top Perl Turns 25
Also writing new scripts with Unicode support is still non-trivial and akin to a walking over minefield.
Well, I write Perl code daily, and I personally find it quite easy to write modern Perl applications with UTF-8 support. I don't think I'm particularly brilliant, either, but even
I can do it! So... either I need to find out what I'm doing "wrong" to make this such a non-issue for me, or your concerns are a little bit overstated. about a year and a half ago
top Perl Turns 25
Great plans are great, but how about decent Unicode/utf-8 support first??
Perl has exceptional support for Unicode. The
accepted answer on this SO question provides a pretty comprehensive list of the challenges that Unicode brings, and why there cannot possibly be a magic "switch." Such a switch would surely break a lot of code, so pre-UTF-8 code that needs to support UTF-8 does need to be updated, but writing modern Perl programs that support Unicode is really easy.
And heck, 25 years on - and we still do not have standard UI toolkit.
What would a "standard" UI toolkit buy us? Just pick one of the many available tookits on CPAN and be happy. They're all great.
about a year and a half ago
top Perl Turns 25
Okay, so let's have a roll call of those of us using Perl 6 in production.
In production? There probably shouldn't be any hands, but I'm sure there are.
Perl 6 is nifty, but I would still call it "academic" at this point. Fortunately Perl 5 is still rock solid, and it is still a wonderful choice for many production applications. about a year and a half ago
top 27 Reported Killed In Connecticut Elementary School Shooting
I support Bruce's choice to give up his guns.
Too bad Bruce doesn't support your choice to
not give up yours. He would benevolently take away everybody's right to self defense by the bearing of arms and not "miss it." Lovely...
Anyway, it's a common knee-jerk reaction to a situation like this, to think that guns enable this sort of tragedy. In reality, it would be more helpful for us to realize that guns are just what they are. They were invented, and they exist. There is no way to put the lid on Pandora's Box. You can try to control them by legislation, but you inevitably end up just making it more difficult for honest citizens to have them. Our experience has shown that such "experiments" do little, if anything, to prevent criminals and lunatics from having guns, but we know that they are emboldened by the prospect that others are less likely to have guns. Case in point: this tragedy happened in a so-called "gun-free zone."
A common retort to my above point is to then assert that guns in the hands of common citizens would lead to more chaos and death. I'll just head that off now. This assumption probably comes from hollywood where it is common to see clueless characters holding guns--presumably for the first time--who do humorous and dangerous things, such as let the firearm fly out of their hands on recoil or close their eyes when shooting. This may be a recipe for a good comedy movie, but it is by no means an accurate portrayal of common reactions. Thus, this false assertion is more common among people who have never handled firearms; they project their own unease with firearms on others and imagine that everyone will act how they think they might act in a tense situation. Regardless, the truth is that common citizens are very capable of training and handling firearms safely, and it really doesn't even take that much training. The scenario where clueless people flail their guns around, shooting randomly, is fictional. Simple as that.
To push the point further, nobody is saying that guns in the hands of untrained people is a good idea. This discussion won't change anything about today's sad tragedy, but how might this situation have turned out differently if the teachers had been allowed to opt to train with a firearm (if they so chose) and allowed to keep a secure firearm on their person. Even now, you may have let the false scenario of the clueless teacher flailing her gun pop into your mind; now it's your responsibility to remember that that scenario is indeed false and ridiculously so. about a year and a half ago
top 27 Reported Killed In Connecticut Elementary School Shooting
Okay, I can tell that this is going to be too easy. So, here we go.
1) Gun laws aren't an oxymoron by any definition.
This is your opinion, but as you will see, you haven't supported it very well.
2) Being a criminal does not equate to getting a gun.
Obvious. What's the point?
3) Gun laws make it harder for criminal to get guns,. And it keeps getting harder.
Unfortunately, this just isn't true. Criminals have easy access to guns, even in places with tougher gun laws. As the GP rightly pointed out, criminals do not follow the law. That alone does not mean that guns laws have no effect on the ease by which criminals can obtain guns, so your theory could still be correct. However, the reality has shown that gun laws are far more effective at making it harder for honest citizens to obtain firearms for their own self protection than they are at preventing criminals from having guns.
4) Crime drops when gun laws are enacted.
Yeah... this isn't true either, one of the most-cited counterexamples being the steep rise in violent crimes in Washington D.C. after the gun ban of 1976. At best, as the
NY Times pointed out, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. Of course, this isn't the only counterexample, by far, but I only need one to prove your assertion incorrect, so I'll leave it at that.
5) If having a gun was illegal, you would have an opportunity to know someone was going to kill people when you found them with a gun.
