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Comments

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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

shutdown -p now Re:Predictive Model? (601 comments)

Maybe they did predict an increase of sea ice (which this is), but you just conveniently ignore that part of it? Or perhaps you never even heard of it, because your favorite climate denial blog didn't bother mentioning that part?

yesterday
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What To Expect With Windows 9

shutdown -p now Re:The real test? (520 comments)

And that's exactly what 9 is all about fixing.

yesterday
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Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't

shutdown -p now Re:I disagree (179 comments)

The real irony here is that, in the meantime, Microsoft has open sourced the entirety of C# and VB.NET compilers.

yesterday
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Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't

shutdown -p now Re:Rust as Open Source counterpart? (179 comments)

Rust does not have similar goals at all. Rust aims to be the 21st century C++, with a sane design that ditches back-compat with C and adds safety-by-default. Swift is Obj-C redone Java-style.

yesterday
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

shutdown -p now Re:Great one more fail (583 comments)

The cameras like that already exist - all that's needed is adding an accelerometer to one to detect the shot being fired.

3 days ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

shutdown -p now Re:Cuba could have lifted it ages ago (532 comments)

You think the Castro dynasty would give up their communist ideals just because the US lifts the embargo?

Of course not. But you give the right answer immediately.

The truth is that the US has very little to do with Cuba's problems. All the embargo really does to Cuba is give its leaders someone to blame for everything that Cuba is not. A convenient scapegoat for the government.

Exactly. Embargo is a convenient scapegoat - it lets the government to explain away harsh life and crackdowns by an ongoing conflict, "us vs them", "everything for the victory". Remove it, and it makes that much harder for them to maintain that. Long term, it will accelerate the inevitable collapse of the dictatorship and the transition to something saner. If Castros are smart, they will do what Chinese and Vietnamese elites did, and head the transition rather than trying to resist it, so as to reap the maximum benefits. If not, there will be another revolution.

Either way, all that embargo does is delay that process. So it hurts the people of Cuba, not its government.

about a week ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

shutdown -p now Re:RT.com? (532 comments)

The embargo started before the Cuban missile crisis (in fact, many historians believe that it was the extreme hostility of US towards Cuba after the revolution that pushed the latter towards Soviets). In any case, the notion that if the embargo is lifted, Cuba would rebuild the missile bases, just defies any common sense. It was not their bases to begin with, and if someone else would want to rebuild them today, the embargo makes it easier not harder (because it takes that much less to pay to Cuba for them).

about a week ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

shutdown -p now Re:Overall death toll under communism: 100 Million (532 comments)

If you seriously consider the Black Book of Communism to be the "best estimates for communist regimes killing people", you're either deluded or retarded. Heck, even if you take the book at its face value, even then it counts "victims of communism" - and by this they mean anyone who has died due to e.g. starvation during a famine, regardless of whether said famine was artificially induced or not (and Soviet Russia had plenty natural ones in the aftermath of its Civil War). For the actual killing estimates, they tend to take the highest figures from the sources that are basically pure guesswork, like Solzhenitsyn's books.

about a week ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

shutdown -p now Re:Cuba could have lifted it ages ago (532 comments)

The embargo is by US on Cuba. If US truly wanted to lift it, it could just do that. The fact that it is not lifted because "Cuba does something" means that US doesn't really want to lift it, either.

Which is stupid, because Cuba is as communist as it is only because of that embargo. Hell, look at Vietnam: a country that US actually went to wage war in, with numerous civilian casualties, and now? They're rapidly catching up with China on that whole capitalism business, and you can actually talk to a Vietnamese guy on the Internet and ask him what he thinks (and tell him what you think).

about a week ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

shutdown -p now Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (532 comments)

More like 11th century, actually.

I mean, this is Europe we're talking about here. If two states had a common border, you can be pretty sure they had at least one war per century, and often more than that. In case of Russia(/Ukraine/Belarus) and Poland, the only reason why it doesn't go back earlier is because Rus was a proto-state before then, and it wasn't until the end of 10th century that it was fully formed.

about a week ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

shutdown -p now Re:RT.com? (532 comments)

I was born there as well, and my parents were not communist activists.

