Beta
×

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!

Comments

top

Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

ewhac This Is Lennart's Defense? (771 comments)

Every time the systemd thing comes up, I want to hate it, but I don't truly know enough about it to actually hold a defensible opinion.

One of the defects constantly levelled against systemd is its propensity to corrupt its own system logs, and how the official response to this defect is to ignore it. The uselessd page has a link to the bug report in question, which was reported in May 2013 and, over a year later closed and marked NOTABUG. However, it seems Mr. Poettering is getting annoyed by people using his own bug reports against him, and added a comment to the bug report today purporting to clarify his position.

Unfortunately, his "clarifications" serve only to reinforce my suspicion that systemd is a thing to be avoided. To wit:

Since this bugyilla [sic] report is apparently sometimes linked these days as an example how we wouldn't fix a major bug in systemd:

Well, yeah, corrupt logs would be regarded by many as a major bug...

...Now, our strategy to rotate-on-corruption is the safest thing we can do, as we make sure that the internal corruption is frozen in time, and not attempted to be "fixed" by a tool, that might end up making things worse. After all, in the case the often-run writing code really fucks something up, then it is not necessarily a good idea to try to make it better by running a tool on it that tries to fix it up again, a tool that is necessarily a lot more complex, and also less tested.

Okay, so freeze the corrupted data set so things don't get worse, and start a new data set. A reasonable defensive practice. You still haven't addressed how the corruption happened, or how to fix it.

Now, of course, having corrupted files isn't great, and we should make sure the files even when corrupted stay as accessible as possible. Hence: the code that reads the journal files is actually written in a way that tries to make the best of corrupted files, and tries to read of them as much as possible, with the the subset of the file that is still valid. We do this implicitly on every access.

Okay, so journalctl tries to be robust, assumes the journal data might be crap, and works around it. So we can assume journalctl is probably pretty solid and won't make things worse.

Hence: journalctl implicitly does on read what a theoretical journal file fsck tool would do, but without actually making this persistent. This logic also has a major benefit: as our reader gets better and learns to deal with more types of corruptions you immediately benefit of it, even for old files!

....Uhhhhh-huh. So, yeah, newer tools will do a better job of working around the corruption, and we'll be able to recover more data, assuming we kept known-corrupt logs around. But what I still don't understand is WHY THE LOGS ARE CORRUPT. And why aren't there log diagnostic and analysis tools? If you already know your logs can turn to crap, surely there are structure analysis tools around that let you pick through the debris and recover data that your automated heuristics can't.

And why do I get the feeling that implied in the above is, "You don't need to know the log structure or how to repair it. We'll write the tools for that. We'll release better tools when we get around to it?"

File systems such as ext4 have an fsck tool since they don't have the luxury to just rotate the fs away and fix the structure on read: they have to use the same file system for all future writes, and they thus need to try hard to make the existing data workable again.

....AAAAnd you lost me. Seriously, this is your defense: "Filesystems are more important than system logs, so they have to try harder?" I find this insinuation... surprising. You do realize that btrfs didn't become worthy of general use overnight, right? (Some might argue it still hasn't.) It took years of development, and hundreds of people risking corrupt or destroyed filesystems before the kinks got worked out, and the risk of lost or corrupt files approached zero. More significantly, during this long development time, no one ever once suggested making btrfs the default filesystem for Linux. People knew btrfs could ruin their shit. No one ever suggested, "Oh, well, keep a copy of the corrupt block image and format a new one; we'll release better read tools Real Soon Now." No one suggested putting btrfs into everyday use until it proved its reliability.

Likewise, until it can demonstrate to the same level of reliability as common filesystems that it doesn't trash data, systemd is experimental -- an interesting experiment with interesting ideas and some promise, but still an experiment. I would appreciate it if you didn't experiment on my machines, thankyouverynice.

I hope this explains the rationale here a bit more.

No, sir. No it does not.

P.S: Is there any evidence to suggest that systemd log corruption issues have since been solved?

about two weeks ago
top

HP Is Planning To Split Into Two Separate Businesses, Sources Say

ewhac Re:HP (118 comments)

- the Windows 8 era machines include Windows 7 AND 8 installation disks - choose whatever you like.

