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The Scourge of Error Handling

cheebie Magic (536 comments)

We need the computer fairies to handle our errors, that way the beauty of our code will not be marred by mundane things like error checking.

Seriously, error checking is part of the process. It's not the fun part of the process but it's a necessary part. Return values and exceptions work just fine as long as you get off your high horse and realize that your code will not be hung in the Louvre. Working is more important than pretty.

about 2 years ago

Why the Tablet Market is Really the iPad Market

cheebie Re:People want cheaper tablets (657 comments)

Oh, bless you, sir. I had been wondering how to do that.

more than 2 years ago

I most recently switched ISPs ...

cheebie Ride the light (250 comments)

We were fortunate to be in one of the early areas to get FiOS back in 2007. Dropped Comcast like an angry tarantula and haven't looked back. 99% of the time, the bottleneck is now at the server rather than between me and my ISP.

more than 2 years ago

Leap Day, to me, means ...

cheebie Working for free (337 comments)

I realized that since I am salaried (1/12th of my annual per month), I essentially worked yesterday for free.

Or I could say that I got paid for an extra .25 days the last three years, but then I couldn't whine about it.

more than 2 years ago

Is Climate Change the New Evolution?

cheebie Re:Same war, different day (1055 comments)

Yes. We should not accept Climate Change based on a POLL!!!

We should believe scientists because they have DATA to back up their assertions. Science is not a popularity contest or a political race. Polls of what scientists think is not science.

This is my main complaint about the way this issue is framed. We appeal to the high priests (of either side) to tell us what is right, rather than look at the data and what it tells us. It's become just one more shout-fest.

more than 2 years ago

I am, at present, from the place of my birth ...

cheebie Re:Half of circumference? (332 comments)

The culture in the USA tends to be very dependent on where you are. In the larger cities, it's going to be more of the formal cultural stuff you are used to. In the more rural areas the culture tends to center around local events and quieter things.

Unfortunately, those rural areas tend to also be the more 'clannish' areas. It may take them a while to think of you as a local.

Of course, there's always the issue that TV is replacing local culture with pureed culture-like pablum and force feeding it to everyone.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Most Efficient, Worthwhile Charity?

cheebie An alternative (570 comments)

If I may suggest an alternative, give micro loans through instead. You can just keep recycling the money into new loans as you get paid back. The good gets multiplied many times over and communities get built up.

more than 2 years ago

Red Cross Debates If Virtual Killing Violates International Humanitarian Law

cheebie Lives saved (516 comments)

Does this mean I can get a couple of virtual Nobel Peace Prizes for the trillions of e-lives I saved playing Mass Effect?

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Math Curriculum To Understand General Relativity?

cheebie Not a matter of math (358 comments)

The actual math needed to understand the basics of relativity[1] is actually quite simple. If you've had calculus, you have more than you need.

The hard part is wrapping your brain around the concepts and the fact that the rules you use to interact with the world around you are a subset of the rules of the universe.

A book I have recommended several times for people who want to start learning about physics is 'Asimov on Physics'. Dr. Asimov was a master of explaining difficult science in a way that laymen could understand.

[1] Going beyond the basic, or getting into odder corners of general relativity, is another matter.

about 3 years ago

I am preparing for Hurricane Irene ...

cheebie Catching the edges (147 comments)

We'll mostly just get wind and rain. I brought stuff in from the yard and we made sure we have water, lamp oil, flashlights, and extra batteries.

Other than that, not much else to do.

about 3 years ago

Paypal Founder Helping Build Artificial Island Nations

cheebie Beyond the protection of the law, too (692 comments)

It will be interesting the first time a band of pirates (the killing and looting kind, not the sharing kind) storms one of these 'sovereign nations'. I'm guessing they will develop a sudden affection for the country with the nearest naval vessel who can save their bacon.

more than 3 years ago

Including webcams, phones, etc, I own X cameras:

cheebie Math (248 comments)

So my choices are 1, -1, -3,- 3, more than 10, 0.

Not sure how you own a negative number of cameras. Maybe that's if you in fact OWE someone a camera (or three).

more than 3 years ago

For Security, My Wi-Fi Access Point Relies On:

cheebie even better (458 comments)

For security reasons, I prefer to channel the wireless signal through these great flexible waveguides I found. The ends LOOK like they're phone jacks, but the Geek Squad guys assured me they were in fact advanced security caps.

more than 3 years ago

Who Will Win Control of the Web?

cheebie Re:why are its users so stupid? (206 comments)

I'm one of those engineers.

I ran windows for a long time and got sick of the crappy OS and security so poor 50% of the CPU power is dedicated to preventing me from getting hacked.

Then I ran Ubuntu for a few years. This time I got tired of the completely crappy/inconsistent interfaces, and having to spend way too much of my time being a sysadmin.

Now I've got a Mac. It's nicely designed, I don't have to mess with it, and I've got a Unix-variant at my fingertips when I'm feeling that command-line itch. I still have to deal with lack of software due to Windows dominance, but I'm learning to live without some stuff.

All of this is on my home machine. At work where I need the real thing it's vterms to a Unix box, baby.

Having said that, I did this because it was MY CHOICE. I didn't hand control over to anyone. I can install just about any software I care to on this machine and Steve Jobs is not going to show up with a baseball bat. OSS paranoia about the big bad corporations coming to steal your compilers doesn't help anything.

more than 3 years ago

Malfunction Costs Couple $11 Million Slot Machine Jackpot

cheebie Re:Winnings (479 comments)

The slot machines have very clearly printed disclaimers that all malfunctions void the entire transaction. They will get the original bet returned. That's the equivalent of taking that defective shirt back to the store and getting a refund.

It's disappointing for the people that they didn't win their jackpot, but the rules are presented very clearly beforehand.

more than 4 years ago

A delicious steak should be ...

cheebie Re:Fats are the key! (763 comments)

Even without that issue, it was still a mediocre steak at a premium price. There are a lot of steak places that are much better for a much lower price.

more than 4 years ago

A delicious steak should be ...

cheebie Re:Fats are the key! (763 comments)

Ruth Chris sears their steaks in a 1500F oven where the flames come from the top

They also bring out your steak on a plate so hot that your medium rare steak is medium well before you're halfway through. Ruth Chris is the worst high-priced steakhouse I've ever been to. I'd rather eat at Outback.

more than 4 years ago

Of these options, I'd call the place I live ...

cheebie Worse than a metropolis (515 comments)

In most cyberpunk/dystopian SciFi, the area from Richmond to Boston is usually referred to as The Sprawl. Given that developers are currently on a mad quest to make sure every square inch of land is covered by a generic subdivision, office park, or strip mall, this is rapidly approaching reality.

more than 4 years ago


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