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Born To RUN: Dartmouth Throwing BASIC a 50th B-Day Party

spitzak Re:We've come a long way (146 comments)

So you can declare a variable of type MyClass called myClass, or a method that returns a MyClass called myClass().

In most languages this would be impossible if case was not preserved by lexical scanning (there are a few languages where the intention can be distinguished by syntax, which would allow the class name and method to be exactly the same, and then case sensitivity may be less of a problem).

Another huge problem with case insensitivity is that the rules get really complex once you get out of ASCII-only, and different interpretations of the rules in effect mean you have literally thousands of actually different syntaxes.

about two weeks ago
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Google Chrome 34 Is Out: Responsive Images, Supervised Users

spitzak Re:What about the hershey fonts? (115 comments)

I see arrows there. Never noticed they were missing however.
This is on Linux with 34.

about two weeks ago
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Linus Torvalds Suspends Key Linux Developer

spitzak Re:informal poll (641 comments)

My home computer is dual boot with Ubuntu (12?) and Windows 7, and I never use Windows on it (I know because there is a bug and it does not work with the serial keyboard, so I have to dig out and plug in the USB keyboard that came with the machine if I want to boot it into Windows, and right now I don't even know where that keyboard is (ps the bug is strange: only the login does not work. Once you log in the serial keyboard works just fine)). We also have a much older iMac and a couple Android tablets and one iPad, an ancient iMac PowerPC used to play music on the stereo, and an ASUS Linux netbook that amazingly still works and is used by visitors more than I would expect.

about two weeks ago
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The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

spitzak Re:Don't bother. (509 comments)

Here is the correct commentary, I mixed up which bogus data this is:

http://blog.hotwhopper.com/201...

Basically he shifted the predictions line up by .3 degrees

about two weeks ago
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The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

spitzak Re:Don't bother. (509 comments)

Did you notice the "troposphere" in their data? They are cherry-picking the portion of the earth that has warmed the least.

Average temperature increase for the earth has *exceeded* the models, consistently when averaged over a period of ten years.

about two weeks ago
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The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

spitzak Re:Don't bother. (509 comments)

While I agree it is not at all impossible to save our cities, I'm pretty certain it would be much more cost effective to build sea walls.

about two weeks ago
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The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

spitzak Re:Do any of the computer models explain this (509 comments)

It's pretty obvious from your graph that the decreases are much slower than the increases. This is because they show the carbon dioxide being absorbed by rocks after the source of it has turned off or slowed down.

about two weeks ago
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The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

spitzak Re:Don't bother. (509 comments)

Skeptics certainly are shouted down when the "facts" are made up with no basis on reality. Please show where you got those claims about sea level and the models not matching.

about two weeks ago
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The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

spitzak Re:Don't bother. (509 comments)

You do realize the change is happening literally HUNDREDS of times FASTER than any of those "12 previous times". Or perhaps you just want to ignore that because it makes your whole argument bogus.

about two weeks ago
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ZunZuneo: USAID Funded 'Cuban Twitter' To Undermine Communist Regime

spitzak I see nothing wrong with this (173 comments)

I'm unclear if this article is supposed to raise righteous anger at some evil by the old USA. But this sounds exactly like something we should be doing to promote our views, and probably a lot more effective than any threats or insults.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs?

spitzak Re:It's been bisected and confirmed (266 comments)

Sorry, a mouse button is a key for anybody in the real world. It even has it's own keysym values in X.

Also as pointed out, OS/X and Windows, and earlier verisons of X, worked this way. If this is really somebody saying "mouse buttons are not keys and I will obey the text literally" then that is really sad.

From the patch description this sounds like an accidental change, not deliberate. But beyond that it is hard to figure out what needs to be fixed. It sounds like there is a null pointer dereference, but only when the X server is shutting down. That's pretty minor and in fact something I know commercial software would ignore.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs?

spitzak Re:It's been bisected and confirmed (266 comments)

I'll bet this is going to be patched in the git repositor within a half hour.

But I'm not sure if posting Slashdot stories is the best way to get a bug fixed. But if it is the only one that works, might as well do it.

I still feel the original poster should have put *something* on that bug report in all the time since January 16th!

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs?

spitzak Re:It's been bisected and confirmed (266 comments)

Goddamn that was painful, but I found the actual patch:

http://cgit.freedesktop.org/xo...

I would say it is rather shocking that this Peter Hutterer actually did about 90% of the work, then posted something that is not a clue as to how to see the answer.

