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Comment Re:C/C++ is pretty bad place to start learning (Score 1) 120

This, to me, gets into the difference between theory and implementation. I agree that understanding the theory behind memory management can be useful. However, learning malloc goes beyond theory into a specific implementation of the principle. In a garbage collected language, knowing the theory is potentially useful, but knowing how C's implementation works is not.

Comment Re:C/C++ is pretty bad place to start learning (Score 3, Informative) 120

Why do CS PhDs, who spend 98% doing theory (math), need to know anything about installing an OS? Why do undergrads, who probably use preassembled OEM boxes, need to understand the differences between hardware brands? More to the point, how does learning memory management or class design through C++ help one learn these things? To address a less ridiculous point, if I'm spending all my time in Java, Ruby or Python, why do I need to understand anything about pointers and memory management in C? For the sake of argument, let's say we need to understand how the stack, heap, and reference variables work in a garbage collected language. Why do we need to learn C to do that? In undergrad I was required to take a class which involved writing one's own implementation of malloc. Like so many other classes required for a CS degree, I use nothing from it in my day-to-day work as a Ruby developer.

Comment Surprised? (Score 2, Interesting) 195

Is anyone really reading this and scratching their heads, saying, "Well gee, I thought it was a bunch of intrepid hackers who broke into the mainframe to steal the pix?" Of course Apple orchestrates their leaks and rumors. Even their litigious cease and desisting of Mac rumor sites is all part of cultivating their mystique. Even "non-evil" companies like Google pull shit like this. It's all part of the marketing game to build pre-release buzz for products.

Submission + - SPAM: Microsoft's Risky Tablet Announcement

itwbennett writes: The New York Times describes the tablet announcement that Steve Ballmer is supposed to make in his CES opening keynote tonight as 'one of Steve Ballmer’s riskiest trade show moves in years.' And blogger Peter Smith is in complete agreement. Here's why: 'Whether or not this announcement is intended as a direct response to the much-rumored Apple event that may or may not be happening on January 27th, consumers will perceive it as one,' says Smith. And if Microsoft unveils a traditional tablet then 'they'll be up against the (presumably more expensive) iTablet and the cult of Apple.' But if the device is the dual-screen Courier, that we heard about back in September then it'll be up against the (presumably less expensive) enTourage eDGe, says Smith.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Ext JS Profiles Web-Based School Management App ( 1

Andrevan writes: The Ext JS blog is profiling a web-based school management system which runs on a web-based desktop environment or webtop. The system is built on the Ext GWT library, a JS extension of Google's Java Web Toolkit. This is one of the few examples I've seen of a third-party full-featured productivity application which appears to be designed for use on thin client configurations running Chrome OS or similar. What other early cloud apps are out there besides the flagship Google apps and Microsoft's Live apps? Any interesting startups cooking up killer apps for Chrome OS?

Submission + - Amazon: $3B error (hopefully) will stand as record (

netbuzz writes: The software engineer was just being mischievous when he ordered an old CD-ROM on Amazon that carried a clearly erroneous price tag of $2,904,980,000. Yet his order was accepted and frivolity ensued before it eventually was cancelled. Yesterday he got a call from Amazon telling him that changes are afoot and that he may end up holding a record.

Submission + - Body composition and calorie tracking iPhone app (

Andrew writes: "Stayhealthy, Inc. has had a $100 body composition machine and a $70 accelerometer-based calorie tracker on the market for a couple of years. Their BC1 Body Composition Analyzer is unique in that it "sends an electric pulse through one hand and measures the time it takes to pass through the entire body and into the other hand." According to VentureBeat, "it's also working on phone-based apps to help users monitor their calorie burn rate that should be available later this year.""
Puzzle Games (Games)

The Godfather of Sudoku 47

circletimessquare writes "The New York Times profiles 55 year old Maki Kaji who runs Nikoli, in its article Inside Japan's Puzzle Palace. Nikoli is a puzzle publisher that prides itself on 'a kind of democratization of puzzle invention. The company itself does not actually create many new puzzles — an American invented an earlier version of sudoku, for example. Instead, Nikoli provides a forum for testing and perfecting them.' Also notable is how Mr. Kaji describes how he did not get the trademark for Sudoku in the United States before it was too late. But reminiscent of a theme many Slashdotters will find familiar about intellectual property: 'In hindsight, though, he now thinks that oversight was a brilliant mistake. The fact that no one controlled sudoku's intellectual property rights let the game's popularity grow unfettered, Mr. Kaji says.' Will Nikoli be the source of the next big puzzle fad after Sudoku?"

Submission + - Bill Gates to finally receive his Harvard degree

coondoggie writes: "It's not like he needs it to beef up his résumé, but the world's richest college dropout finally is getting his degree. Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, will speak at Harvard University's commencement ceremony in June and, like all commencement speakers, will receive an honorary degree from the institution. It's hard to guess if Gates, the wealthiest person in the world and co-founder of a company that brought in $44 billion in revenue last year, cares. But the programming whiz who once dropped out of Harvard will likely feel some sense of satisfaction. gates-to-finally-receive.html"
PlayStation (Games)

FFXIII Exclusivity Under Discussion 120

In an interview between a French-language newspaper and Sony Computer Entertainment France president Georges Fornay, he revealed that FFXIII's exclusivity is still under discussion. Gamespot reports, and attempted to check with Square-Enix about the reality of this situation. If the high-profile RPG's exclusivity is not a lock for the PS3, it could be a crushing blow for Sony's future plans. "The development costs of games have exploded, and it has become more difficult to have exclusives, outside of our own games. But we have for launch day [in France] 30 games, including MotorStorm, Resistance: Fall of Man, and Virtua Fighter 5. Moreover, we are expecting 200 games [for the PS3] by the end of 2007...As far as Final Fantasy XIII goes, I can tell you that the exclusivity is in discussion."

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