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Comment You are missing the point. (Score 1) 178

Here, step back from that one tree and see the forest.

The PoC was using ketchup and mayonnaise bottles. The real application is coating the interiors of pipelines and containment vessels, i.e. manufacturing, distribution.

If you're a ketchup manufacturer, and your raw goods are in vessels coated with this, as well as transfer piping, you recoup all of that material loss.

If you're a refinery, your crude just got a lot easier to move.

The consumer-facing application is just a means to differentiate your stupid product from everyone else's. Given the choice between a tube of toothpaste that requires strongman grip strength to fully utilize, or one that practically falls out... well, with the aging world population, this is easy to see as a marketing coup.


Comment Re:Sigh (Score 1) 374

Concerning Rust, it still has to be seen if it is not just yet another fad of the year. We've seen programming languages come and go in the last couple of decades, and the sheer inertia of the C/C++ code-base and programmer-base would make me very skeptical w.r.t. any new languages, including Rust (not that I dislike it, far from that).

As to Ada... I've coded in Ada too back then, and I know of some big code-bases that are rock solid in Ada. Unfortunately, there is a severe shortage of Ada programmers who are willing to maintain those code-bases, so what happens is that a lot of money is being thrown at converting all that Ada code to C++ code, using semi-automated tools where possible. This auto-generated C++ code is then manually re-validated by C++ hackers (and that's what is so costly), and from here on, it will persist as C++ code, maybe for decades.

That's the way it goes. A language may have merits of its own, but if it is not popular and if you can't get enough people to maintain your sizeable code-bases, that language is ultimately of no use. C++ seems like a good compromise between openness, royalties/patent-lessness, speed, type safety, maintainability (when done right!), and long-term maintainability through coders. Despite its known shortcomings. No Rust, not even Ada can beat that.

Comment Re:Reason to learn C++ (Score 1) 374

Maybe someday someone will figure out how to use C++ in a clean, nice looking style. Then I'll use it. Until then, I'm staying away.

You may also make suggestions and contribute to shape the next iterations of the C++ standard...

Personally, I really like what has become of C++ since C++11, and I'm seeing that C++17 is getting some real nice additions in the Standard Library too. What I'm still missing though: standardized networking (Boost.ASIO looks like a monster at this stage, don't know if that would or even should make it into the ISO standard anytime soon). Missing networking is a big minus IMHO. I also consider the difficulty of writing more specialized streams, e.g. for encryption etc. a small minus... but that may only be me not yet grokking enough the iostreams / streambuf library design to extend it that way.

Save for that, C++11's style and philosophy is something you get used to after a while. It takes some time to finally "get it" and get the hang out of it. That's not just a couple of syntactic rules and keywords and weird ways to write templates and template specializations and throw in iterator flavors everywhere where you don't expect them to come up, it is more than that. Once you finally reach some stage of enlightenment, you'll start to really like C++ and will start coding in it as it was supposed to be and designed to be. I know, it sounds like a pathetic excuse for not being easily accessible...

Comment Re:AT&T claimed users would destroy phone syst (Score 1) 310

I don't want to play the devil's advocate here, but to AT&T's defense, the POTS was an analog system, and back then, there were no clearly defined interfaces between CPE (customer premises equipment) and "the network". If a customer screwed up the local loop in some really bad way (the system was really robust, it could take a lot of abuse, but it was not indestructible), he could easily damage a certain part of the attached parts up to and including the switch, and that could be costly. And in general, playing around in an analog network where everyone has to play by the rules is a tricky business better left to people who are at least a little bit trained in it. Of course, later things changed considerably, and there was a loose coupling and clear interfaces between CPE and the rest of the network, so customers were free to fool around with their equipment and house wiring as much as they desired without risking to take down other customers with them.

Comment Ad hoc (IBSS) != Wifi-Direct (technical details) (Score 2) 75

Sadly, Google amputated Ad hoc mode (IBSS) in Android, even though that would have been the perfect method in this particular case. Not the technically inferior Wifi-Direct. Some people have tried to hack CyanogenMod on some devices to resurrect IBSS mode on some devices a while ago, but that is not so easy. I think this deserves more attention and love by devs and by Google. There's no reason why we don't have IBSS (ad hoc) mode on those devices out of the box, so we could experiment with real P2P routing algorithms that would be ideal for disaster recovery and deployment of ad hoc meshes.

Comment Re:No c++ love? (Score 1) 149

To C++ aficionados, weekends are for reading and meditating through Stroustrup's and others' fine books, the ISO standard, Boost code, etc. to get a better grasp of the language and its modern features to then be used during the week days to create even more obscure, beautiful metaprograms that solve the Halting Problem at compile time by applying a policy meta-template instantiated with some magic traits. Do you think there's time to commit code like that on GitHub on the weekends and hoping those commits to still make sense on Monday?

Comment Re:The dumbing down is real (Score 1) 176

I couldn't agree more. Most CS graduates can get by writing and maintaining application code, but as soon as it gets to getting their hands dirty and doing library / infrastructure work, i.e. touch real data structures, etc., good luck with that! And that's only foundational stuff... I'm not even mentioning serious aspects like IT security, where a solid mathematical understanding of crypto basics is required nowadays, along with a good base of discrete mathematics, complexity theory and so on. Your typical CS graduate will only have a very superficial understanding of those topics, unless he specialized deeply into that... and even then I wouldn't be the farm on their cognitive skills. That's really sad.

Comment C is slowly being replaced by C++ (Score 4, Insightful) 286

C isn't dying, but I think that it is being slowly replaced more and more by C++. Not all of a sudden, but when new code gets added, it is just more convenient to use std::string, RAII, the whole C++ Standard Library. Especially since C++11, C++ and its library have matured a lot to actually become useful and have you write beautiful and fast/efficient code, thanks to move semantics. So no, C isn't dying, it is morphing into C++11 and later. Even for embedded and kernel-level programming: check out recent projects: many use C++, carefully avoiding features like virtual functions that would slow down running time. It is as good as C can get, only better.

Comment What's the most security-hardened Linux distro? (Score 1) 224

Still relying on OpenBSD, and sometimes also on a trimmed-down FreeBSD with Capsicum for security-related work; but I'm wondering what the most hardened (minimalist) Linux distro you guys are recommending? I understand that the less software, the smaller the attack surface, but I'm also thinking along the lines of SELinux-by-default, settable access policies (not just discretionary access policies but also rules-based access policies), etc...

Comment Re: The Character, Princess Leia, Is Iconic (Score 1) 456

The jury has deliberated and we have decided that on balance of the evidence and the stipulations made here on slashdot, that Tomb Raider was indeed iconic.

Have to disagree, at least not in the context of Star Wars in which we're speaking about. Perhaps people don't know her name as much as Angelina but I guarantee they know her character better. If you asked 100 random people "What movie has the character Princess Leia?" and "What movie has the character Lara Croft?" more will remember Star Wars than Tomb Raider. And isn't that what "iconic" means, being widely recognized and well-established?

Comment Re:Unfortunately no and I have a reason (Score 1) 381

You have a reason, it's just not a good one.

In 1994 "Concrete Mathematics" came out by Knuth, to assist mathematically-challenged readers of TAOCP. You've had 22 years to read and understand that book, in order to read and understand TAOCP

Put another way: if you haven't decomposed your problem with tackling TAOCP into manageable tasks, programming may not be for you.


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