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Comment Well, duh. (Score 1) 367

Coming from the exact same group of people that threw the old buggy-whip makers argument in the face of cab drivers, this is too much. Yep, times change alright: and now they've changed against you. Seriously, what did you expect from Über?. And, you know, it's not like it's been a big secret that this was the long term plan.
Dear drivers;
Thank you for funding our autonomous vehicle research. Bye now.
Yours very sincerely,

Comment Re:The Hunting of the Snark (Score 1) 167

Point the first: this is a non-sequitor. Once again, you're trying to claim it's primarily technical issues with the software, and I'm making the point that you just don't like Larry Wall. He's just not *one of us*. Why no gentleman would take swipes at Python's one-true-way.

Ascribing particular states of mind to me might well make your points easier for you to make, but it doesn't make them any good. I don't dislike Larry Wall — I've never met him — although I certainly think he says some silly things, and I don't care at all for the language that he wrote. And although I like Python I haven't used it in my day job for several years now; my workplace is a Groovy/Java/Scala shop.

If you were actually someone in management, would you listen to someone like yourself? Why?

Because I understand that despite what you seem to think, the technical challenges involved in language choice for larger software projects are about 1% "does the syntax of language x allow me to do y in this particularly neat way?" and 99% "how many keen programmers skilled in language x do I have/can I attract right now? how quickly can I bring a keen programmer unskilled in x up to speed? how performant, reliable and documented is the core language? how performant, reliable and documented are the 3rd-party libraries available for my problem domain? is there good 3rd party support in the form of testing, build tools, CI, IDE's, profiling tools, version control integration? will my codebase be maintainable by the current crew let alone new hires in 1 year? 5 years? 10?". Honestly if you think Perl is a legit contender in any of those fields against any of the language offerings from Oracle, Microsoft, Apple or Google you really need to get out more.

In the obvious trivial way all Turing-complete languages are "technically" equivalent in the limited sense that you want that word to mean, so there's really no point wasting time having the argument I imagine you want to have with me that goes like this: me: "oh, but Perl doesn't have such-and-such a feature" you: "of COURSE it does, you just cross the index and middle fingers of your left hand and recite the last verse of Genesis backwards!". I imagine I could have the same argument with a bash guru. FWIW even ignoring the to-my-eye horrendous syntax, the fact that for 25 years Perl evangelists have sung the praises of a language that has had such (ahem) eccentricities as braindead function declarations, lets-have-dynamic-typing-but-also-sigils, bolt-on-OO, a toy REPL, "my this our that" namespacing wtf, awful multidimensional data structures, idiosyncratic libraries ((badly) parsing XML to native datatypes, really?), ugly reference syntax (beating even C++ for homeliness, a miracle!), all the time hilariously making a big song-and-dance about "Easy things are easy" and "the principle of least astonishment" does not to my mind inspire confidence that those folks actually know what any other languages look like. 'Easy' isn't having a character-saving shortcut for some marginal use-case, it's having a language transparent enough that I get excited about the results and not how I got there. And that to me is the kicker - with all the language choices out there now, why are there so few significant new non-hobby projects being started in Perl? Clue... the answer is not "because kids are all stupid these days".

Comment Re:The Hunting of the Snark (Score 1) 167

My problem is (and always has been) that Larry Has Opinions. And lots of those are expressed in such a heavy-handed manner: the language syntax, the intrusive keywords, the proudly gnomic and condescending tone that early on propagated down through Perl user groups, that they are off-putting ...

You see, this don't sound like a technical dispute to me.

Spoken like someone who's never managed a software development project bigger than themselves.

Of course it's a technical problem. Why buy into a tool and ecosystem with warts that piss more people off than the next tool's?

Comment Re:The Hunting of the Snark (Score 1) 167

Folks like me? No-one in the Perl community was ever mean to me. But I had half a dozen languages under the belt before I had the need for a quick-n-dirty scripting language in the mid 90's and fairly quickly made what I'm happy to this day to call an astute technical judgement that a language and community that was so ostentatiously opinionated would be a risky choice for team work; to say nothing of the languages's technical deficiencies at that time. It wasn't a hard decision. If you want to drive The Homer and gloat online about the fur-lined glove compartment that's fine by me. I'll take the fleet of Camrys and have fun going cool places with the team.

Comment Re:The Hunting of the Snark (Score 1) 167

Respect where it's due for Perl's historical achievements - I've hacked enough HGP Perl scripts to know what's what - but they're not per se an argument in favour of using that tool now - any more than the existence of the pyramids are an argument for indentured labour. My problem is (and always has been) that Larry Has Opinions. And lots of those are expressed in such a heavy-handed manner: the language syntax, the intrusive keywords, the proudly gnomic and condescending tone that early on propagated down through Perl user groups, that they are off-putting for anyone that doesn't happen to want to join the club. Which would be a pity if there were no other good options out there, but... there are plenty! And they're not hanging shit on Perl because... why bother? So folks have voted with their feet. Frankly I read a lot of Wall's comments in that interview as the posturing of the second-smartest-kid-at-school. Smart, just not smart enough to shut up long enough for the other kids to get to like him.

