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Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )


[...]

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You could divert the entire resources of the free world to medical research
and still not produce Jonas Salks on demand. Past a certain point, it's not
about money. Past a point, additional money is wasted. If someone could show
that one dollar diverted from something else to cancer research would speed
a cure, I might agree.

Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )
On Sun, 08 Feb 2004 17:41:08 GMT, "Dilton McGowan II"

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The proof that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is
that it wants nothing to do with us.

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss space research.  If every medical
procedure which came directly or indirectly from warfare, and every
device or object which began as technology tranfer from the military,
or came out of military or space research were suddenly taken away,
you'd find yourself circa 1800 with a life expectancy of 50.

George

==============================================
Send real email to GNEUNER2 at COMCAST dot NET

Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )

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I would'nt neither, but

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if all these trillions of Dollar all over the world would have been
spent for medical research and renewable energy, the world would look
much better (and maybe ET would give us a call :-)

---
42Bastian
Do not email to snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com, it's a spam-only account :-)
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Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )
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That is a silly argument.  Instead of paying a large fortune to sent
rockets and people into space, we could have spent *all* that money on
pure research and come up with a *lot more* inventions and discoveries.  

Same with maintaining a large army.  I am not saying we don't need one,
but if we could do without it we could spend the same money on research
and have many times that left over.  


--

Rick "rickman" Collins

snipped-for-privacy@XYarius.com
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Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )
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Do you really think so?  My take is that pure research yields
incomprehensible papers and absurd projects constructed to increase
the job security and empire size of the researcher.  Not that
*that* hasn't happened at NASA. nudge nudge, wink wink.  To
get useful *stuff* you have to have a profit motive in this
day and time.

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Non-sequitur.  If we didn't build roads, we could spend the
money on research.

Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )

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Researchers build the big groups and delve into strange areas as a way of
making themselves seem attractive to those few agencies that can afford to
sponsor research.  Researchers that succeed in attracting the funding can
get some modicum of job stability as long as they are willing to stay on the
research money treadmill.

It would be a good experiment to put some number of researchers on 5 or 10
year stipends and see what they come up with without the money folks
hounding them for progress all the time.

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Maybe we could get those overdue flying cars into the marketplace.  :)

Kelly



Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )

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Researchers often have a poor track record of "productizing" their
results.  Ie, the funding comes from coming up with new ideas, not
with taking existing ideas and making them workable and practical.

On the opposing side though, funding that is intended to get actual
results tends to stifle the creative aspect of research (ie, corporate
funding that comes with unwritten strings attached).  So there really
needs to be a mix of both types of funding.

--
Darin Johnson
    "Look here.  There's a crop circle in my ficus!"  -- The Tick

Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )
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I can't remember the name, but just such a foundation exists in
the US, and has an impressive record.  The people they fund are
basically free to pursue any avenue of interest.

--
Chuck F ( snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com) ( snipped-for-privacy@worldnet.att.net)
   Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.
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Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )
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The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
(The "genius grant" folks)
http://www.macfound.org

--Gene

Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )
I think this is the website

http://www.macfdn.org/programs/fel/fel_overview.htm


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Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )

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Isn't this rather like what the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton
does?

Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )
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No, you just don't get the point.  Saying that the side benifits of
research are a justification for having an army is a specious argument.
The benifit could be gained by directly funding the research and saving
all the money otherwise spent on the rest of the army (or NASA or any
other budget item).  It has nothing to do with the item being funded,
roads, guns or butter!

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

snipped-for-privacy@XYarius.com
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Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )
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I couldn't agree more.

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Since when does any government "save all the money otherwise spent"
You almost gave me a coffee spew.  The system is the way it is
because it rewards the entrenched power structure.  Not because
the government started out to *want* the army or even NASA to be a
commercial or pure innovators.  The army is supposed to deter and
win wars.  NASA is supposed to explore space.  I think we can
all agree that anything else is just fluff to justify more
money from the public trough.

See my above comment about getting anything useful out of
pure research.







Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )

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Plato said "necessity is the mother of invention", and to a large
extent I believe that.  People just don't look for things unless they
are needed.  The engineering mantras "better is the enemy of good
enough" and "if it works, leave it alone" are symptomatic of this
approach to life.

It is probable that many of the inventions produced by war, military
and space research would have been made anyway, but arguing that in
hindsight is just wishful thinking.  Without the competitive pressure
of these environments, the observations which led to the discoveries
may not have been made, or critical results may have been overlooked
or not followed up on because there was no pressure to do so.

The competition that exists today between universities and private
research today over prestige, funding and eventual profit  is
difficult to compare to the threats of war.  A lot of research in the
early space race was conducted in a war frame of mind - any gain in
technology or practical experience by either side threatened the
security of the other.  

The only thing we have today that is remotely similar might be vaccine
research to combat bioterrorism.  This research might make some
wonderful discovery about viruses that eventually cures the common
cold.  But keep in mind that the common cold is a minor annoyance at
best and few researchers will ever study it directly.  Any progress in
fighting it inevitably will come out of other avenues of reseach.

George
==============================================
Send real email to GNEUNER2 at COMCAST dot NET

Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )
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I think this conversation has gotten a bit absurd.  Are you saying that
the possibility that we might find a cure for the cold is a
justification to fund anti-terrorism research?  That would be the
parallel to the research justification for funding NASA if I understand
you correctly.  

If you want to find a cure for the cold, then fund research to find a
cure for the cold!  If you want to send men to Mars, then fund NASA.
But don't try to justify funding NASA because it might produce side
benifits.  Is that so hard to understand?  

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

snipped-for-privacy@XYarius.com
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Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )
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There has already been a decades long project to improve the reliability
of C, participated in by thousands of programmers on real projects.

Its called C++. If you read Stroustrup, he states one of his goals to
be to provide new, better mechanisims to address the security problems
with C, so that programmers will slowly evolve towards the new constructs.

The result of the experiment so far is clear. If you add something to
C, programmers will use it. In addition to using everything else in C,
safe and unsafe.

Some committee can decide gravity does not exist, but that does not make
it so. as long as:

void x(void)

{

    int a;
    int *b;

    b = &a;
    b *= 10;

Works, then there are problems with the language. And the problem is
fundamental to the language. Even if you simulate C, there is no
way to find out what a programmer really wanted to do with that
pointer.



Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )

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Excrement of a male bovine.  It's called lint.  All C++ does is give
you more rope with which to shoot yourself in the foot.

I don't know why more C programmers don't lint their code.  I suspect
it's because they resent being told (by anybody or anything) that
their code sucks.

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I think it was John Levine who said something to effect of "It's
clearly possible to write good programs in C++.  It's just that no one
does."

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You might get that to work in C++ if you tried hard enough, but every
C compiler I've ever used would puke on that.  You need a better
example.  How about "b += 10;"?  That at least would compile, though
it surely wouldn't "work."

Regards,

                               -=Dave
--
Change is inevitable, progress is not.

Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )
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I sent this to Scott Adams, but I have a feeling he already published
it in one of the DNRC newsletters :)

Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )

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ISTR someone saying something along the lines of:

C gives you enough rope to hang yourself.
C++ gives you enough rope to rig a brigantine and still
have enough left over to hang yourself.

Re: Spirit rover OS problems ( a reliable language )
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Superb! Thanks. Those are keepers ;).

Steve
http://www.fivetrees.com
http://www.sfdesign.co.uk



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