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Comment Re:Telecommuting FTW (Score 1) 163

I've been telecommuting for the past two years, for a virtual company, and I hope I never need to give it up.

There are some things I miss, in particular (a) my wife not needing to keep our kids somewhat quiet during school vacations, and (b) having a ready-made social life due to being cooped up with coworkers.

But after working out some of the kinks, and with a just a little extra self-discipline, it's so, so worth it.

Even if an employer needs to pay and $5k/year to cover telecommute-specific costs (such as decent video conference equipment, etc.), it seems it must be a win-win for just about everyone involved. (At least for software development jobs. Not sure about other kinds.)

$5k/year for telecommute costs? Maintaining a VPN and having decent conferencing equipment shouldn't cost that much. And if it does, the savings in office space(have you seen what SV office space costs?) more than makes up for it.

Comment Re: Intellectual property is the only hope left (Score 1) 126

Not really. At this point Russia has the ability to deliver a crippling first strike on the entire west and they will do everything possible to maintain this position. You can think of the US as a toxic parasite nailed to a table. It can of course still spew forth toxines, when injured but there are so many antidotes to its products in place, it can be slowly killed without fear of retaliation. We can choke it off economically by trading without dollars, we are in absolute control of it militarily.

The US, as well as other countries, have second strike capability with its nuclear subs.

Comment Still need a rocket for a satellite (Score 1) 132

"The practical application of that is you could fly long distances over the Earth very, very quickly but also that it's very useful as an alternative to a rocket for putting satellites into space," Smart said.

You'd still need a rocket engine to get it up to speed to where a scramjet can start working, unless it was a hybrid design similar to how the SR71 worked, where at full speed most intake air bypassed the J-58 compressor and it operated closer to a ramjet.

Then the rocket would be needed again when reaching an altitude where there's not enough atmospheric oxygen to finally put the satellite into LEO. However, hopefully the craft will not have to carry nearly as much oxidizer to do it.

Comment Is it that difficult? (Score 4, Interesting) 170

Is it that difficult to make a low-power 80x86 ISA chip to compete with ARM manufacturers? I know the legacy instruction decoding is always going to take space, but I thought at this point the transistor count compared to the rest of the chip was small. I figured Intel with their leading edge fabs would be able to pull it off.

Submission + - What Would You Say to a Principal Who Shows Your Kid a $1,639.88 Laptop? 3

theodp writes: "If you ever show my girl a ring like that again," said Sylvester Stallone to a jewelry store clerk in The Lords of Flatbush, "you know what's gonna be written on your tombstone? 'I was dumb enough to show Frannie Malincanico a $1600 ring,' ya got that?" So, what would you have to say to a Principal who shows your kid a $1,639.88 school laptop? That's the price tag on the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12 recommended by the Lakeside School (Bill Gates' Alma Mater) for the 2015-2016 school year. Microsoft-suggested school devices have a wide range of prices — laptops go anywhere from $149 for a Lenovo ideapad 100S to $1,499 for a Dell XPS 15 (Touch). So, how much is too much for a kid's school laptop?

Comment Re:The water was flammable decades... (Score 0) 266

Yes, it's true, natural gas has seeped into well water ever since people have dug wells. And fracking is done far below the water table. However, there have been some instances of the well cement casing being compromised and gas escaping into the water as it's being pumped out.

There's no free lunch when it comes to energy production. Even for renewables. The solution isn't to ban all fracking, it's to keep it regulated so failures such as I described above can be kept to a minimum.

Comment Re:Replace C? (Score 1) 270

I take it you've never written cross-platform code for MacOS? There's a lot of things like memory management, for one, that you'd want to use Obj-C for. By the time you've done all the "required proprietary API" changes, you'd have been better off just writing the whole thing in Obj-C. Not only would it save dev time, the end product would be a lot more stable and have better overall performance, but I guess it depends on what trade-offs you're willing to accept.

Cross platform Obj-C? You mean with GNUStep? I have never used it. Have only written Obj-C in Xcode. As far as memory management, C++ has smart pointers, including one that does reference counting. Why would the performance be better with Obj-C?

Although my experience with Obj-C is more limited I find it more painful to use than C++.

Comment Re:Replace C? (Score 1) 270

We tried this. It turned out to be not much fun. (Thought maybe we weren't doing it right).

To be fair, my experience with this was taking a Windows/Mac OSX program written by predominately C++ programmers and porting it to iOS and Android. The C++ code was already well debugged.

Threading is usually a big concern. In Objective-C/C/Swift tools like grand-central dispatch make this easy, however in C++ its p-threads. C++11 has threads, but this isn't supported by Android yet.

The native environment give you an API of libraries and a community of open-source projects to fill in the gaps. With C++ you have identify and source your own stack. Poco or boost. etc.

Boost assuredly. It's what has been incorporated into C++11 and makes up the bulk of its new features(e.g. you mentioned threading).

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