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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

aaaaaaargh! Noooooooo! How dare he! (1444 comments)

He's sooooo wrong. Every fucking moron on earth should have the right to own a gun! A rail-gun ... and mini-nukes that come with a free backpack!


Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

aaaaaaargh! Re:Not true at all (444 comments)

I do somewhat disagree with the "insightful" moderation of your post, but also don't care, because I'm not coming to /. very often. Anyway, I feel the need to make a few corrections, since most of what you write about Ada is misleading:

1. It's written "Ada" not "ADA" (The language is named after the first name of Ada Lovelace)

2. Nobody has ever claimed that Ada is a "magic bullet", especially not people who program in Ada. ;-) Ada has its quirks and many annoying features and if you head to comp.lang.ada and ask the (few) people there whether you should use it for project X, they will give you some fairly honest and reasonable assessment - I've seen the answer "not really" come up whenever that makes sense. (Ada seems to be overkill for traditional end-user GUI applications, for example

3. There is no reason to believe that programming a library in Ada would make it obsolete, as long as a proper interface to C is provided - which is very easy. I readily admit that there are problems with the licensing of the GNAT runtime system, though, as it is GPL or MGPL only.

4. Ada source code is always more readable than C source code, provided that you know both languages equally well, of course.

5. Ada can, of course, create libraries with parameter passing conventions compatible with C and callable from C. (To get all benefits of Ada you need a small runtime system, though.)

6. Programming in Ada does not take more time than programming in C. (Actual measurements have indicated the opposite, but let's not get into such details which are always contestable. Let's just say that both Ada and C are both at the slow side of the range.)

7. Ada and Spark were merely meant as examples, but ones I know well enough to be sure about the example.

8. I'm not claiming that C cannot be used safely, but only after an extensive and expensive validation phase (using automatized tools and code review), and for that reason alone it should never be the #1 choice for safety and security critical applications.

I agree with you that many people who talk about a "safe" language have "managed" languages with automated garbage collection in mind, but that many of these languages are not safe at all, nor is dynamic memory allocation a desirable feature in that context. But 30 years experience or not, your claim that security does not hinge on the choice of language is just not true. The language and its implementation (+compiler test suites and validation) are an important part of the overall security and safety. So are management, validation and testing tools, the skills of the programmers, etc., of course.

about a week ago

Mathematical Proof That the Cosmos Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing

aaaaaaargh! Re:If you make this a proof of God... (592 comments)

No human could write out a literal blow-by-blow history of the Universe and no human could ever read such an accounting.

Why not? At least you should try to give some reasons!

He would obviously need to give an allegorical account of what happened in the past and not a literal one.

Obviously? Again, care to give any reasons? Why allegorical? It's not at all obvious, especially since shortened != allegorical, concise != allegorical, abstract != allegorical, and so forth. Why should a god dictate us the history of the universe and additionally shroud it in mystery up to about the highest level possible? It makes no sense!

We're in the 21 Century and you are still figuring out ways how to interpret phrases like "women were really created by a rib surgically removed from the first man" along the lines of "people should act this way" (what way? like spare ribs?)? No offense, but you "modern, moderate, feelgood" Christians really make me shake my head.

about a week ago

Mathematical Proof That the Cosmos Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing

aaaaaaargh! Re:If you make this a proof of God... (592 comments)

"superior level"???

Why not talk about about the great Matma, an inferior level, the mysterious Wumpus, or the Flying Spaghetti monster instead?

about a week ago

Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

aaaaaaargh! Not true at all (444 comments)

You're right that skills are very important, of course, but the language matters a lot. OpenSSL would have far less bugs if it had been written in Ada with critical sections in Spark and some formal validation, for example.

There is no perfect programming language for all purposes and languages are more or less suited for different purposes. Beware the language aficionado who has an excuse for every deficiency of his favorite language ...

about a week ago

Ask Slashdot: Which NoSQL Database For New Project?

aaaaaaargh! NoSQL? (272 comments)

I would like to start with a NoSQL solution for scaling

And there it is, the proverbial premature optimization ...

about a week ago

"Nearly Unbreakable" Encryption Scheme Inspired By Human Biology

aaaaaaargh! Re:Crypto hype (179 comments)

Wait a minute! Didn't they say 'nearly unbreakable'?

That implies it's breakable. :-)

about two weeks ago

FTC Settles With Sites Over SSL Lies

aaaaaaargh! Re:Tip from a programmer (78 comments)

How do you know that? Clairvoyance?

