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Comment: It can't be done (Score 1) 80

by Casandro (#49239239) Attached to: Watch an Original NES Run Netflix

Any form of DRM on a simple system like the NES could be circumvented rather quickly. And since the primary purpose of Netflix is to promote DRM, they won't drop DRM from that.

Without DRM it would obviously be rather simple, just add a network card and copy raw frames from it to the graphics chip. That's a no brainer.

Comment: X11 has lots of things to be improved... (Score 1) 375

by Casandro (#48930079) Attached to: Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure

...but you _can_ make secure screen lockers on it, you just need to use it raw and not use bloated frameworks. It's been done for years.

There is nothing wrong about considering to replace X11, however the current crowd of desktop developers probably won't make it much better. Instead of learning from modern operating systems like Plan 9 and using language neutral file system based interfaces, systems like Wayland still are stuck in the past requiring dynamically linked libraries as API interfaces.

Comment: When something is "new" it doesn't imply... (Score 1) 212

by Casandro (#48911447) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

...that other things are automatically obsolete.

"new" in this case means "additional". And no, this is not about generating "code monkeys", this is about giving people an insight into what computers are, and equipping them with enough knowledge so they can form their own ethical framework around it.

Comment: Lazarus (Score 2) 492

by Casandro (#48902397) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Unfortunately the state of desktop applications is now to bad, that Lazarus is now pretty much the only alternative left, particularly if you want to distribute your software in binary. .net requires the user to install a huge and fragile framework. Java does the same and even adds an insecure browser plugin. In both cases your code will need an installation routine. And even then, Lazarus will be able to compile for more platforms than Java and .net support.

On Lazarus you get a statically linked binary you can just plop onto your system and execute it. So up- and down-grading your application is trivial.

Plus you get things like bounds checking simply with a compiler option. In my tests it didn't hurt the speed, probably because the compiler can easily find out when they are needed and when not. However as far as I know you can enable and disable it per line.

Comment: Webservice or Lazarus (Score 1) 264

by Casandro (#48809079) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux Database GUI Application Development?

Of course today you would do such things via webservice, but if you prefer actual desktop applications you can use Lazarus, which is a Delphi clone. The database connectivity concept of Delphi is geared towards creating fancy GUI applications with database connectivity easily. It's more or less point and click.

Plus unlike .net or Java you can run this on multiple platforms just by recompiling. And on every platform you get a (mostly) statically linked binary file.

Comment: It's more like slithering along the ground (Score 1) 598

by Casandro (#48743625) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

I mean MacOS, for example, didn't have any kind of memory separation. Applications had statically assigned memory, but they were free to write to the memory of others freely. That's one of the reasons why MacOS was nearly unusable for any webbrowsing around Version 6 and 7. In fact back then it emulated 68k code on the Power platform.

Then came MacOSX, taking an ancient version of some BSD and removing all the good bits replacing them with proprietary stuff. Even MacOSX 10.3 was hardly usable. It did work for a while, but after a week of uptime it became increasingly sluggish.

Software quality never was particularly good at Apple. They always just competed with Microsoft, not with any meaningful quality standards.

Same goes for hardware. Logic board failures were common during "evil Steve's" reign. Macs just became much more fragile than the industry standard. Batteries were glued in. Harddisks were really hard to replace. Even things like the Apple Airport had design flaws leading to mass breakdowns.

I guess the point why this now looks like a sudden decrease in quality is that the "reality distortion field" is gone. Apple is no longer the underdog which invests significant amounts of its money into engineering. Apple is, particularly since "evil Steve" a marketing driven company.

Comment: He's not quite found the problem yet (Score 1) 252

by Casandro (#48734405) Attached to: The Missing Piece of the Smart Home Revolution: The Operating System

It seems like he's still in the "I'm not satisfied" phase of solving a problem, unfortunately it's unsure if he'll ever reach the "I've understood why I'm not satisfied" phase.

Simply put, in order to derive any meaning full use out of those systems you need to be able to program them. And to be able to program them, they need to have as simple as possible interfaces. If I'll have to read into some complex programming language like Java I'm not going to bother.

It needs to be something simple like sending "show status" over a socket to the device and it'll return with it's current status in a simple non-XML or JSON format. And devices should be able to emulate multiple protocols. So people can choose the simplest one with the functionality they need or the one they are most familiar with.

Comment: Good news in a way (Score 1) 223

by Casandro (#48710755) Attached to: US Army Could Waive Combat Training For Hackers

That means they cannot get the people they want, which is good news. After all those jobs are about making the world a worse place.

