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Comment Re:Why support proprietary systems? (Score 1) 81

For the price, I'd have gone with a cheap laptop. (I grabbed an aspire one 722 with 4gb of RAM and Windows 7 for a about $225 on Amazon a couple months ago as a quick replacement for my wife's work computer. She really seems to like it, so I haven't bothered to pick up anything better.)

A laptop gives you much more utility and it's likely easier to type on than the generally really poor BT keyboards. For schoolwork, a tablet just isn't going to cut it. Most of my wife's work related computer use involves writing documents. She was hoping to use her tablet exclusively, so we tried a few BT keyboards, and a few office suites, but couldn't find anything that wasn't frustrating for her to use.

Remember: Just because you can do something with a tool doesn't mean it's a good tool for the job. I can create documents and spreadsheets on my cell-phone, but it's a poor substitute for a real computer.

Comment I'm not surprised (Score 2) 2

If a language is simple and, consequently, easy to learn and use, it WILL be demonized.

Too many programmers are depressingly insecure. They WANT programming to be as difficult as possible -- if learning to program were as simple as it was in the 80's, they wouldn't be special. They've got a lot of their ego wrapped up in a single skill that they *know* any kid can learn in their spare time.

Let's take VB, for example. It's certainly received more that it's fair share of hate over the years. What, exactly, was wrong with it?

"It didn't have some specific feature!" - Okay, but that's true of every language..

"It forced you to write bad code!" - No, you did that all on your own.

"Beginners used it, forcing me to maintain their crap code!" - Do you know who writes bad code? Everyone. Take a look at your own work from a few years back. I guarantee that you'll find a few WTFs.

The truth is tha there wasn't really anything wrong with VB. It worked incredibly well for a broad range of common tasks. For hacking out CRUD apps, it's still unmatched. It was ridiculously easy to use, of course, which would normally be an admirable quality. In the hands of an experienced programmer, it could save countless hours of effort. So why all the hate?

The fact is that insecure programmers hate VB because it's easy to learn and use. So easy, in fact, that people who weren't programmers could use it. That's a HUGE threat to the one-skill-wonders. (They're easy to spot. They're the ones who follow every ridiculous programming fad that comes down the pike.)

If anyone can learn to write computer programs then they can no longer believe that they're above average or have "a special mind". They won't be special or interesting, they'll just be another nobody. They know that they're not smart or ambitious enough to hack math, science, or engineering. However, programming, a skill they picked-up when they were pre-teens, puts them in the same class as those other professionals in the eyes of friends, family, and the lay-public. It makes them feel important.

They don't want to face the truth. That's why they vigorously fight against any tool that comes along that could possibly threaten their delusion.

That's why programming isn't getting easier. I'd argue that it's actually become more difficult. Not because we're doing more complicated things -- this is especially the average developer writing business software. It's become more complicated because developers WANT their tools to become more complex. They need to maintain that priesthood.

Comment Re:Pull Your Head Out of Your Ass (Score 3, Insightful) 542

Umm, no. By that definition, you are an agnostic.

Umm, no. That's not what those words mean.

Atheism is a belief statement. To be atheist means that you lack a belief in any god or gods.

Agnosticism is a knowledge statement. To be agnostic, in this context, means that you don't know if any god or gods exist.

You can be an atheist (lacking belief) and also be agnostic (lacking knowledge). An agnostic atheist would not believe in any gods, but also would not claim to know that no gods exist. A gnostic atheist both lacks the belief and claims knowledge that no gods exist.

I am also an agnostic because I realize you can't *prove* there is no god.

You make the exact same mistake the parent makes: Proof or the ability to prove need not enter in to it at all. We're dealing with "that" not "why", after all.

Comment Re:Pull Your Head Out of Your Ass (Score 1) 542

I'm sure atheists would prefer to debate with logical, educated religious people, but unfortunately they don't exist...

Really? I can think of quite a few. From Alfred North Whitehead to John Shelby Spong. In fact, you'll find religious people in virtually every branch of science from the social sciences to physical sciences.

Even among the Catholics, you'll find that many priests, in addition to the normal graduate-level education requirements, often also hold secular masters or doctoral degrees.

In short, being religious isn't a reflection on a persons education or on their ability to think logically or rationally. Equally, being an Atheist says absolutely nothing about a persons education, intelligence, or ability to thing logically or rationally. It's not too difficult to find a below-average atheist -- even among high-profile atheists. Matt Dillahunty is a great example of high-profile yet disturbingly below-average atheist.

You're also a great example of an atheist who seems to lack basic critical thinking skills.

Comment Re:Pull Your Head Out of Your Ass (Score 0) 542

Just ignore them. The average internet Atheist has but about as much (and often less) thought in to their own beliefs as the average religious nut.

The science cheerleaders are the worst. They often lack even a very basic understanding of science, leading them to say some astonishingly absurd things! Don't bother trying to correct them, as the other scientifically illiterate will jump to their defense by posting other (often contradictory) nonsense.

PHP

Submission + - PHPDocX 3.1: more text and image insertion features in Word documents generated

Laura2mdc writes: "PHPDocX’s development team just announced in their blog the release of version 3.1 of this PHP library for automated generation of reports in .docx format online from a web server. This latest release’s changes are aimed to expand the image and text insertion possibilities in Word documents generated with the library. PHPDocX already allowed programmers to generate Word documents from scratch importing data from sources such as databases, customize them with header, footers and export resulting docs into PDF, HTML and other formats. Besides PRO versions with advanced features, there is a fully functional LGPL version available at http:www.phpdocx.com/download"

Submission + - Fox News: US Solar Energy Investment Less than Germany because US has Less Sun (slate.com)

Andy Prough writes: Apparently those wise folks at Fox have figured out America's reluctance to invest as much money in solar energy as Germany — the Germans simply have more sun! Well, as Will Oremus from Slate points out, according to the US Dept. of Energy's Solar Resource map comparison of the US and Germany, nothing could be farther from the truth — Germany receives as much sunlight as the least lit US state — Alaska.

Submission + - Cluster of 35 Ancient Pyramids and Graves Discovered in Sudan

An anonymous reader writes: About 2,000 years ago, a kingdom named Kush flourished in what is now known as Sudan. Sharing a border with Egypt, the people of Kush were highly influenced by the other civilization. The result was that they built pyramids: lots of them. At one particular site known as Sedeinga, pyramid building continued for centuries. Now archaeologists have unearthed at least 35 of these small pyramids along with graves.

Submission + - Radical new Space drive (wired.co.uk) 2

Noctis-Kaban writes: Scientists in China have built and tested a radical new space drive. Although the thrust it produces may not be enough to lift your mobile phone, it looks like it could radically change the satellite industry. Satellites are just the start: with superconducting components, this technology could generate the thrust to drive everything from deep space probes to flying cars. And it all started with a British engineer whose invention was ignored and ridiculed in his home country.

Comment Re:wtf (Score 1) 270

Yeah, a few top developers are making a killing. It's everyone else that gets screwed!

Again, the numbers are in -- if you want to make money selling apps, iOS is absolutely not the place for you!

I know, you absolutely hate the truth. Get over it. The FACTS are in, and they are NOT in your favor!

Enjoy your outdated UI and clunky half-assed gesture suite. I hope they bring you comfort as the world moves on without you.

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