Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Yes, this was my experience as well (Score 5, Interesting) 343

I started off with Turbo Pascal 3-4 back in the 80's (had OO before anything else back then) then moved to Smalltalk. It was a true mindfuck at first, wasn't able to do the simplest of tasks. Where are the files? How do I get a library for X? !@#$ But eventually the fog lifted and I got productive. It was still hard to explain its virtues to everyone else and deployments were a challenge (VM? what?) but then Java came along and I moved to that in 97. Most of my contemporaries doing the same were coming from C/C++ and their experiences adapting to that were hilarious compared to what I was experiencing. In short I was the quitessential nickel-get-yourself-a-new language neckbeard, disgusted with the compromises made to entice the C community: lame syntax, files, primitive types, overstrong types, etc. Still bringing home the bacon with Java but its been painful having to watch the industry reinvent all the same core concepts over the last 20 years. Its not surprising that the GoF came from the Smalltalk community, the language effectively voids all the useless baggage that comes with other languages, forcing you to confront and identify all the core concepts in your problem domain.

One of the most interesting things I've been seeing is being able to identify the mental origins of developers who've drunk the Smalltalk Kool-Aid so long ago, it shows up clearly in their designs. All domain concepts as first class objects, no data-only structs, effective pattern use, quality name choices, tight and effective hierarchies but most of all semantic clarity. You can only beat junior devs on the head for so long in code reviews to have them put these things into practice before you realize that they're coming from a wholly different perspective. As we move into a post-OO world with functional programming I can imagine the Haskel et al folks gritting their teeth in the same manner.

Comment Not going to happen because.. (Score 1) 315

..who is going to be at the other end of the wire, this gatekeeper of whats legally printable? Can you see Disney allowing their printers to communicate their new character designs to some other entity (with poor network security that allows others to scoops them) and have exact copies coming from China days later? Ditto for numerous other large conglomerate with design secrets to be kept. As a live, current example of this in action, see what happens when you try to check the status of an interesting URL with one of the registrars. If you don't register it immediately, you'll be forced to go through someone who 'somehow' came up with the exact same idea at the same time. Our printers currently look the five circles in our currencies before preventing the printing of banknotes. Thats about as far as you're going to get with inhibiting what can be reproduced.

Comment Use them in science experiments (Score 1) 302

When I was in high school ages ago I used hacked calculators as programmable measuring instruments. If you crack them open and solder a pair of wires across the '=' key, you can attach those leads to momentary switches on your test subject. For one of them I used a reed switch mounted on a bicycle fork, attached a magnet to a spoke, and then typed in the circumference of the wheel as an addition: 0 + (circumference). When the wheel turns it just 'clicks' the equals key for every revolution thus becoming an accurate odometer. (The '=' key on most calculators repeat the last operation)

Submission + - First Sale Doctrine already lost on housing 3

robert bitchin' writes: The recent concern about the loss of the first sale doctrine for software has already struck gold in a related development in the building industry. Housing developers are creating covenants on properties allowing them to request fees whenever a property is re-sold. And you thought you only had to pay your real estate agent!

Comment Sol'n: fly by half-wire (Score 1) 499

Most throttle systems I've worked with employed two cables to control the throttle in a push-pull arrangement. If setup in a single-wire arrangement then only one wire is used to pull the throttle open and a spring is used to ensure it closes when the tension is removed. In some motorcycles where the operators have a literal grip on the throttle then, if the spring is not strong enough to close the throttle (or one of the cables jams), the operator can always physically force its return by turning the throttle back manually. Car operators using pedal-based accelerators, unless they are barefoot, cannot wrap their toes around the pedal to pull it back into position.

My solution blends the two strategies: retain the pedal position sensor that captures the operators intention while retaining use of a 'return' cable. The ECU can remain in control of advancing the throttle to retain their interest in fuel economy measures while removing its control over retarding it. Pushing the pedal down merely provides enough physical free play for the ECU to work with while retaining any veto control if it gets out of hand.

The final part would encourage the adoption of accelerator pedals that users slip their feet into rather than just on top of. This would provide the same ability to positively influence the pedal return rather than expect the spring to do so.

Comment The end of health insurance (as Americans know it) (Score 1) 556

Health insurance is basically a bet on your health by the insurance providers. Once either you or they get more risk information than the other then the risk pool gets distorted and people receive innordinate premiums or get no coverage at all.

The only real solution is to void the entire health insurance industry and migrate to a system where the state covers the health of each citizen regardless. As the article illustrates, this process has already started on its own accord.

Slashdot Top Deals

The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky