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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

A nonymous Coward Re:Javascript (637 comments)

Interesting idea. You're basically arguing that the IDE and pointy-clicky interface are more important for newbies.

It would be interesting to find a pool of newbies and do some comparisons.

about a week ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

A nonymous Coward Re:Javascript (637 comments)

That's true. I bet only BASIC has more shoddy code out there (including Visual Basic). But I was thinking more of the newbie who has no clue and only wants to find out what programming is, not become an expert. You might almost say shoddy examples are better, because if someone still likes it, they can survive and prosper.

about a week ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

A nonymous Coward Re:Javascript (637 comments)

Programming and life in general always come with puzzles and headscratchers.

The trick to being a good programmer is liking programming puzzles. That's the most important thing for a beginner to understand.

about a week ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

A nonymous Coward Re:Javascript (637 comments)

That's probably true once they get past the initial hurdles. But for newbies who don't even understand the most basic concepts, trying to explain the difference between 123, 12.3, and "123", or why 12 / 5 is different from 12.0 / 5.0 is confusing.

Javascriupt's primary benefit is letting the newbs discover for themselves whether they like programming. I used to tell people, way back in the day, to take any community college beginning programming course; if they couldn't wait to get to the class and stayed late at the lab using the class computers, they liked programming and would make excellent programmers. If they had to force themselves to keep going to class and ducked out of labs as soon as possible, they hated it and would make terrible programmers.

Programming is like hot rodding up to the 1970s or so. You don't need a degree, you don't need classes, you can pick most of the basics up from books, friends, and experimentation. What counts is whether you like it.

about a week ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

A nonymous Coward Javascript (637 comments)

I tell friends to play with javascript.

* Any web page has source code to learn from.

* Small edits to said source pages show instantaneous results and are painless.

* No need for a comand line, which scares some people.

* The GUI changes, like changes ol to ul, or adding table cell padding, or changing styles, or easy and fun.

* Adding loops and conditionals are not very complicated, since most web pages with javascript provide sme examples.

Overall, for someone curious about programming, it's about the best self-taught intro I can think of. Anyone who wants to learn mroe can find out if the like the concept, the puzzles, and the headscratchers with just as much time and thought as they want.

about a week ago
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House and Senate Science Committees in Creationists Hands.

A nonymous Coward Will anyone learn the real lesson? (3 comments)

The real lesson is to keep as much out of government hands as possible.

Whenever anyone tells me how great that President Obama is doing such-and-so in some devious manner because the Republicans have forced his hand by their recalcitrance, I ask how they'd feel if President Cruz or President Paul were to use the same devious methods because of recalcitrant Democrats. Crickets.

Same thing during the Bush and Clinton eras. Always crickets.

Same thing here. Did you object when the Dems push GMO labeling against all scientific consensus, or did you scream the consensus was wrong?

Crickets.

about a week ago
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US Navy Sells 'Top Gun' Aircraft Carrier for One Penny

A nonymous Coward 3400 miles is wrong (2 comments)

Someone drop a 1? 13,400 sounds more believable.

about a month ago
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Bill Gates Sponsoring Palladium-Based LENR Technology

A nonymous Coward Inventor? (1 comments)

Calling Bill Gates an innovator and inventor is really pushing the fanboi envelope. Businessman, entrepeneur, sure, but Microsoft's innovation was all in the lockin, nothing to do with technology.

about a month ago
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SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

A nonymous Coward Re:Someone doesn't understand basic relativity (81 comments)

The balancing act is almost exactly the same at the last moment of forward flight as it is at the first moment of retro burn, just in a different direction.

Aerodynamics matter very little at high altitude. They matter some at lower altitude, but I doubt they make much difference when the engine is burning.

about a month ago
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SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

A nonymous Coward Re:Someone doesn't understand basic relativity (81 comments)

The mass is less, and presumably easier to control, but yes, that is a difference.

The relative speeds are the same. Launch starts at 0 and increases to 1300. Landing starts at 1300 and ends at 0.

