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Comment Re:Due to stupid security warnings, security (Score 1) 208

I think there is some implicit context you have in your head that isn't quite coming out in your written content, and then you are blaming people who don't aren't getting you. If you are talking about the "transform" "transfrom" typo, that isn't an issue with all scripting languages. It depends on the language's syntax, etc. If that is the error you, then Perl with "use strict" will catch it. Many other implicitly typed languages require you to declare variables even if you don't declare their types. If the "transform", "transfrom" typo wasn't the issue you were describing common to all scripting languages, then maybe now is the describe the universal flaw of scripting languages with words rather than a partial example.

Comment Re:Voluntary IP address submission? (Score 2) 323

You don't need to activate the product over the internet. You can activate over the phone. I haven't looked into it closely, but I'd check if the code the machine generates includes the MAC address. Or if it still includes it if you disable the network driver. Or which MAC address it will use if you add another network adaptor (PCI or USB) which you can throw away as soon as you are done.

Comment Applescript & Automator? (Score 1) 299

I don't think Applescript and Automator bridge the gap between non-programmer and programmer as slowly and as fluidly as Hypercard did. A non-programmer could start using Hypercard as a simple flat file database without programming. The sample Addressbook etc. Hypercard stacks were perfectly usable and there was a large quantity of freeware and shareware stacks that (inherently) came with complete source code. If someone had just a small wish for how it behaved differently ("I wish the addressbook had a nickname field:) many could be added through the GUI tools without programming. At some point, they may wish for behavior that involved changes in code, if they reached that point, the code had a fairly strong mapping to the concepts they had learned so far (stacks, cards, backgrounds, fields, etc) that they may be able to suss out what the code was doing and figure out simple changes. Once doing a fair amount of modification of the existing code, some may choose to strike out on their own and create something new.

Applescript and Automator seem to be more about simple automation of tasks. Which is a great power to give someone. ("Ugh, I hate doing this same drudgework every day|week|whenever_the_situation_bothers_me") but seems to me still a larger jump from non-programmer to programmer.

Comment Re:Missed the point (Score 1) 594

Saying "PDP" instruction set makes them sound all the same. C is very similar to the PDP-11 instruction set, Unfortunately, it was produced after C was developed. I strain to find similarities between the PDP-7 instruction set and C. Most of the PDP-11-isms that people see in C are the post-(increment|decrement) instruction variations and the MOV variations that dereference an address register.

Comment Why the LHC scares me (Score 2) 672

The way I remember the sequence of events last fall is this:
  1. CERN starts the LHC.
  2. Lehman Brothers announces that all of their money disappeared.
  3. CERN shuts down the LHC because of a malfunction.

Isn't it obvious? All of Lehman Brothers assets got sucked up in a black hole created by the LHC!

Networking

Submission + - The End of Minitel

ZeldorBlat writes: The French Minitel service is closing it's doors at the end of today. Started in 1982, Minitel provides several services now widely available on the web including phone listings, train ticketing, and many other third-party content. Many prefered it to the web for it's simplicity and perceived security. The system is to be replaced with Le Compte Achats, available to businesses only. The notice can be found here.
Security

2007 in Security 50

An anonymous reader wrote in to say that "Heise Security did a year end review — for the upcoming year 2007. In their crystal ball they see P2P bots, (almost) crashing stock exchanges, dropping prices for zero day exploits and private mails of gmail users published on the google search engine." Speculatory and amusing.

Statistics means never having to say you're certain.

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