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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

Lobachevsky Re:This guy hasn't done his research. (648 comments)

Being able to demonstrate to a class the difference between big and little endian is easy to do with unions in C:
union {
      char str_value[4];
      int32_t int_value;

With python, you have to make a call to struct.pack() or struct.unpack() and trust the python gods that those blackbox functions are doing the correct things. This is an issue with any managed memory language where the endianness is hidden from the programmer.

about two weeks ago

Minecraft Creator Notch's $70 Million Mansion Recreated In Minecraft

Lobachevsky Re:Waste (170 comments)

That $70 million didn't disappear. He paid it to whoever had that mansion. If that person who received the $70 million spends it on saving lives, you get what you wanted. The only difference would be the mansion is now Notch's instead of the previous owner's. But, I wouldn't bet on the previous owner going out and giving that $70 million cash to charity. Most likely, it's going into a hedge fund with high-growth investments.

about a month ago

Congress Passes Bill Allowing Warrantless Forfeiture of Private Communications

Lobachevsky Re:Sid Meier is a time traveler (379 comments)

I thought the answer to dissent was nerve stapling?

about a month and a half ago

Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

Lobachevsky Re:Little Boxes (579 comments)

I think the post was trying to say women prefer to work on multiple topics, not that they are incapable of focusing on one. The ADHD example is people who are incapable of focusing. Think of it as the introvert vs autistic comparison. An autistic person may be incapable of socializing. An introvert prefers not to socialize, but is perfectly capable if the situation calls for it. [Note: I'm not agreeing the original post, just saying its not a flawed argument in the way you think it's flawed]

about 5 months ago

Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

Lobachevsky Re:It's 2014 (349 comments)

No, last mile requires city hall approval. Tough luck getting approved by folks who don't know you and don't care.

about 7 months ago

Comcast PAC Gave Money To Every Senator Examining Time Warner Cable Merger

Lobachevsky Re:If this is not a bribery then I don't know what (133 comments)

Donations aren't bribery, because donations aren't payment _for_ anything. A bribe is payment _for_ some political action. It's completely legal to give donations. That's why prostitution is illegal but high-end escorts are legal. The high-end escort asks for a 'donation' and no service is promised. Of course, it's pretty obvious she won't give any service if there's no donation. But she doesn't _promise_ service for a donation. It's just that her reputation as an escort will suffer if she takes the money and runs. If she does turn tricks and the police catch her, she gets off scott free under the story that she independently fell in love and wanted a night of romance wit the John, which had _nothing_ to do with with the "donation". Senators and other politicians are high-end escorts of a different shade.

about 10 months ago

US Federal Judge Rules NSA Data Collection Legal

Lobachevsky Re: Unconstitutional (511 comments)

Let's not forget that the Supreme court for nearly a hundred of years upheld slavery as constitutional. It took an act of congress and the 18th amendment to the constitution to ban it. A modern person reading the constitution might go, gee, doesn't "life, *liberty*, and the pursuit of happiness" constitutionally protect against slavery? But, nope, to the simple minds of those in the 1800s, slaves were property not people, unless the new 13th amendment says otherwise.

Similarly, a person from the future might read the constitution and go, gee, doesn't "unreasonable search and seizure" apply to digital content? But, nope, to the simple minds of those today we need a new amendment saying digital privacy is a form of privacy just as it took the 18th amendment to say a differently pigmented person is still a person. Just because a computer is used to generate nudie pics of you a the airport doesn't suddenly make it "not a strip search" by the TSA. Just because a computer is used to communicate with someone else doesn't make it "not mail". We have all these laws already passed protecting us against strip searches and folks opening our mail, but NONE of it applies if a computer is involved. That's why patents can be so easily passed by adding "with a computer" to take an old idea and suddenly qualify as a new idea worthy of patent protections. Only congress can pass new laws -- yes, that congress, the one with an 18% approval rating that is slowly bankrupting us and threatens to default and shutdown the government twice a year; they are our only hope for sanity, not the courts; and, yes, we're screwed.

about a year ago

Humans Evolving Faster Than Ever

Lobachevsky Re:This this not evolution (253 comments)

define "better". Cochroaches are equally evolved as we are, since we both co-habitat with neither of us able to wipe out the other. However, we wipe ourselves out in a holocaust, then cochroaches are better adept at surviving, and therefore more evolved. If, instead, we colonize multiple planets and Earth is wiped out by an asteroid, then humans are better adept at surviving, and therefore more evolved. We cannot define "better" other than the ability to survive.

more than 2 years ago

How Does a Single Line of BASIC Make an Intricate Maze?

Lobachevsky Re: 10 ... : GOTO 10 is a loop (438 comments)

it's not a maze, it's a pattern of random forward and backward slashes, "/" and "\". There's no guarantee that a path exists anywhere near the top to anywhere near the bottom. In fact, because it's random, you'd be blocked off at some point.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Good Linux Desktop Environment For Hi-Def/Retina Displays?

Lobachevsky KDE (234 comments)

Use KDE, and the retina display will look beautiful.

more than 2 years ago

India Plans To Build Fastest Supercomputer By 2017

Lobachevsky Re:Crore = 10^7 (135 comments)

47 milliards rupees in a furlong squared datacenter. There, now it's in English.

more than 2 years ago

India Test Fires Long-Range, Nuke-Capable Missile

Lobachevsky Re:We broke the NPT with India (336 comments)

Well, the NPT itself is a carte blanche to US, USSR, UK, France, and China. The NPT gives carte blanche to all nuclear powers prior to 1969 and India tested in 1974 and many /signed/ the NPT in 1992, like China and France. That said, like any legal document the NPT has loopholes, or at least ambiguous wording, and just like the wealthiest lawyer wins, the wealthiest country wins. The U.S. decided to re-interpret the NPT from "not collaborating with nations outside the NPT on nuclear matters" with "not collaborating with nations outside the NPT on /military/ nuclear matters" and gave a green-light for selling nuclear fuel and technology to the civilian sector in India (which consequently frees up India's domestic nuclear resources for military use if they can import nuclear fuel and tech for civilian use). And once the U.S. gave that interpretation, Russia, France, and soon Canada and Australia will also adopt that interpretation and begin exporting nuclear fuel and tech to India for civilian use. Australia and Canada are big since together they have 80% of the world's uranium deposits.

In the end, it's all big chess game. What was the point of the NPT? Choices like "world peace" and such are nice for elementary school kids, but the reality is that the NPT like everything else is done to win, and in this case to maintain status quo for the major powers so they remain major powers. Then why be flexible and allow India? Because rigid structures are more prone to break than flexible structures. India became the 3rd largest economy ahead of Japan this year on purchasing power and by 2050 both the economies of China and India will independently surpass the U.S., and combined surpass the U.S plus Europe. Moreover, the U.S. doesn't see any long-term conflict with India, and in fact sees India as an ally which has a democracy, a liberal society, and a focus on business and economy rather than military. While India has nuclear and missile programs, its military budget is tiny, at only 2.7% of GDP, compared with 2.6% for England, 3.9% for Russia, 4.7% for the U.S. and 10.4% for Saudi Arabia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Military_expenditure_by_GDP_2008.png

All that said, it makes sense to slowly induct India into the status quo than risk a change in the global order. Every exclusive club has to occasionally induct new members to keep from turning irrelevant. That said, while a country club may accept a rich black man with the changing of the times, it's not a free-for-all where it accepts a homeless man. So the nuclear status quo will

more than 2 years ago

Indian Man Charged With Blasphemy For Exposing "Miracle"

Lobachevsky Re:Hook on Opiates (796 comments)

You do realize it was Catholic priests, and the statue was of Jesus? The summary is misleading, instead of the summary writing "When a statue in Mumbai ... The entire investigation was caught on tape. The priests were outraged and demanded an apology." it should have written "When a Jesus statue in a city ... The entire investigation was caught on tape. The Catholic priests were outraged and demanded an apology." For some reason the submitter decided to point out the city name, but not the statue or priests.

more than 2 years ago

Facebook Asserts Trademark On "Book" In New User Agreement

Lobachevsky Re:Book this! (197 comments)

How dare you infringe on my trademarks of facebucks and starbook!

more than 2 years ago

Meet the Hackers Who Get Rich Selling Spies Zero-Day Exploits

Lobachevsky Re:Kind of shady? (158 comments)

There are also laws against doing things like shooting an unarmed person in the head, aka assassination, but if a soldier hears his superior yell "fire", he shoots, no questions asked. In theory, the govt. abides by its own laws, in practice, 'national security' trumps all laws, and even the courts have agreed, allowing the govt. to withhold evidence on the basis of national security. Govt: "He's guilty!" Judge: "why?" Govt: "We'd like to tell you why, but that harms national security." Judge: "oh, okay, he's guilty."

more than 2 years ago

Nearly Half of American Adults Are Smartphone Owners

Lobachevsky Re:What's a smartphone anyway? (267 comments)

Smartphone = WiFi. If your phone can do WiFi, all the big service providers, Verizon, Sprint, ATT, etc. require you to get a "data plan" because they're shit scared you'll be happy with just WiFi and never subscribe for a data plan. It doesn't matter if your phone can crack 128-bit encryption in a minute or has a pico-projector to play 1080p 3D on 80" screens, an integrated deep blue and that IBM bot that won jeopardy, if it lacks WiFi, you'll be able to avoid paying for the data plan with service providers who'll deem it a dumb phone / feature phone and not a smart phone.

more than 2 years ago

Senator Rand Paul Detained By the TSA

Lobachevsky Re:Well, there goes *that* heroin shipment (941 comments)

That's always been my view as well. The best post-9/11 security measure has been psychological. Every passenger is psychologically trained to refuse to believe they will land safely if they 'cooperate' with hijackers. That was the only real weapon a hijacker had, not boxcutters, not a gun, but the illusory promise that all will be fine if everyone just cooperates. That weapon, the psychological stranglehold, has been screened out, and that "solves" the problem of 9/11 ever repeating again. Case in point, flight 93. It never flew into a building. All it took was some passengers to have learned that the hijackers will not release them safely.

about 3 years ago

The Dangers Of Amateur Astronomy In Afghanistan

Lobachevsky Re:Actually Islam is pro astronomy (137 comments)

The Taliban are based more circa-1700s, whereas the "golden age" for the Middle East was closer to 700-1200 AD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Golden_Age) Whenever a group looks backward and tries to be old-fashioned, they never pick a particularly advanced, progressive period. None of the right-wing "return America to how it used to be" folks want the 1960s with hippies, civil rights, and space exploration, even though 1960 is definitely old-fashioned as it was a half-century ago. They rather have the 1980s wall street 'greed is good' or the 1940s 'white man in charge' eras. In essence, the folks who look back always pick a very rigid, uncreative era. The creative don't look back, they just create and build anew.

more than 3 years ago

Developer Blames Apple For Ruining eBook Business

Lobachevsky Re:Business 101 (660 comments)

Microsoft never prevents you from running software you purchased outside Microsoft's store.

more than 3 years ago

When it comes to jury service, I ...

Lobachevsky Re:Ineligible (528 comments)

Most cars go 45mph in the 15mph zone nearby.

more than 3 years ago


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