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Workers On Autism Spectrum Finding Careers In Software Testing

seebs Re:fuck AS (109 comments)

Yeah. Autism Speaks is not exactly a good source for information.

about two weeks ago
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Big Talk About Small Samples

seebs Re:Bennett!!!!!! (246 comments)

I have no idea. I have never seen him write a thing that was actually of interest or value, but so far as I can tell, anything he writes is automatically approved by Slashdot. He's guaranteed front-page placement. What is going on here? Who is he, and why does Slashdot owe him this?

about 1 month ago
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Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

seebs Wow, that's very deeply insightful (594 comments)

Similarly, the Internet has done nothing for science or human knowledge, since so much of the work of pushing it and promoting it has been done for profit.

This isn't people dying so rich people can have fun. This is rich people funding the fundamental research that will make space travel practical in time.

about a month and a half ago
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Tetris Is Hard To Test

seebs Sort of spammy, also not convincing (169 comments)

So, on the one hand, it's sort of a spammy/advertisey thing to begin with.

On the other hand, I'm also not entirely convinced that the code coverage tool really solves the problem, because a given line of code can have different effects under different circumstances.

If you read in an address from a text stream, and then write to the memory location denoted, that's just one line of code executing that dereferences the pointer, but good luck determining what it does on all future invocations based on watching it execute once. Similarly, consider a straightforward loop like "for (i = 1; i len; ++i) a[i] = 0;" where every line will be hit if len is at least 1, but the effect of executing the code is, to put it mildly, somewhat variable.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Smarter Disk Space Monitoring In the Age of Cheap Storage?

seebs I don't think this analysis is right (170 comments)

While "only 5% of my disk" is now many times larger than it used to be, so are the things I'm moving around, so "95% full" is just as bad now as it used to be.

Basically, once we got past quotas measured in single or double-digit numbers of kilobytes, this stopped changing for me. 95% full on a 100MB disk and 95% full on a 500GB disk work the same for me.

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

seebs That explains a lot. (213 comments)

People who didn't learn to code by the time they were 7 have never been able to program as adults. It sure is lucky a supply of people taught to code by ancient alien astronauts was supplied to us so we could bootstrap the procedure, because no one in the history of our species has learned new skills past age 7.

about 2 months ago
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AT&T To Repay $80 Million In Shady Phone Bill Charges

seebs Re:Doesn't change a thing. (61 comments)

I got refunds from AT&T for these, and they let me set a thing on my account to prevent them.

Never had it happen with any provider but AT&T.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With an Unresponsive Manufacturer Who Doesn't Fix Bugs?

seebs Re:The name (204 comments)

I am impressed, I thought I had seen some bad legal advice before, but this is spectacular.

I am sure the vexatious litigants of the world greatly appreciate your suggestion that their victims lose on technicalities because they didn't correctly understand the legal process.

about 2 months ago
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Flurry of Scans Hint That Bash Vulnerability Could Already Be In the Wild

seebs Re:Briefing for management - reuse with attributio (318 comments)

Look at it this way:

Do you have full source to everything you run? No? Do you know whether any of them, ever, down any code path, call system() to run something? I bet some of them do. Now, could they ever do it in an environment where at least one variable has a value acquired from an external source?

If so, that's an exploit-in-waiting.

Keep in mind that "I don't call system, I use fork and exec" doesn't mean that the thing you exec doesn't perhaps call system(), or use the shell to execute some command. Or invokes something which is actually implemented as a shell script.

It's not just external exploits of servers; it's external exploits of clients which can ever run something with environment variables obtained from the environment.

about 3 months ago
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Flurry of Scans Hint That Bash Vulnerability Could Already Be In the Wild

seebs Re:"could be worse than Heartbleed" (318 comments)

For low-traffic stuff, development time is much more important. Furthermore, in some cases, the actual intended function of a thing is to run specific code. And prior to this bug, it was reasonably well-understood that system("/absolute/path --with --fixed --arguments") was pretty safe, since the absolute path prevented any PATH-related shenanigans, and you weren't including any user data. The environment's not executable. Usually.

about 3 months ago
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Flurry of Scans Hint That Bash Vulnerability Could Already Be In the Wild

seebs Re:It's been in bash a while. (318 comments)

This one only affects bash, though. Other shells aren't affected, because they don't automatically and unconditionally execute parts of their environment as code.

about 3 months ago
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DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

seebs Re:ELI5 please (354 comments)

There is prior art in copyright cases for courts to conclude that if you didn't have a valid license to create the work you created (say, Bukkit, which was created without proper licensing for things without which it couldn't exist), that the answer is "haha no" and you don't get copyright protection at all, and cannot make or enforce license terms. That'd be my ruling; you can't use the fact that you stole someone's stuff to create obligations in them.

about 3 months ago
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DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

seebs Re:Mod AC parent up (354 comments)

His code *always* violated this license in this way. That was his decision when he wrote and submitted the code. No one else is violating his license, he was violating theirs. So, yes, I expect him to roll over when people continue using his code exactly the one and only possible way it could ever have been used, which was unambiguously his intent in contributing it in the first place.

about 3 months ago
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Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

seebs Re:My assessment (203 comments)

This is basically exactly why I am liking 5e. I liked 3e's rules at first, but they got overwhelming. 5e is a lot more like 1e, only with many fewer complicated and subtly varying tables.

about 4 months ago
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Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

seebs Re:5e: Best D&D, MHO (203 comments)

Yeah, 4e is an amazing tactical combat game. I quite like it.

about 4 months ago
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Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

seebs Re:5e: Best D&D, MHO (203 comments)

Doesn't matter how many advantage/disadvantage you have. If you have both, you have neither. If you have only one of those two, then you roll two dice, no matter how many things are giving you advantage or disadvantage.

There are still numeric bonuses, but a lot fewer of them. I think the ones that survive all stack.

But for an example, monks and mage armor. In 3e, the monk got to add their wisdom modifier to AC when unarmored, and mage armor gave a +4 armor bonus, so they stacked. In 5e, mage armor sets your armor class when unarmored to 13+dex, and being a monk sets it to 10+wis+dex, and you can take whichever one you want, but neither is "a bonus" so there's no stacking to resolve.

In general, the net effect is slightly "shallower", but the flip side of that is that you don't have parties where one player has +42 on a check and another player has +3. So you can set DCs that are actually meaningful and interesting.

In epic-level Pathfinder, it takes our party samurai 5 minutes or so to finish a round of full attacks, which can do ~1350 damage. Also lots of die rolls. In 5e, so far as I can tell, nothing takes close to that long.

about 4 months ago
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Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

seebs 5e: Best D&D, MHO (203 comments)

I have basically liked all the D&Ds, so I'm a little biased. I even liked 4e, although I recognize that it was a very different kind of game in a lot of ways from the others.

But basically, if you liked D&D pre-4e, and hated 4e, 5e may be what you were looking for. It's a much cleaner system than 3e/3.5e/PF; simpler and clearer. It's not as complicated in some ways. It doesn't have nearly as much detail in the rules, it doesn't have as many formal definitions. But it's clearer and easier to read. And before you dismiss "easier to read" as unimportant, consider: I spent about 10 years on an ISO language standards committee. I assure you, I'm not afraid of formal language. But I like 5e's system better.

Most of the bonus stacking rules are gone, replaced by a mechanic called "advantage/disadvantage". If you have advantage or disadvantage on a roll, you roll 2d20 and take the higher or lower respectively. If you have neither or both, you roll normally. Most things that used to be +2-+4 bonuses of various types are now "advantage", and most things that used to be penalties are now "disadvantage". In practice, you get similar results with a lot less addition, and without having to check the bonus types of 8 different modifiers to figure out which ones stack.

Everyone I know who's played it has been really happy with it so far. The system is much less focused on trying to resolve every possible question; instead, the assumption is that the DM is not an idiot and is not playing maliciously. If you tend towards adversarial player/DM relationships, avoid 5e; it's not designed for that, and it would be horrible. But if you are playing with people who are basically clear on the idea that games are meant to be fun, and who can cooperate without epic rules battles, this is probably the best D&D ever.

The anon coward's "MMO Crap" comment is well past "baseless" into "completely incoherent". 4e had a few traits that sort of, if you squinted just right, looked like it was MMO-oriented, but mostly it was more like wargames than like any MMO I've ever seen. 5e is pretty much like a cross between 3e and Rules Cyclopedia D&D, with a much cleaner and simpler rules set, and a lot more interesting flavor to things.

Other things:

Lots of the "missing" complexity is rumored to be in the DMG as optional rules.

Casters as a whole are significantly nerfed compared to 3e, or for that matter compared to any previous edition. (Max-level caster? You get a ninth level spell per day. Use it carefully.)

There's some really crazy Internet drama about some of the consultants, which is best ignored, and has no basis in reality.

about 4 months ago
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Involuntary Eye Movement May Provide Definitive Diagnosis of ADHD

seebs Re:[citation needed] (200 comments)

There is, but it doesn't change anything, because you're still providing absolutely no evidence to support the claim. And it's still a good example of blaming people being "lazy" for a thing without any evidence. Just-world fallacy; insisting that all the problems are caused by people behaving badly, who therefore somehow deserve it.

about 3 months ago
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Involuntary Eye Movement May Provide Definitive Diagnosis of ADHD

seebs Re:[citation needed] (200 comments)

Yeah, I know what the allegation is. Where's the evidence? Where's the clinical studies?

People love to assert that someone with a cognitive disability isn't really disabled, just "lazy". But that people enjoy asserting it doesn't make it true.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Why OOXML is not a good standard

seebs seebs writes  |  more than 6 years ago

seebs writes "IBM published an article I wrote on OOXML. Lest people buy into Microsoft's claims about IBM's political maneuvering, this was my idea. If you've wanted a more technical explanation of why the standard is unusable, now's your chance to read up on it!"
Link to Original Source
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YouTube hides/deletes Scientology-related videos

seebs seebs writes  |  more than 6 years ago

seebs writes "For a couple of days, videos critical of the Church of Scientology mysteriously had their view counts frozen — this was claimed to be a "technical issue" that would be resolved.

Now, those videos are gone, being deleted almost immediately after showing up, for "terms of service violations" which have never been identified or explained. Most likely, it's the hidden term of service that says "we don't want to be Fair Game, sorry."

Is Google going back on their promise to Not Be Evil?"

Link to Original Source
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Blu-ray users "knew what they were getting int

seebs seebs writes  |  more than 6 years ago

seebs writes "Blu-ray early adopters "knew what they were getting into," say blu-ray developers, announcing that every single blu-ray player ever sold, except for PS3 systems, is obsolete and will be unable to play forthcoming blu-ray discs, and no upgrade path will be available or even technically possible. This announcement was delayed until a couple of major studios shifted their support from HD-DVD (whose players will continue to work as long as discs are made) to blu-ray."
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New Haven: Flour is a felony

seebs seebs writes  |  more than 7 years ago

seebs writes "According to the city of New Haven, Connecticut, the best response to people marking a running trail with flour is felony charges. Apparently, someone decided it was possible that the substance was in some way bad, and that made it a bioterrorism scare. According to email I got from the city, they react "aggressively and without hesitation to any act or behavior that is determined to be dangerous, unusual, or a threat to the public's safety". My advice would be not to go there; if you do something unusual, they could charge you with a breach of the peace."
Link to Original Source
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Silicon Knights engages in Epic lawsuit

seebs seebs writes  |  more than 7 years ago

seebs writes "According to various stories, Silicon Knights is suing Epic, the developers of Unreal Engine, alleging, well, all sorts of bad stuff. Gamasutra covers it too. This is a big deal for a lot of people, as UE3 has been licensed by lots of companies (some sources say 150!) for lots of games, and now there's allegations (which Epic denies) that it doesn't perform well, isn't usable on the PS3, and so on. Gamer drama! Bring popcorn."
Link to Original Source

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