Umm, no... You realize that the vast majority of armed robberies do
not end in any shots even being fired, right? The threat is usually enough. Obviously the posession of a gun by a criminal does not imply his intention to kill. These points are so easy to counter, it makes me wonder at how serious you are.
6) Same thing if someone was getting Ammo.
Similarly false, and even more absurd.
7) teacher firing a someone one in a panic situation means more people would have been likely to die.
Most likely, you feel like
you would panic in that situation and so you imagine in your mind that others would act as you think you would. Your imagination does not match reality. Common citizens are capable of training with firearms in order to react appropriately, and it really doesn't take much training. This is obviously true because many common citizens do train and choose to carry concealed weapons. Nobody is suggesting that it is a good idea for untrained people to use guns. The scenario you envision where clueless people flail their guns around in "panic situations" exists in some fictional hollywood movies and your own imagination.
In reality, it would have been a very good idea for the teachers to be able to opt to retrieve training (if they wish) and be allowed to keep a gun on their person for such a situation. The body count could have been much lower.
8) How many gun deaths are their in Japan?
Gun deaths are lower in Japan, so you assume this has something to do with gun laws? This is a simple case of the false-cause fallacy. In reality, crime, generally, is lower in Japan than the US. It follows that gun-related crime would also be lower, but it does not follow that gun laws have anything to do with this; that's just your assumption. A much safer assumption is that the US has culture and class-disparity problems, not to mention the dismal state of the mental health industry.
All the evidence shows, overall, people are safer with very strict gun laws. You can make trite logical fallacy all you want, becasue that's all you have.
Thanks for your little list, but it isn't really "evidence" so much as it is a list of incorrect assumptions. If you really want to provide some evidence for your claims, try to avoid taking logical leaps and instead try providing links to some real research or something.
about a year and a half ago
top 27 Reported Killed In Connecticut Elementary School Shooting
Shockingly enough, in countries where there are strict gun laws, there appear to be less shootings by criminals than int he U.S.
This is the simple fact opponents of gun control simply cannot deal with.
Less guns mean less gun violence.
That's actually really easy to "deal with" since this is just a simple case of the false-cause fallacy.
You: There are more shootings in the US, therefore it is because of weaker gun laws.
Reality: Crime, in general, is higher in the US than many other countries. Obviously gun-related crime will be higher as well.
If you want to feel all warm and fuzzy by putting blame somewhere, a much more rational place would be to lay it on the dismal state of the mental health industry in the US. about a year and a half ago
top Valve Begins Listing Linux Requirements For Certain Games On Steam
No actually it is your problem. If Linux is a fragmented mess and it takes a lot of man hours to support all the distros, companies may just give it a miss.
Fortunately there is no reason why any company would ever have to support "all the distros." My main desktop runs Gentoo. My laptop runs Arch. I also do not care whether or not Valve or any other company with a proprietary product decides to support my niche distros. Those of us who choose to run a non-mainstream distro presumably also know how to make it work with whatever software we want to run. Your concern over the lack of support companies give to people like me is heart-warming, but it's also quite unnecessary.
Any proprietary package built for Ubuntu can easily be repackaged to work with any community distro that is capable of providing secure and more-or-less up-to-date packages--and, if there is any demand at all, it will be. Shared library versioning and distro packaging policies work together to make this whole thing a non-issue. about a year and a half ago
top Stallman On Unity Dash: Canonical Will Have To Give Users' Data To Governments
what did gentoo do wrong? well, for starters they created a bunch of users who now think that their browser is faster because it doesn't have support for ps/2 mouses..
Mostly, these mythical users with a wrong understanding of optimization exist only in your head. This straw man is revived every time there's an opportunity to snipe at Gentoo. In reality, the vast majority of people who use Gentoo do so because of Portage and the vast potential for customization at every level, not speed. It's a great distro, as is Debian and Fedora. It's not what I recommend for Grandma, but Gentoo certainly has earned its place on the short list of great meta-distributions.
top Alan Cox to NVIDIA: You Can't Use DMA-BUF
If this were BSD, Alan Cox would have had his hard work stolen from him against his will, and he wouldn't have been able to do anything about it. Nvidia could have taken his code and released it in their binary blobs, and he'd never see any benefit from it again.
Yeah, he would
never see any benefit from it. Except the fact that it would make the whole Linux system more viable, thus attracting more users, thus bringing in more people who don't have the sub-licensing issues that nvidia does and may choose to contribute.
I also love the over-the-top language GPL advocates always use: "Alan Cox would have his hard work stolen from him against his will..." Yeah... his hard work is absolutely stolen. Oh wait, I thought we can't call copyright infringement stealing since it actually doesn't take anything away from the copyright owner. It's actually even more ridiculous in this situation since Alan gives away his code for free (as in beer) anyway, whereas a digital music file or video actually has a price.
