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Comment Re:Time to switch (Score 1) 108

It feels like this is intended to spark some sort of frothing outrage, but it doesn't sound all that unreasonable: So... the free business OneDrive and Skype service that came with their product ends when mainstream support for that product also ends three years from now? Yeah, well... okay? Pony up and pay for a service to store your documents online somewhere. It's really not all that expensive. And generally speaking, it's stupid to count on a "free" cloud service lasting forever. Hell, even *paid* services will disappear if they're not profitable enough.

It certainly doesn't affect me with my single license of Office. I don't even use OneDrive features, preferring to use AWS for backups, since they only charge you for the storage you actually use. Last month I paid 10 cents. S3 is stupidly cheap for storing documents and source code backups, since that takes up very little space.

Comment Re:Attitudes (Score 1) 81

"The Cloud" is overhyped beyond belief these days, but it really does have a place for specific tasks.

For instance: backups and offline storage. Yes, make a local backup, but you need offsite as well. It's just *stupid* not to use a service like Amazon S3 or Glacier for this. Of if you need a turn-key solution for a bit more, Carbonite, etc.

Scalable loads is another one. You can rent HUGE numbers of CPUs to crunch all sorts of data, or push all sorts of traffic to load-test systems. Owning all this hardware would be ridiculously cost-prohibitive.

The "cloud" is just another tool for your use. No tool is perfect for everything, but nearly every tool is perfect for something.

Comment Re: Make America Great (Score 4, Insightful) 618

Only a few people are saying "scrap the H1B" program. My current programming lead is from Europe, and I'd guess he's here on H1B or something similar, but most of our people are from the US. We're glad to have him, but I don't feel he's necessarily displacing any qualified workers. We've had positions opened for many months, and it's extremely difficult to find qualified people to fill those positions. There are plenty of tech workers in the US, but often you need people with very specific qualifications (no, real ones, not made up shit).

But there's also no doubt that the program needs cleaning up to prevent some of the rampant abuse that's gone on. It's CLEARLY being abused by many corporations looking to save money by "outsourcing" without the downsides of the workers residing in another country.

Comment "Disruptive" (Score 5, Interesting) 56

Smelling some serious Silicon Valley marketing bullshit in here. Damn, the whole summary is a buzzword bingo paradise. Question: what AI *isn't* "headless"? He just means "non-customer facing", right? Don't overload the term in confusing ways.

Am I just grumpy this morning, or is this summary as asinine as it seems to me right now? Not only is this schmuck cranking the AI hype train whistle up to 11, he's not nearly as insightful as he thinks it is. Um, yeah, no kidding that AI (a fancy term for advanced data analysis, mostly) will be useful to businesses, instead of the stupid chat bots now being displayed. And yeah, it seems pretty obvious it's not going to put everyone out of work (at least not in the short term), but will just be another tool people use.

Maybe I'm just getting tired of the over-hyping of AI. Almost makes me miss the 3D printing fad.

Comment Apple ][+ (Score 3, Interesting) 855

48KB RAM + 16KB extended, two floppy disk drives, green monochrome CRT display, and a joystick. It was amazing at the time, at least to me.

My parents bought it for their business, but they never really used it, and it eventually became mine. I learned how to program on that computer using AppleBASIC. I also learned that line numbers suck for programming, and only went to 32767 (one of my bigger projects). I eventually learned why there was such a "strange" limit like that after I learned about binary numbers.

Favorite games: Choplifter, Wizardry, Karateka, Aztek, and a few adventure games I can't remember the names of.

Comment Re:He is an idiot... (Score 1) 302

I wonder when Congresscritters will learn to stop talking about the internet? Any time they do, with a rare few exceptions, it simply makes them look profoundly ignorant and/or out-of-touch.

I have no doubt that this Senator never touches the internet himself - not directly at least. It's nice have a room full of government-paid staff member to use the internet for you. I mean, we all have that, right?

Comment Re:/. won't either (Score 5, Insightful) 447

It would be funny, but then you're just playing BK's marketing game. There would be headlines AGAIN about Google doing that, which is just giving them more publicity. How many marketing campaigns end up with several Slashdot headlines (along with plenty of other big-name media outlets)?

The worst thing that could have happened to BK is that this story was ignored. They way they figure it, the longer they can keep this in the news, the more successful their marketing campaign is. The faux anger will dissipate in fairly short order, but we're still all thinking about BK's Whoppers in the meantime.

Comment Re:/. won't either (Score 5, Insightful) 447

Let's face it. From a marketing perspective, this is a huge success for BK. A relatively small number people were *actually* negatively affected, and I'd bet very few regular BK customers will actually STOP going there as a result. But for a single commercial, a huge number of people are now talking about BK and Whoppers. Even better, some people shift blame to Google for the insecurity of those voice interfaces. It's highly unlikely and negative legal consequences will come from this either.

Whichever sociopathic marketing asshole came up with this ploy is probably getting a big raise this year.

Comment Re: Accidental complexity (Score 1) 179

None of those things I listed are *essential* for writing high-quality software. Those are just things that make life easier for the programmer, and help them to avoid mistakes.

Also, the global namespace in JavaScript has certainly been the cause of many bugs, and more than a few security issues as well. Were you designing the language from scratch today, you'd certainly build in support to make it much easier to write code in protected "containers" of sorts, and make it much more difficult to breach those containers accidentally.

Comment Re: Accidental complexity (Score 0) 179

Sorry, that was a terrible description. How about "error-prone scope rules"?

I mean that was originally no such thing as block scope for variables, only global and function-based scope. You can use a new keyword to do that now, but that feature as a whole seems error-prone and confusing, and could have been better with properly designed outer-to-inner nested scope from the beginning, like most other languages have.

Comment Re:Original submitter here (Score 1) 179

Thanks for the article submission, and good to hear some positive feedback for a change when the editors do a proper job. Just ignore acerbic bitter-balls that can't find anything better to do with their time than to lash out at strangers on the internet. It's really sort of sad, when you think about it.

Comment Accidental complexity (Score 3, Informative) 179

A number of newer languages are embracing the idea of protecting the programmer from doing the wrong thing by accident, and I welcome this trend.

Even though I enjoy my occasional work with Python, the other day I accidentally forgot to explicitly reference a specific variable from a returned tuple, the error code I wanted to check against. Python happily let me compare tuple_value != 0 without complaint. While it may be possible to conceive of a situation in which a programmer MIGHT want to compare a tuple against an integer, it seems like 99% of the time, it would be best to throw an error, and force the programmer to do such an operation explicitly, rather than assuming it was intentional. It would have saved me a lot of hassle had this operation not been permitted. So, just one example there.

JavaScript has a lot of similar issues, from what I understand, such as weak scoping rules, global by default, no namespaces, and overly-generous implicit type coersion. All these things seem to work against the programmer, even if they were originally designed as conveniences.

It's really a shame that "what we have" for the web is JavaScript, so it's sort of impossible to work in web and ignore it. In my particular industry, "what we have" is C++. I'm not sure whether I should feel fortunate or not compared to web programmers. C++ has it's own particular nightmare of complexity, but the good news is that with C++, you can protect yourself from stupid mistakes with enough self-discipline, and the language has improved remarkably in the last 6 years.

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