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Comment Re:Time IS on Apple's Side (Score 5, Insightful) 102

Actors are on the way out because of course as computers increase in capability so virtual acting bots become possible and they live forever

I was with you until you took a left turn into sheer fantasy. The most compelling stories are about humans (or analogies), after all, so I have a hard time believing we'll be discarding the human element entirely from story-driven entertainment. After all, even though we can play back musical recordings with perfect fidelity, music-lovers still flock to live entertainment.

Also, paragraphs > giantwallsofindecipherabletext.

Comment Re:dark patterns huh? (Score 4, Interesting) 119

Microsoft's design of the Windows 10 upgrade dialog box was a great example of how to trick users into accidentally upgrading, even when they didn't want to.

Another one: charging a low price for a product on Amazon, then setting an exorbitant shipping and handling fee, which nearly doubles the price. I've seen this one fairly recently. The shipping fee is every bit as much of the price, but it's displayed only in tiny fonts compared to the main listing.

Is it any wonder that UX designers are getting a horrible reputation among some segments of the tech-savvy crowd? It's going to suck if consumers get pissed off enough about this that government regulators have to step in, and then anyone putting up an e-commerce website is going to have to wade through layers upon layers of government bureaucracy. Maybe that's inevitable, but it's annoying how it always devolves into that...

Comment Re: As a C programmer (Score 5, Insightful) 306

I'd say that "good programmers" can and do learn a variety of languages, and will use the most appropriate one for the task at hand. There's nothing wrong with getting down to the metal when requirements call for it, but doing so is foolish for many types of projects where top performance isn't a requirement. I'm a game developer, so I live and breathe C++ of course. But I write my tools in C#, and our game's scripting language is in Lua.

Why C# for tools? Because it has reflection, and a fantastic library for all sorts of serialization, networking, and UI support.

Why Lua for game scripts? Because then we can recompile and reload our game scripts on the fly, without even stopping the game.

Which programming language is "best"? It's a stupid question to start with, because the only reasonable answer is "it depends on what you're looking for in a language".

Comment Re:Who cares..?? (Score 1) 692

... and elect a ho-hum stay-the-course centrist....

You misspelled "unprincipled sociopathic war criminal" there. Unfortunately it's not a choice of stepping into a dog turd to avoid a bullet, it's falling on a sword to avoid a bullet.

The only thing to do in that situation is use all available means to push the system into giving you more choices next iteration. Vote Green or Libertarian and demand electoral reform.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 203

DerekLyons wroe:

"A century ago, there would be a battle that wiped out the next village, you'd never even hear about it." Huh? [...] in the (early) 20th century not so much.

Yeah, actually someone would notice something had happened to the next village long before "never".

(Note: World War 1 started in 1914. "A hundred years ago" just isn't as long as it used to be.)

When will computer geeks grasp that most of the human race actually enjoys the company of others and that there are actual economic reasons why people cluster?

Okay, so Kurzweil is betting on "the Naked Sun" scenario, rather than "the Caves of Steel", but to be fair to him, he's at least noticed that there's some tension between VR technology and New Urbanism. At Kevin Kelly's last Long Now talk, it was clear that this hasn't registered on him yet.

Comment Re:The Hunting of the Snark (Score 1) 165

My problem is (and always has been) that Larry Has Opinions. And lots of those are expressed in such a heavy-handed manner: the language syntax, the intrusive keywords, the proudly gnomic and condescending tone that early on propagated down through Perl user groups, that they are off-putting ...

You see, this don't sound like a technical dispute to me.

Why buy into a tool and ecosystem with warts that piss more people off than the next tool's?

Point the first: this is a non-sequitor. Once again, you're trying to claim it's primarily technical issues with the software, and I'm making the point that you just don't like Larry Wall. He's just not *one of us*. Why no gentleman would take swipes at Python's one-true-way.

If you were actually someone in management, would you listen to someone like yourself? Why?

