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Comment: Re:Can they do it with corporate code? (Score 2) 218

by Mr Z (#48929355) Attached to: Anonymous No More: Your Coding Style Can Give You Away

Did you read the part in the article where they're actually doing the matching based on the ASTs (abstract syntax trees), and so are able to identify authors even after the code goes through an obfuscator? Relevant quotes:

Their real innovation, though, was in developing what they call “abstract syntax trees” which are similar to parse tree for sentences, and are derived from language-specific syntax and keywords. These trees capture a syntactic feature set which, the authors wrote, “was created to capture properties of coding style that are completely independent from writing style.” The upshot is that even if variable names, comments or spacing are changed, say in an effort to obfuscate, but the functionality is unaltered, the syntactic feature set won’t change.

Accuracy rates weren’t statistically different when using an off-the-shelf C++ code obfuscators. Since these tools generally work by refactoring names and removing spaces and comments, the syntactic feature set wasn’t changed so author identification at similar rates was still possible.

Regarding the first quote: The author of the article probably didn't realize that ASTs aren't a new thing; it's just this application of ASTs that's new. ASTs are as old as the hills. I learned about them from the Dragon Book, and by the time that was written they were old hat.

Comment: Re: Sucks to be you (Score 1) 224

by Mr Z (#48920907) Attached to: YouTube Ditches Flash For HTML5 Video By Default

You mean that the cost savings of rolling out internal websites didn't drive the cost to zero, and there is a small, periodic maintenance cost to this otherwise scalable communication medium? *shock* *horror*

Maybe we should go back to mimeographed inter-office memos. Quick, someone take dictation and get this to the typing pool stat!

Comment: Re:Come again? (Score 1) 224

by Mr Z (#48920847) Attached to: YouTube Ditches Flash For HTML5 Video By Default

So where's youtube.com? It's not a web page on the web is it? Oh, wait...

I think we can agree that the original article has some supremely sloppy writing. What they meant to say, if I interpreted everything correctly, is this:

* Modern browsers visiting YouTube directly will get HTML5.

* Folks embedding YouTube videos into other websites will be nudged toward HTML5 by encouraging folks to use the the embedded frame API, as opposed to embedding a flash app.

Does that decompress the situation properly?

Comment: Re:Come again? (Score 1) 224

by Mr Z (#48920821) Attached to: YouTube Ditches Flash For HTML5 Video By Default

Yeah, I was sorta wondering this too. Do people browse YouTube in Chrome/IE/Safari/etc. on DVD or something?

Or is there a direct web interface that allows directly watching HTML5 videos, but doesn't involve a browser? And, presumably, doesn't involve spiders.... I'm interested in the World Wide Web, not a spiderweb.

Note that I don't really count wget / curl, since they just transfer files from the web server. There's no good reason to get web assets with wget / curl, and then browse them (sans web) with Chrome / IE / Safari / etc. on the local disk. It's a victory for pedantic semantics but also spectacularly missing the point.

Comment: Re:There's more to it than that (Score 1) 332

by Mr Z (#48895695) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Of course, I didn't follow his reasoning one bit:

Using 10-bit color may end up limiting chroma sub-sampling to 4:2:0.

The two details are completely orthogonal to each other!

In any case, 4:2:0 at UHD gives you as much color information as 4:4:4 at HD. You'd have a very hard time noticing the chroma subsampling....

Comment: Re:Not surprised (Score 1) 65

by Mr Z (#48894653) Attached to: Smartphones, Tablets and EBay Send SkyMall To Chapter 11

My favorite things to laugh at were:

Well, among everything else in there. It seems that SkyMall has moved on from these favorites. But, they were reliable point-and-laugh items when I was flying regularly a few years ago.

Comment: Who cares? (Score 5, Insightful) 648

by Mr Z (#48856991) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

I learned programming in Microsoft BASIC, assembly language and a touch of Pascal, prior to reaching college. I don't use any of those languages now. (Ok, I still program in assembly language, but for different processors.)

As long as it's actual programming, with variables, data structures, and code to manipulate those things, then great! I don't really care if it's VB, Python, TCL, Lua, Perl, C++14, Delphi, Haskell, LISP, Erlang...

The real point is to open up the computer as a programmable device, and to get kids seeing the computer as something they can extend themselves with their own creativity. For that to happen, you want to choose a language that students can pick up quickly enough to see interesting results early on. You don't want their first meaningful program to come in the last weeks of a year-long class.

Comment: Re:perspective, rise (Score 1) 361

by Mr Z (#48840951) Attached to: Linus On Diversity and Niceness In Open Source

Interesting. I work in Texas also—and lived here full time since 1997—and I've found the environment at my employer to be very mature and inclusive, with women at all levels of the company. That includes my previous boss. When she retired (after 33 years at the company), she had risen to the rank "Fellow," which is a fairly high title at the company.

However, I don't know that the fact we're in Texas has all that much to do with it. One startup I interviewed with here definitely had a culture that was tilted in more the direction of a frathouse mentality, I think. They offered to take me to lunch at Hooters for an informal interview, and hinted they sometimes do lunch as more interesting places. *wink* *wink* I didn't join that company.

I see your point about my use of the term "rise". Overall, things have gotten more inclusive, not less. The specific moniker brogrammer is a recent one, and is perhaps more indicative of programming / development appealing to a wider range of personality types, including extroverted "bros", as opposed to shy and/or introverted geeks. Just the term itself is inherently gender biased.

Comment: Re:genitals don't code, and Linus doesn't know my (Score 1) 361

by Mr Z (#48840093) Attached to: Linus On Diversity and Niceness In Open Source

"Everybody knows boys will be boys." Bullshit. Treating creepy, gross, harassing behavior as somehow normal, and that "everybody knows" it'll happen just perpetuates it. Not acceptable.

Read some of the horror stories from DEFCON 20. Whether or not you're there to get laid, none of that shit's acceptable, period.

Comment: Re:genitals don't code, and Linus doesn't know my (Score 1) 361

by Mr Z (#48840039) Attached to: Linus On Diversity and Niceness In Open Source

The goal of diversity initiatives is to make the pool of qualified candidates more diverse. But it doesn't say anything about the differing attributes having anything to do with how qualified you are. Yes, diversity includes gender diversity. But, that has absolutely nothing to do with the (correct, but meaningless) assertion that people don't program with their genitals.

My statement was meant to be read as "We need more vaginas in here programming, as if vaginas have some role in the process of programming." They don't. And to suggest "diversity initiatives" imply that they do is a strawman.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981