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Comment: Re:UAT (Score 1) 221

by macs4all (#49799855) Attached to: Crowdfunded, Solar-powered Spacecraft Goes Silent

This kind of failure is caused by amateurs making amateur mistakes. It was caused by application programmers who don't understand the consequence of failure in a constrained environment where you can't just click a mouse to restart the program. It was caused by poor planning and a lack of understanding of the environment in which they were designing. This was caused by hiring coders instead of experienced engineers. It was caused by trying to do it cheap rather than spending the money to do it right. They got what they paid for.

I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said, except the last 3 sentences. I submit that they could have found PLENTY of "coders" (a/k/a "hobbyists") that would have not made these kinds of easily-foreseeable design errors.

These were errors that anyone with a few embedded designs under their belt, "engineer" or no, would have caught with ease. I know, because I have, repeatedly.

Comment: Re:UAT (Score 1) 221

by macs4all (#49799803) Attached to: Crowdfunded, Solar-powered Spacecraft Goes Silent

One way to test that is to simulate time. A simulation wouldn't need to wait 15 actual seconds, it could speed up time such that transmissions run immediately after the last, until the test has surpassed the expected lifetime of the mission.

If this were able to be done once every millisecond instead of once every 15 seconds, they would have run across the bug within 14 minutes.

But, even before the testing, comes the DESIGN. No one with more than two active neurons should have designed a system that cannot reboot itself, or that tried to grow a file (especially one that shared storage-space with the OS!!!) infinitely.

Bad Developer. Bad! Bonk Bonk on the head!

Comment: Re:Systems Administration 101 (Score 1) 221

by macs4all (#49799641) Attached to: Crowdfunded, Solar-powered Spacecraft Goes Silent

A thousand times, this. Any competent sysadmin would have pointed out this flaw in the design process (as well as the one about not being able to remotely reboot your server), but I'm willing to bet good money that they didn't involve a competent sysadmin, because who needs those any longer...

SysAdmin, hell! Any 12-year-old HOBBYIST would have pointed this out; or would have known better in the first fucking place!

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 0) 221

by macs4all (#49799625) Attached to: Crowdfunded, Solar-powered Spacecraft Goes Silent

One report I read made it sound like they were aware of the bug for a while. It's possible that they had to launch with an old version of the software because the patch wasn't ready yet, and being a secondary payload on a launch you have no say whatsoever as to the launch date. They probably expected to be able to upload the patch after launch, but the log filled up faster than expected.

That being said, it is shoddy programming to blindly write to a log on a resource-constrained embedded platform (or any platform, really. Just especially so on something like this), so somebody definitely goofed. All I am saying is that it probably was caught by testing, but couldn't be fixed in time due to various constraints. It was a dumb move on the developer's part to not do enough diligence and to rely too heavily on QA in the first place.

Quit making excuses for them. They DESERVE to lose their spacecraft!

They could have trolled the customer-list for Sparkfun Electronics or HackADay and in 5 minutes found a better developer than whoever designed THIS piece of shit-pile of code. Seriously.

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 3, Insightful) 221

by macs4all (#49799583) Attached to: Crowdfunded, Solar-powered Spacecraft Goes Silent

Testing might have found it, but I'd say that regardless of testing they should assume something bad will happen with the software and have a mechanism in place to force reboot & update on a locked up system. Maybe they thought they did. Its a shame if they can't get it fixed.

Speaking as an embedded developer, this is completely inexcusable.

Not having a Watchdog, PLUS not making the limited-filesize log file "roll-over", is clearly Amateur-Hour stuff. Who wrote this code, anyway? An eight year old???

Next we're going to hear that they bricked it with a software update, because they didn't think they needed to checksum the uploads, or provide enough RAM to hold the updated code before they re-flashed the OS, or something similar.

Pathetic. They deserve to lose their spacecraft.

Fortunately, if extraterrestrials discover the floating hulk of this abomination, they will (rightly) conclude that there is no intelligent life worth exploiting on this planet, and will decide not to enslave us...

Comment: Re:It's not a networking issue. (Score 1) 384

by PhunkySchtuff (#49740355) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Solve a Unique Networking Issue?

If I understand what you're saying, each destination IP is behind a NAT, and so from the point of view of the laptop, there are, say, 16 IP addresses that are all NATted to the individual pumps, that all happen to have the same IP on the other side of the NAT.

The question for the submitter then, is seeing that every pump has the same IP, is this IP hard-coded into the software, or can you specify the IP that you push the firmware update to?

If the software is hard-coded to assume every pump it connects to has the same IP, then you're in trouble.

Comment: Re:Anecdotal evidence (Score 1) 241

by macs4all (#49715791) Attached to: How Windows 10 Performs On a 12-inch MacBook

Pretty good test too since you are dealing with tools that have long been cross platform. Kontakt has been cross platform for its entire life, Pro Tools was Mac only until version 5 (1998ish), since when it has been cross platform, and Cubase has been cross platform since back in the DOS and Atari ST days. All the software has long development histories on both platforms, yet Windows gives superior results.

