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Comment: Whose Eyes? (Score 4, Insightful) 95

by Capt.Albatross (#49100789) Attached to: Linux Foundation: Bugs Can Be Made Shallow With Proper Funding

Even for non-security bugs, the many-eyes hypothesis contains a large dose of wishful thinking, but at least in that case most eyes are looking with the same purpose. When it comes to security, however, it is a race between black-hat and white-hat eyes, and the former only have to win once.

Comment: Re:why? (Score 1) 677

The people who argue dogmatically against any use of gotos are missing Dijkstra's main point. While the title of the paper is about gotos, the body is mostly concerned with discussing how programs can be structured so that it is feasible to reason about their correctness.

When this paper was written, gotos facilitated the rampant production of confused and confusing spaghetti code, and many programmers believed gotos were required to write certain types of program. At that time, banning gotos seemed like the only thing that could fix this. Since then, we have learned a couple of things:

1) Good programmers will write well-structured code even when they have the option to use gotos (and even if they actually do.)

2) Confused programmers will write confused code even while adhering to structured syntax rules.

Comment: Re:why? (Score 1) 677

I didn't vote on it, but I guess it is due to the last paragraph. Compilers are just as capable of generating valid code from unstructured source as from structured source, so long as it is syntactically correct. It is humans who tend to get confused by unstructured code, not compilers.

Which is not to say that structured code is necessarily free of confusion - I have seen plenty of counter-examples.

Comment: Re:why? (Score 1) 677

Is that because they were warned by Djikstra that it would be harmful to use it haphazardly?

Yes - at the time he wrote his paper, and for some time afterwards, goto statements were being used in a truly harmful manner.

As you are probably aware, however, the marginalization of the goto did not guarantee clarity in programs. The confused have proven remarkably adept in finding other ways to sow confusion.

Comment: Re:Such a shame (Score 1) 77

by Capt.Albatross (#48923957) Attached to: Comcast Pays Overdue Fees, Offers Freebies For TWC Merger Approval

To see anybody even considering this only illustrates how easy they fall for every con in the book, and not even new ones. This shell game goes back to ancient times.

Unless this is just a cover story for a decision that was made on the basis of undisclosed benefits specifically to the people making the decision, in which case it is another game, equally ancient.

It used to be that a sufficiently blatant appearance of corruption could get a public official into trouble, but SCOTUS put a stop to that. This has led to a predictable increase in the lameness of cover stories for this sort of thing.

Comment: Reasonable Models (Score 1) 397

by Capt.Albatross (#48915233) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

The link titled 'questionable weather models' was to a lightweight piece of reporting, mostly covering Gary Szatkowski's mea culpa (something that public officials have to do, regardless of whether there was any negligence.) There was no informed reporting on whether the models performed worse than anyone has a right to expect.

The forecasters themselves were well aware that small deviations made a large difference to the models' predictions, but that aspect was almost entirely lost in the reporting, which was mostly about how bad it could be. If public officials don't act, on the grounds that the outcome is uncertain, the press and public will be all over them if it turns out as forecast (or worse), as happened to Bloomberg in NYC a couple of years ago.

The forecasters have more information than the public knows what to do with.

Comment: Re: In after somebody says don't run Windows. (Score 1) 467

by Capt.Albatross (#48892365) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

When I was testing AV software, I played with a number of real and test viruses in my disposable VM, yet the host system never alerted on any of them.

Did you verify that they were actual viruses, in that the allegedly infected programs you had were actually capable of spreading the virus to another program, and that the newly-infected program was also capable of passing this test?

I ask because it was (and maybe is) not unusual for published tests to have been performed by someone who did not do this preparation, rendering the results meaningless.

Show me a man who is a good loser and I'll show you a man who is playing golf with his boss.