Fortunately, the trend for new software is to be licensed more openly (usually the apache or MIT license). People are figuring out that the GPL actually doesn't promote return code contributions nearly as well as it was supposed to, and it brings a whole host of complicated compatibility concerns with other open source licenses.
The GPL can be a useful license for businesses in some cases, but it really sucks as a general-purpose open source (or "free" software) license, and not just because of the distribution issues with "evil" corporations but also for end-users who miss out on better software that is the result of proprietary-friendly open source licenses. Stallman has really done a disservice to the software/computer industry by getting so many sheep to believe in his religious ideology, so let me be at least one voice saying the truth: Your computer is more useful when open source and proprietary software work together. Screaming "proprietary software is always and unequivocally evil" was never helpful, and people are awakening to the realization of how ridiculously false that notion is.
top How Apple Killed the Linux Desktop
And with compiz, it's snazzier than OSX or Win7.
Is compiz still a talking point among people trying to promote desktop linux? Nevermind that OS X was first with useful, hardware-accelerated compositing, I guess. Maybe I've just gotten older, but wobbly windows and spinning cubes stopped being interesting quite a few years ago.
I used a Mac since 2003 and have since used predominantly Linux and BSD. Without compiz. I'm glad that my desktop environment isn't as "snazzy" as yours; any time my window manager draws my attention to itself and away from the applications is wasted time. However, I'm not way big on evangelizing--just use what works, I say--so maybe you know better how to promote desktop linux than I do.
top Joyent Drops Lifetime Account Holders
In other words, ask for a refund; whether or not you get it, just move on and be sure to never do business with Joyent again.
top Digia To Acquire Qt From Nokia
Hey, you may be right: who needs the decades of know-how in building great phone hardware, the global logistical network, the long-held relationships with operators and sales channels... This all has been eliminated in a poof of universal Windows Phone hate ('cause everybody thinks about it exactly like you do), where Symbian was not a problem at all.
I don't see very much Windows Phone hate. Mostly I see wonder at how Microsoft could be so late to this party and mild amusement at their struggle to remain relevant in that market. As for the MS/Nokia deal and considering who Nokia's CEO is, it doesn't take much tin foil to realize that something smells bad there.
top Are SSD Accelerators Any Good?
That is how much of a difference SSDs are over HDDs.
This shouldn't be the case unless your operating system sucks at caching, and I am speaking as an early adopter (have had one SSD or another for 3+ years). The GP's point is valid: SSDs are great for improving bootup and application startup time, but unless you plan to put all your files on SSD (or, like I said, your OS sucks at caching), the returns are definitely diminishing. Better to max out the DRAM.
That said, I generally do recommend SSDs; just get a small, cheap one for the OS. You don't need the headaches of moving files between SSD and HDD. Just keep the distinction clear; SSD is for the OS and apps (/) and HDD is for all my files (/home). Easy. I would only get a hybrid if it was for a laptop and there was only one slot for a hard drive.
I also put the swap on my SSDs. I only have 4G DRAM in one of my machines with such a setup; when I occasionally and unintentially start thrashing, having the swap on an SSD keeps the computer usable and the problem is easily fixed without the UI locking up too badly.
top Supreme Court: Affordable Care Act Is Constitutional
Roberts did not change the legislation, he just called a spade a spade.
And declared it constitutional for Congress to make up any ridiculous tax that they want. Expect to see more.
Yeah, probably. This is definitely a great new political trick. As it was, the bill was only barely able to pass using all kinds of [documented cases of] bribery and
interesting legislative tricks. If it had been called a tax in the first place, the bill obviously would not have even passed. If we can expect to see more of this, legislators can just stop using the word "tax" entirely and let the courts call it what it is. God knows there's a large enough portion of the American populace sucking on the government tit as it is and don't care care about anything besides getting more "free" stuff, getting their "fair share," or screwing the "rich" generally, but for those who do care about the details (like how to actually pay for something), there probably is a significant portion of them who are too retarded to see a spade for a spade or a tax for a tax without their legislators using the correct keywords. It obviously worked this time.
top OpenBSD Fork Bitrig Announced
Apple has a bunch of BSD code they've modified and never given out. I did not claim that they never do, but they tend not to.
And the FreeBSD people would have absolutely not problem with this, assuming it were true. But alas, it isn't true. It just happens that most of Apple's changes aren't incorporated into FreeBSD because it just doesn't make much sense for them to be (e.g. the changes are particular to Apple products or their own operating system), but they do release those changes in the open source version of their OS (Darwin). The parts of Mac OS X that aren't open source or distributed with Darwin are mostly parts which didn't come from FreeBSD anyway. Other code released by Apple that is more general and more appropriate for FreeBSD (like LLVM)
is used by FreeBSD.
