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Comment Re:Stupid (Score 1) 1042

Just because there's a rate of improvement now doesn't mean it won't taper off and eventually flatten in the future.

Just like the Tower of Babel: They wanted to reach the heavens, and for the first few hundred feet or so, they made excellent progress, but they just couldn't continue at the same pace

Comment Re:doh! (Score 2, Informative) 528

Obama didn't release his birth certificate for one very good reason, he is very clever and Trump is very stupid.

The fact is that the Republicans will always invent some crazy idiotic 'scandal' that they obsess about and endlessly throw up smoke. The birther conspiracy was mind numbingly ridiculous. It would require someone to go back in time to plant the birth notice in the papers. Or for some group of conspirators to go to an enormous amount of trouble in order to make a particular black kid president.

So rather than release the birth certificate and let the Republicans invent a new scandal, Obama held onto it and let them obsess about a scandal nobody else thought made the slightest sense, knowing that he could knock their house of cards down any time he chose. Which of course he did a week before the Bin Laden raid which was guaranteed to end the story.

George W. Bush opened torture chambers across the world and collected photographs for a sick sexual thrill. Yet nobody ever talks about that. None of the people complaining about Hilary ever complained about GWB refusing to comply with Congressional investigation or the deletion of 5 million emails.

So here is what is going to happen. Trump is going to go down to the biggest defeat since Carter and he is going to drag the rest of his party down with him. And afterwards there is going to be a new civil rights act that prohibits Republican voter suppression tactics and the gerrymandering that give them a 5% advantage in elections. And by the time it is all done the Republican party will have two choices, either boot the racist conspiracy theorists and Trumpists out or face two decades in the wilderness.

Microsoft

Microsoft Wants To Pay You To Use Its Windows 10 Browser Edge (theguardian.com) 256

An anonymous reader shares a report by The Guardian: Microsoft has a new browser. It launched with Windows 10 and it's called Edge. The company says it's faster, more battery efficient and all-round better than Chrome or Firefox. You can even draw on websites with a stylus. Trouble is, not very many people are using it. So now Microsoft's trying to bribe you to switch. The newly rebranded Microsoft Rewards -- formerly Bing Rewards, which paid people for using Bing as their search engine (another product Microsoft says is better than a Google product but that very few people actually use) -- will now pay you for using Edge, shopping at the Microsoft store, or using Bing. Users of Edge who sign up to Microsoft Rewards, which is currently US-only, are then awarded points simply for using the browser. Microsoft actively monitors whether you're using Edge for up to 30 hours a month. It tracks mouse movements and other signs that you're not trying to game the system, and you must also have Bing set as your default search engine. Points can then be traded in for vouchers or credit for places such as Starbucks, Skype, Amazon and ad-free Outlook.com -- remember, if you're not paying for something, you are the product.

Comment My first programming job (Score 4, Interesting) 68

In the mid-eighties, I worked as an apprentice at a place where they used LOGO (M.I.T. Experimental LOGO #43 or some other number) on a mini running TSX (or RT-11, can't remember) to do bookkeeping for about 30 small businesses.

This mini ran about 12 terminals in text-mode (of course) and we had a small complement of clerks entering data.

This LOGO also had NO turtle, although we had an Apple-II that I was given to take home that did have the turtle-graphics.

What this LOGO did have were the list and word operators, which we used to write accounting software that had specialized rounding, which was more precise than using something like C floats because you could calculate precision to any arbitrary limit by simply breaking numbers apart as words and calculating their digits to the decimal place of your choosing. By being strings, they were immune to typical numerical-storage problem.

Another thing I did with LOGO was have almost-constant epiphanies about recursion and abstraction. LOGO was designed to light fires in young minds and it certainly did for me.

Seymour Papert has thus been a hero of mine since then and I've always longed to someday thank him for his work. I offer up my thanks to his spirit. Everything I ever went on to write in software is owed to him.

Thank you again, Mr. Papert and may God rest your soul.

PS - Sadly, one of the partners embezzled the business, which folded and I never got to program in LOGO again professionally, which is a real shame because LOGO was simply wonderful

Microsoft

Microsoft Finally Releases New Skype App For Linux (skype.com) 164

Four months after Linux users complained about issues with Skype app -- an update in March apparently broke the instant message and video calling app -- Microsoft announced a few minutes ago the launch of the Alpha version of a new Skype app for Linux, a move that "reaffirms the company's commitment to the Linux community." The blog post adds that there will be a two-hour Q&A session todat at 7AM PDT between Linux users and engineering team to welcome the new app. The alpha version uses the "latest, fastest and most responsive Skype UI." The company also says that users on Skype for Linux 4.3.37 will no longer be able to use the app to make or receive any calls -- so you really need to use this new app. In the blog post, Microsoft also adds that anyone with a Chromebook and Chrome for Linux can now visit web.skype.com to make one-to-one and group voice calls on top of text messaging feature. It is also an alpha version of Skype -- and is built on top of WebRTC standard.

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