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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

Sanhedran Re:if(allocation_succeeded) (729 comments)

If b is an expression that returns a reference to a newly allocated resource, such as fopen or malloc, this if statement represents trying to allocate a resource and then skipping the following compound statement if the allocation failed. It's what they had before exceptions, and it's what they still have on microcontrollers too small to have the overhead of a full-featured exception handler.

That completely misses the problem of accidentally performing an assignment when you meant to do a comparison, and is also completely unallowable in safety-critical code, which is a good amount of what runs on microcontrollers in the first place.

about three weeks ago
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New Car Can Lean Into Curves, Literally

Sanhedran Re:Gimmick (243 comments)

That depends. A coordinated turn in an aircraft will involve rolling into the turn. A boat (a fast moving one, at least) has naturally coordinated turns due to physics. In both cases, this causes yaw acceleration to be more parallel to your body, which is much more comfortable. A car can't do this because of, well, the road.

I'm not sure that it could roll enough to cause a significant improvement, but the concept is sound.

about 4 months ago
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GM Names and Fires Engineers Involved In Faulty Ignition Switch

Sanhedran Re:Praise in Public... (307 comments)

Always praise in public and punish in private.

Is a management technique to not hurt morale, not an absolute that holds for all possible cases in business. I can see why you'd stick with GM - you're as clueless as they are.

about 4 months ago
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Autonomous Car Ethics: If a Crash Is Unavoidable, What Does It Hit?

Sanhedran Re: Undefined (800 comments)

america is built on everybody acting in their enlightened self interest"

"Enlightened self-interest" has a specific meaning:

"behavior based on awareness that what is in the public interest is eventually in the interest of all individuals and groups"

"a philosophy in ethics which states that persons who act to further the interests of others (or the interests of the group or groups to which they belong), ultimately serve their own self-interest.t has often been simply expressed by the belief that an individual, group, or even a commercial entity will "do well by doing good""

What you're advocating is the exact opposite, UNENLIGHTENED self-interest - acting directly for your own individual benefit without concern of the impacts on others. THAT is what America is founded upon. If you're ignorant of the definition and are just using "enlightened" as a general adjective, you're actually claiming that America is built on self-interest that is "factually well-informed, tolerant of alternative opinions, and guided by rational thought"? Not in this universe.

if you have two autonomous cars and both act in self interest, it is probably the best way to minimize a crash.

...with each other, and even then, that's such a big "maybe" that it's almost not worth responding to. That also depends on what you consider a "crash": the event of hitting something at all? Is it categorized by risk to the driver? Passengers? Others? How is it weighted? You can, by definition, "minimize a crash" while increasing the number and severity of human casualties. Humans are what are important, end of story.

similarly if you have one autonomous and one non-autonomous car, the driver in the non-autonomous car will act in his self-interest anyway.

You have no idea what any individual's sense of "self-interest" is. My conscious and reflexive desire may be the preservation of others at my own risk, especially if I've created the risk, or based on factors that autonomous control systems simply have no clue about because of their limited situational awareness. It's not only nihilistic to make that sort of claim, it's patently false.

Being a driver today means accepting responsibility, but you're inverting that to mean having an inherent right to minimize injury to yourself regardless of circumstances. What if you don't maintain your car properly, and the maintenance issue leads to a failure that precipitates a crash? What if you're driving the car manually and switch to autonomous mode after the precipitating conditions for a crash are already met? Who is liable? And more importantly, what are the human consequences? The answer is not only much more difficult than you're making it out to be, but your line of reasoning itself is puerile, and based on "unenlightened self-interest".

about 5 months ago
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Google: Better To Be a 'B' CS Grad Than an 'A+' English Grad

Sanhedran Re:It's still about $ (358 comments)

How in the world do you have three CS degrees?

about 5 months ago
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Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

Sanhedran Mach 7? (630 comments)

I'd rather seem them launched at Windows 8.

about 6 months ago
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Your Next Car's Electronics Will Likely Be Connected By Ethernet

Sanhedran Re:Stop reinventing the wheel. (180 comments)

Why did these morons spend time and energy to create ... CAN/CAN-FD

If you think the CAN standards were developed by "morons", there's no educating you.

about 7 months ago
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Boeing's 787 Dreamliner Has Taken Its Battery Certification Flight

Sanhedran Re:I wont be a guinea pig (123 comments)

On what grounds do you trust an aircraft largely designed by, as you put it, "business idiots" rather than engineers? The largest topic in engineering ethics is the natural conflict between corporate interest and safe design.

