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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

kisrael block indenting = visual (876 comments)

I'm probably coming at this too little too late, but:

for C-looking languages (C, Java, Javascript) etc that use curly braces and block, there's usually a strong visual element: no one wants to look at code that's not "properly formatted". So while language is super awesome and powerful (almost any programmer is going to have a hard time expressing himself or herself in, like, that block language that came w/ the original Lego Mindstorms), the graphical element is still present

about 2 months ago

Twitter Will Track Your Browsing To Sell Ads

kisrael advertising on faulty assumptions (120 comments)

Man, there's an err of pathos to when similar strategies are applied elsewhere, somehow Youtube noticed I went to a standing desk site, now half my adverts are from there. And also, they don't notice when I've actually bought a damn thing, so more advertising is just down the drain... I guess advertising is such a small % game that they'll take whatever "bump" they can get, no matter how stupid they look.

about 4 months ago

Australian Study Backs Major Assumption of Cosmology

kisrael the idea that it loops and we see old stuff-- (94 comments)

So, isn't there a concept that the Universe is closed, and we're just seeing older versions of the same stuff, but kinda repeated? (but hard to recognize because of the time lag involved)

Is this still considered a possibility, or have they figured out a way of ruling that out?

about a year ago

The Psychology of Steam Wallet & Microsoft Points

kisrael rounding error (190 comments)

I'm more concerned about "rounding error", at least for the USD market.
Most people probably use a rough "point = penny" heuristic in their head and call a, say, 1000 point game "about ten bucks". In reality it's about 12.50 though, so they consistently underestimate the cost of everything by about 20%...

it's to videogames what the "and 9/10 of a cent" is to gas... maybe a little more weasle-ish than that.

more than 2 years ago

My $200 Laptop Can Beat Your $500 Tablet

kisrael Re:Beat it at what? (789 comments)

Well said.

If I had to pick one, it would probably have to be the laptop, mostly because of the recreational programmer. Luckily I make a decent wage and having both just isn't that much of a financial burden.

The Not Getting It on both sides of the argument is pretty amazing.

about 3 years ago

What 2D GUI Foundation Do You Use?

kisrael Re:Processing (331 comments)

Well, the 3D isn't quite "fancy pants" but yeah, I totally agree.

There's also processingjs, which is a javascript flavor of it (though IE support seems to be missing)

http://openprocessing.org/ is a pretty neat view of what can be done

more than 3 years ago

Twitter Suffers Web Interface Exploit

kisrael Re:Hmm (165 comments)

"For personal one to one text communications I don't see how you can improve on texts/SMS, and for anything else what does twitter do that a web site can't?"

It's the one to many thing -- not "many" as in "countless hoards of fans", but many as in "a set of people I know in real life and who I've run into online" -- most people don't generate enough content to make a website worth coming back to on a daily or more basis, but amalgamated with a bunch of other people's thoughts, and now you've got something!

There are other paths to the same thing -- if everyone used RSS heavily, you could be part of your audience's RSS feed, and still get a proportional amount of timely attention. And Facebook has a similar "fax machine effect" as Twitter -- for close friends, I would hope to get personal email or a call or word in person of important events, but for a big mass of people who I'm not that close to but not entirely distant, FB fills a niche. (That said I barely keep up with FB -- in general it's more "day to day" boring stuff and less people trying to be clever than twitter)

So that's what twitter does that a website (in practice) "can't" - aggregation is the key.

"In fact, I would say it is the communication (real or imagined) with "famous" people that makes it so appealing."

I'm sure this is true for many twitter readers, but it's certainly not universally applicable. I might follow some famous people, but only ones who seem to be trying to write funny or smart stuff.

more than 3 years ago

Twitter Suffers Web Interface Exploit

kisrael Re:Hmm (165 comments)

Ironically, your clever (and shibboleth-ish; I had to google UDP to make sure I got it) line about twitter is an excellent example of what twitter is excellent for, as a "tweeter" -- the sharing of an engaging twist of perspective.

There's a lingering perception of twitter as a "what I'm having for dinner right now" kind of thing, but in practice that's a small fraction of the use of it (YMMV)-- conversely I would say Twitter's "right in the moment" aspect makes such talk a little more engaging and less banal, because there's more a chance of it being part of the shared human experience, distributed across space but unified in time -- but I think most people who "tweet" in that mode don't have big followings outside the group of people they know in real life.

So I'd say, as a tweeter, if you can come up with lines like the UDP one frequently, then you should be using twitter to increase the sum total of cleverness online and garner some of that old school egoboo. If all you're going to post about is what you're doing right now, then why bother?

more than 3 years ago

Twitter Suffers Web Interface Exploit

kisrael Re:Hmm (165 comments)

I can't tell you why you should be using Twitter, but some of us have friends or know of folks online who are good at dropping the pithy bon mot, or find it a convenient way to announce things.

Why again should you be using email? Or SMS txt'ing? Or slashdot?

more than 3 years ago

Are the New Kindles Tablets-In-Training?

kisrael Re:Yadda, yadda, yadda (134 comments)

I find the iPad's screen distinctly non-sucky, and got through "Anathem" over a course of subway commutes.
Of course, YMMV. I suppose glare might be an issue if you're out in the sun.

more than 3 years ago

Are the New Kindles Tablets-In-Training?

kisrael Re:Why not pixel qi? (134 comments)

I read "Anathem" on iPad, in iBooks, and am now getting through "How the Mind Works" on the kindle app -- mostly on my subway-based commute.

