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Comment Why do I care, in practical terms? (Score 1) 411

I have examined the concepts and languages involved in functional programming and I do not see their value. Most of my work is split between C and shell scripts with random PHP, SQL, etc. peppered in as necessary. My question is simple: what can functional programming do for me, in practical terms? Including a real-world example is mandatory to answer the question. I always see platitudes regarding either "elegance" or "you'll have to think differently" but neither is an actual benefit. I don't need a hammer that is hard to use and makes me think about the nature of hammers and their usage; I need something that is efficient and straightforward when I decide to forcefully attach two things using nails.

As far as I can tell, functional programming is only useful as a thought exercise...which means that (compared to "uncool" but widespread languages like the C family) it's not useful when you actually want to get something done.

Comment Re:Does this case fit the precedent? (Score 1) 522

Dear Keyboard First Year Law Student,

I see that you've criticized something I've said but offered no information in response. Please enlighten us with detailed information to fill in the knowledge you feel is lacking. Feel free to provide the needed information on how to sign up for your newsletter while you're at it. I'm sure several readers would like to keep up-to-date on your current state of snark at any given time.

Comment Re:Does this case fit the precedent? (Score 4, Interesting) 522

They can't criminally charge you for not taking the sobriety field test. They can and will take your license away. That's not a criminal process, it's a regulatory one. Different states may have different variations but the song generally remains the same. Driving is legally considered a privilege, not a right. It isn't the same thing.

I agree with your second part. Civil asset forfeiture is a blatantly unconstitutional thing that is constantly abused. It's still not a constitutional action, but the guys with the guns make the rules in the end.

Comment Does this case fit the precedent? (Score 4, Interesting) 522

There is precedent for this when the defendant has already decrypted the drive for authorities and then refuses to do so for the court. In that case, the contents are considered a "foregone conclusion" and there is no question that the defendant both acknowledges the encrypted volume and knows the key to decrypt it. This is a reasonable balance against Fifth Amendment protections.

If he has not ever revealed the password to authorities, the Constitution absolutely prohibits this action by the court. A man cannot be compelled to self-incriminate, the court may not presume guilt (innocent until proven guilty), and the court can only establish guilt through due process of law (everything from investigation to conviction) and with equal protection under the law (the law is applied the same way to everyone). This ruling blatantly violates most of these basic rights if the contents of the drive are not a "foregone conclusion."

Comment Re:This is absurdly incorrect on its face (Score 2) 145

We can split hairs all day long over this. The Raspberry Pi and its successors are not general-purpose computer systems for the era they are built within. They don't come with a display, keyboard, mouse, they don't have enough RAM to run a modern browser (at least the original Pi doesn't) and even when the RAM was upgraded they still have a pokey ARM chip at the core. The Pi boards are just little bare compute boards. They don't even come with a case or a power supply. They are designed to be embedded devices, not general-purpose computers (in the colloquial sense, not the "it can do more than a highly specialized set of operations" sense.) The Pi is literally nothing more than a cell phone board design modified to expose various ports and GPIO pins. To say that it's a computer is like saying the Apple Watch is a computer. In a strict technical sense it is, but it's not useful to the general public for their day-to-day computing tasks.

If I reference the HP Pavilion p563w, I'm talking about a complete general-purpose computer with very particular specifications sold to the public under a specific model number. Same thing for the Commodore 64, or the Apple IIe, or the Atari ST 1040. When I say "Raspberry Pi B+" I'm talking about a specific model of embedded processing board. To say that "The Raspberry Pi has beaten the Commodore 64 in total sales" while combining the Pi A, Pi B, Pi A+, Pi B+, Pi Zero, Pi 2B, Pi 3B, and all the other Pi variations into the entire brand name "Raspberry Pi" is complete and utter bullshit. To claim that the Pi is a general-purpose computer just because it has USB, ethernet, HDMI, and Wi-Fi is disingenuous at best because it can barely even execute a modern internet browser on some models, if it can run one at all, and once it's running it's unusably slow. Being able to spin up a copy of Firefox or Chromium isn't optional for a computer meant to be useful to the unwashed masses. It's intended to be an embedded device, plain and simple. My Pi B is sitting on a shelf next to me, unused because the only thing it's good for is Xbian, and even that struggles to perform acceptably.

