Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Article is a load of rubbish. (Score 0) 153

Of course, it's unlikely that there would be a high level language available to engineers to make it quite so readable as above - but hopefully the code illustrates the point.

Actually, most embedded devices these days are programmed using C, C++, Java, JavaScript, or Python, so they probably did actually have a nice, high level language like this to work with.

Comment No additional hardware was likely needed (Score 1) 153

The author did a good job of explaining how EGR reduces efficiency. But it's not clear to me that additional hardware would have been required to make the cheat work.

Because emissions tests have (up to now) been done on a treadmill, it was necessary for many cars to have a "test mode" already, to prevent problems with electronic stability control systems due to two wheels spinning on the treadmill, while two wheels remained stationary. So test detection would have already been present, for legitimate reasons. Likewise, the EGR system would have needed continuous control for normal operation of the engine.

So while I agree with the premise that many people had to have been involved in engineering the cheat, I'm not sure that additional hardware would have been required.

Comment Why did they need his passwords? (Score 1) 394

If the phone was encrypted, I can see why they might need a password for it. But PCs aren't difficult to access without the password, for example, by using the built-in administrator account (which by default has no password), or by physically removing the hard drive.

Constitutional issues aside, this seems pretty inept. to me.

Comment So the government is cutting edge? (Score 3, Insightful) 109

The implication of the article is that government is better at figuring out where to go digitally than business. If you've ever been in a government office...say, a post office, tag agency, courthouse, whatever, you'll see just how up-to-date and visionary the government is when it comes to technology. This is not unique to the United States. Why would we want to hobble ourselves by having the government set the pace for our digital future?

Comment Cleaning cruft is dangerous (Score 1) 204

"Cleaning" anything in Windows can be dangerous, whether that's just your registry, or the OS. Cleaning methods sometimes snag items that aren't really trash, leading to an unstable operating system.

Are you really using so much space on your hard drive that you feel the need to clean house? Just leave it alone, unless you're prepared to wipe the hard drive and start over.

Comment Payer vs. payee (Score 1) 299

Those who are paying the bills want estimates. Those who are getting the money want a blank check. It's that simple!

There are ways to create good estimates, but it does require discipline and training. Steve McConnell wrote an excellent book on the subject. Unfortunately, many software developers aren't well trained in this art. This is a serious failing in many of our computer science degree programs.

If it has syntax, it isn't user friendly.