What I remember are long lines for toilet paper, shampoo and shoes.

True, but this was mostly in the 80s (and mid-to-late 70s in some regions). Basically, the beginning of the end. Which brings us to...

People imprisoned and killed on the streets

At the time where there were long lines for toilet paper, that was quite unlikely. Killing on the streets was certainly not the thing, and even political dissidents were usually found insane, so that they could be put into asylums rather than imprisoned (that's when they invented "sluggish schizophrenia") - better from the PR perspective.

Certainly, for an average Soviet citizen to be killed or imprisoned by authorities in the 70s on, would be extremely unlikely.

My Mom earning $3 per month.

That part is either bullshit or meaningless (or both). For someone like a teacher, say, the monthly salary was typically between 100 and 200 rubles during that time. Factory workers actually earned more (cuz "proletariat"). I can't think of anyone in full-time job earning less than a 100, in any case. University students got 50 rubles per month.

Now, the official exchange rate was 1 USD = 0.8-0.5 RUB, but that was bullshit in any case, because you couldn't freely exchange them. So the only way to meaningfully compare is in terms of purchasing power. Now, for example, price in rubles for some common foods:

box of 50 matches - 0.01 rub aka 1 kopeika (they used it for change when they ran out of coins)
loaf of wheat bread (400 g) - 0.26 rub
loaf of dark rye bread (700 g) - 0.16 rub
1 liter bottle of milk - 0.46 rub
1 kg of sugar - 0.78 rub
1 kg of cheese - 2.20 rub
1 kg of butter - 3.40 rub
100 g of chocolate - 0.80 rub
ice cream in a waffle cone - 0.20 rub

Some other random stuff:

bus ticket (valid for that one bus for any distance) - 0.05 rub
tram ticket - 0.03 rub
evening movie ticket - 0.25 rub
soap - 0.14 rub
camera - 15 rub
ushanka - 14 rub
vinyl record - 1-3 rub
1 liter of gas - 0.10 rub

Expensive stuff:

motorcycle - 1000-1500 rub
car - 3500-10000 rub

Free stuff:
housing
medicine
education

So it's still not a straightforward comparison. If you take food - say, milk; US average is $3.74/gallon, so almost $1/liter. If you go by the prices in rubles above, it would make the average Soviet salary of 150 rub equivalent to $300. OTOH, in US, most people spend most of their income on rent or mortgage, while Soviet citizens spent most of it on food, clothing etc. Average monthly gross rent in US is ~900$; adding that, you'd end up with $1200 per person, or $2400 per household (since both would typically work and bring roughly the same wage). This is pretty close to the average median income of an African-American household in US today. So, basically, pretty damn poor, but not third world shithole poor.

OTOH, car was a real luxury.

about a week ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

shutdown -p now Re:RT.com? (532 comments)

It is, in a way. As harmful and unjust and just plain stupid as it obviously is, it's something nice for Russia to point it and say, "see, these guys are up to no good, too" - which is very efficient for propaganda purposes.

about a week ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

shutdown -p now Re:RT.com? (532 comments)

Actually, that's not quite right. RT will make false stories where they can get away with them (e.g. Ukraine). But when they make one about US and Europe, it almost always has some kernel of truth in it... just distorted and embellished to fit their agenda. Nevertheless, if they tell there is a problem, it's a good habit to try to find the original source - oftentimes you will in fact discover some real issue there, that you'd do well to know about (and that mainstream US media, say, won't comment on loudly until much later).

about a week ago
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CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

shutdown -p now Re:Seems reasonable (462 comments)

If by "the ideals expressed by the Founders" you mean "natural rights are this thing that all white males have", then yeah.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

shutdown -p now Re:+ operator for string concat? (729 comments)

Yeah, the syntax was like that.

