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Comment Re:coding standards (Score 1) 664

In embedded systems this is often the case. Not because it makes the software easier to understand, but for more practical reasons. You probably won't be stepping though the code with a debugger in real-time, but global variables are at fixed addresses and they don't disappear as soon as the function call returns, so they're just easier to look at.

Comment Re:The Inlined code is more difficult to read. (Score 2) 238

These are just two participant's answers. Each program in the test has several variants, and each participant gets one variant at random. The goal is to get enough people to gather meaningful statistics. This will include having both novices and experts doing each of the variants in the videos posted here.

Comment Re:Alternate blog post (Score 1) 238

The experiment is testing several things. The primary thing is to see if different ways of writing a program lead to quantifiable differences in how programmers understand the code. This is why the novice saw a version with the functions inlined while I saw the version with function calls. The system just gives each person one of several variants for each program at random.

A secondary effect is to measure how novice and experienced programmers differ. This relies on having plenty of people so that you end up with some novices and some experienced people seeing each variant of each program. I don't think Mike had a video of a novice with the same variant I had, so he posted a different variant instead. I agree it doesn't make a fair comparison possible, but it's still interesting.

Comment Re:Their own bottom line... (Score 1) 196

If you can put latest and greatest Android on an end-of-lifed handset they haven't gotten money for in two years, they get nothing.

With as fast as Android phones are improving, this doesn't seem like a realistic concern for me. I have one of the original myTouch 3G's, which just recently got the Android 2.2 update. The thing is, the hardware really can't run the OS at a reasonable speed anymore. I'm now looking at getting a new phone simply so I can use the software to its fullest.

Comment Re:blah (Score 1) 615

If Jesus died in 33 AD [wikipedia.org], then why was it first written about around 50 AD [answers.com]? How accurate can a detailed account be when it's written 20 years after the events?

I don't think 20 years is that long to wait to write something down. Is it uncommon to wait 20 years before writing one's autobiography? We don't usually think people have forgotten all the details or are fabricating stories of their own life, even if they are telling things that happened 20 years ago.

If you look through 1 Thessalonians (the book the link you cited lists as being the first book in the New Testament), it mentions Christians in a fairly large area. There's already an established community of Christians. This book isn't establishing a new religion, it's encouraging people who are Christians already. Given how important the resurrection is to Christianity, I don't think the Christians of the time would have bought it had Paul suddenly said "Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you these last 20 years, not only did Jesus die for us, He came back to life too!"

Most of the early teaching of Christianity was oral. If you notice, Paul wrote many of his epistles while he was in prison. It may be that they early Christians were too busy travelling around preaching to take the time to write down a complete account. Maybe as they decided to settle down, they also decided to write a more permanent record of the things they had been teaching most of their lives.

Comment Re:blah (Score 2, Informative) 615

God creating aliens is never mentioned. And the Bible is infallible, so UFOs with an alien crew would put theologists in a bit of a bind.

The Bible being infallible doesn't mean it is an unabridged compilation of all that is knowable. It simply means it is accurate on the subjects it addresses. The Bible primarily with things such as why are we here and how are we to treat each other. Apparently the existence or non-existence of aliens is not important to those questions. If we ever do discover aliens, it would be reasonable for Christians to conclude that God created them too, but their existence isn't something we need to know about to please God.

Unfortunately, religion is not about evidence, it's about faith. Which is why religion has caused humanity so much suffering over the milleniums.

True faith is based on evidence, not opposed to evidence. If you look at the teachings of the apostles in Acts, for example, their message rested on the fact that there was a man who everyone had seen or heard of, who had done impressive miracles that many people have seen, was put to death in a very public fashion and then seen by many people alive afterwards. Surely, if these things were true, the faith that results from believing them would be one based on evidence and not warm feelings, right? Today our evidence primarily deals with the question of whether these accounts have been reliably preserved and recorded by credible witnesses. You may not find this evidence compelling, but I hope you can at least admit that there are Christians today who have come to their faith for better reasons than because their preacher said so.

Comment Re:Depends what you mean. (Score 2, Informative) 1318

the very act of instituting "Churches" runs contrary to the Bible

I'm curious what you mean by this. Many of the letters in the New Testament are written to churches, and it seems that these must have been started or instituted in some way. The Bible even talks about some church organization, with bishops/pastors/elders (the terms are used interchangeably in the Bible) overseeing the spiritual needs of each church and deacons acting as servants of the church. Of course, I'd agree that any organization beyond this goes against what's in the Bible. The Bible definitely goes against building elaborate, word-wide hierarchies, adding to or changing (including ignoring) teachings of the Bible, and a lot of practices that are common in so many churches today.

I apologize if you knew all this already, you certainly do seem knowledgeable. I just wanted to clarify what point you were making.

Comment why simulate? (Score 4, Interesting) 138

I assume you have some lab computers that are already part of a network, can't you just install wireshark on them and use the existing network? You won't be able to teach everything, but you can probably cover a lot of it that way. Learning tends to be easier for me when I'm looking at the actual thing anyway. If you trust them with root access (or have automatic restores) they can experiment with different configurations too.

Comment Re:Food? What food? (Score 2, Insightful) 130

One guy I used to work with that used to work in supercomputing claimed he did one project involving aerodynamic simulations of Pringles chips. Apparently they were originally shaped like wings, and would become airborne when traveling along high speed conveyor belts. They used a simulation to find a shape that wouldn't generate so much lift.

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