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I've been thinking this ever since I saw the criticism of Colbert. It did not strike me as either homophobic or misogynistic when I first read and the saw Colbert's monologue. I thought the use of "holster" was interesting as it echoes the sheath etymology of the word vagina. Also it doesn't imply action or skill. Cocksucking is a skill and am action, and the passive "holster" seems to indicate that it may be beyond Trump's competence, much like just about everything else. Posted by lee at 2:07am on 3 May 2017
I'm going to have a nightmare about that regex, I just know it. Posted by lee at 7:48pm on 23 Oct 2014
On “Polled!”:
Ah, that's possible. Posted by blahedo at 4:00pm on 18 Oct 2014
On “Polled!”:
Did you give a phone number when you registered to vote? In-district polls are much more likely to be based on voter files. (As opposed to national polls, where a call on your cell is probably due to Random Digit Dialing). Also, it's really reassuring that I'm not the only one who gets absurdly excited about getting polled. Posted by Anna Novikova at 10:53am on 18 Oct 2014
On “Cousin Michael”:
I remember Mike fondly from my days at Powerhouse Gym in Schaumburg, Illinois. I relocated to California in 2000 and years later I was searching for old friends online and came across the sad news. Mike was always fun to talk to, I admired his dedication and I really liked him. He is still missed among his many friends at that gym that have long since gone their separate ways. Posted by Rob Eckaus at 5:44pm on 25 Sep 2014
On “Der Computer Nr 3”:
Good find and thanks for translating. She's looking for a 22 year old rich guy with big feet. Hmm. Posted by Andrew E at 11:46pm on 19 Jul 2014
They are validating the username against several validation rules. One of them is 'eeUserName', which must match the following regex: ^(?=.*[0-9@_./-])(?=.*[a-zA-Z])([a-zA-Z0-9@_./-]){6,74}$ See if you can make heads or tails of it. I can't. Posted by Bob at 12:21am on 2 Nov 2013
When I said "no warnings, no errors", I meant by default. If I compile -Wall (or -Wsign-compare) then yes, it does give a warning; but it gives that warning even if you are writing the correct version of the code! If you count up from zero and make the comparison "while (pennies < names.length())" you get precisely the same warning. So this is not at all helpful from a pedagogy perspective.

The standard is written that this kind of type conversion is normally silent, and the real problem here is that it's not even clear what names.length() returns (signed/unsigned), it's slightly difficult to find that out (and nearly impossible if you don't already have some idea of the potential problem), and at the point in a CS1 course where you might be doing this, the students may not even know the difference between signed and unsigned!

C++ has its place in the world. Intro CS courses are not that place.

Posted by blahedo at 8:11pm on 20 Oct 2013
"[...] the negative number is silently converted into a very large positive number. No warnings, no errors." What are you talking about? "warning: comparison between signed and unsigned integer expressions [-Wsign-compare]". But yes, I do see your point. Posted by Johannes at 4:39pm on 17 Sep 2013
C and C++ are rather low level, so they definitely need a little bit more experience, but bad code can be written in any language. I would rather choose Python, Ruby or Lua as an introductory language. Posted by Studiosi at 2:30am on 11 Sep 2013
I agree this is painful, and like you I would not recommend C++ to students as a first programming language. However, as I work with C++ and run into things like these, I find looking at what the standard says to be somewhat helpful in cases like these. Often more so than library files. For example, for this particular issue, it looks like X::size_type itself is baked into the specification of C++, just like size_t. The fact that size_type for std::string resolves to size_t seems to be an implementation detail in itself. I could be wrong, but it looks like size_type for all types (std::string included) is defined as a part of allocator_traits, and they specify: "X::size_type: unsigned integer type a type that can represent the size of the largest object in the allocation model." Of course, having to look and half-understand the standard for someone new to C++ is unreasonable, and it is possible it doesn't match what the compiler does. But looking at standard library implementation files could be misleading as well (besides painful). Posted by Oscar at 6:29pm on 10 Sep 2013
