Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

brokenin2 Re:Powershell (727 comments)

I don't think that bash really has it.. It seems like it does, but at least on most systems I've used, that's part of the program "test".

"Test" usually has a symlink to it under the name "[" which is actually what you're running when you type something like "if [ 5 -eq 7 ]"... Note.. the program "test" ignores any parameter of "]" making them completely optional most of the time..

It sure looks like syntax, but I think that "[" is just like any other character in bash.. "if" is just testing the return value from the program "["..

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

brokenin2 Re:Old-school is best (382 comments)

Doh.. and Halo should probably have been on the list..

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

brokenin2 Re:Old-school is best (382 comments)

Per someone else's comment.. I meant Mechwarrior 2.. They're right..

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

brokenin2 Re:Oh come on (382 comments)

We do need this on Slashdot. I don't want the list that people from a gamer site would come up with. I'm sure it would be very different.

It is not news.

It *IS* stuff that matters.

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

brokenin2 Re:Old-school is best (382 comments)

That's s good list.. I'd like to add to it, and make it a little more eclectic..

Portal / Portal 2
Wizball (c64)
Impossible MIssion 2 (c64)
Raid over Moscow (c64)
The old Ultima series (like Ultima IV)
Quake 3 arena
Doom (it's classic, but it is hard to play these days after having gotten used to being able to look and move up and down)
Empire (c64 BBS - You probably can't just keep this one around to play, but it was fun when it was out there)
Legend of Zelda

Hard Drivin (I think that was it.. early car simulator with impossible tracks.. loops etc)
Missile command
The original Tron game
Super Mario Bros
Donkey Kong

Cribbage is good
Uno is nice if you don't want to have to use your brain, or you need something very inclusive
Monopoly is a good staple to have around

Well, that's what comes to mind quickly.. I'm sure I've still missed quite a few classics..

about three weeks ago

Black Hat Researchers Actively Trying To Deanonymize Tor Users

brokenin2 Changes to the protocol? (82 comments)

I wonder how feasible it would be to modify tor, or maybe make a tor version 2 protocol so that the onion layers are determined packet by packet, instead of by the stream.

I'm not all that knowledgeable when it comes to the tor protocol, but it sounds like each stream is bounced off a series of relays.. If you could change that to each packet, or split the stream into a few other streams that took different routes (and let the stream get reassembled from packets from multiple streams at the destination), then it seems like you could make this sort of attack a lot harder..

I'm not sure about people trying to discover the location of the tor hidden service, but it seems like it would help protect the client -> server integrity quite a bit..

about a month and a half ago

35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

brokenin2 Re:um yea... (570 comments)

I haven't had a credit card in over 10 years, and my credit is fantastic. Of course, I've had a couple of car loans, and a home loan... all in good standing and/or paid off, but I never had a credit card when I got any of those loans either, so it certainly wasn't required for good credit.

The only thing I even ponder having a credit card for is for emergency purposes only. I'd consider something with no fees (unless used) for a rainy day backup, but instead of doing that, we've chosen to just have our own rainy day fund.

I am very thankful for the credit card companies though. I don't think that I could heat our home for free without their contribution to our junk mail pile. The rest of the junk mail on it's own just wouldn't be enough..

about a month and a half ago

35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

brokenin2 Past due not reported by companies (570 comments)

One reason that I'm sure is a factor in the difference, is that companies are less inclined to bother reporting the "past due" status. It's overhead for them to do it, and there's not really any benefit, but when someone hits the collections threshold, they'll go ahead and take the time to report it.

about a month and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Web Language That's Long-Lived, and Not Too Buzzy?

brokenin2 Re:PHP is a very solid choice (536 comments)

He was asking about languages and frameworks and developing their web application for the future.

If they're redeveloping from scratch in order to future proof things, it's unlikely that they're going to be wanting to produce the exact same HTML that they always have. A framework to help you develop better HTML easier is something they should be considering at the same time.

It would really suck to rebuild your application, get to the end, and then decide it's time to make it more mobile friendly, at which point they realize they have to do another redesign because they didn't think about how their user interfaces were going to break down.

If they need to ask which server side language they should use, then they almost certainly need to have these things pointed out to them as well. If it turns out that they didn't need any of that pointed out to them, then they can easily disregard the extra information.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Web Language That's Long-Lived, and Not Too Buzzy?

brokenin2 Re:PHP is a very solid choice (536 comments)

Globals have been disabled by default in PHP for a very long time.

"register globals" which allowed post and get parameters to be automatically registered in the global scope was defaulted off a long time ago, and in newer versions of php (5.4+) is not even an option any more. This is historically the feature that got a lot of bad programmers in trouble.

Almost every language has a way for functions to access global scope variables, and PHP is not exception, but to do so now, you have to specify exactly what you're going to access by doing it through _GLOBALS or by calling "global " inside your function.

The default scope for variables is to have no globals, and to direct you toward a more OO programming style. You can still shoot yourself in the foot, just like every other programming language, but you have to at least try a little to do it.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Web Language That's Long-Lived, and Not Too Buzzy?

brokenin2 PHP is a very solid choice (536 comments)

PHP of old used to make it very easy to write applications with large security holes, but newer versions do a much better job of preventing developer's tendancies to shoot themselves in the foot.

I think it will be a very viable choice for web applications for the next 10 years or more.

