* Posts by boltar

1400 posts • joined 15 Oct 2008

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Wi-Fi was MEANT to be this way: Antennas and standards, 802.11 style

boltar
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Re: I am a ham radioist

@Simon hobson

"You attitude is like someone who wants to hear their radio at the end of the garden"

Err no, that would be the hams running a couple of KW through antennas the size of their back gardens. I'm someone who's simply using a legal low power networking technology.

"he reason I say that is because in almost all cases, it is the equipment at fault for having cheap and nasty tuners that are swamped by radio signals that any competent design would cope with"

Oh riiiiight, so its not the fault of the hams causing interference, its the fault of the people who bought cheap equipment that wasn't cantankerous-old-man-with-a-transceiver proof! Got it! These plebs should all be rich electronics experts who can shell out for Meridian kit or sort out their own RF front ends! But of course!

Can you actually hear yourself? Do you know how stupid, arrogant and out of touch you sound?

"And BTW - it's not just hams that are bothered by these blatantly illegal devices. "

Err no, they're not illegal however much you'd like otherwise, they all have CE certification and are legal for sale and use in the UK.

"The BBC are bothered as they interfere with broadcast radio - but that's OK, why should you bother if people round about can't get radio 4."

Oh give it a rest with the hysterics. I've got an FM radio 6 foot from mine and never had a problem.

To sum up - wall warts arn't going away. Ham radio is a hobby, your mates radios are just big expensive toys. Sorry if modern life is causing a *tiny* amount of interference but unfortunately toys have to take a back seat to more adult requirements in life.

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boltar
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Re: I am a ham radioist

To all the ham acts who modded me down - just bear in mind that plenty of ham enthusiasts in the past didn't give a rats backside about the interference they caused to old analogue TVs, radios and VCRs when running high power. They were working within the law so tough luck, put up with it etc etc was their usual response.

Well what goes around comes around and if they now have to put up with a few milliwatts of leakage from next doors wiring when using AM on shortwave then too damned bad.

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boltar
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Re: I am a ham radioist

"Just run an ethernet cable ffs!"

Because we don't want ethernet cables trailing all over the house. We use home plug because the wifi in our area is slow due to so many people using it plus hackers are less likely to attempt to hack the signals coming off from ethernet along mains cables.

Anyway, no offence but your hobby is a bit niche and you do have quite a number of bands to choose from which won't be affected, so sorry if the 21st century is impinging on it but thats just kind of tough luck really. We all have to make sacrifices for progress at some point. I'd love to see a blue sky and silence once in a while rather than the contrail polluted mess and jet engine noise over where I live but its not going to happen anytime soon.

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Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence

boltar
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Re: God give me strength

Idiotic though these people may be, lets remember than most religious muslims and jews (don't know about hindus, sikhs or other non abrahamic religions) also have a similar scripture driven view about the origins of the earth. Its not restricted to fundamentalist christians. Most of the middle east would probably agree with them and I doubt darwins theory is even taught in many schools there. Thankfully these people are a small minority in the west but its not like that everywhere in the world.

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Boffins silently track train commuters without tripping Android checks

boltar
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Re: Yes you could...

"Care to show us in what sense their experiments with the Nanjing Metro are "extremely selective"?"

Its ONE metro. Plus its automaticaly driven - ie the train accel/decel rates and phases will be extremely consistent.

"Their classifier is 89% accurate for routes that include four stations, and 92% for routes that include six stations. "

Actually if you'd bothered to read the paper it says:

"The results show that the inferring accuracy could reach 89% and 92%"

"could" is a whole different kettle of fish to "does".

All they're doing is pattern matching on low frequencies vs time which an in an ideal world that might work. In the real world it sure as hell won't and is also easily gamed.

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boltar
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Re: Yes you could...

I'm not even sure they can. Even assuming they can extract purely the train movements from the phone moving while being held by someone who's standing and swaying about and tapping away merrily, each train if driven by a human will be driven slightly differently and what happens if it stops at a red light in a tunnel? How do they account for that in their line signatures? Also smartphone accelerometers arn't exactly the last word in accuracy either.

Sounds like a puff piece to me based on some extremely selective data.

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Driverless cars deal DEATH to Detroit, says Barclays

boltar
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"When are we going to see driverless buses and trains I wonder."

The DLR in london is driverless and so are a number of tube lines (though the "driver" still sits at the front to monitor the systems and open the doors). Plenty of metros in europe are also driverless and the french VAL system as used in Lille and elsewhere has been driveless with no staff onboard the trains since the early 80s. I believe one of more of the Paris metro lines is also driveless.

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Apple threw its TV out the window after years of research: report

boltar
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"That's because TVs with rounded corners are so 1980s"

I wish some aspects of 1980s TVs would come back - like switching a TV on and there is instant sound followed a few seconds later by a picture after the CRT has warmed up. Instead of like now, having to wait for the damn thing to boot its pointlessly bloated OS which then gazes at its electronic naval for 10 seconds before it'll deign to do anything useful.

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boltar
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Re: What a tool

"Either the letter is a load of bullshit to talk up the price of the shares or the tool has made public trade secrets on Apples future plans."

He's just another greedy parasite who doesn't care long term about whatever company he's invested in - he just wants a fat dividend cheque and he'll use whatever dubious but legal methods he can to ensure that.

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Apple Watch rationing caused by the MOON GOAT, not quality

boltar
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No ones forcing Apple to build in china

God forbid they should consider building their kit in the west, that might create jobs for normals! Can't have that.

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Californians get first chance to be RUN OVER by a GOOGLE ROBOT

boltar
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Re: No need to worry

To the 5 idiots who downvoted me - if you honestly think people won't overtake a car limited to 25mph then you're either a pensioner or you've never actually driven on a public road. No doubt you'll simply downvote this too since apparently you're unable to post a coherent riposte.

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boltar
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No need to worry

If they remain that fugly the only people who'll want to buy them will be pre-teen schoolgirls. And they can't.

On a more serious note, 25mph max in automatic mode or in any mode? Either way, these will

quickly become mobile road blocks and will probably end up causing more accidents than they prevent due to frustrated drivers trying to pass them.

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Hacker 3D prints device that can crack a combo lock in 30 seconds

boltar
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Re: The ability to open these is old news

Yeah, its called a "bolt cutter". 100% guaranteed every time on these sorts of locks. Why anyone would waste their time picking them beats me.

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Self-STOPPING cars are A Good Thing, say motor safety bods

boltar
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Re: I hope this is programmed right ...

I think the clue is in the word "emergency". If you're driving properly then they should never engage but if they do then you're probably in the sort of situation where stopping ASAP is the only sane action.

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That DRM support in Firefox you never asked for? It's here

boltar
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Re: out of the frying pan...

Well don't worry, the article says its only available for 32 bit Windows *Vista*. So either the editors have just touched down from 2007 and are a bit confused, or Mozilla are taking the piss and essentially giving DRM the finger.

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Chill, luvvies. The ‘unsustainable’ BBC Telly Tax stays – for now

boltar
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Re: Am I the only person...

"Someone on the breadline has cheaper alternatives than shopping at Waitrose or M&S."

"With some exceptions, everyone pays the same fee for TV license, and it is required if you want to watch live broadcast. Extras, like Sky et al are not required, so if you can't afford it you can easily go without."

Food is essential, TV isn't.

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boltar
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Re: Am I the only person...

"The situation whereby a house on the breadline pays the same, mandatory fee as a millionaire, under threat of inprisonment, seems incontrovertibly unfair."

Thats a stupid argument. You might as well say its unfair that someone on the breadline has to pay the same for their groceries as a millionaire.

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boltar
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Am I the only person...

... who doesn't really have an issue with the license fee? The BBC might be full of naive self righteous liberal lefties who rarely venture outside the M25 unless they're in an aircraft, but they do produce some damn good programmes despite that, and for that I think the 170 quid is quite good value especially compared to the mortgage you need to pay for anything decent from Sky or Virgin.

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JavaScript CPU cache snooper tells crooks EVERYTHING you do online

boltar
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Re: How does this work?

Thats not a subsystem - thats just a mapping.

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boltar
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Re: How does this work?

"IIRC each key in the keyboard driver has its own subsystem."

Huh? Why on earth would it? A "key" is just a numeric value.

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boltar
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Re: We need true process isolation

Or maybe allowing a program to download and execute relatively powerful script programs - albeit in a sandbox - was a bad idea in the first place and should be slowly backtracked on.

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boltar
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Solution

User closes browser tab.

Solved.

Sorry, while I'm sure this is of academic interest I really don't see much use in the real world unless the javascript is somehow injected into a genuine webpage or its in a spoof webpage for a bank and suchlike but if they've managed to do that then there are much simpler ways to catch keystrokes.

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Spooks: Big-screen upgrade for MI5 agents fails to be a hit job

boltar
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Why did they dump the TV cast?

Apart from Peter Firth obviously. They were a pretty good lineup and they can't all have been busy elsewhere. Seems a bit cynical to get a whole new cast in for a film - either they didn't have much confidence in the old lot or they needed it to be a bit more yank audience friendly. Hmm, wonder which is more likely.

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Crowdfunded ZX Spectrum revival just days from shipment

boltar
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Re: As a BBC owner...

"probably an artifact of your particular TV reacting to a non-standard video signal during the crash."

Quite possibly. But the TV never did it on anything else. I'm wondering if somehow the video modulator was over modulated which pushed part of the video signal into the audio band and caused it that way.

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boltar
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Re: I don't get the point of this thing

"If the keyboard is in the released product is authentic to the original, expect a lot of frustrated people. I did use the real machines back in the era, and I'm sorry to tell you, but they were really frustrating and a pain in the arse."

Well yes, but you could say the same about classic cars. Authenticity trumps usability since if you want the latter just buy a modern car/computer.

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boltar
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Re: As a BBC owner...

"My favourite was on a ZX81, writing about a 4 byte machine code program in a REM statement in the first line of the program"

There was a couple of pokes and a USR call you could do with the early ZX81s whereby it would crash but the crash would involve it playing random notes through the TV speaker and rubbish on screen. As crashes go it was pretty impressive. It also made me realise that it could actually generate sound through the TV so why didn't they implement it?

On later versions of the ROM (or actual hardware?) this didn't work however which was a shame.

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boltar
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I don't get the point of this thing

Why not just buy an old speccy off ebay or gumtree rather than this hobbled effort? Or if they really must remake a 30 year old computer then why not do it properly and include a proper keyboard so at least people could use it properly? The novelty of playing the games on this will last about 5 minutes at a push I reckon and they won't even be as good as those all in one multigame joysticks that were popular for about 10 minutes 10 years ago.

I just don't see the point - what am I missing here?

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boltar
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"10 GOTO 10: 10 GOTO 10: ...."

You're going to have to explain that one to this non BBC B owner I'm afraid.

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Apple Watch fanbois suffer PAINFUL RASH after sweaty wristjob action

boltar
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Re: Huh?

"but hold patents on using piezoelectric panels to do so."

You mean an enlarged version of those buzzers used in everything from hand held games to watches to phones etc that have been around for about 4 decades? And someone gave them a patent??

Perhaps I should invent a Really Large wheel and try and patent that!

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Major London rail station reveals system passwords during TV documentary

boltar
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Anyone else notice...

... that they're track diagram system was running in an Exceed window with OpenWin widgets? Obviously a unix/linux backend with Windows clients.

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Boeing 787 software bug can shut down planes' generators IN FLIGHT

boltar
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Re: Airbus definition of 'fail safe'....

"Now this is still a design issue but I think the second problem is harder to predict and analyse and test."

So in other words if its a problem in a Boeing its a case of "The idiots didn't test it well enough" but if its a problem in an Airbus its "Oh but its very hard to test for wierd edge cases, they do their best".

Partisan? Much?

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boltar
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Re: Airbus definition of 'fail safe'....

This wouldn't be the same Airbus whose software carried out uncommanded pitch down movements in a Quantus A330 in 2008 resulting in seious injury and an emergency landing would it?

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SHA-1 crypto hash retirement fraught with problems

boltar
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Collisions

"a situation where two different blocks of input data throw up the same output hash. This is terminal for a hashing protocol"

Err no it isn't. ALL hashing protocols that produce a shorter output than input will suffer this problem and there's nothing that can be done about it. Collisions arn't the problem - the ease of finding collision values is.

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boltar
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"In fact, secure hash functions are actually the ones from which you might* be able to recover the original information!"

If the message digest is shorter than the actual input then there is no way you can recover all the information because by design some of the information has been lost. Its not a compression system.

eg: Given a number "encrypted" using mod function N mod 10 it is simply not possible to recover the original data The best you can do is some up with a range of possibly initial values. As the input gets longer that possible range increases exponentially.

"by using rainbow tables."

Thats not recovering the information, its simply pre-computed before and after values. No encryption algorithm is safe from that unless its output changes based on an internal variable unrelated to the input (eg time).

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UK's annual PCB waste = 81 HMS Belfasts, says National Physical Lab

boltar
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Re: How do they know weight of HMS Belfast?

"Or did they weigh all the bits as they assembled it? - what about all the extra stuff that people took on board while no one was looking?

Ok - I guess they measure the displacement with a giant Eureka jar...."

Put in dry dock. FIll dock. Water to fill empty dock - water with ship in = displacement.

But yes, they probably did weigh the bits (or measure dimensions and calculate from there) as it was assembled as the weight is rather crucial for a ship, not just the actual weight but as to where the centre of gravity will be. So the parts will be checked against the design.

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Apple Watch HATES tattoos: Inky pink sinks rinky-dink sensor

boltar
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Re: Hardly a bug, is it...

"Remember your body is a temple."

And only an idiot graffitis the outside of it in non removable paint. Tattoos are just a naff fashion statement for trend sheep and the people who get major body tats (I'm not talking about a small concealed one) are going to be the same idiots who in 20 years time when they've matured and realise what a dick they look, will be complaining that the NHS won't pay for their laser removal. Well tough sh1t.

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Why recruiters are looking beyond IT's traditional talent pool

boltar
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Re: @ boltar

"Long story short after three weeks he finally admits that the reason it isn't finished is because he did not know SQL. The guy had a degree in Information and database management!"

Perhaps you should have asked if he knew SQL in the interview and given him a test. You only have yourself to blame.

"So, yes, I will take the Builder, or the electrician or guy/girl off the street rather than the likes of him, or YOU for that fact, because Id rather a honest hard worker than a pretentious twat like yourself. ."

Thats fine, because I wouldn't work for someone as amateur hour as yourself who doesn't even find out whether the person he's employing has the relevant skills first.

No surprise that you didn't spot the irony in your comment - you want an honest hard worker (which this guy apparently was since he tried for 3 weeks to do the task) - yet you apparently sniff disdainfully at appropriate IT skills which if this guy had had he would have completed the task in no time.

I would imagine your projects are complete and utter chaos.

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boltar
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"The usual attitude of the developers when questioned about their cock up is that they thought it was 'near enough'. "

Perhaps you should hire proper developers instead of some BOGOF team you found in Bangalore. I know a developer who worked in industrial control and before that the nuclear industry and he was often at his desk until after midnight testing when a release was coming up.

Anyway, if development is apparently so simple why not show them how it should be code and write the code yourself? I mean how hard can be, right?

"A Business Analyst might be necessary in developing financial services software but is useless for industrial control software."

So industrial control isn't a business then?

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boltar
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"Let me award Boltar the "Breathtakingly Patronising, Arrogant Tw@t of the Week""

Awww, poor baby, never mind, I'm sure someone will be along to pick up your toys scattered around the pram.

Guess what - I'm sick of people treating IT and coding like its some kind of idiot fest that requires no proper training just because when they were 12 they managed to write a 1 line program to print "HELLO WORLD" on their Sinclair Spectrum or knocked up a web page in 1995 for their cat and now think they could write the avionics for an Airbus in their spare time.

"Do you look down on people who clean toilets and maintain road safety fences as well?"

Well in your world someone so aquainted with bacteria when cleaning toilets should immediately be promoted to the job of senior microbiologist at the WHO, right?

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boltar
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"Learning to code isn't tough,"

Well actually to code properly in a proper language (ie not HTML) developing proper algorithms *IS* tough. Unfortunately too many people like you - aided and abetted by organisations like the BBC - are of the opinion that any idiot can code therefor "I can do it to". Well any idiot can slap some cement on a brick and build a wall but I wouldn't get them to build a suspension bridge for me.

"understanding the job you're writing software for is."

Depends on the job. Rocket guidance systems or financial trading - sure. Buildling accounts, not so much.

"prior experience in that industry who can write the software that does what the client wants is a better choice than the comp-sci code-whizz with zero experience outside programming."

If the software doesn't work or performs poorly because of the lack of experience of the developer then I doubt the customer is going to be too thrilled either. Any good developer can turn his hand to any task given a decent spec, but good luck getting Mr Builder to write a decent bit of code with no training regardless of how much he might know of the arena its meant for. Also theres a reason most serious software houses and other companies that do in house coding have Business Analyists as well as coders.

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boltar
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"I've got various skills and experiences that can make me more effective at my job than pure IT training due to the people we work with."

Thats nice. Except I'm not sure how being able to grout a wall is going to help you analyse why a particular network card in a blade rack is suddenly dropping every 3rd packet from address 1.2.3.4 at 2am or decide whether an in-memory B+ tree or a hash map would be a better choice for a warehouse data retrieval system.

Or by IT did you mean "I can find the control panel in Windows"?

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boltar
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Re: Two Cheers

"I agree the need for story telling, or putting a narrative on what a solution or technology can do is important."

Great , except REAL data science involves hard statistical maths - something this fluffy puff piece conveniently ignores. Being able to waffle might work front of house in marketing but its no fecking use when you're trying to analyse a couple of terabytes of data for anomalies.

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C++ Daddy Bjarne Stroustrup outlines directions for v17

boltar
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Re: C++ haters: What about performance?

"Assembler? What, your joking right?, lots of development time, no portability, hard to maintain."

Compilers can't do everything. Some specific operations have to be done in assembler even if that assembler is wrapped up in a C function. Eg: interrupt calling, processor ring level switching

Buy yourself a ticket on the clue train sometime.

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boltar
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Re: Will anyone really understand the language?

"You get landed with maintaining that code, you need to learn the peculiarities of this one guy's hybrid linked-list/b-tree data structures and his unique take on string storage."

And in C++ instead of yet-another-b-tree-implementation you get landed with another guys idea of what a templated abstracted inheritence tree should be. Normally involving endless factory methods and 10 levels of inheritence. In C it simply would be too much work to implement anything close to that so people are forced to simplify their mental designs.

Thats not an argument for C over C++, I'd be the first to admit that some standard things in C are just too painful - but C++ offering more standard functionality simply means it'll be abused in a higher level way than C.

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boltar
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Re: Will anyone really understand the language?

"C++ gives you powerful tools and doesn't actively get in your way and stop you trying to do something. "

True, But there comes a point when its time to say "Enough - any further changes should be put in libraries". There's been enough fucking around with the language - personally I've only just grokked C++ 2011 , never mind 14 and it seems to be a law of diminishing returns wrt functionality.

"So what?" you might say, "just use the bits you need/know." Thats fine, except its getting to the point where everyone knows a different subsection of C++ and just uses that subsection for everything, which means when someone elses come to debug/update/maintain that code the odds are getting shorter that the maintenance coder won't understand a lot of it and it becomes a maintenance nightmare with knock on repercussions for the project.

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boltar
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Re: Direction number one

"a lot of the modern stuff like functional programming constructs heavily depend on late evaluation and runtime type checking"

Well for a start functional isn't that modern , its been around for decades and if it was really that good and really brought anything useful to the table beyond a few non essential fancy features it would have caught on years ago like OO did.

Secondly, late evaluation and run time type checking requires lower level code to do this - its not done by the OS. What do you think this runtime/interpreter code is usually written in? Languages like C and C++ exist so high level fluffy coders like yourself don't have to do the hard stuff and can have the ironic luxury of whining that the hard stuff no longer needs to be done.

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Welcome, stranger: Inside Microsoft's command line shell

boltar
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"piping commands was available in MSDOS and had been since 3.x"

Except you could only pipe into certain commands and IIRC you could only pipe once - you couldn't daisy chain them. MS never really "got" the purpose of stdin, stdout & stderr. They still don't as far as I can see.

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boltar
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Piping and conditional logic

Thats where command lines excel. GUIs are great for single tasks that can be visualised - eg drag and drop or button clicking - but for disperate non visual or abstract tasks that need to be linked together and require some glue logic and maybe looping , well , some GUIs have been designed that can do that (Scratch programming language for example) but its easier just to use an old fashioned command line whether its powershell on windows or bash on linux.

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NINETY PER CENT of Java black hats migrate to footling Flash

boltar
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Re: Well that took a long time...

"It should be a lesson for eveyone else doing software driven Internet connected devices. I mean the IoT crowd. "

I think the sort of people who get excited about the IoTs are either fairly young or just salesmen pretending to be ethusiastic so that they can flog their companies tat. I don't think many adults over the age of about 30 probably get all that turned on by the idea of an internet connected fridges or curtains or ovens that can do ... well who knows really what the point is... so I think a lot of these companies might find their market is somewhat smaller than they invisaged and IMO it'll all go the way of 3D TVs.

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