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Comment Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (Score 1) 732

Rewards programs. I get thousands of dollars a year in rewards. I put /everything/ on my credit card. Only thing I don't is my mortgage and that's just because I can't. I pay it off every month. Companies that are going to make this less advantageous for me are going to get less of my business.

I'll be dancing in streets when the day dawns that your rewards program is entirely financed out of a Rewards Program Rebate Surcharge, which not a damn person subsidizes who elects to pay by other methods.

How much of the VISA fees built into existing prices do you think you actually receive in rewards compensation?

Play lotteries much?

Comment Re:His Comment (Score 2) 399

One might suggest that every good programmer, if they spend enough time improving, eventually moves toward a more functional programming style.

Yeah, functional programming was all the rage in 640K with no on-chip cache hierarchy.

Good grief, functional programming predates the modern OOP idiom. John Backus's FP dates to 1977. I was already proficient in APL which made reading his papers a fairly easy exercise. All this before C++ first appeared in 1983. I wrote all my code for the rest of the decade in C with C++ influences (a manually coded object as the first function parameter for most functions). Hardly ever used an FP technique. We used to story-board memory flow like an underfunded Hollywood picture. We didn't code in Howard Hughes FP movie-making style a la Hell's Angels where he had a stupidly large number of cameras covering the arial stunt-work, IIRC from The Aviator special features chitchat.

What movie maker ever turns down twelve camera coverage if you get it for free? Unfortunately, in 640K there are no free camera angles. You've probably borrowed your camera from some studio over the weekend like Ed Wood might have done, hoping they won't miss it over the weekend. One develops habits that work and continue using them as the world changes around you. Some directors acquired a knack of working successfully with one camera, back when film was expensive. It's not such a bad thing.

Challenge of the day: Efficiently implement Knuth's Dancing Links algorithm in a pure functional idiom.

One coding technique I like in C/C++ is to reverse the logic of the if predicate so that the less typical condition comes first, often with just a bare statement (no braces) to deal with it, followed by an else clause with braces, that is usually longer, and sometimes quite long.

The following looks annoying vertical looking to me.

if (cond1) {// main case
    if (cond2) { // main case
        ; // lots of stuff
    }
    else {
        ; // one statment
    }
}
else {
    ; // one statement
}

Can you really get into trouble leaving out some braces with the inverted structure as follows?

if (!cond1) // rare case
    ; // one statment
else {
    if (!cond2) // rare case
        ; // one statement
    else {
    ; // lots of stuff
    }
}

These discussions of style usually just piss me off. Often you get some relatively profient coder blind to his own working methods (to say nothing of the working habits of others) making general observations that are nowhere near as general as they first appear.

Comment Re:it's not 0-day (Score 1) 265

Until they have the same standards as a mechanical, aerospace, chemical, etc engineers they are not really engineers.

It's this exact mentality that makes those other kinds of engineers rather poor software developers.

I'd be quite happy to see the STEM sphere partitioned into engineers, with engineering standards (slow-moving, narrow specifications and slow, expensive implementation) and elite non-engineers (as yet unnamed) who are flexible, change focused, and wise enough about systems to be mostly right, most of the time.

There's a special place in hell reserved for people who think we could suffice with only the former and none of the latter.

In the military, the divide falls in large measure somewhere between procurement (top heavy in formal engineering) and supply chain management.

How U.S. Army spent $5BILLION on 'failed' pixel camouflage... because they 'wanted to look cooler than Marines'

While soldiers were issued with desert camouflage uniforms, their darker equipment - including flak jackets - stood out against the light-coloured clothing, making troops dangerously conspicuous.

Five teams of hard engineers, five incompatible colour schemes. This is roughly where the software engineering usually begins in a sufficiently large project.

Comment Re:I don't understand this world (Score 1) 370

More Details About 1959 Bel Air Crash Test

Note the absence of an explicit statement that the condition as crashed matched the condition as procured.

There's a reason the video ends without the cars being pulled apart for a look inside the engine and driver compartments. The reason is: Trust us and don't think too much.