Well, any programming language that I know of has its quirks, and it's possible to write bad code in all of them. The issue you highlight should yield a compiler warning however, so I'm not entirely sure that this qualifies as a case in point for C++ being a bad language for beginners. Posted by GrandMaster789 at 6:27pm on 10 Sep 2013
Lua is the best introductory programming language. Fact. Posted by Jon at 5:47pm on 10 Sep 2013
So Don, I agree with you completely that C++ is a rather poor intro language (it can be a bear of a development language as well unless you can justify the performance gains). If you were king, which language(s) would you choose and why? Posted by Chris Bortz at 5:46pm on 10 Sep 2013
After 22 years teaching HS...I still could never quite get everything accomplished without many extra hours beyond the "40 hour work week"... Posted by Jan at 10:56am on 17 Aug 2013
The problem I kept having is that they would trigger when I was just picking up the mouse—they were very sensitive—and close a page I was using (which was especially a problem if the page had dynamic content of some sort). Also, the default button action ("back" in the browser) wasn't all that useful to me, as my browser workflow usually involves open-in-new-tab and closing tabs rather than a lot of back-and-forth. Posted by blahedo at 12:57pm on 12 Aug 2013
I actually like the side buttons and find them useful for browsing. To the point that I've been actively annoyed at the last few mice I've gotten (that don't have these buttons). Posted by eden at 9:51pm on 12 Jul 2013
Any comment on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposition to the Violence Against Women Act? Posted by lee at 9:27am on 11 Mar 2013
On “Attack! (Huh?)”:
It is scary and is not just Firefox. It mirrors the issues with the email blacklists I saw over 10 years ago, except it is even less clear how one runs afoul of Google. Any attempt to use my mail servers to relay spam resulted in the spam falling into the bit bucket silently. The ass who ran the biggest black list wanted the server to respond to the spammers. That takes more resources and served no reasonable purpose, yet if you didn't, you, might get blacklisted. They also did spam tests which would crash certain mail servers. They knew which ones, could detect that their test would crash the box and deliberately carried it out anyway. Posted by lee at 3:11pm on 6 Mar 2013
On “Attack! (Huh?)”:
It is scary and is not just Firefox. It mirrors the issues with the email blacklists I saw over 10 years ago, except it is even less clear how one runs afoul of Google. Any attempt to use my mail servers to relay spam resulted in the spam falling into the bit bucket silently. The ass who ran the biggest black list wanted the server to respond to the spammers. That takes more resources and served no reasonable purpose, yet if you didn't, you, might get blacklisted. They also did spam tests which would crash certain mail servers. They knew which ones, could detect that their test would crash the box and deliberately carried it out anyway. Posted by lee at 3:08pm on 6 Mar 2013
While the RCC is losing numbers and families just aren't sending their kids off to become priests like they use to, the RCC has one powerful weapon in their arsenal. Qui tacet consentire videtur - He who is silent appears to consent. Many Cradle Catholics for whatever reason wish to recieve the Rite of Marriage in a Catholic ceremony in a Catholic Church. So we go along with the circus until we get hitched and then silently hate ourselves for collaborating indirectly. Posted by Icarus at 1:26pm on 17 May 2012
It's not motivated by the calculus of membership, it's motivated by the momentum of extremism. The more the Republican party gave up on the black vote, the more voice bigotry had in the party, the more blacks fled the party, the more dominated by racial animus their agenda became. It's a positive feedback loop limited only by the need to not become so obviously extremist that they cannot win elections. But the Papal pulpit only needs to win one key election, and he already won that one. So now, because ecumenical voices and liberal voices have been made unwelcome, they withdraw, either from the church or from the fray. And that concentrates reactionaries in the decision making seats. And the natural tendency of isolated groups, and who lives a more isolated life than a bishop, really, to echo-chamber the ideas already being aired, results in the normalization of radical beliefs. Posted by Mike at 12:56pm on 17 May 2012