Regardless, it's a common argument that the GPL has supposedly helped Linux become what it is, but that really short-changes Linux which is really just a kick-ass kernel regardless of the license. The reason Linux "won" over BSD-licensed alternatives was not because of the GPL but because of fortunate timing (USL v. BSDi was obviously a major setback for BSD) and also because Linux is a great kernel.
The GPL itself doesn't do anything to promote a strong free software environment. It just creates a lot of license compatibility problems within a community that would otherwise work better with less duplicated effort. It doesn't even succeed at forcing companies to "give back," it just forces the use of ugly hacks (see how binary blob drivers are implemented). The free software environment already incentivizes companies to "give back," without the need for complicated and incompatibility-inducing license terms, because of reduced maintenance costs (e.g. do companies really want to spend the money maintaining their own fork or patchset? really?), and there are also many good business reasons for a company to release their own code without the GPL supposedly forcing their hand (e.g. to promote interoperability with their products). It's interesting to recognize that most new code released by companies today are not copyleft-licensed but are usually licensed under an Apache license or the MIT or BSD licenses.
Stallman and the FSF should be given credit for the many positive contributions they have made to the free/open source community (GCC and the GNU userland are fantastic and well appreciated), but the GPL just isn't one of those positive contributions.
top Zimmerman Charged With 2nd-Degree Murder
Does it make his actions acceptable to you? Ignoring sane neighborhood watch protocols and the 911 operator and confronting someone while packing a gun?
I don't know that Zimmerman
did confront Martin. The operator told him he didn't need to follow, and it's unclear what happened after that because of conflicting testimony. Considering how few real facts are known, the only reasonable response is to say that I have no idea whether Zimmerman's actions are acceptable or not. However, following someone is not usually illegal. Having a gun is not illegal. And, in Florida, shooting someone and killing them with a gun is not illegal under certain (very special) conditions which you may or may not agree with, although it is the law.
Now it seems the prosecutor has collected enough facts that she thinks she can convict Zimmerman for breaking the law. A panel of Zimmerman's peers will determine whether or not he really is guilty. If he is guilty, I hope the trial is the least of his discomforts. If he is innocent, the trial will probably not be any worse than how the media and race baiters have already ruined his life, but having to battle false charges certainly wouldn't make things any easier. Whether he is guilty or innocent, let justice prevail.
top Zimmerman Charged With 2nd-Degree Murder
His innocence or guilt is in the hands of the court, which is where it belonged all along.
Nope, it is where it belongs (in court) if the prosecutor decides to bring charges, and not before that time. It's easy to sit in your armchair and pretend to know facts that can really only come out of a thorough investigation, but there may be a time, if you ever happen to just be in the wrong place at the wrong time, that you are grateful that such things are investigated before arrests and charges are made. False charges have ruined the lives of innocent people before. The system may have flaws, but the fact that crimes (which may not be crimes) are investigated before charges are filed is not one of those flaws.
In this case--unless the prosecutor is simply bowing to pressure from the uninformed masses, which would be disgusting--the prosecutor was not convinced of George Zimmerman's story or believes his actions were not sanctioned by the current laws on the books. In that case, a trial is perfectly reasonable. If Zimmerman is found guilty by a panel of his peers, he will be punished. If not, he will walk. This is the way it should be, but only after a proper police investigation and review of the facts by the prosecutor--not the supposed "facts" you get from your nightly news anchor, but the real facts insofar as they can be determined.
top Microsoft Releases ASP.NET MVC Under the Apache License
They may have a decent product, but they still over charge, which is also "evil".
On no, a big bad evil corporation is making money. I can't call myself a friend to Apple or Microsoft, but this statement is just retarded. Companies charge what people are willing to pay. A lot of people (apparently) disagree with your valuation of Apple products, and nobody was tricked into buying an iPod or iPhone. There were so many sold that there is no excuse for somebody to
not know what they were getting when they threw down their money, and the cost was obviously worth it to them.
top Apple Unveils New iPad
No pun intended, but it'd make a great thin client alternative to a laptop.
Err, where's the unintended pun? It's too subtle for me.
top Adobe Makes Flash on GNU/Linux Chrome-Only
"Their needs" being "we need to run Flash or nobody will use our browser".
That just changed, though.
From the blog post:
Flash Player will continue to support browsers using non-”Pepper” plugin APIs on platforms other than Linux.
So, this is only an issue for the Linux version of Flash. Even then, they are providing security updates for the non-Pepper version of Flash on Linux for
five years. Mozilla may choose to eventually implement PPAPI just so Linux users can use the Pepper version of Flash, but that need is clearly not as great as you imply.