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No, a Huge Asteroid Is Not "Set To Wipe Out Life On Earth In 2880"

kwiqsilver Phew! (123 comments)

I was worried for a minute. But now I know I'll be okay.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

kwiqsilver Re:Real Programmers don't use GC (637 comments)

Java doesn't need destructors, but it's a pain in the ass to have to call close() on everything that maintains open resources, and a possible source of bugs. I had a memory leak last week in Java, because a JDBC connection wasn't getting closed properly. With a destructor, as soon as it hit the closing curly brace, it would automatically close. That is a superior design. And because the destruction happens in a deterministic way, as soon as the object leaves scope, there are so many wonderful tricks you can use it for. I like tools that make writing good code easier.
The overhead of malloc & free is predictable and lower. A garbage collector has to scan all of its object, determine which to free, and free them. Free or delete just frees the appropriate memory immediately. Also, the GC wastes the unused memory between the time it is no longer used and the GC frees it. With a reference counting design, the memory is freed immediately.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

kwiqsilver Re:Real Programmers don't use GC (637 comments)

Outlandish, unsupported claims are responsible for 90% at least of the garbage on the internet.
shared_ptr can eliminate virtually all memory leaks while avoiding the two annoyances of GC languages: the GC overhead, and the lack of destructors (the thing that bothers me most about doing Java development).

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

kwiqsilver Yes (637 comments)

1. Yes.
2. Learn some lower level languages like assembler, C, or C++. Even if you don't use the techniques, understanding them will give you a better understanding of what's going on in your Java programs.

about three weeks ago
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Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

kwiqsilver Re:Jackson is Supporting the Right to Compete (514 comments)

Having conducted many tech interviews over the past 17 years, in high demand markets, I can say that the number of qualified candidates in the US is abysmally low compared to the open positions. There are lots of people with degrees in CS or a similar field, but the ones who can actually do the job at the level required is very low. If we find someone who can code well enough to do the work, we don't care how much pigmentation it has, what it's genitals look like, what gods it reveres (if any), or any of that other crap.

The imports are absolutely necessary to keep American companies competitive in a global market. Otherwise the 21st century tech centers will be in south or east Asia, along with all the profits, high paying jobs, and resulting tax revenue.

And what Jesse wants is money for his group, or to be on the news. He's a person who used to have power, and is now completely irrelevant. He's desperately clinging to anything he can.

about a month ago
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Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

kwiqsilver Sigh... (514 comments)

So rather than asking why there aren't more blacks in tech, and addressing those issues (which mostly center on the welfare state and drug war destroying black culture), Jesse is going to pretend to still be relevant by trying to get racial hiring quotas in the tech industry. Oh joy...
Racism against minorities is about as common in the US as polio (both exist only due to small pockets of people who ignore reason and logic). Jesse needs to keep fanning the flames on anything he can. Otherwise he'd have to get a productive job...like the white, Indian, and Chinese techies he wants to get fired.
How come Jesse isn't concerned with the lack of diversity in professional basketball?

about a month ago
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DC Revolving Door: Ex-FCC Commissioner Is Now Head CTIA Lobbyist

kwiqsilver Re:Democracy (170 comments)

That's absolutely false. A democracy is a majority rules system. A republic is a system where the government is limited in the powers it can exercise.

The founding fathers of the US knew the difference. Most of them despised the idea of democracy, because they knew it would devolve into corruption.

about 4 months ago
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DC Revolving Door: Ex-FCC Commissioner Is Now Head CTIA Lobbyist

kwiqsilver Re: majorities can impose their will on minorities (170 comments)

I've been a supporter of the super-majority requirement for a while (or better yet, the super-duper-majority: 80% or more). It's easy to get 80% of people (hopefully more like 99.999%) to agree murder, rape, kidnapping, arson, etc. are bad. It would be impossible to get 80% to agree to slavery, unjust wars, NSA spying, the Patriot [sic] Act, taxes for wealth redistribution (most of which in the US goes to the über rich banking and corporate crony crowd, not the poor), and other statist dreams.

Another useful trick would be automatic sunset clauses, e.g. every law expires after five years. And the sunset period could be limited by the support gained. E.g. if 60% approve, it lasts a year, if 70%, 2 years, etc.

I also propose the ability to remove bad laws easily (one of the problems we have in the US, e.g. repealing the 1934 National Firearms Act): Repealing a law should consist of proposing the exact law again, but if it fails to pass at any stage, it should not only fail to extend the law, but it should immediately repeal the existing instance of that law.

about 4 months ago
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DC Revolving Door: Ex-FCC Commissioner Is Now Head CTIA Lobbyist

kwiqsilver Re:Democracy (170 comments)

I never said it is a republic, I said supposed to be. It is a fascist, crony-laden representative democracy. It is the system Alexander Hamilton, and later the whigs and early republicans, dreamed of.