You mean more likely a pretty good test of the particular Development Teams. Who knows whether each of these Products has dedicated Dev. teams for each platform, what their relative skill-levels are, whether (as is often the case) the Mac versions are contracted-out to who-knows-who, etc. etc.

I'm not saying that these anecdotal results aren't valid; just that they need more in the way of validation.

Comment: Re:Snowden... (Score 1) 142

by macs4all (#49693111) Attached to: House Votes To End Spy Agencies' Bulk Collection of Phone Data

I'm no lawyer and I hope that someone with more knowledge than me chimes in here if I'm wrong, but I believe (from a quick Google search) that to be pardoned for a crime you first have to be convicted of that crime. So Snowden hasn't been charged or convicted even though there is a warrant out for his arrest should he enter a jurisdiction that has an extradition treaty with the United States.

I don't think that President Nixon was actually CONVICTED of anything (but several of his minions were); but that didn't stop Gerald Ford from Pardoning him (but not his minions). The effect of the "Pardon" was to immunitize Nixon against any future prosecution for Watergate-related crimes.

Comment: Re:On iOS platforms. (Score 1) 270

by macs4all (#49686333) Attached to: Swift Vs. Objective-C: Why the Future Favors Swift

Sadly, it's the "don't worry, your OS will keep you safe" mindset that makes iOS and OSX users easier to deceive. I say this as a user of both platforms, but also as a user who does not subscribe to that mindset.

I use Windows, OSX AND iOS every day, and have for decades.

So, I know the difference between false security, like that afforded by third-party AV Suites, and the real, baked-in security that is only afforded by good OS design. Windows has gotten a lot better in this regard; but it is still much-more vulnerable than any other OS. But even on OSX and (less-so) on iOS, I don't treat my OS as invincible, nor do I think most OS X/iOS users, especially those with Windows experience, believe so, either. In fact, "switcher" users are actually the other way, (IMHO) too much...

Comment: Re:On iOS platforms. (Score 1) 270

by macs4all (#49676965) Attached to: Swift Vs. Objective-C: Why the Future Favors Swift

Proprietary connector that brings nothing to the table but the ability to plug in both ways and a new licensing revenue stream for Apple? No, thank you).

After being one of the BILLIONS that have struggled with those fucking RIDICULOUS, fragile, one-directional micro (or is it mini?) USB connectors, I can't imagine ANYONE not heralding the directional-agnostic Lightning connector. Apple still had a "licensing revenue stream" on the 30-pin connector; so the switch to the 8-pin Lightning connector doesn't bring them any new "revenue stream".

And if the micro (or is it mini?) USB connectors would vanish from the face of the Earth, it wouldn't be too soon for me. I absolutely LOATHE trying to figure out which of my "looks the same, but isn't" micro/mini USB to "standard" USB cable it takes to charge my camera, my keyboard in my iPad case, etc. etc. and THEN, playing the "Which way does it go?" game, all the while worrying that you're going to snap off/bend the male portion, or mess-up the female portion. You SAY they're ubiquitous; but they aren't.

And I had a really fun time on a vacation trip about a year ago, because I didn't bring the right mini/micro USB cable for my camera. So, not only do you have to find someone who has a cable they will lend you; it has to be the right one. I'm an embedded designer and I can't reliably tell the mini from the micro USB at a glance. How do you expect the average Consumer to do so?

So, just how is that better than the Lightning connector, of which there is exactly one type, that you can find just about everywhere (just like it's ancestor, the 30-pin dock connector)?

No fucking thank you VERY much.

Comment: Re:On iOS platforms. (Score 1) 270

by macs4all (#49676827) Attached to: Swift Vs. Objective-C: Why the Future Favors Swift

Knowing that malware authors likely submit to both platforms at the same rate

Ah, but do they? Both platforms are probably not equally easy to exploit, and both platforms probably do not provide equal returns. (Obligatory apple users easier to deceive yet wealthier comment here)

Why would you think that Apple users are "Easier to deceive"? (Or "Wealthier", for that matter. I've been an Apple user since 1976; and I assure you, at NO time was in any danger of being "wealthy").

But let's get back to the "Easier to Deceive" bit: Since iOS has MUCH finer-grained Permissions that Android, and Alerts the User when many things are attempted to be accessed, I would say that Apple Users (on iOS at least) are actually much LESS likely to be Deceived.

And if you are talking about OS X Users, not only does GateKeeper and XProtect stop a lot of malware before it can execute, there are a metric buttload of other technologies built into the OS to inform and protect the User. So, I would say that Apple Users are among the least easy to Deceive, thanks to good OS Design in both the Desktop and Mobile arenas.

And their nearly spotless track-record regarding malware on both OS X and iOS tends to support that conclusion.


Disobedience: The silver lining to the cloud of servitude. -- Ambrose Bierce