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Popular Android Apps Full of Bugs: Researchers Blame Recycling of Code

dkf Re:Laziness (145 comments)

Amazingly, security libraries are often in this category. Is there a really good writeup ANYWHERE about SSL, certificates and signing practices? And IPSec with all its intricacies?

Funnily enough, on Stack Overflow! Not all of the security-related questions are overflowing with shitty misinformation. (SO might not be great, but it's better than the squillion shitty places for question answering that preceded it.)

4 days ago
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Bose Sues New Apple Acquisition Beats Over Patent Violations

dkf Re:bad vs bad (161 comments)

play a FLAC file through them and OMG, they sound like sex

Your audio collection is... not like mine.

4 days ago
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On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

dkf Re:National Boundaries (184 comments)

Nor do these arrogants "USA and other countries" (merrily forgetting there is something else in the world than Europe and the USA plus its satellites) who think there is no second chance ever, and no right to ensure one's personal data are correct, and no rigth to privacy either -- to mention only some of the personal-data-related rights that are given to me by my own European country (note that, as some have said, other European countries may have these rights in a less formal way, as a result of case law) and that I can successfully use to deter French spammers while I still have to suffer US ones. :/

You do not have the right because the government says so, but rather because you are a human being. Though that is a principle that is explicitly stated in the US constitution, it applies everywhere. However, it is a right that is made explicit in the EU and where the conditions under which the right may be infringed are perhaps more clearly stated (and better enforced) than elsewhere. There is a danger in explicitly stating rights, in that some stupid people might think you have no other rights — not true! — but leaving them all implicit has other risks in that it becomes hard to say for sure when they've been unreasonably infringed and to get other people to help you out defending them.

5 days ago
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New SSL Server Rules Go Into Effect Nov. 1

dkf Re:Group Policy (92 comments)

Cheaper and easier to convince the PHB to buy a certificate signed by a public CA, than install your own CA certificate on every browser in your company.

Then your organization's IT department needs to learn about Group Policy and its counterparts on other common personal computing platforms.

Yeah, but getting all that to work when dealing with the reality of BYOD in many organisations (universities have a particular problem with this) is massively more complicated and expensive than ponying up for an externally-signed certificate. Heck, even getting an externally-signed local CA certificate is cheaper. Group policy (and equivalent) works relatively well for desktops and other wholly-owned devices, but ceases to be nearly so useful once you have to deal with anything external, and that's more and more common.

Get with the programme.

about a week ago
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No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

dkf Re:it depends on what "skilled worker" means. (401 comments)

To put things in perspective - the old owners had plants in 5 different states. Each of the other plants consistently lost money. Our plant consistently MADE MONEY, despite mismanagement. Quarter after quarter, the accountants posted profits from our plant. In effect, we carried four other money losing plants for years. The owners could never bring themselves to unload the money losers, instead taking the profits we earned to shore up the other plants. They followed that policy until bankruptcy put them out of the game completely.

Were any of those plants making key inputs for yours? If they were, and it wasn't practical to consolidate that function, then closing them down would have crippled you. Which individual plants make money is one thing, but where there's internal transfer of items between units of the business, the value attached to those items is fairly nominal in practice; it's the overall business that really makes the profit or the loss.

Or maybe they're just incompetent fucks. That could be true too. Hard to say without the full facts, but the fact that bankruptcy hit is strongly indicative.

about three weeks ago
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IEEE Spectrum Ranks the Top Programming Languages

dkf Re:So what are good languages to get into? (197 comments)

A masters in computer science program means taking about 10 three credit courses to get the degree. That means learning potentially 10 different languages. Which 10 would you choose? Which of those 10 are a must to learn, which would be merely advantageous to know?

Take at least one OO language (Java's fussy and bureaucratic, but its a pretty good example of the breed and is likely to be useful after you get your masters), at least one functional language (probably Haskell these days), at least one declarative language (Prolog or SQL), and don't just learn programming languages. You also need to learn about data, about data structures, about algorithms and their analysis, about parsing and compilation, and about concurrency; these are all independent of any programming language.

But computing is well served by not just learning about computing. If you have time, learn about math, stats and logic too, and learn how to communicate your ideas effectively; you'll never get far if you can't communicate with other people well.

about a month ago
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IEEE Spectrum Ranks the Top Programming Languages

dkf Re:How did Java beat C (197 comments)

The default 'package' access is rarely used.

Huh. I use it quite a bit when implementing an API. (You hardly need to use public at all inside interfaces.)

about a month ago
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By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' and That Could Be a Problem

dkf Re:Transcendence (564 comments)

And by booboo I naturally mean something along the lines of

if(target->ThreatRating == ThreatRating::American) { target->Kill(); } // booboo

I'd guess something like:
        if(target->ThreatRating = ThreatRating::Trrist) { target->Kill(); }

Let that be a lesson to you: Trrist must evaluate to 0, for humanity's sake!

about a month ago
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By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' and That Could Be a Problem

dkf Re:The frustrations of AI. (564 comments)

If hardware isn't the problem, then it must be an algorithmic one. So, why can't an algorithm be discovered that is a breakthrough?

The problem is that it requires a true breakthrough, and there's no way to predict when that will happen. It also doesn't help that we don't really know what intelligence really is; all we've got is lots of things it isn't. I suspect that when someone cracks it, there'll be lots of people going "Is that all?! Anyone could have got that." and they'd be right, except that nobody did and it involves something both trivial and non-obvious. It might also require a lot of parallel processing, which we're still learning how to do well.

