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Comment Re:Those Were The Days My Friends, We Thought... (Score 1) 330

Funny thing, I was reading an article on this just the other day, talking about how object oriented programming in general and Java in particular lacked the clarity ond straightforwardness of declarative languages like my all time favorite, Visual Basic 6. Laugh if you want, I don't care, with VB6 I understood what was going on and could Get Things Done. Google "criticism object oriented programming" and dig in on the real problem.

Comment Re:Those Were The Days My Friends, We Thought... (Score 2, Informative) 330

LOL, I see that Basic Computer Games was printed in 1978. In 1974, I was typing it in directly from an issue of David Ahl's groundbreaking mid-1970s magazine Creative Computing, which he compiled into the book several years later. David Ahl is the reason I became a geek, long before there was even a TRS-80 to play with and I had to IMAGINE what the CC program listings would do becasue I didn't have a computer to run them on. Thanks, Dave!!!

Comment Those Were The Days My Friends, We Thought... (Score 4, Interesting) 330

...they'd never end... Sigh. I remember David Ahl's Basic Computer Games with such nostalgia, spending my first weeks in late 1974 as a freshman typing in SUPER STAR TREK onto paper punch cards to run on the IBM360 at University of Tennessee. As a county bumpkin coming into the land of Oz where there were Real Actual Computers I could work with for the first time, I though I had Entered The Future. Little did I know that the future had only begun, and continues today. Probably will continue into tomorrow, too.

Comment Re:Maj. Hasan video has what to do with what now? (Score 1) 72

I don't give a flying frack about "The Narrative" as you obviously do. I care about having the facts available to get to The Truth. I still remember that ten seconds of footage from an actual event is more important that ten hours of crap spewed from talking heads on Fox News. It's people that listen to the latter that issue orders to destroy the former. Their priorities (and yours) are mixed up, not mine.

Comment Re:Maj. Hasan video has what to do with what now? (Score 1) 72

My point in including the final link is that destruction of video evidence critical to a major incident investigation DOES happen and as long as we are all learning lessons here from a failure mode report, that's a very timely and important one to add. Concern about "gee, it would be too tough to see on TV and against America's best interest" is totally misplaced IMHO. The guy that took the Ft. Hood video stood up and fought back with the only weapon he had, a cellphone that could record the truth about what really happened for whoever eventually would be assigned to sort through that mess. He volunteered in an instant to become a combat reporter and that makes him a hero, period. Being ordered to destroy evidence of a criminal act was not a lawful order and should have been respectfully refused and the dispuute carried up through the chain of command. Allowing evidence of military criminal actions to be supressed from the oversight of the civilian public is not a good idea.

Comment Re:What Video Evidence? (Score 1) 72

The point of the final link is that destruction of video evidence critical to an mahor incident investigation DOES happen and as long as we are all learning lessons here from a failure mode report, that's a very timely and important one to add. Concern about "gee, it would be too tough to see on TV and against America's best interest" is totally misplaced IMHO. The guy that took the Ft. Hood video stood up and fought back with the only weapon he had, a cellphone that could record the truth about what really happened for whoever eventually would be assigned to sort through that mess. He volunteered in an instant to become a combat reporter and that makes him a hero, period. Being ordered to destroy evidence of a criminal act was not a lawful order and should have been respectfully refused and the dispuute carried up through the chain of command. Allowing evidence of military criminal actions to be supressed from the oversight of the civilian public is not a good idea.

Submission + - NASA Releases Failure Report On Outback Crash (spaceref.com)

cybrpnk2 writes: In a Friday news release, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has issued Part 1 and Part 2 of an excellent and very interesting failure review on the April 28 failed balloon launch of the Nuclear Compton Telescope at Alice Springs, Australia. Bottom line: make sure you don't need a gorilla to pull the payload release handle at balloon launch; if the release mechanism does fail then make sure your safety cables are sized for lift loads and a swinging payload, not just static hanging payload weight; and oh yeah — keep people and vehicles out of the downwind flight path. One spectator was nearly crushed while running from his SUV that was hit and flipped (Figure 29, Vol I). At least nobody ordered video evidence destroyed.
Image

The Race To Beer With 50% Alcohol By Volume Screenshot-sm 297

ElectricSteve writes "Most of the world's beer has between 4% and 6% alcohol by volume (ABV). The strength of beer achieved by traditional fermentation brewing methods has limits, but a well-crafted beer that is repeatedly 'freeze distilled' can achieve exquisite qualities and much higher alcohol concentrations. An escalation in the use of this relatively new methodology over the last 12 months has seen man's favorite beverage suddenly move into the 40+% ABV realm of spirits such as gin, rum, brandy, whiskey, and vodka, creating a new category of extreme beer. The world's strongest beer was 27% ABV, but amidst an informal contest to claim the title of the world's strongest beer, the top beer has jumped in strength dramatically. This week Gizmag spoke to the brewers at the center of the escalating competition. New contestants are gathering, and the race is now on to break 50% alcohol by volume."

Submission + - Vote For Hacker Barbie (theregister.co.uk)

cybrpnk2 writes: It's time to pick a new career for Barbie. She's had over 125 so far, and Mattel is letting the public vote for her next one. Results are announced February 12, with a plastic Barbie incarnation coming soon therafter to a toy store near you. The choices are environmentalist, surgeon, architect, news anchor and COMPUTER ENGINEER. Hmmmmmm......
NASA

Simulation of Close Asteroid Fly-By 148

c0mpliant writes "NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have released a simulation of the path of an asteroid, named Apophis, that will come very close to Earth in 2029 — the closest predicted approach since humans have monitored for such heavenly bodies. The asteroid caused a bit of a scare when astronomers first announced that it would enter Earth's neighborhood some time in the future. However, since that announcement in 2004, more recent calculations have put the odds of collision at 1 in 250,000."
The Almighty Buck

America's Army Games Cost $33 Million Over 10 Years 192

Responding to a Freedom Of Information Act request, the US government has revealed the operating costs of the America's Army game series over the past decade. The total bill comes to $32.8 million, with yearly costs varying from $1.3 million to $5.6 million. "While operating America's Army 3 does involve ongoing expenses, paying the game's original development team isn't one of them. Days after the game launched in June, representatives with the Army confirmed that ties were severed with the Emeryville, California-based team behind the project, and future development efforts were being consolidated at the America's Army program office at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. A decade after its initial foray into the world of gaming, the Army doesn't appear to be withdrawing from the industry anytime soon. In denying other aspects of the FOIA request, the Army stated 'disclosure of this information is likely to cause substantial harm to the Department of the Army's competitive position in the gaming industry.'"
Space

Herschel Spectroscopy of Future Supernova 21

davecl writes "ESA's Herschel Space Telescope has released its first spectroscopic results. These include observations of VYCMa, a star 50 times as massive as the sun and soon to become a supernova, as well as a nearby galaxy, more distant colliding starburst galaxies and a comet in our own solar system. The spectra show more lines than have ever been seen in these objects in the far-infrared and will allow astronomers to work out the detailed chemistry and physics behind star and planet formation as well as the last stages of stellar evolution before VYCMa's eventual collapse into a supernova. More coverage is available at the Herschel Mission Blog, which I run."
Science

Programmable Quantum Computer Created 132

An anonymous reader writes "A team at NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) used berylium ions, lasers and electrodes to develop a quantum system that performed 160 randomly chosen routines. Other quantum systems to date have only been able to perform single, prescribed tasks. Other researchers say the system could be scaled up. 'The researchers ran each program 900 times. On average, the quantum computer operated accurately 79 percent of the time, the team reported in their paper.'"

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