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Comment Re:What does this have to do with science? (Score 1) 625

I'll begin to worry when they start using Akkadian Cuneiform, because they've run out of characters in every other alphabet.

However, I think the trend will continue until they use a symbol to include the opressed minority who find themselves - through no fault of their own - sexually attracted to women with the breasts of Claire Danes and the abs of Dwayne Johnson.

Comment Re:What does this have to do with science? (Score 3, Informative) 625

You have it backwards, I'm afraid. It became a political issue only after the IPCC - which was set up with the aid of the Reagan administration - started publishing its results.

When the results showed that there was a problem that needed attention in the next 30 years, and every viable solution required an expensive shift in industry practices to avoid a much more expense solution 70-80 years down the road - that is when it became a political issue.

Because, let's face it, as a species we're happy to kick the can down the road if it means we can be wealthy and more comfortable now, and American society in particular has trouble thinking past the next quarterly earnings report.

Comment Re: What does this have to do with science? (Score 1) 625

Humor aside, the lack of ability to reproduce experiments doesn't necessarily make a field of study more or less scientific

More than anything, it shows a bias: There is a big misconception that science requires experiment; this misconception is widely used by denialists of all stripes.

Observation is absolutely science.

Astronomy, for example, is very soundly in the observational field of science. They observe the universe, and look at past observations. Then they create a mathematical model to describe the observations, make predictions based on the model, and continue to make new observations. If the model is good, then it's carried forward; if not, we try to observe more and figure out why we were wrong. Eventually, we get it right.

That's how we knew that orbits were elliptical long before we sent a rocket into space. It's how we knew the orbital radii of the planets long before more direct measurements like RADAR or sending a satellite to the planet.

Comment Re:How Virtuous (Score 4, Insightful) 625

Yeah, I was about to shout "Bingo!" There's a difference between political activism and studying the world; there's also a difference between voluntary support, and compelled groupthink.

Scientists aren't known for going along with compelled groupthink, especially as disproving groupthink can make their career.

Comment Re:This is not a news article (Score 4, Insightful) 625

Agreed. The scientific community does have issues of its own to address (and there are many).

However, this article reads along the lines of "I consider myself part of a community, and my community should think just like I do, and support the causes I want them to."

The author seems to be trying to 'shame' those who feel that "That has nothing to do with me, I feel no need to support it."

Comment Re: Short sight (Score 1) 558

Conceptually it does bother me that I now have a computer on my desk that is 100 times more powerful and has 500 times more memory than a $15 million dollar Cray X-MP supercomputer--and with all that computational power Microsoft Word can feel a little sluggish when typing.

Sure, speed may be less of an issue, but O(N^2) is not good enough for large values of N, no matter how fast your computer is.

I note this because every time I hear someone saying "well, computers are getting faster all the time" I'm reminded of a developer I worked with who used a class with O(N^2) performance when a similar class with O(N) performance existed that was a better fit for the job. (The problem was the product I was working on at the time failed in production when there were tens of thousands of objects to track, when in testing (where we had dozens) it seemed to work just fine.)

So saying "speed is less of an issue" does not forgive developers from writing quality code.

Comment Re: Short sight (Score 1) 558

My problem is I learned C++ about a year before exceptions were added to the language. When templates came along I had the same reaction as a number of other programmers: do we need a Turing-complete pre-processor for the language? (After all, Java and Objective C seem do to fine with template-style generics.) Then STL came along and I felt the designers were smoking crack when they used the left-shift and right-shift operators to mean "input" and "output". (I refuse to use them on principle, unless required to by work.)

I felt like at some point the folks driving the C++ requirements and the C++ STL requirements were doing things because they were "cool" rather than because they made sense, and I only use templates sparingly because it creates God-aweful syntax like we see in the STL, and in my experience can often distract from the readability of your code.

