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Comment Re:This calls for ballot stuffing (Score 2) 125

One of the first things that they teach you in Calculus I is the concept of Domain and Range. Actually, if you had the "function machine" concept of New Math, I think it originally gets introduced there.

Most programming languages have only a limited concept of domain and range. Especially domain. Usually, in fact, it's limited to throwing an exception when you do something that violates the range like divide by zero or get a register arithmetic overflow error.

Ada allows you to precisely define datatypes and to give them domains and ranges. So A), you cannot pass a value in meters to a function that operates in inches (the best you can do is input a raw number that the function assumes is in inches). And you cannot pass in a value that is outside of the domain. So if I define a POSITIVE_INTEGER as having a vaue of 1..infinity, then passing zero to a function that takes a POSITIVE_INTEGER is a compile-time error.

As they say, make a system that's idiot-proof and some idiot will prove that it isn't, but Ada puts a lot more protections in at both compile and run times than most languages. It's the opposite extreme from some of the scripting languages where you could spill beer over the keyboard while sneezing and the resulting collection of random characters wouldn't fail until maybe the module got called next Leap Year.

Ada as a practical language suffered from 2 problems, First, it came out too soon. At a rough guess, a really competent Ada machine requires as much horsepower as Java, and when I studied Ada, merely running the compiler could bring an IBM mainframe of the day to its knees. Secondly, as with Java, any language that pushes most of the development cycle into the design and coding phases because until that part's right, absolutely nothing runs has a hard battle going up against the "instant gratification" of today's popular scripting languages, where the bulk of the work tends to be done chasing the run-time errors slowly emerging because the interpreter couldn't catch them in advance and the program "runs" almost as soon as you start coding.

Comment Re:The best one... (Score 1) 141

Well, that's the point of the 6-axis sensors. They are the exact electronic equivalent of the semi-circular canals of the inner ear. In fact even if you're magneto-sensitive, the current sensors can track that as well.

It's really a psycho-physiological problem. We are able to watch the flickering pictures in movies and scan-line television because the perception of the eyes isn't as important as the perception of the brain. One of the tricks that I have heard of in tracking head/body motion is to take advantage of the fact that the human eye cannot focus on all the interim points between point A and point B, so you can do fast/fuzzy rendering while motion is going on and only have to fill things in when everything is stable.

Comment Re:The best one... (Score 1) 141

Well, I'm not well-experienced in the field, but 6-axis motion/attitude sensors are very small and very cheap - almost every smartphone has one. And outfits like Oculus have reportedly spent a lot of effort into learning psychological tricks to ensure that your perception of the image appears to track what the sensor detects.

So I'll defer my sneering until I actually have a chance to try some out. I'm definitely not in the snowflake category. Can't even sit in the front rows of a movie theatre without getting motion sick.

Comment Re: This is silly (Score 2) 322

Actually, I think the more accurate word is "channel", not device. Certainly ALSA has mixing capabilities. PulseAudio is more into routing multiple sound pipelines, at least if my memory on the subject isn't too blurred.

I had to work with that stuff a while back and learned to appreciate the virtues of both systems alone and in combination.

I also developed a splitting headache because there's no idiot's guide to Linux sound document I know of that covers all the options (much less when you start adding MIDI and Jack into it). So I forgot a lot of it in self-defense.

Until next time, anyway.

Comment Re:As intended (Score 4, Interesting) 102

OR it could just be that that's been a steady stream of propaganda from a certain political party and Corporate America for 100 years. A Big Lie repeated over and over again until it "becomes" the unassailable Truth.

Any organization can become corrupt at times but that does not mean that you can automatically assume that all such organizations are all corrupt at all times.

Indeed, it is often the case that the more people need something, the more that unsavoury types will move in. And if they need something desperately and someone rich and powerful opposes them, it's not unthinkable that the unsavoury types could get a little extra "help", if you know what I mean.

There are a lot of things to dislike about Unions. But thinking you can stand up as a single individual and negotiate on an even footing with an organization which is stocked with cash, "Human Resources", lawyers, and the patience to starve you out is pitiably naive.

Comment Re: Offsite backups become more and more importan (Score 1) 299

Well, if I'd said "another black person lining up for the slave ship", you'd have probably called me racist. The point isn't the race, nationality or religion of the person, it's whether they accept their fate meekly or they fight back, even if they'll ultimately lose.

Comment Re: LibreOffice (Score 1) 203

I'm sure it's more widespread than that. Offices where virtually everything has to be a Word document.

