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Comments

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People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

ConceptJunkie Re: user error (709 comments)

That doesn't matter. He's saying that if the "EC Econoboxes" were driven like US cars are, the fatalities would be much worse. Around here, a lot of people commute on the Washington Beltway, which is a pretty crazy road to commute on. I once had someone pass me on the left when I was in the left lane. In other words, I was doing 60-ish mph in the left lane approaching a left exit and someone was so impatient he passed me on the shoulder. Do as many people in the UK drive on these massive and complicated interstate-style highways? That would make a difference. If I'm driving 1000 km back and forth to the market, it's probably going be less dangerous than 200 km in 120-kph rush hour traffic and rampant road rage.

I'm not saying he's necessarily right, but he didn't disprove him own point. Maybe the UK just has much, much safer drivers and cars than the rest of Europe (since most of the worst countries listed are in Europe). Maybe it's driving on the left. Maybe it's the better beer. [shrug]

about two weeks ago
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Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

ConceptJunkie Re:pointers (415 comments)

having a generation of students that don't know how to use pointers seems, rather scary to me.

We've managed to get along with the first one, so another one won't be much worse.

about three weeks ago
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Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

ConceptJunkie Re:"Top Learning Language" ...OR... (415 comments)

You know, for things like memory allocation, pointers, and so on?

Compared to Java? I think it would hold its own.

I think there are good arguments for being exposed to C early, but I wouldn't say it necessarily should be a first language.

about three weeks ago
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Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

ConceptJunkie Re:another language shoved down your throat (415 comments)

For example, when adding some new code I will often put it at the beginning of the line (ie with no indent) so I can see it more clearly whilst coding (usually this is for temporary tracing lines), and only indent it before commit.

I do that in C++ all the time, especially when it's something I don't intend to keep. This is definitely something that you can't do in Python, but that doesn't keep me from liking it.

about three weeks ago
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Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

ConceptJunkie Re:another language shoved down your throat (415 comments)

With Python, on the other hand, I'm actually more likely to have an error in the indenting, because there's no easy way to see how many blocks I'm terminating when I outdent by an arbitrary amount.

I've never really had that problem, but then I always break up code into reasonable sized functions so the nesting doesn't get too deep. Perhaps that's what you need to change.

about three weeks ago
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Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

ConceptJunkie Re:another language shoved down your throat (415 comments)

I thought the whole whitespace-dependent thing was a crock too, coming from 20 years of mostly C++, but since I'm already obsessive about code formatting, I found it very natural and comfortable once I started using Python.

about three weeks ago
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Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

ConceptJunkie Re: another language shoved down your throat (415 comments)

I used Pascal for almost all of my CS courses (but this was in the mid 80s). I got my first job as a C programmer with no formal C experience, but that wasn't a problem, and I never had any problems adapting to new languages during my career as needed. I like some languages more than others, but I can get the job done in anything needed with a short learning curve. I've done mostly C++, which I enjoy, and picked up Python on my own a couple years ago, which I love. I wouldn't call myself a Python expert by any stretch, but I could become one in short order if the need arose. It's all about the programming: Thinking logically, breaking tasks down in discrete steps that do the right thing, knowing what can go wrong. The language is just syntax. It might make some things easier and some things harder, but they're all doable.

about three weeks ago
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Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

ConceptJunkie Re: another language shoved down your throat (415 comments)

Because if we knew Esperanto, we could follow that Esperanto movie William Shatner starred in in 1965. That's pretty useful.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Opens 'Transparency Center' For Governments To Review Source Code

ConceptJunkie Re:What's the point? (178 comments)

It's not a spin at all. In order for Microsoft to prove to governments that their software does what it's supposed to, they are willing to share the source, because that's the only way you can really trust software. It's not spin to say that you cannot truly trust software unless you can see the source (and understand it, and be able to build it, etc., etc.)

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Opens 'Transparency Center' For Governments To Review Source Code

ConceptJunkie Re:What's the point? (178 comments)

Microsoft isn't implying that. They trying to convince customers they don't have NSA backdoors. ... by opening the source to their products (to certain parties). In other words, you cannot trust software unless you can see the source. It's a pretty clear implication to me.

about three weeks ago
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Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

ConceptJunkie Re:Similar bug in iOS (349 comments)

Yes. That is just such an appropriate thing to suggest to an Apple user.

"You know that company you use because you are a n00b or just lazy? You now need to become a network admin to deal with the stupid stuff they do."

