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Comment Re:The problem: the event-driven model (Score 3, Interesting) 631

Most languages still handle concurrency very badly. C and C++ are clueless about concurrency. Java and C# know a little about it. Erlang and Go take it more seriously, but are intended for server-side processing. So GUI programmers don't get much help from the language.

In particular, in C and C++, there's locking, but there's no way within the language to even talk about which locks protect which data. Thus, concurrency can't be analyzed automatically. This has become a huge mess in C/C++, as more attributes ("mutable", "volatile", per-thread storage, etc.) have been bolted on to give some hints to the compiler. There's still race condition trouble between compilers and CPUs with long look-ahead and programs with heavy concurrency.

We need better hard-compiled languages that don't punt on concurrency issues. C++ could potentially have been fixed, but the C++ committee is in denial about the problem; they're still in template la-la land, adding features few need and fewer will use correctly, rather than trying to do something about reliability issues. C# is only slightly better; Microsoft Research did some work on "Polyphonic C#", but nobody seems to use that. Yes, there are lots of obscure academic languages that address concurrency. Few are used in the real world.

Ada 2005's task model is a real world, production quality approach to include concurrency in a hard-compiled language. Ada isn't exactly known for its GUI libraries (there is GtkAda), but it could be used as a foundation for an improved concurrent GUI paradigm.

This book covers the subject quite well.

Comment Re:!sales (Score 1) 111

Kindle books are almost always cheaper than the new print equivalent (used print books are cheaper).

There are many good books available on Kindle offered for free on a promotional basis. Usually these books are the first in a series. I grabbed a copy of Manifold: Time for free during a promotion and ended up buying the other two books in the series, Manifold: Space and Manifold: Origin for $6.99 each.

There are also sample chapters available for most books so you can read the book before deciding to purchase or not.


Submission + - Flight Of The Navigator: When CGI was HARD! (

An anonymous reader writes: Jeff Kleiser brought cinema its first photo-real, reflection-mapped CGI in 1986. A full five years before James Cameron's apparently ground-breaking 'metallic' visual effects in Terminator 2, Kleiser was trying to make a silver spaceship out of pixels for Walt Disney's Flight Of The Navigator.

Kleiser tells Den Of Geek just how hard it was to render CGI back when the 'jumping lamp' seemed like a landmark:

"To render the spaceship and get it onto film (along with a matte for the optical printing department), they had their own rendering software running on a prototype supercomputer called the Foonly F-1, which had formerly been used by Information International, Inc to drive their film recorders. The Foonly had very little disk space, so we had to render on the fly and send the data directly to the film recorder as it was being computed. That meant we had no way of reshooting a scene other than re-rendering it from scratch each time..."


Submission + - Linux Vendor Pays Off Microsoft

An anonymous reader writes: A vendor of Linux-based networking products has "settled" patent claims by Microsoft, Infoweek reports. Melco Group, which markets the Buffalo brand NAS devices and routers, will pay an undisclosed fee to Redmond. In return (reading between the lines), Microsoft won't sue Melco or its customers for using Linux code that supposedly contains Microsft IP. The problem, of course, is that Microsoft won't publicly state which parts of Linux allegedly infringe its patents. With vendors like Melco apparently willing to settle, Microsoft is undoubtedly motivated to chase down other so-called "offenders." A while back, Steve Ballmer said the company was even ready to go after Red Hat users.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Apple Asks Microsoft to Stop New Ad Campaign (

Hyppy writes: Microsoft COO Kevin Turner has received multiple correspondences from Apple requesting that Microsoft cease their new ad campaign. From the article: "Turner said Apple's legal eagles tried to depict the ads as inaccurate. 'Hey, you need to stop running those ads, we lowered our prices,' Turner quoted Apple's attorneys as saying. 'They took like $100 off or something,' said Turner. 'It was the single greatest phone call in history that I've ever taken in business.'"

Submission + - 32 Reasons Why Geeks are Severly Underpaid

GeekinOz writes: "IT vs. Sales in the salary earning stakes.
Why are geeks losing out? Here's our in-depth answer:
32 Reasons Nearly All Geeks are Severely Underpaid
"Why are sales professionals still rewarded with the biggest pay packets? Are sales professionals better qualified or smarter than IT professionals? No, there's no such thing as a sales degree. Do they work longer or harder? Of course not. So why then is IT not the best paid profession?""

Submission + - Patenting Life

Archangel_Azazel writes: The New York Times is running a story here : on.html?_r=1&oref=slogin about an opinion that Michael Crichton wrote about patenting genes and the harm to innovation and lives that gene patents cause.

There's also information about a bill being sponsered that may offer a solution, from TFA:

"Fortunately, two congressmen want to make the full benefit of the decoded genome available to us all. Last Friday, Xavier Becerra, a Democrat of California, and Dave Weldon, a Republican of Florida, sponsored the Genomic Research and Accessibility Act, to ban the practice of patenting genes found in nature."

Submission + - GPLv3 license delayed by Novell/Microsoft review

PetManimal writes: "Reuters is reporting that the General Public License Version 3 is being held up by concerns about the Microsoft/Novell partnership. GPLv3 will govern the licensing of numerous open-source software licenses, but the article notes widespread community disdain for Novell, which recently got into bed with Microsoft and uses GPLv2 for SUSE Linux. Free Software Foundation general counsel Eben Moglen had originally expressed hope that the GPLv3 document would be completed this week, but says that's no longer realistic. From the Reuters article:

Some supporters of open-source software have called on the foundation to use the new agreement to address the Microsoft/Novell deal, such as by restricting Novell's ability to distribute upgrades of key parts of open-source Linux that are covered by GPLv3.

Submission + - Secure a PC For Your Mom?

BoneThugND writes: " has published a 20 minute guide to securing a PC. While many of the tips are solid, I am thinking I should go a bit further to protect my mom's new Windows machine. Assuming she is not a very savvy user, what should I be doing to make sure her box isn't slowed down by dozens of malware programs after three weeks of surfing?"

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