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Comment Funding Cut (Score 1) 291

The funding for this and the rail gun was recently cut by the Senate Armed Services committe.

Hopefully this sees the light of day... some day... but I don't think it'll be under the current project. Too bad too. The FEL and rail gun are probably the coolest weapons projects out there.

Comment Better to spend it on infrastructure than bailouts (Score 1) 1026

As much as I hate the idea of Obama spending even more of my money, building up our train infrastructure can only have good long-term effects, in my meaningless opinion. I'd love to take a train instead of fly or drive for a long time... it'd be awesome if I could hop on a train to New Orleans instead of driving for 10 hours, or dealing with an hour or two of security checkpoints and another 2 hours in a plane.

Hell, our national infrastructure is in a mostly-crumbling state... bridges collapsing, highways constantly being "repaired" for 2 years, only to have to be repaired again a few years later due to the lowest-bidder shoddy workmanship.

I'd much rather sink 53 billion into infrastructure than into bailouts.

Comment Choose groping as civil disobedience (Score 1) 728

I chose to be groped rather than be scanned this last weekend on a flight to Colorado. Not flying is not an option... I refuse to have my travel curtailed. So my choices are to be technologically raped or physically groped. I choose the groping. Ultimately, I think the groping was worth the expression of shock and indignation on the part of the TSA goon. My rights were violated either way, but at least I made some sort of stand.

Comment Going West? (Score 1) 84

Like into China? Or West as in the Western world? The title, at least, is a bit confusing, and we certainly can't expect everyone to read the article. :p

I think it's great that Japanese game developers are working with Western publishers (western as in American). Anything to provide cross-pollination of ideas and styles is always a good thing. I'm not a big fan of the art style or the grinding that seems to be in vogue for a lot of the Japanese games, but there's plenty there to love, as well.

Comment Been done (Score 1) 164

My Dell laptop I bought a year and a half ago shipped with software to do exactly the same thing. I ended up disabling it because it took so much longer for the webcam to fire up and the software to do its thing than for me to just type in a password. This is with a Dell Studio XPS 13, though I wouldn't be surprised if this software shipped on other lappies as well.

Comment algorithms, code design, proper use of objects (Score 1) 396

I am/was self taught as well, mostly web-based to start with... PHP, then javascript, then C# over many years and up to using OO in all three. A year ago I started taking c++ classes in college and I can say I picked up a few very helpful things.

1. C++ gave me a look into pointers and how stuff runs at a lower level than any of the other languages.
2. Object use. I used objects before, but I didn't leverage them quite as heavily as I could have, including inheritance and polymorphism. What I learned in C++ has greatly affected how I code in PHP and C#.
3. One of my C++ classes was about efficiency in algorithms... so I learned a bunch about how stuff is done deep down and how to write efficient code. Very helpful for some of the stuff I do in PHP and javascript when working with large data sets.
4. Code design is a big one... before, I just put all my methods into a single class and called them there. The class ended up being more of a repository for functions and data than a real class. Now I have a better grasp of breaking stuff into parts and either creating child classes or whatever is appropriate.

It's still a learning process. I'm only on my 4th c++ class and haven't even taken the data structure class yet, but I've learned a tremendous amount, even in just the first intro to c++ class. My suggestion... take at least intro to c++ at a community college.. you'll probably be surprised how much you'll learn. As an added bonus, being familiar with programming makes getting an A a breeze, so you can concentrate on actually writing decent code and learning stuff.

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