Before anyone says something: no, Midori does not count.

Comment Re:This is absurdly incorrect on its face (Score 1) 145

Commodore released two major variants of the Commodore 64: the Commodore 64 and the cost-reduced Commodore 64C. The C64C used more dense DRAM chips (41464 instead of 4164) and had a case in the C128 style, but it was identical in all functional aspects to the original C64. The original C64 has three variants as well, though to claim that is almost nit-picking since it's the contents of the ROMs that differentiates them.

Commodore never upgraded the C64. Expansions like an REU were made for it, but those were external devices. The processor upgrades like the SuperCPU were not integrated into the C64. You can't count in this kind of stuff as a change to the system itself.

Comment This is absurdly incorrect on its face (Score 5, Insightful) 145

The Commodore 64 is "the best-selling home computer of all time" which is based on the fact that the Commodore 64 is a very specific model of computer. The Raspberry Pi 3 IS NOT the same thing as a Raspberry Pi. That's like saying the Commodore 128 is the same thing as the Commodore 64. The C64C was "the same thing" as the C64 because it was a cost-reduced version that was otherwise a completely identical piece of hardware. Each RPi is a completely different computer from the core chip to the peripherals to the I/O.

Combining all computers that are branded Raspberry Pi and saying they have sold more units combined than the Commodore 64 is one thing, but saying "The Pi has beaten the C64 as the most units of a single computer sold" is an outright lie. The Pi series is also not a computer made for general-purpose use; it's an embedded system, and by that standard I'm willing to bet that there's some model of wireless router that has sold more units than the C64; perhaps the venerable Linksys WRT54G?

tl;dr: the C64 still holds the crown. The article is based on bullshit logic.

Comment The original netbooks were too small (Score 2) 243

Let's face it: the 7-inch and 9-inch displays in the early netbooks were too small, full stop. The small keyboards were somewhat difficult to use even after acclimating to the smaller layout. I have the original Sylvania G netbook which is just an Everex Cloudbook with the touchpad moved to a less stupid location; it is quite hard to type on that thing due to the key size and the 800x480 7-inch screen isn't exactly a spacious work area. (It also had a VIA C7-M 1.2 GHz, a chip notorious for being quite weak when compared to the Intel Atom N230 that went into the first Eee PCs and Acer Aspire Ones, plus a memory limit of 1GB and a 1.8" parallel hard drive. Even with a KingSpec ZIF SSD and an XP install aligned to sector 64 instead of 63 to work with the flash memory better, it struggles hard to even start it won't boot Windows 7 or later with the default partition layout due to a super inexplicable BIOS bug.)

The 11.6-inch "netbook" of today is the perfect size. The keyboard keys are full-size. The touchpad can be reasonably large. There can be more USB ports. RAM and hard drive upgrades are often possible unless it's one of the Chromebook-based ones with soldered RAM and a 32GB eMMC SSD. The screens are nice and big and always have a minimum resolution width of 1024 pixels, a number which some websites don't even work on without a horizontal scroll bar but which is far better than the 800-pixel screens of the bad old days. They're always thin and light and disposably cheap.

No one in their right mind wants 7-inch netbooks back. Even 9-inch models have squished keyboards and myopia-inducing screens. The 11.6-inch netbook, despite not carrying that label in the marketing literature, is what the market has settled on...and with good reasons for doing so. I can only see a tiny niche market for uncomfortably small netbooks. Let the old tiny netbook remain peacefully in its grave.

Comment Re: Die, fscking adverts, die! (Score 1) 281

Go to Services. Disable "Windows Update" and stop it. Enable it when (if) you ever want to manually run updates or install a program that installs a Windows update as part of the process. Don't forget you did it or you'll eventually run into a problem and forget to enable it long enough to troubleshoot.

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