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Comment Re:And what is AMD doing? (Score 2) 56

I can't tell if you are serious or not, but their Zen architecture should be dropping soon, and they at least in theory have caught up with the Intel CPUs of a generation or two ago.

If they have a good price point, they might start actually giving Intel some competition, which is good, since Intel has done next to nothing very interesting since the Ivy/Sandy Bridge days.

Comment Pi Desktop (Score 1) 132

Hi Eben,

I teach classes using the Raspberry Pi 2 (soon to be switching to 3, I hope) in a variety of contexts, such as with students wanting to learn ARM assembly and to K-12 teachers who want to do physical computing in their science classrooms.

It feels to me like the RPi is focused a little too much on Python and Scratch. I understand that it's called the Pi because of Python, but ARM assembly is my favorite assembly language, and bare metal assembly in particular is just a really natural fit for physical computing due to how easy it is to turn GPIO pins on and off. But the lack of documentation for the newer Broadcom SoCs has made it difficult for my students to write bare metal projects. So this leads to my question for you: are there any plans on rolling out better documentation / support / code examples for assembly on the RPi 2 and 3?

Despite this sounding like grousing, I would like to assure you that I love everything you've done with the Raspberry Pi and the notion of physical computing in general. Everyone who takes an assembly class or science technology workshop with me this year will get a free RPI3 and a bunch of sensors, wires, and motors to do hands-on, open ended projects. And I've been doing this for a while and it works really well. Thanks again for all of your vision and tireless effort you've spent in this arena.

Comment Re:How to advocate for desktop dev in a phone worl (Score 1) 509

>A lot of tech people tend to forget that for most people, a computer is not an end unto itself. It's just another tool for getting their real work done. Why "advocate" a desktop if people can get their work done on a tablet or phone? A desktop system has a lot of complexity that, for most people, probably tends to get in the way of actually getting their work done as much as it helps them.

Tablets and phones are consumption devices, not creation devices. They are a hideously bad match for trying to do any sort of serious development work, or even your bog standard PowerPoint deck. A Surface is about as tablet-y as you can get while still being able to do reasonable work, but a Surface is still a real computer under the hood. Anyone who works with touch-only systems could probably give you a long list of design decisions that slow them down when trying to do anything serious.

>I'd argue that very few people's productivity is measured in how efficient their file operations are. It's sort of like believing you're going to be vastly more efficient as a programmer if you memorize a bunch of keyboard shortcuts or type 60wpm instead of 30. Unlike the movies, programming isn't about how fast you type.

I think his point isn't just doing file operations, but rather that everything from the CLI is going to be faster and more powerful than a GUI when you know what you're doing. GUIs are great when doing graphical stuff, but for text-based work, text-based interfaces work better. UNIX is an operating system that is also an integrated development environment.

And typing fast really does make a difference. I mean, sure, Amdahl's Law and everything, but when you know what you're going to do, your typing speed will linearly translate into productivity.

Comment Re:Impressive (Score 1) 106

>False. What telecoms â" correctly â" object to, are efforts by local governments to compete with them. Private businesses, individuals, or non-profits are fine...

No. They lock up the last mile and do everything they can to stop private competition as well. If you're lucky enough to live in a densely populated and affluent area, you might be able to get high speed internet through microwave (the pricing is actually pretty competitive), otherwise you're going to be stuck choosing between the two horribly shitty options of either AT&T or Comcast.

It's a duopoly, and enforced by our legislators that are bought and sold by them.

http://www.politico.com/story/...

Comment Re:Thanks for the great answers (Score 1) 167

>There is a saying in the C++ community, that many language features are intended to protect against Murphy, not Machiavelli.

And yet as C++ progresses, it becomes easier and easier to write simple and performant code that can't be exploited. We're a long way from the strcpy() days. I can, for example, uppercaseify strings without ever using a pointer, iterator, square bracket, or at(). And the strict typing of C++ stops every one of the exploits detailed in those Perl Jam videos, with -Wall being there to watch for anything you can do that is technically legal, but a bad idea.

>Unlike Java, Perl does not even try to protect you from malicious programmers. Being a scripting language, Perl also doesn't try hard to protect you from careless programmers. Nonetheless, these particular examples of brokenness would be hard to encounter by accident. You can't say that of PHP.

Very true. You will definitely encounter more accidental weirdness in PHP. But long past are the days where it was common practice in PHP to pollute your variable namespace with parameters passed in by the user. But the point of those videos is that even if you are a security conscious programmer, following established language patterns, the weirdness of Perl - the language itself - works against you in your goal of trying to write secure code.

Submission + - SPAM: The LHC discovers new tetraquarks, but what does that mean for physics?

StartsWithABang writes: The Standard Model is great at describing all the known particles we’ve ever observed and how they interact, but there are a number of important hints that it isn’t all there is in the Universe. The existence of dark matter, dark energy, neutrino masses, the matter-antimatter asymmetry, the strong-CP and hierarchy problems all tell us that this collection of quarks, leptons, their antiparticles and the bosons we know are only part of the story. The LHC at CERN is currently producing the highest energy collisions at the largest rate ever seen on Earth, making it the best tool to discover new, never-before-seen particles. In a news release just a few days ago, they announced the discovery of multiple new particles – tetraquarks – that had never been seen before. Here's what that means for the Standard Model and our understanding of physics.

Comment Re:How long until the cheaters take over? (Score 1) 46

The way the system works is that the first time you take an action, it creates a virtual sphere that grows at a certain rate (something like 15 miles per hour?). If you take any actions outside of that sphere, then you get locked out for 15 to 30 minutes.

So catching a flight isn't an issue, the sphere will have expired by the time you land. Driving on the interstate could potentially be problematic if you hit a portal, speed to another place, and then hit another portal within 15 minutes.

The common case that it fails on the most, though, is the jitter you get right when you turn on GPS. If you are close to two portals when you turn it on, the jerking around as it tries to pinpoint your location can move you faster than 15MPH according to the app, and lock you out.

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