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Comment Re:true, but partially because govt pays 10X too m (Score 1) 143

The US Government doesn't want, and doesn't buy the item that Walmart sells.

The problem is, sometimes they do. There are some situations where you need something with exactly known parts and quality that can be replaced with an identical one in ten years (guaranteed by the vendor) if required. There are some situations where you need something that works now and if you have to throw it away in 3 years, that's fine because your next upgrade cycle is in two years anyway. The government doesn't differentiate these in the procurement rules, so even when all you want is a generic white-box PC for a secretary's desk that will only ever run MS Word and a web browser for the intranet, you still go through almost the same procurement process as for parts for a stealth fighter and end up buying a machine from Dell that is guaranteed to have specific parts, at an increase in price that's more than just buying two or three identical machines from another vendor (or even from Dell's consumer lines) and throwing them away when they break.

Comment Re:Buggy whips (Score 1) 417

I don't think it's quite that clear cut. When I worked as a consultant (I still do sometimes, but I'm mostly an academic these days), I wasn't paid except when I was doing work for my customers. Uber fills the same role for drivers as a recruitment agency does for consultants: they are not employing you, they're putting you in contact with customers in exchange for a cut of your fee. In the case of Uber, they are also handling the QA and payment processing.

In your shop analogy, it's more akin to a shop allowing non-employees to get a commission for sales. The shop wouldn't put them on the payroll, but would pay them a percentage for everything that they sold. This isn't common for shops, but happens in a lot of other sales. I only see a problem with it if the people working this way have a particularly bad deal and the employer has a sufficiently strong bargaining position that they can't get anything better.

Comment Re:Why have an exhaust port at all? (Score 1) 457

How quickly do you think they'd vent the coolant? Hopefully most of the energy for the superweapon goes to the target, so it's not having to dissipate all of it, but it does have to lose the waste heat. You'd probably do this by using a compressed gas cooled to near absolute zero and then allowing it superheat, then exposing it to a vacuum, where the pressure differential would accelerate it away at very high speeds. You wouldn't need a very wide hole if you're venting plasma at a very high speed, you'd just need a lot of thermal shielding...

Comment Re:Requirements (Score 1) 121

split second loading, saving, editing and searching of large text files

Depends on the use. I'm increasingly using binary formats for things like CPU streamtraces, which can grow very quickly into the hundreds of MBs, and not using a text editor for exploring them. Source files tend to be a few KB, tens of KB if they're in dire need of refactoring, hundreds of KB if they're machine generated (and therefore rarely - but occasionally - hand-edited). As such, I don't mind my text editor having a size limitation too much. It does mean that I can't use it for everything, but most of what I edit is source code of one form or another (including LaTeX).

can log into any host via SSH and just use it

I do this a lot, but I really dislike the fact that I do it. SSH for text editing is an ugly hack to work around the fact that we still can't do file sharing well. I'd much prefer to use sshfs for the editing and only use SSH when I want to build / run code remotely. If Atom came with a nice file browser for remote files, I can imagine changing my workflow.

syntax highlighting and smart indenting

Definitely important. Vim can only do somewhat-smart indenting. Its APIs don't allow you to distinguish between indenting for semantic blocks and indenting for alignment. I like to format my code so that the reader can adjust the tab size without breaking the formatting, so, for example:

if (someLongCondition() &&

(Slashcode's 'code' tag seems to eat spaces and tabs and expand nbsp, so I've no idea how to actually do the indenting) Both lines would start with one tab (or more, depending on the current indent level), the second line would then have 4 spaces. The s and the a line up whatever tab width you want to view the code with. I generally prefer 4, lots of people prefer 8, and some prefer 2 and so this allows people to set whatever they want.

Vim's integration with clang for autocompletion is also somewhat clunky. OS X has nice autocompletion APIs in the text view, but I don't know how well these are exposed to JavaScript. It's likely to be a lot easier to add nice autocomplete support to Atom than to Vim though.

Comment Re:This makes sense (Score 1) 340

Ads are only valuable if someone is willing to pay for them, and people are only willing to pay for them if they think someone is going to see them and be influenced by them. If advertisers know that no one watches channel X then it's hard to make them pay for ad time on it, even if they know that a few million people could potentially watch it.

Comment Re:I can't wait! (Score 2) 71

That sounded odd to me too. MSR is really great at making things better, and MS is really good at completely ignoring everything MSR does when it comes to actually shipping products. It's fairly common to see research from MSR show up in open source projects years before MS notices it and incorporates it into a product. Apparently they've been trying to improve this for the last few years, but it's quite difficult to get researchers involved in technology transfer to the rest of the organisation without damaging their ability to do independent blue-sky research. They have had a few successes (F# came from MSR and seems to be gaining popularity), but not a huge number.

Comment Re:Is this the team that... (Score 4, Informative) 71

How on earth did this get moderated insightful? MSR is not the Microsoft UI group, it is a well respected research organisation. If you actually want to know what they're working on, pick up the proceedings of pretty much any top tier computer science conference and you'll see a couple of papers from them.

Comment Re:Blame Hollywood (Score 1) 477

There have been a few cases where new BluRay disks have come with new DRM that has broken software players. Sure, you only need to do a software update, but that's annoying if the reason you're using the software player is that you want to watch some films on your laptop while you're travelling and away from the Internet. Apparently the very long load times are still an issue on a lot of players.

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).

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