If you custom-build a machine from their ZBook "Mobile Workstation" line, you can even configure a machine to not have Windows installed at all. Saves you about $100.00. Still rather pricey, though...

about two weeks ago
top

Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

ewhac Re:ARE YOU LIKE STUPID???? (577 comments)

1) fix the PAGEFILE. Go inot the settings and change ti to fixed size - 2x-3x size of ram - both of minimum and maximum size. Do not let WInodws manage it! [ ... ]

Better still, move PAGEFILE.SYS off of C: entirely, preferably on to its own spindle if you can. That way the swapper isn't having a fight with every other application in the system for accessing system files; and PAGEFILE.SYS itself won't become fragmented.

Consider moving %TEMP% and %TMP% off of C: as well.

4) Dump the System Restore from time to time. This is just junk removal. [ ... ]

Sadly, this appears to be an all-or-nothing affair -- on XP, you can either delete all restore points or none of them. It would be nice to delete those that are, say, more than a year old.

about three weeks ago
top

The State of ZFS On Linux

ewhac Re:My missing feature (370 comments)

As far as I'm aware, you don't need 'dump' with ZFS. You create a snapshot, then 'zfs send' that snapshot off to your backup storage. Can be done on a live filesystem. Delete the local snapshot when you're done copying it off. ( http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E187... )

about a month ago
top

The State of ZFS On Linux

ewhac Re:no support for posix acls (370 comments)

I dunno about ZFS for Linux, but FreeNAS's ZFS has NFSv4 ACLs. Are these not sufficient?

about a month ago
top

U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

ewhac Correction (223 comments)

...federal officials forced American tech companies to participate in the NSA's controversial PRISM program.

You misspelled "illegal." HTH. HAND.

about a month ago
top

The State of ZFS On Linux

ewhac Re:No defrag! (370 comments)

Yes. Alas, this is a consequence of ZFS's COW (copy on write) design.

In a filesystem like EXT3, if you open a file, seek to some offset, and write new data, EXT3 will write the new data to the existing disk block in place. ZFS, however, will allocate a new block for that offset (copy on write), write the modified data to it, and update the block chain. The result is that it's apparently very easy to badly fragment a ZFS file (do a Google search for "ZFS fragmentation" to see various stories and tests people have written).

You can apparently mitigate the problem by occasionally copying the entire affected file -- Oracle's own whitepaper on the subject apparently reads, "Periodically copying data files reorganizes the file location on disk and gives better full scan response time."

Bottom line: ZFS is not a panacea, nor is it simple. There are myriad options, and trade-offs to all of them.

about a month ago
top

Ask Slashdot: the State of Free Video Editing Tools?

ewhac My Experiences (163 comments)

First, a gratuitous plug for my Let's Play/Drown Out video series, currently focusing on 3DO console titles: http://www.youtube.com/playlis...

Why is that link relevant? Because they were all made using Kdenlive.

When I first started mucking around with digital video, I tried a bunch of free/libre packages, and formed the following opinions of each:

Windows Movie Maker
Yes, $(GOD) help me, I gave it a serious try. To my utter surprise, it mostly worked and did what I wanted without crashing. However, the UI was rather inflexible, and I needed more than the handful of features it offered, so I kept looking.

Cinelerra
Every Google search for free video editing software always turns this up, so I tried it. Then, ten minutes later, I had to stop trying it because it kept crashing and/or hanging at the slightest provocation. It has an impressive-looking array of features, and the editing timeline looks quite powerful. Evidently, you can do some fairly impressive things with Cinelerra, provided you can identify and avoid all its weak spots.

Pitivi
The last time I tried this, it was unreliable, under-featured, and incredibly slow. Just loading a one hour-long video clip into the timeline took several minutes as it tried to generate thumbnails and an audio waveform for the clip.

OpenShot
Assuming I'm remembering this package correctly, all it does is assemble edits -- that is, you can tack together a bunch of clips one after the other to create a larger work. If you want to do any effects or titling, you're SOL. Perhaps the Kickstarter-funded upgrade will yield some improvements.

