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Comment Re:Just the mobile version (Score 4, Funny) 174

Ballmer? That's not what I heard. According to inside sources, Billy Gates secretly adopted Torvalds. (How do you think he got into this country so easily?) Gates needs a someone with real geek cred to take over as Chairman when he fully retires. He has been grooming Torvalds for this role outside the MS spotlight. Torvalds stands to inherit Gates' fortune and company. His constant criticism of the company is due to him worrying about the shape it will be in when he is finally allowed to take over. Anyone at MSFT that wants a job when that happens better heed his warnings.

Comment Re:Where's the profit incentive? (Score 5, Insightful) 128

Weather isn't a terribly profitable industry, unless you're the ONLY one to own it.

The tactic is to create a loss leader. Drive the competition out of the market. Then reap the rewards of having a monopoly on a necessary product. Bonus points for having the government help you do it.

All those weather maps that you get for free because the government funds that satellites? The cloud maps that are shown on TV, your WeatherBug app, etc? Not only is the government going to pay, but they are not going to be allowed to freely redistribute. Everyone now pays multiple times for the same thing that we all paid for together. They are going to collect fees from The Weather Channel, CNN, every TV channel in the world (if they still want to report on US weather), each pay an additional fee. TINSTAAFL.

When it comes time to re-license the data, when the US has no more weather satellites, the USAF, USN, USCG, US Army, NOAA, NCAR, NWS, USDA, etc. will each have to license the weather data independently. Stock holders will rejoice. And the taxpayer gets fleeced again.

Government

Submission + - petition to require congressmen and senators to wear logos of sponsors (boingboing.net) 1

arnodf writes: Since most politicians' campaigns are largely funded by wealthy companies and individuals, it would give voters a better sense of who the candidate they are voting for is actually representing if the company's logo, or individual's name, was prominently displayed upon the candidate's clothing at all public appearances and campaign events. Once elected, the candidate would be required to continue to wear those "sponsor's" names during all official duties and visits to constituents. The size of a logo or name would vary with the size of a donation. For example, a $1 million dollar contribution would warrant a patch of about 4" by 8" on the chest, while a free meal from a lobbyist would be represented by a quarter-sized button. Individual donations under $1000 are exempt.

Link to we-the-people petition, 55000 signatures still needed.

Comment Re:Absolutely fantastic! (Score 1) 96

The primary reason to use iostreams is polymorphism -- something stdio does not support. And if you find iostreams slow, it is likely because you have not explored it much beyond cin/cout. Providing a reasonably sized buffer puts it on par with stdio performance. It is certainly not without it's faults. But with the Boost Format library, formatting no longer completely sucks. At least with iostreams I don't see random core dumps when someone changes a variable type and forgets to change the corresponding format character. The main reason to shun stdio is that it is a constant source of buffer overflows and stack-smashing attacks. It requires way too much effort to use securely. A couple innocent maintenance changes years after the original code was written can results in a remote exploit. No thanks.

Comment Re:Absolutely fantastic! (Score 3, Insightful) 96

Here's hoping that arrays and pointers end up near the end of the book. I've seen more CS students completely hosed by profs teaching pointers, char[] and other arrays in Chapter 1, along with having them design linked lists, bubble sorts and such in their first few weeks of learning to program and their intro to C++. Teach <iostream>, <string>, <vector>, <map>, <algorithm>, etc. While doing that, teach about control structures: if, while, for, switch, and so on. Teach exceptions from the start. Then teach (properly) OO and inheritance. Drill the Liskov substitution principle into their heads when doing this. Explain about static vs. dynamic polymorphism. Then teach about pointers, arrays, data structures and algorithms. Start at the high-level and then drill down to the important stuff. Make sure that they see how fast and efficient <algorithm> is and ensure that they compare their algorithmic efficiency to what is in the standard library. I don't want to find another bubble sort or linked list implementation in production C++ code ever again.

If you want an indication of the sad state that C++ education is in, hang out on a C++ beginner forum for a while. Many schools are still teaching using pre-C++98 tools -- using Borland compilers from the early '90s. Why do that when there are really good, modern, free C++ compilers available?

DRM

Is It Time To Enforce a Gamers' Bill of Rights? 469

adeelarshad82 writes "The SimCity launch debacle is only the latest in an increasingly frustrating string of affronts to gamers' rights as customers. Before SimCity, we had Ubisoft's always-on DRM (that the company only ended quietly after massive outcry from gamers). We had the forced online and similarly unplayable launch of Diablo III. We had games like Asura's Wrath and Final Fantasy: All the Bravest that required you to pay more money just to complete them after you purchase them. And let us never forget the utter infamy of StarForce, SecuROM, and Sony's copy protection, which installed rootkits on computers without users' knowledge. As one recently published article argues, maybe it's time for gamers to demand adoption of a Bill of Rights."

Comment Re:most salt is not real salt anyway (Score 1) 308

I was not being a smart-ass. Google "aluminum lubricant obesity". Nothing of value is returned. I know about BPA. It is not used as a lubricant in "machines that make aluminum soda cans" [sic]. There is no way to for anyone to know just how confused you are and the severity of the misinformation you are spreading without some sort of citation. Now we know.

Comment Re:schadenfreude (Score 1) 353

What is the purpose of national borders if not to protect a nation's citizenry and economy? It seems the groups lobbying for lowering trade and immigration restrictions are those that operate above the level of national boundaries. These organizations have no national allegiance. Their goals are not necessarily in the best long-term interest of the nation. The long-term interests of the nation are not a factor for them.

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