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Comment Re:Fluid type manipulation with unions (Score 1) 398

Granted, you're not making it worse in any way by representing it with a union.

More to the point, you can't make it better by avoiding using a union. Because it's optimum as is.

The right tool for the right job.

pretty much the essence of obscure legacy cruft.

The job is the job. I have no problem using the right tool for the job.

Comment Re:structs and fundamental OO (Score 1) 398

You are just reinventing machine language where data, instructions, and address pointers can be mixed willy-nilly.

Because machine language varies hugely, and c varies little or none, when working on one platform and then another, c is a convenient low-level way to get as many advantages of working close to the metal (obvious ones are speed and executable size) as possible.

Higher-level languages merely try to introduce discipline and consistency to such practices.

Yes, they do. And in the process, they often cause the resulting product to suffer in speed and/or execution size (and the source code in clarity.) When "mere" means "the product is less good", I translate it as "not mere."

There are reasons to go one way or another. It's not as simple as "HLL's are always better." Sometimes even machine language is the best place to go, embedded controllers with limited storage and small tasks that must be accomplished efficiently, for instance.

Comment Impartial journalism? (Score 1) 133

impartial journalism is entirely possible.

It's certainly possible, but if you can actually show me an instance of it, I'd be quite surprised. I don't recall seeing such a thing. Ever.

There's selection bias, where the story that is told is not the only story, and/or leaves out pertinent details that variously pollute the information transfer to the information consumer. This occurs at the publisher, editorial, reporter and information source levels.

There are errors in collecting information, which can be characterized as "impartial but wrong" which entirely undermines the value of "impartial."

There's the social underpinning, such as the assumptions by the platform from publisher down to reporter buy into memes like the drug war, human trafficking, mommyism, military adventurism, etc. as right and proper undertakings and tell stories in the context of the presumptive matrix that results from those memes.

There's ad-pumping, where the advertising pays more money in when more eyes are attracted, which creates a loop based on popularity rather than accuracy.

There's comment "moderation", where "I disagree / am offended / am trolling" can strongly affect visibility of information -- depending on the site, that can come from privileged (and usually wholly unqualified) individuals, as here on slashdot, or from the crowd, as on reddit.

It all adds up to an extremely formidable gauntlet that information has to run in order to get from wherever it arises over to the consideration of the consumer.

And, not that it's part of the problem of actually achieving impartial journalism, but were you to completely get past every aspect of that somehow, then you still have to find an impartial audience or all that work is for nothing.

IOW, if you manage to present the facts, all the facts, nothing but the facts, and your audience cries "fake news" or drags prejudice, superstition, confirmation bias, or anything from a very long list of similar cognitive failure modes into it, well, there you go. You might as well have written an SF novel.

Comment Just an overview (Score 1) 133

If there's anything I've learned about journalism in the last 41 years, it's that everyone puts their own slant on it.

o Publishers - slant, selection bias
o Advertisers - selection bias on source and slant by rewarding max eyeballs
o Editors - slant, selection bias for stories
o Reporters - slant, selection bias for sources
o Information sources - slant, winners get to write history
o Reader's choice of media - slant, selection bias
 
...it's not like it's showing any signs of getting better, either.

Comment Re:Good - burn it down (Score 1) 83

The idea behind the IoT isn't bad. The execution is horrible.

The idea that you can use the internet as a medium to access parts of your home isn't that bad an idea. That the whole shit is done by corporations that only care about their bottom line and offer your gimmicky toys that are security nightmares is the horrible execution thereof.

Comment Re:Denial-of-Service? (Score 4, Insightful) 83

While I generally agree, I cannot second the idea that it should be legal to break into computers that are insufficiently secured. That would make the internet an even worse place than it already is.

What we need is something like the famous FCC part 15 sticker rules. You know the ones, you can find it on pretty much any electronic device:
(1) This device may not cause harmful interference, and
(2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.

We need something like this for IoT devices.

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 1) 147

God knows how much electric 100,000 fast-charging stations pull. I doubt it's any more environmentally friendly than even 100,000 petrol cars.

Yes, supercharging is much worse for the environment than regular charging. The grids don't deliver enough juice for them at peak, and they have to store energy locally in battery buffers. That's another quite lossy conversion. And supercharging isn't as energy efficient in itself either - the heat loss is larger than with slower charging.
In countries that produce a good part of the electricity from coal and oil, that's not a good thing.

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