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Comments

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

gbjbaanb Re:Code Academies (143 comments)

you'd have a vast library of libraries. Something like CPAN or something you'd get in the C world. Libraries written to perform some task and nothing more. Then documented with care and the API published.

Anyone wants to do something, they take the library that appeals to them and adds it to their program and build up a program from these bits.

Now the problem today is that a) some only use libs that come with the OS or language framework, b) the libraries that are out there are shit, written quickly and for a bit of a mishmash of scenarios.

For example, you can get an XML parser and it will work perfectly. It will only parse XML though, but then, that's what only what you want from a XML parser library! .... well, except it also comes with network routines and specialised SOAP parsing and a suite of http helper methods, including a web services subsystem :-(

So the problem is not so much that we have libraries, but that the libraries we have are not good enough as library code.

2 days ago
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Popular Android Apps Full of Bugs: Researchers Blame Recycling of Code

gbjbaanb Re:Laziness (143 comments)

I'll agree there - thought its not Java at fault necessarily - not unless you lump in a bunch of other languages like VB, C#, JS etc.

The problem is of the library code you're using. Libraries should be small, well defined, easy to use, and documented.

The problem today is (especially with code written in Java, .NET or JS) that it is knocked up to solve some problem but the problem is not only not properly understood, but the code that is provided doesn't solve it particularly well. Its not defined as a discrete task, more as part of some greater whole that someone thought "worked ok for me in my circumstances, so should be fine for others too".

If libs were properly specified as libraries and their API documented fully, then we would see more code reuse and better, cheaper code. If only, but the cost of making such a library tends to be too slow and difficult for the 'I want it now' majority, and this is why we continue to have this kind of shitty code problem.

2 days ago
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Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

gbjbaanb Re:Satya (148 comments)

but "For Fucks Sake" doesn't spell anything like I thought you spelt his name but I guess I'll start spelling it like that if you insist.

For completeness, how do I pronounce it?

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Get (or Share) News About Open Source Projects?

gbjbaanb Re:Github (85 comments)

only as a place to host your project.

For finding related projects, or finding projects that want help you still miss the features of sourceforge. in fact, if it wasn't for the dice-ificaton of SF, SF would be the premier site to host your OSS projects. I wish Dice would get this.

Besides, I stopped trusting github after the revelation how the founders were playing with it and their employees. If they can't run themselves professionally, I don't trust them to run the entire business or sites professionally either, I've been on too many sites that closed up for whatever reason to want to lose my source to the increased risk that github screws things up more.

3 days ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

gbjbaanb Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (540 comments)

I'm beginning to get the same, its a bummer :)

Apparently there is some technology that is new that replaces the lens with a little plastic one - like they do for cataract surgery. Ages ago I read about this procedure being performed for vision, but mainly to correct shortsightedness, particularly for people with really bad vision.

http://www.revophth.com/conten...

Now, it seems this might be the way for the likes of me... if I wasn't too worried about my eyesight. Might give it a few more years first :-)

5 days ago
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UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents

gbjbaanb Re:Why ODF? (164 comments)

bullshit. I get a .xls from my accountant to enter my details, and its full of protected cells and functions. I use LibreOffice, and so far my accountant hasn't even noticed anything untoward with the returned .xls file I send him.

Considering Word can't even open some Word documents created with older versions of Word, I think this is pretty damn good.

about a week ago
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UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents

gbjbaanb Re:Why ODF? (164 comments)

ODF is more like a zip file of XML files

You can have a single-document xml file, but its quite rare.

Not that it really matters so much, the only problem I had was finding a library to write a .ods file (basically wanted to write a csv, but in a format that Excel would actually fucking render correctly, the fucker). Writing out .xls files was just not available unless I had Office installed and called some COM wrapper to some craziness.

about a week ago
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The "Rickmote Controller" Can Hijack Any Google Chromecast

gbjbaanb Re:Maybe it's just me ... (131 comments)

Did you even read the summary?!

But it gets worse for the victims: If the hacker leaves the range of the device, there's no way to regain control of the Chromecast

about a week ago
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Math, Programming, and Language Learning

gbjbaanb Re:Your Results Will Vary (241 comments)

that's a poor argument. After all, physics is just applied maths, and chemistry is just applied physics, and biology is just applied chemistry.... and just by sitting here typing I'm using maths!

Maths as a discrete thing is different to computer science even though they do share the same branch of education.

That said, nowadays, is cutting and pasting code from Google, and pressing . and letting intellisense tell me what to pick next, really maths. Is it really programming! :-)

about two weeks ago
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Math, Programming, and Language Learning

gbjbaanb Re:Your Results Will Vary (241 comments)

I guess it depends, I have used math twice n my professional career - once to use trigonometry to show the distance between 2 points (Pythagoras) and once with a complex equation that was reduced to a simpler one.

Now, if I was a cryptograpic engineer, I think I might use math more often :)

But, as I tend to be more of a LoB engineer, math is not something used very often at all. If at all. I refer to the aforementioned pythagorean equation for the distance between 2 points using a triangle.... the business people I was working with considered me a genius for knowing that kind of thing even though it was something remembered from my O level days (yes, I'm old, maybe they don't teach it any more)

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft's Missed Opportunities: Memo From 1997

gbjbaanb Re:Too long (161 comments)

Imagine instead if they'd listened to him and worked towards this vision

then he would have replaced Ballmer by the board ... so obviously first thing to do was ignore him, and then sack him. Got to look at the "big picture" - you know, the one of Ballmer's bonuses that matter much more than any thing stupid like innovating in the right way to keep the company at the forefront of their field.

about two weeks ago
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Massive Job Cuts Are Reportedly Coming For Microsoft Employees

gbjbaanb Re:Who couldn't see this coming? (300 comments)

plenty of "do nothings" at Microsoft - all the old guys who were lucky enough to get shares, now called "rest and vest" by the new comers who haven't seen the same kind of perk for well over a decade.

But I imagine Microsoft has very many people who they really don't need - smaller divisions can perform much better than large empires.

about two weeks ago
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Critical Vulnerabilities In Web-Based Password Managers Found

gbjbaanb Re:KeePass? (114 comments)

same here - only I don't try to keep it in sync with other devices (don't want changes I make to my PCs keepass db to be automatically synced to my phone that might be stolen)(I might be going a little too paranoid here)

I also use Mozy for the cloud storage, as it encrypts everything stored (with a different key) and it has history.

Keepass is awesome, my only worry is that I forget which file I used as the encryption 2nd part and delete it one day!

about two weeks ago
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Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water

gbjbaanb Re:because drinking water is so pristine (242 comments)

same in the UK, the regulations on what comes out of the tap are much stricter than what gets sold in bottles.

But.. maybe we should go back to basics and drink water the way our ancestors did to keep healthy - by brewing it with hops :-)

about two weeks ago
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Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It

gbjbaanb Re:I was able to sneak into their laboratories (238 comments)

tell me, I read (yes) the Daily Mail article, read the linked one to the Independant and then submitted with the DM one as it was better, even though it had been sourced from the other paper's site.

Though samzenpus did a good job rewriting my "na, they'll never accept it" sub, he really shouldn't have lost that link :(

about two weeks ago
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Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It

gbjbaanb Re:Headline wrong, not invisible. (238 comments)

I was thinking of heatsinks - conduct better than copper (no doubt cheaper once manufacturing gets sorted out) and your shiny copper heatpipes will be replaced with not-shiny black ones that you can't see.

The said telescopes would be suitable for this, particularly expensive ones they put in space.

about two weeks ago
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Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It

gbjbaanb Re:I was able to sneak into their laboratories (238 comments)

yeah yeah, just look at the pictures, no need to read the stories of Nigerian princes being allowed to remain in the UK after scamming little old ladies of their life savings, because it would violate their human right to a family life.

about two weeks ago
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Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water

gbjbaanb Re:Not new, and not shocking. (242 comments)

as the summary says, 60c per 1000 gallons its more cost-effective to treat it this way than traditional ways. I guess that either means energy is very cheap there (solar perhaps?) or their traditional systems are very energy intensive too.

about two weeks ago
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Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water

gbjbaanb Re:How is this new? (242 comments)

the mountain's stream is technically said sewage evaporated and rained on top of the mountain (or "sewage treated by nature"). Water molecules don't magic out of thin air.

about two weeks ago
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Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water

gbjbaanb Re:because drinking water is so pristine (242 comments)

pretty much everyone. Water that is treated is stored in reservoirs that are sent directly (with a little extra filtering and bleaching) to your tap.

Mineral water out a bottle is even worse.

but that said, this is the way its supposed to be. You don't want to live in a sterile bubble, you'd never be able to leave it if you did. A little bit of what you don't fancy does you good :-)

but though a reservoir is a lake, its not the same as the ones filled with untreated water - they're full of bad stuff, mostly produced by farming and other over-populated human practices.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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So black you can't see it.

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about two weeks ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "A British company is developing a new material that’s so black it absorbs all but 0.035 percent of the visual light, making it the darkest material ever created.

Of course, apart from making album covers, it conducts heat 7 times better than copper and is 10 times stronger than steel.

the pictures are the best, it looks like its sitting on some foil, but its grown on the foil which is all crinkled and bent — only people who have seen it say that it looks smooth because so little light is being reflected."

