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Is Ruby On Rails Losing Steam?

ferrisoxide.com Re:Everyone hates Ruby (291 comments)

I'd agree here. As someone who started his career in Smalltalk, and then had to give it up for the lack of programming jobs available (10 years of my life becoming an expert in Delphi I'll never get back) Ruby wasn't so much "cool" as "beautiful". It felt like a coming home - an expressive, easy to read language where the answer to "how do I do X?" is "What's the most obvious way." A language predicated on programmer joy is a pretty sweet thing.

I think the Ruby world can be divided into two camps. There's the "we are nice, because Matz is nice" crowd that were dominant in the early days. When I was a newb I found the community very helpful, very welcoming. Then we got the "DHH is a prick, so we are pricks" bunch. I don't think they were ever in the majority, but they were loud and obnoxious and fit the mould of "hipsters". I don't think this is particular to Ruby though. Every community has its wankers, every community has its good citizens.

I still love Ruby for what it is, and am thankful I've been able to carve out a reasonably well-paying career based on it.

about three weeks ago
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Android Botnet Evolves, Could Pose Threat To Corporate Networks

ferrisoxide.com Evolved? (54 comments)

Can we just for once stop using terms like "evolved" as if this thing has any kind of ability to mutate outside of the agency of people - intelligent designers if you will - actually making changes to the code.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?

ferrisoxide.com Re:Hard to beat MIT's Scratch. Free and graphical. (107 comments)

http://scratch.mit.edu/

Absolutely. And with the code sharing in Scratch 2.0 it also teaches concepts like community code, forking, etc.

Plus there are integrations with Arduino and the like for more comprehensive coding exercises.

about a month ago
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Australian Gov't Tries To Force Telcos To Store User Metadata For 2 Years

ferrisoxide.com Re:So, in other words... (58 comments)

Well our leader was up before the Judge twice, once for groping a girl from behind and once for theft of a traffic sign, so he resembles a criminal exported from the UK in some ways.

More to the point, he *is* from the UK. He was born there, studied there and - though it's been quietly forgotten about - may not be entitled to hold office unless he has given up his dual citizenship.

about a month and a half ago
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Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

ferrisoxide.com Re:So.... (583 comments)

Ah yes, the AI will probably go through its Nietzsche phase, around the time it starts listening to The Doors and wearing black t-shirts. And like the artificial intelligence of teenagers it will probably sort itself out in the end, but we'll have a rocky few years until it works out that a priori is not Latin for "what I know".

about 2 months ago
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Lego Ends Shell Partnership Under Greenpeace Pressure

ferrisoxide.com Re:WTF is Legos? (252 comments)

No.. it's "Lego bricks". Lego is the company, Lego bricks are the product. Lego themselves tried to clarify the situation, with a notice on their website (since removed):

Please always refer to our products as “LEGO bricks or toys” and not “LEGOS.” By doing so, you will be helping to protect and preserve a brand of which we are very proud, and that stands for quality the world over”

about 2 months ago
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Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records

ferrisoxide.com Re:Like SAS etc (240 comments)

It looks like Epic isn't based on Vista as I assumed - but still uses the same M(UMPS) based technology. A comparison of the two systems can be found in a Healthcare IT News blog article.

Vista has an interesting history. Because it was built using US Federal Government money, the "Hard Hats" who worked on it originally successfully argued for the release of its source code into the public domain. It's essentially open source, paid by the public purse and - despite the M language - a successful example of where interoperability between healthcare IT systems can really work.

We've had decades of development in open standards. HL7 for all its ugliness is a great system and has really driven interoperability. For Epic to "go it alone" seems a real shame. And patently stupid - but then we've had similar stupid in my country (Australia).

about 3 months ago
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Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records

ferrisoxide.com Re:Like SAS etc (240 comments)

MUMPS is pretty special. You can write clean code in it, but the language and culture around don't exactly lend itself to it. That example at DailyWTF is pretty typical of what you see in OpenVista based systems (which I assume Epic uses).

about 3 months ago
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PostgreSQL Outperforms MongoDB In New Round of Tests

ferrisoxide.com Re:of course (147 comments)

Exactly. In much the same way that removing the brakes, airbags, firewall, etc will make your car travel faster downhill.

about 3 months ago
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PostgreSQL Outperforms MongoDB In New Round of Tests

ferrisoxide.com Re:The tipping point (147 comments)