And that the original poster (who I assume made this Slashdot story) did not post any followup for 3 months, probably leading Peter to forget all about fixing this.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs?

spitzak It's been bisected and confirmed (266 comments)

Somebody has already narrowed the problem down to specific patch:

Comment 7 Peter Hutterer 2014-01-16 05:43:43 UTC

bisected to this commit:

commit 11319a922575f1da1d3c5774728c0dee12bab069
Author: Peter Hutterer
Date: Thu Oct 11 16:03:33 2012 +1000

        xkb: ProcesssPointerEvent must work on the VCP if it gets the VCP

It would help if that number was a link to the git log.

about three weeks ago
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Researchers Find Problems With Rules of Bitcoin

spitzak Re: wooo look at that strawman BURNNNNN (301 comments)

What?

In your scenario, originally you had $100, and the other person had a stock share that he could trade for $100. Therefore there was $200 in total value. After the stock dropped to $10 value, one person has $100 and the other has a stock worth $10, therefore the total is $110. $90 of value was lost! Inflation/deflation of dollars does not matter, the result is that you now have $90 less of value, whatever $90 is now worth.

Also your claim that "the balance of transactions is $110" is pretty bogus. If the two decided to trade the stock back and forth 5,000 for $100 then by your calculation "the balance of transactions is $500,000". That number is obviously meaningless. The actual amount of money moved around is $100.

about three weeks ago
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Python 3.4 Released

spitzak Re:Interoperating with invalid data (196 comments)

Oh no! What if your split() worked in Unicode code points, and split a combining pair? What would you do, surely your computer will instantly self-destruct in a devastating explosion! What if your split() split an english word in two? What if your split() cut a UTF-16 surrogate pair in half (which EVERY single alternative to UTF-8 does!!!!!!) Yike! Disaster! Um, well, maybe not...

Stop making up non-existent problems.

1. Splitting is done after pattern searching. It is TRIVIAL to make your pattern search (which is likely doing something like "find the next space") only find full UTF-8 code units. In fact it will help get you to write stuff that matches more complex structures such as combining pairs.

2. If you are splitting at totally arbitrary points, it is because you are copying the data to a fixed-sized buffer. Virtually every use of this later pastes the contents of the buffers together (think of buffered file I/O) and thus it is harmless.

3. This splitting is 100% detectable because *both* ends will be invalid UTF-8.

4. For some reason nobody seems to worry about this for UTF-16. Hmmmm, I wonder why?

about three weeks ago
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Python 3.4 Released

spitzak Re:Interoperating with invalid data (196 comments)

Maybe you should design your own platform where strings will be represented internally as UTF-8. It would be an interesting exercise.

FLTK and Nuke, and the project I am doing at R&H all use UTF-8 with tolerance for encoding errors for all internal storage. It is really easy, far easier than dealing with two types of text.

About 90% of the work is to get around default converters in Python and Qt that screw up the UTF-8.

about three weeks ago
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How Satellite Company Inmarsat Tracked Down MH370

spitzak Re:Flight recorder (491 comments)

The real bummer would have been if the plane had hit your base's self-destruct mechanism.

about a month ago
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Python 3.4 Released

spitzak Re:Interoperating with invalid data (196 comments)

Stupid software that thinks it has to convert to UTF-16 is about 95% of the problem.

UTF-16 cannot losslessly store invalid UTF-8. It also cannot losslessly store an odd subset of arrangements of Unicode code points (it can't store a low surrogate followed by a high surrogate, because this pattern is reserved to mean a non-BMP code point). It also forces a weird cutoff at 0x10FFFF which a lot of programmers get wrong (either using 0x1FFFF or 0x1FFFFF). UTF-16 is also variable sized and has invalid sequences, thus it has NO advantages over UTF-8, so the entire scheme is a waste of time.

Unfortunately a bunch of people are so enamored with all the work they did to convert everything to 16-bit that they are refusing to admit they made a mistake. One way is to declare invalid UTF-8 as throwing errors and thus make it virtually impossible to manipulate text in UTF-8 form. Note that they don't throw exceptions on invalid UTF-16, care to explain that??? HMM????

UTF-8 can store all possible UTF-16 strings losslessly (including lone surrogates which are considered "invalid" in UTF-16), as well as storing invalid UTF-8. It can encode a continuous range of code points from 0-0x10FFFF, or 0x1FFFFF with a trivial change (it can do up to 0x7FFFFFFF if you use the original UTF-8 design).

PEP 393 does NOT solve the problem. The "ascii" is limited to only 7-bit characters and thus cannot store UTF-8 (valid or not).

There is a "utf-8" entry in the PEP 393 strings but it appears current design requires it to be translated to UTF-16 and back to UTF-8 to store there, thus disallowing invalid strings. My proposal is that converting bytes to a string copies the data unchanged to this UTF-8 storage, and checking for encoding errors be deferred until there actually is a reason to look at Unicode code points, which is VERY VERY RARE, despite the impression of amateur programmers. I also propose some small changes to how the parser interprets "\xNN" and "\uNNNN" in string constants so that it is possible to swap between bytes and "unicode" strings without having to change the contents of the constant.

about a month ago

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