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Comment: Responsibility starts at the very top (Score 1) 183

by Arkan (#48458569) Attached to: Cameron Accuses Internet Companies Of Giving Terrorists Safe Haven

How come Cameron, being the PM and all, not be held fully responsible for his inability to prevent UK resident to perpetrate terrorist acts on the very sole he's in charge of? After all, he's the one with intelligence services and such, stampeding the privacy of the very people that elected him. Would all this just mean that he violated fundamental rights of the British people to no avail?

Comment: Not that much intelligent adaptation (Score 1) 69

by Arkan (#47515809) Attached to: Robot With Broken Leg Learns To Walk Again In Under 2 Minutes

As far as I understood the article, everything is based on a behavioral repertoire... The only advancement of the study would be the confidence mapping of said repertoire? Wouldn't it be better to work toward the automatic creation of this repertoire by the robot itself?

Comment: The environment is key (Score 1) 466

by Arkan (#47243885) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Rapid Development Language To Learn Today?

It greatly depends on the environment in which your data processing and glue scripts runs: if it's homogenous enough to go for an installer runtime like python or ruby, then so be it.
As a matter of fact, Perl is often available, and the CPAN is a trove of readily available solutions.

This kind of scripts is typically what I'm doing on frequent occasion, and I've always found that portable shell scripting has always trumped any other solution as long as your environment is unix driven - and then for this rare cases where Windows is the platform of choice, I package a few cygwin exes and dlls with the script. I'm working on a very controlled environment though, and expecting to have access to CPAN, much less to Python or Ruby runtimes is a recipe for a great deception.

Shell scripts I say: it's a default on so many plaforms that it's worth keeping it fresh.

As for the next step, I'd say Perl because of its pervasiveness - and the fact that it's a still alive and mightily kicking language - then Python as it's quite common on Linux distributions now.

A closing word: don't dismiss a language because it feels old. If C is a bit overkill for glue and data manipulation code, shell scripting is not going away soon. IMO, the important part of doing our type of job is to know to use the pertinent tool to get a result quickly enough without compromising maintainability too much.

Comment: I'm in! (Score 1) 209

At 400$ a pop, I'd be willing to shell the cash to have access to this kind of chip/board. There's at least one direct application I'd like to try: source code analysis. The current tools are quite powerful, mind you, but I'm sure the pattern recognition capabilities of such chips should be a lot better at pinpointing ill side effects, inefficiencies, memory leaks and such.

Now, just imagine a biowolf cluster of those...

Comment: Stop it! (Score 1) 268

by Arkan (#45167077) Attached to: Has Flow-Based Programming's Time Arrived?

Stop it already! Non-programmers will never build applications, because on a programmer CAN build an application. Stop tooting your flavor-of-the-week 4GL solution and focus on providing more astute tools to programmers. The myth of a business type obtaining a proper result out of a computer without any a programmer being somewhere in the picture is NOT going to happen before we get Turing test worth IA. Period.

If only all these companies selling those products would learn a bit of computer science history before embarking into yet another flawed implementation of a 50 years old idea, and start enhancing testing, debugging, profiling, and - $Deity forbig - deployment and environment dependency manager tools, we'd be all for the better.

Damn. Do I sound as bitter as I feel?

Comment: Re:Simulate the spyware (Score 1) 212

by Arkan (#33158604) Attached to: Tech Specs Leaked For French Spyware

That's not what it's supposed to do: it's just sniff the protocols used on your computer and report them to Hadopi. If at the same time your IP is found on a tracker sharing "illicit" files and Hadopi or one of its affiliates can download a portion of the file from you, then you're in for one of the strikes.

Comment: NOT mandatory, but people will install it anyway (Score 1) 212

by Arkan (#33158594) Attached to: Tech Specs Leaked For French Spyware

... because it's the only way to "prove" that your 'net connection is "secured".
Let me explain: with Hadopi, they also created a new felony title "Internet connection securing fault" ("Défaut de sécurisation de connexion" in french) which means that if your IP is marked by Hadopi as copying illicit files, then your only mean of defence will be that this software was running at the time of the marking on your computer. Usually, in France, you're innocent until proven guilty. So usually when you're sued, it's the other party that have to bring proofs of what you're accused. They added an exception for this for speed tickets on road when they deployed automatic speed cameras. And they've used this loophole to do the same with Hadopi.

Net result: if you don't run the software and somehow you're IP ends in Hadopi lists, you're automatically ticketed for 1500€ and your only defence is this frickin' spyware.

And the most beautiful of all this: Hadopi is already active and they're just working on the specs of the spyware. Draw the conclusion yourself.

Arkan, fed-up with the way France is going those days

Comment: Just sick? (Score 1) 651

by Arkan (#31388198) Attached to: Lessons of a $618,616 Death

This is like putting a price on one's life. Even asking such a question is disgusting, and shows a complete lack of humanity.

I can't even imagine the mindset that can push someone to formulate such a question.

I think this is an huge hint that our society as a whole as gone south. Prove me wrong, please prove me wrong.

Comment: Re:The court gets all of 3 options, right? (Score 5, Informative) 159

by Arkan (#28665745) Attached to: French "3 Strikes" Law Returns, In Slightly Altered Form

The reality is bit uglier than what the article might say. When your IP will be caught exchanging one of the 10.000 referenced files on a p2p network - the HADOPI being the one who will be monitoring the p2p networks - this addendum to the three-strikes law will trigger the following events:
  - under a special, fast track process akin to the one followed for a speed ticket, the judge might order your ISP to cut your connexion, or (logical OR, not XOR) have you pay 1.500â. This is not a trial, it's a judge statement, and you'll have to go to court to defend yourself, but not before having your connexion cut and the fine paid. Btw, you'll still pay for the connexion that have been cut. You can get protection from this though: you need to install a (today inexistant) HADOPI-certified spyware (read network packet scanning, email reading spyware) on your - Windows - computer. This will magically make you not liable of this part of the law
  - you're still liable under the DADVSI (counterfeiting) law which can, on another judgment, get you up to 300.000â fine or (logical OR...) 3 years in prison
  - and then I don't see anything in the words of the proposed law that would prevent the copyright owner from suing you for lost revenue

For the smart among you all, you'd have already noticed that everything is trigger by just one thing: an IP on a p2p network. The IP. Something absolutely, positively unfalsifiable, that can't be spoofed. Right?

And soon, if LOPPSI goes through and you've used an encrypting bittorrent client, you'll also be sued under the premise that you're planning terrorist actions.

The most fun part is that this addendum in it's current state allows for the HADOPI commission to "read" your - and I quote - "electronic communications". Not "p2p connexions", not "bittorrent connexions": "electronic communications". Email, web, IM, VOIP: it's electronic, it's scanned. The french government is just passing a law to get a legal eavedropping right on all national internet communications.

I love being french those days...

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759