Comment Re:Video and first thoughts. (Score 1) 248

If this is the crux of their value proposition, they are fucked.

Is this an exact quote from your post ten years ago about Linux on the desktop? Just wondering. You seem to have an amazing level of confidence that the openness argument was in no way essential to whatever (non desktop) success Linux might have enjoyed in the meanwhile.

So basically, openness is more like steak and less like sizzle and people who buy on sizzle are a little slow on thinking things through. OMG who knew?

Comment Re:A day late and a dollar short (Score 1) 105

Unfortunately, IT'S NOT PRESCOTT!!!(TM) was the high point in the AMD story arc. They bought themselves some additional time and good will being less pederastic toward binary blobs than the Green Goblin.

Despite this, I've also grown weary of the difference between the vision AMD proclaims and the reality in the channel six months later.

Comment hobby fox (Score 1) 149

A fox joins the lion and donkey in hunting. When the donkey divides their catch into three equal portions, the angry lion kills the donkey and eats him. Then the fox put everything into one pile, leaving just a tiny bit for herself, and told the lion to choose. When the lion asked her how she learned to share things this way, the fox replied, "From the donkey(slashcode fuckup)s misfortune."

I'd rather have a foxhole hobby than be foxy humble.

Comment travel with a purpose (Score 1) 342

Partly for environmental reasons, I've decided not to lust after exotic vacations in far-away places. This was never viable for a global middle class.

It would make far more sense to facilitate working couples to be able to transplant themselves to a far-away country for a year or so to gain the experience of living and working with foreign cultures.

There is so much friction and chance in the job market that only the most intrepid couples are willing to take the jump. God help you if either half is a union employee. A year somewhere else could knock you right off the seniority escalator of shuffling your feet unadventurously. Seriously, do union executives get kickbacks from the airline and travel industry? They ought to.

Comment cancel geek pride day (Score 1) 540

Gordon Moore? Gordon Brown? Gordon Ramsey? Gordon the Green Engine? Any chance of a clue for those of us who don't mix in Paul's social circles?

This is so pathetic, and worse, it's becoming the norm in story submissions. Facts by the quarter teaspoon. The only thing keeping me here is the death of the paragraph in the post-Twitter apocalypse.

There was a story by a sad soul concluding that Microsoft Word might actually be better for his purposes than Google Docs or Libre Office.

Slashdot is the new Microsoft Word. Tolerable enough to plug our noses and viewpoints, but no cause for pride.

Comment Re:Please ask google and apple to support webgl (Score 2) 83

The whole reason we have slashdot is that people don't categorize through the same myopic self-interest. We all have a different myopic self-interest.

I tried to look at the map but it said android and ios is not supported? Ummm... I don't think these guys are very bright if they're creating new web content that doesn't support 500+ million devices out there, and putting a message asking users to ask Google and Apple to support some obscure webgl thing furthers my belief that these guys are morons.

Nokia N900 -- WebGL is available in the stock microB browser from the PR1.2 firmware update onwards.

BlackBerry PlayBook -- WebGL is available via WebWorks and browser in PlayBook OS 2.0

Firefox for mobile -- WebGL is available for Android devices in unstable builds since early 2011.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia range of Android smartphones have had WebGL capabilities following a firmware upgrade.

Opera Mobile 12 final supports WebGL (on Android only).

The very first thing I'm going to look for is cognitive cleft of can't/won't. It'll be somewhere near penis size, which should be hard to miss if they included in their leader reels any Bourne or Bond or Bay.

The airlines and credit card companies are busy trying to brainwash the masses that Team Cool is first in line for every feature attraction. After soaking this up, it must come as a huge and unwelcome surprise to find Team Clue in the express lane when the feature attraction is momentous enough to separate the men from the boys.

The second thing I'm going to look for is the locus of trolls who culminate with a car metaphor. It'll be somewhere right beside superior glow.

