Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Just what we needed (Score 1) 63

Well, part of being a professional programmer, at least IMO, is not going batshit-insane with fancy language features when they're not needed. C++ is a language in which you can write some really, really horrible code if you're determined to do so. And I don't think I've ever heard anyone describe it as a language that's easy to master. But for highly experienced C++ programmers like myself, it's an incredibly powerful language, and that's what's important, at least when I use it professionally.

It's pretty easy to list off a litany of problems with C++. It's bloated, it's ugly, it's hard to learn, full of strange idioms and tricky rules. But it has three characteristics that make it indespensible for certain industries and applications:

* It's ubiquitous. Nearly every platform has a C++ compiler, and there's a lot of sample C or C++ code available to use. It also makes hiring and training easier.
* It's efficient. You don't pay for features you don't use, and it compiles down to fast, efficient, native code.
* It's got reasonably good abstraction features that don't require paying a heavy price for that safety, enabling large, complex programs to be written more easily.

There are a lot of great new languages coming out, but nearly all of those fail on the first point. Unfortunately, that's a deal breaker for many projects.

Comment Re:People should learn english (Score 2) 50

And conveniently, you don't have to change anything about what you're doing at all, or learn anything, or even try. Just put the work on billions of other people. Must be a coincidence.

It's very convenient for us English speakers, but it also happens to be true. English is fast becoming the world's "common" tongue, especially in areas of technology. If one knows their native language plus English, they'll have the vast majority of the world's knowledge at their fingertips. Some languages are not well suited for general-purpose computing, like the 50K+ logosyllabic Chinese characters. English, with its simple alphabet, most certainly is.

Learning English, especially if you want to code, work in a technical field, or communicate with others online, is very important. Japan has known this for decades, as their schools teach mandatory English from early on. Slightly over half of Europeans speak English as well. It makes no sense to move against the natural flow and promote a more neutral or even an invented language, because then you just inconvenience everyone equally. Perhaps more fair, but infinitely less practical. Besides which, I'd argue English-only speakers are the poorer for not knowing a second or third language.

That being said, I'm certainly not opposed to native-language resources being made available to people, of course. If the tools are made available, I think that will tend to happen organically over time as demand grows.

Comment Re:More important lesson (Score 2) 95

Caveat: It's okay to make mistakes as long as no one was hurt or killed by easily preventable errors. Obviously, that doesn't apply here, so I definitely agree. Sharing your experience and turning it into a teachable moment ensures others learn from it as well.

It would have been less embarrassing for them to just make up some excuse about a temporary outage, or blame a DDOS attack, or Russian hackers. It's good to remember that when lambasting them about what idiots they are for not noticing this before their DB puked on them. It's tempting to do, but really does nothing but stroke your own ego while at the same time encouraging people to try to hide their mistakes to avoid this sort of public shaming.

So, yeah, kudos for them for owning up to their own mistake.

Comment Re:Regulatory Solutions (Score 1) 147

And you'd be yelling obscenities at someone who probably agrees with you in most aspects on this topic. All I'm saying is that comparing Tesla's 'autopilot' it to it's original moniker isn't a very compelling argument - nothing more, nothing less.

Contrary to what you and saloomy probably believe (based on the vociferous rebuttals) I don't actually believe that Tesla needs to change it's 'autopilot' name. Even if they called it "minor driver assist but please still pay attention to the road", stupid people are stupid, and will do stupid things regardless, while most people will use it responsibly after learning how it works. Of all the people driving Teslas, how many people were honestly confused by the name? I'm guessing not a lot, if any. So, the entire argument seems sort of silly to me.

See, that's why it's not a bad thing to remain civil.

Comment Re:'America's Smokestack' ! (Score 1) 405

Wyoming is the least populous state (50/50) with an entire population less than Oklahoma City.

Good point. Apparently, over half a million people live in Wyoming, meaning 1.3 percent of the population work in coal-related industries. If you extrapolate that out to families and dependents, as well as supporting industries, it could very well be as much as 5 percent of the state's population relies on the coal-mining industry.

Anyhow, apparently, this is not exactly a new thing: http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/...

It's kind of a shame, because apparently the wind conditions are quite ideal for power generation, but are obviously being blocked for political reasons. Still, I guess Wyoming has the right to choose the power they want, just like other states. It sure seems like they'd be a bit interested in diversifying, though, given the trends that are pretty obvious to most of us.

Submission + - The Clinton Foundation is downsizing (ny.gov)

mi writes: You would think, the end of a political career would allow a genuinely charitable family to concentrate on their charity. Instead, the Clinton Foundation is closing shop (or, at least, downsizing) after their champion's electoral loss. According to the paperwork they filed with New York Department of labor, the reason is "Discontinutation [sic] of the Clinton Global Initative [sic]".

Comment Re:Why is this a problem? (Score 1) 48

Ah, I see. Re-reading again, the last sentence makes that more obvious.

I'm wondering now if the negative tone was actually intentional or not, because TFA sounds a bit more neutral. I think much of it comes from the word "pressured" in the headline (which the article doesn't use). It makes it sound as though Google is sending goons to app developers' homes to... "encourage" them to upgrade their libraries.

"That's a lovely app you have there. It would be a real shame if something were to happen to it."

Comment Re:'America's Smokestack' ! (Score 1) 405

how many humans are actually working there?

Apparently, 6,673 people. Add another 1,110 at coal-fired plants, as that's sort of related to the issue.

It's telling that I had to get these numbers from sourcewatch (a progressive / left-leaning group), because I first looked at industry websites and couldn't find employment numbers. Given these numbers, I can see why they don't exactly trumpet them. Coal is not actually a huge employer these days. It's more likely that they have a disproportional lobbying influence, especially since their industry is more or less under attack by environmental concerns, and has historically been an economic driver for Wyoming.

Comment Re:Regulatory Solutions (Score 2, Insightful) 147

People keep making this argument about the analogy between Tesla's feature and the autopilot feature of airplanes, but how many normal people know an airplane's autopilot works? It's a pointless comparison unless it's a widely known fact among the general public, which I'd argue it is not. I'll bet most people have the same mis-impression of an airline's autopilot feature.

Even so, I think we're just in a collective learning curve regarding semi-autonomous vehicles. Eventually, the cars will become fully autonomous anyhow, so I'm not terrible concerned. The fact that collisions are down by 40% validates what many of us long believed, which is that computers are going to be much safer drivers than humans. And this is just a very early and flawed first iteration of the technology to come.

Comment Re:Why is this a problem? (Score 1) 48

The only "bad thing" here is that some developer can't even be bothered to patch known security issues out of their code. It seems unlikely Google would have started to impose deadlines if a significant number of developers weren't simply ignoring those security alerts. The program was originally started with no action required on the part of developers. Obviously, that didn't work out so well.

I see nothing wrong with Google requiring a minimal effort to maintain security if developers wish to be listed in Google's app store.

Slashdot Top Deals

Ask five economists and you'll get five different explanations (six if one went to Harvard). -- Edgar R. Fiedler

Working...