There are a number of frameworks written in PHP that are pretty good as well. For my current project though, I've chosen to write a framework that is geared toward exactly what that project needed. I did choose to use an HTML framework to aid in the UI creation and standardization. For my project I chose "Foundation", but there are a lot of other good ones as well.. If your application has a requirement of being mobile device friendly (is there anything that doesn't?) then I would highly recommend a 12 column HTML framework.. If you don't know why a 12 column framework is the way to go, Google it, there are plenty of write ups.

about 2 months ago

Emory University SCCM Server Accidentally Reformats All Computers Campus-wide

brokenin2 Same thing happened to a school near me (564 comments)

About two years ago, a community college near me had the exact same thing happen. I don't know the excruciating details, but the basics were the same SCCM wiped out all of the servers that it was used to manage..

I didn't work for the college then (I do now), but I did know a few people that did at the time. The person that triggered it is still there. From what I understand what he was doing and the way he went about it, although in hindsight was dangerous, wasn't a really reckless thing.

Our campus is less than 30 minutes drive to Microsoft's main campus, and there was a lot of pressure for us to use their systems. I think the college paid the price for caving to that pressure. Sure, there are other factors involved here as well... A careless employee, an unintuitive result from an interface/script, poor safety mechanisms in both policy and the product, poor design by both the vendor and the college..

From what I understand, one of the most devastating aspects when it came to recovery, was that the server that held backups (Microsoft's data protection manager of course) was wiped out as well.. I think in this particular incident, only system drives were annihilated, so if a server had a "D" drive or other volumes, it was still there, it was just a useless lump sitting on a server with no OS for a while at first.

Having never heard a similar story with any other software product, I'm left believing that SCCM and it's deficiencies are at least partially to blame, and given what I know about the person that caused it here, I'd say that it's a pretty respectable bit of the blame that should be left on SCCM.

Someone realized pretty quickly what was going on (not the person that caused it), and pulled the plug on the process somehow or our college would have been even more devastated. As it stood, it was still pretty bad.. Probably only about 25% of the full destructive power of the mess as averted.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Easy-To-Use Alternative To MS Access For a Charity's Database?

brokenin2 Re:Is Access actually better for them anyways? (281 comments)

Google docs will let you connect multiple people to the same spreadsheet at the same time..

It works pretty well too... as long as the slightly chaotic editing that this creates is OK (like you don't need multi-cell/multi-sheet locking to keep people out of each other's business)..

about 4 months ago

Interviews: Ask Former Director of JPL Edward Stone About Space Exploration

brokenin2 Light reading (58 comments)

Do you read XKCD, and if so, what do you think about the accuracy Randall Munroe's typical analysis?

about 4 months ago

Are Habitable Exoplanets Bad News For Humanity?

brokenin2 Re:Fermi paradox (608 comments)

It's like getting a thimble of water from the ocean and asking "where are all the fish?"

It's more like getting a thimble full of water from the ocean, seeing a bunch of fish in it, and then going where are all the fish in the ocean.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

brokenin2 Re:Commodore Amiga 3000T (702 comments)

I used to work there (on that line for a while), and one of the jobs was to beat them up a bit before they went out the door, just to make sure they could take it.. (We were careful not to scuff them up, but did need to subject them to a couple of impacts in each direction as part of the final testing).

Note, when he took it apart in the video, he very likely *did* make it go out of spec at that point.. It's normally just the high voltage that goes out of spec, but would normally only mean that you got a reading of 1007 VAC instead of 1000 VAC.. Still somewhat close..

He should send it back for recalibration after his adventure..

about 5 months ago

Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Outed By Newsweek

brokenin2 Re:Lost coins (390 comments)

about 100,000 individual someones, each of whom mined (on average) 10 or so coins?

OK, first, you *can not* mine 10 or so bitcoins. There were no mining pools at first, and that is the only way people mine fewer coins.. And that's not really even correct.. Mining pools mine 25 bitcoins these days, and then share them with their members.. What we're talking about is directly mining coins here, which got mine 50 coins at a time for the first four years or so.

Also, IIRC, most of these coins are held by just a few addresses, not spread among 100,000. The entire population of the bitcoin community was probably less than a few thousand people during the first year.. During the first months it was more like 20 or 30.... maybe less..

about 6 months ago

Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Outed By Newsweek

brokenin2 Re:Why? (390 comments)

He's not sitting on anything but 800,000 internet fun bucks until he cashes them into real money.

I think you mean until he caches them into United States fun bucks..

about 6 months ago

Does Relying On an IDE Make You a Bad Programmer?

brokenin2 Not if... (627 comments) wrote the IDE yourself :)

about 7 months ago

What Are the Weirdest Places You've Spotted Linux?

brokenin2 Re:Shoulder surfing on an international flight (322 comments)

I believe that Xen is probably the most used VM/hypervisor on the planet..

Amazon and EC2 have deployed a pretty fair number of them with a lot of success (like all of their VM's).

about 7 months ago



Hal Finney, PGP and Bitcoin pioneer passes away

brokenin2 brokenin2 writes  |  about three weeks ago

brokenin2 (103006) writes "Hal Finney, the number two programmer for PGP and the first person to receive a Bitcoin transaction has passed away. From the article on Coindesk: "Shortly after collaborating with Nakamoto on early bitcoin code in 2009, Finney announced he was suffering from ALS. Increasing paralysis, which eventually became near-total, forced him to retire from work in early 2011.""

Bitcoin sets a new all time high

brokenin2 brokenin2 writes  |  about a year and a half ago

brokenin2 (103006) writes "Bitcoin has just reached a new all time high after passing the $31.91 prices set back in July of 2011. Since the bubble burst following July of 2011 Bitcoin has been declared dead several times by various news articles."


brokenin2 has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>