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Comment Re:C# vs Swift (Score 1) 74

The problem with GC is that it's inherently lazy.

Take straight C for example. You need to define a variable, initialize it, do whatever with it, and then free it, within the scope of the function in order to make efficient use of it. Or you use malloc.

In Perl, PHP, Javascript, and most interpreted languages, you simply define the variable, some people remember to initialize it, do whatever with it, and then let it go out of scope for it to be garbage collected. If you do this frequently enough, like inside a tight loop, then the GC introduces latency.

In C++ you can specifically tell the C++ runtime to delete objects, and use C style varibles if you want the tighter control, or stick entirely with malloc if you want to use as little memory as possible.

The goal with GC should be determined by the nature of the device. A desktop system with a lot of memory will have no problem deferring garbage collection, but then you get sites like Twitter, which endlessly "grow" the DOM and never actually GC anything until the tab is refreshed. Before Chrome finally released a 64bit version, one would only get about 2 days out of a twitter tab before it would crash. Do this on mobile and it will crash hourly, because even though the mobile device may have 1GB of memory and run in 64bit mode, it never actually "stops" running things in the background, they are just paused, and only unloaded when memory is needed. A headless device that needs to run in a wiring closet without being reset for months or years, needs to be able to detect when memory is failing to be freed otherwise the device may stop working.

I have an example of this with a Startech IP-KVM which runs linux, but because Startech doesn't release updates for the things they put their brand on after the warranty expires, this IP-KVM remains in a useless state (due to it running a version of VNC and the SSL part only working over Java) and needs to be power cycled by the remote-PDU before it can be used. The device just runs out of memory from DoS-like activity and it overwhelms the logging processes.

And that's sloppy programming. There is such a thing as GC-friendly coding conventions. A GC is not supposed to exist for programmers to go nilly-wily "someone is going to clean my butt for me".

Comment WTF? (Score 0) 589

"They have to understand that some of us have decided to make this a full-time career."

Who's "they"

Why do "they" have to "understand" (you)?

And by "understand", what do you mean? To give some type of material support to your decision to make it a full-time gig?

That uber taxi cab must smell really wonderful, with the driver sleeping in it and using a 7-11 restroom :/

I swear to Glob, I just can't understand these people. Idiocracy at its finest.

Comment Re:What is up with airlines IT structure (Score 1) 112

ACARS has several component systems; some are common to all airlines and others are unique to each particular carrier. At its simplest form it provides very basic information regarding the status of a flight (takeoff, landing, gate departures and arrivals) and in-flight weather information (making each plane in to a temporary weather station).

Some air carriers use ACARS for much more comprehensive functions like monitoring the status of equipment on aircraft in flight (maintenance scheduling), passenger information or cargo requirements. Those carriers are going to be more susceptible to periods of high demand across bandwidth limited VHF frequencies or availability to a satellite uplink.

ACARS has become so useful that it is now hitting some limits because of the high demand for the functionality.

Comment Re: Deliberately missing the forest for the trees (Score 1) 378

The bulk of immigrants from Eastern Europe do not even compete with the regular native as they tend to be better educated and work at a higher level

Which actually is the problem, and it's a social one not an economic one. Picture this:

You're a British citizen. You grew up in a poor town and went to a crappy comprehensive school. You had no expectations of getting a good job, because there aren't very many in your area. You see immigrants coming in and living in your poor communities and by and large they're not a problem because they're suffering the same problems as you. After you get over the novelty, they just other poor people like you. Fast forward a few years and they've now manage to get qualifications that are recognised here and now they're suddenly getting better jobs than you'd ever qualify for. Their house now has a better car in front of it than yours. They're wearing more expensive clothes than you. You're seeing that social mobility is a real thing - just not for people like you. How does that make you feel?

Sure, the economy as a whole is doing better, but that's not really a great consolation to the long-term unemployed.

But that's not that immigrant problem, isn't? Just as you have British citizens who cannot make it, there are others that do, with the same crappy starting conditions. It's the same thing we have in the US: for every asshole who spends 10-15 years bemoaning the "Chinaman" for taking his job without learning a single fucking skill in all that time, there is a self-starter who treks his way to North Dakota or Texas to work on an oil rig or something.

Unless that person is the target of systemic oppression by class, color or creed, I see no excuse for not progressing.

Comment Re:More features. (Score 1) 274

That's what C++ needs: More features! They had better introduce sidgils like in Perl so they can have room for more keywords.

Templates produce very bloated code. Most embedded programmers working in C++ use a very small subset of the language for a reason. But C++ has lots of other problems. It was nice when it saved you from having to hand-build vtables doing OOP in C. Now after the meta-programming fads have gotten into it the language seems all over the map.

1. Templates (and most other OOP features) are not necessarily meant for tackling problems in embedded programming, which is why people do embedded programming in C (or a stripped down version of C++). In fact, they just don't use C, but they use some formal strict subset of it (MISRA-C or something like that.)

2. Templates produce very bloated code... if you don't know how to use them or how you use them recklessly.

3. They (and other features) are meant to create richer application level functionality (with a well understood trade-off over lean and mean code.). Engineering is all about trade-offs (and knowing what the trade-offs are.)

Comment Re:Deliberately missing the forest for the trees (Score 2) 378

If I had to guess why so many people want to live there I'd have to say it's because they've been told that "everyone wants to live there" - that it's the cool place to be.

I think it has to do with a larger employment pool. It is one of the reasons why I've always kept SF on the back of my mind. The cost and all the other negatives, OTH, have stopped me from moving my family there.

My family and I live a good life in South Florida. Not the cheapest of places, but not uber expensive like San Francisco. A good house with a decent patio, not bad traffic, etc. The problem is that there are not that many product-oriented employers in the area. It's mostly IT (disproportionately so compared to other regions). And that's a problem because 1) IT command lower salaries, and 2) it relies more on contract work than full time employment.

