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Fixing JavaScript's Broken Random Number Generator (hackaday.com) 136

szczys writes: It is surprising to learn how broken the JavaScript Random Number Generator has been for the past six years. The problem is compounded by the fact that Node.js uses the same broken Math.random() module. Learning about why this is broken is interesting, but perhaps even more interesting is how the bad code got there in the first place. It seems that a forum thread from way back in 1999 shared two versions of the code. If you read to the end of the thread you got the working version, if you didn't make it that far (perhaps the case with JavaScript devs) you got the bad version of the code whose fix is just now being rolled out.

Comment Re:England isn't Europe. (Score 2) 704

Nonsense.

England is part of the UK, and the UK remains a member of the European Union.

EU laws apply.

As for Julian Assange, he's holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy, which is Ecuadorian sovereign territory, so technically whilst he remains inside there he's not on UK (or EU) soil. As he's technically in Ecuador which doesn't have an extradition treaty, he's safe there.

Comment Cheaply? (Score 1) 169

I find the notion that there's "pressure to farm it out cheaply and easily to freelancers" to be ludicrous.

I'm a software developer contractor in the UK. This is a relatively new thing for me - in my 20+ year career I've only been a contractor the past two. The last couple of years have been by far the most lucrative of my career. In every gig I've had I've been paid more than twice as much as the most senior permanent developer.

Comment Re:Better keyboard?! What. (Score 1) 435

Very true. This is a terminal emulator issue. Plus, as it stands, the Terminal.app has preferences that let you define exactly how all the function keys get interpreted.

In my Terminal the configured behaviour of PgDn is to send the key sequence \033[6~ which for all the terminal apps I'm using gets interpreted correctly as a PgDn (e.g. 'less' will scroll down a page). The config for Shift+PgDn is "Scroll Page Down", which will scroll the window. There's a chance that sometime over the past decade I changed those settings, but I suspect they're the defaults.

Comment Re:Browser updates aren't sexy at Apple keynotes (Score 1) 311

You do indeed see Safari updates, however it seems to me that the majority of those updates are security fixes.

The issue here is that Safari is getting slow to adopt new web technologies, and slow at fixing problems with the technologies they have adopted.

This has been a relatively recent change, mostly since the WebKit/Blink split. Before then Apple through WebKit (and thus Safari) often led the way with new web technologies, and they were active participants in broader discussions about web standards, and much more open. It's felt as if they've closed off, and become resistant to event attempting to keep up, much less participate.

The WebKit Surfin' Safari blog shows this quite clearly. Long ago the blog used to be regularly updated. In the last year however there's been just three updates, two of those within the last three weeks.

Comment Re:Doesn't apply to Google (Score 1) 73

And yet Apple manages to make their iOS updates available to all compatible devices on the day of release, dealing with an order of magnitude more devices than Nexus phones and tablets.

My Nexus 10 had to wait 2 weeks for the 5.0 update to be made available to it, and my Nexus 4 took a month. The story has been the same with every single Android update - I read that an update is available, and then don't see it for weeks or months, no matter how many times I check for updates. In contrast on all my iOS devices never have any wait.

In both cases I get to choose if I want to install the update or not.

I don't buy "OTA releases are staged to avoid overwhelming networks", especially since the sales figures for Nexus devices are relatively small. As for "catch any problems", that is much more believable, but it reeks of poor QA. The implication is they have little confidence in the quality of their product.

The reality is that no matter the justification, it's poor customer service. If you loudly tell the world "Android 5 is out for your device" then you should make sure it's out.

Comment Re:Should have been 64-bit from the start... (Score 1) 67

Apple had already for three whole years been asking developers to make the leap to 64-bit at the time they made the Intel transition.

The industry should have been able to cope just fine with OS X being shipped only on 64-bit Intel processors.

Those that hadn't already adapted, well, their 32-bit PowerPC code would have run just fine using the Rosetta code translation layer.

The real issue was though that Apple needed to ship new laptops that were competitive with PCs. They couldn't afford to wait around another 6 months for Core2Duo chips to arrive.

Comment Re:When will I get it on my Nexus 5? (Score 1) 178

I don't get these staged updates.

With iOS, Apple announces a new OS update, and makes it available to all, for all compatible devices, simultaneously. Given the hundreds of millions of compatible devices this must be a massive logistical problem, yet everyone that's interested gets the OS update immediately, the downloads tend to work just fine, and everyone tends to be happy.

With Android, Google only makes builds for Nexus devices. One would have thought that given the relatively small numbers of devices sold, and the massive infrastructure Google has in place, that they wouldn't have a big problem in making the OS update available to all, just like Apple do. However instead we're forced to wait around. We click on the "check now" on our devices and get told "no update available" for many many days after news reports have told us that the new OS is out.

It's very frustrating.

Comment Re:I hate this strategy of justifying exploitation (Score 1) 164

Teachers are not easily replaceable, and yet for the work they do their compensation is abysmal.

Their problem is a different one. There's many factors involved as to why people become teachers, and why they stay in the profession. Simply though, they stay because of job security, and the knowledge/fear that changing careers into a different profession would be very hard (and in the short-term at least involve a pay cut).

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