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Mozilla Working On a New Website Comment System

ais523 Re:Back to the future (142 comments)

You can set a karma modifier for foes and for friends; if you set your foes to have -6 karma, then they're going to be at -1 forever to your view and thus not show up. I know there's at least one Slashdot user who sets their friends to +1 karma, and their foes to +6 so as to not mod them up by mistake, which strikes me as a pretty backwards way of doing things.

about 3 months ago
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Unicode 7.0 Released, Supporting 23 New Scripts

ais523 Re:less useful how? Re:The larger, the less useful (108 comments)

One situation I was wondering about for that problem was the use of Japanese/Chinese/Korean marks/overrides, the same way that there are LTR and RTL overrides. Choice of language for a particular ideograph seems to be much the same as choice of direction for an inherently undirectional character (you're interpreting the character differently depending on context). This also has the advantage of being pretty much backwards compatible.

about 3 months ago
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Finnish Police Board Wants Justification For Wikipedia's Fundraising Campaign

ais523 It seems I have to type a title for comments on Be (252 comments)

I have mod points right now, so I just checked the interface. There's a link "Moderate" on the bottom of each post. If you click on it, it takes you to the home page, for some reason. If you have enough restraint to hover it without clicking on it, it pops up a menu of the various moderation possibilities, and you can (presumably) click on one to moderate the post.

Posts still appear to have moderation values, and there's a link you can click on to choose a threshold (and thus filter by score), but it's very very small (to the right of the "All", "Informative", etc., line, and a few pixels large).

Conclusion: All the moderation functionality does appear to still exist, but the UI is terrible.

I have also observed some missing functionality (permalink to comment, comment without specifying a title, comment as Anonymous Coward without logging out). This comment was sent from Beta for research purposes, but I think I'm going to go back to Classic for actual browsing.

about 8 months ago
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Kentucky: Programming Language = Foreign Language

ais523 Re:headline fix (426 comments)

"==" is normally used for value or reference equality, and that's an "is-a" relationship. You'd want something like instanceof (that's Java, but many other languages have equivalents).

about 8 months ago
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Supreme Court To Review Software Patents

ais523 Re:Obviousness is tough (115 comments)

It may be better to realize that rewriting it in Python will prevent this whole class of problems and a bunch of others, and is the way to go.

It's well known among programmer circles that rewriting a program in a different language in order to work around bugs you don't understand just tends to make things worse. Such may be the same with patent laws.

about 10 months ago
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Elsevier Going After Authors Sharing Their Own Papers

ais523 Re:wait (259 comments)

Normally journals claim copyright on the published version of the paper, after it's been edited and typeset by the journal, and don't mind academics sharing the original "preprint" version that was edited and typeset by the original author. (They don't have any reasonable copyright claim on the preprints anyway.) Sending takedowns on preprints is unusual enough to make the news, which is why it's on Slashdot now.

The journal also doesn't pay the academics for their papers; journals work like distributors in the retail market, i.e. their purpose is to make the papers more widely available / discoverable / searchable, in addition to reviewing them to ensure appropriateness and quality (although it's arguable that this is actually a useful function of the journal, given that they don't pay the reviewers either).

Incidentally, my papers have been published in multiple conference proceedings, and I didn't sign a contract for any of them. I assume the contract exists, but the papers were all coauthored, and I think the journals only sought a contract with one of the authors. If this is indeed the case, it makes the situation even more complex.

about 10 months ago
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Dell's New Sputnik 3 Mates Touchscreen With Ubuntu

ais523 Re:Why do you find it interesting? (166 comments)

I currently develop on a laptop with a little under 3GB main memory (and around as much swap). I haven't really noticed memory pressure. (Probably because while I'm programming, I tend not to have much open other than terminals and text editors; maybe a separate window for documentation.) I have more memory pressure when I'm web-browsing (like I am now), rather than developing. (The two activities are mutually exclusive for me; I can't concentrate on programming when I have Slashdot to distract me.)

about 10 months ago
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Dell's New Sputnik 3 Mates Touchscreen With Ubuntu

ais523 Re:Why do you find it interesting? (166 comments)

I'm not convinced that it necessarily means the hardware will be particularly Linux-suited. I bought a Linux (Ubuntu) laptop from Dell a while back (this was in the era of Ubuntu Feisty, I think?). It came with a manual for getting started on Windows, and had a Windows key on the keyboard (which the installed version of Ubuntu happily interpreted as Super, as it usually does). It didn't particularly feel like anything other than a standard Windows Dell laptop that someone had installed Ubuntu on prior to shipping. (Also, the touchpad didn't work, except for a few minutes a few weeks after I obtained it; I suspect that might have been a hardware issue rather than drivers, though. I got used to doing without it.)

about 10 months ago
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How Your Compiler Can Compromise Application Security

ais523 Re:News flash (470 comments)

If you want a "this cannot happen" with core dump in C, just use abort(). Unless its behaviour is specifically overriden, it's specified to exit the program as unsuccessful termination by the C standards (e.g. 7.22.4.1p2 of C11), and to core dump by POSIX (about as portable as you can get where core dumps are concerned; in straight C, they might not necessarily exist). It also has the benefit of being pretty short, and not undefined behaviour at all.

Of course, that doesn't work in the kernel, but then neither would the other methods you suggested.

about a year ago
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Torvalds: Free OS X Is No Threat To Linux

ais523 Re:Linus Ducks Real Issue (314 comments)

You can do that in Windows 8 too, right-click the very bottom-left corner of the screen. (The main problem with that is that it's basically impossible to discover until someone tells you about it.)

about a year ago
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Square Debuts New Email Payment System

ais523 Re:Really? (240 comments)

It's worse than that. In general, there's nothing stopping anyone sending an email from any address they like; the From: address is simply written onto the email by the sender, much the same way as there's nothing preventing someone sending physical mail writing any return address they like on the envelope. Of course, this makes it kind-of easy to spam, so various methods have sprung up over the years for people to validate the From: address on an email, but there's no universal method that will work for every email you might ever receive.

In general, you should never trust the From: address on an email for any purpose whatsoever other than determining who the sender wants you to think they are.

about a year ago
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The Linux Backdoor Attempt of 2003

ais523 Re:C/C++ operator = (360 comments)

It's best known for working in some old, buggy FORTRAN situations. Nowadays, it's legal INTERCAL too, albeit mostly to be perverse (and in some compilers, you may have to alias the constant to a variable to be able to assign to it without the compiler complaining).

about a year ago
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The Linux Backdoor Attempt of 2003

ais523 Re:= in an if statement should end in warning/erro (360 comments)

99.99% of programmers don't need to use single = in a conditional, so add a compiler switch to disallow it as a syntax error instead of just a warning.

In gcc, you can do -Werror=parentheses if you want to make this an error rather than a warning.

about a year ago
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The Linux Backdoor Attempt of 2003

ais523 Re:Type safety (360 comments)

I like this trick, and am glad that you're publicising it. It was a pretty clever addition to many compilers; the compilers that don't understand it won't reject the code, the compilers that do will know it's intentional. And maintenance programmers reading the code will know it's intentional, too.

about a year ago
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The Hail Mary Cloud and the Lessons Learned

ais523 Re:Nothing you can do? (99 comments)

You have to do this no matter what privilege escalation method you use, because a rogue administrator might have left a random setuid binary around somewhere. Or has put a logic bomb in the script. Or something like that. Having only one door to guard is no use when the inside of the building carries a bunch of materials for building extra doors.

about a year ago
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U.S. Government: Sorry, We're Closed

ais523 Re:How Australia handles this (1532 comments)

In the UK, it's impossible for the upper house to block a bill for more than two sessions; for bills purely about funding/taxation, it's one month. This seems to be a better solution to the solution used by the US, but I prefer Australia's solution even more.

about a year ago
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Google May Face Fine Under EU Privacy Laws

ais523 Re:Go, France! (88 comments)

Not every site does. For instance, I vaguely remembered that Microsoft EULAs have jurisdiction based on the country where you live, with the "you consent to jurisdiction in Washington" bit only applying to Americans. I checked the Terms of Service for Bing, and I was right. (For instance, for Europeans, it uses Luxembourg law for breaches of the ToS specifically, and the local jurisdiction for other claims.) Microsoft seems to have local companies set up for the purpose of sorting out contracts with people in countries other than the US. Many other sites don't seem to consider jurisdictional issues in their TOS at all. I suspect that that might lead to complications if they ever have to sue someone, but it's nicer for their users. Incidentally, local jurisdiction clauses in a ToS are actually one reason that causes me to avoid agreeing to them, unless they're set up in such a way that they only apply if I invoke them, they can't be invoked against me. (I end up avoiding a large number of major websites because of this.)

about a year ago
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Bill Gates Acknowledges Ctrl+Alt+Del Was a Mistake

ais523 Re:Redundant keys (665 comments)

Alt-e opens a menu whose name starts with E. AltGr-e is (on Windows, at least) a standard way to type é. So you can't really conflate the two.

1 year,3 days
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Bill Gates Acknowledges Ctrl+Alt+Del Was a Mistake

ais523 Re:Redundant keys (665 comments)

I use Caps Lock as my compose key, and fix two problems at once (not having a compose key, and hitting Caps Lock by mistake; hitting Compose by mistake is pretty minor, really).

