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Comment Re:You'd think someone as smart as Hawking ... (Score 1) 279

Oh for heaven's sake, the Hawking knows the planet is a sphere, if you use a vertical dipole sure you don't send a whole lot straight up, and you radiate more of your energy horizontally away from the antenna .... and while the photons head out in a donut away from that antenna, which is poking up from the surface of a sphere, as they move away from their source the ground falls away and any photons that don't hit anything ... radiate away into space in that same donut shape, inverse squaring to infinity (and beyond!)

Comment One word: Courage. (Score 5, Funny) 148

The courage to move on, to do something new that betters all of us.

The Swift 2.0 language is more than 12 months old. It has its last big innovation about 6 months ago. You know what that was? They deprecated prefix and postfix operations, they made it smaller. It hasn't been touched since then. It's a dinosaur. It's time to move on.

Comment .NET programmers have been waiting years (Score 5, Informative) 118

Microsoft went overnight from just another big corporation to being an active participant in a community. They didn't half-ass it like their previous MS-PL things and they aren't just hosting a copy of their repo in public. They dove in head-first and use all the same 3rd party stuff everyone else does. Non-Microsoft devs are on equal footing with those from Microsoft -- if your code is good and your points valid, they are taken.

All of the new features in C# 7 were discussed by the public, with multiple revisions coming out driven by those talks. There's a huge corpus of features in flight, some with 3rd-party implementations, ready to be picked from for C# 8.

When .NET Core was announced I saw it as an opportunity to add the features I always wished it had, fix random bugs that I'd reported but had closed as "Wont Fix" because they were without enough benefit to their business customers, etc. -- my first pull request came in so fast they told me "err sorry we haven't figured out the process for adding APIs yet, hold on."

Comment Re:Tactical Move (Score 2) 302

This is actually a big part of Trump's plan for his presidency. Tax holiday, bring back the billions Apple and Microsoft have stashed overseas, and put the money to work inside of America as well.

It's well known that they're just waiting for a tax holiday to do this, so Obama could theoretically steal some of Trump's fire in the unlikely event it looks like he's going to win and do it early.

Comment Re:Its really the library not the language (Score 3, Informative) 232

> Also we went recently through a phase in computer science education where people were really only taught java. Its the only tool in their toolbox.

Yep. I went through the curriculum of the top 10 computer science universities in the country, and all of them teach either Java or Python in their introductory programming classes.

Only a single one (Stanford) even offered C++ as an alternative.

Which is why I'm working on a tool that will hopefully make C++ more appealing to educators, by replacing the traditionally horrendous error messages with an easy to read paragraph targeted at newbie programmers. I'll be presenting it at CppCon next month.

Comment Re:Just what I wanted.. (Score 1) 125

5 Mbps is what Netflix uses for its highest-quality 1080p streams. For a movie file analogy, 5 Mbps is equivalent to 2.25 GB for a 1 hour movie. The compression is there if you really look for it, but most people won't notice it.

Movies have a natural advantage of either having very little motion or having a lot of motion blur. There are exceptions (Children of Men) but for most of them this is the case, so a low bitrate can work if you have a lot of time to encode it.

Games tend to have a lot more motion and a lot less motion blur. And this service won't be able to use good encoder settings -- it'll need to use a real-time hardware codec, which significantly limits is quality. You might say I'm skeptical.

Comment Re:And what is AMD doing? (Score 2) 56

I can't tell if you are serious or not, but their Zen architecture should be dropping soon, and they at least in theory have caught up with the Intel CPUs of a generation or two ago.

If they have a good price point, they might start actually giving Intel some competition, which is good, since Intel has done next to nothing very interesting since the Ivy/Sandy Bridge days.

Comment Pi Desktop (Score 1) 134

Hi Eben,

I teach classes using the Raspberry Pi 2 (soon to be switching to 3, I hope) in a variety of contexts, such as with students wanting to learn ARM assembly and to K-12 teachers who want to do physical computing in their science classrooms.

It feels to me like the RPi is focused a little too much on Python and Scratch. I understand that it's called the Pi because of Python, but ARM assembly is my favorite assembly language, and bare metal assembly in particular is just a really natural fit for physical computing due to how easy it is to turn GPIO pins on and off. But the lack of documentation for the newer Broadcom SoCs has made it difficult for my students to write bare metal projects. So this leads to my question for you: are there any plans on rolling out better documentation / support / code examples for assembly on the RPi 2 and 3?

Despite this sounding like grousing, I would like to assure you that I love everything you've done with the Raspberry Pi and the notion of physical computing in general. Everyone who takes an assembly class or science technology workshop with me this year will get a free RPI3 and a bunch of sensors, wires, and motors to do hands-on, open ended projects. And I've been doing this for a while and it works really well. Thanks again for all of your vision and tireless effort you've spent in this arena.

Comment Re:How to advocate for desktop dev in a phone worl (Score 1) 515

>A lot of tech people tend to forget that for most people, a computer is not an end unto itself. It's just another tool for getting their real work done. Why "advocate" a desktop if people can get their work done on a tablet or phone? A desktop system has a lot of complexity that, for most people, probably tends to get in the way of actually getting their work done as much as it helps them.

Tablets and phones are consumption devices, not creation devices. They are a hideously bad match for trying to do any sort of serious development work, or even your bog standard PowerPoint deck. A Surface is about as tablet-y as you can get while still being able to do reasonable work, but a Surface is still a real computer under the hood. Anyone who works with touch-only systems could probably give you a long list of design decisions that slow them down when trying to do anything serious.

>I'd argue that very few people's productivity is measured in how efficient their file operations are. It's sort of like believing you're going to be vastly more efficient as a programmer if you memorize a bunch of keyboard shortcuts or type 60wpm instead of 30. Unlike the movies, programming isn't about how fast you type.

I think his point isn't just doing file operations, but rather that everything from the CLI is going to be faster and more powerful than a GUI when you know what you're doing. GUIs are great when doing graphical stuff, but for text-based work, text-based interfaces work better. UNIX is an operating system that is also an integrated development environment.

And typing fast really does make a difference. I mean, sure, Amdahl's Law and everything, but when you know what you're going to do, your typing speed will linearly translate into productivity.

Comment Ehh maybe halfway? (Score 2) 256

They've put a lot of work into Edge. Now that it supports extensions and has Adblock, it may even be good enough to use regularly. It sounds unlikely but it's not without possibility that it is better than Chrome in perf.

But Bing? They're nuts. The search results are measurably worse and the user experience is lacking advanced features that makes Google so powerful.

Comment Re:Windows Phone (Score 4, Interesting) 191

Huge missteps mostly recently. Windows Phone 7 through 8.1 were fantastic -- always smooth as butter, responsive, relatively bug-free, had a great UI, and had fantastic tools for devs. I also own several high-end Android devices and if you could live with less apps I really do think Windows Phone was superior to Android.

10 was a huge step back -- no longer smooth and incredibly buggy. I got a Lumia 950 to replace my aging 920 and only now a year later with the Anniversary release can I say it is something they should sell, but it's still only comparable to Android levels of smoothness. I really miss the lag-free 8.1 OS.

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