Postgres-XL is currently compatible with Postgres 9.2. Postgres 9.3 introduces better support for JSON data that bring it closer to the functionality of a NoSQL DB. It looks like XL will be compatible with 9.3 in the near future.

about 3 months ago
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PostgreSQL Outperforms MongoDB In New Round of Tests

ferrisoxide.com Postgres the best NoSQL DB (147 comments)

Just in my experience, the introduction of HStore and JSON data types in Postgres has pretty much nullified the advantages I'd get from using a NoSQL DB. Sharding, high availability, etc are all there with a little work (and help from the many 3rd party projects in the Postgres "ecosystem"). Every now and then I find myself tempted to run a project using a NoSQL DB, but the trade offs (lots of memory, lack of ACID compliance, nascent querying languages, etc) bring me back to Postgres.

Of course there are situations where Mongo or other NoSQL DBs make sense. Using something like InfluxDB for time series data looks pretty neat, and having highly optimized lookup data in a NoSQL DB is great. In the end, you use the database system that makes sense in your work - and avoid the cargo-culting of any technology just because it's the new hotness.

I've been really happy with Postgtes's performance over the years. Raw speed is not an issue - you can always add more nodes using something like Postgres-XL if you have to. It's the gradual introduction of functionality that makes my life easier that I appreciate.

about 3 months ago
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South Australia Hits 33% Renewal Energy Target 6 Years Early

ferrisoxide.com Re:My power bill has never been higher (169 comments)

OP again. US$300 is a lot, but fairly typical here in SA. We regularly hear of families in our area paying AU$1500 per quarter (around US$1300) for electricity. But then we also see families with more TVs than actual family members, reverse-cycle airconditioners running all day and other sorts of outrageous waste.

Pricing has been seen as a means to reduce consumption in Australia. It's a valid approach, but it does hit people hard - particularly those who can't afford it - but by and large it has been effective. But it has also lead to an oversupply of electricity generation, so now the Carbon Tax has been removed it's possible we'll see a return to higher consumption. It's hard to tell if people's behaviour has changed during the period when the Carbon Tax was in force.

As a side note, as a point of comparison, we only pay around US$150 per month for a four-person household (inc. one teenager). We don't go without - everyone has their own computer, there are multiple tablets in the house. We're just careful about leaving things on that don't need to be on.

South Australia's climate also lends itself to better energy use. Winters are mild and because we have a very dry climate, evaporative air conditioning works really well here in Summer (and costs very little to run). We have the highest uptake of residential solar power in the country, thanks to a high number of days with sunshine. Solar panels are also mandatory on all State government buildings, including a large array on top of our Parliament House. I'm not actually from SA originally, but I'm quite proud of the place I call home. Far from being a "backwater", South Australia has been quietly leading the way for a long time.

about 3 months ago
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South Australia Hits 33% Renewal Energy Target 6 Years Early

ferrisoxide.com Re:They need to get their shit together (169 comments)

OP here. Yes, the lack of political will is the main issue. We have a Federal Treasurer who openly declares wind farms an eye-sore (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-02/joe-hockey-wind-turbines-utterly-offensive/5425804) - maybe because open-cut mines are so much more pleasing to look at - and many State and Federal bodies heavily engaged with the coal industry.

As a society we've kind of backed ourselves into a corner, with global coal prices slumping and China now pushing for high-quality and cleaner coal (e.g. less sulphur). As another poster mentioned, South Australia is often considered the butt of other States jokes and referred to as backward - when we actually have a long history of being progressive. It's a win for SA, but it sets the bar for other States and hopefully will help move us away from being dependent of just digging things out of the ground to get by.

about 3 months ago
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Why Speed-Reading Apps Don't Work

ferrisoxide.com Scam? (92 comments)

Many years ago I got pulled into a scam around speed reading. A good friend (at the time) was in the thrall of a conman with an interesting proposal. The elevator pitch went something like this: "Imagine a system that flashes words at you subliminally and when it detects you haven't understood a word (via a biofeedback mechanism) it then flashes the dictionary definition of that word. You could read an entire book in minutes and have complete understanding of the content."

Even though I was young I still could smell bullshit. A small group of similarly-minded people tried to pop the bubble, but when the true believers had invested so much time and emotional energy there was no turning them around. The was more to it than this: crazy mind games, a three-car pile up and other weirdness (including an impromptu cover of "The Rainbow Connection" in an upmarket restaurant), but I won't bore you with the details. The end-point is it soured a friendship which never recovered.

