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Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded 2015 Dahl-Nygaard Prize

Calavar Re:Poor Alan Kay (163 comments)

C++ is a three-way compromise between good object oriented design, backwards compatibility with C, and high performance. Stroustrup has never billed it as anything else.

Of course, the fact that C++ is a compromise between three goals that are often at odds means that it isn't anywhere near the best language for object-oriented design (loses to Smalltalk and many others), for backwards compatibility with C (IMO Vala does better -- YMMV), or for high performance (loses to FORTRAN). But it does a reasonable job of "good enough" on all three fronts, and that is what has made it so enduringly popular over the last few decades.

So, no, C++ isn't the best language for object-oriented programing. It's not even close. But that doesn't mean it is a bad language.

2 days ago
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Human Language May Have Evolved To Help Our Ancestors Make Tools

Calavar Re:In other news... (154 comments)

No, the reason this experiment is stupid is that you are taking a subject group that have relied heavily on verbal communication there entire lives and then asking them to do the same task with and without verbal communication. Gee, I wonder which condition will produce better results.

Car analogy: You take a bunch of adults who've been driving for 20+ years and then tell half to drive through an obstacle course while using their feet to press the pedals and the other half to drive while using their hands to press the pedals. The result: those test subjects that used their feet to press the pedals had much better control of the car and completed the obstacle course quickly. Clearly this means that humans evolved feet to press the gas and break pedals in cars.

Gorillas have been seen using tools in the wild. Gorillas in captivity have been taught sign language. Now if there was an experiment that showed that Gorillas that know sign language could teach each other to use tools more effectively than Gorillas that do not know sign language, I'd be much more convinced, as Gorillas are not accustomed to using language as their primary means of communication in the same way that humans are.

about two weeks ago
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Fewer Grants For Young Researchers Causing Brain Drain In Academia

Calavar Re: Our 'young scientists' (153 comments)

Telling lies won't convince anyone.

Maybe you should follow your own advice then. Fleming was a professor at the University of London at the same time that he was working at St. Mary's, and it was in this capacity that he was conducting the research.

about two weeks ago
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Fewer Grants For Young Researchers Causing Brain Drain In Academia

Calavar Re:Quarterly forecast (153 comments)

What percent of NIH grants go to that sort of degree-restricted field, compared to degree-portable fields like CS? My initial guess is that most of the NIH grants would be degree-restricted and require a medical degree.

I don't have hard numbers on this, but my guess would be a lot. Many people getting NIH degrees do not have a medical degree. You have people studying stem cells (biologists and physiologists), people studying drugs (chemists and pharmacologists), people studying public health (epidemiologists), people studying radiation therapy (physicists and engineers), imaging and medical informatics (computer scientists) and so on all drawing funding from the NIH.

So it may even just be as simple as, "baby boomer generation had a baby boom, news at 11." If the percent of young researchers had remained level, that would actually mean that researchers were getting younger, because there are a higher percent of older people with medical degrees now.

It might be, but my gut tells me that it isn't. There was a famous Nobel laureate (I think Neils Bohr, but I might be misremembering) who once said that if you hadn't completed your Nobel prize winning research by the age of 40, you never would. That may have been very true in the early 20th century (consider Einstein, who completed his Nobel Prize -winning work at 26; Bohr, who published his prize-winning papers at 28; Marie Curie, who was 22; Werner Heisenberg, 24; and Paul Dirac, 26), but in the early 21st century, it seems absurd.

about two weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

Calavar Re:islam (1350 comments)

The crusades were over 1000 years ago, and that is still the best example of Christian church-led violence you can come up with?, yet multiple fatalities of innocent people from islamic terrorist attacks are taking place every day.

I can come up with plenty of examples of modern day violence. (Skip to the end of this post if you want to see them.) You probably never heard of any of these incidents, but that's simply because western media doesn't report on them. (Not because of some kind of religious bias on the part of the media, but because violence by Christians is typically directed towards backwater groups that westerners have never heard of, and that doesn't make for a good news story.)