Product-oriented companies (or those that provide a computing service as a product), they tend to command better salaries and rely less on contractors. By the numbers, it would be easier to find a full-time job in SV than in South Florida. Oh fuck, most of my work in the last 20 years have been contracting, and not by choice.

Contracting is all good and dandy when you are single. Not so with a family and kids. So for the time being, I have this conundrum of whether to stick here, or move to SV (and learn to deal with all the other suck that comes with living in the area.)

Comment Re: Deliberately missing the forest for the trees (Score 1) 378

Can you guess why Brexit happened? Here's a hint: Immigrants.

No, hate/fear of immigrants did. And not just immigrants from, say, the Middle East, but European migrants from Poland and the like.

The bulk of immigrants from Eastern Europe do not even compete with the regular native as they tend to be better educated and work at a higher level. There is no replacing them, but oooooo immigrants changing the national character and some shit like that.

Blaming Brexit on the immigrant is like blaming Emmett Till for his own lynching.

Comment Oh the irony (Score 3, Insightful) 150 CTO Jeremy Stone gave the kids an impromptu lesson on the powers of two with his explanation of why The Cloud ate their homework. "The way we store student coding activity is in a table that until today had a 32-bit index... The database table could only store 4 billion rows of coding activity information [and] we didn't realize we were running up to the limit, and the table got full. We have now made a new student activity table that is storing progress by students. With the new table, we are switching to a 64-bit index which will hold up to 18 quintillion rows of information.

The of seeing a programming education site using 32-bit indexes without any form of index space monitoring is both hilarious and surreal.

Who the hell runs a cloud-based, massively accessible operation with 32-bit indexes? And who the hell runs a production system without database monitoring?

Comment Re:Yeah, not a surprise (Score 2) 558

To Mr. Assange it is all about Mr. Assange. It has come down to his sexual misdeeds in Sweden and that they are not going to back down on his prosecution.

His life will be allot less fun if he was in a Swedish prison doing a few years for rape. Then he will just be another "common criminal" and not worth bytes to write articles about his latest proclamations.

That Ecuador was stuck with this guy is rather interesting[ Now they are stuck with him and I bet he is getting tired of eating cuy (guinea pig).

Comment Re:Infrastructure vs Independence (Score 1) 467

That's actually the real point. Transmitting electricity is horribly inefficient, compared to transporting portable fuel. The energy required to send a car 500 kilometers is approximately 50 litres of gasolene. Transporting 50 litres of gasolene to a fuel station by truck costs no more than the truck expense, and the truck's fuel expense, and the road wear and tear. And the larger the truck, the less it costs per litre.

But for the electricity, not only is there transmission loss, but there's also repeaters, lines, equipment along the way, the maintenance of that equipment, accessing that equipment, oh it's horrible. Maintaining infrastructure is a horrible horrible game when you're outside of a major city's orbit.

Think of a mountain range, with 10'000 miles of road. No cities at all. You can build wires, and repeaters, and blast mountains, and fix ice storms, or you can just drive the fuel to the stations.

Electricity is only useful within city limits -- like just about all infrastructure systems.

City limits (3.5% of the land area) hosts over 60% of the American population (the majority of which have commute times less than 2 hours.) The majority who drive cannot afford to travel the way you do that frequently anyways, so energy policy should be catering to them, not you.

Comment Re:It's about landmass (Score 1) 467

But as soon as you get out of one of those urban center, you probably need to drive 2~4 hours to get to another urban center.

Hybrids are a solution. Plus, most people do not drive (regularly) outside of their urban centers, and purely electric motors would run supreme for public transportation within a urban center.

Comment Re:It's about landmass (Score 1) 467

I'm all for electric vehicles, but the US has much lower population density. An electric vehicle only works as a primary vehicle if you rarely leave a major metro area. Unless they become cheap enough that it can be a second or even third household vehicle, it's simply not feasible for a lot of Americans.

80% of the US population lives in urban areas, with 3.5% of the land area hosting 62.7% of Americans. Yes, the country is one big vast subcontinent, but we seem to forget we have big-ass metropolises. Some of them rival in size to Japan's Kanto region.

Look at LA or NY metropolitan areas, or the North Eastern corridor. Or Dallas/Ft. Worth. Or look at South Florida (where I'm currently living), 6 million people in an urban area that spans three counties, 100km long by no more than 20km wide.

Electric cars could totally work in these areas where, as I said, host 60% of Americans.

Comment You are an idiot (Score 1) 375

Let's see - I have gigabit internet, satellite TV, 4G cell service, acres of land and a house that would cost you millions, and no traffic or crime in this rural American lifestyle as you call it.

I actually know my neighbors, the mayor of the town, the sheriff, and I participate in my community. My kids go to decent schools with normal people and not the psychotics that live in major cities. Despite the article above we have good health care and actually know our doctors who even make house calls. We grow a lot of our own food and have easy access to hunting. When the shit hits the fan you will be starving.

So no thanks. Keep your city lifestyle.

Well, I'm going to reply to your stupid generalization with a couple of facts: that Rural America, in particular in the Bible Belt, is drowning in a heroin epidemic and suffering from teen pregnancy at rates not seeing in urban areas. That towns in Rural America, despite the little bubbles here and there that make the life you describe possible, they are not economically viable and that nothing will prevent its depopulation.

Congratulations that you have a great life for you to enjoy, but get your head out of your ass if you think normal people predominantly live in rural areas with cities being nothing but havens for the psychotic.

This is the type of mentality by which people end up looking at rural folks as a bunch of encapsulated rubes. There is a richness of life both on rural and urban Americas, and it would serve you well to learn about them both.

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