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Comment There was a post on /. (12/19) that answered this. (Score 4, Insightful) 430

"How Experienced and Novice Programmers See Code

From one of the links:

I’m excited to see what else Mike’s research uncovers. One aspect he’s interested in is how the approach of inexperienced programmers differs from that of experienced programmers. For example, there seems to be some evidence that following variable naming conventions helps experienced programmers understand the code much quicker, while breaking these conventions leads to a severe penalty. On the other hand, inexperienced programmers seem to take about as long regardless of how the variables are named.

-Eric Holk

Comment Why? (Score 5, Insightful) 218

But if you're not going to give anyone permission to use your code, why post it on GitHub in the first place?"

Lets say I stumble across a fantastic utility, and the source is open for me to view. I'll dive through the code and make sure I'm comfortable with its functionality (i.e. it's not doing anything I don't want it to do) before grabbing the tool.

I'm not using the code for my own projects. I'm just vetting the code. Plenty of developers throw code for small utilities up for exactly this reason, and the vast majority of the world is totally cool with it.

Comment Re:Freaking incredible. (Score 5, Interesting) 220

You're not the first to think that, either. The same message was conveyed by the BadAstronomy blog when the same such shot was released from Phoenix.

Think on this, and think on it carefully: you are seeing a manmade object falling gracefully and with intent to the surface of an alien world, as seen by another manmade object already circling that world, both of them acting robotically, and both of them hundreds of million of kilometers away.

Never, ever forget: we did this. This is what we can do.

Comment Heh, the bill isn't bad (Score 5, Insightful) 167

6 ‘‘ 285A. Recovery of litigation costs for computer
7 hardware and software patent
8 ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding section 285, in
9 an action disputing the validity or alleging the infringe-
10 ment of a computer hardware or software patent, upon
11 making a determination that the party alleging the in-
12 fringement of the patent did not have a reasonable likeli-
13 hood of succeeding,
the court may award the recovery of
14 full costs to the prevailing party, including reasonable at-
15 torney’s fees, other than the United States.

The language allows the judge presiding over the case to effectively determine whether the case was a frivolous case, meaning there's a decent chance that this won't deter legitimate patent suits. That said, only time will tell.

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