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Comments

top

WhatsApp Is Well On Its Way To A Billion Users

gbjbaanb Re:Three problems, at least, with the number of us (93 comments)

in fact, one day Facebook might decide to give every FB user a free WhatsApp account, "for their own convenience".

Suddenly WA gains several billion users, including those who do not use FB anymore. Share price goes up, Slashdot talks about it, Reality continues to give not one fuck.

2 hours ago
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Aereo To SCOTUS: Shut Us Down and You Shut Down Cloud Storage

gbjbaanb Re:Doubt it will shut down cloud storage... (298 comments)

ah, but the whole point of it is that each subscriber rents an individual antenna - hence the legality of the whole operation.

2 hours ago
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Aereo To SCOTUS: Shut Us Down and You Shut Down Cloud Storage

gbjbaanb Re:Doubt it will shut down cloud storage... (298 comments)

I'd be more interested to know if one of those teeny tiny antennas actually work to receive the broadcasts, or if they're about as valid as a software patent.

If they do, then fine - carry on.

If they don't... then its just a scam.

yesterday
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Groove Basin: Quest For the Ultimate Music Player

gbjbaanb Re:No thanks...dev making decisions for the user (87 comments)

eedjit.

The player analyses each track so that all songs are uniformly loud, not that it alters your volume setting. This is so, if you have 2 tracks playing next to each other - the first quiet, the second mastered to be loud - you won't hurt yourself if you turned up the volume to hear the first one ok.

yesterday
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OpenSSL Cleanup: Hundreds of Commits In a Week

gbjbaanb Re:Unistd? In my Windows? (374 comments)

You know you're right - VS2013 doesn't have it. I was sure I'd had to use it recently, but just checked and you're right.

Oh well, back to macros :-)

3 days ago
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Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

gbjbaanb Re:What the hell is this article? (241 comments)

In the UK we have just (almost) shut the unions off. Now each individual member of the union gets to donate to whichever political party they prefer, rather than the bosses of the union deciding for them.

And this is the way it should be. Similarly for corporates. They should be barred from donating or lobbying - but the individual workers (and shareholders) can donate individually.

Of course, the best approach is to have political parties state-funded as possibly the best way to prevent abuse from rich people having more of a say than poor people, unless you think that poor people are somehow not as worthy as the rich - that poor scientist should have less say in the running of government than the dilettante playboy inheritor?

3 days ago
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Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

gbjbaanb Re:What the hell is this article? (241 comments)

but we're not talking about what you build, we're talking a corporate that has grown so big they are a danger to free governance of everyone.

By all means, you build something and stick to building it - we've got no problem with you. But once you get to interfering with government, trying to influence democratic process with your buckets of cash, then we have a problem that needs addressing.

Regardless of that, we need regulation of big businesses as the market forces that allow self-regulation to occur break down. This is why we do not allow monopolies to remain in place, for one example, rules on what banks can do for another.

3 days ago
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Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

gbjbaanb shareholder interests? (241 comments)

one of its jobs is to lobby for laws that benefit its shareholders

really? How does an oil pipeline have anything to do with anything Google shareholders care about?

Similarly, how does immigration reform benefit Facebook shareholders, who I assume, would be more interested in reducing immigration - especially cheap-ass tech workers than only benefit Facebook executives in keeping pay of those shareholders down.

3 days ago
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Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

gbjbaanb Re:What the hell is this article? (241 comments)

yet what you seem to be advocating is that corporates can steal the assets of the state!

If a corporate gets large and/or powerful enough that it becomes a governmental player, then it needs either regulation to prevent it from becoming that powerful (eg, broken up), or nationalised in the interests of the well-running government for everyone.

Nationalising these businesses is not stealing from the people - 99% of the people don't have a stake in Google being a privately run company anyway. If the government took them over, I doubt anyone would notice... except maybe our privacy would be protected better :-)

3 days ago
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OpenSSL Cleanup: Hundreds of Commits In a Week

gbjbaanb Re:I would think (374 comments)

no, nononono. "could have" is never what you want to be reading when you're talking about whether code is correct or not.

Now, sure a compiler can do it - as it knows exactly what its doing, optimisations make sense at that level as it can perform that optimisation in a safe way. But if you're relying on your own 'optimisation' against what the compiler may do as well, then you're generally going to be screwed. You must always stick with the API spec, and if the API says "never use something after its been freed" then you never use it after its been freed.

Even if they do have a free is just "unreserve" memory, then its pretty bad practice to a) call it free, b) use it in a way that makes it look like it should be freed like every other allocator out there. Don't surprise people is essential.

3 days ago
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OpenSSL Cleanup: Hundreds of Commits In a Week

gbjbaanb Re:But is it that easy? (374 comments)

The main part of this s to tidy things up. One commit removes a load of custom functions and replaces it with a single include of unistd.h - which is really removing stuff put in way, way back because a platform didn't have unistd back then. Similarly, they get rid of weird stuff that is more standardised today.