However their problem might solve itself.
We are on the brink of another "Tech"-Bubble. Nobody knows if Facebook or Uber will still exist in 5 years and no matter when the bubble will burst it will leave a lot of people with various degrees of skills on the market.
The other problem is that the remaining companies will probably enter their "fattening"-stage. They will, for example, get the "dead sea" effect, where the skilled people just leave for more interesting jobs while the less skilled ones stay where they are. In software engineering, less skilled people mean worse and bigger code which lowers the amount of productivity, meaning you need more people. Again the good ones will "evaporate" and gradually the skill level sinks more and more and you get more and more unskilled people until eventually you are left with a company of a million idiots. Obviously to counteract this you need strict procedures which will drive out the remaining skilled people.

When the currently attractive "tech"-companies have reached that point, it'll be comparatively easy for the military to pick people.

Comment: What are they trying to achieve? (Score 1) 146

I mean seriously, that's just a bad movie. Apparently even so bad it mostly discredits its makers.

If you want do spend thousands of Euros to drop DVDs, drop something more intelligent. Something that actually makes people think, not something the government can easily discredit as the product of some deranged individuals.

Comment: Reminds me of the late 1990s (Score 1) 131

by Casandro (#48671581) Attached to: App Gives You Free Ebooks of Your Paperbacks When You Take a "Shelfie"

Back then "Online Advertisements" were all the rage. Those were animated GIF images designed to influence the behaviour of the users. There were some companies having "pay for surf" business models where you installed a piece of malware onto your computer which would display you banners. You would then get paid money for that. Of course all of those companies went bankrupt as most people simply cheated the software. The disappearance of "Online Advertisements" essentially meant that nobody tried again. Today people probably don't even know that a "banner ad" was.

It's probably the same way with personal data. There is a hype about selling it even though nobody quite knows how to generate money from it. So essentialy a whole generation of companies now collects huge masses of data for the secret services of the world to collect.

Comment: No, and that has little to do with open source (Score 0) 421

by Casandro (#48645471) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Up To the Job?

Simply put, .net is _far_ to complex for the job. The .net framework binary is already much bigger than a typical Windows 2000 installation. You users are expected to install and maintain a huge framework. On the other side you don't really have much benefits. You have a mostly single vendor solution. Your software won't run on even on all 32 bit Windows machines.

If you want to do client applications look around you, there's plenty of alternatives. One example is Lazarus/Freepascal which compiles you statically linked binaries for most common operating systems. I have been starting and maintaining a software project for Linux, Win32 and MacOSX, and the difference in code is just a few lines. It simply works and on all platforms you get a binary you can just drag and drop. No installation required. Should there be a bug in a new version, the user can simply switch back to the old one.

If .net was any good, why doesn't Microsoft, the company most interested in it, offer Office for .net? They already do have Office for MacOSX.

Comment: Re:Wait, People still allow SMB on large scale net (Score 1) 177

by Casandro (#48640463) Attached to: Hackers Used Nasty "SMB Worm" Attack Toolkit Against Sony

Just because apparently several companies are stupid and use unsuitable security practices doesn't mean it's not really bad security. I mean we all refuse to do support for people who put their malware ridden gaming rig into their main LAN, why do companies get away with that?

Comment: Wait, People still allow SMB on large scale nets? (Score 1) 177

by Casandro (#48640259) Attached to: Hackers Used Nasty "SMB Worm" Attack Toolkit Against Sony

I mean OK, you cannot run a Windows system without SMB in a useful way. However how could this spread. SMB is not a protocol that was designed to work outside of broadcast domains. It does, but you loose some of the features people take for granted.

I seriously wonder how this could spread, after all you don't just have a large Ethernet domain in your international company. You have smaller domains routed together, and in between you can trivially filter. SMB is one of the first things to go. Since it's hard and inefficient to run large filers on Windows, the few remaining machines with SMB enabled probably would be running on Linux, which means that they will not have the same security problems the Windows machines have.

So ideally this should have been easily contained within a fraction of the company network.

Comment: Solving simple problems in a difficult way (Score 1) 153

by Casandro (#48614939) Attached to: In IT, Beware of Fad Versus Functional

In IT there rarely are any hard problems. Few people operate Google scale data centres, few people do automatic voice recognition or video codecs.

This somehow seems to cause a desire for solving simple problems in difficult ways. You suddenly have complex frameworks to do more or less trivial things because you are trying to abuse something that's never meant to be used in a certain way. More and more non essential features get crammed into projects.

If you want to stay ahead in IT, avoid complexity. Simple ideas seem to persist in the long run. A typical example is the Unix philosophy. It's an attempt to make everything as simple as possible, so simple that a single person can write a cut down implementation in just a few months. Another example is the Internet. IP is a wonderful simple protocol. You just throw in a packet and it may or may not arrive on the other end. Compare that to ATM or ISDN and you will see how much simpler it is.

As a rule of thumb, if someone tells you about a new technology or trend, ask them to explain it to you in 1-2 sentences, no more than 20 words. Either they will fail, in this case you'll know that it's either just a buzzword or far to complex, or they will actually say what it is.

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov