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Comments

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Civilization: Beyond Earth Announced

mseeger Shut up and take my money (88 comments)

It's says "Civilization" in the title, so i will buy it anyway... ;-)

about two weeks ago
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Embarrassing Stories Shed Light On US Officials' Technological Ignorance

mseeger Not better here... (299 comments)

If it is any consolation, the level of competence of political decisionmakers in Germany is about at the same level. The ballpen is the last technological inovation they use.

about a month and a half ago
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German Court Forbids Resale of Valve Games

mseeger Re:Correct Headline (261 comments)

Even better ;-)

about 2 months ago
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German Court Forbids Resale of Valve Games

mseeger Correct Headline (261 comments)

The correct headline would be:

German court refuses to force Valve Steam to allow resale of games

Too complicated?

about 2 months ago
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Actually, It's Google That's Eating the World

mseeger Re:Too big (205 comments)

Yep, but we come back to my argument: The biggest risk for the for Google on the search market is regulation (see EU proceedings).

about 3 months ago
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Actually, It's Google That's Eating the World

mseeger Too big (205 comments)

Actually, i think Google knows that it is getting too big: the breakneck speed of acquisitions is the result of the intent, to get as big as they can before a more confining regulation sets in.

about 3 months ago
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Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Pass 10% Market Share, Windows XP Falls Below 30%

mseeger Re:Windows XP still at 28.98% (470 comments)

The system will not receive any updates any more while sharing a code base with newer systems. Any patch coming for Vista/7/8 starting April will be analyzed for a matching bug in XP which will be turned into exploits quickly.

Any Windows XP system will be a real liability when connected to the Internet.

about 4 months ago
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Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Pass 10% Market Share, Windows XP Falls Below 30%

mseeger Re:Windows XP still at 28.98% (470 comments)

Windows 7 is way better than XP and even 8 (with a bit of tweaking) can be used properly.

There is no excuse for running XP as there is no excuse for housing people in ramshackle houses prone to collaps any minute.

about 4 months ago
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Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Pass 10% Market Share, Windows XP Falls Below 30%

mseeger Windows XP still at 28.98% (470 comments)

With Windows XP still at 28.98% you can only weep and cry. This means that nearly one third of all PC users are running disastrously old systems.

about 4 months ago
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Alan Turing Pardoned

mseeger Re:Long overdue (415 comments)

Kernighan and Ritchie were well aware of Turing completeness. Dennis Ritchie started with Theoretical Computer Science before he wrote his first software (see http://www.gotw.ca/publications/c_family_interview.htm). You can be sure that designing C without Turing Completeness would have been for them like designing a car without tires.

Languages without Turing Completeness only make sense only in special applications because they are so limited (e.g. the C PreProcessor is not Turing Complete unless you use it recursively).

One of the marvels of the Turing machine is that it is so simple (you can describe what a Turing machine does on 2-3 pages) but it is as powefull in expression as modern languages with specification of thousands of pages are.

A lot of coders have no idea about the theories behind it. That is why a lot of code sucks. It's not the lack of Turing machines but on the theories that are connected to it (e.g automata theory, complexity theory).

What you are saying is like: I am tiler, i never check the foundation when i am building the roof, so it can't be important ;-).

You can make a living as a coder without all that knowledge. More than half of the coders do. But if you look at the people who shape the world of software (like Dennis Ritchie, Linus Torvalds, James Gosling, etc), you will notice they all are well versed in the area of computer science theories.

P.S. Concerning AI and Turing Test: computer games have no AI. The producers of computer games call their software opponents AI, but they are a collection heuristical algorithms cobbled together.

When you are playing agains an opponent, you can usually tell easily wether this is a computer or not. In fact, you are conducting a Turing Test then and the other side fails usually miserably.

about 4 months ago
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Alan Turing Pardoned

mseeger Re:Long overdue (415 comments)

I cannot blame you for not seeing it. I studied the theories for five years and thought them dull and boring. Then, after decades of having to work on real world problems, it hit me. Nowadays i can e.g. look at code or database designs and easily recognise coders who have understood the theories and those who didn't.

Not understanding the theoretical background will put and upper limit to anyones capabilities as a coder. This is like being restricted in World of Warcraft to Level 20: some skills in the skill tree will remain out of reach no matter the grinding.

The best way to illustrate the genius of Turing is: he saw computers coming before the first one ever being built. He developed a trivial "assembler language" (Turing machine) that is so powerfull that no computer and no programming language built today can compute something his machine could not.

When he was finished with that, he thought not about calculations (as the opposite German genius Konrad Zuse did) but of processing symbols. He thought of computer code being processed by computer code and thereby inventing compilers and interpreters without having a name for it yet.

Then he interpolated the capabilities of those (not yet existing) machines and recognised that they would appear to have some kind of artificial intelligence and started thinking about how to tell computers and humans apart (60 years before the first SPAM was sent).

Looking back, having all the tools already on your fingertips, all this may sound trivial. But to achieve only 1% of his visionary power, i would have to grow by several orders of magnitude.

about 4 months ago
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Alan Turing Pardoned

mseeger Re:Long overdue (415 comments)

C is Turing complete for all practical purposes.

The idea behind Turing complete is more complicated. It's about what kind of ideas you can formulate.

a) If you can do everything in C you can do with a Turing machine and vices versa and
b) you do the same thing for an exotic language (let's thay Haskell)

you have proven that C and Haskell can solve the same kind of problems (there is no problem you can solve in C but not in Haskell).

That is why the idea of quantum computing is so interesting. It would be the first kind of programming that may achieve solving a problem that may not be solved with a Turing machine. Until now, Turing has de facto established an upper boundary for computability until know.

The next thing is that Turing proved that there is no Turing machine that could determine for any other Turing machine if it ever comes to a stop in finite time.

Combining with the statement above says: There is no C program that could analyse every C program completely in finite time.

It's a simplified version of what Turing called the "halting problem".

The astounding thing is: he found out a lot of things about modern computers without ever having seen one. The theories came first. It's like Newton discovering gravitation without seeing apples falling first.

about 4 months ago
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Alan Turing Pardoned

mseeger Re:Long overdue (415 comments)

He has made a lot of contribtion to the basic theories, especially on the topic of computability,

A basic test for any programming language is (even today) if it is Turing complete. If you can implement a Turing machine (a theoretical universal computer) in a language, you can implement any problem that is computeable in that language and therefor the language is Turing complete.

about 4 months ago
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Alan Turing Pardoned

mseeger Long overdue (415 comments)

This should have happened decades ago. Since the 70s his contribution to winning the WWII are known and there are very, very few humans that can rival his impact.

about 3 months ago
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Justine Sacco, Internet Justice, and the Dangers of a Righteous Mob

mseeger Instead of moderation (399 comments)

Instead of moderation, we have a mob.

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft's Ticking Time Bomb Is Windows XP

mseeger XP a Time bomb? (829 comments)

No, the time bomb are people still running XP....

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Would You Secure Your Parents' PC?

mseeger iPad (408 comments)

I gave my mother an iPad as "additional" device as a present. Soon afterwards, PC useage and resulting problems dropped by 80-90%. Very good investment...

Disclaimer: Not everything is perfect with an iPad for seniors (e.g. maximum font size is still too small, most apps ignore setting anyway). But even with 73 years she took to the device like a duch to water. A 13'' or even 15'' tablet would be a better choice for older people.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Easy Wi-Fi-Enabled Tablet For My Dad?

mseeger For bling people (370 comments)

Hi,

thanks for bringing this topic up on Slashdot. I am currently looking into this too, but with another challenge on top. A relative of mine (80+ years) is going to be blind too. And he is looking for technology to help him cope with blindness.

A tablet with voice control and output would be a good solution (IMHO). Has anyone experiences with that?

From my first glance, the support in IOS for visually impaired is higher, but i may be wrong with that and the openess of Android may enable better 3rd-party tools enhancing that experience. Can you give me your input?

It is a pity, that those displays with tactile feedback are not here yet.

Thanks for any hint, Martin

about 4 months ago
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TSA Airport Screenings Now Start Before You Arrive At the Airport

mseeger Good news.... (437 comments)

Good news everyone: if you refrain from bitching about the ?SA on Slashdot, you will be allowed to board faster. Thank you for your cooperation :-(.

about 6 months ago
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The Battle For the Game Industry's Soul

mseeger Keeping the PC alive (272 comments)

Actually i think, gaming is what currently keeps the PC industry alive (in the sense of innovation happening). From the enterprise perspective, the development mostly happens in the software. The would still use the PC from 2008 if they had more RAM. In fact, i know several companies where the average age of the PC infrastructure is 4+ years old and they are not unhappy with it.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Next in government sponsored malware: Mahdi?

mseeger mseeger writes  |  about 2 years ago

mseeger writes "Several months ago, Seculert stumbled upon an interesting, yet simple, spear-phishing attack. Their Research Lab had identified a suspicious email which included a fake word document attachment. Opening the attached file executed a malware dropper, and a "mahdi.txt" file which contained and opened a real word document. The content of the document was an article discussing Israel vs. Iran electronic warfare. Interestingly this was used to distribute what looks a lot like the next goverment sponsored malware."
Link to Original Source
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Service technicians regularly spy customer PCs

mseeger mseeger writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mseeger (40923) writes "German magazine ComputerBILD has (undercover) asked several vendors to help them with their PC. What the service technicians didn't know: a software recorded all steps taken. The shocking result (google translation): In 50% of the cases, the technicians systematically looked for images and videos on the disk. Some even copied files onto their private USB stick, if they liked what they found. So if you give your PC to the service, say goodbye to your privacy. In 20% of the cases, the perfectly working disk was replaced with the customer loosing all his data.When the PCs were turned in (in perfect condition), they gave "sporadic crashes" as problem and asked that no data was to be deleted."
Link to Original Source
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Zone .DE plagued by problems

mseeger mseeger writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mseeger (40923) writes "The zone .DE has been plagued by problems today. Four of six root servers were declaring any .DE domain as non-existent. Heise has some news about it and recommends to enter their IP into the hosts-file for the duration of the crisis. The .de zone is the second largest of the world, only beaten by .com."
Link to Original Source
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German data retention laws unconstitutional

mseeger mseeger writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mseeger (40923) writes "The german supreme court has ruled the current data retention law unconstitutional. All stored data has to be deleted ASAP. The court criticized the lack of data security and insufficent restrictions for the access to the data. Contrary to the expectations the court completely invalidated the law. While it not generally disallowed data retention, the imposed restriction demand a complete new law. SPIEGEL Online has the complete story, Google an english translation."
Link to Original Source

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