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FSF-Endorsed Libreboot X200 Laptop Comes With Intel's AMT Removed

hermitdev Re:Since when is AMT controversial? (121 comments)

Not to be pedantic or argumentative, but how are you sure your open hardware design isn't manipulated or back-door'd after you hand it over to a 3rd party for manufacturing? There is no single person in the world that build a useful general purpose (in today's standards) computer from hardware to software, guaranteeing that no one else has had an opportunity along the way to manipulate it in some fashion. At some point, you have to start trusting people/organizations/companies. The fewer involved, the greater level of trust you can reasonably assume. We've already seen how the "many eyes" postulation may be flawed (see: openssl). I chalk that up more to human nature: everyone assumes everyone else is looking, so until you personally have a problem, you don't look, you just assume & trust. I know I do this; I only read others' code when I'm bored or have to. Once I'm sufficiently bored by reading others' code that I'm not paid to read, I get back to my regular job.

8 hours ago
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Dish Network Violated Do-Not-Call 57 Million Times

hermitdev Re:= $912,000,000,000 (246 comments)

There's another part that I didn't bring up: Dish will be fined. But, where does that money go? To the people impacted by their acts? No. It will disappear into the fed government somewhere. Whatever fines are collected should be distributed to the people that they violated - and I'm not one of them.

about a week ago
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Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

hermitdev Re:Nobody read the law, huh? (322 comments)

Fair enough, I did read it several times, but managed to miss, each time, the "and require" part under Section 15. I'd suggest that it wouldn't withstand a challenge under the 4th or 5th Amendments, but seeing as how the SCOTUS has previously ruled the 1st Amendment doesn't (always) apply during public school, I'm not sure how well that would fare.

about a week ago
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Dish Network Violated Do-Not-Call 57 Million Times

hermitdev Re:= $912,000,000,000 (246 comments)

Market Cap of Dish Network is roughly $34B, so the max potential fine is roughly 30x what the company is worth. If levied, it means *poof*, gone. Won't happen. There will be a fine, but I'll be surprised if it ends up being more than even $30M.

about a week ago
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Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

hermitdev Re:Nobody read the law, huh? (322 comments)

I don't follow your interpretation of the law you linked to.

Section 10. Prohibited inquiry. (a) It is unlawful for a post-secondary school to request or require a student or his or her parent or guardian to provide a password or other related account information in order to gain access to the student's account or profile on a social networking website or to demand access in any manner to a student's account or profile on a social networking website.

That seem's pretty straight forward: it is unlawful to request or require dissemination of a password.

What I suspect you object to is this:

(2) monitor usage of the post-secondary school's electronic equipment and the post-secondary school's electronic mail without requesting or requiring a student to provide a password or other related account information in order to gain access to the student's account or profile on a social networking website.

What I read this to mean (and I'm not a lawyer, of course), is without approval or consent, they may monitor school-provided equipment and provided email. i.e., if you utilize your school's email service, they may read that at will, without your consent. Note the possessive in "post-secondary school's electronic mail". This seems pretty plain to me they are not allowed to monitor, say your gmail access (unless they have a man-in-the-middle setup and you access it utilizing the school's network, read: electronic equipment).

about a week ago
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Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

hermitdev Re:Nobody read the law, huh? (322 comments)

As an Illinois resident, I read through it several times, just on the chance I missed something. Like you, I see no where that anyone, either the victim or the accused are being compelled to provide even so much as a screen name, let alone full on credentials for any sort of account. Another misleading click-bait headline just to rile everyone up.

about a week ago
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Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

hermitdev Re:Bullshit (322 comments)

I could get behind this, but I'd go one step further: include lawyers whose suits are tossed out for being frivolous. 3 lawsuits tossed for being frivolous (not necessarily for without merit, lacking standing or losing), and you're disbarred, never to practice law again.

about a week ago
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Local Hackerspace Loses Solar Balloon, Creating Another UFO In New Mexico

hermitdev Seriously? (31 comments)

Not a UFO, already determined that even in the summary. We know what it is, thus "identified". Not "unidentified". Thus no UFO. Why is this a story? That a few people called in and didn't recognize a few lights in the sky?

about two weeks ago
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Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force"

hermitdev Re:Slashdot stance on #gamergate (687 comments)

I think "Crash Override" is an extremely poor choice of names. I mean, who in the community doesn't know 1995's "Hackers"? Johnny Lee Miller's character had a handle "Crash Override". He spent the entire movie trying to get into Angelina Jolie's character's pants (and succeeded), and he (the actor) married Jolie in real life, if only for a few years. If you want to talk "messages", what does choosing such a moniker for this movement represent? At its best, willful ignorance (which I doubt) or an alternate purpose, which then begs the question of for what? I'm not going to go so far to say Quinn is either stupid or ignorant, so that again beg's the question: why "Crash Override"?

about two weeks ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

hermitdev Re:Problems in C++ (383 comments)

Dude, don't use square brackets with STL arrays and vectors, just to make your code more readable. The [] operator skips bounds checking, which is the main reason for using these classes in the first place. At() is the proper methodology to use in pretty much every case, unless you are so confident in your bounds that its worth the trivial speed increase in access time.