For all we know by now it's possible and not implausible to assume that MITM attacks are conducted routinely by various intelligence agencies across the world. SSL is broken. You should not rely solely on CAs anymore. Use physically delivered security tokens (such as encrypted random data on a USB stick) and/or the trust model of ssh instead.

about three weeks ago

Turkish Finance Minister Defends Twitter Ban

aaaaaaargh! Re:The issue is not about compliance with the law (94 comments)


Now, what makes the US laws better than the Turkish laws ?

Answer: The fact that US law doesn't allow for censoring of the views of political opponents by the government, whereas new Turkish laws have just provided the means for that.

Moreover: Court decisions are not always taken in a democratic way, you are mixing up jurisdiction with legislation. And not all laws that get passed by the legislative in every country are democratic either. Laws themselves are only democratic if they are based on democratic principles. Finally, censorship is not a relative concept. There are different degrees of censorship in different countries that can be measured quite easily.

about three weeks ago

Google Tries To Defuse Glass "Myths"

aaaaaaargh! Re:No, really.... (363 comments)

People do not want to get filmed by strangers without their consent, be it with a phone, camera, or Google glasses. What's so hard to understand about this? Did you grow up in a household with a public toilet cam or what?

about three weeks ago

Google Tries To Defuse Glass "Myths"

aaaaaaargh! Re:A lense cover (363 comments)

I don't know which anti-social world you live in, but I have never met anyone who did not have a problem with a phone pointed at him by a stranger without asking - or a camera, for what its worth.

about three weeks ago

They're Reading Your Mail: Microsoft's ToS, Windows 8 Leak, and Snooping

aaaaaaargh! Re:Don't store unencrypted email online (206 comments)

I see a few problems with your advice:

1.) Storing encrypted mail on the server only really works in practice if the sender encrypts the mail he sends to you, but sometimes people send unencrypted mail to you.

2.) Encryption and data integrity are in natural conflict with each other and most encryption programs do not introduce enough redundancy to improve the latter. Twiddle a bit and your data is gone.

3.) Technical solutions to social, moral, and legal problems? If the cloud provider was legally allowed to snoop on you as they like (as Microsoft seems to claim), they can always find a way to do that. Example: Many backup providers auto-update a backup program on the user machine that has root privileges. Other example: Microsoft has total control over everything running on any Windows machine. Ever.

I'm not saying people shouldn't use encryption but that's not the solution to the real problem in this case.

about a month ago

How Did Bill Nye Become the Science Guy?

aaaaaaargh! Who the fuck is Bill Nye??? (220 comments)

Really, news for nerds? I've never heard that name before in my life. And what is a "science guy" anyway? Sounds pretty stupid to me.

Anyway, got to go to work now - science calls.

about a month ago

Hungarian Law Says Photogs Must Ask Permission To Take Pictures

aaaaaaargh! Re:Out of step with reality (149 comments)

Well I guess I won't be visiting Hungary. I'd hate to go to jail for taking a picture of a landmark with a whole lot of people in the frame.

You could also just not take any pictures while you're visiting, but of course I understand that to you and many other people this seems like a totally crazy if not impossible idea.

about a month ago

Engine Data Reveals That Flight 370 Flew On For Hours After It "Disappeared"

aaaaaaargh! Critical Thinking = Bullshit (382 comments)

"You see, in America, critical thinking is prized right up to the point where an important person(tm) speaks. All subsequent critical thinking is conspiracy nut batshit tinfoil hat wearing wacko pluck-your-banjo-with-your-single-tooth teabagger loony."

What is called "Critical Thinking" is responsible for a steep decline of academic proficiency. Right next to my work place is a room full of people who work on critical thinking theories every day, yet they have a hard time formulating sound arguments, lack any math or formal reasoning skills whatsoever, and pull the content of their qualitative 'research' essays out of their asses.

I'm not saying critical thinking is undesirable in general, but what runs under this label nowadays clearly is. For real critical thinking you need to first learn how to think, learn the state of the art and acquire hard skills, and then you might be able to criticize. Not vice versa.

That's also the problem of the conspiracy nuts. They confuse making up a coherent story with science. And even worse, they usually get the 'coherence' part wrong, too.

about a month ago

Ukraine May Have To Rearm With Nuclear Weapons Says Ukrainian MP

aaaaaaargh! Bullshit (498 comments)

None of what you say is news to me and I'm also not basing any of my assessments on any US media, because they total shit. (Well, I do sometimes take a glimpse at the NY times web pages which are not too bad.) I'm also not from the US.

