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Comment And as for Samsung . . . (Score 5, Insightful) 190

A German computer magazine called C't was checking on Amazon products a year or two ago, I'm pretty sure it was Samsung batteries they were testing. They bought a selection of batteries from a selection of third-party sellers and were expecting some of them to be fakes. What they were not expecting was that every single battery was a fake, it was just that some of the fakes were better (in terms of product quality) than others.
They reported this to Amazon.
Nothing changed - the same vendors were selling the same products weeks later.

Comment Re:A poor craftsman blames his tools. (Score 1) 531

The first time I was confronted with C I was shocked - they check for binary zero as a string terminator? seriously? wtf?
I studied compilers and languages (amongst other things) in the 70's and that one decision - which Dennis Ritchie has since said he very much regrets - flies against everything we were being taught. Of course C had been released a year earlier but I don't remember it being mentioned directly as something to avoid.
What else was there?

  • Pascal with its fixed-length strings was certainly not the answer.
  • Algol68 never achieved critical mass although it had a hell of a lot going for it.
  • Fortran (the 1977 standard, not earlier versions) was/is a decent language.
  • PL/1 was designed to run on IBM 360/370s and its deficiencies tended to be mandated by the hardware inadequacies.
  • I can't remember what some of the other offerings were even called nowadays.

I have worked on a line of computers where the OS was written in pre-1977 Fortran and some assembler, later versions of the OS were written in PL/1 but I had moved on by then.
We were taught that the compiler should take care of a lot of the error-checking for you and when I do any programming nowadays, the languages I use still do that. Some have runtime array-checking as an option at compile time, one you can turn off later if you feel the need. Works for me and has done for decades now. I try and avoid languages where a subroutine cannot ask how long argument n is.
Several of the things we were taught turned out to be bad ideas but not that one.
If only Algol68 had made it, there would be no code-obfustication competitions there.

Comment Re:Unethical (Score 1) 72

Two points here:
- I live under a rock but I still knew about the breach months ago, there was an article here about the hack and I passed it on to a Yahoo Group I am a member of.
- Yahoo themselves are claiming that it was something along the lines of a state-sponsored group which hacked them. Well, they would say that - there is very little shame associated with being hacked by a top group of hackers with huge funds. Personally I doubt it but you never know, and Yahoo probably don't know either.

Comment How long have they been active? (Score 3, Interesting) 63

I read the article here a couple of days ago where he "outed" the pair and got the impression that vDOS had been active for more than just two years.

Brian Krebs writes that he has obtained the hacked database of an Israeli company that is responsible for most of the large-scale DDoS attacks over the past (at least) 4 years.

They are 18 now? Most of their misdeeds would have been performed as minors, and I'm a bit sceptical that they started when they were (at most) 14.

Comment Re:In other words (Score 1) 226

I use Mozilla and was mostly happy with it until they dropped the "decide on the expiry date of cookies at runtime" option a couple of months ago. Now I use ESR and am hoping an alternative - or add-on - turns up. Experimenting with Chrome shows me where the more idiotic of the recent changes arose, at least Firefox has about:config to turn most of them off again.
Who cares about logos? The whole discussion indicates that their priorities have gone south.

Comment Its all about me! (Score 1) 412

Last year - in particular the start of July and August - we had the highest temperatures ever recorded here.
This year has been a few degrees cooler, the thunderstorms in May and June stopped the temperatures running away.

Elsewhere? No idea.

I glanced at a forum recently which claimed to have found proof that global warming is really fiction. It was some community site in Oregon. The crazy thing was, the posters to that forum were serious.

Comment Paperless Tickets (Score 4, Interesting) 239

This story brought to you courtesy of paperless tickets. Yes they are cheaper, yes it is simpler if people can print their own tickets, but the IT has to be up and running.
I remember an airline IT outage back in September 2004, there was a bug in the OS's error-handling routine for a particular class of error. This had all been tested with this particular OS level and had worked, but they had been forced to change the OS configuration to accomodate some new software and the bug was in place. Moving to new discs required a reboot, an additional configuration error caused problems. If it had been fixed within (I think) 90 minutes all would have been fine. The outage was 8 hours.
Passengers turned up at the airports with their paper tickets and were allowed to board. Any pre-allocated seating was ignored. People were laughing about flying the way things used to be, a good time was had by most.

Then came paperless tickets. The next outage had effects more like those we see in this case.

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