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Comment C Primer Plus (Score 1) 799

Buy him a copy of C Primer Plus (5th Ed) by Stephen Prata and work through it with him. In my opinion it is one of the best introduction to C books available, if not the best and very friendly to first time programmers. Another option is Java: A Beginner's Guide (4th Ed) by Herbert Schildt.

I too believe that learning the lower level things such as memory allocation is the best way to make yourself a better life long programmer so I would advise C over Java however I know a lot of people who only know Java (or C#) and do just fine however they knew next to nothing about what I consider to be "real" programming. Everything they do is drag and drop then writing some logic to handle an event and letting the runtime deal with the "nitty gritty" stuff.

Comment Re:This is why they were prosecuted (Score 4, Insightful) 574

I saw some movies worse than that! This dude keeps kidnapping people and hooking them up to machines that they can't escape from. The only way to survive is to admit something about yourself and sacrifice part of yourself or do some kind of other horrible act like cut the key out of somebody elses stomach. The worst one for me was a reverse bear trap on somebodies head which ripped their head in half when the timer went off. Needless to say I don't think anybody actually ever survived any of it.

Oh yeah these movies were called Saw. And I saw it in the cinema. The realism and gore was extreme. If these people were put away for making similar movies and selling them on the net then how can Amazon and Play.com sell the Saw movies? Surely every horror movie should be illegal and the directors and distributors arrested?

Comment Re:Google hates ? (Score 1) 640

While I understand Google's problems with Theora quality it is surprising for them to be against it (which is what I assume is their official position for Theora support in the video tag?). By the time HTML5 is all finished I am sure Theora will be good enough and if they are unsure that it will be why can't they help it along with a few $$ or directly helping with development for it?

Comment Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (Score 3, Interesting) 640

I agree. Mozilla have supported Ogg Vorbis and Theora as of 3.5 and it works pretty good from the demos I have used. The W3C needs to ignore everyone and push forward with Ogg support in the spec. If hardware acceleration is a problem then work with companies to get it supported in hardware. I know it won't be easy but saying "ugh that is gonna be too hard, lets just drop it from the spec" is stupid, work with Nvidia and ATI and Intel, etc. to get h/w support for Ogg. I am not a specialist so I have no idea how hard it would be to get h/w support for Ogg up and running but I know that my iRiver H10 mp3 player had Ogg support back in 2003 or so, so I am sure it is possible without _too_ much work.

Comment Why do the vendors have a say? (Score 5, Insightful) 640

Perhaps it is a stupid question but why do the vendors have a say what goes into the spec and what doesn't? Isn't it up to them to choose to implement the spec fully or not? FFS just make it Ogg Vorbis/Theora and if Apple doesn't want to support it then Safari can just not support that part of the spec. It isn't like any of the browser are 100% complient anyway.

Comment Re:Oh for crying out loud (Score 1) 352


I am getting fed up with all the BS about Windows 7 being posted on /. A few years ago the MS bashing was valid due to what they were actually doing however now people just posted a load of crap that they half read on some blog 6 weeks ago and can't remember 90% of it anyway so just make it up.

So thank you for posting that :)

Microsoft are trying to "do the right thing" by listening to customers but when they do everybody changes the topic from the good (the removal of the crappy 3 app limit) to limitations which are there because it is designed for a netbook (i.e why have DVD playback on a netbook when not one netbook has a DVD drive?!, also DVD playback isn't free, if you want DVD playback get VLC not that hard). Windows 7 is looking to be a pretty decent upgrade. I am still not that crazy about the taskbar in 7 but Homegroups are really nice and the other UI changes like desktop peek are great.

Anyway I just wanted to say thanks :) have a good weekend!


Is Flash Really On 99% of Net Devices? 383

Barence writes "Adobe claims that its Flash platform reaches '99% of internet viewers,' but a closer look at those statistics suggests it's not exactly all-encompassing. Adobe puts Flash player penetration at 947 million users out of a total 956 million internet-connected devices, but the total number of PCs is based on a forecast made two years ago. What's more, the number of Flash users is based on a questionable internet survey of just 4,600 people — around 0.0005% of the suggested 956,000,000 total. Is it really possible that 99% penetration could have been reached? Including Linux users? Including users at work? Including brand-new systems?"

$2 Billion For Broadband Cut From Stimulus Bill 658

pdabbadabba points out a CNN report on changes to the planned economic stimulus bill (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 [PDF]) that will remove the $2 billion allocated to broadband development. The changes also eliminated smaller amounts allocated to NASA, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, and the National Science Foundation. $16 billion in school construction funding was removed, as well as another $3.5 billion for higher education construction. A variety of environmental projects were also cut or reduced (half of the $7 billion set aside for energy-efficient federal buildings, half of the $600 million for hybrid federal vehicles), and over $8 billion in health-related provisions are gone. The bill will likely go to vote in the Senate on Tuesday.

Beginning iPhone Development Screenshot-sm 216

Cory Foy writes "When my wife got a Touch several months back, the first thing I wanted to do was build some applications for it. Who wouldn't want to play with a device that has accelerometers, position sensors and multi-touch gestures? But being new to the Mac world, I needed something to help guide me along. Beginning iPhone Development aims to be that guide. But does it live up to the challenge of teaching a newbie Mac and iPhone developer?" Read below for the rest of Cory's review.
Role Playing (Games)

Blizzard Sued By South Carolina Inmate 239

Benjamin Duranske writes "Jonathan Lee Riches, an inmate in South Carolina famous for filing long, handwritten, rambling screeds against celebrities, politicians, and even buildings, has filed a third-party motion in Federal Court in Arizona in the MDY v. Blizzard botting case claiming that Blizzard's World of Warcraft 'caused Riches mind to live in a virtual universe, where Riches explored the landscape committing identity theft and fighting cybermonster rival hacker gangs. Riches was addicted to video games and lost touch with reality because of defendants. This caused Riches to commit fraud to buy defendants video games. Riches chose World of Warcraft over working a legit job, Riches mind became a living video game.'"

Microsoft Joins the OpenID Foundation 142

wertigon writes "Windows Live ID just became yet another OpenID-provider. While the cynical me wonders how long it'll be before Microsoft transforms OpenID to something proprietary, they have undoubtedly put even more weight behind the OpenID initiative. So, how long before I can use my OpenID to post on Slashdot?" Patches are always welcome, wertigon ;)
United States

Discuss the US Presidential Election & the Economy 2369

A number of folks have been submitting topics that indicate that they want to have a serious discussion on the issues surrounding this election. Since we're under a week now, I've decided to run a series of discussion stories to give you guys a place to discuss the issue. So here's the first one: The Economy. It's the biggest topic these days, eclipsing even war as the most important issue to most Americans. But how will that affect your choice next week? And why?

PC Makers Try To Pinch Seconds From Their Boot Times 399

Some computers are never turned off, or at least rarely see any state less active than "standby," but others (for power savings or other reasons) need rebooting — daily, or even more often. The New York Times is running a short article which says that it's not just a few makers like Asus who are trying to take away some of the pain of waiting for computers, especially laptops, to boot up. While it's always been a minor annoyance to wait while a computer slowly grinds itself to readiness, "the agitation seems more intense than in the pre-Internet days," and manufacturers are actively trying to cut that wait down to a more bearable length. How bearable? A "very good system is one that boots in under 15 seconds," according to a Microsoft blog cited, and an HP source names an 18-month goal of 20-30 seconds.

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