Unlike islam, Christianity does not teach denial of basic human rights and prevention of education of certain groups of people (because of their gender, race or beliefs).

Are you fucking kidding me? What about persecution of Jews? Have you ever heard of the Spanish inquisition? And are we just going to pretend that Christian persecution of homosexuals never happened? There are still Christian mobs lynching homosexuals in countries like Nigeria and Ghana. Hatred for both of these groups can be found all over the New Testament. See Matthew 23:31-33 and Romans 1:24-32

Unlike islam, Christianity does not have radical priests that brainwash believers into becoming human bombs

You're right. Instead of telling their followers to tie bombs to themselves, they told them to tie bombs to innocent civilians and then threaten to kill those civilians' families unless they detonated the bombs in specific locations. Look up "proxy bombs" and the "Claudy bombings."

As promised, a compilation of modern day acts of Christian terrorism:

  • The National Liberation Front of Tripura, a group closely associated with the Baptist church of the Indian region of Tripura has killed hundreds of Hindus since being founded in 1989. The group has stated multiple times that one of its main goals is to convert all residents of Tripura to Christinanity using any means necessary, including force.
  • The National Socialist Council of Nagaland, also based in India, has raped and killed Hindus and Pagans since its formation in 1980. They also aim to forcibly convert their province to Christianity.
  • The anti-Balaka are a Christian militia in the Central African Republic that has engaged in large-scale ethnic cleansing of Muslims as recently as 2014.
  • In 1995, Orthodox and Catholic Christians working with the Bosnian Serb Army (a separatist group) killed more than 8,000 unarmed Muslim civilians.
  • In the 1990s, the Army of God, an extremist Christian organization based in the US, bombed multiple abortion clinics, murdered multiple abortion doctors, and wounded over 100 spectators at the 1996 Olympics.

about three weeks ago
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India Blocks Code Sharing Websites On Anti-Terror Advisory

Calavar Re: Holy shit (78 comments)

Considering that Pakistan and India are currently fighting a war over the Siachen glacier, no, those geopolitics are not outdated.

about three weeks ago
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In IT, Beware of Fad Versus Functional

Calavar Re:Some practical examples (153 comments)

everyone realized that Ruby is awful

I'm tired of hearing this. Ruby is not awful. It's a wonderful language, and Rails is a wonderful framework. The problem is that Rails is designed for a very particular niche (small, fairly CRUD-oriented web applications), and people keep trying to stupidly shoehorn it into places where it doesn't work well (large, enterprise applications that need to do lots of heavy number crunching or querying of enormous databases in the background). Predictably, such projects end in a trainwreck and then people blame Rails, but Rails wasn't the problem.

about a month ago
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Rosetta Results: Comets "Did Not Bring Water To Earth"

Calavar Re:The wet ones did! (135 comments)

Either way, GGP's assertion that mass is relevant but weight somehow isn't makes no sense.

about a month and a half ago
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Rosetta Results: Comets "Did Not Bring Water To Earth"

Calavar Re:The wet ones did! (135 comments)

Weight is defined as the force of gravity that is acting on an object. When you are in orbit, weight is serving as the centripetal force that is keeping you on a circular orbit. So if an object was weightless, it would fly off in a straight line instead of orbiting. GP is almost right. The weight of the space ship is going to be much greater than the weight of the astronaut inside simply because the spaceship is more massive (and F_g = GMm/r^2, so weight increases linearly with the mass of the orbiting object), but the astronaut feels weightless because he/she has the same acceleration as the space ship.

about a month and a half ago
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Rosetta Results: Comets "Did Not Bring Water To Earth"

Calavar Re:The wet ones did! (135 comments)

No, it doesn't.

F_g = GMm/r^2

F_c = mv^2/r

Combine the two, and you get

GM/v^2 = r

So the orbital radius of an object around the sun depends only on the mass of the sun and the velocity of the object. The mass of the object doesn't matter. This is high school level physics, buddy.

about a month and a half ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Medal Will Be Returned To Him

Calavar Re:why should he have it (235 comments)

Middle East? What in the world are you talking about? Kissinger got the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for the American withdrawal from Vietnam. (And ostensibly for brokering peace between North and South Vietnam, but we all know how long that lasted.)

