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Comment PC and Internet hospitality toward house guests (Score 1) 74

There is no excuse for someone not having their own PC, tablet, smartphone or whatever.

The excuse for not carrying a smartphone is that not everybody has hundreds of dollars of discretionary income to spend on a data plan. Verizon and Sprint refuse entirely to activate voice-only service on a smartphone, and AT&T is known for cramming a data plan onto a voice-only SIM when the SIM is inserted into a smartphone. Should someone carry a laptop everywhere and risk having it stolen just in case he needs to access the Internet at someone's house? And even if so, would you let a house guest use your WLAN?

If they were my children, I'd have bought them each their own PC.

Would you also buy a laptop for one of your child's classmates who is on a play date at hour house but whose parents cannot afford to buy him his own laptop?

Comment In practice, hosts don't give a key out of band (Score 1) 104

you could communicate a key id over another channel, (in person, via phone, mail, etc)

But what providers of shared hosting or a virtual private server are willing to do this for a customer? I've asked the tech support departments of a few such hosts, and the answer was "Just say yes to whatever key fingerprint your SSH client shows."

Comment Re:Not everyone lives alone (Score 1) 74

For a house guest to ask to use my PC is considered the height of bad manners. You either bring your own device

You may consider asking to use your computer "the height of bad manners." Someone else might disagree with you, considering denial of use of a guest account itself a selfish act and "the height of bad manners." If my family is hosting an annual reunion, for example, "go back to Arizona and get your laptop, or I'll have to exclude you from participating in video games" isn't going to cut it.

or you go to an internet cafe.

If two children live together, how do you recommend that they play a two-player video game?

Comment Re:Verifying equivalence of client and server code (Score 2) 354

I assume that Anonymous Coward was recommending that one apply the same suite of unit tests once to the validation code written in the server-side language and again to the validation code written in the client-side language, and then assume that they're equivalent if the tests return the same result for both implementations. But there's still an argument for having a single version of the truth.

Comment Re:Verifying equivalence of client and server code (Score 1) 354

From Limitations of unit testing

Testing will not catch every error in the program, since it cannot evaluate every execution path in any but the most trivial programs. [...] In order to guarantee correct behavior for every execution path and every possible input, and ensure the absence of errors, other techniques are required, namely the application of formal methods to proving that a software component has no unexpected behavior.

Besides, if I have written a program and want to run it in two environments, why should I have to write it twice? Why shouldn't I be able to write it and then have the computer write the other one?

Comment Verifying equivalence of client and server code (Score 2) 354

Sometimes "a much better development team" is a larger and therefore costlier development team.

Besides, sometimes I want the code on the client and the server to do the same thing, and the easiest way to do that is to run the same code. (See Don't repeat yourself and Once and only once.) Say I want to validate input on the client for speed and offline capability and then revalidate it on the server for security. With a common language, I can reuse the same validation functions on the client and server. Without a common language, what's the standard practice to formally verify the equivalence of the client-side and server-side input validation code?

Comment Python has pointers the way Java does (Score 1) 354

Python has pointers in the same way that Java has pointers: objects are passed as references. Besides, there's a difference between strong typing (automatic coercion) and static typing (variables can hold references only to a particular type and types that extend or implement it). Python has strong types (1 + "2" raises TypeError) but, like JavaScript and PHP, lacks static typing apart from a few specialized numeric containers (such as array.array).

Comment 2-factor, Suggest, Instant, Gmail, Docs, YouTube (Score 4, Informative) 354

I couldn't even log into my credit union or broker without it!

Financial web applications probably use JavaScript to store a cookie that verifies that this browser has previously been used to access this account. This makes the browser the second factor in a two-factor authentication system.

And all it does is make pages more cluttered

Not always. JavaScript lets a web page hide a particular element until the user expresses interest in viewing it by clicking it.

harder to use

With JavaScript, a user can (for instance) click to expand help for a particular field of a form without having to navigate away from the form.

longer to load

Without JavaScript, the only way to expand or collapse an element in a document, such as an element in a tree or an aside that has been hidden, is to follow a link or submit a form that results in sending the whole page back. This whole page takes long to load.

takes up bandwidth

Updating only what has changed on a page takes up less bandwidth than having to send the whole page all over again.

Google. No scripts there but immensely valuable.

If Google Search doesn't use JavaScript, how do the Suggest (drop-down completion box below text input) and Instant (replacement when the user pauses typing) features of Google Search work? Besides, Google also produces Gmail, Google Docs, and YouTube, which use plenty of JavaScript.

Comment Re:Use a USB controller (Score 2) 74

Adding a $9 USB gamepad and a USB OTG cable can immensely improve the tablet gaming experience.

I've used a USB OTG cable to connect a controller to my Nexus 7. But this runs into a few problems in practice. Solve all these problems and I'll agree with you.

First, it might work for tablets if you already have a stand, but can you recommend something to hold a phone in place while the user is holding the controller? The Shield has a hinge to hold the screen in place, much like the Game Boy Advance SP. It's like the difference between a laptop and a tablet with a separate keyboard, and an integrated keyboard dock is one of the big selling points of the Transformer and the Surface.

Second, a lot of cheap USB gamepads that I've tried have a D-pad that makes it way too easy to press diagonally, causing the character to crouch into a roll (Down) or jump (Up) when I'm trying to make him go straight. I've found that Nintendo and PlayStation 1 controllers have decent directional pads, but then I'd need to buy and carry two adapters: one to USB and one to OTG.

Last but not least, the game needs to support a controller, and I haven't been able to find an option in Google Play Store to narrow to controller-friendly titles. The fact that not everybody already owns an appropriate controller, adapter, and clamp tends to discourage some developers from porting controller-friendly titles to Android in the first place because who wants to pay tens of dollars for a gamepad, cable, clamp, and shipping to play a $3 title?

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