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Comment: Re:Why not abstract the problem further? (Score 1) 180

by Simon (#47422769) Attached to: Will Google's Dart Language Replace Javascript? (Video)

1) The idea of choosing your language has already been tried. Microsoft tried it with VBScript.
2) Plugins?!? seriously. You want to go back to a plugin world where nothing works reliably because people don't have the right plugins installed.

If you want different languages, then compile to JS. It works today.

Comment: Re:Stupid, stupid, stupid... (Score 1) 447

by Simon (#33338234) Attached to: Tensions Rise Between Gamers and Game Companies Over DRM

No DRM or Copy Protection has ever in the history of computer games survived uncracked for more than a few days!

Assassin's Creed II on the PC was released around the start of March 2010, but a working crack was only available at the end of April. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands on the PC was released on 12 June 2010, and the crack released on 28 June 2010. That is a bit more than a few days.

Consoles are different story of course. They last much much longer relatively speaking before they are cracked.


Comment: Special Report 14 (Score 1) 311

by Simon (#31842820) Attached to: Professor Says UFO Studies Should Be Taught At Universities

And in particular it is worth reading the section about Project Blue Book Special Report No 14 ( ) which contained the most interesting statistics and some conclusions which were in direct conflict with their own data.

Quoting from wikipedia:

The main results of the statistical analysis were:

  • About 69% of the cases were judged known or identified (38% were considered conclusively identified while 31% were still "doubtfully" explained); about 9% fell into insufficient information. About 22% were deemed "unknown", down from the earlier 28% value of the Air Force studies.
  • In the known category, 86% of the knowns were aircraft, balloons, or had astronomical explanations. Only 1.5% of all cases were judged to be psychological or "crackpot" cases. A "miscellaneous" category comprised 8% of all cases and included possible hoaxes.
  • The higher the quality of the case, the more likely it was to be classified unknown. 35% of the excellent cases were deemed unknowns, whereas only 18% of the poorest cases. This was the exact opposite result predicted by skeptics, who usually argued unknowns were poorer quality cases involving unreliable witnesses that could be solved if only better information were available.
  • In all six studied sighting characteristics, the unknowns were different from the knowns at a highly statistically significant level: in five of the six measures the odds of knowns differing from unknowns by chance was only 1% or less. When all six characteristics were considered together, the probability of a match between knowns and unknowns was less than 1 in a billion.

Despite this, the summary section of the Battelle Institute's final report declared it was "highly improbable that any of the reports of unidentified aerial objects... represent observations of technological developments outside the range of present-day knowledge." A number of researchers, including Dr. Bruce Maccabee, who extensively reviewed the data, have noted that the conclusions of the analysts were usually at odds with their own statistical results, displayed in 240 charts, tables, graphs and maps.

Comment: Re:Behold, a free market evangelists dream takes f (Score 4, Insightful) 666

by Simon (#30294630) Attached to: Somali Pirates Open Up a "Stock Exchange"

It could be that it is cheaper just to wear the occasional losses.

Of course it is cheaper. The shipping companies take out insurance for this situation, and the pirates are careful to keep their demands high enough to make a profit, but low enough that they don't scare the ships away, or force the ships to take a different route or escalate the situation into an armed conflict with the west. It is a straight business decision.

NPR's Planet Money blog did a good podcast a while ago about how the pirating business operates.


Comment: Re:"I am really happy and lucky." (Score 1) 666

by Simon (#30294598) Attached to: Somali Pirates Open Up a "Stock Exchange"

She doesn't identify with the crews of those ships she's indirectly helping to board, terrorize, brutalize, and murder.

Probably because although the crews may be 'terrorised', or at least frightened, the crews aren't being brutalised or murdered. How often do you hear of crews being murdered? I've been googling and I can't find any reports of crews being killed. I do find reports of the US Navy and British forces killing pirates though.

These pirates are in this to make money and get the hell out of there. They aren't doing this to brutalise and kill. That is totally counterproductive to their real goals.


