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Comment Re:Missing option: None (Score 1) 134

Yeah... Try that in a multilingual environment.... I dare you. I routinely work with five languages in a day, but my phone only knows one. Okay, it knows four of the five, but I have to select one.

It also assumes it does understand what you said. My experience is: it doesn't even when I do talk English to my phone. Obviously that is my fault. I'm not going to deny that.

Where I live, you see/hear no one use these systems.... For good reason.

On a decent keyboard, all of those are -by the way- faster than what you say. You conveniently omit the "Sir/Alexa/OK Google/Cortana" detection phrase, then your inquiry, then the processing, then the verification of what has been detected, then the acknowledgement of the fact that detection has worked correctly. Otherwhise you get such things as "When date LGBT closet tonight". Not really acceptable.

Comment Agreemsg (Score 1) 142

It's more of a flying motorcycle, except without any of the advantages of a motorcycle. Presumably the advantages of being able to fly outweigh them, but if you're only allowed to operate over water, you'd probably be better served by a boat. It's a toy. The only time it seems like it would have any actual utility is if you live in some place where you're not allowed to move quickly on the water, but they'd still allow you to operate one of these. Which I suppose could exist... somewhere?

Comment Re: They simply remember your UDID (Score 3, Insightful) 111

They're adding functionality that Apple refuses to do.

Apple refuses to do it for a valid reason, and I see Apple as the ethical winners here. If Uber is experiencing a high rate of fraud, that's a business process problem that needs to be addressed within Uber's own internal systems. Considering Uber can afford a "competitive intelligence" team that buys and crunches data about Lyft, and they can afford to develop "Greyball" deception tools to evade law enforcement, they should also be able to afford a couple of employees to build some better fraud detection into their signup process. A little less offense and a little more defense might be a rewarding strategy.

Thousands of other companies conduct business via iOS apps without resorting to breaking the rules. Uber is showing once again that they don't give a fuck about the rules, and that puts them squarely outside of the "ethical right."

Comment BASIC (Score 1) 616

BASIC, back in the day. I started teaching myself at 13, on a TI 99/4A. The school I was attending at the time had barely heard about computers, much less come up with a way to try to teach someone that young about them. I was actually starting to dabble in assembly language on that machine, and managed to get a sprite to move in response to me moving a joystick around. The school may have been woefully uninformed, but the public library was a pretty good resource.

A fortunate move to upstate New York put me on a track to pick up some classes on BASIC and Pascal at the high school and Watfiv and assembly language at a local university that had a high school summer program. My senior project in high school was a graphing program that generated several kinds of graphs using Apple Pascal and the turtle graphics package that came with it. The system could barely handle it, but it was pretty spiffy. I wrote my own keyboard input routines that would allow me to set up fields of a specific size that would only allow certain characters to be typed into them.

College was more Basic, which I was entirely fucking sick of by then, and some scripting languages. I got my intro to REXX there, which was much nicer than Basic. I switched schools into a more CS-oriented program and picked up C, Ada and COBOL. By then I was starting to hear about this newfangled C++, which really sucked back in the early '90's, let me tell you. They didn't even have a STL yet. They started talking about adding templates to the language a few years later.

By then I knew my way around C pretty well, but mostly had to work on the shitty proprietary languages of the 90's. I got into some work that involved actual C programming in the mid 90's, and had a pretty solid decade of C programming. Since 2005 it's been a pretty steady mix of Java and C++, along with a bit of maintenance on some really badly-designed projects in Perl, Ruby and TCL. I'm currently doing a mix of C++ for hardware-level access to some specialty hardware I'm working on, and Java to provide some web services associated with that hardware. I might get into some Javascript to put it all together, but I'm going to try to leave that to the guys who are more comfortable with Javascript than I am.

I don't see much new coming along the road. .net, go and rust are all sufficiently close to Java or C++ that they really don't interest me. Maybe if someone offers some large briefcases full of cash to work with them. I'd be more interested in doing some hand-optimized assembly language and perhaps some GPU programming, but that would probably take another decade to get good at.

