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Comment blantant-predator moral honeypot (Score 1) 96

A public act by an organization ignoring robots.txt will only lead to the justification of other organizations ignoring robots.txt.

So what? When DoubleClick argues that they ought to have the same advantages as, they'll only manage to look like douchebags reaching their filthy hands into a cookie jar.

It's not always a bad thing to set up douchebag-honeypot moral exemption, even if it does depend on the mass audience (mostly) managing to find two sticks to rub together.

The real solution here is to make the directives in robots.txt more explicit concerning the predatory/non-predatory use cases.

Comment What *should* be your first programming language? (Score 1) 247

The underlying question behind the question is really about what CS students should be exposed to...
When I was a beginning CS student I was exposed to a number of different languages, each being an example of a different mindset: machine language, object-oriented, functional, logical.
I think that's important to learn not just about a programming language but about concepts. Especially in object-oriented programming there are quite a few concepts that you should have a grasp of to be a good programmer in any object-oriented language. And there are times that you could use lessons learned from functional or logical programming that you could apply also in OO programming.

Once you are proficient enough in one language, and having seen a few different languages, picking up another language is easy enough. (the exception being C++) Then the challenge becomes getting acquainted with the standard library.

Myself, I was somewhat self-taught before college. Started with Basic on the Commodore 64 and then 6510 assembly. Some basic on the Atari ST. 68000 assembly on the Amiga. Then C and C++ on PCs.
I would otherwise recommend learning Ruby or Python. Ruby is underappreciated.

Comment Re:No brainer (Score 1) 96

But arguable robots.txt should not be a way to retroactively mark previously archived content as inaccessible.

Exactly. The policy where someone with no interest in a site (i.e. takeovers, lapsed domains, etc) can retroactive wipe all archives with just a couple lines in a config is flat-out wrong.

Ignoring robots.txt entirely, though, is a bad idea. Some sites use it to block archiving, sure, but some others use it to tell robots to avoid places where they'll never return from. There's a case for ignoring "Disallow: /", or anything that's significantly different from what, say, the Google search indexer is allowed to see.

Comment Re:Follow the funding and experts (Score 1) 31

You have all the universities (UCB, Stanford, Caltech, UCLA) as well as a critical mass of tech companies that allows interchange of staff and the creation of a new company overnight. Getting a new job is as easy as going out for lunch. This applies to the East coast as well. Neither area is lumbered with a large unemployed population claiming benefits.

Having so many corporations means that a startup can remain in stealth mode and keep under the radar of politicians and quangocrats. I've known companies to implode because the local government office instructed that they were instructed "not to promote anyone any further but instead to have a fresh talent initiative".

Weather isn't that much of a factor. Even places close to the Arctic circle can have a strong tech base providing the quality of life is high.

Comment Re:Bullshit, Todd. (Score 1) 201

It has been a while, but I am pretty sure Singapore citizens cannot have an abortion in their own country, although foreigners can. So, if you are forced to have and raise a child (that will have the social stigma in Singapore of being Indian/Chinese), the impact is longer term than just a percentage of the fees paid for in-vitro fertilization... hence it not being considered malpractice.

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