This is usually just plain wrong. I have extremely seldom ever seen "at" used in production code. Why? Because it's usually duplicating a bounds check you've already done. If you're going to naively randomly access a location into a vector without checking if it's within bounds, sure, but that's kind of a nasty smell (also, are you handling the exception that may/will occur?). Most vector accesses occur something like looping from 0 until (but not including size), or using begin/end (either the free functions or the members). At best, the optimizer might be able to deduce you're never modifying the size of the vector during a loop and elide the repeated bounds check. At worst, you're evaluating "if ((_M_end - _M_start) <= i) throw std::out_of_range();" on every iteration.

Regarding point #4, forward declarations aren't to save compilation time or declare linkage. Yes, they can be used to do both, but the prime function is to, well, declare a name and just enough information to be somewhat useful before it is used (i.e. reduce very simple otherwise circular-references). I can forward-declare 'struct A', but I cannot instantiate/allocate it until it is defined (need to know the size, layout, etc.). You can declare a pointer to 'struct A', because well, you know the size of the pointer. Same reason you can't define "struct A { struct A a; };", but you can define "struct A {struct A* p_a; };".

Regarding "#ifdefs", yeah, there shouldn't really be a need for them in this day and age, but they won't go away due to legacy code. If you removed them, you'd break every single codebase in the world. Not going to happen. Additionally, due to the historical lack of variadic macros, there are numerous libraries that rely upon multiple inclusion of the same header to fake variadic macros. If you assumed a "#pragma once", you'd break various Boost libraries as well as even some STL implementations. Headers guarded with ifdef's can only safely be precompiled and reused if any and all preprocessor defines referenced are identical across all usages and inclusion order of every & all predecessor headers is exactly the same for all usages, otherwise you very well may violate the one-definition-rule.

about two weeks ago
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Ancient Viruses Altered Human Brains

hermitdev Re:[bleep] have the CURE for the VIRUS. (110 comments)

Recently infected? Feels more like a primordial specimen that couldn't step out of the initial pool.

about two weeks ago
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EFF: Apple's Dev Agreement Means No EFF Mobile App For iOS

hermitdev Re:No, it's not. (220 comments)

the petitions in question take aggregated opinions to decision-makers

No, they don't. They take an aggregate of a singular shared opinion by some set of like-minded people, but they don't represent an aggregated set of opinions. Note the plurality in opinions.

about three weeks ago
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EFF: Apple's Dev Agreement Means No EFF Mobile App For iOS

hermitdev Re:No, it's not. (220 comments)

Petition sites such as change.org or even the White House's site are not democratic in nature and they should not be construed as "votes" from the voting populace. First, there is no guarantee the signatures are valid or even from the US. Second, there is no mechanism to vote against, or to otherwise say something to the effect of "no, I think this is a bad idea". So, you only measure the yeas, but have no meter of the nays. For argument sake, and assuming rough numbers: White House is requiring 250,000 signatures to consider a petition? US estimated 2013 population is 316,128,839. So, that ends up being 0.079% of the population needs to ascent to the petition to be considered, with no way to voice countering options or dissent, except with an opposing petition. Personally, I think a better mechanism would be a vote up/down mechanism and consider the net. Yes, I recognize only recording the yeas is the very nature of a petition, but I think the way these petitions are being represented is more as an opinion poll of what *everyone* wants, which is not true. If that's how you're going to represent it, you should give everyone an opportunity to actually express their view, not just that of those that are reinforcing your opinion/view.

about three weeks ago
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Red Hat Engineer Improves Math Performance of Glibc

hermitdev Re:C versus Assembly Language (226 comments)

I, personally, define bad code (in this context), from the perspective of code generated by the compiler, as code that does not perform in an expected manner as dictated by the higher-level language lacking any sort of unspecified or undefined behavior failing to produce the expected result. In a most ridiculous example, if I had int i = 3 * 7; printf("%d", i); and anything other than 21 was output, there's some bad code present. Suboptimal does not mean bad or erroneous, if it produces the correct result. Suboptimal but correct would be a target for manual inline assembly optimization, if it is sufficiently inefficient. Bad with incorrect result might also be a target for manual assembly if a resolution from the compiler vendor could not be completed, or would otherwise be unfeasible.

about three weeks ago
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Red Hat Engineer Improves Math Performance of Glibc

hermitdev Re:C versus Assembly Language (226 comments)

And he missed the second step:

File a bug report for the compiler with 'missed optimization opportunity' in the title and a reduced test case.

We like to see real-world examples of where we're generating bad code - if we don't see them, we can't fix them.

Definitely correct, and an oversight on my part. To my part, I've not first-hand observed a compiler generating bad or erroneous code, but was more thinking back to Linus's recent tirade about GCC 4.8. When I have seen the compiler behaving badly, it's usually been in the form of internal compiler errors. When I do encounter these, I do as much research as I reasonably can, and try and distill a minimal reproduction. Last such ICE I saw was in GCC 4.1.2 a few years ago (yes, my employer at the time was that far behind). The Ops team wanted to push a "small" update to my dev server, which I think was running Rhel 5.4 at the time to fix a completely unrelated issue. After the update, I noticed it also updated GCC to a newer point release of 4.1.2 and an unmodified code base started to fail with an ICE. A bit of investigation narrowed it down to, in C++ code, defining an anonymous namespace at the global scope (perfectly legal, but caused an ICE in that particular GCC version). Turns out it had already been reported, fixed and already released in a later version, so my Ops team had very little work to do to fix it.

about three weeks ago
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Red Hat Engineer Improves Math Performance of Glibc

hermitdev Re:C versus Assembly Language (226 comments)

If you have the time to write the algorithm in assembly, then you have the time to write it in the high level language (I'd imagine for anything but the most trivial of operations, you're probably looking at a minimum of 5x-10x longer to write and verify the algorithm by hand in assembly vs C or C++. I'd also wager my estimate may be an order of magnitude or more low. I'd also expect a large variance in the extra time relative to the experience and familiarity of the architecture of the developer/engineer doing the inline assembly.). The additional benefit of this, as you mentioned, but I failed to: is that you have it there for regression/comparison (assuming, of course, the compiler is generating functionally correct assembly, to begin with). Additionally, having both the assembly & high level implementations affords you the ability to quickly, if sub-optimally, support new architectures.

about three weeks ago
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Red Hat Engineer Improves Math Performance of Glibc

hermitdev Re:C versus Assembly Language (226 comments)

But yes, a mixture of C++ and assembly is definitely the right solution, either inline assembly or a single separate function to do the messy math.

I disagree with nothing you've said here, or in your initial reply to me. One word of caution: I'd discourage mixing inline assembly with "regular" C/C++ code. Most compilers (last I've looked) immediately bail on attempting to optimize any function that contains inline assembly. I honestly don't know if you have an inline asm function how that plays in - it's just not something I deal with regularly. Last time I wrote/modified any inline assembly was to correct a x86->x64 compatibility problem roughly 6 years ago.

about three weeks ago
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Red Hat Engineer Improves Math Performance of Glibc

hermitdev Re:C versus Assembly Language (226 comments)

What do you think intrinsics are? They are nothing but very thinly wrapped C functions, often marked inline, over the underlying instructions. The major downside here is you have no choice over register allocation, if you're making a number of calls, this could become an issue.

about a month ago

Submissions

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California regulator seeks to shut down 'learn to code' bootcamps

hermitdev hermitdev writes  |  about a year ago

hermitdev (2792385) writes "A recent blog post by Data Science Central indicates that free online educational services may face an uphill battle in California:

In mid-January, the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) sent cease and desist letters to Hackbright Academy, Hack Reactor, App Academy, Zipfian Academy, and others. General Assembly confirmed that it began working on this issue several months ago in order to achieve compliance with BPPE.

BPPE, a unit in the California Department of Consumer Affairs, is arguing that the bootcamps fall under its jurisdiction and are subject to regulation. BPPE is charged with licensing and regulating postsecondary education in California, including academic as well as vocational training programs. It was created in 2010 by the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009, a bill aimed at providing greater oversight of the more than 1,500 postsecondary schools operating in the state.

These bootcamps have not yet been approved by the BPPE and are therefore being classified as unlicensed postsecondary educational institutions that must seek compliance or be forcibly shut down.

"

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