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+ - IEEE Spectrum Ranks The Top Programming Languages->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Working with computational journalist Nick Diakopoulos, we at IEEE Spectrum have published an app that ranks the popularity of dozens of programming languages. Because different fields have different interests (what's popular with programmers writing embedded code versus what's hot with web developers isn't going to be identical) we tried to make the ranking system as transparent as possible—you can use our presets or you can go in and create your own customized ranking by adjusting the individual weightings of the various data sources we mined.--Stephen "FTC obDisclosure" Cass."
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+ - Researcher proposes "multicompiler" to prevent instruction-level exploits->

Submitted by Beeftopia
Beeftopia (1846720) writes "A researcher proposes the concept of a "multicompiler" to generate a unique, slightly different set of binary instructions in each compiled output file in order to disable instruction-level attacks. From the article: "Dr Franz has already built a prototype that can diversify programs such as Firefox and Apache Linux. Test attacks designed to take over computers running the resulting machine code always failed. The worst thing that happened was that the attack crashed the target machine, requiring a reboot. The rest of the time it simply had no perceptible effect. Dr Franz puts the chance of a hacker successfully penetrating one of his randomised application programs at about one in a billion.""
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+ - Site of 1976 'Atomic Man' accident to be cleaned->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes ""Workers are finally preparing to enter one of the most dangerous rooms in the world — the site of a 1976 blast in the United States that exposed a technician to a massive dose of radiation and led to his nickname: the "Atomic Man."

Harold McCluskey, then 64, was working in the room at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation when a chemical reaction caused a glass glove box to explode.

He was exposed to the highest dose of radiation from the chemical element americium ever recorded — 500 times the occupational standard.

Hanford, located in central Washington state, made plutonium for nuclear weapons for decades. The room was used to recover radioactive americium, a byproduct of plutonium.

Covered with blood, McCluskey was dragged from the room and put into an ambulance headed for the decontamination center. Because he was too hot to handle, he was removed by remote control and transported to a steel-and-concrete isolation tank.

During the next five months, doctors laboriously extracted tiny bits of glass and razor-sharp pieces of metal embedded in his skin.

Nurses scrubbed him down three times a day and shaved every inch of his body every day. The radioactive bathwater and thousands of towels became nuclear waste.""

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+ - The mass of elementary particles is fundamentally unknowable

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "You might think there are few physical quantities that are absolutely fixed when it comes to matter: properties that are so fundamentally inherent that even the weirdness of quantum mechanics can’t touch them. But the quantum nature of the Universe will have none of our prejudices, and will simply do what it does whether we like it or not. And that means, puzzlingly enough, that it’s physically impossible to know, exactly, what the mass of any one particle actually is!"

Comment: Re:One disturbing bit: (Score 2) 484

by Beeftopia (#47315493) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

If certain actions criminalize a religion without just cause (i.e. the criminalized set of acts is representative of a harmless behavior, or a set of non-criminal acts that only happen under this religion in this way)

It seems to me that if a reasonable interpretation of a law leads to negative unintended consequences, it then becomes the legislative branch's duty to rectify it, not the judicial branch's. Creating an incoherent ruling merely to achieve a desired social outcome severely undercuts the separation of powers, it seems to me.

Comment: Re:Predictable (Score 1) 484

by Beeftopia (#47315361) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

Regardless of the clever implementation, Aereo behaved like a subscription cable service. How it collected and stored programming was not relevant to this.

Appearances can deceive: The elephant bird may have looked like an ostrich but it's not related to ostriches. It's actually related to kiwis.

From the article: "Launched a year ago in New York and then extended to 10 other U.S. cities, it allows customers to watch over-the-air TV programs on a smartphone, tablet, or computer for as little as $8 a month."

Here's how Aereo [works | worked]. Redirecting a free over-the-air product over the web is a clever idea. It would seem to me that it would give advertisers a broader reach.

I don't think this tech is going to go away. This ruling merely consolidates the power of the existing media companies over the broadcast medium. Which, in my opinion, is regrettable. They already have too much power IMO.