Link to Original Source
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AMD's new gfx API Mantle offers 40% framerate improvement over OpenGL and Dx

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 6 months ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "AMD has a new low-level graphics API to take on OpenGL and DirectX. It works by reducing the amount of overhead involved in most graphics operations and getting closer to the metal which results in some substantial frame rate improvements, especially on CPU bound systems.

AMD have been talking about the possibility to hand over control to Khronos Group in the future and that they have a SDK scheduled later this year which will make it possible for Intel and Nvidia to start working on support for Mantel if they want to."

Link to Original Source
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Fight ash dieback disease.. on facebook

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about a year ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Remember folding@home and similar massively distributed programs that tried to get enough computing power to help fightr diseases, the latest one is a little different. In the UK, Ash Dieback disease is has been imported from the continent and is killing all the native ash trees, so researchers have created a crowd-sourced game to match genetic sequences of resistant trees.

Computer systems to match thousands of sequences are difficult to do, but humans are very good at pattern matching, which is why the game was created.

And released on Facebook to reach a wide community, who can play an entertaining puzzle game without having to pay for a single f*** sheep (or leaf). About time."

Link to Original Source
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Interplanetary Internet tested on the ISS

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about a year and a half ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "At last — we have a new Internet protocol (eat your heart out IPv6) — called DTN (for disruption tolerant networking).

This "interplanetary internet" has been used by an astronaut at the International Space Station (ISS) to send commands to a robot on Earth and will be used primarily for communication with distant nodes."

Link to Original Source
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Windows 7 finally overtakes XP

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Microsoft Windows 7 has finally overtaken the 11-year-old Windows XP operating system on web-based market share figures from Netmarketshare

So what does this mean for Windows 8? Another 5 years before it has as many installations as Windows 7, does that mean that writing Metrp-only apps on a OS that doesn't have critical mass will be as successful as Silverlight?"

Link to Original Source
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Nokia sells Qt to Digia

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Finnish software company Digia announced today that it is acquiring the Qt software business from Nokia. Digia plans to pick up where Nokia left off, continuing Qt development but renewing the toolkit’s focus on cross-platform support."
Link to Original Source
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Apple assisting the trade in stolen iPhones

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Need a new iDevice? Simple — first steal one, then 'accidentally' break it and take it to your nearest Apple store and present it for warranty repair, and an Apple 'genius' will hand you a brand new one, no questions asked.

So Apple could help make stolen iPhones useless to the thief by locking them, or they could be encouraging thieves who know they'll get a brand new one to sell on. More worryingly, this will invalidate your insurance:

Charlie Durrant was a victim of iPhone theft. After her handset was stolen last year she reported the theft to Apple and her insurer. However, when she requested a replacement phone, her insurer told her that one had already been issued in her name. The thief had taken advantage of Apple's lack of checks. ... "someone had just gone in and got a brand new one, making my insurance invalid.""

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European eID announced

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "On Wednesday, the European Commission published a strategy document aimed at setting up systems to protect children online. In the document — but not in the accompanying press release nor the citizens' summary — the Commission mentioned that it will soon propose a "pan-European framework for electronic authentication", full details will be announced on 30th May.

The launch of the strategy follows a push to strengthen internet security in the EU. It also outlined legal measures to make it easier for people to use a single e-ID for online services across borders, which would underpin a move toward a pan-European framework for electronic identification, authentication and signature (Pefias) framework."

Link to Original Source
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Amazon accused of bullying small firms, and inflat

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Online shopping giant Amazon has been accused of artificially inflating prices by banning firms that trade on its website from selling goods more cheaply elsewhere on the internet.

Amazon has ordered them to ‘maintain parity between the terms on which you offer or sell each item through Amazon’ and the amount they charge for the same product on other sites."

Link to Original Source
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Nokia sells 12 phones per second

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "no, don't worry Windows Phone hasn't taken over the world... this is the S40 "burning platform" success story.

What surprised me: To make S40 phones attractive to them, the software — and the hardware it runs on — now supports a wide range of apps, from the wildly popular Angry Birds game to instant messaging and apps to connect with social networks. Ms McDowell says that "a lot of work is being done to get such marquee apps" on to the S40 platform, to boost its attractiveness.

So why run a smartphone when a 'dumb' phone can do everything you want, including 3.7 million app downloads per day.

Last year, this low-margin business contributed about half of Nokia's profits."

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Spanish bank BBVA to use Google's cloud

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Spanish banking giant BBVA is switching its 110,000 staff to use Google's range of enterprise software.

