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Comment Re:Just what the world needed most urgently... (Score 1) 184

Compare programming a 6502 in assembly back in 1980 to programming in Java nowadays.

I see your 1978 and raise you a 1970.

'''Prolog''' is a general-purpose logic programming language associated with artificial intelligence and computational linguistics.

Prolog has its roots in first-order logic, a formal logic, and unlike many other programming languages, Prolog is declarative: the program logic is expressed in terms of relations, represented as facts and rules. A computation is initiated by running a query over these relations.

The language was first conceived by a group around Alain Colmerauer in Marseille, France, in the early 1970s and the first Prolog system was developed in 1972 by Colmerauer with Philippe Roussel.

Prolog was one of the first logic programming languages, and remains the most popular among such languages today, with several free and commercial implementations available.

The language has been used for theorem proving, expert systems, as well as its original intended field of use, natural language processing.

Modern Prolog environments support creating graphical user interfaces, as well as administrative and networked applications.

Prolog is well-suited for specific tasks that benefit from rule-based logical queries such as searching databases, voice control systems, and filling templates.

Prolog did not fail because it was lacking in declarative concision. It failed because there's an annoying layer in between formal description in the problem domain and viable execution strategies in the solution domain.

This layer, too, requires code. Of course, we can just write a formal description of the "annoying layer" as a Prolog program and then let Prolog do all the real work.

Uh, wait a minute, recursion has somehow failed us here. How could that even be? Does not compute. Proceeding to Halt and Catch Fire.

Comment Re:All your jobs are...belong to us! (Score 1) 126

As of yet, there is nothing inherently special about a human being that cannot be reproduced by machines.

What on earth are you smoking?

The present gap, on best available technology, is so staggeringly mind-rending it could serve as the third ring in Dante's Total Enlightenment Vortex.

(Midway through the fifth ring—still reeling in shock from the fourth ring's ascendancy of green slime as fully revealed—the Pilgrim of Total Enlightenment receives a surprising and painful transcranial injection of quantum nanodots, so that the true horrors of rings six—spoiler alert: Chaitin's omega because blindingly intuitive and compulsive to calculate—and seven—HAL hasn't blinked since—can be savoured and swallowed in immense and total abjection.)

Comment Re:Remember kids! (Score 1) 379

I love the politicians who stump for "no invisible tax" and write legislation to ensure that gasoline pumps break out every tax category on the paper receipt (we still have these in Canada, I can't speak for anywhere else).

Everybody knows the deal going in.

I sure wish we'd apply the "no invisible tax" standard to casinos, as well. In this world, every patron is entitled to a printed receipt on the way out (just stick your card into the receipt printer near the main exit) of total $$$ in bets placed and total $ in winnings returned.

Even better if those same receipts enumerate the proportion of your losses that wind up in the government's pocket.

7 Facts about Gambling Winnings in the US

Riddle me this, Batman: how does an activity with a guaranteed amortized loss end up pay tax to Uncle Sam on aggregate negative proceeds?

John, a German national, travels to Las Vegas on holiday. He wins a single $10,000 jackpot on the slot machines while playing at Caesar's Palace, triggering the creation of form W2-G by the casino, a copy of which is given to the player. He also wins $1000 more in various slot machine wins, none of which trigger the creation of form W2-G. When John wins the $10,000 jackpot, he hands the slot attendant his German passport along with Form W8-BEN. The slot attendant processes the form and no withholding is taken from the $10,000 jackpot. At the end of the calendar year, John will need to file Form 1040NR with the IRS and report the $11,000 of gambling winnings. He will attach Form 8833, reporting his use of the treaty position to make the gambling winnings non-taxable in the US, along with a copy of the Form W2-G he received from the casino. John will only need to file Form 1040NR in the years that he has US sourced income.

I understand taxing proceeds in a game of skill like poker, but freaking slot machines? Ludicrous. Beyond insane. Conceptually criminal.

Comment Re: If this is open source... (Score 1) 338

That's misleading. The language is write once. But unless someone ports the JVM, you can't run the language on a different system.