But there's a difference between casually banging out a memo and a formatted document. I can forgive brute-force spacing for the quick-and-dirty stuff. I might even have been guilty of it myself on occasion. It's the words that count there, not so much the appearance.

What I'm railing against are the people who are complaining about the "wrong" word processor ruining their document formatting. These are the people who should know better. They are the "professionals writing word documents". People who are going to be sending copies of those documents to possibly unknown destinations with possibly unknown software versions. Business letters, user manuals, and other archival-worthy documentation.

Back in an earlier century I worked in an office where we shared 2 HP Laserjet printers. One was a LaserJet 2 and one was a LaserJet 3. They had different hardware font sets and it very definitely made a difference in how documents would appear when printed and the users complained to the support person (me). So there was some incentive to make the documents portable even within a relative monoculture.

Comment Re: LibreOffice (Score 1) 203

WIH Are you even using Word instead of simply using Windows Notepad?

The whole point of having a word processor over a simple text editor is because it provides a smarter, more powerful way of creating and maintaining formatted documents.

When you want to double-space between paragraphs, you hit Enter twice between each paragraph. And, of course, subject yourself to random format changes when you port the document.

When I want to double-space between paragraphs, I edit the paragraph style and change the spacing there. And immediately, every paragraph in the document gets spaced automatically. The random reformatting is greatly reduced, because intelligent style spacing doesn't count the extra "blank" lines as lines.

Plus I can control spacing to fractions of lines, automatic paragraph numbering doesn't count the blank spaces in the paragraph count (something lawyers wouldn't want to do). And so forth.

Styles are one of the most basic concepts of word processing, whether it's Open/Libre Office or MS-Word or virtually any other product. I think even WordPerfect had them.

If it's too much trouble to learn how to use a program as anything than a blunt instrument, then you probably ought to just use a blunt instrument.

Comment Re: LibreOffice (Score 1) 203

The telling phrase there is "And only MS Office nails it, and then only within the current version."

That's a dead giveaway that you don't have a document, you have an artifact of a very specific release (and possibly even very specific maintenance) of a certain software product. Not exactly something you can enjoy through the ages.

Back before soft fonts were the norm, we used to have horrible problems in my office with documents that when passed from one person to another would completely lose their page integrity even though everyone was using the same version of Windows and the same version of Office. Because the typesetting metrics were computed based on what physical fonts were installed in their printers. Soft fonts reduced the problem, since every user could be supplied with the exact same fontset irrespective of their brand, model, and options of printer(s).

If you absolutely, positively must have pixel-accurate page rendition, generate a PDF. That's what they're designed for. If you simply want word-processing rather than page layout, you can make your documents a LOT more portable simply by not using the word-processing program as a dumb typewriter. Don't use the "Return" key to determine vertical spacing or the space bar to determine horizontal spacing. Use tabs and styles. Use the paragraph widow/orphan attributes. Use hard page breaks if you want an absolute location for a page break.

Do this and you'll be amazed at how well most documents will travel to/from Open/Libre Writer and MS-Word. And, for that matter, between different copies of MS-Word.

Comment Re: Offsite backups become more and more importan (Score 1) 299

Fortunately, in the Real World, there are people who don't know better. People like Gandhi and Martin Luther King. People like the US Founding Fathers. Even people like Fidel Castro (you don't have to be a Good Guy to fight the state).

You may not lead a long and happy life, but at least you're not likely to be forgotten by History as merely another Jew queueing up to get into the boxcar.

Comment Re:uh (Score 2) 63

Apache HTTPD - more commonly known as simply "Apache" is the flagship product of the Apache Foundation.

But they took over the Tomcat J2EE server and spread out into an entire Java domain - "Jakarta".

Jakarta Tomcat is now known as Apache Tomcat, however, and most of the other jakarta projects have been made into "apache" projects.

And yes, as a Tomcat support person, I do find it annoying that clueless people will ask me questions about "apache" and the first thing I have do do is figure out which Apache they are talking about. Especially since it's very common for Apache HTTPD to reverse proxy one or more Apache Tomcat servers and they may be referring to both as though it was one product.

Comment Re:Barak HUSSEIN Obama (Score 1) 129

Well obviously, it was by travelling back in time that Obama instigated the Great Recession before he took office.

And by travelling forward in time, he set up the Trump wiretaps.

Considering some of the conspiracy theories swirling around these days, that almost makes sense.

Screw politics anyhow!

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