I am not any form of government, I am a human. The government that claims dominion over the land where I live and spend most of my days abandoned being an oligarchy long ago, it is now becoming a fascist police state. But then authoritarianism of one form or another is always the end state for any government.

Ours did hold out for almost two centuries though, which is more than most. Hopefully the growing mistrust of the people toward the TSA, NSA, IRS, ATF, ACA, CIA, FRB, and all the other acronyms of evil (AOE?) will cause a push from statism back toward liberty.

about 4 months ago
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Google Plus Now Minus Chief Vic Gundotra

kwiqsilver If he did it using Google+... (93 comments)

I'm surprised anybody found out. I bet a bunch of people showed up at the office the next day asking, "Where's Vic? It looks like he cleaned out his office."

about 4 months ago
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DC Revolving Door: Ex-FCC Commissioner Is Now Head CTIA Lobbyist

kwiqsilver Re:Democracy (170 comments)

The US isn't supposed to be a democracy, it's a republic.

In a democracy, majorities can impose their will on minorities, no matter how stupid, or evil their ideas. In a republic, the constitution is supposed to limit the power of the government.

Unfortunately though, this is exactly what a representative democracy turns into: as long as the corrupt politician can convince 51% of his buddies to vote for his boondoggle (usually by promising to vote for theirs in return), it passes.

about 4 months ago
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DC Revolving Door: Ex-FCC Commissioner Is Now Head CTIA Lobbyist

kwiqsilver Not unusual (170 comments)

This isn't unusual, nor should it be unexpected. Regulatory agencies are there to provide advantages for the established companies over upstart competitors and their customers. The stories about working for the interests of the consumer are just what the politicians tell voters, as they take money from politically connected companies, to create bureaucracies that further the interests of those companies.
It's how a fascist (a.k.a. mercantilist, cronyist) economy works.

about 4 months ago
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I'd prefer my money be made of ...

kwiqsilver Re:I don't care (532 comments)

The goldbugs are students of History. As long as we've been writing stuff down, gold has always been the most stable store for wealth. Period.

about a year ago
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I'd prefer my money be made of ...

kwiqsilver Re:I don't care (532 comments)

Gold appears to be rarer based on what I saw on wikipedia, but I could be wrong.

But in either case, rhenium is hard to extract, refine, and work. Gold is easy to extract, refine, and work, so its value has never been dependent on technology. An excellent example of this is aluminum. It was very expensive, even though it's very common, due to refining costs. That's why the Washington monument has an aluminum tip. To be a good money metal, the production cost can't include any significant amount that technology can improve. The costs should consist of: find it (hard), mine it (fairly simple), melt it (easy), and shape it (easy).

Gold, silver, and platinum are the money metals because they have properties that lend themselves to coining, but there might be some convention to it (palladium would be a good choice too, but it never caught on for whatever reason).

about a year ago
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I'd prefer my money be made of ...

kwiqsilver Re: I don't care (532 comments)

I would think that someone who has claimed "history" and "reality" as sources would be aware that since humans began recording history, gold has remained fairly steady in its value compared to other valuable goods. And that in times of crisis (financial, political, social, etc.), people have sought refuge in gold.

You do make a good point that gold is only valuable because it's rare and people seem to want it, but that desire seems consistent enough that it's the most stable way to store wealth that humans have figured out yet.

about a year ago
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Egyptian Security Forces Storm Pro-Morsi Camps Leaving Nearly 100 Dead

kwiqsilver Re:Not a Coup? (381 comments)

Because if it was a coup, then the US government couldn't give the Egyptian government $1B+ each year to buy weapons from US manufacturers, that they then use to maintain their coup...er...democracy. Corporate welfare is very important. You wouldn't want to see those rich industrialists out on the street would you?

1 year,17 days
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Despite Global Release, Breaking Bad Heavily Pirated

kwiqsilver Broadcast TV (443 comments)

Do they still broadcast TV shows?

1 year,19 days
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TV Show Piracy Soars After CBS Blackout

kwiqsilver They broadcast TV shows? (314 comments)

Really? Why would they do that when they can just seed them on bittorrent?

1 year,24 days
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Sony & Panasonic Plan Next-Gen 300 GB Optical Discs By the End of 2015

kwiqsilver Re:Good, now all of Stargate SG1 on one platter (289 comments)

They'll still only put three episodes on each disc, so you have to buy the big box set for $99.99, and then go change the disk every couple of hours during a marathon.

about a year ago
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Sony & Panasonic Plan Next-Gen 300 GB Optical Discs By the End of 2015

kwiqsilver Backwards compatibility? (289 comments)

Will it be backwards compatible with Blu-Ray, DVD, & CD, so people only have one optical player collecting dust on the shelf as they stream everything from a local computer or across the internet?

about a year ago

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