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Comment: Re:umm duh? (Score 4, Interesting) 142

by TheRaven64 (#47521437) Attached to: Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy
There are techniques that allow searching within encrypted files, but they rely on the client creating the index. You can then search the index for an encrypted search term and, if you know the keys, interpret the answer. Getting this right is quite tricky (there are several research papers about it), so he's right, but it's not impossible.

The main reason that I suspect DropBox discourages encryption is that they rely a lot on deduplication to reduce their costs. If everyone encrypted their files, then even two identical files would have different representations server-side if owned by different users, so their costs would go up a lot.

Comment: Re: Code the way you want... (Score 1) 339

by TheRaven64 (#47521383) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'
Yes, almost certainly. The market for compiler engineers is very much a sellers' market at the moment. Universities neglected it for so long that most people graduate from undergraduate degrees with basically no knowledge of how a compiler works (if they're lucky, the know how compilers worked in the '80s), so there are 10 jobs for every person.

Comment: Re:"Just let me build a bridge!" (Score 1) 339

by TheRaven64 (#47521177) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'
In The Humane Interface, written in 2000, Jef Raskin made the same complaint. The time between turning a computer on and having written a program to add two numbers together on, say, a C64 or a BBC Model B, was about 30 seconds. On a modern computer of the time, you wouldn't even have finished booting - starting the IDE would take even longer. The problem is, this misses the point. There are lots of scripting languages with REPL environments, including a POSIX shell and PowerShell on Windows, that can do this as a single command once the computer is running (on OS X, you can add numbers in Spotlight, so it's even quicker - just hit command-space and type the sum). If you want to write a more complex application, it's vastly easier today. Extend that simple calculator to show an editable history and show equations, and you'll find it a bit easier today. Now extend it to be able to print - if you've ever written applications to print in the era before operating systems provided a printer abstraction then you'll know how painful that was.

Comment: Re:Analogies are poor... (Score 1) 339

by TheRaven64 (#47521159) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'
I don't understand why you think 'yum install gcc' is somehow different from 'download and run the installer for the VS command-line tools'. Especially on a modern Linux distro, where libraries come with -devel variants to save you the 10KB taken up by the headers in the normal install, so you end up having to install a load of headers as well to get the system useable.

Comment: Re: Code the way you want... (Score 1) 339

by TheRaven64 (#47521141) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'
I was a consultant for a few years and didn't find that it did. Most of my customers found me, as a result of my open source work (usually to work on the same projects, sometimes to work on projects in similar fields). Contract negotiation didn't take very long (they list some requirements, you mutually agree on a date, you pick a number, if they haggle then you politely decline).

Comment: Re:The British Way (Score 1) 113

by TheRaven64 (#47513997) Attached to: UK Users Overwhelmingly Spurn Broadband Filters

That's as maybe but we have Healthcare that is FREE at the point of delivery.

That's not quite true for dental work, but the price is capped, so you'll typically pay £18.50 to see a dentist, £50.50 if you need something done, or £219 if you need something serious. It's only free if you qualify for extra assistance, which is automatic if you are under 18, under 19 (25 in Wales) and in full-time education, on income support or similar.

Bug

Researchers Test Developer Biometrics To Predict Buggy Code 89

Posted by Soulskill
from the subject-was-asleep-when-this-code-was-checked-in dept.
rjmarvin writes: Microsoft Research is testing a new method for predicting errors and bugs while developers write code: biometrics. By measuring a developer's eye movements, physical and mental characteristics as they code, the researchers tracked alertness and stress levels to predict the difficulty of a given task with respect to the coder's abilities. In a paper entitled "Using Psycho-Physiological Measures to Assess Task Difficulty in Software Development," the researchers summarized how they strapped an eye tracker, an electrodermal sensor and an EEG sensor to 15 developers as they programmed for various tasks. Biometrics predicted task difficulty for a new developer 64.99% of the time. For a subsequent tasks with the same developer, the researchers found biometrics to be 84.38% accurate. They suggest using the information to mark places in code that developers find particularly difficult, and then reviewing or refactoring those sections later.

Comment: Re:Let us keep our thoughts with our Kremlin frien (Score 1) 665

by TheRaven64 (#47501911) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17
If you think I'm conservative and pro-gun, then you've clearly never read any of my other posts. In fact, if your entire reply is not just an ad hominem, but one attacking views that are diametrically opposed to the ones that I've publicly stated on numerous occasions, I can only assume that you are completely lacking any meaningful responses.

Comment: Re:Let us keep our thoughts with our Kremlin frien (Score 5, Insightful) 665

by TheRaven64 (#47499371) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Russia or the separatists in Eastern Ukraine might have done this

That's a distinction without a difference.

although no-one is sure what they would stand to gain from it.

It looks like they thought it was a Ukraine military plane and were a bit too trigger happy, not realising it was a civilian aircraft until too late.

Ukraine's own military might have done it (they've done it before and denied it vehemently until it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt).

Here's the thing: if the Ukraine were responsible, then Russia would have a vested interest in a visibly transparent investigation and be in a position to ensure that it happened. If they could convincingly portray the Ukraine as having shot down a civilian aircraft then that would significantly alter the political sympathies in the current conflict. Instead, they have done everything in their power to block it.

Comment: Re:This is news? (Score 4, Insightful) 209

The problem is in your phrasing of it as 'government abuses'. In the most part, it's not 'the government', as a monolithic entity acting based on policy that is abusing the power, it's individuals whose abuses are enabled by the government's programs. There's a political split over whether you can trust 'the government', but both sides agree that you probably can't trust an underpaid civil servant with a napoleon complex.

Comment: Re:nice job (Score 2) 102

by TheRaven64 (#47495373) Attached to: "Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In
In general, I'd much rather use the kiosks (or, ideally, check in using the web or a mobile app) than go to a human check-in desk precisely because it presents the information more efficiently and it's a lot faster than a face-to-face interaction would be. The only time I prefer to go to the human-behind-a-desk lines are when I'm doing something unusual (e.g. my flight's delayed enough that I'll miss my connection and I need re-routing[1]) and I need an actual brain on the other side of the conversation (contrary to popular belief, I've found the people at the desks to be very helpful - and quite creative - in this regard). For anything purely routine, don't pretend to be a human, just give me an efficient interface.

[1] Actually, given that this has happened on about 70% of my trips to the USA over the last couple of years, I can't really justify calling it unusual.

Truly simple systems... require infinite testing. -- Norman Augustine

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