is anything other than a mock-up.


* I prepare "foundation" drawings and print them on poster paper. Then during a presentation, I use markers to draw additional details in a way that illustrates how my proposed solution will work.

Comment Re:So many people don't understand tax deductions (Score 2) 399

This only works if you are already itemizing deductions.

If the company gives you the money, then you can only deduct the donation if you itemize deductions.

However, if the company donates the money, then it's not part your taxable income - in other words, it's "pre-deducted".

Another example would be Flexible (Health) Spending Accounts - FSAs:

Normally, you can only deduct health care expenses when you itemize deductions AND only the amount over a certain percentage of your adjusted gross income (AGI).

But, with a FSA, the money is put into an escrow account that you (mostly*) control. AND is deducted from your pay BEFORE taxes, thus reducing your taxable income. Therefore, you are effectively deducting the whole amount, not just the amount over the AGI percentage AND even if you don't itemize deductions.


* Once money is put in the FSA, you can only use it to pay qualified medical expenses AND you loose any remaining amount still in the FSA at the end of the year (though there are certain "grace rules" that might apply).

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What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expect generally happens. -- Bengamin Disraeli