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Comment Re:I'll document it tomorrow (Score 1) 486

I find that whenever I try to set a hard, fast programming rule, I find side cases where I honestly probably should break it. It doesn't matter what the rule is about - spacing, line wrapping, what belongs in a class vs. a standalone function, what files to put various pieces of code... whatever rule I make, I find cases where it probably would be better for me not to follow it.

The same happens with comments. I'm very much in the school of long, descriptive function names and variables that are self-commenting. I hate coming across old, outdated comments that no longer apply to the code; with long, descriptive variable and function names, you can read what's happening and it's always up to date. And often that's enough. The code says what it's doing, it's straightforward... job done.

But that's not always enough. Because it's one thing to say what's happening. But it's another thing to say "why". When was the last time you put the word "because" in a variable or function name? That's what comments should be for. Not what you're doing, but why you're doing it. Sometimes code just needs descriptive variable and function names. But sometimes you really need the "why" explained.

Comment Re:I'll document it tomorrow (Score 1) 486

Or the more annoying:


void fn193(dt_1011 a)
{
/* BEGIN FUNCTION */

/* IF a is greater than 5 THEN*/
    if (a > 5)
    {
/* Loop 10 times */
        for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++)
        {
/* Call fn828 with arguments a and i */
            fn828(a, i);
        }
/* end IF statement */
    }
/* end FOR loop */

...

/* END FUNCTION */
}

.... without ever having mentioned why they're doing any of it. Yes, someone who used to work here actually programmed like that. A comment on almost every line, and none of them at all useful. :P

They did sometimes have function headers. Unfortunately they were mostly cargo-cult style copies, full of meaningless cruft and long-outdated information, and... it almost hurts me to say this... doublespaced. ;)

Comment Re:Why no 4k footage of the moon? (Score 1) 47

You said both the Moon and Mars. Can you not even read your own posts?

FYI, there are not "millions of people" who would like to sit around staring at a picture that only very slowly changes. And there's no point to live video anyway because there's no action; you can just broadcast stills and interpolate between them if that's what you want. All stills that NASA captures are released publicly for people like you to oggle at.

Lastly, in case you're actually curious, there are four missions active at the moon right now: ARTEMIS P1, ARTEMIS P2, LRO, and Chang'e 5-T1. The former two don't have cameras; they're simple satellites for studying radiation and magnetic fields. Chang'e 5-T1 is just a test mission for China to advance its technology for future moon missions. LRO is the only one that takes pictures. You can see them here. Unlike Mars, a well designed spacecraft like LRO (although not a cheap spacecraft) could have enough bandwidth for streaming live HD video. But LRMO is quite reasonably designed for science, not screensavers. It has three cameras. Two are black and white cameras which are more like a telescope (as with most spacecraft cameras) - black and white for maximum resolution (every pixel measuring brightness rather than every several combined pixels). I don't know if you've ever tried to capture video through a telescope while moving relative to the object you're trying to capture, but as a general rule it doesn't work very well, and there is nothing about the hardware that's setup for video processing. The third is a wide angle colour camera... "wide angle" in that the camera images are many times wider than they are tall, designed for capturing (nonaligned) strips of the surface in seven spectral bands (which do not correspond directly to what the human eye sees, but are most useful for determining the composition of the surface)

Not that they would ever waste such an expensive instrument's time on capturing a glorified screensaver for Slashdot ACs.

If you want a screensaver satellite, find someone who's willing to pay many tens to several hundred million of dollars to make a fancy screensaver.

Comment Re:Any photos of the entire Earth? (Score 1) 47

LM doesn't mean Lunar Lander, it means Lunar Module. I don't know why you expect NASA's search engine to find things when you call them by the wrong name. Do you expect it to turn up pictures of the space shuttle if you type in "Space Bus"?

As for your other stuff, you're clearly trolling, and I don't feed trolls.

Comment Re:Women even better off in industry (Score 2) 486

Outside of Silicon Valley women are usually treated well and as equals

Meh, I've witnessed awful treatment of women in the industry and never worked anywhere near SV.

Remember that stat, that 25% of women in colleges have been sexually assaulted? How initially it seems unbelievable because, hey, you wouldn't, and I wouldn't, and most men you know wouldn't, so how can that be?

The reason it's likely true is that it doesn't a huge proportion of men to be assholes for a disproportionate number of women to be affected. If, say, 2-5% of men in college think it's OK to touch women inappropriately and non-consensually in environments in which they can get away with it, and you assume each of them gets away with it, and so assaults multiple women, then, wow, you're up to 25% of college women being sexually assaulted pretty quickly.

And the same is true in businesses. Leaving aside institutional and structural problems - which exist everywhere - it doesn't really take a lot of male employees to be assholes, showing a level of disrespect for women they'd never show to men, for women to be disproportionately affected.

One office I worked for had such a person. As in every male member of the programming team knew he hated women, and that the extremely qualified, hard working, smart woman working with him was being treated like shit solely because she was a woman, and neither young nor blonde enough to make him at least be chivalrous to her as compensation.

To my and my coworkers shame we never did anything about it. We didn't talk to him about it, we continued to treat him as a - distant, perhaps - friends. We didn't talk to management about it. "G is strong", we told ourselves, "She doesn't put up with his bullshit", and, well, yeah, but bullying is bullying, and working in that environment wears down the strongest of all of us.

