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Comment How comfy is your work environment? (Score 1) 683

Depending on your relationship with your coworker, you could try something like this:

"Dude! What the fuck is with this? This whole module reads like it was written by David Foster Wallace after sustaining a concussion!"

Then, having gently broached your general concern, you could offer a few helpful suggestions. "How about actual English names for some of your variables, instead of packing everything into a global array called "Stuff"?"

I'm actually only half kidding here. I'm lucky enough to work with guys with a sense of humor, so when one of us screws something up we expect a certain amount of ball-busting. I really do feel that this is a valuable practice, so long as the critics don't go too far with it and the critiqued can keep a good sense of humor.

Comment buried the lede (Score 1) 283

Man, you have to read pretty deep in that article before you get to the really cool bit. But there is a really cool bit. Check it:

I have spent the last four years championing an initiative within Google called the "Grok Project", one that will at some point burst beyond our big walled garden and into your world. The project's sole purpose in life is to bring toolchain feature parity to all languages, all clients, all build systems, and all platforms. (Some technical details follow; feel free to skip to the next section heading...) My project is accomplishing this lofty and almost insanely ambitious goal through the (A) normative, language-neutral, cross-language definitions of, and (B) subsequent standardization of, several distinct parts of the toolchain: (I) compiler and interpreter Intermediate Representations and metadata, (II) editor-client-to-server protocols, (III) source code indexing, analysis and query languages, and (IV) fine-grained dependency specifications at the level of build systems, source files, and code symbols.

There's a bit more, but that's the gist.

Comment Re:Looks like someone... (Score 1) 197

"Portal is basically a new IP. The universe is the same, but so distantly related that they're essentially different. " That's more or less true, for now. But Valve dropped plenty of hints in Episode Two that the two stories are going to converge in Episode 3. Here's a clip of a scripted sequence in which the Half Life scientists talk about the Aperture science research vessel "Borealis".

Comment Everything you need to know from the interview (Score 1) 299

Ahem:

We had a very, very successful recipe of what BlackBerry was all about. There were four main pillars: battery life; typing; security; and compression. Then there was a shift with LTE. With LTE it was important actually not to save network resources, it was important to load the networks, to sell data plans and sell data volume. We didn't miss on innovation. I think we missed on understanding, specifically in the U.S., that this trend was shifting, and that our positioning and our value proposition in the U.S. market was not following that trend shift.

So, according to the CEO of RIM, the reason that Blackberries don't sell is that carriers don't want to sell phones that don't require big data plans. It's a good thing I didn't try bringing my new Brick phone to market. I mean, okay, technically it's just a brick with a pretend touchscreen, but it requires to data plan AT ALL.

Comment Re:Now to understand what it means (Score 5, Insightful) 2416

Wow, are you likely to get an earful over this. Here's my perspective (not a neutral one):

The "individual mandate" part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires you to carry health care insurance. However, supporters claim that because the risk associated to insurers is now spread out over a much larger segment of the population (those who would normally decline health insurance are obviously less likely to need it), the cost to individuals in terms of premiums is likely to decline. In other words, they're betting that the cost of your insurance is likely to decline. Personally, I think that's likely... for insurers, anyway. Whether insurers pass these cost savings to individuals is a craps shoot. When Massachusetts (under, ahem, Governor Romney) passed a law with an individual mandate, premiums fell something like 40% at the same time that it was rising nationally.

Another big part of the bill is the "pre-existing condition" clause: basically, an insurer cannot deny you coverage because you already have a medical condition that they don't want to cover. There was some worry among ACA boosters that the court might strike down the "individual mandate" part without the "pre-existing condition" part, which would have been catastrophic to the risk pools: seven states have tried passing pre-existing condition laws without the individual mandate, and it went very badly for all of them. So if it turns out that you come down with some kind of chronic or severe condition, it can no longer be used as a reason for an insurer to deny you insurance.

Comment Re:Too much root is not a good thing (Score 1) 311

Otoh, many Mac apps are distributed as disk images, where you simply drag them from the image to your drive, and that's it. No password at all. If you're going to use pre-rolled software, that certainly seems more trustworthy. But of course, it is a lot more complicated of a process for the average user to be able to ever understand.

Too complicated for the average user?

Most of the time, those disk images come with a shortcut to the system applications folder. The folder background will have text saying something like, "To install, drag this (arrow pointing to the application package) to here (arrow pointing to the shortcut)." I have never seen anyone stymied by this.

Comment Re:Um, no (Score 1) 309

I don't know - 2001 is sort of in a category of its own, in my opinion. Although , in the Best Picture category, it would have been up against The Lion in Winter. I'm not sure I'd want to go up against that.

(And even The Lion in Winter lost to Oliver! Meh.)

But anyway - Avatar? Seriously?

Look, I liked the special effects as much as the next guy, but for God's sake, it's just not even on the same playing field.

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