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Ask Slashdot: Making JavaScript Tolerable For a Dyed-in-the-Wool C/C++/Java Guy?

tomk Re:A language that compiles to JS (575 comments)

Unfortunately this is a great way to have to learn two languages (HaXe and Javascript) instead of one. I believe browser support for "source-level" operations (debugging, profiling, etc) for compile-to-JS languages will come some day, but that day is not today.

more than 2 years ago
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HTC Is Paying Microsoft $5 For Every Android Phone

tomk Re:I look at this as a good thing (261 comments)

And why do you place no value on these things? They all seem like pretty important things to contribute to a good user experience. Kudos to MS for inventing them.

Unless of course, MS did not invent them. But then you should be able to show prior art and get the patents invalidated.

more than 3 years ago
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Alabama Nuclear Reactor Gets 'F' Grade

tomk Safety dependent on altruism is doomed to fail (436 comments)

I think most people agree that a nuclear plant can be operated safely, with a much lower environmental impact over its lifetime than a similar output "traditional" (coal/gas) power plant.

Where I think some are naive is in estimating the potential for human nature to do the things necessary to operate a nuclear plant safely for its lifetime. The problem is that most of the things required for safety (regular maintenance, proper decommissioning, technology upgrades) are high costs whose benefits do not show up immediately (or perhaps, ever) on the balance sheet. This means that no matter how well-intentioned a nuclear plant owner is at the outset, there is a chance that they will not do these things. Once an upgrade is skipped and there is no consequence, the next upgrade is even more costly, and even more likely to be skipped.

One solution to this might be more regulation, to try to force the companies to work toward goals other than the bottom line. Unfortunately, government changes over time and sometimes is clearly in the pocket of corporations rather than the public good. Assuming that you could prevent this from happening for a century or more is not realistic.

I could fault the owners of these plants for not having a perfectly spotless record of safety improvements and maintenance, or the government for failing to hold the companies to a high enough standard. But honestly, we should know better than to put our faith in any system that is inherently unstable, requires continuous inflows of money and manpower to remain safe, has an operational lifetime that spans generations, and has a large decommissioning cost.

more than 3 years ago
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Huge Shocker — 3D TVs Not Selling

tomk Why the TV? (535 comments)

Reposting from a previous 3D TV story...

If I have to wear glasses anyway, why not put LCDs in the glasses themselves? You'd get a full edge-to-edge experience, avoiding some of the weird off-screen 3D effects. You'd always be in the "sweet spot", avoiding the off-center weird geometry effects. You could go 120Hz on both eyes and make the correct matching frames appear at exactly the same time, avoiding the headache-inducing strobe effect. You would not have ghosting or other distortion caused by trying to use the same display surface for two independent images.

I am cautiously optimistic about 3D as a whole, but I don't understand why I need to buy into the 3D TV paradigm in order to get a 3D experience. I would prefer to simply use active-screen glasses.

more than 4 years ago
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The Joke Known As 3D TV

tomk Why the TV? (594 comments)

If I have to wear glasses anyway, why not put LCDs in the glasses themselves? You'd get a full edge-to-edge experience, avoiding some of the weird off-screen 3D effects. You'd always be in the "sweet spot", avoiding the off-center weird geometry effects. You could go 120Hz on both eyes and make the correct matching frames appear at exactly the same time, avoiding the headache-inducing strobe effect. You would not have ghosting or other distortion caused by trying to use the same display surface for two independent images.

I am cautiously optimistic about 3D as a whole, but I don't understand why I need to buy into the 3D TV paradigm in order to get a 3D experience. I would prefer to simply use active-screen glasses.

more than 4 years ago
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EA Launches Ultima-Based Browser Game

tomk Re:Quick review... (106 comments)

Heaps of bugs, graphical glitches, broken quests (trading)? Sounds just like Ultima 9.

more than 4 years ago
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Sneaky Microsoft Add-On Put Firefox Users At Risk

tomk Firefox is now blocking the extension (333 comments)

Does anyone know how to re-enable it?

Unlike some here, I actually find the extension valuable and wish to have it active. I am quite annoyed that Firefox decided to block it without giving me any choice in the matter.

BTW I understand that my own frustration at having this blocked without consent is similar to the frustration of those who wish not to have the extension but had it given to them without consent. That does not excuse either party. As a user I am now bearing the brunt of this petty squabble between MS and FF.

more than 5 years ago
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First Look At Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1

tomk Nice, yes, but perf issues... (236 comments)

I tried out VS2010 and found it to have some nice improvements; though nothing earth-shattering for me personally, it has some little things that are nice-to-have, and I can see how those things would improve productivity. But I had such severe performance problems I had to give up using it.

In a solution with 12 C# projects and 3 C++ projects, compiling takes around 5 minutes (took under a minute with VS2008) and hangs the UI completely for nearly the entire time. It also seems to not honor dependencies quite right, because compiling a second time with changes in only one project without downstream dependencies still takes nearly as long.

I sincerely hope Microsoft invests some more effort in the performance side of things prior to RTM, if they do, I'll be happy to upgrade.

more than 5 years ago
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Will Consoles Merge Back Into PCs?

tomk Re:This goes back and forth (356 comments)

Your numbers are incorrect.

Xbox 360 with 120gb drive (Elite) and wireless adapter: $400
Extra controller - $40 Amazon
Charging kit - $17 Amazon
Memory card (absolutely not necessary BTW) - $43 Amazon

I refuse to include headphones as you need them whether you use a PC or a console, therefore it is not relevant to your argument.

The total is $457, or $500 if you truly must have the memory card. You'll be able to play every Xbox 360 game without worrying about whether it is compatible. The graphics will look great and have an excellent framerate, having been fine-tuned for the Xbox capabilities. You'll never have a driver incompatibility. You'll never have a virus (hopefully I'll never have to eat these words!). You'll be able to play on your TV, which in most cases is larger and easier on the eyes than your computer monitor, that was designed for high-contrast stuff like word processing. You'll be able to play in the comfort of your couch, which in most cases is more comfortable than your office chair, that is designed for upright posture and typing.

You will be hard-pressed to find a $500 PC that can play 1 year old games, let alone the newest ones. And during the 5 year lifespan of a console, you will spend many times that amount trying to keep your PC upgraded to the latest video card.

about 6 years ago

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