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Comment Re:C is for Catastrophic (Score 1) 249

You can see the evolution of the global warming argument in that acronym.

When it was just "global warming", the argument was basically "global warming is not happening".

Then, when it got too hard to sustain pure denial, they added "anthropogenic", so the argument became "OK, global warming is happening, but it's not us that's causing it"

Now we see "catastrophic" added and the argument morphs again: "OK we are causing global warming, but it's not going to be as bad as people say".

If things carry on like this, presumably the next letter will be "L" for "liable". LCAGW: "Ok, global warming might get pretty bad, but I don't see why I should have to pay for it"

Comment Re:Learning language (Score 1) 140

There is nothing fundamentally different from spoken languages in programming languages

Well, there is the matter of ambiguity. Most human languages have scope for ambiguity in the syntax. A piece of computer code means one thing and one thing only. If it doesn't, it's a bug.

Also computer languages evolve differently from spoken ones. Spoken languages may have a precise syntax, but the speakers are free of ignore or adapt it and the meaning can still be carried across. If you try and get creative with the syntax of a computer language, the computer either doesn't understand (if you'll pardon the anthropomorphism) or worse, it misunderstands and does something other than what you wanted. If you want to evolve a computer language, it needs a change to the language spec and to conforming compilers.

I'm sure there are other differences as well.

Comment Re:Scientology not Science (Score 5, Funny) 951

Without ANY bugs? Really? The only way this idea works is if you have a divine programmer who cannot make any mistakes who created the universe

Reminds me of one of my favourites from /usr/games/fortune


        "Yo, Mike!"
        "Yeah, Gabe?"
        "We got a problem down on Earth. In Utah."
        "I thought you fixed that last century!"
        "No, no, not that. Someone's found a security problem in the physics program. They're getting energy out of nowhere."
        "Blessit! Lemme look... Hey, it's there all right! OK, just a sec... There, that ought to patch it. Dist it out, wouldja?"
                -- Cold Fusion, 1989

Comment Re:How are they going to charge for this? (Score 3, Funny) 199

I'd love to see some evidence for that claim to correct my opinion. XP was what started the meme 'every other Windows release is as bad as a Star Trek (odd number) release', it sucks and should be avoided. (3.11, good, 95, bad, 98, good, ME, bad, XP, good, etc).

Of course! That's why they skipped a version number and jumped from 8 to 10. So they could avoid having to make another good windows and go straight to the next bad one!

It all makes so much sense now...

Comment Re:Piracy will not cease (Score 2) 87

Take as evidence iOS jailbreakers who do it so they can download $0.99 apps for free. There are plenty of people who are never going to pay anything if they can get away with it.

Well sure. On the other hand, look at iTunes. Before iTunes Napster et all were wildly popular. Then Apple starts offering downloads at $0.99 a track and suddenly they're making a ton of money and the music filesharing sites seemed to lose all traction. Lowering the price may not have solved the problem, but it greatly reduced it while creating a revenue stream that wasn't there previously.

There will always be those who won't pay, granted. With that in mind, the question becomes one of how much do you want to penalise the honest Internet users in the vain pursuit of an unobtainable absolute?

If you think for example that a computer game is too expensive and you pirate it, surely you should put the amount that you think is correct in an envelope and send it to the producer of the game? How many people are doing that? Everyone else is just lying.

Well, if someone was to illegally download a game, they'd be foolish to provide paper evidence of the crime, so to that extent I suppose it's understandable. On the other hand, if the game creators established a channel for this to happen safely, they might be surprised. I mean that's the basis on which Humble Bundles operate and I gather they've frequently been quite successful.

Granted, it's the publisher's decision whether or not to offer work on those terms, but you can't really claim it never happens or that it never works.

Comment Re:Politicans don't understand science (Score 1) 320

Most scientist that influence politics are social scientists, political scientists, medicine, theologians, philosophers, economists, and historians.

You think historians are scientists? Really? Theologians? Seriously?

I did have a fairly detailed reply in mind. Then I read that little gem and decided that there was nothing I could say that would make you look stupider than you do right now.

I'm going to go talk to the grown-ups. Do feel free to have the last word.

Comment Re:Is the smartwatch fad stillborn? (Score 1) 60

Some tech writers have made this point already, and I probably won't get it out as clearly as they have, but the problem with smartwatches and our perception of them is that we're thinking about them in the here and now, and not in the future. Microsoft (well, Ballmer) famously laughed at the iPhone as too expensive and useless before it took off and crushed the Microsoft Mobile business into dust. He was thinking of the here and now, and not the future.

Interesting.

I think there's a difference though. When the iPhone came out it had this tremendous aura of Cool about it. I say that as someone who is in no way an Apple fan. I think just about everyone (or everyone who didn't have a vested interest in a competing product) could see that.

This is where Apple's so-called fanboys can be used to bootstrap a tech shift that would've taken much longer otherwise. When enough people start wearing these watches, they'll start to have more applications.

The thing is, I don't get that "Cool" vibe from these watches at all. I mean if the bootstrapping effect takes off then that's great, but I'll be surprised if they have the impetus needed to carry the change. Maybe I'm just not part of the target audience :)

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