I think you might be right in that the compiler didn't enforce the types at the point of the call. But I'm still fairly sure that a type mismatch was undefined behavior, and if you somehow got it working, it would not be guaranteed to be working henceforth. It was certainly not just one parameter = one word, since K&R already had long and float and double, and those would normally be wider than a word on most machines of that time

  So basically, types were always there, but type checks weren't.

When they added ANSI-style function declarations, you could actually have parameters listed with their types, and that was checked... but for compatibility they still retained the old-style function calls without seeing the definition, where you had to match the arguments carefully.

about a week ago
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GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

shutdown -p now Re:Er? (314 comments)

Unless you have fairly narrow requirements, and want a generic Unix-like server or desktop, you'll almost certainly have best luck with FreeBSD (in terms of software availability, hardware support etc).

about two weeks ago
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GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

shutdown -p now Re: Oh well ... (314 comments)

The nice thing about text logs is that, even if they are corrupted at some point, the rest of the log is still perfectly readable.

about two weeks ago
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Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

shutdown -p now Re:Excellent Idea (280 comments)

You're missing a cloud solution here.

about two weeks ago
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Protesters Blockade Microsoft's Seattle Headquarters Over Tax Breaks

shutdown -p now Re:South Lake Union vs Redmond Headquarters (246 comments)

Most of the "streets" on that map are actually parking lots - naturally, those aren't public. But there's still plenty of public streets, and yes, checking Google Street View coverage is a good way to see what they are. 157th / Microsoft Way, for example, is public, and goes right along a bunch of buildings. Ditto 31st, 36th, 163rd etc. 150th is right next to the Mixer, which is where a lot of 'softies go to have lunch, and on the other side of that there's 40th.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Microsoft adds Node.js support to Visual Studio

shutdown -p now shutdown -p now writes  |  about 10 months ago

shutdown -p now (807394) writes "Coming from the team that had previously brought you Python Tools for Visual Studio, Microsoft has announced Node.js Tools for Visual Studio, with the release of the first public alpha. NTVS is the official extension for Visual Studio that adds support for Node.js, including editing with Intellisense, debugging, profiling, and the ability to deploy Node.js websites to Windows Azure. An overview video showcases the features, and Scott Hanselman has a detailed walkthrough.

The project is open source under Apache License 2.0. While the extension is published by Microsoft, it is a collaborative effort involving Microsoft, Red Gate (which previously had a private beta version of similar product called Visual Node), and individual contributors from the Node.js community."

Link to Original Source
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Python Tools for Visual Studio 2.0 Beta Released

shutdown -p now shutdown -p now writes  |  about a year ago

shutdown -p now (807394) writes "My team at Microsoft, which works on Python Tools for Visual Studio — a free, open source extension for Visual Studio that adds support for Python to that IDE — has just shipped a beta version of the upcoming 2.0 release with numerous new features and improvements.

PTVS supports most Python interpreters including CPython, advanced code completion, debugging, and profiling. Some highlights of this release are mixed-mode debugging of Python and C/C++ code with integrated call stacks, stepping and breakpoints; the ability to remotely attach to and debug Python programs running on Linux and OS X; and Django support with ability to conveniently deploy Django websites and services to Windows Azure.

PTVS works with Visual Studio 2010, 2012 and 2013 Preview, as well as the free Visual Studio Shell."

Link to Original Source
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Code from Microsoft submitted to jQuery

shutdown -p now shutdown -p now writes  |  more than 3 years ago

shutdown -p now (807394) writes "Microsoft has previously announced its support for jQuery JavaScript client framework when it started bundling it with Visual Studio back in 2008. Since then, Microsoft developers, in direct cooperation with the core jQuery team and the community, have developed three new plugins — Templates, DataLink and Globalization. Today, this contribution has finally found its way upstream into the main jQuery code base, and will be included into the upcoming 1.5 release. As all other jQuery code, the plugins are dual-licensed under MIT and GPLv2, making it another rare case of Microsoft contributing code to an Open Source project under the GPL."
Link to Original Source
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Windows Phone 7 Series - Developer Perspective

shutdown -p now shutdown -p now writes  |  more than 4 years ago

shutdown -p now writes "As previously promised, at MIX10 developer conference, Microsoft has released details about the development side of the upcoming Windows Phone 7 Series.

It is now confirmed that two frameworks for application development will be XNA for games and game-like fullscreen, high-performance applications, and a subset of Silverlight 3 for everything else. Both frameworks support managed .NET code only — no native (C++) code support. Furthermore, the applications are sandboxed, and "unsafe" functionality, such as P/Invoke, is not available. A fairly detailed set of UI guidelines for developers has been made available as well.

The integrated web browser is claimed to be based on Internet Explorer 7 engine with some extra features, such as proper XHTML support.

An single centralized store will be available, called the Marketplace. It will include both applications and other media (such as music). The Marketplace will be the only way to install applications onto the phone (though, supposedly, "enterprise customers" will have some workaround). There will be an approval process for publishing applications on the Marketplace, and, aside from filtering out malware, it will also require that applications are "generally good taste excluding pornography, hateful/inflammatory speech, and gratuitous violence".

On the hardware side, the specifications will be tightly controlled for the benefit of developers. A standard set of hardware buttons is mandated on all phones ("Back", "Home" and "Search"). Screen size is limited to two standard resolutions: 320x480, and 480x800, and touchscreen must be capacitive, with at least 4-point multi-touch. Other requirements hardware requirements include 3D acceleration, GPS, and accelerometer.

Unlike past mobile SDK releases from Microsoft, a free version of development tools for Windows Phone will be available, named "Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone". A preview of that is presently available, complete with an emulator. In the future, a mobile-oriented version of Expression Blend 4, a designer-centric development tool, will also be available."

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft Office 2007 SP2 Released, Supports ODF

shutdown -p now shutdown -p now writes  |  more than 5 years ago

shutdown -p now writes "On April, 2008, Microsoft has released service pack 2 for Microsoft Office 2007. Among other changes, it includes the earlier-promised support for ODF text documents and spreadsheets, featured prominently on the "Save As" menu alongside Office Open XML and the legacy Office 97-2007 formats. It is also possible to configure Office applications to use ODF as the default format for new documents.

In addition, the service pack also includes "Save as PDF" out of the box, and better Firefox support by SharePoint."

Link to Original Source
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ISO publishes final Open XML specification

shutdown -p now shutdown -p now writes  |  more than 5 years ago

shutdown -p now writes "ISO/IEC 29500:2008, better known as Office Open XML, is now a published ISO International Standard. Major changes since last public drafts include splitting the standard into "strict conformance" and "transitional conformance" parts, with all the Microsoft Office compatibility hacks going into the latter, "for Office Open XML consumers and producers that comply to the transitional conformance category ... provide support for legacy Microsoft Office applications". The complete standard, including the transitional part, is still rather unwieldy at 7,228 pages; of those, the transitional elements take up only 1,475 pages.

In addition, the ISO press release explicitly references something called "Microsoft Office 2008" at least one time. Presumably, it would be a Microsoft Office release fully compliant with the newly released specification in its final form; however, there haven't been any announcements from Microsoft about a product named "Office 2008" yet."

Link to Original Source
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Exploits generated autpmatically from patches

shutdown -p now shutdown -p now writes  |  more than 6 years ago

shutdown -p now writes "A group of researchers wrote a paper (PDF) on automatic generation of exploits from security patches. It works by performing flow analysis on the code that is changed by the code to find the boundary conditions that lead to vulnerability in an unpatched version. It's not just theory, either: they have successfully generated exploits for 5 known vulnerabilities in Microsoft products using their algorithm. The authors note that a successful attack using this method is particularly likely when vendor deliberately delays releasing security patches to the general public, to push them in a single bundle on a regular schedule — as is the case with Windows Update and its infamous Patch Tuesday."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Contact me

shutdown -p now shutdown -p now writes  |  about 3 years ago

If you want to contact me without spamming article discussions (i.e. if you're new here), just reply to this post.

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