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Comment: Re:Wake up (Score 3, Insightful) 383

by Charan (#33153348) Attached to: Steve Furber On Why Kids Are Turned Off To Computing Classes

Yeah. Why teach the applications practical to 95% of white collar jobs instead of programming, which most kids won't be interested in, fewer will 'get' and hardly any will ever do professionally?

You could say the same about cellular biology, chemistry, quantum mechanics, calculus, and music taught at the high school level. Most people won't professionally develop those skills, but they're better off for having been exposed to the fundamentals. Any maybe out of the breadth of subjects you throw at a young student, they'll find their passion and stick with it. Why exclude programming from that mix?

Comment: Re:Now YOU may be on to something.... (Score 1) 742

by Charan (#31888752) Attached to: Why Linux Is Not Attracting Young Developers

While servers may be "old hat," the new breed of social networking and cloud computing sites are still innovating in this area. The traditional idea of large, fast machines running big relational databases is dying. Check out the recent rise of Bigtable, MapReduce, Memcached, and especially NoSql among service providers.

There's real innovation happening on the server side to enable the current generation of mobile devices. The handheld clients may be the sexy part of computing right now, but they couldn't do much without data centers backing them up.

Comment: Re:Since I actually read the article (Score 1) 410

by Charan (#31483876) Attached to: How To Guarantee Malware Detection

Well, to quote their tech report:

The malware detection algorithm involves the following steps on the client machine:... (5) Policy: Execute the verification policy. This could involve reporting the memory contents of the client device to the verifying party, or the execution of any task that should preferably be run in a safe environment. This may be done using whitelisting or blacklisting approaches, and may involve the use of heuristics to scan the swap space and secondary storage in general. The implementation of the policy is beyond the scope of this paper, as we only deal with how to assert the absence of active malware herein. [orig. in italics]

So you're right, their technique really only catches against one thing: a malicious (or infected) operating system that guards its dirty bits from an OS-level verifier by playing tricks with the verifier's address space. You still need another checker to catch all the conventional viruses out there that don't play this particular game.

Comment: Re:Strange limitation (Score 4, Insightful) 407

by Charan (#31477230) Attached to: Good Language Choice For School Programming Test?

I'm sure the CPU time limit would be generous enough that it won't matter if your programming language is interpreted 10x slower than hand-tuned assembly. They want to make sure you aren't using a brute-force O(n^3) algorithm when a linear one would work well enough.

Plus, the judges need a rule to allow them to terminate programs that may be stuck in infinite loops. Otherwise, a contestant could delay the results of a competition indefinitely.

(Imagine: "This competition was rigged! The judges killed my program before it had a chance to finish. It was working fine, and I was the first one to submit answers to all the problems. What? So it has a long start up time. You don't have a rule against 100-hour programs.")

Comment: Re:Editors and Debuggers (Score 1) 310

by Charan (#30836572) Attached to: What Tools Do FLOSS Developers Need?

SLIME looks very useful, so long as the only thing I need to debug is Emacs itself. I can't find the part in the SLIME manual where it helps me write and debug programs written in any of the languages supported in Visual Studio. The one I care about is C.

If SLIME really can help me, I'd love to use it. It does look quite nice.

As an aside, if you believe that open source developers write tools to scratch their own itches, does this mean that more people need to debug Emacs than need to debug any other program? ;)

Comment: Re:Single computer and single monitor!? (Score 1) 628

by Charan (#30074520) Attached to: At My Computer Desk, I Use...

My main computer with its 24-inch monitor is where I get my coding done. Specs: Core 2 Duo 3GHz w/ 4GB RAM. Its normal workload: xterm and a few emacs windows, with an occasional compile.

For everything else, the laptop on the side (with 12-inch display) runs my email, IM, IRC, RSS, iTunes, and calendar. Specs: 667 MHz PowerPC, 640 MB RAM. Yes, my workload is backwards :)

Comment: Re:6%?? Of what system? (Score 4, Informative) 168

by Charan (#30063970) Attached to: Scientists Unveil Lightweight Rootkit Protection

Reading the research paper, the 6% overhead looks like it comes from having the kernel call into the hypervisor every time it allocates or frees an object that contains a kernel hook (a.k.a. function pointer). The designers explicitly state that they use non-paged memory to store the protected kernel hooks.

Security

Null Character Hack Allows SSL Spoofing 280

Posted by timothy
from the cannot-anticipate-all-evil dept.
eldavojohn writes "Two researchers, Dan Kaminsky and Moxie Marlinspike, came up with exact same way to fake being a popular website with authentication from a certificate authority. Wired has the details: 'When an attacker who owns his own domain — badguy.com — requests a certificate from the CA, the CA, using contact information from Whois records, sends him an email asking to confirm his ownership of the site. But an attacker can also request a certificate for a subdomain of his site, such as Paypal.com\0.badguy.com, using the null character \0 in the URL. The CA will issue the certificate for a domain like PayPal.com\0.badguy.com because the hacker legitimately owns the root domain badguy.com. Then, due to a flaw found in the way SSL is implemented in many browsers, Firefox and others theoretically can be fooled into reading his certificate as if it were one that came from the authentic PayPal site. Basically when these vulnerable browsers check the domain name contained in the attacker's certificate, they stop reading any characters that follow the "\0 in the name.'"
Science

People Emit Visible Light 347

Posted by timothy
from the lots-of-girls-I-know-glow-visibly dept.
An Anonymous Reader writes "The human body literally glows, emitting a visible light in extremely small quantities at levels that rise and fall with the day, scientists now reveal. Japanese researchers have shown that the body emits visible light, 1,000 times less intense than the levels to which our naked eyes are sensitive. In fact, virtually all living creatures emit very weak light, which is thought to be a byproduct of biochemical reactions involving free radicals."
Censorship

UK's National Portrait Gallery Threatens To Sue Wikipedia User 526

Posted by Soulskill
from the pictures-of-pictures dept.
jpatokal writes "The National Portrait Gallery of London is threatening litigation against a Wikipedia user over his uploading of pictures of some 3,000 paintings, all 19th century or earlier and firmly in the public domain. Their claim? The photos are a 'product of a painstaking exercise on the part of the photographer,' and that downloading them off the NPG site is an 'unlawful circumvention of technical measures.' And remember, the NPG's taxpayer-funded mission is to 'promote the appreciation and understanding of portraiture in all media [...] to as wide a range of visitors as possible!'"
Games

Why Video Games Are Having a Harder Time With Humor 202

Posted by Soulskill
from the moo-moomoo-moo-moomoomoo-mooooooo dept.
Kotaku is running an opinion piece discussing why video games are having a harder time being funny as they've shifted away from text-driven adventures and toward graphics-intensive environments. "As technology improved, things began to get more serious. With the rise of 3D technology a strong focus was put on making games look good, delivering a more realistic — and often darker — experience to the player. Cartoonish comedic games became more of a novelty than the norm. Few titles, such as Rare's Conker's Bad Fur Day for the Nintendo 64, fully embraced humor." The article also talks about how the trend could soon reverse itself. LucasArts' Dave Grossman said, "As the games get smarter and start paying attention to more things about what the player is actually doing, using that ability not just to create challenges but to create humorous moments will be pretty cool. Eventually I expect to be out of a job over that."

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