* Posts by This is my handle

18 posts • joined 28 Sep 2011

Common brain parasite 'can affect host's actions'

This is my handle

Well, we've got one of each ....

... and a parakeet to boot; it keeps the kids happy.

But when I walk the dog, I pick up after her. The cat is a house cat. In fact, her lack of front claws (yes, I know, how cruel!) kind of requires that we keep her in for her own safety.

I would no more let her crap in the neighbor's garden then I'd let my dog allow one in to crap in ours. As to why anyone would keep a cat (who showed up before the other two) I can only speak for us but I'll give two reasons: 1) She needed a home (feral kitten), and 2) We have a fair number of mice in the yard. AFAIK, the difference between a field mouse and a house mouse is strictly a matter of residence. Oh and field mouse: cute; house mouse: not so cute. The mice haven't been clued in about the cat's lack of claws of course, her litter box smells the same.

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How Jobs bent reality with LSD, Apple hype

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Coffee/keyboard

Ummmm, Stravinsky (apologies to Homer Simson)

I once saw "The RIte Of Spring" exquisitely danced to the choreography of Ballanchine. Neither of them actually danced of course. It was a double-bill in fact w/ L'Apres-midi d'une faune.

Oddly, no one sued, or threatened to sue anyone near as I can tell.

"Standing on the shoulders of Giants", indeed.

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OPERA review serves up a feast for physics geeks

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Coffee/keyboard

Joke icon missing....

... despite being well-deserved!

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Sutter: C++11 kicks old-school coding into 21st century

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WTF?

Not a full-time java guy myself...

... but I have been writing code in it since JDK 1.1 or thereabouts and I think GC actually can be an issue. It's gotten much, much better over time, but if you can't afford to have an application arbitrarily running a bunch of free()'s when it's least desirable you'd better stick w/ C or C++.

OTOH, as has been said, a java programmer of skill level X can get the job done in a third the time it will take an X-level C++ programmer, which leaves lots of time for performance tuning, refactoring, porting small critical parts of your app to C++, etc.

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Dennis Ritchie: The C man who booted Unix

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Thumb Up

Yes, but ....

It's true enough that FORTRAN, COBOL, BASIC, and others pre-dated C, but C was different precisely because of the other exception (NO PUN:) taken to this very nice article: C is not quite a high-level language (HLL), but sort of straddles the ASM / HLL border. That's the good news -- and the bad. In the right hands it is a thing of beauty (which could be set of Unix as well). As a guy who taught the C class I once took (not at Uni; courtesy of an employer) : "It compiles itself." What he meant of course, is it's the sort of language you could easily write a compiler in. I wouldn't want to try that in any of the HLLs which preceded it, or those which came later. In fact, with a little help from the lex & yacc descendants, you almost wouldn't want to write a compiler in anything else.

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Stallman: Jobs exerted 'malign influence' on computing

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Joke

Point taken, but...

"But not one in 100 of you would consider buying a car you had to service or repair yourself, a car that needed virtually daily service,..."

Have you driven a Ford lately?

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This is my handle
Stop

Really?

I'll take perl documentation over power-shell's any day. MySQL's over Sybase's or Oracle's flagship db too. Do a "man ps" in Linux and comare it to "help tasklist" in the MS command shell. (Don't even get me started on the futility of clicking "Help .... (anything other than About)" in nearly all Windows products; I couldn't figure out how to get much helpful Help the few times I've used Apple products either; their approach seems to be like the pricing of their products at the Apple store: if you have to ask, you shouldn't be there.

It is really discouraging though how quickly these flame wars degenerate into ad hominem hissy fits. Jobs was an innovator, I don't see that as a debatable issue, frankly. Also a capitalist. His company has been anti-competitive at times and (as you can conclude from the above), I'm not fond of their products, personally, but that would not cause me to "speak ill of the dead" as so many seem to feel compelled to do. Stallman, OTOH, is very much alive. He's obsessive, and narrow-minded, and doesn't seem like the kind of guy you'd want to go have a pint with. Still, his contribution to Open Source Software cannot be denied.

"Can't we all just get along?"

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Windows 7 overtakes XP - finally

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Stop

But when will MS finall produce an OS as good as Windows 2000?!

That is all.

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Mobile industry fights San Fran 'carcinogen' labelling

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Californians have grown up with these and block them out

Having lived in CA for nearly a dozen years, I am reminded by this (having been away now equally as long) that almost every retail establishment in the state was required to post warnings of one sort or another (something about the toxicology of the cleaning products or something), so that there was a bit of a "boy who cried wolf" effect -- no one even notices them. The coffee shops likely already have them posted for that reason. If anything the cell-phone purveyors should fell left out....

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NASA to recruit fresh batch of astronauts

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Joke

Finally, a little down time!

I was thinking about a mid-life (well, OK, a bit past that; is there an age range for astronauts?) career change since IT guys can never seem to get any time off, and had considered "Olympic Athlete". Unfortunately, I'm more the bookish type, so not very good at any sports. (US) Presidential candidate seemed good, but I'm likely much too honest and under-funded for that.

Plus, in both fields there's that "having to compete every four years" thing.

This sort of thing seems right up my alley though....

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Computer sim explains why hippies became extinct

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I saw a beautiful film about this years ago

"Pathfinder" is a gourgeous film set in the Lapland about 1000 years ago. An idyllically peaceful tribe living on the coast runs into bad guys, who in addition to greed and hierarchy have discovered... the crossbow.

I don't know about stability, but strongly believe that scalability is an issue here. What works for a tribe might not work for societies like the UK & the US, much less India or China.

I realize the irony in saying this, since I'm referring to a film based on an ancient legend, but I'm not entirely sure how much credence I'd put in sociological simulation just yet either. GIve it another 1000 years, maybe, if we (as a species) are still around.

Anyway, the film: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093668/plotsummary

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GNOME emits 'head up the arse' desktop update

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Coat

@AC 14:35 (several): Thanks!

I thought there may have been a joke I was missing; thanks for clearing things up!

(He said, sheepishly....).

Mine's the one w/ the DVD of old SNL bits and Miss Wotyjla (Gilda Radner, RIP) saying "Never Mind".

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This is my handle
Headmaster

"All your online accounts are belong to OS"

Well, it sounds like English, but the words don't quite fit together to make like, you know, a sentence thingy.

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Boffins invent miracle pill that counteracts effects of booze

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Go

As the Ferenghi synthehol angle has already been mentioned...

.... I'd just like to affirm that as a Treker, and an Illinoisian, I'd be honored to volunteer to assist in this important research.

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Microsoft staff savage Ballmer at company confab

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Really?

One of the first programs I ever got paid to write was in Pascal (the only 3GL compiler I had for CP/M which supported a language I actually knew; yeah we're going back a ways). By the time the guy came back w/ requests for a version 2.0 I had learned C, and I distinctly remember building some libraries of Ccode and linking them into the Pascal program I had written him. 'may have been Borland though, now that I think about it, though I seem to remember evaluating the cost of the switching to MS specifically because of that capability.

I also remember (later) extending some RM Cobol code with database calls written in C, but that was Unix for sure, ergo not MS.

Memory: 2nd thing to go.

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This is my handle
Linux

MS Backward Compatiblity

I dunno, I still have some code I wrote for System III Unix that runs just fine today on the newest Linux boxes available. Of course, they must be recompiled...

The shell scripts and (later) perl scripts run w/out a recompile, as does nearly all the java code I still have.

OTOH, some of MS's own apps won't even install on modern versions of Windows (I'm thinking of my Office 97 suite, the last version which seemed worth the cost for my needs) and of course, when we got the first WIndows 7 boxes at home none of the 32 bit printer drivers for our existing printers worked any more....

I'd like to give MS credit where it's due for * attempting * backward compatibility, but I don't think it's quite the seamless continuum you describe, nor is it so exceptional.

OT3H, sure they have been innovative at times, and near as I can tell OLE is theirs. Another thing they've always done well is linking code from multiple programming languages, starting back in DOS days and continuing thru .NET.

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HP parks Airbus supers in containers

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Joke

Now, if only Airbus had a reliable way to ship them

That is all.

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Apple loses bid to trademark 'multi-touch'

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Trollface

Huh?

Whether "AppStore" is "distinctive enough" to warrant a TM is a matter for the courts (I'd vote that it may well be, frankly) but....

"Before Apple, essentially no one generally used the word application to describe programs executing on computers."

As in "AppDev", "...it depends on the apps you want to run", "Application Suite", ....????

"Applications development" (or "AppDev" in the spoken form) was on my CV when most Apple II computers still had monochrome monitors.*

Hey, maybe I should sue... :-).

P.S.: * This very fact (that I'm an IT guy) and that I'm a Yank may skew the argument a bit, but it hardly seems to me that Apple invented "App" as the short form of Application, any more than the term "window" was invented in Redmond to describe certain GUI components.

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