Comment: Re:One disturbing bit: (Score 4, Interesting) 484

by Beeftopia (#47315177) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

He's not: "As Stephen Breyer, one of the Supreme Court justices, said in this week’s hearing, “What disturbs me is I don’t understand what the decision for you or against you is going to do to all kinds of other technologies.”

It seems to me that judges should be ruling based on the law, not perceived ancillary social influences. That's why we have three branches of government: legislative, executive and judicial. Legislative makes the law, and judicial merely determines if actions are legal or not legal? Quaint, no?

Comment: What if the PAC supports politician I oppose? (Score 2) 308

by Beeftopia (#47299601) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Lawrence Lessig About His Mayday PAC

So - I really like the idea of the PAC. I want to contribute. BUT, I don't want to undermine my other causes.

Question: Will this PAC be promoting both liberal and conservative politicians who advocate this one very important issue? The mayday.us website says 5 races will be targeted. What races and why those particular races?

Example:
Politician A is "wrong" on every issue but campaign finance reform.
Politician B is "right" on every issue but wrong on campaign finance reform.

How can someone like me - who believes the current campaign finance system is a rot at the heart of our democracy, but also has to balance this issue with other important issues - how can my concerns be assuaged?

Comment: Amazing that politicians can take donations (Score 2) 209

by Beeftopia (#47284265) Attached to: Steve Wozniak Endorses Lessig's Mayday Super PAC

It is amazing to me that politicians can take money from people and businesses with the expectation of favors in return.

This is perfectly legal. It is nothing but legalized bribery.

From a recent article on a court case which further loosened campaign finance restrictions: "For the donors, they really prefer to cut the vast number of checks,” he said. “For them, it’s not about giving money, it’s about building a relationship. You’re not going to get any face time, they’re not going to hear your story.” Individual donors want to feel gratitude from the candidate — legal, “completely non-corrupting gratitude,” Backer hastened to note."

Politicians shake down big donors. Big donors try to influence politicians. It's a symbiotic relationship. What's lost are the interests of the populace. Granted, those interests can be varied, in direct conflict and not monolithic. But the politician's incentives - while always self centered of course, they're only people - should be more aligned with the public interest rather than merely with the interest of a few large donors.

Comment: Re:HP - Great Name - Good Riddance (Score 5, Interesting) 288

by Beeftopia (#47081165) Attached to: HP Makes More Money, Cuts 16,000 Jobs

I discovered the big problem in American business today: Executives can make big money by running a company aground. Enough money so that their grandchildren won't have to work.

Greenspan thought companies would self regulate. His mistake was subtle: He assumed that the leadership of the company needed the company to be healthy in order for the executives to prosper. But a new pattern emerged: executives could engage in behavior which could yield a multiple-lifetime supply of wealth by engaging in practices which ultimately destroyed the company.

And that's what happened to the financial sector in the US. And doubtless other companies which yield this particular prize.

I don't know what the common underlying reason is but this is the common symptom - being able to make the Big Score by running a company aground.

Comment: What are the money and politics behind this? (Score 2) 157

by Beeftopia (#47071879) Attached to: Who Helped Kill Patent Troll Reform In the Senate

It started last summer, when patent trolls started messing with one of the biggest political donors of all time - the National Association of Realtors.

If you take a look at Patrick Leahy's donors, you can see real estate is down the list.

Summary - this issue got before Congress only when the NAR was bitten by it. I don't the issue is dead, not by a long shot. The NAR has deep connections in government and unless they somehow get the issue to go away for them personally, anti-patent troll legislation is likely to come back. Perhaps more quietly next time.

Comment: The concept of "Natural Monopoly" (Score 2) 208

by Beeftopia (#47053641) Attached to: Congress Unhappy With FCC's Proposed Changes To Net Neutrality

"Natural Monopolies" are an economic concept. These are industries in which the barriers to entry are so high that new competitors are blocked from entering. Infrastructure is commonly cited - power lines, power stations, the last mile infrastructure. The same goes for most infrastructure - telephone lines, cable lines, oil and gas pipelines, railroads.

So, there's no way to let customers vote with their feet in natural monopolies. There are no competitors. Hence the need for regulation to avoid the problem of monopolies, which is "monopoly pricing."

If you do something right once, someone will ask you to do it again.

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