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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Often-Run Piece of Code -- Ever?

kst Re:For / While in C (533 comments)

Nitpick: The C standard is published by ISO; ANSI adopts each new version as it comes out.

All three editions of the ISO C standard (1990, 1999, and 2011) permit main to have an implementation-defined type.

Only "int main(void)" and "int main(int argc, char *argv[])" (or equivalent) are required to be supported by all C implementations -- and that applies only to hosted implementations. For freestanding implementations, the program entry point is entirely implementation-defined.

about 6 months ago
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Nearest Alien Planet Gets New Name

kst Re:Nobody suggested this? (185 comments)

In the original episode "Metamorphosis", it wasn't clear where Cochrane was originally from. He could have been a humanoid native of a planet in the the Alpha Centauri system (at the time I thought "Zefram Cochrane" was a sufficiently exotic name that he could have been non-human). Or, more likely, he could have been born in a colony established by sublight ships; we know from "Space Seed" that there were sublight sleeper ships before the invention of warp drive.

Annoying quibble: Kirk's line was "Zefram Cochrane? Of Alpha Centauri?" (The "of" might have a subtly different implication than "from".)

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Calculators With 1-2-3 Number Pads?

kst What's wrong with the question? (393 comments)

Why do so many people object so vehemently to the question?

I personally don't have much trouble with the difference between calculator and telephone keypads; I can switch between them without much mental effort. (I can also switch between vi and emacs, and between bash and tcsh.)

But on every system I use, one of the first things I do is figure out how to remap the caps-lock key so it acts as a control key. In decades of effort, I've never gotten used to having the control key in a position other than immediately to the left of 'A'. If it works for most people, that's terrific, but it doesn't work for me.

But the OP does have a problem with it. The "destroys muscle- and spatial- memory" part seems exaggerated, but it may well be accurate *for the person asking the question*.

Different people have different mental models and usage patterns. Devices and software are supposed to be designed for users, not the other way around.

It's not a stupid question at all.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Calculators With 1-2-3 Number Pads?

kst Re:Nope. (393 comments)

So it's not a problem *for you*. So what? It's obviously a problem for the OP.

more than 2 years ago
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Cellphones Get Government Chips For Disaster Alert

kst Re:two bad aspects of this idea (374 comments)

Two is not an issue; there's no way to reply to these broadcast messages (at least not directly).

more than 3 years ago
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Study Shows "Secret Questions" Are Too Easily Guessed

kst Re:My Qs (303 comments)

No these are far too easy. Want we want are SECRET QUESTIONS, not answers.

Mine is, "The answer is 42. What is the question?".

41?

more than 5 years ago
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Sci Fi Channel Becoming Less Geek-Centric "SyFy"

kst "Shut Your Frakking Yap"? (798 comments)

Obviously it stands for "Shut Your Frakking Yap".

I encourage everyone to spread this idea. (Thanks to my brother who came up with it.)

more than 5 years ago
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Anyone Besides Zune Owners With New Year's Crashes?

kst Ubuntu 8.10 froze around midnight UTC (480 comments)

My Ubuntu 8.10 system froze around midnight GMT. There's nothing in the logs to indicate any problem, except that the last log entry is at Dec 31 15:55:02 (that's 5 minutes before midnight) for a cron job that runs every 5 minutes. I wasn't at home at the time, so I didn't see what happened, except that my ssh connection died.

When I got home a few hours later, the system was still powered on (the fan was running), but the screen was blank. I was able to reboot it with no problem.

It's not the same problem as on the Zune, since that hit 24 hours earlier. It *might* have something to do with the leap second, or maybe it's a problem that occurs at the end of the 366th day of the year.

I suppose I could set the clock back and run it through midnight again. I'm not sure I'll bother, but if somebody else wants to try it it would be interesting to see the results. Or maybe I'll try that with a live CD.

more than 5 years ago
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Machines Almost Pass Mass Turing Test

kst Re:The other half of the conversation (580 comments)

Here's the conversation I just had with Elbot:

Me: How well did you do on the Turing Test?

Elbot: Oh, I'm fine. I just had my 30 millionth processor-cycle check-up. I've been massaged with motor oil, reprogrammed with the latest, most elegant algorithms, and had all my rust removed with an atom smasher.

Oh yeah, no computer could simulate human intelligence *that* well.

more than 5 years ago

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