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Comment Re:Someone's had too many mushrooms (Score 1) 325

mushroom cloud-sized implosion

And why would you hyphenate cloud with sized?

Because that's the convention for adding a hyphenated modifier to a compound noun. "Mushroom cloud" is the noun, and when you're combining a noun with an adjective like "sized" to qualify that adjective, you use a hyphen. For example, "He shot me with the .357 magnum, and as I looked down, I saw a bowling ball-sized hole in my chest."

Speaking of bowling ball examples using "-sized" in them, I found a perfect example from Science News: Bowling ball-sized Devil Toad probably ate hatchling dinosaurs

(Come to think of it, there was probably a Slashdot story about that...)

But the rest of your comments are spot-on. Mushroom clouds are generally caused by explosions, and yes, they do come in all sizes, rendering the original author's statement completely meaningless.

For the size of an implosion, I reckon most people would consider the size to be the volume or area affected by the implosion -- same as for the "size" of an explosion. Since an implosion tends to pull in surrounding matter...

I'm sure the author of the summary thought the phrase sounded cool until we all started nit-picking him.

Comment Re:Java too complex (Score 1) 558

All the platforms that used to run Cobol, you mean. I'm looking at you, J2EE.

I don't see much C# (or other CLR managed code) running on set-top boxes, for just one instance, so I think it's a bit ludicrous to make such an assertion -- even if Java is often touted as the "COBOL of the 21st century." J2ME is part of Java, too, and that runs on cell phones of all types -- yet only phones running Windows Mobile will run apps written in C#.

For those reasons, I'm going to support the GP's assertion that Java is alive and well and running on platforms .NET could never dream of. Still. And I'm not just talking about enterprisey environments where COBOL used to dominate. If that's really all you can think of, you need to open your eyes.

I should also mention that a lot of new dynamic languages are hosted on the JVM, which may well outlast the Java language itself. The Java runtime is actually quite useful that way. JRuby and Groovy are gaining a lot of traction, and Groovy contains many of the things we in the Java world have been waiting forever to get (e.g., closures).

Comment Re:Support Kodak's printers send the others a mess (Score 3, Interesting) 970

Let's concede that the head-on-cartridge design is to be praised, even if it increases the cost of the cartridges.

Head-on-cartridge was one of the reasons I ultimately ditched Epson for HP. The HP carts at the time had the print head built into the cartridge, so if I ran into problems, I simply bought a new print cartridge and life was good.

Epsons have the print head built captively into the carriage, which makes cleaning the print head all but impossible unless you work for Epson.

I eventually switched away from HP after I ran into a problem with my HP color printer of many years. It seems that even keeping the print head on the cartridge doesn't eliminate all problems. I thought my HP had some kind of print head clog from me not printing in color for a while, but that wasn't it. Turns out it was a logic problem in the printer.

My solution was to buy a Canon. Canon keeps the print head separate from the ink tanks, and each ink color is in its own tank. I purchased one of the 6-color photo printers which had special photo-cyan and photo-magenta colors in addition to the usual CMYK. What sets Canon apart from Epson, though, is that the print head can be removed from the unit and replaced without any special tools. You install the print head when you unbox the unit and set it up, and only ever remove it if there's a problem -- the only downside to this is, by the time you need to replace the print head, it might be impossible to find.

So in conclusion, I would say that head-on-cartridge is good (especially for low volume printing where quality isn't paramount), but having a user replaceable print head is the best possible solution.

Comment Re:Kurt Greenbaum, you are stupid, puritanical scu (Score 1) 643

Yet Greenbaum repeatedly insisted in the comments on the site that he did not violate their privacy policy, using the (in this case) absurd notion that the IP address and the timestamp of the comment were not personally identifiable information. If that's the case, why call up the admins over at the school and hand them what little information he had, if not to unmask Pussyman?

I love how on one side, we have media companies trying to convince judges that an IP address is PII because it's convenient for them to do so -- and pointing out things like NAT are rather inconvenient to such legal arguments -- while on the other side, we have a different kind of media company trying to convince the court of public opinion that an IP address is not PII. So, which is it? Well, in this particular case it was enough of an identification that Greenbaum knew which school to contact, and giving them the timestamps of the two postings let them identify the poster. Just because the website has its own definition of what constitutes PII doesn't mean that a court will agree with their definition.

Comment Re:Earth novel? (Score 1) 314

Good book, but the summary on Wikipedia is incorrect and misleading. It turns out that the so-called micro black hole wasn't actually a black hole, but an even more exotic synthetic object. (The Wikipedia article also implies that this object was human-made, when in fact it was clearly established later in the book that it is made by someone intelligent somewhere, just not humans.) The object was exotic enough that it had some properties that a MBH does not have, allowing it to be sent over presumably long interstellar distances without evaporating along the way.

Comment Re:Earth novel? (Score 1) 314

Funny enough, David Brin's Earth (mentioned by the GP) also mentions the Tunguska event, except that what the characters first thought was a micro black hole of extraterrestrial origin was actually an exotic spacetime manifold or other construct, apparently designed by some unknown alien intelligence to wipe us out. A group of scientists found a way to nudge that object into an orbit in the Earth's mantle that would stabilize the amount of mass consumed by it, averting the dreaded prospect of the planet being consumed.

