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Comment Re:Both numbers are correct, I would say. Older mo (Score 1) 141

The useful numbers for decision making are "how many people could be helped by addressing this issue?"

No, the first and primary useful number consideration is, "Now that we're 20 TRILLION dollars in debt and most new jobs are low-paying junk that barely creates any tax revenue, and we have an exploding entitlement spending problem the mere interest on the debt for which will soon displace nearly all discretionary spending ... what can we afford to research?"

You want to address the X in Y cases of Z disease in given populations? Return to producing the sort of economic health and largess that allows us to spend that kind of money in the first place. Otherwise, it's like a bankrupt person trying to decide whether to buy a new raincoat or an umbrella so they don't get their nice to outfit wet, because, you know, priorities. A house in fiscal order can spend vastly more money on everything from pure medical research to Mars missions without crushing the very economy that underwrites such things.

Comment You just now started worrying? (Score 2, Insightful) 285

Only a koolaid drinking disingenuous douche-shill thought that the government was magically trustworthy with Obama but all of the sudden is magically not to be trusted anymore because there's a new president.

Especially because it's pseudo-intellectual bullshit since the cancerous unelected unaccountably bureaucracy that actually runs the government doesn't care about who is in charge.

The government is 100% as trustworthy today as it was the during your god and personal saviour Obama's reign. It is left as an exercise to those of us with more than two brain cells to determine what that trustworthiness level is.

Comment Re:Depends who pays (Score 0) 273

...habits of selfish people...

Yeah, couldn't possibly be people like single working mothers trying to raise a kid (or multiple kids) and make it back and forth to her job(s), school(s), doctors, pay for food, rent, utilities, rent, auto/health insurance premiums, etc etc, ad nauseam, and so must carefully budget every penny.

You're right, their lives mean far less than your lofty goals.

That's why we need the government to set limits...

Why, exactly? Look around you, battery tech as just one example is advancing at amazing speed. We have Tesla making "PowerWalls" that will soon be even smaller and with a higher energy density. Electric cars are also expanding into popular usage, which the accelerating tech will only further push ahead as they become more practical as the sole vehicle for more and more households as well as powering more households, and that too is accelerating rapidly.

Fossil fuel is *already* on the way out, thanks to advances in alternate energy source/generation and storage technology. There is *already* overwhelming motivation to continue advancing these technologies as any significant invention/discovery means metric crap-tons of wealth for those who succeed.

Having the government handing out grants/subsidies/etc at the amounts feasible can really only serve to keep the crony-capitalists in business while government bureaucrats create fresh reams of regulations. This applies equally to fossil fuels and alternates. This is not like playing 'Civilization'. Scientific/technological advancements don't have a linear relationship with the amount of money you throw at it, there are far more factors at play, including human factors. "Eureka!" moments can't be bought like it was simply stuffing enough coins into a vending machine. If that were true, Trump could simply buy himself brilliance. The government also has a terribad record regarding correctly picking winners and losers when it attempts to meddle in these sorts of things.

So, what you and many others advocate in real terms by asking the government take action by raising taxes, etc, and creating rafts of new laws/regulations (all of which won't appreciably affect how quickly tech advances) in order to try to force what is *already* rapidly occurring, is that the current rapid advancement is not quick enough in your estimations so all this self-inflicted suffering is justified?

Oh, and FYI: carbon taxes and cap-and-trade is a regressive tax in the extreme and will drastically raise energy prices (and food prices and everything else) and that affects the poorest the most. How many Grandma-cicles every winter and/or roasted Grandpas every summer is it worth? How many malnourished/starved kids/adults? Those are some of those 'externalities' so many talk about...except when it comes to the externalities and consequences of their 'solutions' to what they declare is a 'problem'.


Comment Re: The death spiral is continuing. (Score 1) 168

So, almost by definition, if IBM or any other company is making money they're also making the world a better place one computer or pot or pan or refrigerator or jet airplane at a time.

That's demonstrably untrue. There's entire industries that actually make the world a worse place, while making money doing so. Telemarketing is one good example here, payday loan stores are another (plus actual loan sharks), Nigerian scammers are another, and patent trolls are yet another. I'd also argue that there's many other industries that are really bad for the world too and only exist because of bad government regulation: tax preparers and car dealerships come to mind here. Both of these are just parasites, though the tax preparers are frequently necessary for many people because the US tax code is such a complicated mess. The real estate bubble in the previous decade is another great example of people and businesses making lots of money while making the world a worse place, driving up the cost of real estate while not providing any actual value.

Now back to IBM, because this is really tangential: my argument there was that IBM doesn't need to be changing the computing market. Just because they did that in the past in a big way doesn't mean that needs to remain their mission forevermore. After the whole PS/2 debacle, it should have been pretty obvious that IBM was a has-been, and was never going to be the pioneer and world-changer in personal computing that they once were (entirely by accident I might add; they thought their PC would be a small thing and just help sell more mainframes). So they've moved their business into other areas, which is fine. To my knowledge, they still do a lot of mainframe stuff, along with professional services, along with research and patents (for instance, I believe they invented the copper-on-silicon process back in the 90s which is now critical to chipmaking). The OP seems to think they're somehow "failing" because they aren't trying to be a big force in the computing market (outside of mainframes), and that's simply silly. Lots of very old businesses no longer do the same stuff they started out in, yet remain highly successful. Nokia, for a while, was the leading mobile phone maker, but they started out making tires IIRC. There's a bunch of Asian companies that do entirely different things now than what they started out doing.

