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Comment C++ should be the introductory language (Score 1) 629

I did my own research on this, and went through the top 10 computer science universities and looked at what they taught in their introductory CS classes. Python and Java made up 100% of them, with only one (Stanford) having a C++ option.

Personally, I think C++ should be the introductory language for computer science majors. (Non-CS majors? Sure, teach them Python or Javascript.) Why? Because CS majors all have to learn computer architecture and usually assembly programming is part of learning architecture. It's way, way easier for people to go from C++ to ASM than it is to go Python to ASM or Java to ASM. So a lot of assembly classes I've gone through have backed away from teaching ASM and instead teach C with a touch of ASM in it, which means that their education gets compromised by an attempt to make the introductory class easier.

But research in computer science education shows that you can learn basic computer science principles pretty much equally well regardless of language taught, so we're sacrificing educational quality for no real benefit.

I think most opposition to C++ came from people that learned it back in the day with square bracket arrays and char* strings, none of which really should be used any more now that we have vectors and strings. (And have had for a very long time, really.) Modern C++ is a very enjoyable language to code in.

Comment Re: They simply remember your UDID (Score 1) 114

>Who would have ever thought that a company founded on the principle [sic] of breaking the law in multiple jurisdictions would ignore and circumvent the terms and conditions, to which they agreed, of an entity with which they do business. Whodathunkait.

They're adding functionality that Apple refuses to do. If you cheat in a Steam game, your device and account gets banned. On iOS, apparently, you just uninstall and reinstall and then you can fraudlently order cars all over again.

Might violate the Apple TOS, but they're in the ethical right on this one.

Comment Re:Fortran (Score 1) 629

I'm not quite old enough to have used FORTRAN.

What does age have to do with anything? I took a computational linear algebra course in the late '90s that used FORTRAN nearly exclusively.

That said, I started out, like most kids in the '80s, with BASIC and assembly language (6809 and 6502, in my case). I started college early enough that the introductory computer-science courses were still in Pascal, but pretty much every course that needed to do real work used anything but Pascal...lots of C, with a systems-programming course splitting time between 8086 assembly and VAX assembly and a database course that introduced us to SQL (of course).

The computational linear algebra course mentioned above was a math course specifically for computer-science majors; other engineering students took a different linear-algebra course.

Comment Re:Reminds me of the Pico Brewer (Score 2) 359

I kind of liked home brewing. But home bottle sterilizing was a fucking bore.

That's why I started kegging after a couple or three years. Sanitizing the bottles wasn't too bad (a trip through the dishwasher would suffice, either with heated drying or (if available) the sanitizing option enabled), but it's much easier and faster to fill one keg than 50+ bottles. You can also dry-hop in a keg.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 4, Informative) 359

why would someone buy a $400 machine that requires you to buy prepackaged produce to be squeezed out of it...?

Consider this quote from TFA: "Tech blogs have dubbed it a 'Keurig for juice.'" Then consider how Keurig machines and the coffee pods they use have sold over the past few years. Nobody ever went broke overestimating people's laziness.

Comment Re: Texas Instruments.. (Score 1) 857

the only way to choose in assembly was to use PEEK, POKE, and CALL from within TI BASIC

Did TI BASIC even have PEEK and POKE? Maybe it did and I just never knew what to do with them due to a lack of available documentation, but as I recall, those commands weren't in the console. They might've been in Extended BASIC, but I didn't have that cartridge back in the day. I have one now, as well as a bunch of other things (such as a PEB) that I didn't have back then, but a lack of space has kept it packed away the past few years.

Comment Re:TI-99/4A (Score 1) 857

Started with one that my parents had picked up cheapish ($150?) as the prices were starting to come down. Peripherals were still expensive as hell, though, and the console by itself didn't support much real work without them. Combine that with TI exiting the computer business a few months later and you can probably see where this is going: two years later, we ended up getting an Apple IIe (this time, with a couple of floppy drives, a monochrome monitor, and a printer), which got me through high school and a fair bit of college.

Comment Re:Payment vs Service (Score 1) 903

>As the average net work in a bar jumps the moment Bill Gates walks into it. You wouldn't pretend that Bill Gates has the same standard of living of someone making $7.25 an hour, so why pretend there isn't an enormous gap between schools in wealthy districts and poor ones? There's a reason why no one talks about "failing public schools" in Westchester or the Hamptons.