Lightworks
I had to learn something the hard way with this package: This is a professional package. By that, I don't mean it has a ton of features (although it certainly does). I mean it expects a certain level of media asset before it will operate on it in the manner you expect. Us mere proles are satisfied to use MP4 or MKV or ($(GOD) help us) AVI files. However, in the pro space, you have files that contain not just compressed audio and video, but also timecode. And not just timecode measured relative to when you last pressed the RECORD button, but also a master timecode from an achingly accurate central timecode generator fed to all your cameras and microphones. This not only means all your cameras and mics are in precise sync ('cause otherwise their internal clocks will drift relative to each other), but you can trivially sync all your master footage and then intercut shots without even thinking about it. Also, near as I can tell, there's no such thing as inter-frame compression in professional video. Each frame is atomic, which means you can cleanly cut anywhere, but it doesn't compress anywhere near as small as, say, H.264.

The result is that, if you don't have equipment that generates all this metadata for you, then you need to convert it from the puny consumer format you're likely using. This means having truly monstrous amounts of disk available just to store the working set, and tons of RAM to make it all work. And hopefully your conversion script(s) didn't cough up bogus timecode.

So, yes, Lightworks is very very nice, if you have the proper resources to feed it. I don't, so I've set it aside for that glorious day when I get some proper equipment :-).

Kdenlive
Kdenlive is built on top of the MLT framework, and is about the best and most reliable thing I've found out there that doesn't cost actual money (either directly or indirectly). It has a non-linear timeline editor, it supports a wide variety of media formats, and it has a modest collection of audio and video effects (almost none of which you will use).

One of the more amazing things Kdenlive does is transparently convert sample and frame rates. Without thinking about it, my first video involved using a 44KHz WAV file, a 48KHz WAV file, and a 44KHz MP3 file, with the output audio to be 48KHz AAC. I feared I was going to have to convert all the sources to the same format, but Kdenlive quietly resampled them all when compiling the output video file, and everything came out undistorted and in sync.

Kdenlive does occasionally crash, which is annoying, but it has never destroyed my work. It has a fairly robust crash recovery mechanism, and you may lose your most recent one or two tweaks to the timelines, but you won't lose hours of work.

Kdenlive is not perfect, of course. It has limitations and annoyances that occasionally make me search for another video editor. But if, as I was, you're new to video editing, it will take you a while to find those limitations. Kdenlive has certainly served me very well in the meantime, and I think it's the most reliable, most capable, and most easily accessible Open Source video editor out there.

about a month and a half ago
top

Malware Posing As Official Google Play Store Evades Most Security Checks

ewhac Re:Install vector? (100 comments)

...I'm going to trust a link to install software on Android from outside of the Play store?

I think not.

Clearly you've never heard of the F-Droid project. Go read up on it.

about 4 months ago
top

IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

ewhac I Suppose Next We'll Be Seeing Benghazi Stories... (465 comments)

I don't know who the miserable asshat is who keeps front-paging this blithering right-wing horseshit, but they need to be fired yesterday.

This is a non-story. It has always been a non-story. It has already been investigated, and what turned up was a gigantic pile of nothing. But then, that's all Daryl Issa's "investigations" have ever turned up.

Yes, the IRS investigated a bunch of applications for tax-exempt status for a number of "Tea Party" groups. They also performed the same investigations on so-called liberal groups. They're supposed to do that; otherwise any moron could claim tax-exempt status. Were there problems with the investigations? Yes, because the tax law that requires them is so vague that it's basically left entirely to the discretion of the investigator.

Were any applications denied? No, not really. Did the IRS investigate more "Tea Party" groups than liberal groups? It would appear so. It would also appear that there were a hell of a lot more "Tea Party" applications flooding in during the timeframe in question (which makes sense, given that the "Tea Party" is not grassroots, but entirely the construction of FreedomWorks).

As for how "terribly convenient" it is for multiple IRS personnel under investigation to have lost the data in question, well... Considering that the IRS is underfunded (sounds weird, but it's true); and considering that they have tens of thousands of personal computers, none of them brand new, and all of them in various states of disrepair and subjected to various forms of abuse; and considering that every one of those tens of thousands of computers are running FUCKING WINDOWS , then you are provably a drooling idiot if you think the probability for unrecoverable data loss is anything less than 1.0.

