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Comment Re:Pascal, by chance? (Score 1) 241

a new Advance Placement course "will be offered in more than 2,000 U.S. classrooms this fall...the largest course launch in the history of the AP exam."

Are they still teaching Pascal for AP Comp Sci, by chance?

AP Comp Sci replaced Pascal with C++ in 1998 and C++ with Java in 2004.

...and don't tell me to get off your lawn, kiddo--I graduated high school before AP Computer Science was even a thing.

Comment Re:Theory vs. Practice (Score 1) 391

I will add that with the today screen width, 8 spaces tab is really not an issue.

It's not just a matter of screen real estate. At least one study (see the book "Code Complete") found that test subjects scored lower on code comprehension when indent widths were smaller than 2 or greater than 4 spaces.

Comment Re:Mostly... (Score 1) 178

The records have to be absolutely 100% completely free of dust or any other particles, otherwise the laser will read them as if they were the actual groove, leading to a lot of unwanted noise. A normal pickup pushes aside most of the dust.

It's a neat idea, but it's much worse than a decent pickup on a normal turntable.

Five lasers, but no vacuum to suck dust particles off the surface just before it passes under them?

Comment Re:I'd rent em space (Score 1) 87

I'd rent them space for a drone recharging station/rest stop especially if it got me preferred delivery or a discount on delivery.

This was one of my first thoughts when I heard they were exploring drone-based delivery. A drone perch would make delivered packages less visible and less accessible to anyone who might wish to intercept them, compared to just dropping them on the porch.

Comment Re:Passerine drones could be solar (Score 1) 87

Instead of tying perching drones to fixed recharging stations, why couldn't idle drones just roost on a roof or other sunny spot, spread solar wings, and recharge while waiting for the next assignment? During bad weather, they could hide under eaves or other protected places.

Solar panels would reduce the usable payload.

Expensive drones need to be earning a return on the investment by delivering packages, not sitting around waiting to recharge.

Cheap mains electricity is available 24/7 in the vast majority of areas where package delivery drones would operate.

Comment Re:Prevent? No. Stop? Yes. (Score 1) 1144

You guys aren't thinking straight. Almost everyone is posting a knee jerk "no" answer to this question. But we could have a system that hears and locks on to gunfire and respond in many ways to stop the shooting from becoming a mass shooting. It could shoot back, chuck a flash bang at the shooter, or blind the shooter with lasers.

Literally blinding means some innocent person will be blinded when (not if!) the system registers a false positive.

Dazzlingly bright spotlights might render the shooter unable to aim effectively.

Comment Re:Easy. (Score 1) 637

I work in the pathology lab at a hospital, and we have a "no cellphones" policy, and a whitelisted set of websites that you can access with the computer. And yet I require about 10 different passwords for the various things that I use every week.

Sticky notes have become the norm in this lab, and that's what happens when IT policies are too hard to follow.

In this type of scenario, a laminated card kept on your person beats leaving sticky notes about.

Comment Re:Superficial and wrong (Score 1) 1116

Would you do a dangerous, unpleasant, stressful or demeaning job if you didn't need to? I don't see those sectors having many volunteer workers.

The pay for "tough" jobs would go up as needed to attract enough workers. Pay for "easy" jobs would probably go down, but at least nobody would be stressed out about not being able to afford shelter, food, health care, or other necessities.

Comment Re: 'Murica (Score 1) 278

But it was an issue in countries where someone drove the effort to actually change the signs. We'd rather replace them when the appropriate opportunity comes along. Not wrong, just different.

Back in the 1970s there was a big push toward metric in the US. Many road signs were replaced with ones that had both US customary and metric units. The next time the signs were due for replacement they went back to customary only. I think there's just too much inertia, similar to how we started minting dollar coins but didn't stop printing dollar bills.

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