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Comment: Re:Can they do it with corporate code? (Score 2) 218

by Mr Z (#48929355) Attached to: Anonymous No More: Your Coding Style Can Give You Away

Did you read the part in the article where they're actually doing the matching based on the ASTs (abstract syntax trees), and so are able to identify authors even after the code goes through an obfuscator? Relevant quotes:

Their real innovation, though, was in developing what they call “abstract syntax trees” which are similar to parse tree for sentences, and are derived from language-specific syntax and keywords. These trees capture a syntactic feature set which, the authors wrote, “was created to capture properties of coding style that are completely independent from writing style.” The upshot is that even if variable names, comments or spacing are changed, say in an effort to obfuscate, but the functionality is unaltered, the syntactic feature set won’t change.

Accuracy rates weren’t statistically different when using an off-the-shelf C++ code obfuscators. Since these tools generally work by refactoring names and removing spaces and comments, the syntactic feature set wasn’t changed so author identification at similar rates was still possible.

Regarding the first quote: The author of the article probably didn't realize that ASTs aren't a new thing; it's just this application of ASTs that's new. ASTs are as old as the hills. I learned about them from the Dragon Book, and by the time that was written they were old hat.

Comment: Re: Sucks to be you (Score 1) 224

by Mr Z (#48920907) Attached to: YouTube Ditches Flash For HTML5 Video By Default

You mean that the cost savings of rolling out internal websites didn't drive the cost to zero, and there is a small, periodic maintenance cost to this otherwise scalable communication medium? *shock* *horror*

Maybe we should go back to mimeographed inter-office memos. Quick, someone take dictation and get this to the typing pool stat!

Comment: Re:Come again? (Score 1) 224

by Mr Z (#48920847) Attached to: YouTube Ditches Flash For HTML5 Video By Default

So where's youtube.com? It's not a web page on the web is it? Oh, wait...

I think we can agree that the original article has some supremely sloppy writing. What they meant to say, if I interpreted everything correctly, is this:

* Modern browsers visiting YouTube directly will get HTML5.

* Folks embedding YouTube videos into other websites will be nudged toward HTML5 by encouraging folks to use the the embedded frame API, as opposed to embedding a flash app.

Does that decompress the situation properly?

Comment: Re:Come again? (Score 1) 224

by Mr Z (#48920821) Attached to: YouTube Ditches Flash For HTML5 Video By Default

Yeah, I was sorta wondering this too. Do people browse YouTube in Chrome/IE/Safari/etc. on DVD or something?

Or is there a direct web interface that allows directly watching HTML5 videos, but doesn't involve a browser? And, presumably, doesn't involve spiders.... I'm interested in the World Wide Web, not a spiderweb.

Note that I don't really count wget / curl, since they just transfer files from the web server. There's no good reason to get web assets with wget / curl, and then browse them (sans web) with Chrome / IE / Safari / etc. on the local disk. It's a victory for pedantic semantics but also spectacularly missing the point.

Comment: Re:Jesus, we're fucked. (Score 1) 351

by Teancum (#48901547) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

As she continued to ignore me my explanations grew longer and more detailed, until finally she interrupted me with "What's inertia?"

After you explained the concept, did she at least understand the idea but not the term, or was even the concept of inertia something that was a revelation?

Comment: Re:Discussion is outdated (Score 2) 488

by Teancum (#48901397) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

I *think* that fpc Pascal can not properly handle utf8 strings

Only because of purists that insist a six byte character is counted as one character.

A lack of documentation is an issue, but that is simply because it is an open source project. About par for the course on most open source projects, from my experience too. Delphi has some amazing documentation, but then again they can pay for that documentation to be developed.

Comment: Re:Modula-3 FTW! (Score 1) 488

by Teancum (#48901381) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

People gave up on Pascal and moved to C++ back then for a reason.

It wasn't really for a good reason other than simply the choice of the software development shop, as well as the cost of compilers where C compilers were widely used as assignments in Computer Science graduate courses... thus frequently offered for free. Arguably a C compiler is also easier to write than a good Pascal compiler, so it frequently is the first compiler available for a given instruction set or computer architecture.

That doesn't mean it is necessarily inferior or for that matter better than C++ for high level application development. It does explain why you see fewer people developing in Object Pascal vs. C++.

Comment: Re:Modula-3 FTW! (Score 3, Interesting) 488

by Teancum (#48901253) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Wow, I hope you're not suggesting 22 div 3 vs. 22/3 is more intuitive to a novice for what it does compared to 22/3 and 22/3.0!

A properly designed compiler (like Turbo Pascal and later Delphi) makes no distinction nor software penalty for using either convention. This is nit picking at such a minor detail, although as a software developer I like to emphasize that I am using an integer division as opposed to floating point, thus deliberately use the div operator when appropriate. For a novice, it shouldn't make any difference at all.... particularly for the kinds of applications developed by a typical novice that would have any sort of confusion over this issue (or some C++ developer tasked to do some Object Pascal debugging).

Comment: Re:Modula-3 FTW! (Score 3, Informative) 488

by Teancum (#48901197) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

From a maintainability standpoint when you need to have code written by an experienced software developer familiar with Pascal and its various (current) compilers as opposed to an experienced software developer familiar with C++... when you hand those software packages over to another developer to continue development by somebody having to start cold on that software and fix bugs, make extension, or overhaul that code... I dare say that the software written in Object Pascal can be developed sooner than a comparable application in C++. My direct experience has been in about half of the time or less than a comparable C++ program.

That is my standard for readability. The only reason you might notice some developers who have a hard time with Pascal readability is mainly due to the fact that the developer is simply unfamiliar with Pascal syntax due to a lack of development in that language for a prolonged period of time. Handing Object Pascal code to somebody else already familiar with the language clearly has a huge advantage.

Just because it is different doesn't mean it is worse. It might mean that you would need to personally take some extra time to learn another programming language. Besides, for a Pascal programmer, curly braces are for comments and stand out very well for that purpose.

Comment: Re:There's more to it than that (Score 1) 332

by Mr Z (#48895695) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Of course, I didn't follow his reasoning one bit:

Using 10-bit color may end up limiting chroma sub-sampling to 4:2:0.

The two details are completely orthogonal to each other!

In any case, 4:2:0 at UHD gives you as much color information as 4:4:4 at HD. You'd have a very hard time noticing the chroma subsampling....

When it is incorrect, it is, at least *authoritatively* incorrect. -- Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy

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