Comment: Re:Lazy Government loves a soft target (Score 1) 232

by Simon (#27111091) Attached to: UK Government Ads Link Games With "Early Death"

I agree with you 100% that games are a soft target. But the obvious 'hard' target which they ignored in this case isn't tobacco, but the television and film industries, aka the media. The reasons are obvious. As a government you don't offend the media industry when it has such powerful control over the airwaves and public opinion.

Actually that rule applies to everyone in the west. Millions of people from all parts of the population spend countless hours of the day parked on the couch, motionless, staring at a box each day. When was the last time you heard anyone suggest in public (or private) that maybe that might not be such a good thing?


Comment: Re:Jambi (Qt for Java) discontinued (Score 1) 62

by Simon (#27057267) Attached to: QT 4.5 Released, Plus New IDE and Analysis Tool

Jambi's changing status, I think, is due to Java's evolution as THE backend language for server heavy processing things like databases (Oracle) or massively parallel scientific computations. At the same time, Java isn't used for graphical applications nearly as much as it was back in say '99.

Jambi tried to solve the problem with Java (namely the UI libraries are terrible), but maybe it was too late?

I don't think that is really the case. I remember being at a Java conference for work once and there being a show of hands. Half of the developers attending were server side (and web), and other client side.

The main reason why Jambi probably didn't catch on, IMHO, is that Swing is standard in Java and is much much more established, regardless of its flaws.


Comment: Re:In a consumer market that's headed toward mobil (Score 2, Insightful) 771

by Simon (#24870145) Attached to: Chrome Vs. IE 8

Ok, so In a consumer market that's headed toward mobile devices that can deliver a decent web experience and are getting smaller and smaller each quarter.

These two Leaders of industry come out with new browsers that would only be suitable for a multi core desktop?

The kind of web based applications that Chrome aims at making possible don't make a lot sense on a mobile platform. I'm talking about things like Google Docs etc. These are applications which require large screens, a keyboard and are generally used for extended periods of time (usually while sitting down too).




TIOBE Declares Python the Programming Language of 2007 166

Posted by timothy
from the welcome-to-the-annual-proggie-awards dept.
The TIOBE Programming Community Index has declared Python as the Programming Language of 2007 due to a 58% surge in its popularity rating during the year, making it now the sixth most popular programming language and finally surpassing Perl. They also assert that Python has become the "defacto glue language," being "especially beloved by system administrators and build managers."

'Extreme Security' Web Browsing 267

Posted by Zonk
from the i-think-i'm-paranoid-and-complicated dept.
Sarah S writes "The application security researcher Jeremiah Grossman described to CSO magazine how he takes extreme measure to stay safe online. The simplest tip he uses: two separate browsers: 'One, which he calls the 'promiscuous' browser, is the one he uses for ordinary browsing. A second browser is used only for security-critical tasks such as online banking. When Grossman wants to do online banking, he closes his promiscous browser, opens the more prudish one, and does only what he has to do before closing it and going back to his insecure browser.'"
GNU is Not Unix

OSI Approves Microsoft Ms-PL and Ms-RL 301

Posted by kdawson
from the left-hand-right-hand dept.
Russ Nelson writes "In a board meeting held October 10th and announced today, the Open Source Initiative approved two of Microsoft's software licenses: the Microsoft Reciprocal License and the Microsoft Public License. These licenses are refreshingly short and clean, compared to, say, the GPLv3 and the Sun CDDL. They share a patent peace clause, a no-trademark-license clause, and they differ only in the essential clause of reciprocation. Of course, Microsoft is not widely trusted in the Open Source world, and their motives have been called into question during the approval discussions. How can they be attacking Open Source projects on one hand, and seeking not only to use open source methods, but even to use the OSI Approved Open Source trademark? Nobody knows for sure except Microsoft. But if you are confident that Open Source is the best way to develop software (as we at the Open Source Initiative are), then you can see why Microsoft would both attack Open Source and seek to use it. It is both their enemy and their salvation."

The universe is an island, surrounded by whatever it is that surrounds universes.