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Comment: Re:And we're surprised why? (Score 2) 58

No, no, no! You've got it all wrong! When private individuals do such things, they are terrorists, saboteurs, or thieves. But when governments do them, it's perfectly in order - they are only doing what all governments do.

"Il est défendu de tuer; tout meurtrier est puni, à moins qu’il n’ait tué en grande compagnie, et au son des trompettes".
("It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers to the sound of trumpets").

- Voltaire

Comment: Re:COBOL was better than JavaScript. (Score 1) 291

by Archtech (#47653403) Attached to: The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer

"There's a good chance that, without JavaScript, the web would have vanished".

How amusing - but quite untrue. Haven't you noticed how, throughout the history of computing, old standards regularly become unfashionable but virtually never disappear? Now consider that the Web was originally designed purely and simply to let people read hyperlinked documents - an extremely useful and indeed fundamental capability. It wasn't meant to display moving pictures, or serve as a virtual shop, or allow people to keep the world updated with what they have eaten or worn.

Without JavaScript, none of that would have been lost. Possibly, a new standard would have been invented to support all the trivial, self-indulgent uses, leaving the real Web unpolluted, efficient, and secure. Pity.

Comment: Re:Nobody kills Java (Score 1) 371

by Archtech (#47636057) Attached to: Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

In about 1990 Gartner estimated that there were over 100 billion lines of COBOL in commercial use. By 2003, that had become 180 billion lines. Extrapolating, I'd expect that the figure is over 250 billion lines today. It's rather like the IBM mainframe, whose "death" was being loudly trumpeted in the early 1990s. Yet mainframe sales went right on growing, and today more of them are being used than ever. Most of them probably run COBOL applications.

What you need to decide is what software is for. If it's for fun, an art form, or a fashionable vehicle of self-expression, then by all means go with the latest and greatest languages, frameworks, and tools. But if it's a business-critical (or even safety-critical) component of vital engineering systems, doesn't it make sense to use something that is *known* to work reliably? "A legacy application is one that works", and I for one prefer to fly in aircraft that are programmed with Ada and use banks whose computers run COBOL. Call me a boring old fuddy-duddy, but some things are just better if you can count on them working.

http://scs.senecac.on.ca/~timo...

Comment: Consistent with known incidence (Score 4, Interesting) 267

by Archtech (#47621745) Attached to: My degree of colorblindness:

As I write this, 7% of votes are for "mild" and 1% for "severe" red-green colour blindness. Remarkably, about 8% of males are believed to suffer from red-green colour blindness. (It's perhaps reasonable to assume that great majority of slashdotters are male - if not, apologies to the ladies).

Comment: Re:Moving information for Freedom.... (Score 2) 502

by Archtech (#47582719) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

"Basically, what you're saying is that you think that if someone on US soil does something illegal, and hides the evidence offshore, the government shouldn't be able to get to said evidence without jumping through a crapton of legal hoops?"

No, what we are saying is that if someone on US soil does something illegal, and hides the evidence offshore, the government shouldn't be able to get to said evidence without respecting the legal systems of whatever foreign nations are involved. Just as those nations wouldn't come rummaging around in the USA without asking for the permission and cooperation of its legal system.

I understand that you might resent all the extra time and trouble. But it is the difference between being ruled by law and being ruled by a guy with a stone club.

Comment: Re:Applies oversea or applies to local access? (Score 1) 502

by Archtech (#47582687) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

"That's the cost of being a multi-national corporation, if you don't like it then don't incorporate in those jurisdictions".

Best news EVER!!!! At a single stroke, we get rid of McDonalds, Starbucks, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter...

Oh wait. How are we going to get by without Amazon and Google???

Comment: Re:Applies oversea or applies to local access? (Score 1) 502

by Archtech (#47582635) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

"This is the US judicial system putting US companies between a rock and a hard place - the company has to comply with EU laws or face penalties, while also complying with a US court order or face penalties".

As far as I can see, the only way out for the company is to cease trading in the EU immediately. (Do not pass GO, do not collect 200 euros). If applied on a large scale, that would do nothing for the US GDP or balance of payments.

Comment: Re:It's almost sane(really) (Score 1) 502

by Archtech (#47582575) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

"The basic concept here is that data does not exist in the physical world. Where the electrons are is irrelevant if the entity that controls it exists in the US".

That is a really, really lame idea. Whether or not "data" exists in the physical world, something physical must exist for anyone to be able to use that data. Where the electrons are, that is where the data is for all practical purposes.

If the corporation that controls the data were to be dissolved and cease to exist, the data would still be right there as long as the electrons continue to exist and do their thing.

Make sure your code does nothing gracefully.

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