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Are All Bugs Shallow? Questioning Linus's Law

Tired and Emotional Simple answer is no (596 comments)

You can "pump" the difficulty of finding a bug arbitarilly. Make a bug that only happens in an illegal state that can only be entered because of a second bug. If you like you can hide one of these bugs in the compiler. Repeat until blue in the face.

In practice, even difficult bugs are usually only second order. Plus disciplined programming using strongly typed languages helps a lot. So one could perhaps claim that "all bugs should be shallow" and that any failure to be shallow wis in fact a tools failure.

The other fly in this ointment is that a lot of bugs happen because of incomplete specifications. Before you can find the bug you have to first recognize that the spec is incomplete. For new code, there may be no person who can recognize that. Of course you can quibble the hard ones in this category away by relabelling them "feature requests" but some of them result from building in constraints that are inessential to solving the problem at hand, and those are really bugs.

more than 4 years ago

Tour de France Champion Accused of Hacking

Tired and Emotional The image this brings to mind! (259 comments)

Can't help imagining a bunch of Gendarmes rushing out of the station and hopping on their pushbikes with hopeful looks on their faces.

more than 4 years ago

Meteorite Contains Complex Organic Molecules

Tired and Emotional Either that ... (106 comments)

or it whacked a dinosaur.

more than 4 years ago

I keep track of my passwords ...

Tired and Emotional Why would I write it down? (414 comments)

I always use "Swordfish". Nobody will guess that.

more than 4 years ago

Why Everyone Has High Hopes For Apple Tablet

Tired and Emotional More like a tricorder? (596 comments)

So will it come with a warning to not wear a red shirt while using one?

more than 4 years ago

Ginkgo Doesn't Improve Memory Or Cognitive Skills

Tired and Emotional The problem was ... (403 comments)

By a freak mischance, the study was done on retired CIA workers who could neither confirm nor deny that they remembered anything.

more than 4 years ago

Each American Consumed 34 Gigabytes Per Day In '08

Tired and Emotional Re:Massive exaggeration (245 comments)

But they said information, so not much TV counts. (do they subtract for Fox news?)

more than 4 years ago

Windows 7 Under Fire For Patent Infringement

Tired and Emotional Re:Patentable? (241 comments)

Indeed - lets look at that: What is claimed is: > 1. A method in a computer system for processing a message having a sequence of packets, the method > comprising: > providing a plurality of components, each component being a software routine for converting data > with an input format into data with an output format; Every file convertor ever written does this part. Nothing new here. > for the first packet of the message, This is standard patentese - it does not mean anything > identifying a sequence of components for processing the packets of the message such that the > output format of the components of the sequence match the input format of the next component in > the sequence; and So, this is claiming the ability to recognize a sequence of components that need to run to do the conversion from the first packet. But this is just a function of the input data. It just means the data is "flat" in some sense. Absolutely nothing new here. > storing an indication of each of the identified components so that the sequence does not need to > be re-identified for subsequent packets of the message; and > for each of a plurality of packets of the message in sequence, > for each of a plurality of components in the identified sequence, > retrieving state information relating to performing the processing of the component with the > > previous packet of the message; So this looks like a claim on software pipelining. You do a bit of processing, save some state, and send the data on its way. There must be hundreds of uses of this prior to 1999. Its probably even in the textbooks in 1999. > performing the processing of the identified component with the packet and the retrieved state information; and > storing state information relating to the processing of the component with the packet for use when processing the next packet of the message Well, yeah, how else would you do it?

more than 4 years ago

Windows 7 Under Fire For Patent Infringement

Tired and Emotional Re:Go Microsoft, Believe in me who believes in you (241 comments)

Are you sure there is an invention buried in there somewhere? Can someone explain what they claim to have invented? The claims were so generic I could not find a there there.

more than 4 years ago

National Satiety Alert System should be set at ...

Tired and Emotional missing option (272 comments)

What happened to dark greeny brown with bright yellow bits?

more than 4 years ago

Man Pleads Guilty To Selling Fake Chips To US Navy

Tired and Emotional Re:Amusement du jour: (327 comments)

Its worse than that. We've been firing vacuum cleaners at enemy aircraft.

more than 4 years ago

Police Arrest Man For Refusing To Tweet

Tired and Emotional Re:My god, it's full of idiots... (550 comments)

Quite right - that would limit the current police powers much too severely.

more than 4 years ago

Bizarre Droid Auto-Focus Bug Revealed

Tired and Emotional BUG! That was supposed to be 29.5 not 24.5 (275 comments)

Half the focus group users did not want in-focus photos taken of them for a few days each month. Some idiot male programmer clearly mistyped the constant.

more than 4 years ago

Google Under Fire For Calling Their Language "Go"

Tired and Emotional Programming in Go? (512 comments)

I wonder if they managed to use just black and white stones or whether they have a (countable?) infinity of colors of stones.

Presumably its a co-ordination language and data flows between stones down and to the right. Perhaps Black and white might just represent arity and what a stone actually did might not be denoted by color. You would have monadic stones (white?) and dyadic stones (black?) and the syntax would require that monadic stones have at most one stone above or to the left since they can only accept one input at a time.

Either that or the language would be weakly typed and data arriving from above or from the left would be processed separately.

The board would have a left and a top which would accept inputs from the environment but could extend infinitely to to bottom and right.

more than 4 years ago

Apple Says Booting OS X Makes an Unauthorized Copy

Tired and Emotional Re:Litigated before (865 comments)

So you can only run it on one Apple branded computer at a time, but as many non-Apple branded computers as you wish?

Is the "must be Apple branded" alsewhere in the EULA?

more than 4 years ago

CT Scan "Reset Error" Gives 206 Patients Radiation Overdose

Tired and Emotional Re:It's About Automation (383 comments)

I don't know. I never have really understood Statistical Mechanics and I have probably not already died in a car accident.

more than 4 years ago

Why Charles Stross Hates Star Trek

Tired and Emotional The new series fixes that! (809 comments)

They have remodulated the phase colomators on the prion-antiprion exchange field surrounding the writer's conference room.

more than 4 years ago


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