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

New Release of MINIX 3 For x86 and ARM Is NetBSD Compatible

peppepz Self-healing drivers (93 comments)

Don't present userspace drivers as a panacea for all kinds of driver troubles: when a driver fails, it can make the hardware it drives hang your machine solid from the hardware's side, or make said hardware DMA all over your RAM with complete disregard any CPU-imposed protection; there's no safe recovery from such a situation, and in this case applications had better be stopped even if they appear to be still running.

about a week ago
top

Scala Designer Martin Odersky On Next Steps

peppepz Re: Would be nice to see Scala replace Java (94 comments)

That there is no inconsistence in Java between classes for which supposedly you can get away with == and classes which require you to use equals(), as was suggested in the post I was replying to.

about two weeks ago
top

Scala Designer Martin Odersky On Next Steps

peppepz Re: Would be nice to see Scala replace Java (94 comments)

Please read the post I was replying to, it was claiming that checking for object value equality using == sometimes works. That's what doesn't work, and rightfully so. Sorry if it wasn't clear, but unfortunately I'm using the mobile site and I can't find the "quote parent" option.

about two weeks ago
top

Scala Designer Martin Odersky On Next Steps

peppepz Re: Would be nice to see Scala replace Java (94 comments)

No, it never works. Ever. For any kind of object. Comparing references instead of values is logically wrong, it does not make sense, and it "works" with compiler-generated structures in the same way as comparing C strings with == instead of strcmp() may happen to "work", or comparing C arrays using > may happen to "work". The difference between a value and a reference is a very basic concept of programming, and in the case of Java it's explained very early in learning courses. If anything, languages that allow complexity-hiding features such as the overloading of == are much better puzzler-generators than the simple, elegant, plain Java. Which didn't even have autoboxing originally.

about two weeks ago
top

Scala Designer Martin Odersky On Next Steps

peppepz Re:Would be nice to see Scala replace Java (94 comments)

Every time I teach a beginner's course, I am reminded of just how ugly Java really is. Here's a simple example:

- Comparing two "int" variables, you use == - Comparing two Integer variables, you probably want .equals()

Comparing *any* object, you want to use equals(), there's no "probably".

- But it is possible to have two different Integer objects with the same value - this is when you wand ==

No, you don't. Comparing two Integer objects, as any other object, with ==, will compare the two references to the object in order to determine if they point to the same object. The object contents won't be looked at. This is simple to learn and teach, and elegant as a design. I find no ugliness whatsoever in this.

- But Java wants to save memory, so in fact == and equals yield the same result for values from -128 to +127

Although you didn't mention it, you are thinking about autoboxing. Java makes efficient use of memory and, by using == to test object identity instead of equals() you can detect this optimization. This can't influence any working code (because comparing the results of .equals() and == makes no logical sense) and certainly isn't confusing.

A more advanced example are the generics that disappear when the code is compiled. I understand the arguments for doing it this way, but I disagree with them - if you have generics, you ought to be able to query the types at run-time. There are lots and lots of highly questionable design decisions - basically, 20 years of backwards compatibility.

It's past time to clean house. Building a new language on top of the established JVM technology seems like a very good idea indeed. Perhaps Scala can fulfill this role...

Scala has type erasure, too, and IIRC it was designed by one of the guys who are responsible for the design of type erasure in Java.

about two weeks ago
top

EU May Allow Members Home Rule On GMO Foods

peppepz Re:Let's get rid of EU (272 comments)

So when, precisely, in your opinion did the Italian Republic become "fascist," or "military-controlled"?

To sum it up in poor words, the point of Gladio was to replace a left-wing government with a fascist one. This was never needed however, because the Italians were good boys and never elected a left-wing government. This notwithstanding, the Italian military secret service supported right-wing terrorism with money, weapons and judiciary protection.

The people who created Gladio were Italians elected by their countryman. They preferred a world where their country had a secret, Anti-Soviet Army directed partially by the CIA to one where it didn't. When those countrymen realized it was acting up they disbanded it.

Those countrymen were never aware of such activities, precisely because they were kept secret. In those cases when they become aware of them, the few persons identified as responsible for them had to spend the rest of their lives in South America or Africa to flee from Italian justice.

As for "terrorism-ridden," Italy has never had a year in which Gladio bombings made up the majority of terror attacks. There were leftists, and other Fascists active in the same period. Most of the time Gladio was third, behind the various leftists, and the Ordine Nuovo Fascists.

If we want to be precise, no bombing (or targeted murder) was ever set up by "Gladio". They were carried out by right-wing terrorists that were sponsored by "deviated" Italian secret services. But frankly, counting the victims of the "red" terror versus the ones of the "black" terror seems silly to me (others have done it, and in case you're interested, it's "a draw"). I can assure you that I despise the KGB-sponsored killings as much as the CIA ones. The point of this discussion was that the USA's only interest was a peaceful and boring Europe, and in my opinion terrorism is incompatible with peace and boredom.