The only story here is that IRS regs concerning tax-exempt political advocacy organizations are hopelessly vague. Moreover, it's not a story that belongs on a tech-oriented site. If I wanted to read about fabricated right-wing ghost stories, I'd visit RedState. Get this shit off Slashdot.

about 4 months ago
top

New Permission System Could Make Android Much Less Secure

ewhac Re:Can't Identify "New" Permissions (249 comments)

Inside Google Play, scroll to the bottom of the app's page. Under the heading, "Permissions," you will find a link named, "View details." Tap on that, and a more familiar list of permissions will appear, including flags on new permissions.

about 4 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

ewhac Re:depinit (533 comments)

written by richard lightman [ ... ] his web site is now offline: you can get a copy of depinit however using archive.org.

Last snapshot I could find on archive.org: http://web.archive.org/web/200...

about 5 months ago
top

Photo Web Site Offers a Wall of Shame For Image Thieves

ewhac Re:One of the oldest semantic games played on /. (126 comments)

...it is arguably "stealing reputation" (depriving another of their reputation and taking it for yourself).

I've referred to it as "reputation fraud," but yes, we appear to be in general agreement.

about 6 months ago
top

Photo Web Site Offers a Wall of Shame For Image Thieves

ewhac Re:One of the oldest semantic games played on /. (126 comments)

I see this old semantic game blooms anew on Slashdot. "It isn't stealing". Fine. It's fraud. Don't worry that your reputation is shot and/or somebody else is trading on your good name. It isn't stealing. Oh... the victim feels much better now.

I don't understand; what are you complaining about? You're correct. It isn't theft, it is fraud. So why call it theft when it's clearly something else?

If you call it by the correct name, you'll get community support, even among the "copying is not theft" crowd. OTOH, if you call it stealing, then you'll get mired in a gigantic semantic dogpile as hundreds of people re-litigate what constitutes "stealing."

We don't even need to raise the "Is it stealing?" question in this case. It's clearly fraud. So call it "fraud." Geez...

about 6 months ago
top

Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

ewhac DELETE THIS TOPIC NOW (723 comments)

WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS DOING ON SLASHDOT?!?

You want to spread whiny, partisan, maliciously misleading horseshit? Go to RedState or Breitbart; that's their stock in trade. It doesn't fscking belong here. Get this garbage off Slashdot now.

about 6 months ago
top

OpenSSL Bug Allows Attackers To Read Memory In 64k Chunks

ewhac Re:Got the update... (303 comments)

For Linux Mint v17 (Qiana), maybe. However, Mint v15 (Olivia) got EOLed in January, so it may not get an update.

about 6 months ago
top

Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

ewhac Re:Drama queens... (465 comments)

Professionals do the job and get paid.

They did neither.

End of argument.

"Hey, kid. If you get down in that mine, dig out the coal, and bring it back to me, I'll pay you. ...What? You want a light? Why did you take the job if you don't have the tools to do it? Batteries cost money, kid. ...What? What's all this whining about dust and poisonous gases and how you can't carry more than two lumps because you're only six years old? I'm paying you; do your job. You don't want to be thought of as unprofessional, do you?"

What self-serving sophistry.

about 7 months ago
top

Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

ewhac Re:Drama queens... (465 comments)

"Hi. Welcome to this brightly-lit, strangely decorated cage. For the next four days, you'll be trying to design and write a video game while we surround you with cameras, force you through irrelevant tasks, and poke at you with sticks. Be sure to act professional throughout it all."

"Contracts" or not, the developers' reaction was the correct one.

about 7 months ago
top

OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

ewhac Can't Beat NoScript (1482 comments)

I sympathize with the sentiment, but I have yet to find a workable equivalent for Firefox + NoScript. (Sounds like a motivation for socially conscious techs to finally get Chrome up to the required standards for secure browsing.)

about 7 months ago
top

Peter Molyneux: Working For Microsoft Is Like Taking Antidepressants

ewhac Re:Almost Famous? (164 comments)

Fable is by Lionhead Studios, home of longtime auteur game designer Peter Molyneux, who has a tendency to promise the Earth and be ultimately be crippled by his own ambition (see the big fat broken monkey-fest Black & White). During the development of Fable, for example, it was promised to have features like rival NPC characters, plants growing in real time, and a system wherein your every slightest choice and action changes your appearance and the world around you. What we ended up with was a buggy action RPG with a great big stiffy for itself.