Comment Re:Fortran (Score 1) 616

My father showed me basic when I wanted to use the computer as a calculator (basic arithmetic). I discovered programming.

He then saw talent in me and bought me a Turbo Pascal book (in my mother tongue... English would not have worked at that age) and a copy of Turbo Pascal (I presume from work, but... I don't know where exactly he got it from).

... and that's how he awoke my interest in computers and ultimately the profession I would choose.

Thanks dad...

Comment Re:Bullshit, Todd. (Score 1) 261

Nobody was forcing them to be parents. They were prepared to be parents and take the financial and emotional responsibility... that was the whole point of the procedure.

Yes, for a child born of their own genes. There are numerous disadvantages to raising a child who is not of your own genes. Such offspring is much less likely to be successful in every way due to a number of factors. Your offspring literally inherits traits you gained during your lifetime. This is important for creating rapport between parent and offspring. Keep in mind that it's a typical instinct for an ape to kill all the offspring of other males when he takes over a female.

Education

Slashdot Asks: What Was Your First Programming Language? (stanforddaily.com) 616

This question was inspired by news that Stanford's computer science professor Eric Roberts will try JavaScript instead of Java in a new version of the college's introductory computer programming course. The Stanford Daily reports: When Roberts came to Stanford in 1990, CS106A was still taught in Pascal, a programming language he described as not "clean." The department adopted the C language in 1992. When Java came out in 1995, the computer science faculty was excited to transition to the new language. Roberts wrote the textbooks, worked with other faculty members to restructure the course and assignments and introduced Java at Stanford in 2002... "Java had stabilized," Roberts said. "It was clear that many universities were going in that direction. It's 2017 now, and Java is showing its age." According to Roberts, Java was intended early on as "the language of the Internet". But now, more than a decade after the transition to Java, Javascript has taken its place as a web language.
In 2014 Python and Java were the two most commonly-taught languages at America's top universities, according to an analysis published by the Communications of the ACM. And Java still remains the most-commonly taught language in a university setting, according to a poll by the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education. In a spreadsheet compiling the results, "Python appears 60 times, C++ 54 times, Java 84 times, and JavaScript 28 times," writes a computing professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, adding "if Java is dying (or "showing its age"...) it's going out as the reigning champ."

I'm guessing Slashdot's readers have their own opinions about this, so share your educational experiences in the comments. What was your first programming language?

Comment Re:How much CO2? (Score 1) 259

It's not that much. The US military (and presumably others) has been experimenting with artificially creating cloud cover for decades. Conspiracy theories aside, there are a couple of relevant patents. One of them basically involves special afterburners, and the other one involves spraying metallics (just like the conspiracy theorists said, whee!)

Whether we should be doing this or not doesn't really have any bearing on whether we should be doing the other things, though. We could do both.

Comment Re:DRONE ON (Score 1) 259

On top of that, it's a stupid fucking argument to be making. Carbon emissions are not evenly distributed. A handful of the worlds rich assholes (read: us) are doing the vast majority of the climate change (See figure 1).

India and China are trying as hard as they can to come up to our levels of carbon release. This is a problem that has to be solved at a deeper level. It has to simply be cheaper not to pollute. Therefore this is where the bulk of the research should be going.

Comment Future of Yahoo Mail? (Score 2) 71

I wonder what the implications will be for Yahoo Mail once Verizon finishes acquiring Yahoo. Aside from @yahoo.com accounts, the Yahoo Mail platform powers most of the baby bells' ISP email. Mail for users @sbcglobal.net, @bellsouth.net, @pacbell.net, etc. is all part of the Yahoo Mail service whether the users realize it or not. I can't see Verizon being too benevolent about taking on "competing" ILEC/bell users' mail hosting. And if they were impressed with the Yahoo Mail platform, you'd think they would have waited and migrated their own users there instead of to AOL.

What a tangled fucking web.

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