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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Lonewolf666 Re:Modula-3 FTW! (382 comments)

To me, the critical part is noticing the difference in (for instance) a code review, not so much the understanding.

I'm assuming a moderately skilled programmer here, with enough brains to see that something is different and look it up in the online help. That guy would likely see the difference between 22 div 3 and 22/3, look it up and ultimately get it right.

While reliably seeing the difference between 22/3 and 22/3.0 almost requires someone who got burned before and has learned to look specifically for these differences. IMHO a higher level of experience...

4 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Lonewolf666 Re:Discussion is outdated (382 comments)

What subset of "modern Pascal" do you have to restrict yourself to avoid those "problems"?

In practice, I guess you'd have to choose between Embarcadero's Delphi and Free Pascal.

AFAIK Delphi is the only platform that still has significant commercial usage, but too expensive for hobbyists.
Free Pascal is probably the most popular open source Pascal variety, and the one I know of that seems to be actively maintained.

I think the rest of Pascal is thoroughly irrelevant these days ;-)

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Lonewolf666 Re:Modula-3 FTW! (382 comments)

IMHO it takes a very experienced programmer to avoid pitfalls like the fine difference between integer and floating point division. As in 22/3 vs. 22/3.0 where the difference is easily overlooked.
Pascal uses entirely different operators which makes the difference stand out more. The above example would be 22 div 3 vs. 22/3 (optionally you could write 22/3.0 but it would be the same as 22/3).

yesterday
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AMD Catalyst Is the Broken Wheel For Linux Gaming

Lonewolf666 Re:Nvidia is the way to go. (159 comments)

Now that is optimistic. Last time I checked, Nvidia was giving little to no hardware documentation to open source developers. Which really does not help projects like Noveau, as they have to rely on reverse engineering and it really slows them down.

Last time Phoronix tested the Noveau drivers, they were seriously outclassed by the Radeon drivers. Both in performance and features.

about a week ago
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AMD Catalyst Is the Broken Wheel For Linux Gaming

Lonewolf666 Re:ATI/AMD has had shitty drivers for 20 years (159 comments)

Well, AMD certainly has their own less than stellar moves too. Ever since AMD bought ATI in 2006 they've been talking about synergies but to be honest, I'm not seeing it. An "APU" performs very, very similar to the same CPU+GPU if you compare cores on the CPU side and shaders on the GPU side.

Depends on which kind of system we're talking about.

On low-end APUs, the concept works fine and not needing a discrete GPU is a nice cost advantage. But Intel's HD graphics is already becoming a serious competitor in that product range.

At the top end of the (desktop) APU spectrum, the APUs tend to become bottlenecked by memory and a similar combination of cores on the CPU side and shaders on the GPU side tends to win the benchmarks. The cost advantage of the APUs still makes them interesting, but check out offers with discrete GPUs too and read some reviews.

What could help AMD here is HBM as VRAM in future APUs, that would remove the memory bottleneck...

about a week ago
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The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

Lonewolf666 Re:Is Mad River Hospital A Death Trap? (574 comments)

The fact that they referred to the position as an 'IT tech' said something about the hospital.

'IT' is short for 'information technology', and 'tech' is slang for 'technician' ... ... so, basically, they were looking for an information technology technician.

So, they don't have much of a clue. If you actually get hired, expect to end up as the IT guy for everything. Because they don't really know what they need or want. Also, expect conflicting requirements...

The job application form is a PDF - but it's not the kind of PDF that can be filled out, like an 1040EZ tax form, and doesn't even need to be printed ...no, it's the old kind, that needs to be printed out, filled in, and then scanned - or mailed.

The application is four pages - scanned in, that's four separate images, one for each page of the job application - and yet the Mad River Hospital submission process only allows one file to be attached ... requiring one to submit one's application four times - once for each page.

Here you failed the test. Fill out all four pages, scan them in, insert them into a word processor document, then export said document into one PDF. Result: one PDF with all four pages, attach that to the application.

I know for a fact that the above is possible with LibreOffice. I suspect that Microsoft Office can do it too, or you could "print" the document via some PDF "printing" software.

about 3 months ago
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Antares Rocket Explodes On Launch

Lonewolf666 Re: Orbital (443 comments)

Depends on who swallows the cost.

From the customer's POV, the logical thing would be to put a liability clause into the contract that says "you have to pay us $ XXX million if you lose the payload, and you have to show insurance for it". Then the launch company can hash it out with the insurance company, and the customer has less worries.

Under this scenario, Orbital would either pay the higher premium from its profits or lose future launch contracts to the competition. Someone like SpaceX for instance.

about 3 months ago
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Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

Lonewolf666 Re:Maybe we should actually penalize companies (286 comments)

I agree with the overall sentiment, but your numbers are not quite correct.

The article in the San Jose Mercury News says that the company had to pay the difference to the California minimum wage, $40,156 in total, plus a fine of $3,500.

So this time, they had in effect to pay the minimum wage, plus $3,500, plus some bureaucratic hassle to deal with the affair. Lets call it a loss of $4000 compared to doing things the lawful way. Had they not been caught, they would have saved $40,156 compared to doing things the lawful way.

That makes it mighty attractive to do it the illegal way at least until the first fine, even if there is an escalating penalty for repeat offenders. I think the penalties need to be much bigger for first offenders, and escalate from that.

about 3 months ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Lonewolf666 Re:Is this legal? (700 comments)

If the "bricking" driver is delivered via a Windows update, Microsoft will likely get support calls saying "your OS update broke my device". From Microsoft's position certainly not the preferable solution. That's why I wondered about Microsoft's reaction...

about 3 months ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Lonewolf666 Re:On the other hand... (700 comments)

AFAIK Sony has not been doing so well in the last 10 years (too lazy to dig out their financial results now). That may be partly due to the bad reputation from the rootkit affair and other things (OtherOS...).

Also, passing costs on to customers has its limits as long as there is meaningful competition.

about 3 months ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Lonewolf666 Re:The good news (700 comments)

The fact that this is an automatic Windows Update that can potentially brick a system without warning (thinking of the non-tech-savvy here), this can make for a very bad nightmare on FTDI's end. I wouldn't be surprised to hear something coming out of the FTC about this before long.

Good point, and I wonder about what Microsoft will do when they realize what is going on. Perhaps retract the update in question and blacklist future FTDI updates, so they don't get into Windows Update anymore?

about 3 months ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Lonewolf666 Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (602 comments)

In my experience (living and buying stuff in Germany), it depends on the brand. So far, I've tried
-Osram CFLs, not the cheapest but kept their promises about lifetime. Good buy.
-"Megaman" CFLs, similarly priced but three out of four failed within a few months. That company is now on my shit list.

I don't have much experience with LEDs yet, as I only started to use them maybe a year ago. So far all of those are still working, but a year does not say much.

about 4 months ago
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Dealership Commentator: Tesla's Going To Win In Every State

Lonewolf666 Re:Manufacturers win? (156 comments)

In my neck of the woods (Germany) that would have counted as criminal fraud and the German equivalent of the DA might have been interested.
I'm not so sure about US law, but threatening legal action might have been just the right thing :-)

about 4 months ago
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California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

Lonewolf666 Re:One Sure Way (275 comments)

Yet it is frequently attempted, up to and including outright fraud. A common and legal variety is pricing stuff highly and trying to create an impression of highest quality, but only providing average quality. An example that comes to mind is BOSE hi-fi equipment ;-p

On the other hand, decent quality has a minimum price, dictated by material and work costs. In that direction there is a limit.

about 4 months ago
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You Got Your Windows In My Linux

Lonewolf666 Re: What's wrong with Windows Server? (613 comments)

No. It degrades over time for entirely different reasons. But it *does* degrade over time.

No, it doesn't degrade, it stays the same. If you change the environment or system it runs on that is a different story.

And that is what happens to most environments, even if the user does not desire it.
Sometimes because the vendor of a (software) part of the environment stops supporting it and the need for support dictates going along with the switch.
Sometimes because hardware becomes obsolete and disappears from the market. Then you can't get replacement parts for your existing machines anymore and eventually they will "die out" from defects. Switching to a different system becomes a necessity.

Recent example:
End of life for Windows XP, users move to Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8 because using unpatched XP on the internet is considered a bad idea.
Some sloppy programming practices using the installation folder as data storage don't work anymore, because Microsoft has added "virtualization" (hidden redirection to the user profile, Vista and Windows 7) or put a UAC dialog before write access (Windows 8 IIRC). Sloppily programmed software works no longer as it used to. Granted, those programs were bad ones to start with but here is your case of "indirect degradation".

about 5 months ago
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Changing the Rules of a 15-Year-Old Game: Quake Live Update Causes Controversy

Lonewolf666 Re:Doom by boredom (170 comments)

I can see your idea working in some e-sports league where people are there for the PVP challenge.

