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Comment Re: As a C programmer (Score 5, Insightful) 302

I'd say that "good programmers" can and do learn a variety of languages, and will use the most appropriate one for the task at hand. There's nothing wrong with getting down to the metal when requirements call for it, but doing so is foolish for many types of projects where top performance isn't a requirement. I'm a game developer, so I live and breathe C++ of course. But I write my tools in C#, and our game's scripting language is in Lua.

Why C# for tools? Because it has reflection, and a fantastic library for all sorts of serialization, networking, and UI support.

Why Lua for game scripts? Because then we can recompile and reload our game scripts on the fly, without even stopping the game.

Which programming language is "best"? It's a stupid question to start with, because the only reasonable answer is "it depends on what you're looking for in a language".

Comment Re:In other words, Moore's law will continue (Score 1) 128

True, it's definitely slowed down. Still, try comparing GPUs, or the performance of mobile computing hardware versus 6-8 years ago, and you'll see a fairly dramatic difference. In addition to the obvious technical challenges, I think perhaps desktop CPUs haven't advanced as dramatically in the last decade partially because there hasn't been a huge demand by most consumers for increased performance. My computer from 5 years ago works every bit as well for my day to day task as it did back then - the only exception being things like gaming.

Comment Re:Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (Score 0) 60

How do you feel about men with hyphenated last names?

I just ponder the unsustainability of that particular family naming algorithm, if you take it to its logical conclusion. Pick a matriarchal or patriarchal naming scheme, but don't do both. It's like a programming language that has delimiting curly braces and enforced whitespace.

Comment Re:Analogue vs Digital, and DRM (Score 2) 533

Wasn't this the big bugaboo of Windows Vista? I'm also curious how you think the media industries will re-introduce DRM in the billions of DRM-free songs that all the major online stores have already sold and are still selling.

No, I'm pretty sure this is just about space savings and a minimalistic design fetish. Not everything is a conspiracy, and we already won the DRM war for audio.

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 3, Interesting) 533

So far, my objection is that they don't work well. I got a BT hands-free headset, and had the idea of listening to audiobooks on my commute. Nope - after a while, my Android phone somehow borked the volume. It plays so soft I can't hear the thing. Until this tech gets much more reliable, it's too early to kill the analog jack.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 109

Avast conned more than 1,200 people into connecting to fake wi-fi hotspots set up near the Republican convention and the Cleveland airport

...meaning they caught a lot of non-Republicans in their little "sting operation". All in all, a non-news story. I'm sure they were really hoping that they'd find 10% of the people looking at porn, or something more salacious. Why call out porn and dating apps in the first place?

All this proves is that we really need encryption everywhere, and that we need to make sure it's turned on by default, so that ordinary users don't have to think about it too much (because let's face it - that will never happen). Eventually, anything that's NOT encrypted should signal a warning to the user, although the transition will need to be gradual. Services like Let's Encrypt are slowly eroding any excuses not to make everything secure by default.

Comment Re:Anything for work (Score 4, Informative) 239

The single return rule makes sense in some circumstances. I like early outs, but then tend to the single return rule. If you're breaking apart your logic to that degree that you need a return in the middle of a long function, then you may want to consider breaking apart the function. Still, I think it's best to consider it a *guideline* rather than a rule. The moment you declare something a rule, someone will find a valid reason for breaking it.

As for other "optional" code, I tend to put parentheses around any C/C++ code that depends on operator precedent. The only one *everyone* knows is * or / before + and -, otherwise, it gets parentheses, just to be clear.

I see a lot of programmers try to cram as much as possible into one line, which I'm not a fan of. As one example, I'm not a fan of assigning a variable inside an if statement. It's harder to read than several short, clear lines, and it likely compiles to the same assembly in the end. So, I'll occasionally leave a formula as several steps and explicitly declare some of the intermediate variables, even if I could have stuffed it all into one line. It's easier to debug, since you can examine the intermediate values, and it helps others to understand what's going on, since the intermediate variables have an actual name as a hint. I'm sure it bugs some people who think it's too verbose or my variable names are too long and descriptive. I don't go crazy, but neither do I stick to single letters when a word or two works better.

Comment Re:Hater's Gonna Hate... (Score 3, Insightful) 161

Is it really that black and white? Spending money on toys means a bunch of people have a job creating, installing or servicing those products. I work in the videogame industry, and I have a good job because people spend money on themselves (or their kids) buying videogames. In turn, I spend my own money on lots of different things, which in turn help other people out. That's how economies function. Does it really matter what the products are?

Moreover, charity can be money down a black hole if you're not extremely careful. The *real* Bill Gates has learned that it's not always easy to ensure charity goes to worthwhile causes or produces any sort of measurable results, improving peoples' lives, even if you're giving away billions.

Comment Re:Public Admission of Stupidity (Score 4, Informative) 219

As a driver, you're obligated to pull over and make way for emergency vehicles, so it's naturally to look for the source of sirens as a driver. We're often required to divert our eyes and look behind us or to the side at times as well, even when driving in normal circumstances. Humans can't focus in all directions at once. Moreover, it's more or less impossible for a person to be 100% focused and ready to brake at an instant's notice.

Accusing him of not looking where he was going is more or less accusing him of not having eyes in the back of his head.

Comment Re:It would also be (Score 1) 87

Besides, who exactly lives anywhere near a "church steeple"? Maybe they're more prominent in other areas of the country? I've seen plenty of churches, but they rarely have steeples near where I live. Also, here in the US, we have "streetlights", not "lampposts". Curious choice of wording for potential perches.

Comment Re:'Enhancements' (Score 1) 376

Download and run Never10. It uses the official Microsoft registry key to disable Windows 10 updates (likely demanded by corporate customers, because obviously they sure as hell don't listen to *us*), and cleans up any downloads you might have incurred. Best of all, it's a use-it-and-discard it program, not something you have to install and keep around.

Comment Re:Hell no (Score 1) 151

You either earn a lot more than I do, or you buy really cheap PCs. But yeah, I'm not sure why someone would only have one. I have three machines I develop on. A Windows box, OS X, and Linux (with several partitions to test various flavors).

Preview versions of OSes are for enthusiasts. I'm a developer. I value stability, because my machines are how I earn my living. There's nothing an OS can deliver to me that's so exciting that I can't wait a few months for all the bugs to be shaken out... by the enthusiasts. I pretty much feel that way about most software that's critical to my workflow. I'll wait for the stable version, and even then, if it's an especially critical piece of software, I'll probably wait a while and keep an ear to the ground in case there are any widely reported issues.

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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Arthur C. Clarke