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Comment: Re:Yes, I agree, but no shortage of stupid GUI (Score 1) 564

by Sigma 7 (#49174447) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

Why does it group all the windows of one application into one button

This is why.

Of course, part of the problem ifs that I'm using an "everything" computer. Then having to do some other task or wait on an existing one since it's nowhere near complete and has to be done later. Then these windows build up.

If they weren't group, I'd be hunting through 82 buttons, which has the same effect as having to click twice.

Comment: Re: Why Educational Technology Has Failed Schools (Score 1) 198

by Sigma 7 (#48953091) Attached to: Can Students Have Too Much Tech?

Ending compulsory schooling? Good luck with that! Surely nothing could go wrong with that!

Demands to end compulsory schooling is actually one of many random demands due to people not being sure how to fix the problem. If you feel the approach is incorrect, then you should suggest a better demand (such as exempting a small portion from compulsory education).

For the same reason we don't let children take any important decision for themselves before they're 18... They lack critical thinking skills, foresight and maturity to make them.

They are still more than capable of telling if something is completely dysfunctional. Yet, they're completely unable to fix it because "they lack critical thinking skills, foresight and maturity to make important decisions" and therefore shouldn't be allowed to do so.

Got a student taking basic math despite having already mastered it? Nope, got to finish basic math first.

do things to satisfy their immediate gratification, which would probably mean playing a glorious amount of video games.

Technically, those teenagers are better off. Immediate gratification is better than short-term pain that should have led to long-term fulfillment but actually didn't.

Comment: Missing chess rules (Score 2) 204

by Sigma 7 (#48921567) Attached to: Computer Chess Created In 487 Bytes, Breaks 32-Year-Old Record

From the readme:

-you don't get under-promotion ;
    -you don't get "en passant" pawn capture ;
    -you don't get castling (queen or king side) ;

Underpromotion may be understandable, maybe en-passant since it doesn't come up that oftean, but castling makes a ton of games unplayable.

Also, purists consider anything that implements these three rules to be a better record than something that omits three rules.

Comment: Re:The Deliberate Dumbing Down of Education (Score 4, Informative) 169

by Sigma 7 (#48734373) Attached to: Better Learning Through Expensive Software? One Principal Thinks Not

Charlotte Iserbyt is calling it a probable Soviet KGB conspiracy... which tends to damage her credibility. See

Despite this, she's still accurate when saying that the education system is in decay, as it shouldn't be that expensive to teach basic reading, writing and computation.

Comment: Delicate electronics (Score 4, Interesting) 840

claims that the under 40s expect everything to 'just work' and have no idea what to do when things go wrong

I have a Samsung computer monitor that isn't properly detected if I use the DVI cable, although the VGA cable works fine. This prevents Mac OS from detecting the monitor, and confuses Windows. (The technical details: it's not transmitting EDID over the DVI connection.)

The quick fix for Windows worked for a while, but a driver update changed how things work and would be constantly confused by that monitor. The proper fix requires opening the monitor, using a multimeter to find what's wrong with the DVI connector, and fixing or replacing it. This is not something you can do on a weekend, as opposed to fixing a larger appliance.

The problem isn't around knowledge, but that it requires equipment not expected to be in a normal home. A house can have tools available to fix large mechanical objects, but not extremely delicate electronics that require an electron scanning microscope to properly fix. The repair costs for devices usually indicate that the whole device has gone bad as opposed to an easily swapped component, meaning the manufacturers also have trouble getting things to work as well.

Comment: Re:Omega? (Score 1) 186

by Sigma 7 (#48566291) Attached to: NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

Omega was actually up to 0.90, but that version was rare as the official distribution channel wasn't trying to give it out.

It wasn't a popular roguelike as it was a little buggy... first version I encountered was for the Amiga, which caused the town guards to attack you if you joined the paladin's guild.

Comment: Re:C is very relevant in 2014, (Score 1) 641

by Sigma 7 (#48559545) Attached to: How Relevant is C in 2014?