Comment Re: Short sight (Score 1) 558

I'm with you on value semantics, unless memory is tight, or if we're dealing with a UI application (as I noted above) where it makes no sense to have multiple instances of an object referring to the same UI object. (For example, it makes little conceptual sense to have multiple C++ objects that represent the same logical X window handle.)

Footnote: the last code I wrote was loading the entire planet file from OpenStreetMaps for in-memory manipulation and generation of custom vector map tiles. In that case, "tight memory" can mean 64GB of RAM. :-P

And it's not hard to build your own reference counting scheme (or use a library such as Boost).

Personally, by the way, I believe those who do not have to deal with a programming language such as C or C++ or Pascal where you need to think about memory management concepts (even if they're handled for you, such as with Boost) can run into a serious conceptual problem when writing applications that have tight memory requirements. I don't know the number of times I've had to explain to an Android developer that the reason why I set a field to nil was because the object itself may persist beyond the lifespan of the UI element which uses it, but we want the GC to be able to reclaim the rest of the memory associated with the object. (This can come up when fixing bugs in an Android activity object, where the activity is held by a network callback. Ideally this should be handled with a broadcast/receive design pattern, but at the very least, if your activity goes out of scope, you can release all the crap that the activity has strong references to that is no longer needed.)

Somehow a number of Java programmers I've personally met think somehow garbage collection is this magic thing which does what the programmer intends, rather than what is written in code. They're generally the ones writing Android apps which crash and have no idea why.

Comment Stop choosing non-freedom. (Score 1) 115

Despite being deprecated by MSFT for years, SMB1 is alive and well with Sonos. There is no SMB2+ support, there is no timeline nor any commitment to add SMB2+ support.

I'm not familiar with this product or Sonos but this sounds proprietary.

I don't understand how a company that prides itself on making premium audio products doesn't put security ahead of other software development priorities. One juicy scandal can cause way more damage than the modest cost of implementing readily-available SMB2-3.11 server/client software packages.

Not reimplementing any part of the product is more profitable and most computer users are non-technical so they don't understand what SMB is let alone which revision is known to be insecure. Users should be advised to liberate themselves from Sonos' control over the user's computers; seek other ways to play the audio, ways that respect a user's freedom to run, modify, and share (including commercially). Perhaps reconsider Sonos if they distribute products that respect a user's software freedom. After all, if the security issues you describe are important enough that should be sufficient justification to seek the freedoms you deserve with or without Sonos' help.

Comment Re:Who writes this shit anyway? (Score 1) 558

> "demand for PHP, WordPress, and LAMP skills are seeing a steady decline, while newer frameworks and languages like React, Angular, and Scala are on the rise." ... is one of the more sensible remarks on the list.

React and Angular are not replacements for PHP, Wordpress, or LAMP. Scala is so rarely used it's almost laughable. The question is still "will there be a culling between PHP or Python". While Python is rising in popularity, that is due to a unified ecosystem and AWS AMIs having python support out of the box. Looks a lot like how Ruby gained popularity, with similar problems (performance, stiff language design - e.g. lambdas, no do-white/foreach/whatever) and Ruby is...not a good choice for anyone. For many cases, we prototype in Python, but ultimately either rewrite in PHP or C for performance reasons when we try to run any load. It's just fine for straightforward intermittent procedural processing and PHP is slightly more robust (for better or worse) as glue code. YMMV

Comment Re: Short sight (Score 1) 558

My examples of memory management have to do with writing user-interface code, which often creates multiple references to the same object in memory for one reason or another.

The thing about the STL is that it tends to operate with copies of objects: if you declare a vector array of strings, the string is copied into the vector array rather than the array holding a reference to a common instance. Boost, on the other hand, solves the problem with smart pointers--essentially using reference counting, as I noted above.

Comment UmmmmWHUT? (Score 5, Insightful) 93

What is this frigging doublespeak that to me seems to say nothing special at all? This especially irks me: "the ability to bridge app creators and Linux distributions using a universal framework, making it possible to bring this kind of software to operating systems that encourage open collaboration".

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