The bank told the BBC it would use Google's tools only for internal communication, but the deal can be seen as a breakthrough in corporate adoption.

The customer and bank data will still be held on internal systems, but all communication will be via Google services, mainly driven by a need to serve the bank's increasingly mobile workers."

Link to Original Source
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Winner of Microsoft Excel World Championship

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "The world of competitive computing has another winner to add the the honour-rolls. This time its UK student Rebecca Rickwood who has beatuen 78 other finalists to be crowned best user of Microsoft's spreadsheet software, Excel 2007.

Sincere congratulations to Miss Rickwood, but please — find out about boys soon."

Link to Original Source
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the Longhorn dream reborn

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Early this month, Microsoft dropped something of a bombshell on Windows developers: the new Windows 8 touch-friendly immersive style would use a developer platform not based on .NET. Cue howls of outrage from .NET developers everywhere, but here Ars Technica descibes what's more likely to have been going on and why Microsoft is finally getting its act together for developers."
Link to Original Source
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New runtime for native Android apps on Windows

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "A startup called BlueStacks has developed an Android runtime environment for the Windows operating system.

BlueStacks has overcome the performance barrier by building a native x86 Android runtime that doesn't have to rely on emulation. The company says that Android applications running on its stack will be highly responsive on Windows and won't suffer from the kind of lag that developers are accustomed to experiencing when using Google's emulator.

No product is availablefor download to the great unwashed, but partner Citrix showed a demo of the system at Citrix Synergy conference. An alpha of the runtime will be available for download in July."

Link to Original Source
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Skylon spaceplane passes key review

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "A revolutionary UK spaceplane concept has been boosted by the conclusions of an important technical review.

Skylon is a design for a workign spaceplane that uses revolutionalry engines that work as normal jets near the ground and switch to rocket propulsion in the upper atmosphere. The concept means the plane will not have to carry as much fuel and so will not need disposable stages.

Its estimated the cost of delivering payloads to orbit will drop from $15000 per kilo to $1000 making this the best prospect for commercialisation of orbit."

Link to Original Source
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Web standard gets EU funding

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "The BBC is reporting news of project Webinos, an initiative to provide a common platform for web applications that would sidestep current operating systems and allow devs to create web-based apps that would run anywhere — PCs, TVs, cars, mobiles.

The project aims to sidestep operating systems and proprietary app stores by providing a web-based approach.

The idea would enable a given app to work, for example, on a web-ready television, in a car and on a mobile, no matter the makers of the devices... Companies can afford to have an app on two or at most three platforms — they're extremely costly to develop and ensure the user experience..


Makes sense for all, except companies that thrive on having their own, proprietary systems to 'differentiate' themselves from the other proprietary systems."

Link to Original Source
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ISP's top data hog gobbles 2.7TB of data in a mont

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "In a rare turn of events, a Belgian ISP has released figure for its "super users" by bandwidth usage not to demonise them, but to show how good their network and plans are! 1 User downloaded more than 2TB, 7 others hit the 1TB mark.

Its only a matter of time before there's a competition for who can clog this network up with the most traffic :)"

Link to Original Source
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Want HiDef DrWho? Now its DRM only

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "The BBC has been granted provisional approval to introduce copy protection for Freeview HD after they resubmitted an amended plan.

Quote:
"In view of the fuller submission provided by the BBC, Ofcom is currently minded to approve its request for a multiplex licence amendment subject to consultation responses, on the basis that in principle, content management is a justified objective which ensures that the broadest range of HD content is made available to citizens and consumers," said Ofcom's statement.
However, its not too late yet — you can submit your comment and tell them you'd like to be able to record broadcast HD TV.

I'm sure the 'content providers' will continue to sell content to the BBC, ITV etc if this is not implemented. They'll still take our licence fee money (or advertising) and sell us the content, but refuse to let us record or copy it, hoping we'll go out and buy the DVD/BluRays as well."

Link to Original Source
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An x86 smartphone? - here comes the LG GW990

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "I love stories about new smartphones, it shows the IT market is doing something different than the usual same-old desktop apps, maybe one day we'll all be using super smartphones as our primary computing platforms.

And so, here's Intel's offering: the LG GW990. Running a Moorestown CPU, which gives 'considerably' better energy efficiency than the Atom, it runs Intel's Linux distro — Moblin.

"In some respects, the GW990 — "which has an impressive high-resolution 4.8-inch touchscreen display — "seems more like a MID than a smartphone. It's possible that we won't see x86 phones with truly competitive all-day battery life until the emergence of Medfield, the Moorestown successor that is said to be coming in 2011. It is clear, however, that Intel aims to eventually compete squarely with ARM in the high-end smartphone market.""

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