-- Yahtzee Croshaw

about 7 months ago

Submissions

top

MythBusters Mishap Sends Cannonball Through House

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ewhac writes "The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the MythBusters accidentally sent a cannon ball hurtling in to Dublin this afternoon, punching through a home, bouncing across a six-lane road, and ultimately coming to a rest inside a now-demolished Toyota minivan. Amazingly, there were no injuries. The ball was fired from a home-made cannon at the Alameda County Sheriff's Department bomb range, and was intended to strike a water target. Instead the ball missed the water, punched through a cinder-block wall, and skipped off the hill behind. Prior to today, the MythBusters had been shooting episodes at the bomb range for over seven years without major incident. It is not clear whether Savage/Hyneman or Belleci/Imahara/Byron were conducting the experiment."
Link to Original Source
top

xkcd Creator Randall Munroe Nominated for Hugo

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ewhac writes "Easter Sunday saw the release of the nominations for the 2011 Hugo Awards. Among the many distinguished names was Randall Munroe, creator of xkcd, nominated for the 2011 award for Best Fan Artist. The 2011 Hugos will be presented at WorldCon 2011 in Reno in August this year. (Be sure to fill out and return your ballot!)"
Link to Original Source
top

Facebook App Exposes Abject Insecurity

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ewhac writes "Back in June, the American Civil Liberties Union published an article describing Facebook's complete lack of meaningful security on your and your friends' information. The article went virtually unnoticed. Now, a developer has written a Facebook "Quiz" based on the original article that graphically illustrates all the information a Facebook app can get its grubby little hands on by recursively sweeping through your friends list, pulling all their info and posts, and showing it to you. What's more, apps can get at your information even if you never run the app yourself. Facebook apps run with the access privileges of the user running it, so anything your friend can see, the app they're running can see, too. It is unclear whether the developer of the Facebook app did so "officially" for the ACLU."
Link to Original Source
top

Fry's Exec Arrested for Embezzling $65M

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ewhac writes "The vice president of mechandising and operations for Fry's Electronics, Ausaf Umar Siddiqui, was arrested last Friday on charges of embezzlement to the tune of at least $65 million. Sales representatives are normally independent contractors, to preserve impartiality during negotiations. According to IRS allegations, Siddiqui convinced Fry's management he should be sole sales representative. He then struck side deals with major vendors (not named in the complaint) starting in 2005 where, in exchange for placing large orders and keeping their products on the shelves, the vendors would pay enormous kickbacks to a shell corporation set up by Siddiqui, called PC International. Siddiqui used the money to lead an extravagant lifestyle, racking up nearly $18 million in casino gambling losses. He is currently held on $300,000 bond."
Link to Original Source
top

Vandal Destroys Scenemusic.net

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ewhac writes "Scenemusic.net, a/k/a Nectarine.fr, a site continuously streaming demoscene-related music for over eight years, was destroyed today by an online vandal. Scenemusic.net's collection was one of the most comprehensive on the net, with tunes going back over 20 years to the Commodore-64 days. Still recovering from a similar attack barely a month ago, Scenemusic.net had been reassembled and was staggering back to its feet when today's attack maliciously and completely destroyed the database. Left without a usable backup, the site's administrator Christophe has sadly decided to throw in the towel, and has recommended to PayPal subscribers helping to defray bandwidth costs to cancel their subscriptions.

Editorial Remarks: We may idly speculate about Christophe's security and administrative acumen, but this remains a sad loss for the net, not merely for the destroyed resource, but for the ever-decreasing ability for hobbyists and enthusiasts to operate an Internet presence without being completely overrun by anonymous, and in many cases automated, sociopaths."