Actually, that is a small difference. Launch starts at 0, but landing ends at 2 m/s, leaving shock absorbers to reduce it to the final 0.

about a month ago
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SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

A nonymous Coward Someone doesn't understand basic relativity (81 comments)

And I don't mean the speed of light kind.

At 14 stories tall and traveling upwards of 1300 m/s (nearly 1 mi/s), stabilizing the Falcon 9 first stage for reentry is like trying to balance a rubber broomstick on your hand in the middle of a wind storm.

EXACTLY the same as takeoff. NO difference.

about a month ago
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Ice XVI Is the Strangest Form of Solid Water Yet

A nonymous Coward Science or nature? (1 comments)

The link is to sciencemag but the text says "Nature" (which should be lower case anyway).

about a month ago
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Proposed Explanation for "Darwin's Dilemma"

A nonymous Coward Re:Why Link To Crap Sites? (2 comments)

Especially when such basic facts as the timing of the Cambrian explosion are so wrong. It was 542M years ago, according to wikipedia, or 4B years after the earth formed. This summary implies the Cambrian explosion was 3B years sooner, unless by "tens of millions" they actually mean 3000 million.

about 2 months ago
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Mayday PAC Goes 2 For 8

A nonymous Coward Let me see if I understand this (224 comments)

He's complaining that the money he spent to defeat the influence of money in politics didn't have any influence.

The proper lesson is that his basic thesis is wrong, that money doesn't always win elections. Meg Whitman was another example (if you have to ask who she? and what election? then you prove my point -- google "meg whitman election").

But being a statist fuck, that won't be the lesson he sees. Lessig's done a lot of nice work otherwise, but he's off the rails on this.

about 3 months ago
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Colleges Face New 'Gainful Employment' Regulations for Student Loans

A nonymous Coward Profit? (1 comments)

So it's ok for non-profit schools to push useless degrees and bad courses. Got it.

about 3 months ago
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How Big Telecom Smothers Municipal Broadband

A nonymous Coward Government subsidy vs government monopoly (111 comments)

What galls me the most is the panty-wetting over a government-granted monopoly trying to maintain its government granted monopoly when that very same government tries to compete using taxpayer dollars as a subsidy.

The outrage should be against government involvement period. If governments didn't grant local monopolies, there would be real competition among the real companies, and no perceived need for the government competition which is only competitive because it has the taxpayer subsidy.

about 5 months ago
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Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

A nonymous Coward Re:Quit COMPLAINING about Comcast and buy them out (368 comments)

How can anyone pay lip service to free markets by regulating them?

The problem is that government regulates them as monopolies. They create the problem in the first lace by creating the monopoly, then offer to fix the problem by adding regulation. If it were a truly free market, without government sponsored monopolies, regulation wouldn't be nessary.

Look up the history of AT&T, how they were acting like a bully, but when the lawsuits began to have an effect and counter their actions, they begged the government to regulate them as a monopoly. If the government had just said no, they would have been brought to heel within a few years; the market would have worked.

It never ceases to amaze me how often I am amazed at people who cannot grasp this simple concept, that government specialized in correcting problems it created. Even that great social experiment, US alcohol prohibition from 1920-1933, was not ended by repealing the prohibition, but by changing outright prohibition to regulation.

about 5 months ago
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The US vs. Europe: Freedom of Expression vs. Privacy

A nonymous Coward The simple story (1 comments)

The right to privacy is unimplementable. It basically requires hiding the truth on a massive individualized scale, and cannot be done.

If one were to attempt hiding one or a few particular truths, it might be successful for a short while, but it would be like the Soviets airbrushing former leaders out of pictures. The truth will resurface sooner or later.

And as soon as you mandate the right to be forgotten, every punk and his dog will want to protect their privacy too -- why should it be reserved only for the rich and powerful? Not only will the resultant holes in truth became ever more blatant, but the only way to hide the truth is manpower intensive, just like airbrushing people out of all those pictures. You can't automate it -- not only would it miss indirect references and intentional subterfuge, it will erase false positives and raise the ire of its false victims.

I am watching this EU court ruling with a metric boatload of popcorn. Most legislation is pretty clueless when it comes to unintended consequences, btu this one is spectacularly so.

about 8 months ago

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