No it's factual. You don't seem to understand that your knowledge is lacking. The language is open source which was done by Sun. The VM may not be. Sun is not the only one to put out a VM. Microsoft did. IBM did. Depending on the processor used, VMs for Java were released by other parties. Sun open sourced the language. They also put out a VM that works with Windows. Apple has open sourced Swift the language. They are not releasing VMs for Windows.

These days I write PowerShell scripts to automate InfoSec tasks. I would prefer to use Python but the three-letter government agency I work for is a Windows shop.

This still doesn't explain your lack of understanding of programming.

Comment Re: If this is open source... (Score 1) 338

You can't have Java without the VM. No VM, no Java. Hence, Sun "ported" Java to Windows, Mac and Linux.

Again, please learn what the term "porting" means. One of the strongest features of Java was the fact you didn't have to "port" it to different environments. "Write once" was a feature.

I made the president's list for maintaining a 4.0 GPA in computer programming after I graduated from community college. That took me five years because I was taking two classes per semester, working 60+ hours per week as a video game tester and teaching Sunday school. I'm not a professional software developer. I went into IT support to use my programming background to help users solve difficult problems made difficult by professional software developers.

So after five years at a community college, you finally graduated. But you don't actually work as a programmer. I guess this explains why you don't understand basic concepts of programming.

Swift for Cygwin and Windows is called a "port" on the swift-dev list. The Cygwin port requires a hack to compile the binary for distribution. The Windows port requires more effort for a native binary.

Wow. So much wrong in that understanding. Cygwin is a VM. Please look what that is. Swift is a programming language. Please look that up as well.

Comment death's excellent extended vacation (Score 2) 476

Are we talking the 'death' when a generational math prodigy turns twenty-five?

Or the 'death' when a the fastest of all fast-living rock stars turns thirty?

Or the 'death' when an formerly fetching actress turns forty?

Or the 'death' when a corner-office executive producer turns fifty.

Or the 'death' when a commercial pilot turns sixty?

Or the 'death' when a professor emeritus turns seventy?

Or the 'death' when a defeated American presidential candidate turns eighty?

Or the 'death' when everyone's favourite preschool teacher turns ninety (on Okinawa)?

Or the mostly-just-resting 'death' when the queen mum turns one hundred?

And we're still not done. George Burns lived an entire Windows 95/98 maximal uptime (49 days) after his one hundredth.

Comment Re:Random aspersions (Score 1) 273

I assume you're talking about the TPP [slashdot.org] and, in particular, the point that this person [slashdot.org] is trying to make about the TPP being good for the Japanese auto industry and bad for the American auto industry? If not I don't know what you're talking about, but that's the talking point which was making the rounds.,

I'm pretty anyone who thinks that TPP is good for the Japanese auto industry doesn't know that the vast majority of "Japanese" cars sold in America are made in America. Toyotas, Hondas, and Nissans that are sold in the US are for the most part assembled in the US. Parts come from all over the world. For a long time the luxury brands like Infiniti, Lexus, and Acura were made in Japan but that is changing too.

Comment Re: If this is open source... (Score 1) 338

You're missing my point. Apple is a CORPORATION just like Sun back in the day. Apple has Windows developers since they put out iTunes for Windows.

Wow you really are dense. Apple has Windows developers. So what?

If Apple want their Open Source language to be successful, they should port it to Windows.

That's probably the most idiotic thing you've said. Was Java "ported" to Windows? No. Sun wrote a VM for Java. That's it. Java never was "ported". I don't think you know what "ported" means.

They're not lacking the resources like Linus, RMS and Canonical.

Again another idiotic thing you've said. You've missed the point again. Having resources != having the will or desire. Apple doesn't want to do it. That's why they open sourced it. So that others could.

If I can use it on Windows, then its a Windows program. I'm not a purist.

Um no. I think your understanding of computer programs is sorely lacking. Running something in Cygwin in Windows is not a "port" of that program.

Comment Re: Threshold (Score 1) 403

The civil unrest it causes could make it impractical to automate to that level.

That's what I thought when I visited South Africa, where almost every single establishment has more people working in it than are really needed; one just has to overemploy to maintain social harmony in the presence of a very high unemployment rate. I've grown used to self-service checkouts at supermarkets in my corner of Europe, but in SA I figured that if a supermarket tried to implement them, there'd be rioting and destruction.

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