Link to Original Source
top

Diagnosing WiFi Dropouts

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ewhac writes "A rather important user on my home wireless network — my sweetie — regularly experiences drop-outs on the network lasting from a few seconds to three minutes, which cause timeouts and are nearly fatal to her computer usage. Before I blame the problem on her machine, I would like to conclusively prove or disprove the culpability of the wireless network environment. What diagnostic tools are available? Are there ways of measuring the resilience of a WiFi interface to noise/interference? Assuming it's neighbors with competing WAPs, how can I measure the degree of interference they may be causing? How can I correlate RF noise with a network hang?

More detail: My sweetie extensively surfs the net from a Win-XP laptop (and before you accuse the machine of being infected with something, she's very dilligent at keeping it clean and up to date). She virtually lives off this machine, so I can't run dedicated diagnostic tools on it for more than a couple hours. I thought I'd solved the problem by upgrading the WAP from an old Linksys WAP54G to a Netgear WG302v2, but it only marginally reduced the problem. These drop-out issues are not observed on any of the hard-wired computers. The LAN switch is Linksys, and the NAT gateway to the Internet is a dedicated FreeBSD box, so I don't suspect any issues there. So I'd like to test the wireless network and find out what, if anything, is causing the hiccups. I'm aware of passive monitoring tools like kismet, but ultimately I need to diagnose the connection to her machine, ideally in a minimally invasive way."
top

Appeals Court Tosses "Wardrobe Malfunction"

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ewhac writes "One of the most famous live television gaffes in recent history was the 2004 SuperBowl halftime "wardrobe malfunction," which briefly exposed a mortified Janet Jackson's breast to an international audience. Bowing to coordinated pressure from socially conservative groups, the FCC fined CBS $550K for the mishap — the $27,500 maximum fine multiplied by CBS's 20 owned-and-operated stations. Today, the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals threw the fine out, saying that the FCC had deviated from its 30-year history on previous such matters, and had, "acted arbitrarily and capriciously," when levying the fine."
Link to Original Source
top

"Cheaper" 3G iPhone May End Up Costing You

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ewhac writes "What Apple giveth, AT&T stealeth right back. A Salon article reads the fine print and crunches the numbers, and finds that the $200 handset price drop is more than eaten up by AT&T's $10/month price hike for unlimited data access over the mandatory two-year contract period. There has been no announcement of new carriers, so AT&T presumably remains the exclusive service provider for iPhone. Also, this rebalancing of the carrier subsidy may give Apple a fiscal incentive to quash 'jailbreak' hacks more vigorously."
Link to Original Source
top

Calif. Supreme Court Overturns Gay Marriage Ban

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ewhac writes "The California State Supreme Court today struck down the state's law banning same-sex marriages. In a 4-3 decision, the court said that "domestic partnerships" were not a complete substitute for marriage. This may pave the way for California to become the second state in the Union to officially sanction same-sex marriages."
Link to Original Source
top

Wikileaks Back Online

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ewhac writes "After basically bringing down the wrath of every civil libertarian in the country, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White has conceded that he erred and exceeded Constitutional authority when ordering the Wikileaks domain to be erased, and has dissolved the injunction. He also rejected a motion to have the disputed documents purged from the Wikileaks site. White left open the possibility for Julius Baer & Co's suit to continue forward, but suggested that the bank may want to investigate other ways to redress its grievances."
Link to Original Source
top

Tools for Understanding Code

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ewhac writes "Having just recently taken a new job, I find myself confronted with an enormous pile of existing, unfamiliar code written for a (somewhat) unfamiliar platform, and an implicit understanding that I'll grok it all Real Soon Now. Simply firing up an editor and reading through it has proven unequal to the task. What sorts of tools exist for effectively analyzing and understanding a large code base? (You should not assume the development or target platform is Windows.)