Not so much in a MMO where friends/clans want to do PVE and play together.

From what I've read about WOW (to use great-great-GP's example) its most difficult content was designed for 40 person raids. I guess it is difficult enough to gather 40 people to show up at raid time. If an unspecified proportion of them get shifted to higher or lower player classes, it might become impossible. And outright banning some people from trying those raids "because they are not good enough" would probably not good marketing.

about 5 months ago
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Changing the Rules of a 15-Year-Old Game: Quake Live Update Causes Controversy

Lonewolf666 Re:Doom by boredom (170 comments)

These days, things are either easy or impossible. That is not fun at all.

This.

Too easy or too hard are both unfun. There is a right degree of difficulty, and it is not the same for everyone.
Publishers who make their games easier to help newbies get into the game will lose veteran players who get bored.

about 5 months ago
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In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

Lonewolf666 Re:Slow on the take (441 comments)

Going a bit off topic....

"Fascism" was a political system practiced in several Mediterranean European countries in the early part of the 20th century. It usually entailed economic and cultural coordination by the state, a personality cult around a leader, a single-party or sham democratic system, national idealism, and militant, expansionist foreign policy. It's applicability outside of this narrow context is hotly contested, you can start fights among historians by asking "Was Falangist Spain Fascist?" or "Was Nazi Germany Fascist?"

Narrowing it down to "Mediterranean European countries" seems overly pedantic in the context of comparing countries elsewhere to Fascism. Without that limitation, Nazi Germany certainly qualifies:

- economic and cultural coordination by the state: check, at least for the media (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G...). For big corporations, it may not have been quite so one-sided. Both my school knowledge and Wikipedia are a bit vague on that.
- a personality cult around a leader: check, the "Fuehrer" was a very important figure.
- a single-party or sham democratic system: check.
- national idealism: sorta check, it was partially replaced by racist idealism.
- and militant, expansionist foreign policy: Certainly, Germany invaded neighbor countries until the Allies reacted by declaring war.

about 5 months ago
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AMD Releases New Tonga GPU, Lowers 8-core CPU To $229

Lonewolf666 Re:I PC game, and have zero reason to upgrade (98 comments)

With the "current gen console" you probably mean the PS4 or XBOX One, as they are available already?
Then the said mid level gaming PC might be equivalent. Maybe a bit better but not greatly superior. On the other hand, since the PS4 / XBOX One are fairly new, they might be the "standard" for the next five years or so.

But when the PS5 comes out, whenever that happens, all bets are off.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

Lonewolf666 The other way round (294 comments)

I like to use ECC even on the desktop, and yes there are ways to do it. At a cost.

On the Intel side, the CPU is not really the problem. "Small" Xeons like the E3-1225V3 are attractive for their price/performance even if you run them on desktop boards and don't use ECC support. In that setup they are like i7 parts with slightly lower clock speeds.
  For the board though, the choices are limited and you have to shell out an additional 100 Euros or more for a "small server" board, because the typical desktop chipsets don't support ECC.
Add the extra price for the ECC RAM, maybe 50 Euros difference depending on how much RAM you want, and you end up paying something like 150 Euros extra.

AMD used to be really nice, with most processors (pre-Llano all desktop parts but Sempron) supporting ECC RAM and some mainboards also supporting it. The mainboard choices for ECC support were a bit limited, cheapskates like Asrock usually did not bother to support ECC RAM. So you might have had to pay 10 Euros more for the board, plus the above 50 Euros extra for the RAM. Made maybe 60 Euros difference to have ECC RAM in your rig.
Sadly, their APUs don't support ECC. AFAIK the FX line still does, but it is not really attractive compared to recent Intel models.

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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Sony ordered to pay refunds over "other OS" affair

Lonewolf666 Lonewolf666 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Lonewolf666 (259450) writes "The law firm Meiselman, Denlea, Packman, Carton & Eberz P.C. claims a legal success against Sony in a class action lawsuit concerning the "Other OS" feature.
According to the news on their homepage, Sony failed to defend it's intentions in court and now has to pay a refund to every PS3 owner, who bought his PS3 before March 27, 2010. The sum is 50% of the price when purchased.

Thanks to Evulsdrakab from the crystalhall.org forum for bringing this to my attention"

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