In fact I think if you consult a dictionary, you'll note that "military control" is generally considered the opposite of having terrorists run around your country, so that Italy in the 70s and 80s was suffering from a distinct lack of military control.

Military control would have been an option of last resort, and it was never put in place. However, in certain times we got pretty close to that. It's not surprising, as the rest of southern Europe was not democratic until the 70s, and something like that went on in America's backyard.

about 3 months ago
top

EU May Allow Members Home Rule On GMO Foods

peppepz Re:Let's get rid of EU (272 comments)

Gladio had what to do with private corporations?

It was an emanation of the government of the United States of America, which, as we've already discussed here, is an expression of the private corporations that pay the politicians it's made up of.

It was an anti-soviet guerilla-prep program run by NATO in every country in Europe, wherein later a few groups got infiltrated by right-wingers who tried to use their power in immoral manners.

It wasn't anti-soviet. It was anti-democratic-countries-of-europe should one of them elect a government that wasn't appreciated by the USA. In this aspect, it was very soviet-like if anything.

About the "right-wingers", I don't know if "immoral manners" is the label that best describes turning hundreds of innocent people into jumbled meat, and then derailing the investigations with the support of the local secret services (very tangible stuff, both the bombs and the evidence that emerged during countless investigations, not conspiracy theory).

But that doesn't stop a particlar brand of conspiracy theorist from crediting to Gladio everything under the sun.

Eh, that's what happens when you set up secret organizations to subvert the democratic order of foreign states and end up supporting and funding terrorism. As a side effect, when you get busted, people tend to lose the faith in you.

about 3 months ago
top

U.S. Drone Attack Strategy Against Al-Qaeda May Be Wrong

peppepz Silly me... (433 comments)

...I thought that that strategy could be wrong because of innocent victims and extra-judicial executions.

about 4 months ago
top

Google Using YouTube Threat As Leverage For Cheaper Streaming Rights

peppepz Our internet, our rules (197 comments)

So THAT's what DRM in HTML5 was for...

about 4 months ago
top

Did Mozilla Have No Choice But To Add DRM To Firefox?

peppepz Re:Users make the final decision ... (406 comments)

So by restricting what people can use their browser for, you think its more free?

Yes. In the same way as restricting what people can take away from other people's houses makes everyone more free.

You can choose not to use DRM content or you can choose not to

You can't choose not to use DRM once it's required to access most content of the Internet thanks to the fact that Mozilla, too, made it possible.

but if the browser doesn't support it, there is no freedom of choice, is there?

This is an injustice that is to be ascribed by the perpetrators of DRM: Google, Apple, Adobe, Microsoft. Now Mozilla have joined the club of the culprits.

about 4 months ago
top

How Firefox Will Handle DRM In HTML

peppepz Re:I don't like DRM either (361 comments)

When a relevant portion of the Internet requires DRM, compiling out DRM support from your browser will only lock you out of the Internet. It's just like Flash. Sites will require it for the silliest reasons and people who can't run it won't be able to access them. Except that now it's worse, because unlike Flash, EME backends cannot be implemented on open source platforms and they will never be made obsolete by some standard technology as HTML5 did with Flash. Basically, Mozilla caved in to the pressure from Google and the other servants of Hollywood to split the web into two unreachable halves. So much for Mozilla's mission of "an open web".

about 4 months ago
top

How Firefox Will Handle DRM In HTML

peppepz Re:Isn't hard drive access desirable? (361 comments)

The DRM "plugins" will only be available on OSes where the user isn't allowed to capture screen or audio output when restricted content is being played. That's Windows, OSX and all kinds of NSA-enabled tablets. People using other means to access the Internet will be locked out forever.

about 4 months ago
top

How Firefox Will Handle DRM In HTML

peppepz Re:Isn't hard drive access desirable? (361 comments)

DRM being crackable is not actually that important, what matters is how difficult it is for the average user. You only have to make it slightly tricky or add some slight perceived risk to downloading pirated stuff and they will choose to pay for it instead.

No, skilled users will pirate the contents and serve them to the average users in a form that is even more convenient to consume than the DRM-ridden one.

Refusing to support this part of the standard would have robbed Firefox of more users than they will lose by supporting it.

The EME non-standard cannot be supported by open source platforms. It's not a matter of Mozilla "refusing" to support it, it's mathematically impossible for them to support it in a meaningful way. A EME-enabled site implicitly refuses any user running Firefox on Linux. So it's EME itself that robs Firefox of its users, not Mozilla's decision to support it or not.

The reality is that people who view piracy as some sort of moral duty and right like you do are in the minority, that is why most of the public quite happily go along with more stringent copyright laws being drafted by the politicians they elect.

Even if that were true, it doesn't make those laws any more just. In some places of the world, the vast majority of people believe that gay people should be hanged from a crane in the public square.

about 4 months ago
top

Mr. Schmidt Goes To Washington: A Look Inside Google's Lobbying Behemoth

peppepz Re:google has no choice, like many others before t (128 comments)

Basically you have to pay them money in order to be allowed to do things that are already ethical, perhaps even legal to do. If you already can do these things, then you often have to put up lobbying efforts to make sure that you can continue doing them.

Paying for extortion is unethical and illegal too. Laws punish both the extorter and who omits to denounce.

For example, recall how after Google introduced gmail, California senator Liz Figueroa wanted to ban it.

Presumably she was afraid of the fact that the average Gmail user wouldn''t be aware that Google (and Google's unfaithful employees, and hackers, and the NSA, ...) would be able to read his email, and continue to be able to do so for an unspecified amount of time after that mail was "deleted". Which is what actually happens today, but to a much wider extent, with people using the services of Google (Facebook, Bing, ...) without being aware of the massive and uncontrollable espionage that supports them, because the terms of service are explained in EULAs which are effectively not understandable by those users. Banning Gmail would have been unuseful and unjust, I'd have regulated them to explain this policy to the users by using the same font size that they use when they advertise the size of the storage space they're offering, before the user signs the contract.

In that case, it took some heavy lobbying in order to keep gmail legal.

You mean that Google overrode the people's sovereign will, that they had expressed democratically by electing Liz Figueroa, by corrupting other politicians? If so, it's highly immoral and Google deserves to be punished for this. The government has the monopoly of coercion in modern democracies, and this privilege stems from the fact that it represents the will of the people. Altering this fact is one of the most serious crimes that an entity can stain itself with.

Before gmail they used to suck horribly, the good ones gave you a whopping 10MB of storage

In 2005 my ISP gave me 300 MB of storage which, in a time of 56K modem dialup connections, was plenty. The free offer from the same provider was 100MB, which is still ten times bigger than 10MB.

and each action you took required an entire page reload, making them slow as fuck.

Did your webmail work like that? The one of my ISP looked like MS Outlook and wasn't bad. Why, AJAX was invented by Microsoft for that exact purpose.

about 5 months ago
top

The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

peppepz Re:I'm disapointed in people (693 comments)

when what their user base wanted was yet another rehash of the win 95 desktop layout. The Gnome developers actually tried to do something new in desktop UIs, they actually tried to innovate

Even Windows 8, with all of Microsoft's economical and political prowess behind it, failed, because UI designers decided to drop the excellent "Windows 95 desktop layout" without having a proper replacement for it (Metro solved a different problem). Microsoft's remedies for this situation have all gone in the direction of restoring elements of the Windows 95 desktop layout.

Perhaps so many people want the "Windows 95 desktop layout" not because they dislike change or are irrational beings. Perhaps they want it because it works, and as is the case for most things that work, perhaps its form follows its function, and this could be the reason why most traditional desktop environments tend to appear similar. Most airplanes look like the same, even though aviation is characterized by strong innovation.

about 5 months ago
top

Not Just Apple: GnuTLS Bug Means Security Flaw For Major Linux Distros

peppepz Open Source commercial (144 comments)

And while Apple can readily fix a bug in its own software, at least for users who keep up on patches, "Linux" refers to a broad range of systems and vendors, rather than a single company, and the affected systems include some of the biggest names in the Linux world, like Red Hat, Debian, and Ubuntu.

And thanks to the LGPL license of GnuTLS, all the users have the possibility to upgrade their systems, independently of whether Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, Apple, Microsoft believe that maintaining those systems is still commercially convenient or not. GPLv3 would be better, as it would give the users the warranty of being able to actually install the updated code into their devices, which is important for non-PCs.

about 6 months ago
top

Canonical's Troubles With the Free Software Community

peppepz Weasel words (155 comments)

Just some days ago we were already told that the Free Software Community hates Canonical. Then again, who is this Free Software Community? I've been using free software since before it was fashionable to call it thus, so I think that I use lots of software coming from the Free Software Community. Today I happen to use some pieces of free software from Canonical. Of the works by some of the persons spotted in TFA as speakers for the "Free Software Community", I use nothing, so I see more contribution to the Free Software Community from Canonical than from them.

Don't like software form Canonical? Don't use it. They're a commercial company, so they have to break even ultimately. I understand if, after listening to everyone, they make their own decision. Their Mir project is all about Ubuntu phones: should that platform be successful, they'll take the merit, should they fail, the Free Software Community will still have Android as their reference platform. Even if Google is a commercial company, too, and compared to them Canonical is Candy Candy.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

top

Unicode 6.0.0 is out

peppepz peppepz writes  |  more than 3 years ago

peppepz (1311345) writes "Although there's no official announcement on the front page yet, the new revision of the Unicode standard, 6.0, has officially appeared on the unicode.org site.

This release includes 2,088 new characters; among them, hundreds of “Emoji”, whose inclusion in Unicode has been pushed by Apple and Google for interoperability with Japanese mobile phone operators. They're icons expressing a wide range of emotions for both human and cat faces, but also include the most unexpected glyphs such as the PILE OF POO encoded at position U+1F4A9.

On a more serious side, there's support for three new scripts, there are new properties for better automatic classification of text and spoof detection, and the newly-designed symbol for the Indian Rupee has been encoded."

Link to Original Source

Journals

peppepz has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>