I'm familiar with cscope , but it doesn't really seem to analyze program structure, per se. It's just a very fancy 'grep' package with a rudimentary understanding of C syntax. As such, I've only put minimal effort in to it. A new-ish tool called ncc looks very interesting, as it appears to be based on an actual C/C++ parser, but the UI is klunky, and there doesn't appear to be any facility for integrating/communicating with an editor."
top

Researchers Crack *All* CA State Voting Machines

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ewhac writes "The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that computer security researchers throughout the University of California system managed to crack the security on every voting machine they tested that has been approved for use in the state. The researchers are unwilling to say how vulnerable the machines are, as the tests were conducted in an environment highly advantageous to the testers. They had complete access to the devices' source code and unlimited time to try and crack the machines. No malicious code was found in any of the machines, but Matt Bishop, who led the team from UC Davis, was surprised by the weakness of the security measures employed. The tests were ordered by Secretary of State Debra Bowen, who has until Friday of next week to decide whether to decertify any of the machines for use in the upcoming Presidential primary election."
top

Blast at SpaceShipOne Facility Kills Two

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ewhac writes "An explosion at the Mojave Air and Space Port has killed two people and critically injured four others, according to the Associated Press. Details are sketchy at the moment. Nitrous oxide is reported to be involved, but it is not yet known if a motor test was involved. The Mojave Air and Space Port, located in the high desert near Edwards Air Force Base, is owned by Scaled Composites LLC, the builders of SpaceShipOne."
top

Jim Butterfield, 1936 - 2007

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ewhac writes "While nearly everyone was going crazy over the iPhone, the computing community lost a luminary on Friday. Jim Butterfield, an early columnist and author for hobbyist computing in the 1970's and 80's, passed away peacefully in his sleep at 1:30 AM on 29 June. He was 71. Jim had been battling cancer since at least December of last year, when he announced he was beginning chemotherapy. Jim was a frequent contributor to periodicals such as The Transactor, COMPUTE!, and TPUG; and was the author of several books on introductory programming. Jim's clear and incisive writing helped introduce a generation of newcomers to the joys and wonders of computers and computer programming. No small fraction of today's engineers owe their livlihoods to Jim's writing and enthusiasm, this chronicler included. He will be missed."
top

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ewhac writes "Karen Lodrick was entering her sixth month of hell dealing with the repercussions of having her identity stolen and used to loot her accounts. But while she was waiting for a beverage, there standing in line was the woman who appeared on Wells Fargo security video emptying her accounts. What followed was a 45 minute chase through San Francisco streets that ended with the thief being taken into custody by police."
top

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ewhac writes "It is common tradition in Western culture to not speak ill of the dead. Many will doubtless find themselves sorely tested to uphold this tradition when learning of the death of Jack Valenti, the former head of the RIAA. He was 85. Valenti, a decorated World War II veteran, abolished the restrictive Hays censorship code in favor of the motion picture ratings system which he was instrumental in designing. No stranger to controversy, he was also at loggerheads with the burgeoning high-tech community, having compared the video recorder to the Boston Strangler, and successfully lobbied Washington for the NET Act and the DMCA. Valenti died from complications of a stroke suffered in March. He had been hospitalized for several weeks at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center before passing away today."
top

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ewhac writes "The Associated Press is reporting that Google has struck a deal to acquire DoubleClick for $3.1 billion in cash. DoubleClick, one of the oldest advertising companies on the Web, has been long criticized for its questionable practices of using browser cookies to quietly track the browsing habits of users. It is unclear how this acquisition meshes with Google's mantra of, "Don't be evil.""
top

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ewhac writes "Apparently a Jeff Bridges film is now a credible threat to the Republic. Reports are emerging from Hollywood that the Department of Homeland Security has classified the film TRON as "sensitive" and ordered Disney studios to surrender all its copies. Concern reportedly surrounds the live action scenes shot at the Shiva nuclear fusion research facility, which apparently after 25 years are now considered to reveal sensitive details about nuclear technology."
top

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ewhac writes "iSuppli has just published the results of their tear-down of the Sony PS3. According to their estimates, Sony is losing $241 per unit for the PS3 with the 20Gig hard disk, and $306 for the 60Gig version. By contrast, the 20Gig Xbox 360 of today costs $75 less than it's $500 price tag. Even given the high BOM of the Sony, however, iSuppli describes the PS3 as a sophisticated, cutting-edge design. Other choice details include the 400 Watt power supply, and the three custom ASICs, each with over 1200 pins."

Journals

top

ewhac ewhac writes  |  more than 13 years ago

This is an anchor entry so that friends can link to me. Real thoughts and opinions are most likely to show up on my Web site (when I get off my lazy ass and rebuild it).

Schwab

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?