Comment water refined into fuel (Score 1) 200

Nice. Just add fuel energy ... and you've got fuel! Brought to you by the emission-free hydrogen car. We'll just squeeze an extra column into the periodic table between manganese and iron. Natrium: 25.5 protons. Chemical properties: Does not pollute. Application: Leak-proof hydrogen piping. Abundance: Just rub your fingers.

It's a little closer to sanity to describe hydrolysis as fueling water into a self-actualizing propellant.

Of course, lobbing iron ingots out of a rail gun achieves the same end, but that's not energy efficient for the momentum transfer achieved if the ingots eject at a high velocity (though it does conserve your ejectulate reserves).

More efficient to build the rail gun into the giant rock and lob the spacecraft with a giant rail gun. I doubt hydrolized water is the best available battery chemistry, though perhaps platinum is dirt cheap.

There must be some clever way to time the launch schedule to partially cancel out the drift term transferred to giant rock.

Comment consistency as a gridlock virtue (Score 1) 259

They never should have distributed apps together with the core frameworks ...

You should have posted this comment in response to the fellow who professes not to be an Apple fanboy, but who does like the way they have managed to make things consistent. Consistency is a gridlock virtue. Some large gorilla at the top of the food chain guesses right often enough to successfully don the "father knows best hat" while receiving adulation rather than contempt from the sharp-thinking in-crowd.

Consistency is good for users who find themselves at the sweet spot of the golden profile, not so good for ecosystems or freedom.

I've been reading Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter. He argues that there's never been a natural language in history anywhere close to as internally consistent as grammar nazis would have us believe. Why shouldn't we split an infinitive in English? Because in Latin, the infinitive is a single word.

Here's what I would accept as a certification credential for father consistency, before allowing him to try his hand at desktop Unity: reform the French language so that all feminine things are feminine and all masculine things are masculine, so that no student of the French language ever again needs consult a dictionary to determine which gender applies.

I won't settle for mere consistency, I demand universal consistency. If not that, giving me the effing options to tweak myself, consistent or not. It would be nice if the default settings are minimally self-consistent as viewed by the elected torch-bearer of groupthink. It won't be my consistency, but any consistency is better than no consistency ... as a starting point.

Comment Mao's universal dress code (Score 1) 430

There have many suppositions expressed here that I don't entirely buy. However, interpersonal dynamics can quickly become so rancorous that it's simpler to comply to Mao's dress code than stand apart as an artisan.

The most important aspect of code is the thought process involving in convincing yourself that the code is correct. It hardly matters a whit is the person reading the code reads the code but fails to read the argument embedded in the subtext within the presentation about why the code actually works.

C++ is a multiparadigmatic language. Some people hate that. Nevertheless, it can be heavily object oriented in one place, and completely generic in another. I don't find myself that any single formatting standard best emphasizes what matters to code correctness across these styles. Scope in generic code is mainly lexical. Scope in algorithms is mainly flow control. Should one automatically format the braces in the same way? Isn't that kind of like insisting that every knife has the same grip? You know, the standard rubber handle that everyone expects to feel the same way, no matter if it's a sushi knife or a steak knife or a bowie knife?

A more severe coding standard might go all the way to specifying that every knife is sharpened with the same bevel (either double or single sided; if single sided, either left or right handed) and to the same bevel angle. Steal is steal, ya know. German, Japanese. WTF, who cares? Ditch all the bread knives. Those are just weird.

I'd desperately like to see a study into whether rigid consistency leads to certain classes of bugs, because all eyeballs nod in agreement over the dress code. It's certainly true that people working on the code base who get used to the style will have a nice comfortable feeling. That could have good effects on code quality. But it could certainly also have bad effects that are harder to notice. Heaven forbid anyone rains on the cozy picnic with actual data.

Utopian for Beginners

This article is interesting but belongs to the TL;IRRO category (too long, I'd rather remain oblivious).

Ithkuil has two seemingly incompatible ambitions: to be maximally precise but also maximally concise, capable of capturing nearly every thought that a human being could have while doing so in as few sounds as possible.

Why don't we regiment thought, too? The ideas expressed in code would be so much more transparent if we all though about the world in the same categories.

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