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Comment Second? (Score 3, Informative) 244

On Wednesday, the European Space Agency sought to become the second entity to successfully land a spacecraft on Mars with its Schiaparelli lander.

USA/NASA has had many successful landers and the Soviets had a lander survive for 14.5 seconds after touch down. That's not great, but considering the ESA lander lost contact after firing the retro rockets before touch down, I wouldn't celebrate just yet.

Comment Re:Hubris (Score 1) 42

Who knows that E-Bay has the most optimal solution for online auctions sites? Maybe there is something else to be learned? The only way you kick the huge guys like E-Bay off center is to innovate around them. The problem is that innovation is not always successful, often it isn't, but that's what makes this whole thing keep working.

No argument here. I'm sure some scrappy little startup with a great idea will innovate eBay into obsolescence. However, Facebook is NOT a scrappy little startup and leveraging your success in one area to try and force your way into another area is NOT innovation, it's desperation. It's the same reason why Google will never have a successful social network (unless they buy one and even then, they risk destroying it by "integrating" it into the Google "ecosystem"), and Microsoft will never have a successful search engine.

Comment Hubris (Score 4, Interesting) 42

It's the height of hubris for Facebook to assume that can rely on the network effect from their huge membership to quickly and easily reproduce what took eBay, Amazon and Craigslist decades to develop (and even they still mess it up on a fairly frequent basis). In a year this mess will join the likes of Facebook Deals, Facebook Credits & Facebook Gifts on the scrapheap of Facebook's attempts to expand beyond social networking by creating a poor implementation of someone else's idea.

Comment URL or Url? (Score 2) 299

I assume the dog's name is pronounced "Earl" and not "You-Are-El" so it probably shouldn't be all caps (unless his name is actually "Uniform Resource Locator" which actually would be clever since he locates "resources" for people in uniforms).

Comment Re:Bracket war (Score 1) 391

Technically, they are all brackets. You can subdivide them into round brackets (AKA parenthesis), curly brackets {AKA braces} and square brackets [AKA crotchets]. There are also angle brackets <used commonly in HTML>, as well as other types of brackets used less commonly such as corner brackets and double brackets (which Slashdot won't display correctly). The word 'bracket' by itself may refer to any or all of these but shouldn't be assumed to refer to a specific type.

Comment Bracket war (Score 1) 391

Obviously we must place the starting brackets in the function definition as you have done, because:

1) if the bracket starts on the following line then it might accidentally line up in the same column with the closing bracket and make the code block too easy to visually identify.


2) there is a world-wide shortage of carriage returns and they must be carefully rationed.

Comment iPhone: Proudly Designed in California (Score 3, Interesting) 410

Built in China (to avoid labor and environmental laws)

Headquartered in Ireland (to avoid tax laws)

Since more and more countries are closing those loopholes, I hear rumors they're building a giant ship to move their entire operation to the lawless libertarian paradise of international waters; manufacturing slaves on the lower decks, one percenters soaking up the sun on the upper decks.

Comment Thanks Penguin!! (Score 4, Insightful) 44

Penguin Random House created a special platform to offer subway customers free access to five full-length e-shorts, including F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic short story, The Diamond As Big As The RitzThe Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe.

Wow! Thanks so much for giving me "free" access to five whole stories including two that have been in the public domain for decades!

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