The iPad reading experience is, for my money, a world better than the Kindle, with its screen change flicker and Palm-circa-1996, Gameboy-circa 1998 screen. Intellectually I guess understand people saying the like e-ink better; in practice, to me it just looks like a gray smudgey, low-contrast mess.

The charge is a week, at least. It's not really difficult to recharge a device once a week.

So with being a superior (IMO) e-reader, a drawing pad, a swift and responsive browser, and a decent little game machine, I think iPad is gonna start eating Kindle's lunch. They aren't worlds apart, not by a darn site. (There are interesting rumors about smaller scale iOS devices coming out, like roughly Kindle size, which would address your "enormous" weight issue. But for now I find the iPad a convenient size for many tasks, and easily stowable.)

more than 3 years ago

The State of iPad Satisfaction

kisrael it's a good drawing pad and so stowable... (443 comments)

Just want to get my two cents in.

I find it great for two tasks:
1. with a stylus and the app ArtStudio (why do so few of the art apps have "flood fill"? They all want to pretend they're "real paint"...ArtStudio is highly recommended by me, btw) it is a better doodle pad than the touchscreen Fujitsu netbooks I had been using.

2. It's so great in a backpack... every laptop I had, I either had to suspend, so it was instant on but the battery was dead 3 days later, or hibernate, and then wait 2 or 3 minutes to boot. This thing stows so well, and when you want to use it is ready to go.

The browser is an annoying throwback to pre-tabbed browsing days and doesn't support the "upload" tag, though I found the "Uploader" app is pretty good.

So that's why I'm happy with the purchase. Netflix streaming is very good on it two... it's weirdly more pleasant to watch "The Office" in bed, snuggled up w/ this and my gf, then it is to bring in my big 18.4 laptop and rest it on us...

more than 3 years ago

iOS 4 Releases Today

kisrael Re:The iPhone and finally walk and chew gum! (702 comments)

people also buy it for the infrastructure, and continuity w/ upgraded devices.

Infrastructure probably isn't a big sales pitch for you either-- I mean, I don't buy any music via iTunes, just good old MP3s from Amazon. But I appreciate the AppStore for making a very viable way of letting small developers sell cheap cool stuff, despite Apples irritating rejection policies.

more than 3 years ago

iOS 4 Releases Today

kisrael Re:The iPhone and finally walk and chew gum! (702 comments)

Bang on-- the only reliable example of people really missing it are Pandora. Or, possibly, GPS turn directions? Basically, audio-only stuff, which brings us to an interesting point, with both iPhone and iPad, YOU'RE not really a multitasking device either -- it's nice how these devices don't try to divide your attention, and running a new app is a bit like running a new, more specialized device.

That said -- 90s era Palm had better culture of "resuming right where you left off" apps, but now maybe iOS gets that back... and I think I might start liking that bottom of screen app bouncing the same way I like alt-tab in Windows...

more than 3 years ago

Thoughts On the State of Web Development

kisrael Re:Apache Wicket (253 comments)

I used Wicket a few years ago. It wasn't god-awful, but between the irritation of keeping the HTML in synch and of trying to make a custom component or even fix Ajax behaviors gone awry, I don't think it pulled its weight in the power/complexity added ratio.

more than 3 years ago

With a Computer Science Degree, an Old Man At 35?

kisrael Re:Yes, go for it. (918 comments)

I'm 35... been professionally coding since the mid 90s ... I'm not sure if the next 15 years are gonna make me any more asirational than the last 15! What should I do?

about 5 years ago

iPhone 3.0 Software Announced

kisrael Re:Too little... too late (619 comments)

I take it back. It was a little crippled; MMS shoulda been there. But overall, nothing else in the market is the combination of form factor, functionality, and slickness.

about 5 years ago

iPhone 3.0 Software Announced

kisrael Re:Too little... too late (619 comments)

What contenders are out there? I've seen my friend's Android phone and I'd say it isn't equal to iPhone's first release in a lot of ways... and forget crap like the Storm.

I think the "gouging" accusation is dumb (not to mention taking pages of slashdot arguments).
It seems exactly parallel to what happens with Desktop OS, except on a faster cycle
i.e. you pay for Tiger->Leopard or XP->Vista, but get small patches for free... same as iPod touch. And frankly, Tiger->Leopard doesn't seem that much bigger than some of these iPhone updates.
iPhone users get it for free, maybe as a nod to the way they're paying every damn month.

It wasn't a crippled phone to begin with. And it happens to be the only product to seem worthy to followup on Palm '97.

about 5 years ago



How to determine which e-mail addresses to keep?

kisrael kisrael writes  |  more than 6 years ago

kisrael writes "So my hosting provider has asked that I stop using the "catchall" address forwarding.

Years ago, it seemed really cool to be to say "sure, anything @______.com goes to me, pick a username", and I tried doing some light "spam tracking" tagging, but now it's a mess with 10K+ spam messages (including dictionary-ish guessing games) going all to my one gmail account, not to mention all the bounces from "Joe Jobs" where these jerks send spam that seems to be from my domain.

Any advice for figuring out what email addresses are in use? I kind of wish gmail offered some sort of data mining method to show me what my top aliases seem to be for non-spam messages. I hate the idea of losing contact with people and organizations who might be using an obscure alias."


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