I don't trust "engineers" who can't even find the root cause of battery issues, and I certainly wouldn't trust my life to them.

about a year and a half ago
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Boeing's 787 Dreamliner Has Taken Its Battery Certification Flight

Sanhedran Re:They still don't know the cause... (123 comments)

Here's the cause - outsourcing design to their suppliers. A large number of disparate companies had leeway to determine how to make their product meet more general specifications. How is it surprising that we're now seeing poor results of the integration of these systems? And how exactly are you going to troubleshoot it? Boeing can use the delivery specifications all it wants, but any error or omissions (see: A7D brake scandal) will have you running in circles. Boeing needed to own the design top to bottom (as much as possible, anyway) to prevent corner cases. Now, they have a plane that's all corners. The scary part is, this is a common (as far as defect is concerned), somewhat repeatable problem with a generally basic system, and they can't figure it out. What other, more spurious problems are hiding that they have no clue about?

about a year and a half ago
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Verizon Charged Marine's Widow an Early Termination Fee

Sanhedran Re:Sigh. (489 comments)

Except the contract she signed allowed no ETFs if she moved into an area with no coverage, which was unilaterally amended by them. That's a significant enough change to have that contract dissolved.

I also love that you think she's "milking her dead husband" by providing the set of circumstances that is putting her in said position. She's not exploiting it for personal benefit, as "milking" would imply. I feel sorry for whatever stooge with mod points rated your comment up.

more than 4 years ago
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Verizon Charged Marine's Widow an Early Termination Fee

Sanhedran Re:Simple really... (489 comments)

They don't "loose" any money except any projected difference in income between contract end and termination data, minus the cancellation fee. It's a tactic to a) make money off of people who aren't even getting any services from the company, and b) force consumers to stick with said company for no other reason than being punished otherwise. Phone carriers have seen a big return on text and data plans. I'd like to see what data you have that says that losses due to customer death are any sort of significant concern for them, though.

more than 4 years ago
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Verizon Charged Marine's Widow an Early Termination Fee

Sanhedran Re:Simple really... (489 comments)

Er, no; being critical of the war(s) while simultaneously being respectful for those who serve in the military and are ordered to war by our elected officials is a perfectly tenable position. It helps to avoid being lumped in with the kind of viewpoint that, say, most Vietnam War protestors held. Nice to see that non-black-and-white opinions seem to be "PC bullshit," though. Of course, this completely ignores the fact that there's nothing inherently "honorable" about anything whatsoever in the universe, since something has to be attributed some amount of respectfulness by society in general for it to be such. Since most societies in the world give such status to their soldiers and their duties, it has been made honorable. So, it *is* honorable, but not a natural law, just like nearly everything in society. I wonder how you interpret most of your interactions with the world at large? I think there would be a lot of contradiction in your viewpoints, if you were knowledgeable enough on the subject to see such contradictions.

more than 4 years ago
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The Pirate Bay's Founding Organization Shuts Down

Sanhedran Re:it's a sad day for pirates everywhere (107 comments)

The Pirate Bay is redundant nowadays, especially when so many torrents posted there have the private flag set.

more than 4 years ago
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HP Gives Printers Email Addresses

Sanhedran Paper manufacturers worldwide say.. (325 comments)

..thank you, HP, and don't forget to leave us a backdoor so we can empty people's trays when things get bad for us.

more than 4 years ago
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Black Market May Develop For IPv4 Addresses

Sanhedran Re:another shit kdawson post (282 comments)

i guess.. in the same way the universe will eventually run out of energy.

"It was like a million high school physics teachers crying out in unison, then suddenly silenced."

more than 4 years ago

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