1 year,3 days
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Bill Gates Acknowledges Ctrl+Alt+Del Was a Mistake

ais523 Re:Redundant keys (665 comments)

Right Alt is pretty useful if you aren't American; it tends to be used to type a bunch of accented or non-ASCII characters in Europe, for instance (notably, the euro currency symbol, which is standardised as right alt+4 on all the major OSes at this point).

1 year,3 days

Submissions

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(Highly divided) Federal Circuit opinion finds software patent-ineligible

ais523 ais523 writes  |  about a year ago

ais523 (1172701) writes "The Federal Circuit has divided CLS Bank vs. Alice Corp., a case about various sorts of patents, including software patents. Although the judges disagreed, to a lesser or greater extent, on the individual parts of the ruling, eventually, more than half decided that the patents in question — algorithms for hedging risk — were ineligible patent matter, and that merely adding an "on a computer"-like clause to an abstract algorithm does not make it patentable. Coverage is available at Patently-O and Groklaw, or you can read the opinion itself."
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Microsoft Signs Fedora's Bootloader To Work Around UEFI Restrictions

ais523 ais523 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ais523 (1172701) writes "Cory Doctorow writes about the latest twist in the story of UEFI and locked-down bootloaders. Because motherboards certified for Windows 8 will need to use bootloaders signed with a key the motherboard recognises in order to load, installing a new operating system requires changing BIOS settings in order to add a new key — and even this option will be unavailable on motherboards following Microsoft's guidelines for ARM. Fedora are working around this problem by requesting Microsoft to sign their bootloader, so that computers that work out of the box with Windows will work out of the box with Fedora too. (Although they had to pay $99 for the privilege, apparently the money goes to Verisign not Microsoft, and is a one-time payment.)"
Link to Original Source
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Wikia ToU, skin change alienates contributors

ais523 ais523 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ais523 (1172701) writes "Wikia, the commercial wiki site founded by Jimmy Wales, has alienated many of its largest wikis by forcing a change to their styling, and using their Terms of Use to prevent wiki admins changing it back, despite huge opposition to the fixed-width nature of the new skin. Opposition to the change has mostly been centralised at the debate on WoWWiki, one of Wikia's most active wikis, about whether to leave Wikia for good, with the Wikipedia article on the subject containing an ever-increasing list of wikis that have moved away from Wikia already. Is this the first time people have paid sufficient attention to a website Terms of Service to actually leave in hordes as a result?"
Link to Original Source
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In re Bilski affirmed, no opinion on software

ais523 ais523 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

ais523 (1172701) writes "In re Bilski has been judged [PDF]; the original verdict (that this particular business method patent was invalid) is now finally affirmed, but the Supreme Court fell short of ruling out or explicitly allowing software patents, as many had hoped. The verdict instead seems to be a rather narrow one, not even specifying any particular certain test to determine whether a process is patentable or not."
Link to Original Source
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Wikipedia opts out from Phorm

ais523 ais523 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ais523 (1172701) writes "Wikipedia (and other websites run by Wikimedia) have requested to opt-out from Phorm; according to the email they sent (quoted here), they "consider the scanning and profiling of our visitors' behavior by a third party to be an infringement on their privacy.""
Link to Original Source
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EC complains about Microsoft bundling IE

ais523 ais523 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ais523 (1172701) writes "The European Commission has again complained about antitrust behaviour by Microsoft, based on the 2007 complaint by Opera; this time, it's about alleged anticompetitive bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows, to the detriment of other browser manufacturers. (In a previous complaint, Microsoft ended up having to manufacture a version of Windows without Media Player, although its pricing meant that it was rarely bought.)"
Link to Original Source
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Judge jails 46 due to annoying mobile phone

ais523 ais523 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ais523 (1172701) writes "A judge was interrupted by a ringing mobile phone. So the judge demanded the phone. When nobody admitted owning the phone in question, the judge ordered the doors of the courtroom locked, and when the phone didn't turn up after a search, he sent all 46 defendants present to jail."
Link to Original Source
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South Africa adopts ODF as a government standard

ais523 ais523 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ais523 (1172701) writes "As reported by Tectonic, South Africa's new Mininimum Interoperability Standards for Information Systems in government (MIOS) explain the new rules for which data formats will be used by the government; according to that document, all people working for the South African government must be able to read OpenDocument Format documents by March, and the government aims to use one of its three approved document formats (UTF-8 or ASCII plain text, CSV, or ODF) for all its published documents by the end of 2008. A definition of 'open standard' is also included that appears to rule out OOXML at present (requiring 'multiple implementations', among other things that may also rule it out)."
Link to Original Source

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