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Comment Re:EMACS 2.0 (Score 1) 121

FWIW, it's using 5.7Mb on my computer at the moment

I find that a bit hard to believe. I've just launched it and not even given it input focus. Atom is using 55MB (33.1MB private), and there are three Atom Helper processes, each consuming 57.9MB, 34.4MB, and 21.4MB (56.2MB, 20.6MB and 10.4MB private) each. So that's a total of over 100MB for a text editor with one window, one tab, and no files open.

Comment Re:Emacs (Score 1) 121

Like EMACS, it comes with a reasonable vim mode, although not a very well tested one (o creates two new lines and switches to insert mode, rather than one). The rest of the (non-vim) key bindings are a bit odd (e.g. command-N creates a new tab, not a new window), but it seems useable.

The thing currently that makes it worse than Vim is the lack of libclang integration for autocomplete. I don't know how easy it is to write add-ons that link to a C library (not very, I'd imagine) and without that the autocompletion will suck for [Objective-]C[++].

Comment Re:100 year language (Score 4, Informative) 121

As for Dart, it's really just JS rebranded under Google afaik.

The only part of this that's correct is the Google part. Dart is StrongTalk with curly braces. The object model, type system, and core functionality are exactly like StrongTalk, the lead developer on both projects is the same, and the VM is based on the StrongTalk VM (open sourced under a BSD license by Sun).

Comment Re:New Perspective (Score 1) 457

They were bad. The deleted scenes from Episode II actually make it a much better film - basically, anything establishing characters was deleted. The film could have easily lost some of the gratuitous action sequences (e.g. most of the factory-with-flying-R2D2 scene) and kept the plot and character development if length was such a concern.

Comment Re:Why have an exhaust port at all? (Score 3, Insightful) 457

We're not just in science fiction land, but in movie fiction land where things don't have to make sense, but...

In space, one of the most difficult things to do is dissipate heat. You can radiate, but you can't convect or conduct heat away from you. For a practical demonstration, get a vacuum flask, fill it with boiling water, put it in the freezer and see how long it takes to cool down.

The Death Star has a massive laser-of-doom weapon, which almost certainly produces a huge amount of waste heat. Dumping that heat is likely to be a priority, because you want the planet you're shooting at to be destroyed, not you. Being able to vent coolant in large amounts quickly from the middle of the station is probably very important.

Comment Re:Car driver ethics: What do I hit? (Score 1) 800

The whole assumption that we should be discussing this for autonomous cars is a bit bizarre. There are millions and millions of cars driven by people, so we should discuss for them first.

As the summary says, you typically don't have time as a human to make a conscious rational decision about what to hit in a collision. In contrast, an autonomous car can do a lot of processing in a tenth of a second.

And the article is a bit stupid because it forgets a few things: One, a crash with a bigger car is worse _for me_

Not necessarily. A larger car can have bigger crumple zones. If its crumple zones are twice the size of the small car, then the acceleration that you'll experience in the collision is a lot less and so there's a greater chance everyone will survive (assuming that the relative impact speeds will be the same).

Second, it's unlikely that two other drivers made mistakes simultaneously, so it would make a lot more sense to crash into the car whose driver caused the problem

That contradicts your first point. Are you using your car as a weapon to punish the guilty driver, or are you using it as a means of ensuring your survival? It's quite likely that it would be better to swerve into a car travelling in the same direction as you that hasn't made any errors to avoid hitting an oncoming vehicle that is doing something stupid (like being on the wrong side of the road). The relative velocity of the impact will be considerably less.

Comment Re:To the URLbar! (Score 1) 92

Privacy issues aside, it's also a UI disaster. Previously, I could switch from URL mode to search mode by hitting tab. It became a reflex - create new tab, focus is in URL bar, hit tab, type search term. It took several months to unlearn that bit of muscle memory. And now, rather than a key press that takes a fraction of a second, I have to rely on some flakey NLP code to determine whether I want a search or a URL. I significant amount of the time, it decides that my search term is actually something that wants to be autocompleted to a previous URL that I've visited, so I end up going to a random site. Or it decides that a search term with a dot in it (try searching for command.com) is a domain name, doesn't find it, and then searches a load of similar things and delivers me to a different random page. I've now got into the habit of hitting space at the end of every search, so it now uses exactly the same amount of key strokes for me as the old design in the best case and is less reliable.