Which is why teachers around here get paid more to work in bad schools. It doesn't help, though, the research shows. The best teachers still bail out of the schools because they want to work with better kids.

>You know perfectly well that teachers don't start and stop school when students do.

Sure. So do software engineers. How much time do software engineers spend coding on their own free time? More time than teachers spend prepping for class, especially after they've been teaching the class for a while.

>it would be more than balanced by working 50-70 hours a week when school is in session.

On the clock? Hah. No, teachers unions would eat such a proposed workweek alive. If, again, you're taking about other stuff, again, so do software engineers.

>Reasonable? The people claiming this wouldn't touch a teaching job for less than a six figure salary.

Ah, there's the ad hominem. Except you'd be wrong. I taught at a high school just last year, in fact. In addition to running a software consulting business.

>Earning a masters degree, having tens of thousands in student loans to pay off, being salaried and invariably working far beyond 40 hours a week...and that's before even getting to the students. How much would you want to get paid per hour, per kid for being a babysitter, disciplinarian, nurse and social worker.

A master's degree? Are we talking a community college instructor, now?

>And that's before even getting to the actual teaching part, where your performance reviews

What performance reviews? I suspect you're unfamiliar with how the education system actually works.

>Not for a penny under six figures.

You think a person with a bachelor's degree in any subject should make six digits out of college? That's hilarious. You're talking pharmacist-level salary, and pharmacists are a hell of a lot more educated (and attendant student debt) than people with a BS or BA.

>Until they can't find a job that pays off their student loans, at which point it's time to sneer at them for taking on risk they couldn't afford.

How could you even type this? Doctors will take on six digits of student debt because they know they'll be able to pay it off in 10 years and then be very comfortable thereafter. To get a BS around here, it'll cost you about $10k for the first two years in a community college, and about $20k to go to a CSU. $30k in debt can be retired by a teacher off their salary. If they somehow go to Harvard to become a K-12 teacher, then they sign up for one of dozens of debt-forgiveness programs and go work in the ghetto for a while and all their student debt gets bought off by the government.

>You do realize, right, that the reason why doctors salaries are so high is because only wealthy families can risk the six figure cost of a medical degree

No. Again, I don't think you comprehend how student loans work. If you're a poor kid, for one thing, you'll pay close to zero to actually go to college through your bachelor's, and then you'll take on student debt for medical school, which you can work off quickly. Anyone can get a medical degree regardless of financial status.

You're stuck in some sort of 1950s mindset of how education works. I suggest you educate yourself as to how college works these days.

>Uh huh. Found a reason yet for why countries that do far more "meddling" in health care or education than the United States cover all or most of their population for a fraction of the cost?

Are you confusing the tuition paid by students in these countries for the actual cost to educate them? Or the nominal tuition price at a US college with the average price paid? I suspect you are.

Comment Re:Payment vs Service (Score 1) 903

>Our public education system is woefully underfunded

You think so? We spend about $13,000 per student per year, nationwide. (

Average teacher salary is $55,000. (, but this varies pretty wildly by state.

That's a pretty reasonable amount, IMO, considering you only work 9 months a year and get pretty significant benefits.

>higher education is very costly

Anyone *can* go to college, that's how the system is currently set up. Even if it makes no economic sense, the federal government will subsidize your education.

>It would be nice if everyone smart enough to be a doctor or an engineer could just decide to go to school.

You do realize, right, that the reason why doctors salaries are so high is because we impose artificially low quotas on how many people can go to medical school each year?

If you look at costs over time, the two areas that have been spiraling out of control, cost wise, are medicine and college. This is the direct result of government meddling in the field trying to be more fair and just, but really just fucking over the vast majority of Americans.

Comment Re:VoIP with WiFi (Score 1) 99

So they're not enabling cellular service, but you can usually pay their extortion price for WiFi and then make all the VoIP calls you want.

Not if they block VoIP, which they usually do. They also usually block video streaming and other high-bandwidth services. You might sneak through with some obscure service nobody's heard of, but forget about using anything remotely popular like Google Voice or Skype.

Comment Re:Ironically, the article linked is behind an adw (Score 2) 50

The article linked by this story blocks its contents unless you turn off ad-blockers or agree to pay a fee. gets past many adwalls, including whatever Wired is using. GGBlocker automatically redirects Wired links (among others) to for me whenever they pop can view the archived article here ad-free, whether you have an ad blocker active or not.

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