It is an undeniable fact that Putin is about to annex Crimea in violation all treaties with Ukraine and international public law. It is also a fact that Russia has no track record of protecting minorities in their own country, in fact they suppress them brutally and Moscow's streets are roaming with all kinds of thugs and Neo-Nazis. Putins alleged "reasons" for protecting the Russian speaking population of Ukraine are ridiculous and entirely made up. Moreover, it is a fact that Crimea was occupied by foreign enemy forces and you must be a complete moron if you think that about 16000 to 30000 "pro-Russian self-defense forces" suddenly emerged from the Crimean population, incuding Russian military trucks, Russian combat fatigues, Russian arms and specialized Spetznaz equipment.

The way you depict the political situation is also not quite right. You've fallen prey to propaganda in Russian media, which works even if you think it doesn't (like advertisement). Everybody knows that about 60% of the population on Crimea speaks Russian, but doesn't mean that they want to join Russia. In any case a referendum is staged and meaningless, even the decisions of the Crimean parliament are not worth the paper they are printed on as long as it is occupied and controlled by Russian troops. It's not as if Russia had free elections, it is essentially a dictatorship run by cleptocrats and former KGB officers.

You also seriously underestimate Putins efforts if you think all those "pro Russia" cheers are honest expression of feelings. He can literally spend billions of dollars on the Crim to assure the right outcome and will still make a bargain. Perhaps there is a slight real majority for becoming a part of Russia there. We will never know because the whole situation and the referendum has has "FSB" written all over in huge letters. Until now the situation was halfway decent but it's getting uglier each day. The Ukrainean minority on the Crimean peninsula is already starting to suffer and it's also not so easy to flee.

You are right if you think that Putin has no partical interest in the Crimea per se, though. All he wants is to keep the Black Sea Fleet were it is, access to the ports and consequently keep Ukraine out of Nato, and he will do anything to ensure that, even if it means that he has to invade Ukraine as a whole and install another puppet regime there. The people in Kiev know that, of course, and that they would loose any direct confrontation, hence the restrained reaction. That being said, he is right in one thing: The Svoboda party is a bunch of Nazi thugs. But as mentioned before, it's not as if there weren't any Nazis in the Duma ...

about a month ago

Ukraine May Have To Rearm With Nuclear Weapons Says Ukrainian MP

aaaaaaargh! Re:How are nuclear weapons going to help though? (498 comments)

Contrary to what your propaganda sources claim there is not the slightest doubt that Putin has violated public international law and basically all existing treaties between Russia and the Ukraine. It also doesn't take much intelligence to see who's the bad guy here, namely the one who sends masked soldiers as thugs into a peaceful neighboring country claiming they are there for "protection", besieging army bases and threatening & beating up inhabitants who do not speak Russian. The act is particularly evil, because the Russian and the Ukrainian speaking people in the Ukraine never had any problems getting along with each other, and now Putin's thugs are creating unrest in order to destabilize the new government in Kiev.

It's a fucking disgrace and you know it.

about a month ago



Synchronize data between Linux, OS X, and Windows?

aaaaaaargh! aaaaaaargh! writes  |  more than 4 years ago

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) writes "I'm using a laptop with Ubuntu 8.04 for work, a netbook with Ubuntu 9.10 when I'm outside, Mac OS X 10.5 for hobby projects, and Windows XP for gaming. For backups I'm currently using Jungledisk and Apple Timemachine and I use a local svn repository for my work data. Now I need to frequently exchange and synchronize OpenOffice and Latex files and source code in various cross-platform programming languages between one machine and another.

  Options range from putting everything online (but Jungledisk disks seem to be too slow for anything else than backup), storing my data on external medias like USB sticks or SD cards, or working with copies by synchronizing folders over the network. I don't want to give my data away to some server outside without strong encryption (controlled by me, including the source code) and external media like USB sticks are a bit too fragile according to my taste. The solution should be reliable, relatively failsafe, as simple as possible, and allow me to continue to use Jungledisk for backup.

So what would you recommend?"

How to build a cheap flashdrive subnotebook?

aaaaaaargh! aaaaaaargh! writes  |  more than 6 years ago

aaaaaaargh! writes "Now that the EEE PC was raised in price before it even has become available, I was wondering whether I should try to build my own subnotebook out of Ebay'ed stuff and cheap electronic store components. But I'm not sure whether it would be worth it. So does anyone here have an idea? Here are some specs that seem to be desirable:

- display size maximum 12'', preferably 10'', resolution at least 800x600, perhaps higher
- must run Linux or Unix
- flash drive instead of harddisk (at least 8GB)
- longest possible battery life
- 512 MB RAM and expandable
- no special graphics capabilities, but should be able to run Doom
- must be really, really cheap

  What would you recommend? Is building such a thing yourself worth the trouble?"


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