Comment The Hunting of the Snark (Score 0) 167

I understand you're proud of Perl 6: that's great, but I'd be more convinced as a developer or manager of developers to take a deeper look if you could demonstrate with examples how teams of mixed experience and aptitude have built complex, performant, maintainable software with it, rather than throwing ill-judged stones at the competition (the Python and Java comments in particular). There are just so many panes of glass around... and I find myself strangely uncompelled by a cute factorial one-liner. And as roll-my-own guy, I'd be more convinced if you could demonstrate elegance surpassing Haskell or LISP.
"A last programming language" is a neat turn of phrase that a) is hard to reconcile with the claim that you're "thinking generationally" and b) much like the original TIMTOWTDI motto, though doubtless sprung from your own formidable brain, ironically reads to me like the exasperated marketing department's spin after realizing that "shit, Larry's written another language for Larry".

Comment Re:the weight is the impressive part (Score 5, Informative) 93

Clearly a lot of uniformed upvoters here if this gets a 5. The article says the test was done with an M2 AP (not ball) round and a half inch of even armour steel is not stopping one of those, let alone "thousands of shots with virtually no wear". See for yourself:

Comment Not engineering (Score 1) 140

Don't oversell what you're doing as "introductory software engineering". If your students are high school level and "new to logic and computer science" then what you should be doing is teaching them an introduction to programming. That is a fine and worthy goal right there. Software engineering is usually a college-level subject or even a degree in itself, teaching already-capable programmers how to design and build complex and robust real-world systems; much of the material revolves not around programming at all but SDLC process and other things that will be irrelevant (and boring) to computer-naive high schoolers. Not to be too precious about it, but the terminology matters; would you advertise an introductory high-school physics course on friction and statics as an "introductory civil engineering"?

Submission + - Google Hosts Special Demo Day for Female Entrepreneurs (

An anonymous reader writes: Wednesday Google hosted a special edition of their annual "Demo Day" event featuring 11 early-stage startup companies founded by women from eight different countries. More than 450 women from 40 different counties applied for a spot, and the winner of the competition was Bridgit, a fast-growing Canadian company which provides a mobile communications platform for construction teams. Online voters also awarded the "Game Changer" title to KiChing, a startup that's actively addressing Mexico’s unique e-commerce challenges. But all of the startups at Wednesday’s event were already actively raising series-A funding, and "We aim to help connect them to mentors, access to capital, and shine a spotlight on their efforts," said Mary Grove, the director of Google for Entrepreneurs, addressing the Demo Day audience in San Francisco.

Submission + - Untangling the Tale of Ada Lovelace

theodp writes: To commemorate the 200th birthday of Ada Lovelace, Google's CS Education in Media Program partnered with YouTube Kids on Happy Birthday Ada! for Computer Science Education Week. For those seeking (much!) more information on The Enchantress of Numbers, Stephen Wolfram has penned a pretty epic blog post, Untangling the Tale of Ada Lovelace. "Ada Lovelace was born 200 years ago today," Wolfram begins. "To some she is a great hero in the history of computing; to others an overestimated minor figure. I’ve been curious for a long time what the real story is. And in preparation for her bicentennial, I decided to try to solve what for me has always been the 'mystery of Ada'." If you're not up for the full 12,000+ word read, skip to "The Final Story" for the TL;DR summary.

Submission + - MIT Creates Tor Alternative That Floods Networks With Fake Data (

An anonymous reader writes: MIT researchers create an alternative to Tor, a network messaging system called Vuvuzela that pollutes the network with dummy data so the NSA won't know who's talking to who. First tests show a 44-seconds delay, but the network can work fine and keep anonymity even it has more than 50% of servers compromised.

Comment Likely not criminals. (Score 5, Insightful) 101

Lots of comments here about the foolishness of paying off criminals. Indeed. But in fact I tip my hat to ProtonMail for their clever strategy for illuminating the likely identity of their attackers. The thing is, when you pay off blackmailers they typically don't then carry through with the initial threat because that's bad business. They may make further demands based on their new knowledge of you being an easy mark, but to carry out the initially threatened action after being paid simply sends the message to you and other potential targets that paying is a waste of money because the threat will be carried out anyway. The profile of the target (encrypted email service) alone combined with analysis of the second attack as having the hallmarks of a state actor would suggest a three-letter agency. The fact that they got hit after paying just clinches it.

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