Comment Re:In other words, Moore's law will continue (Score 1) 129

True, it's definitely slowed down. Still, try comparing GPUs, or the performance of mobile computing hardware versus 6-8 years ago, and you'll see a fairly dramatic difference. In addition to the obvious technical challenges, I think perhaps desktop CPUs haven't advanced as dramatically in the last decade partially because there hasn't been a huge demand by most consumers for increased performance. My computer from 5 years ago works every bit as well for my day to day task as it did back then - the only exception being things like gaming.

Comment Re:Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (Score 0) 60

How do you feel about men with hyphenated last names?

I just ponder the unsustainability of that particular family naming algorithm, if you take it to its logical conclusion. Pick a matriarchal or patriarchal naming scheme, but don't do both. It's like a programming language that has delimiting curly braces and enforced whitespace.

Comment Re:Analogue vs Digital, and DRM (Score 2) 533

Wasn't this the big bugaboo of Windows Vista? I'm also curious how you think the media industries will re-introduce DRM in the billions of DRM-free songs that all the major online stores have already sold and are still selling.

No, I'm pretty sure this is just about space savings and a minimalistic design fetish. Not everything is a conspiracy, and we already won the DRM war for audio.

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 3, Interesting) 533

So far, my objection is that they don't work well. I got a BT hands-free headset, and had the idea of listening to audiobooks on my commute. Nope - after a while, my Android phone somehow borked the volume. It plays so soft I can't hear the thing. Until this tech gets much more reliable, it's too early to kill the analog jack.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 109

Avast conned more than 1,200 people into connecting to fake wi-fi hotspots set up near the Republican convention and the Cleveland airport

...meaning they caught a lot of non-Republicans in their little "sting operation". All in all, a non-news story. I'm sure they were really hoping that they'd find 10% of the people looking at porn, or something more salacious. Why call out porn and dating apps in the first place?

All this proves is that we really need encryption everywhere, and that we need to make sure it's turned on by default, so that ordinary users don't have to think about it too much (because let's face it - that will never happen). Eventually, anything that's NOT encrypted should signal a warning to the user, although the transition will need to be gradual. Services like Let's Encrypt are slowly eroding any excuses not to make everything secure by default.

Comment Re:Anything for work (Score 4, Informative) 239

The single return rule makes sense in some circumstances. I like early outs, but then tend to the single return rule. If you're breaking apart your logic to that degree that you need a return in the middle of a long function, then you may want to consider breaking apart the function. Still, I think it's best to consider it a *guideline* rather than a rule. The moment you declare something a rule, someone will find a valid reason for breaking it.

As for other "optional" code, I tend to put parentheses around any C/C++ code that depends on operator precedent. The only one *everyone* knows is * or / before + and -, otherwise, it gets parentheses, just to be clear.

I see a lot of programmers try to cram as much as possible into one line, which I'm not a fan of. As one example, I'm not a fan of assigning a variable inside an if statement. It's harder to read than several short, clear lines, and it likely compiles to the same assembly in the end. So, I'll occasionally leave a formula as several steps and explicitly declare some of the intermediate variables, even if I could have stuffed it all into one line. It's easier to debug, since you can examine the intermediate values, and it helps others to understand what's going on, since the intermediate variables have an actual name as a hint. I'm sure it bugs some people who think it's too verbose or my variable names are too long and descriptive. I don't go crazy, but neither do I stick to single letters when a word or two works better.

Comment Re:Hater's Gonna Hate... (Score 3, Insightful) 161

Is it really that black and white? Spending money on toys means a bunch of people have a job creating, installing or servicing those products. I work in the videogame industry, and I have a good job because people spend money on themselves (or their kids) buying videogames. In turn, I spend my own money on lots of different things, which in turn help other people out. That's how economies function. Does it really matter what the products are?

Moreover, charity can be money down a black hole if you're not extremely careful. The *real* Bill Gates has learned that it's not always easy to ensure charity goes to worthwhile causes or produces any sort of measurable results, improving peoples' lives, even if you're giving away billions.

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