Comment Re:This is obvious... (Score 1) 289

No, because whenever you add new syntax, you have to avoid breaking compatibility with old syntax.

No, you don't. You just need to tell your compiler to use the older standard. GCC does this with the --std= flag. If your code won't work in C++17, just add "--std=c++0x" or something.

And just how successful python 3 is? In every shop I worked in, they insisted on using python 2.

The problem with Python is they didn't do it like C++. To run a Python2 program, you actually have to have a Python2 interpreter/runtime and libraries compatible with it. You can't just take the latest Python3 interpreter and pass it a "--std=python2" flag and make it work. So you end up having to have two entirely separate and parallel installations of Python. It's a big mess. C++ isn't like this; you can even compile your libraries with a different C++ standard than your application code or each other, because the linker will resolve the linkages.

The problem isn't backwards compatibility, the problem is that Python did a terrible job of making a new version of their language.

Comment Re:This is obvious... (Score 1) 289

It doesn't need to be that backwards-compatible. When you compile C++, you can easily set the compiler to use a particular standard (c++0x, c++11, c++14, etc.).

So if you have old code, simply direct your new compiler to follow the older standard instead of the latest one. You don't need to drag everyone else down.

Comment Re:Just what we needed C++ (Score 1) 289

First, those 10 things aren't "organs", they're just features. Your fingers aren't organs either, even though you probably need them to function normally every day.

Secondly, the article is partly wrong. For #1, it even admits that the "third eyelid" is useful for ensuring tear drainage and sweeping debris away. #9 is flat-out wrong: the appendix, while not essential to life, is very useful when you have big problems with your GI system. It's basically like a first-stage bootloader for your gut bacteria. You may never even need it, but when you do, it's really useful. #10 isn't a misfeature, it's a by-product of the way we develop as embryos. Take away male nipples and you lose female ones too, which really do have an important function. Eliminating them without losing the female ones would probably require a significant re-engineering of the genetic code, which doesn't happen with an evolved system. #4 sounds like #9: calling something "useless" because we don't fully understand it yet. Maybe we really do make good use of the ability to detect pheromones (or then again, maybe it causes us to make terrible choices for dating/marriage partners). For #3, I've read some people claim that armpit and pubic hair does serve some important function WRT bacteria, I forget exactly what now. It may have some truth or may be bunk, I don't know, but as seen with #9 and our complete lack of understanding until very very recently the role of gut bacteria (such as with its effect on obesity), it does seem like our medical sciences have largely overlooked the roles of bacteria on human health over the years.

So back to C++, just because you don't see the need for a feature doesn't mean that it's actually useless. A good example here is the 'volatile' keyword. It's useless in most C++ programming, but absolutely essential if you're doing low-level hardware access on an embedded system.

Comment Re:I don't even like Uber but (Score -1) 646

If they're willing to let people work full time then they should be willing to pay full time wages

- what the hell is a 'full time wage'? I can come up with jobs all the time. As Louis Black said: I could hire a twenty year old model looking woman to wash my balls for me all the time. I am walking and she is scrubbing, nothing sexual (supposedly). It could be a 16 hour a day job for her, why not? However I am not able to hire anybody for that job at the price that I am willing to pay for it (let's say I would pay 1 dollar an hour for that service). No 20 y.o. model looking woman would take the job and that's how the market works: both sides need to agree, it takes 2 to tango (and 2 to wash balls, one with balls and one with hands).

If nobody takes that job that's the solution that you are looking for:

If someone's working 40 hours per week then they shouldn't be sleeping in their car out of exhaustion because they're struggling to pay their bills. Nobody who works full time should live in poverty.

- you are saying nobody should be..... OK, that's what you say. However if somebody wants to do the job of washing my balls and they know that the job pays $1 an hour, you would say: it should be illegal for me to offer the job but more importantly for the other person to take the job.

So I can live without that constant ball washing, however for somebody that could be just what they need for X number of reasons, you are not making my life that much worse, you are standing in the way of the people who are interested/willing/need that job from getting it.

Comment Re:Just what we needed (Score 1) 289

No, but I do here [sic] people who go in to modify something say "Gosh, I wish there weren't so many different types of connectors, why does this screw have a starburst and this one a rhombus on it?"

Well if people had adopted a really good screw-head standard way back, we wouldn't have this mess. We have different types because better standards have been invented, and the old ones are utter crap (particularly slotted and Philips heads). Now we have Robinson (square) and Torx and e-Torx which are much better fastener heads than what came before. Strangely, Robinsons have been around for about a century now, but only started catching on in recent years for some reason (I believe patents had something to do with it).

BTW, do you really now know how to spell "hear"? I'm seeing so many mistakes like this lately, I'm starting to wonder if everyone is using voice-to-text to compose messages, and the result is a complete mess.

Remember that for every Clever Lad who writes this code, an army of dudes has to come through and read and modify it over time.

Try removing a Philips-head screw that's been over-torqued or just from age/corrosion has gotten stuck. Now try it with a Torx-head screw. On the former, you're going to be drilling it out after stripping out the head, whereas the Torx will come right out. There's a reason we invent new standards: because the old ones are frequently shit. Just look at the early versions of Java.

That's not to speak against it- merely that as the language gets broader, supporting it becomes slower and more expensive.

Yep, there's really no way around that. The alternative is stagnation (getting stuck with a shitty old language that has demonstrable deficiencies (again, see early Java)), or having people constantly jumping to new languages that aren't much different from the old ones (which we're seeing to an extent now: Rust, Go, D, etc.), and this incurs its own costs.

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