The book veers off into weirdness after that. I won't spoil it, except to say I still have ambivalent feelings about the ending even now.

Comment Re:People! Punctuation is IMPORTANT! (Score 2, Informative) 512

Actually, "Go" is the Japanese name for the game. That's a Romanization, obviously, but is considered phonetically close to the Japanese pronunciation.

Not to sound cranky, but how hard would it be to check the relevant section of the Wikipedia article? Quoting:

In Japan—where it is called go ([glyph that Slashdot won't let through]) or igo ([two more glyphs that Slashdot won't reproduce])—the game became popular at the Japanese imperial court in the 8th century, and among the general public by the 13th century.

An earlier section indicates that it's called baduk in Korean. (Not even gonna bother trying to transcribe the hangul characters.) The Western name for the game comes to us from Japan.

So yes, "Go" is the English/Western name for the game, but it was first the Japanese name for the game. The Wikipedia article claims Edward Lasker brought the game to the U.S. in 1905; he had picked it up in Germany. The Japan Go Association popularized the game in the West in the 1960s through an English language magazine called Go Review.

Anyway, among typical human beings, spoken language is primary. What it sounds like is what counts. There should be no such ridiculous expression of prejudice against a Romanized word.

Comment Re:C++ incomplete. C# windoz. Java slow elephant. (Score 1) 831

And no, "that was only added in 1995" doesn't count as a criticism since C++ was not defined as an ISO standard until 1998 and std::string has been there ever since.

And for those of us who were writing C++ code before there was an ANSI (let alone ISO) standard, how would this not be a legitimate criticism? I started writing C++ before templates were a standard part of most C++ implementations, and many C++ compilers I used were glorified ports of the AT&T cfront C++-to-C compiler.

That there were no decent standard libraries before circa 1995 is bad enough. Even well after that time, there were still C++ environments I had to write code in which still didn't support templates, or didn't have a decent string class, or were missing the many useful things in STL. I distinctly remember contacting an old professor of mine at RPI to get a working STL I could use for a project at American Express, and this was circa 1996, maybe 1997. I also remember trying to port a Windows application for IGC -- it apparently built fine on Solaris using Mainsoft's MainWin porting libraries, but the HP-UX compiler was a whole other kettle of fish that required the programmer to supply separate files to give it hints on how to instantiate templates.

Even when strings were widely available in all major C++ implementations, a lot of old hat C++ programmers were writing their own implementations or using some third party string implementation instead of using the standard. I suppose some of that is programmer inertia, and some of that is lack of trust in the "official" implementation. I think the lesson here is, "Never ship a new programming language without all the basic data types and collections taken care of."

I think a lot of the rest of what the GP has to say is bunk or suspect, but you can't just dismiss the bad experiences that a lot of developers had with C++. Many of us were forced to use it long before it was fully baked and ready. So yes, it's entirely fair to criticize a programming language if it's in wide use before a standard is finalized.

Comment Re:credit-unworthy or just greedy? (Score 1) 1259

First off, the word is usury -- it's related to the word usual, oddly enough, since they have a common Latin root.

As for the 20% credit card interest rates, this is not all that uncommon. In fact, most store cards now have 24% APR.

I have a platinum card with HSBC that originally had an interest rate just under 10%. The APR went up to almost 15% over a year ago, and now they are raising my rate again to 20%. I am not sure why, though I suspect it's because I'm carrying a higher balance now. Who isn't these days? Of course, in my case it's because I had a huge number of unexpected expenses this year, like a new water heater, but also because my cost of living has gone up but my income level is currently frozen.

Comment Re:Apple's activity is criminal here, Palm's is le (Score 4, Informative) 656

The iTunes software does treat non-Apple devices differently. It ignores them. Apple doesn't want to support other hardware with their syncing software, and aren't legally required to do so.

Actually, iTunes has built in support for a limited number of 3rd party hardware devices. Some of that is legacy support carried over from the old SoundJam app that iTunes evolved from. (I have an old Rio 500 which used SoundJam for sync, and later iTunes.)

There are also some phones other than the iPhone hat legitimately sync with iTunes, such as the Moto ROKR and SLVR. (I own a SLVR also.)

Apple may not be legally required to support other devices with iTunes, but they have in the past and they could probably be convinced to do so in the future. It might cost some money, but I'm sure an arrangement could be made.

Totally agreed that Palm is being lazy and cheap by not writing their own sync software, or paying for someone else's product.

Comment Re:Hands-free is allowed (Score 1) 364

This article is a non-story. Shortly after TFA went up and Slashdot provided the link in the summary, someone must've clued in, because a follow-up story has been posted to the same site indicating that the proposed regulation has been slapped down. The follow-up story was even linked from TFA, although the site seems to be slashdotted so the formatting is pretty whacked on both articles.

No fuss required, apparently.

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