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Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical

fnj Re:Easy, India or China (291 comments)

Ultimately a pointless question. The named Presidents signed the bills involved. They did not veto them.

yesterday
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Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical

fnj Re:Easy, India or China (291 comments)

For the majority of the population life in soviet Russia was better than in czarist Russia.

I think that is a pointless generalization impossible to support. Alexander Solzhenitzyn estimated Stalin's death toll at 60 million. That is a startling figure, even if it doesn't represent a majority of those who lived there during Stalin's period.

yesterday
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Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical

fnj Re:Easy, India or China (291 comments)

Why did "mega-corporate bitch" Obama introduce new carbon emissions rules in June that will cost energy producers a fortune?

President Obama did not introduce carbon dioxide emissions rules. The EPA, an agency answerable to no one, did. I will not attempt to analyze their motivation except to point out that their charter, their raison d'etre, is to pursue curtailing the effect of human life on the environment without a thought to return, cost, or tradeoff.

It is a fallacious premise that taxing or levying costly requirements on businesses attaches or moderates their profits. It doesn't. It is just a dreary tax on society. Increasing costs for producers of absolute necessities does not cost them a dime. The producers just raise their prices and pass every bit of the increase on to their customers. The public is shafted. There will be programs to assist the hopelessly poor, but NOTHING for the working class. They have to buy their necessities to live. Their standard of living will plummet. Many of them will be made hopelessly poor; then finally they will get assistance, but only enough to allow them a bleak life.

yesterday
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Calif. Court Rules Businesses Must Reimburse Cell Phone Bills

fnj What a nightmare (158 comments)

So let's say Joe buys on date X for personal use a no-contract phone and uses Virgin Mobile pay as you go, $37.xx per month which covers unlimited data and texts, and 300 voice minutes. What is a "reasonable percentage of his phone bill"? Hmmm? To me, it sounds like a cluster fuck to settle on. He doesn't even HAVE a "bill" for the amortization of the phone itself, but it is a real expense. He bought it in spring 2013 and intends to keep it until it develops a serious problem. Nobody knows when that will be, so nobody knows the amortization table.

If he goes over 300 voice minutes, his only recourse is to either start a new month ahead of time, or step to a new plan mid-month with more voice minutes. There is another accounting cluster-fuck.

yesterday
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Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds

fnj Re:Very, very easy to fix (155 comments)

Automatic shit is very facile to propose, but it doesn't work. Since the Bartley-Fox law went into effect in 1975 in Massachusetts, anyone convicted of carrying an unlicensed firearm faces a mandatory one year jail term, no appeal, no parole. The problem is, said carriers have a better chance of being struck by lightning than serving that sentence. Massachusetts cities are of course filled to the gills with unlicensed firearms; they are used criminally every night; a fair percentage of perps are eventually caught, some right in the act; yet you will die of old age before you track down more than a trvial number of people who have ever served that sentence.

With the absurd number of lawyers in the US, and the ridiculously corrupt legal and enforcement system, it should be no surprise that that "mandatory" sentence is being subverted every day, year after year, decade after decade.

2 days ago
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Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds

fnj Re:Optimizing the process (155 comments)

Just take down everything permanently because it'll eventually infringe another corporati--excuse me, "non-human person"'s copyright in the future anyway.

I prefer the term "inhuman person" myself.

2 days ago
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Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

fnj Cities: an obsolete solution (273 comments)

Many years ago cities made sense. Factories to make steel, shoes, ketchup, shirts and other goods scaled well to gigantic sizes. Having the workers' living quarters hived up in close proximity to their employment was natural as there was no viable alternative. No one was yet doing more than dreaming of pervasive automation. Cities allowed stunningly great libraries and concert halls and baseball parks to be provided.

Yo, things have changed. It is not necessary any longer to clump gigantic numbers of people into tiny areas in which it is impossible to efficiently support personal transportation. It is not technically and logistically necessary for us to live in a milieu in which it is necessary to call some agency to take us somewhere. The internet could be extended in non-commercialized ways to fully provide all the resources of libraries and a great deal more.