Maybe I'm biased by that experience, but any technology that promises to solve problems by getting people to read faster - instead of, say, with better comprehension - leaves me with the taste of snake-oil in my mouth.

about 8 months ago
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The Rise and Fall of Supersymmetry

ferrisoxide.com Re:Article hard to read (138 comments)

It seems more optimised for smaller devices. Read fine on the phone, harder on a regular screen.

about 9 months ago
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The Rise and Fall of Supersymmetry

ferrisoxide.com Re:String Theory will survive (138 comments)

So... we can both make pop references to String Theory? Win-win! Though yes, yours is more pithy.

about 9 months ago
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The Rise and Fall of Supersymmetry

ferrisoxide.com String Theory will survive (138 comments)

By explaining that those extra supersymmetrical particles are actually packed away in really tiny dimensions that the LHC can't touch. Prove it aint so!

about 9 months ago
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The JavaScript Juggernaut Rolls On

ferrisoxide.com Re:jscript (505 comments)

Just compile your Dart to JS (https://www.dartlang.org/docs/dart-up-and-running/contents/ch04-tools-dart2js.html). Then you can debug the generated code on ALL platforms :)

about a year ago
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The JavaScript Juggernaut Rolls On

ferrisoxide.com Re:Just goes to show... (505 comments)

Oh, you're no fun.. why can't we get all jihaddy from time to time. "The sports team from my general geographical location is better than yours" works for the general public. What's wrong with a bit of rough and tumble over each other's favourite programming language?

about a year ago

Submissions

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South Australia Hits 33% Renewal Energy Target 6 Years Early

ferrisoxide.com ferrisoxide.com writes  |  about 3 months ago

ferrisoxide.com (1935296) writes "South Australia has hit its target of 33% renewable energy by 2020 6 years earlier than expected, delivering clean power to the state through investment in wind, solar and geothermal energy — mothballing one coal-fired power station in the process.

Not resting on their laurels though, the SA government has now announced a new "stretch" target of 50% by 2025.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill declared that despite initial upfront costs to renewable energy generators such as wind farms, the 50 per cent target will not add one extra dollar to energy prices."
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Security theatre reaches new heights as passenger removed from flight for doodle

ferrisoxide.com ferrisoxide.com writes  |  about 3 months ago

ferrisoxide.com (1935296) writes "Oliver Buckworth, a passenger on Tiger Airlines flight bound for the Gold Coast (Australia) claims he was removed from the flight when other passengers saw satirical sketches in his note book and informed airline staff.

"The irony is I was writing a sentence about the absurdity of the fearmongering when we live in such a happy country of ice-cream and beaches and fluffy things," he said.

"My concern is what it looked like to the rest of the people on the plane. I did tell them as I was leaving, 'I'm not a criminal. This man simply took something out of context that I was writing in my book. Just so you know and this whole fear thing isn't instilled even further.' ""
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Sherlock Holmes finally in the public domain in the US

ferrisoxide.com ferrisoxide.com writes  |  about a year ago

ferrisoxide.com (1935296) writes "As reported on the Australian ABC news website, film-makers in the US are finally free to work on Sherlock Holmes stories without paying a licencing free to the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle after a ruling by Judge Ruben Castillo.

A quirk of US copyright law kept 10 stories out of the public domain, on the basis that these stories where continuously developed. In his ruling Judge Castillo opined that only the "story elements" in the short stories published after 1923 were protected and that everything else in the Holmes canon was "free for public use" — including the characters of Holmes and Watson.

Holmes scholar Leslie Klinger, who challenged the estate, celebrated the ruling.

"Sherlock Holmes belongs to the world," Mr Klinger said in a statement posted on his Free Sherlock website.

IANAL, but the ruling of Judge Castillo that "adopting Conan Doyle's position would be to extend impermissibly the copyright of certain character elements of Holmes and Watson beyond their statutory period," is surely going to have implications across US copyright law. Mark Twain must be twisting and writhing in his grave."
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Kids more capable of understanding science than given credit for

ferrisoxide.com ferrisoxide.com writes  |  about 2 years ago

ferrisoxide.com writes "Physics and chemistry are the bane of many a high school student, but what if we're pitching the ideas to them too late? Can eight-year-olds absorb atomic theory? A former high-school physics teacher has asked that question in a bold experiment at a Brisbane primary school. And he says it shows young minds are much more advanced than we think."
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