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Comment Re:Common (Score 1) 50

What is frustrating about this is how easy it would be for the cops to roll these guys up if they wanted to. I mean they're providing a mailing address, even if it is a PO Box that isn't going to keep them anonymous for long. I bet it wouldn't even take too many arrests before the volume of mail really dropped. The people who do this need to mail fraud thousands of times every week just to get a few bites.

For the scam to work at all they need a US address. Ain't nobody gonna fill out a SCE "bill" and then mail it in an international envelope to Belarus or something. I guess they could be using a remailing service, but at the least the cops could get their account shut down.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Gone Again!

As always, if slashdot has borked the text, just go here.
She was gone again, shortly before my elderly cat died. I refer to my muse, of course.
I looked everywhere I could think of, to no avail. Stolen again? I went for a walk, on the lookout for that aged black aged Lincoln with that blonde and that brun

Comment Re:Something I never see discussed.. (Score 1) 90

Computer operated quadcopters can theoretically deal with vortices better than human pilots in traditional helicopters, but yeah, that's a definite concern. I expect their flight profile to be more or less straight up, fly to destination, straight down, even thought that's a rather inefficient flight plan.

Comment Re:Not crazy (Score 1) 90

They're basically building giant quadcopters. I've seen some of the prototypes. You are right that the range will not be very long, but most taxi rides are less than a couple of miles as I recall.

I do think this idea is going to require a whole lot more work than Uber is hoping for, but I don't think it's an impossible problem. It is going to be mostly for the rich, but who knows, maybe it will let some dad get to the hospital in time to see his baby born despite it being rush hour. I'd imagine the cost would run around $70-$200/mile or so when all is said and done and the system is scaled up a bit. The other big problem will be getting high enough density on the helipads to make them useful. It's no good if the nearest helipad is always a mile away.

Comment Re:It has its uses (Score 1) 417

Sure, lets look at two examples:
Iterative program:

variable loop_counter;
for ( loop_counter = 0; loop_counter < 10; loop_counter = loop_counter + 1 )
{
do_stuff()
}

Functional program:

function do_stuff_loop(x, x)
{ }
function do_stuff_loop(x, y)
{
do_stuff()
do_stuff_loop(x + 1, y)
}
do_stuff_loop(0, 10)

In the iterative example you have a variable which changes, causing pain to functional programmers who gaze upon it. In the second your iterator is still there, but it's hidden in the stack instead of being explicitly declared.

Comment Re:It has its uses (Score 3, Insightful) 417

There is certainly value in reducing the amount of state you are managing, but too often it seem like Functional programmers are willing to declare it gone when they've just swept it under the rug. Sure you don't have a variable now, but instead you have the logic tied up in your stack. This is especially true when the language does pattern matches on the parameters to determine which function to call. In the end you have to keep track of that iterator somehow, and I tend to think something like a for loop tends to be clearer than looking through the function headers to figure out how the loop is initialized and when it terminates.

Comment Functional is useful when not pure (Score 4, Insightful) 417

The best functional programming to me, is the kind being integrated into various primarily procedural languages. I use it daily in C# at work, and find it invaluable in performing complex transformations on data. Python, C#, etc. have the best of both worlds -- the choice to use whatever is best for your situation.

I'll expand further, maybe to start an interesting conversation because I'm sure someone will disagree: purely- or mostly-functional languages are the original hype-driven languages. A lot of people say they're amazing, but don't actually do anything useful with them. Sure, some are making great apps with them, but they're clearly the exception. At the end of the day most of the people I've talked to who preach about how awesome their favorite functional language is have only gone skin-deep. Their experience is limited to the academic or experimental, and has never gone into the practical.

The few times I've tried to really master these languages, I've been left with no epiphanies. I've found it extremely useful for some problems, like data processing mentioned above. But for most everything else, it doesn't get me anything useful. On some level it is nice having the flow of immutability -- it "feels" right, like you've discovered something special. The same way adding an extra layer of abstraction on top of something might feel. But when I'd look back on it and ask myself what I gained from having it, there's really very little to be found. It is, mostly, a dogma.

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