Comment Re:Recruiting policy (Score 1) 589

How long you get support for depends on how much you're willing to pay and what you actually want. Most companies don't want 'no upgrades ever', they want:
  • Minimal UI changes that disrupt work
  • No upgrades that break their in-house software
  • Hardware that works
  • No unpatched security holes
    • The first is a problem for companies like MS, because they justify selling you the new version largely based on the UI changes: that's what consumers see. It's not a problem for a company that is being paid for support, rather than a product, because the lack-of-change is a feature in what they're selling you.

      For a corporate desktop, you don't need all of a typical distribution's packages and there are lots of companies that will happily back-port security fixes to older versions of a few hundred packages, if you want them. And if all that you're doing when you upgrade is installing back-ported security fixes then the updates won't break in-house software unless they rely on unsafe behaviour.

      The final requirement, working hardware, can be addressed by either only buying hardware that's certified by whoever is doing your software support, or by paying them to write or back-port drivers to whatever kernel you're running.

      With a Microsoft solution, you get UI changes whenever Microsoft rolls out a new version. You get hardware that works, as long as you're on the latest version of the OS. You get big upgrade headaches for your in-house software whenever you move to a new OS version (or a new Office version if you've written a load of VBA). And you get security updates right up until they decide that they want to EOL the software that you're on. Sometimes, they'll let you pay vast amounts to be allowed to have one year of security updates past the EOL date. Often, it's a hard cut-off date.

Comment Re:True Costs (Score 2, Informative) 589

If I can not use Libre Office or Open Office (or anything else) to edit Word-generated documents and return them without formatting disasters, I cannot use anything else than MS Office products. End of story.

You can only guarantee this with MS Office if you both have the same version of Office and you both have the same printer drivers installed, but MS marketing has been very good at convincing people to ignore this...

Comment Re:Blame Hollywood (Score 1) 477

There are two reasons to object to DRM. One is ideological, the other is pragmatic. For most people, streaming DRM doesn't affect them because they run Windows or Android and it just works when they want it to. For BluRay, the DRM can still bite you even if you're using a fairly conventional setup, so there's a lot more objection. The same happens with Steam: lots of people are happy to accept its DRM because it happens to work fine for them today.

Comment Re:Well duh (Score 1) 477

And most of that has negative value to the consumer. The worst offenders in the DVD world are Cheerful Scout, a company that is paid a lot of money to make detailed menus for DVDs that are visually impressive and completely unusable. I wish they'd put their logo on the outside of the box so I'd know not to buy them. I have never once put in a DVD with the goal of exploring the menu system. I put in a DVD because I want to watch the movie / TV show that is on it and I want to do this as quickly and easily as possible. Somehow, the studios don't get this and insist that what I really want to do is navigate a maze to get there. And then they wonder why people torrent...

I have a couple of DVDs designed by people who understand this. You put them in and they immediately start playing the movie. If you want to get at the menu, you hit the menu button. If you don't, you never need to know it's there.

Comment Re:Yes, they are great for movies you really like (Score 1) 477

The problem is that you get into diminishing returns. DVD is definitely better than VHS, but if the movie is engrossing then you rarely notice how crappy VHS looks on a smallish screen. Even SD iPlayer streams are watchable on a projector, although you do notice pixelation at times. The thing that killed VHS wasn't really the picture quality though, it was the convenience. DVDs are smaller to store, can be played on laptops and portable players as well as big TVs, don't need rewinding, don't get tangled in the machine, and so on. BD is less convenient. Most computers still don't have BD drives, they take ages to load, they're more effort if you want to rip them to play on a tablet, and so on. Their only advantage is the quality and, unlike DVD vs VHS, they're a step backwards in almost every other regard, which makes them less of an obvious upgrade.

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