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Comment Re:ORACLE = One Raging Asshole Called Larry Elliso (Score 1) 405

I used to work with a guy -- years and years ago -- that discovered that the IBM FORTRAN compiler would allow you to omit spaces. Having to read his code littered with statements like "DO10I=IBEGIN,IEND,IINCR" was a pure joy

Okay, that's just evil.

On the other hand, I've long avoided diving into Python because I cannot see why anyone would want to consider whitespace as a language element.

FWIW, I used to feel that way until I started using it. It took me about a day to get used to significant whitespace, and after that I decided it's a really nice, elegant language. Give it a shot, and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Comment Re:Science works (Score 2) 434

I said once that the best answer to the trap question "Do you believe in evolution?" is "I believe in evolution the same way I believe there is a city called Philadelphia." I've never been to Philadelphia; no, Mr. Ham, I wasn't there. But I've heard about Philadelphia, I've read about Philadelphia, I've seen pictures of Philadelphia, when driving in Baltimore I've seen road signs directing me to Philadelphia, and I've even known people who (claimed to have) lived in Philadelphia--all of which adds up to sufficient evidence for "I believe there is a city called Philadelphia" to be a reasonable statement.

Those who are devoted to proving in their own minds that Science Is Just Another Religion tend not to understand this distinction, of course.

Comment Re:Are you nuts? Don't talk agile with the custome (Score 1) 597

Can you imagine a surgeon... "Well we'll just start cutting and figure it from there" no no, talk about outcome, not process. Agile talk is for the operating room, not the waiting room.

Inadvertently, you've just come up with an excellent analogy. Surgeons don't actually work that way, and a good thing too. In fact, no one who has to do any complicated and tricky task with a specified outcome works that way ... except a certain group of fad-following programmers.

Comment Re:Developers hate Agile too (Score 2) 597

"You're doing it wrong" is the first excuse ever given when someone criticizes Agile. At the same time "you're doing it wrong" applies to just about every group using Agile that I've seen. There's a whole industry grown up around Agile consultants who go around to companies to tell them "you're doing it wrong".

Yep. Agile can never fail, only be failed. If it appears to have failed, it's because you're not really devoted to its principles. You must be on fire with the spirit of the scrum, brother! You must accept the stand-up into your heart and soul!

(Listening to a bunch of Agile true believers talking about programming is like listening to preachers at a revival meeting, only without the nice singing in between sermons.)

Comment Re:It is obvious. (Score 2) 105

Or at least we should make a Department of Space Transportation. Unrelated to Homeland Security. It could still be under the executive branch, and Civil.

We already have a Department of Transportation, which is where any regulatory agency for space flight belongs. The key is to start thinking of space travel as, you know, transportation rather than something new and different and scary. Unfortunately, it seems like we're still stuck with IN SPAAACE slapped onto things, kind of like ON THE INTERNET. Only with even less excuse, since the internet was still purely theoretical when Sputnik was launched, and barely a glimmer when Apollo 11 landed.

But you can guarantee DHS/TSA will get their noses in there somehow.

Comment Re:More important: Why are they drying up? (Score 4, Informative) 178

lol leftist faggot, why not hand over the world to china

And thus we see the right wing eating its own. Jane Q. Public is one of Slashdot's most reliably conservative posters--but one post that deviates from orthodoxy, and out come the McCarthyite claws. Kind of like how Grover Norquist was accused of being a secret Muslim the other day.

I'll be over here cheering from the sidelines.

Comment Re:American News Outlets... (Score 4, Insightful) 418

Near-revolution brewing in an American ally, and nearly zero mention on the home pages of CNN, Fox or MSNBC.

I think you answered your own implied question. Turkey is a designated Good Guy, and therefore this can't possibly be that important. Until and unless they become a designated Bad Guy (which can happen very quickly) in which case this will immediately become a Vital Struggle For Freedom against the Worst Dictatorship In Human History.

Comment Re:It is truly sad... (Score 3, Insightful) 247

But praise and fawning over Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot.

Wow. You genuinely believe that, don't you? Which probably explains this priceless line:

Obama uses the full force of government to stifle opposition.

Hint: under Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot, you wouldn't be saying that, with or without the thin gloss of anonymity that comes from posting under a screen name. If web forums had existed in their day, very bad things would have happened to anyone posting such a comment. You clearly have no idea what "the full force of government to stifle opposition" actually looks like, and for all our sakes, I sincerely hope you never find out.

Comment Re:Statistics can be misleading (Score 5, Informative) 152

If you want real stats you have to go procedure by procedure and compare similar cases

Which, amazingly, is exactly what the authors of the paper did. It's open-access; click the link and read it for yourself.

Oh, wait, I forgot. On Slashdot, scientists are morons and people who read an article on a pop-sci site a month ago know everything, and any use of statistics can and must instantly be banished with the Words Of Power, Which I Will Not Utter Here.

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The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow