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Comment: Re:PL/I on TIOBE (Score 1) 386 386

Alas, there is no free PL/I compiler for Windows or Linux; certainly not one with anything approaching a full feature set and currently maintained. I learned PL/I at technical college in the 1980s and it was certainly better than the other languages taught then (COBOL, BASIC and RPG). I would like to be able to write a few programs in it for nostalgic reasons.

Comment: Re:cowardice (Score 1) 556 556

The problem is GamerGate started with the attacks on Zoe Quinn, which turned out to be complete fabrications.

The real problem is that even if GamerGates's allegations about Quinn were 100% true, nobody cares if person A slept with person B for an obscure review of a game on some website. It is literally the least possible social sin; people who go through the express lane at the supermarkets with more than 6 items deserve more scorn.

The big publishers spend literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising with the same websites and the self proclaimed guardians of journalistic ethics seem OK with it. This, along with the fact that the whole thing with Quinn was totally made up, seem to point to GG being a bunch of arseholes. I really want to believe that most of them are just morons who don't understand the game industry, journalism, or humanity in general, and are just misguided because I don't like to think there are that many arseholes around. But they just won't shut up.

Comment: A big problem (Score 3, Insightful) 228 228

This is NOT a small, obscure problem for users of DLINK routers. Although it does not open up Wifi access or anything like that, having access to the configuration panel of your router is bad news even from inside the network. I can't think of anyway to automatically exploit it via a browser (XSS-style) but a small executable (or trusted Java applet, for instance) could do it.

Additionally, I wonder how many small establishments are offering free wifi using DLINK equipment. Those networks are now vulnerable.

If I was a bad(er) guy, the first thing I would change would be the DNS settings. Forcing all computers behind the router to use a DNS I control opens up all sorts of interesting ways to mess with people.

Comment: Re:I Got It! (Score 5, Informative) 538 538

True, but nobody tries breaking into a system by logging in ten thousand times a second to a single account. The recent well-publicised break-ins resulted from the hashed password file being publicly available, either stolen through a vulnerability or maliciously leaked. If the attackers have the hashed passwords they can try them at a rate of millions or billions of attempts per second for as long as they want.

Comment: You do not have a Facebook Page (Score 3) 245 245

I wrote this a while ago but I will continue to post it as long as stupid people exist: You Do Not Have A Facebook Page!. Facebook has a page on you.

I signed up to Facebook and occasionally update Facebook's page on me, I find the service quite useful for keeping in touch with people, but I am under no illusions as to why Facebook provides this service. Anyone who uses Facebook with anything they expect to keep private has seriously misunderstood their relationship with the company.

Comment: 1974, New Zealand (Score 2) 632 632

I don't think we were taught anything about computers in class, but there was a computer programming club. We used PORTRAN, which is a cut-down version of FORTRAN - I think it stands for Port-a-punch FORTRAN. The cards were sent away to a computer a few hundred km away, and a syntax error listing came back by the following week. It wasn't exactly a productive environment, so we competed to see who could get the most different errors in a single program.

Comment: Re:One good reason... (Score 4, Insightful) 793 793

Nobody uses everything in C++, I estimate that most programmers only ever use 75% of the language. The problem is that everybody uses a different 75%. For instance, diamond inheritance can be a pain, but is occasionally unavoidable and I am glad it works. STL algorithms are the best part of C++, complex problems reduce down a few lines of code.

Your one example that is actually bloated is iostreams, which is slow and overkill for almost any program. I wish more C++ text books would ignore iostreams and spend more time on STL.

Comment: Facebook will change or die (Score 3, Insightful) 183 183

Facebook has reached the pinnacle of social networking - the only place to go now is downhill unless they change. They already have every user who wants a page, the only new users are young kids just getting online - not Facebook's target demographic. Also, they have just gone public which puts pressure on the company to make more money.

I predict Facebook will start to branch out into video and music more and more in an attempt to get more pages views - it must be galling for Facebook to see people sharing videos with YouTube advertising instead of Facebook's. They are going to have to be careful, users don't like change.

(One thing users don't want is a whole slew of different social networks. I am on Facebook and G+, but I would only use one if either gave me full control over who sees what. I think projects like Diaspora are always going to be niche ideas)

VMS must die!