In C/C++, the null pointer can do anything from crashing the application to crashing the system (e.g. MS-DOS), sometimes with a time delay you don't know about until it's too late. Once the problem occurs, there's nothing you can do about it (aside from system-specific functions) and your app crashes.

In Java, null pointers throw an exception rather than attempting to fiddle with whatever is at that memory location. It's not a memory management bug, as it prevents issues before they start. And in the event the null pointer happens without warning, you can easily use a catch statement at a certain point, and try to get the application back to a normal state (if desired).

Comment: Re:C is very relevant in 2014, (Score 1) 641

by Sigma 7 (#48556813) Attached to: How Relevant is C in 2014?

Because bug-free automatic memory management is silly, who would want that?

Actually, it's still possible to have some bugs if you improperly use auto_ptr and shared_ptr, etc, but it's still much better than the classic method of allocation.

To be bug free, it has to be on-par with something like Java, where you can't break memory management no matter how hard you tried. This won't happen as long as there's the need to deal with raw pointers or if you have to dodge misaccessing elements (e.g. bounds checks...)

"It's harder to shoot yourself in the foot with C++, but if you do, you blow your whole leg off."

Comment: Perl-standard line length (Score 1) 169

by Sigma 7 (#48231839) Attached to: Tetris Is Hard To Test

Though it's simple enough to be implemented in one line of BBC BASIC

Any language that doesn't require carriage return + linefeed can do anything in one line.

And Basic comes with a ton of library fuctions that makes things easier to do. No need to initialize memory, dispaly, setup graphic or keyboard interrupts, etc.

Comment: Re:Click-to-Play Would Improve Flash, Too (Score 1) 111

by Sigma 7 (#48160725) Attached to: Adobe: Click-to-Play Would Have Avoided Flood of Java Zero-days

If visiting a web site implies JavaScript consent, then why doesn't it imply SWF or JVM consent?

Plugins such as SWF, JVM or ActiveX imply having better access to the system (e.g. clipboard, save files to disk, etc.) than regular JavaScript (which is supposed to be limited to the browser). Plugins wouldn't have been necessary if JavaScript can do anything the plugin could. The situation may changed since the introduction of plugins and Javascript, but the implication remains the same.

That, and because I said so.

Comment: Re:also applies to flash and acrobat (Score 2) 111

by Sigma 7 (#48160397) Attached to: Adobe: Click-to-Play Would Have Avoided Flood of Java Zero-days

Click to play is built into Chrome these days.

Users shouldn't have to hunt for a specific browser just to keep safe. Likewise, they shouldn't have to hunt for a specific extension to keep safe either, as those features should be built-in to the browser.

Also, the main security flaw is automatically executing anything that gets fed into the browser - and JavaScript security issues had remained unchecked for 10+ years, and still are as demonstrated by visitng a random webpage only to be directed to "Your java is outdated, please update". (Did they learn nothing from the Boot-Sector Virus era?)

Comment: !news - password security is already known (Score 1) 549

by Sigma 7 (#48134525) Attached to: Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

1) Choosing a password should be something you do very infrequently.

Choosing a password should only need to be done once per site, not "infrequently".

2) Our focus should be on protecting passwords against informed statistical attacks and not brute-force attacks.

Passwords are generally leaked because someone either got the list of passwords, tricked the user into entering the password on the wrong area (e.g as with any phishing site), .extracted them from a local store on the person's hardrive because Firefox still doesn't auto-block random plugins be default, or used the rubber-hose decryption algorithm.

3) When you do have to choose a password, one of the most important selection criteria should be how many other people have also chosen that same password.

So, don't use a single password that appears on a dictionary attack. Trivial.

4) One of the most impactful things that we can do as a security community is to change password strength meters and disallow the use of common passwords."

It's moot when the various websites come up with inconsistent password types, where your randomly generated password is rejected because it didn't happen to include a capital letter (even though it contains a punctuation mark), is rejected because it contains punctuation, is rejected because it's too long, etc.

Disallowing common passwords is as easy as downloading a list of common passwords and refusing anything with an exact match. If you have free extended strings, there's more than enough variation to kill anything statistical, leaving only the dumb users that pick something obvious that most sheeple do.

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