As we don't have any handy breakthroughs right now, we should instead study how brains really work and how to make computers do useful things (including stuff like "understanding" speech, "understanding" written natural language, drive cars safely, etc.) Those might or might not make the breakthrough easier, but they'll have other benefits along the way so they're still right to do.

about a month ago
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Use of Encryption Foiled the Cops a Record 9 Times In 2013

dkf Re:I smell a rat. (115 comments)

If I want to strongly encrypt a cooking recipe that I email to my grandmother, then it is my business and my business alone.

And your grandmother's business too, assuming you want actually communicate that cooking recipe to her.

about a month ago
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Swedish Farmers Have Doubts About Climatologists and Climate Change

dkf Re:People living in the polar regions (567 comments)

It's Norway, how would they even know a "localized ice age" kicked in?!?

When their glaciers start growing. Duh!

about a month ago
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Russia Wants To Replace US Computer Chips With Local Processors

dkf Re:Where are they going to fab the chips? (340 comments)

No, but I don't know of any Chinese companies producing steppers or any other of the multi-million dollar tools required to fab a processor.

That's what you might call a market incentive. Capitalism sees national security and arms export controls as damage and routes around it.

about a month and a half ago
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Overeager Compilers Can Open Security Holes In Your Code

dkf Re:Complete nonsense.... (199 comments)

Most made entire classes of C blunders impossible

Don't worry about that! They had their own classes of blunders instead. (Every programming language has a characteristic set of problems that come up, and a set of recommended programming practices that avoid those blunders.)

about a month and a half ago
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Overeager Compilers Can Open Security Holes In Your Code

dkf Re:Bad summary is bad (199 comments)

Actually it's about non-standard-conforming "security" hacks causing unexpected results. If the result of an operation is undefined, the compiler can insert code to summon Cthulhu if it wants to.

If your compiler is doing that, you should choose a different compiler. Summoning elder gods just because signed arithmetic might wrap around is not a good cost/benefit tradeoff!

about a month and a half ago
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Elon Musk: I'll Put a Human On Mars By 2026

dkf Re:Science Fiction (275 comments)

Are you suggesting a Martian penal colony? I don't see that ending well for anyone.

Better than a Lunar one I suppose.

about a month and a half ago
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EU, South Korea Collaborate On Superfast 5G Standards

dkf Re:a THOUSAND times faster than 4G? (78 comments)

It's lingual, "could be 1000 times faster" includes every portion thereof. Heck, "could be 1000x faster" includes 2000x faster too.

I always preferred the phrasing "up to 1000 times faster, or more!" Totally devoid of meaning.

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft Runs Out of US Address Space For Azure, Taps Its Global IPv4 Stock

dkf Re:Not sure what they mean... (250 comments)

Except browsers can actually send a header that lists your preferred languages, in order. Chrome can actually does this, although it's buried away under "Advanced Settings". Google just don't pay any attention to it on their servers (apparently).

If a lot of browsers are getting it wrong in what they send, the incentive to support it is not strong. Guess what? A quick test with Chrome, Safari and Firefox indicate that they all get it wrong by default. Safari doesn't provide an option to change it that I can find; the other two pick the wrong default for me, instead of using the system language settings (which are correct and available for software to read) even if those are imperfect for the task. (I'm on the wrong platform for testing IE and I don't have Opera.)

Why would you make your website use a feature that no browser gets close to right by default?

about a month and a half ago
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Was Turing Test Legitimately Beaten, Or Just Cleverly Tricked?

dkf Re:but that's the problem with the turing test... (309 comments)

Turing also didn't say anything about crippling the test by making it a child who doesn't speak fluent English.

He also didn't specify that the software couldn't do that. The test isn't about knowledge, it's about intelligence. Computers are starting to get good at the more knowledge-y side of things, but intelligence has got to be more about establishment of shared context, dealing with weird semi-out-of-the-blue digressions, and so on. Language fluency is someone else's research project.

about 2 months ago
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Did Russia Trick Snowden Into Going To Moscow?

dkf Re:Useful Idiot or Russian Agent (346 comments)

He is a "useful idiot" with a lot of information in his pocket. When they are finished with him, he is either going to be returned to the U.S or he is just going to "disappear" into the abyss.

Snowden's principal value to the Russians is for propaganda purposes, and this was the case all along. Making one's opponents look very bad is quite thoroughly valuable from a diplomacy perspective, since it persuades third parties (e.g., most of Latin America and Africa) to be more receptive to your message.

about 2 months ago
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Musk Will Open Up Tesla Supercharger Patents To Spur Development

dkf Re:What a great idea! (230 comments)

This setup allows for plug-in charging, as well as high density fuel usage.

At a cost of quite a lot of complexity and weight. That might be justifiable, but it sure isn't free.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Apple rapped over misleading iPhone ad

dkf dkf writes  |  more than 5 years ago

dkf (304284) writes "The BBC is reporting that Apple have been ordered by the Advertising Standards Authority to stop showing their current iPhone advert in the UK. The heart of the issue is that the iPhone does not support either Flash or Java, and this means that significant parts of the content of the internet were not available despite Apple's claims otherwise. It seems that Apple's determination to control their mobile platform has come back to bite them."
Link to Original Source
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Tcl/Tk 8.5.0 Finally Released

dkf dkf writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dkf writes "OSNews reports that Tcl/Tk 8.5 has been released for all major platforms after 5 years of development. There are many new goodies in it, including significant speedups through an advanced bytecode engine, stronger localization of applications, integrated arbitrary-precision arithmetic, a whole bunch of brand new skinnable widgets, anti-aliased text support on all platforms, and a new code module management system to make maintenance of installations a snap.

A lot more in-depth information about the features of both this release and Tcl/Tk in general is available at both the official Tcl/Tk website and in Mark Roseman's blog."

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