I can see a place for a certain supply of centralized areas for those who cannot adjust to living any other way than like cattle. Feel free to phrase it differently. A richness of cultural and service facilities can be provided in built-up areas. But by and large the concept of the city, un-navigable by private conveyance, fighting for innovative ways to move people about efficiently.

What if these built-up areas concentrated on what they are uniquely suited for? What if people traveled to them (and a few lived there) for the culture? Optimize them for that, and make them pay their way doing that.

It needn't be whole-hog Asimov Spacers level sprawl, but living with elbow room and not with jammed-up crowds constantly getting in your way.

Just a thought.

2 days ago
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Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

fnj Rapiscan (143 comments)

Rape-a-scan?

2 days ago
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C++14 Is Set In Stone

fnj Re:Oh god so what? (190 comments)

Before you go alleging "factual mistakes" over subjective matters, please try to pay attention. Ponder the difference between master and fair to decent practitioner.

2 days ago
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News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

fnj Re:Sigh (714 comments)

What many places in the world choose to call liberal is what the USA chooses to call libertarian. Just think of it as a different dialect if it pleases you, but know that there definitely IS a libertarian party in the USA. It may burst your bubble as much as it most definitely burst mine to realize that it ain't goin' nowhere.

You can take that left/right crap and sell it somewhere else, though. Left vs right is a fake power game practiced to keep the people right where the masters want them.

2 days ago
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AMD Launches Radeon R7 Series Solid State Drives With OCZ

fnj Sorry, guys (64 comments)

Somebody has to say it. Anybody who would so much as touch with a 10 foot pole any SSD contaminated with the OCZ brand needs to have his head examined. Please, don't anybody claim they don't know the sad infamous history of OCZ SSDs.

2 days ago
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C++14 Is Set In Stone

fnj Re:Where are my designated initializers? (190 comments)

HEAR, HEAR!!! [Pounds fist on table repeatedly]. I have been dying for this since gcc added the nonstandard extension and then C99, seems a lifetime ago, codified it in the C standard. What the HELL, guys. With all the wang-yanking ivory tower crap they did implement in C++11 and 14, much of it very hard work to master using, let alone implementing, is there any way in hell you can blame us for calling you out on the immature assholery of not simply copying this dead-simple feature from C99?

This should have been the number one improvement put into C++03. Leaving it out of 11 was unforgiveable, and leaving it out of 14 is goddam obstruction.

And yeah, I agree with you, gcc not adding it as a nonstandard C++ extension is sick. Particularly if clang and maybe Microsoft joined them and they all tried to shame the C++ standards committee.

2 days ago
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C++14 Is Set In Stone

fnj Re:Why do we need Auto? (190 comments)

This does not address your question specifically, but C++14 fixes some glaring holes in C++11. Well, one hole for damn sure. They clean forgot to put std::make_unique in C++11, even though std::unique_ptr was there. The hole was obvious to anyone who saw std::make_shared and then went to try and look up its obvious complement.

It was also high time and way beyond high time they added binary constants. Frustrating as hell they STILL found it too hard to support binary formatting in iostreams, though. Evidently it was too hard to add such a dead simple and obvious thing as std::bin, analogous to std::hex. So we already have a hole to fondly hope C++17 (sigh) deigns to fill for us.

2 days ago
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C++14 Is Set In Stone

fnj Re:Oh god so what? (190 comments)

Err, the implication is that you can also write C++ that is not guaranteed to be maintainable by anybody short of a complete master, which even Bjarne says he is not. I think it is fair to estimate that the number of complete C++ masters in the world is in the single to double digits; no more. It may be you can identify another programming language for which that holds true. I don't think I can.

Other successful computer languages do not have that problem. Any competent C programmer can maintain any C code, and the same for python and Java. Perl is arguable; the problem is not complexity but opaqueness.

2 days ago
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C++14 Is Set In Stone

fnj Re:Oh god so what? (190 comments)

Most of the people who complain about C++ are busy maintaining legacy C++ codebases, typically written before even C++98, making all of the worst possible decisions, ignoring best practices, etc. C is harder to make visibly screwed up, which is why people think it's better, even though it's really just that C makes it easier to write subtly broken code. For example, every obvious way to deal with integer overflow will break on particular sets of compiler optimizations, because C sticks it's fingers in it's ear and says "LALALALALA INTEGERS DON'T OVERFLOW LALALALALA I'M ELIDING YOUR SECURITY-CRITICAL OVERFLOW CHECKS LALALALALA".