I think the real code auditing and fixing will happen later.

4 days ago
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OpenSSL Cleanup: Hundreds of Commits In a Week

gbjbaanb Re:I would think (374 comments)

From the looks of it, many of the (potential) bugs in OpenSSL are caused by the use of a custom memory allocation scheme instead of a standard C allocator

not necessarily - when I saw a commit that said "removed use after free" (ie still using a structure after it had been freed) then you've got to think the code is just generally sloppy.

4 days ago
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Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

gbjbaanb Re:Well (312 comments)

Some progressive offices have desks that can be raised or lowered with a little motor, so you can sit and then stand when you feel like it.

Typically the guys in the office would sit all morning and stand for part of the afternoon.

about a week ago
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Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

gbjbaanb Re:Weak (312 comments)

eh?

Assuming intelligent design for a moment, we were designed for stuff our ancestors were used to - running about and generally standing up.,

We were not ever designed to slouch in front of a TV/monitor with a little tool in our hands waggling it up and down (or side to side) pressing buttons.

So,much as I really don't care if ID is true or fantasy, citing proof of our sedentary lifestyles is not and argument against it.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

gbjbaanb Re:Are you still partying like its 1999, or what? (293 comments)

oh god Remedy....I used that once.

But the concept is good- you need a 'bug tracker' where the requests for patches can be made to you, and you can then assign tot he CCB. Once they agree it, then assign it back to you for implementation.

Any dev bugtracker will provide you with this kind of audit trail - think 'requirements' for the CCB authorisation, 'development' for the implementation, 'test' for the testing. You might want to rename these though.

I'd make it web based so access is simple for everyone involved - last thing you need is a Excel based solution. I've used Mantis, or Redmine but Bugzilla would work too as would any number of web based bug/task tracker tools. Get one installed before someone on the CCB says "we'll use a spreadsheet", seriously.

about a week ago
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Code Quality: Open Source vs. Proprietary

gbjbaanb Re:Not a surprise, but no reflection of O/S vs Pro (133 comments)

are you sure about that?

unsafe
{
// srcPtr and destPtr are IntPtr's pointing to valid memory locations
// size is the number of long (normally 4 bytes) to copy
    long* src = (long*)srcPtr;
    long* dest = (long*)destPtr;
    for (int i = 0; i < size / sizeof(long); i++)
    {
        dest[i] = src[i];
    }
}

that's valid C#, all you need to do is inject something like that into the codebase and let the JIT compile it (using all the lovely features they added to support dynamic code) and you're good to get all the memory you like.

Now I know the CLR will not let you do this so easily, but there's always a security vulnerability lying around waiting to be discovered that will, or an unpatched system that already has such a bug found in any of the .NET framework, for example this one that exploits... a "buffer allocation vulnerability", and is present in Silverlight.

The moral is ... don't think C programs are somehow insecure and managed languages are perfectly safe.

about a week ago
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How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

gbjbaanb Re:whine (226 comments)

Yeah, I remember the good old days, when there weren't many demands on developers, and release schedules were easy, and if you said to your boss, "can I have more time?" He said, "Sure, no problem my good friend, have a raise too!"

hey, I still work as a government contractor, you insensitive clod!

about a week ago
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Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked At Age 24

gbjbaanb Re:I have serious doubts.. (102 comments)

There is - but its very boring.

You generally look at the map from a distance, grouping your units into manageable armies. Then your entire interface looks more like a few points on a map and a spreadsheet as the relevant army stats are displayed in a grid.

This is the way real life Command and control interfaces are designed. A police 911 dispatcher will manage individual units rather than armies, but they will still need access to their stats (eg what equipment and training the unit has), their location and the location of any event (and the details of said location).

If you want to compare that to SC, you'll see it way different - much less frantic, which is important as you don't want the operator to be overwhelmed with information. You want them to see the "bigger picture" so they can plan the resource allocation effectively, calmly and with thought.

about a week ago
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Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked At Age 24

gbjbaanb Re:Ergonomics (102 comments)

My feeling is that a lot of older computer users suffer from no longer giving a fuck, after years of mismanagement and youthful exuberance, many older users have finally realised that having a life and not thinking computing is the be-all and end-all of everything is important.

about a week ago
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The Security of Popular Programming Languages

gbjbaanb Re:Wonder how Ada 2012 would fare... (188 comments)

rubbish. I can get it to do merging of sorted payroll data and, erm.. and.. and... yeah ok.

about a week ago

Submissions

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

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 3 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 8 months 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 a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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.""

Link to Original Source
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European eID announced

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 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."

Link to Original Source
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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 2 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 2 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 2 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.""

Link to Original Source

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