Well, Microsoft users have been dealing with this for 25 years.

about three weeks ago
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New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

ConceptJunkie Re:waste of time (380 comments)

I'm sure you're right. Tailgaters too.

about a month ago
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An Army Medal For Coding In Perl

ConceptJunkie Re:CPAN (192 comments)

I've been doing C++ on and off for more than 20 years (mostly on) and just for that, I'm going to have to friend you.

about a month ago
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Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop

ConceptJunkie Set your sights low, Microsoft... (681 comments)

Wow, so one of their major goals is to release something people actually want to upgrade to.

Way to set your sights low, Microsoft.

Perhaps you should admit that Metro was nothing other than your executives suffering from collective lust explosion over Apple taking 30% off the top of every app sale and hoping that MS could force Windows users into the same situation.

about a month ago
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Why Software Builds Fail

ConceptJunkie Re:Because I'm lazy (279 comments)

We have all that, but not the automated tests for the stuff I'm involved with (other departments probably do). It's something my manager has been making a push for in the past few months (and I'm totally on board with), but it's going to take a lot of time because of the sheer amount of legacy code.

about a month ago
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New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

ConceptJunkie Re:waste of time (380 comments)

Then there are all the incentives to make traffic worse... stop light cameras that generate revenue but don't increase safety because the yellows are too short. Or the urban legend that shopkeepers push to get lights timed so more cars are stopped out in front of their shops, an idea that's believable, although I don't know if it's true. Then of course, there are bad driving habits, and the fact that one tailgater or one slowpoke can cause major cascades that lead to huge backups (and I'm not talking about accidents).

about a month ago
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Why Software Builds Fail

ConceptJunkie Re:Because I'm lazy (279 comments)

I'm a developer. Honestly, I've never worked anywhere that did much in the way of automated testing. It's something that's always bugged me and something I've always pushed for.

about a month ago
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Why Software Builds Fail

ConceptJunkie Re:It's usually a computer problem (279 comments)

Heh. I'm tempted to say that with C++ you can get a huge unreadable mess of error messages, but with Java, the huge unreadable mess you get is the code, but that's not fair to the language.

about a month ago

Submissions

ConceptJunkie hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Viruses

ConceptJunkie ConceptJunkie writes  |  more than 10 years ago

This whole "viruses/virii" argument is so stupid. First off, there are the Latin speakers who will argue 37 different reasons why such a word would or would not exist. Then there are the people who insist that virus is simply an English word and takes English pluralization.

Here's how it works. Hacker slang (or jargon, as in the "Jargon file") allows for the Latinesque construction of plurals by replacing "us" with "i", or "um" with "a" (or Anglo-Saxonish pluralization like "vaxen" or Hebrewish pluralization by adding "-im". Is this grammatically correct Latin (or Middle English, or Hebrew)? It doesn't matter... it's a play on words. The only point is that it is consistent with similar words.

What I find incredibly annoying is that people insist on using the "ii" suffix even though there is no precedent in real Latin, fake Latin or anything in between, presumably because it looks cool, or they have heard the word "radii".

Anyhow, that's my rant, and I'm sticking to it.

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Microsoft Rules

ConceptJunkie ConceptJunkie writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I like Microsoft rule #3 so much I hate to change my sig to #4.

These are certainly not real rules, but are rules that Microsoft appears to follow by their actions.

Here are the others I've come up with:

Microsoft Rule #1: Every app must be expanded until it can be used as a vehicle for a virus that can trash the system. (In fact, no app is useful _unless_ it can be used as a virus vehicle. If MS wrote edlin today it would have scripting that could be used to access kernel functions via TCP/IP.)

Microsoft Rule #2: Flexibility in UI is acceptable, but defaults must confuse new users and frustrate experienced ones.

Microsoft Rule #3: GUI standards are no longer necessary. Shiny objects are always user-friendly.

Microsoft Rule #4: No useful thing can be designed unless by committee. Consistency and clarity are not signs of maturity. Simplicity is for amateurs. (Breaking up Microsoft would have about as much effect as asking a blind guy if he would not look over people's shoulders during the final exam.)

Microsoft Rule #5: Security has less "gee-whiz" factor than skinning and is therefore a less important feature. (Plus it's just too darn much trouble to check each memory buffer copy, especially when we'd rather spend time making the media player look like eyeballs.)

Microsoft Rule #6: Dominating a market is the same as excelling in a market ("Economic might makes right", or more simply "A monopoly means God smiles on everything you do.").

Microsoft Rule #7: Change is improvement by definition. (But this is universal among software companies...)

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