Keep in mind that in 1970, Kissinger was the one who pushed for expanding the Vietnam conflict into Cambodia. Around the same time, he was also working with the CIA to try to overthrow the democratically elected government of Chile. In 1971, he had the US throw its support behind the Pakistani government, even after a US diplomat in Pakistan said that the government engaging in widespread genocide of its own citizens.

Did I think Obama deserve the Peace Prize? Probably not. But at least the committee didn't decide to give it to him while knowing that he was complicit in genocide and active in coup d'etats.

about a month and a half ago
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Obama Offers Funding For 50,000 Police Body Cameras

Calavar Re:not enthuisastic about this (262 comments)

Pervasive surveillance by law enforcement is a bad thing. Pervasive surveillance of law enforcement is a good thing. And that is what these body cams are: They aren't recording anything that police officers aren't already seeing with their own eyes. Instead, these cameras create a record of officers' actions -- a record that keeps them accountable for said actions.

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft To Open Source .NET and Take It Cross-Platform

Calavar Re: Desparate Microsoft pulls a "Sun Microsystem (525 comments)

Sorry, I meant no one who is alive today knew him when he wrote the books and short stories. Why should his descendants still have cla to them?

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft To Open Source .NET and Take It Cross-Platform

Calavar Re: Desparate Microsoft pulls a "Sun Microsystems (525 comments)

There is a big difference between "was born in 1901" and "published novels and short stories in 1901." No one who is alive today knew Arthur Conan Doyle.

about 2 months ago
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Canadian Police Recommend Ending Anonymity On the Internet

Calavar Reading comprehension check (231 comments)

TFS said it was the Ontario Provincial Police that gave the recommendation, not the RCMP.

about 2 months ago
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Calavar Re:Cut the Russians Off (848 comments)

Again with all these conspiracy theories about Western involvement in Ukraine. The thing about conspiracy theories is that they never hold up when you apply common sense.

There is only one major nation for which the situation in Ukraine is of critical importance: Russia. If EU membership led to a flood of Gean, French, and British investment in Ukrainian oil production, Russia would no longer have a monopoly on oil exports to the rest of Europe. This would be a disaster for the Russian oil oligarchs that keep Putin in power. From the perspective of EU businessmen, however, it matters little whether they invest in Ukraine or Russia. Meanwhile, the average American probably wouldn't even be able to point Ukraine out on a map.

So who has the vested interest in interfering in Ukrainian politics? Moreover, who has a history of interfering in Ukrainian politics? That's right, Russia. Are you forgetting that the KGB tried to assassinate Yushchenko in 2014? Of course Russia and their lackey Yanukovych claimed that Yushchenko poisoined and nearly killed himself to win sympathy from voters, because that is something that a sane person would do. (Note the heavy sarcasm.)

So no, the protests in Kiev were not engineered by the CIA; they were grassroots. Just because you read it on RIA Novosti, doesn't make it true.

about 5 months ago
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Calavar Re:Baltics are next if the West fails to respond (848 comments)

Unarmed protesters getting shot and killed by government police is a "violent overthrow of the government"? Your utterly warped "memory" of events is disgusting. As far as this conspiracy theory about US involvement, find me one person in Kiev who acknowledges the presence of CIA. I doubt you will find a single one, but there are dozens of rebel leaders in Donetsk who are proud to say that they have KGB handlers.

about 5 months ago
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FCC Warned Not To Take Actions a Republican-Led FCC Would Dislike

Calavar Re: Correction: (338 comments)

If you're one of the select few that are so wealthy that you own enough stock to be able to vote out an unpopular CEO (or block a grassroots shareholder movement to do the same), you're either the CEO or his yachting buddy.

about 5 months ago
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News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

Calavar Re: Sigh (748 comments)

Yes, and liberals such as myself contend that marriage is a human right. If tolerance means allowing gay individuals to have human rights, then they must have the right to marriage.

about 5 months ago

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