It's getting a lot of press in SV right now because SV is the hub of the tech industry, and has sizable number of progressives involved in it. But the idea it's limited to SV is absurd, that'd be to assume either that base human behavior (because there'll always be sexism) somehow is under control elsewhere, or that management skills have developed to a remarkable level outside of SV.

Comment Re:I think (Score 1) 47

Thankfully the URL is easy to remember... just like images.google.com.

It's kind of amusing searching for keywords that you wouldn't expect to show up on a NASA image search. For example, I found a Native-American juggling hoops, old ladies line dancing at a farmers' market, kids dressed as Men in Black dancing underneath the Shuttle Endeavour, people using the primary mirror of James Webb to take selfies, actress Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) singing, NASA's hip-hop dance team Forces In Motion (travels around middle schools teaching Newton's laws), James Ingram singing "I believe I can fly" in front of Bill Nye, NASA administrator Dan Goldin laughing with (hopefully not at) a "bubble boy" in a protective suit, enough frames of someone testing out a spacesuit to make a stop-motion dance video, and a bunch of other unexpected weirdness.

Comment Re:Why no 4k footage of the moon? (Score 1) 47

What are you talking about? We''ve been sending some damned impressive cameras out into space of late. Heck, even not just "of late". Have you seen the HiRISE images of Mars? Forget 4k, you can download those in 8k.

Now, if you're talking constant live 4K video footage, the problem isn't the cameras, it's the bandwidth over such huge distances.

Comment Re:Lies? (Score 2) 486

I honestly can't remember the last time I used an explicit GOTO. That said, exception handling in most programming languages seems to actually be worse and I've used that.

Some time ago, someone proposed a spoof programming language, whose name temporarily escapes me, that included just about every bad idea possible. This included a "COMEFROM" structure that replaced GOTO - instead of marking where you wanted the jump at the location of the jump, you instead marked at at the location you jumped to.

Guaranteed unreadable. Worse than GOTO. And, hey, guess what, that's pretty much what exception handling is in 99% of implementations. The only way around it is to put one statement, and one statement only, in your try { ... } block, and who does that?

Comment Perfect timing (Score 2) 47

The timing on this is perfect. A group I'm in is working on a book and right now going through trying to get copyright permission on all of the images we want to use (and sometimes you can't get it without paying fees, or can't get in touch with the author). Having such a huge wealth of public domain images all together on one seemingly well-designed search engine will be great for finding substitutions.

Too bad there's no ready substitution for figures from papers, however :P For a nonprofit book a lot of the big servers charge around $50 per image. Which for a full length book (dozens of figures) is thousands of dollars. Most authors are very nice about granting permission, but the journals are all about cash.

Comment Re:I know just the man for the job (Score 5, Informative) 78

Not just been photos, there's been some reported video as well (also Queensland). I did check the gait of the animal in the video, and it matches a diagram of the thylacine's gait. But that's hardly unique to them, it just narrows down the range of possible species. There's old zoo footage here.

I doubt it's actually a thylacine, but who knows, weirder things have been discovered.

Comment Re:So to sum up (Score 1) 628

No, it wasn't. He was kicked out because his sexual proclivities include the domination of women, specifically. To quote Buytaert word-for-word:

Then he's a fucking moron, and he's going to be in for a shock when he gets condemned by the wider social justice community. Acting out Gorean fantasies doesn't mean you believe, in real life, in the subjugation of women any more than acting out Star Wars fantasies means you believe in The Force.

You are correct that traditionally it'd be conservatives making a stink about someones sexual proclivities. That has changed, and is no longer true

Conservatives still seem to be where the majority of attacks on sexual activities, especially non-"normal" sexual activities, comes from.

Do liberals do it? You'll find one or two, just as you'll find any large community has its outliers. But in reality, it's telling that the major schism that lead to the end of Second Wave Feminism and the birth of Third Wave was sex, and the degree to which Second Wave leaned towards prescribing right and wrong sexual behaviors, something unsustainable given human needs. Third Wave is known as "Sex positive", and it was the result of a sizable amount of debate involving everyone from sex workers to the BDSM community that drove Third Wave in that direction.

To put it another way: it's always been the case that the two groups have had people within them that want to control other people's sex lives. Liberals have traditionally done that less than Conservatives. And Liberals are less prescriptive than they were, not more.

Comment Re:So to sum up (Score 1) 628

Except if you are into BDSM involving fantasies of sexual slavery of women

That's right. Women and men acting out fantasies which are entirely consensual and, by definition, involve no real transfer of power, in private, are entirely fine, because nobody is subjugating anyone else.

Or you're a muslim

I've yet to hear a single so-called SJW argue that Muslims are right to subjugate women.

What almost everyone on the left believes is that simply being a Muslim doesn't mean you're deserving of hatred, that you should be dehumanized, that you should be blamed for terrorism, that you should be attacked, or that you should be forced to live in countries governed by extremists.

Kinda like we'd defend conservatives too if we were told they all inherently support terrorism, or that they shouldn't be allowed in this country if they're trying to escape a fascist regime.

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