You do understand that integer overflow is not buffer overflow, right? Integer overflow has absolutely nothing to do with security.

2 days ago
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Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

fnj Re:Please stop and think (358 comments)

Yes, I DO live in a country with a wildly corrupt government that repeatedly lies to me and regularly unburdens many people's basic human rights. I live in the USA.

Funny thing, though. My IQ is greater than 10 (fine; I did not lose the genetic lottery), and I CHOOSE not to be profoundly ignorant. I know that amidst all those negatives, health measures are a good thing, not some underhanded nefarious attempt to harm the people when those in charge could far more easily and efficiently just mow us down with bullets.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

fnj Re:Saw similar posts before the web existed (323 comments)

Your example is one of what an amateur C hacker might do. No competent C programmer duplicates numeric literals in the same context.

Professional standards demand e.g.:

const size_t buffsz = 1024;
char *dst[buffsz+1];
strncopy(dst, src, buffsz);

BTW, your example had a buffer-off-by-one bug even before you changed 1024 to 512. You didn't manage the terminating null.

Your second example first of all gives a compile error:
"error: cannot convert ‘int*’ to ‘char*’ in initialization"
"char *b = &a;"

It also gives another warning in gcc 4.9 even if you don't compile with -Wall.
"warning: deprecated conversion from string constant to ‘char*’ [-Wwrite-strings]"
"b = "abcd";"

4 days ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

fnj Re:Will C++ Continue to be verbose? (425 comments)

Thank you. It is a very tenable objection. I am not fully persuaded, but it is food for thought.

My counterpoint is that iota, used in the context of std::iota rather than the evil "using std" at the top, is something that is easily looked up. OTOH, I wouldn't suggest C++ programmers could be expected to know about iota and a million other standard library resources.

The problem with having a std::sort(std::vector) template is that then you need one for all other applicable containers, and if a new container is written, then you have to write a new std::sort template as well. I think that is the reason it is expressed using iterators, which is really very powerful. The template approach is something you have to buy into whole-heartedly.

I've programmed C for a little over 30 years and C++ off and on since a little over 20 years ago. While the basics of C are long completely ingrained, doing it right does still take a little concentration - like using snprintf instead of sprintf - C does have its own useless backward-compatibility cruft nobody should ever use any more. C++ is a whole different story. Doing anything at all properly with it requires enormous concentration and constant reference. There are a very few masters of C++ who make it seem like it is easy for them - but not for me :-)

I was really serious when I recommended python.

about a week ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

fnj Re:One person's definition of "troll" ... (456 comments)

usually a genuine troll is discernible by his lack of being willing to debate or defend that opinion

That's a tough call. For example the present state of political discourse in the US is a prime example of pathological polarization. People have heard it all. Their viewpoint is their viewpoint. Usually it is a very strong one, and nobody else can change it. You can't convince a socialist that government power is the enemy, and you can't convince a capitalist that corporations are the enemy. So they rage at each other. You can substitute any other polar situation and the same thing applies: pro-ACC vs anti-ACC, gun rights vs gun control, etc.

It is very widespread. Now, you can label it "troll" behavior, but irreconcilable polarization is what it really is. The "troll" tag is not constructive, because it implies that it is a fringe personality problem, and it's not. The general breakdown in civil discourse is very frightening, and it's absolutely not an internet-only problem. The anonymity and insulation of the internet just remove the inhibitions people have against engaging what they know are irreconcilable differences.

This was not always the case. I remember the climate of 50-60 years ago. People had very strong beliefs and disagreements then, too, but it was possible for opposites to engage. The two poles didn't see each other as outright un-American traitors.

about a week ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

fnj Re:Will C++ Continue to be verbose? (425 comments)

You're right of course. You can use either auto& or int&. But you'd better be sharp :-) It's the only one I didn't test (until now).

But don't you agree that using iota to dispose of the init loop entirely is the best choice?

about a week ago

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