Has anyone even offered alternative reasons? It seems like I've just heard denials of a war on women but no explanation why it is so important to put barriers between women and whatever the church doesn't like them doing rather than talking to women like they are adults that can be reasoned with? Is this because they think they can bully women into having more children? They can't even recruit enough religious as it is. Do they think rebuking religious women like they are rebellious children will up the numbers? Posted by lee at 12:14pm on 17 May 2012
On “Digital fortress”:
Yes. Posted by blahedo at 9:08pm on 6 Feb 2012
On “Digital fortress”:
Is it bad that I actually want to read this book now, simply to see how bad it is? Posted by Ian M. at 2:09am on 6 Feb 2012
Boiling the proposed rule down to its simplest form, it would be "Don't be a dick." This seems like a clear and obvious rule, but sadly since people generally can't agree on just what constitutes being a dick in the first place, it's not a rule that can be made. Thus, yes, I agree with your position. The best a library can possibly be expected to do is put up a sign stating "This facility caters to The Public. This includes people whose views disagree with yours, your parents', and your religion's idea of What is Proper. This is a Public Facility. We are not responsible for your sense of offendedness. You are warned." Posted by Shalom Owen at 10:43am on 5 Feb 2012
These don't seem to actually be arguments against any of my points. In particular, that there are various reasons that a library patron might be looking at something that someone might consider pornographic, and that different people consider different things to be pornographic. It's awfully glib to just say the patrons ought to have internet at home, because in fact, many of them don't; they may not even have a home. Public libraries are for everyone to use; I'm absolutely unwilling to say that public libraries are for everyone to use but only to look up things that Robert Marmorstein finds acceptable for his children to see. Or, worse, the intersection of what any US adult finds acceptable for any of their children to see. Posted by blahedo at 1:04am on 5 Feb 2012
The problem is that a library is a public space. What one user does on their computer affects those around them. In particular, I don't want my kids exposed to that stuff when we visit the library together. It's true that some users only have access to the Internet through the public library -- but the best solution to that is to find ways to give them cheap or free access at home. It's also true that we don't want librarians determining what we can view or see in the privacy of our own homes, but public use of a public terminal is a different matter. Posted by Robert Marmorstein at 7:14pm on 4 Feb 2012
I'm of a real mixed mind on this ... but not for the reasons one might think. For years, my mother worked as the head bookkeeper in a library system. As such, she was exposed to the dilemma that librarians face over the issue. The problem is ... well, being caught between the anarchists and the absentee parents, who both abuse what a "library" is supposed to be. The anarchists would use the library public computers to view porn. And not artistic porn either --- the most deliberately vile, disgusting things the Internet has to offer. They weren't interested in viewing the porn themselves, but instead were watching the reactions of the innocent patrons walking by and seeing those images. They'd also print many of those images --- not because they wanted printouts, but so that the patrons printing resumes or homework assignments or whatever would have to see them as they looked for their own printouts. The absentee parents would ... well, drop off their kids at the library for hours every afternoon while they did other things. The kids, with no particular task at hand, would wander the library, and discover items clearly not intended for underage viewing. Of course, both sides would claim that they were entitled as "taxpayers" to that sort of activity. The "real" answer, of course, is for librarians to intervene --- kicking out patrons who are deliberately obscene, and refusing to admit underage patrons without supervision. But that turns librarians into security guards, which is a role they certainly don't want. I wish there was an easy answer. Unfortunately, the real answer is for everyone --- collectively --- to grow up and act maturely. Alas, 'tis often not to be. Posted by Jim Huggins at 4:45pm on 4 Feb 2012
On “Dishonest graphics”:
It reminds me of statistics done with pie slices, then of course one could compare apples and oranges if pie slices paint to grim a picture. It's how you slant it. Posted by Dan Kirwan at 7:16pm on 29 Jan 2012