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Comment Does anyone even want a new Perl ? (Score 1) 145

It really seems like Perl 6 is a solution in search of a problem. Twenty years ago, Perl 5 was literally better than nothing - an intermediate step between shell scripts and C. Ten years ago, it was a scripting tool I could use on otherwise restrictive embedded environments. Today, I only use it because I have this one legacy script I haven't yet bothered to rewrite. At no point have I been on a project and thought "Perl would be ideal for this". It's always been "Aw crap, guess I'll settle for Perl".

These days, if I can't do something with a Bash script or quick & dirty PHP, then I fire up an IDE and write C/C++/C#, for the simple reason that they can leverage great debugging tools that Perl cannot.

Comment Re:The real problem is Millennials. (Score 1) 402

I wish I had mod points, because this AC is +1 Insightful.

Yes, it's a big hate-rant for millenials, and the tone sucks, but the facts remain. This is the "me" generation, entitled, spoiled rotten, and more interested in pseudointellectual mimicry than actual progress. The problem is that it is their parents fault. They are the ones who yelled at the teachers when their kid got anything less than top grades. When I was in school, if I got a bad grade, it was my own goddamned fault and there was no coddling about it. It taught me the value of criticism and hard work, and also to recognize my strengths and weaknesses, and work around them or enlist help. Sure, as a teenager I thought I knew everything, but it seems the bulk of today's young adults aren't growing out of that arrogant phase.

I would say that the key piece missing these days is analytical skills. There's a lot of mimicry/repetition, and no actual thought invested. I'm no UX designer, but give me two minutes with anything, and I'll tell you what I think is wrong with it. I might not always know how to fix it, but I will identify it and explain my rationale for singling it out. Now, I am an analytical guy by nature and profession, so these things come naturally to me, regardless of field or medium. I'll look at who the target audience is, and how they might interact with the product. I'll intersect that with the goal(s) of the product, and how it flows from problem to solution. It's even better if I'm not an expert at whatever it is they client is doing, because I can then inject the outsider's perspective. The more I'm confused by something, there more opportunities there are to improve it.

Comment Re:Going to be keeping my car for a while... (Score 2) 112

If carmakers would use simple, modular, open standards for all the computer and ICE stuff, I would be perfectly OK with it. They don't. They reinvent everything, every time, and it's always an impressively shitty implementation of whatever it is they were trying to accomplish. They can't even put goddamned RCA jacks on their stereos, and they dare call that shit "premium". Factory nav is a joke, because they cut $2 off the cost by using some bottom-spec CPU, or the touch screen is erratic, or the menus are hopelessly convoluted. It's like they hired those "engineers" who make the Chinese knock-off tablets, and bashed them in the head a couple hundred times before giving them a screwdriver and a $20 amazon gift card as the departmental budget.

I have seen guys put a $200 Raspberry PI touch kit in their center console, running XBMC/Kodi, that blows away any factory system and even many aftermarket decks. I'm doing something a little more involved, because I'm a audiophile, a nerd, and a glutton for punishment... but the fact remains that we're all just lone hackers with hobbyist budgets, outdoing the billion dollar automotive industry. That just ain't right! Heck, a $150 android tablet does a better job at audio + GPS than any factory setup I've seen, even on the luxury vehicles.

Comment Re: Your move, Cox (Score 3, Interesting) 166

Net neutrality does not come into play if they word it as a "network security" tactic. If I start spamming from my IP address, my upstream provider might null me until the problem is addressed. Why can't Cox null traffic to/from known copyright trolls who are spying on their users and presumably making an unusually large and suspicious number of connections (for evidence) ?

It would be like that old "PeerBlock", but at a network level. Hardly any different than checking mail relays against blacklists

Comment Re:Marketing (Score 1) 159

Funny, I seem to have no difficulty getting paid to write PHP. Can't say the same for Python, Ruby and whatever else the kids are into these days.

If it has lost its position as the predominant web language, then I guess the vast majority of hosting companies are wrong, and so are their tens of millions of clients. You really ought to tell those poor people, AC.

Comment Re: Marketing (Score 1) 159

Agreed (minus the personal attack)

PHP, much like Perl, gives you the flexibility to shoot yourself in the foot if you so desire (or don't know any better).

That's not PHP's fault. Just because other languages and compilers treat the programmer as a helpless child does not mean those languages are better at getting work done. They're just designed around the reality that the vast majority of programmers today are extremely naïve and underqualified. It's like putting a blade guard on a manual can opener, just in case some new and improved idiot ever tries to put their dick in it.

Comment A bigger, costlier version of an existing product (Score 1) 72

Let me get this straight, the entire point of this "Stack" is to have a battery-powered, wi-fi storage device for mobile professionals ?

So like:

- WD My Passport Wireless
- Corsair Voyager Air
- Seagate Wireless Plus
- Sandisk Connect Wireless
- LaCie Fuel

Except the Lenovo one is ten times the size with a bunch more failure points. Or, you know, a person could just carry a regular laptop and/or USB hard drive.

This is $400 of dumb.

Comment Re:Cat got your tongue? (something important seems (Score 2) 89

Sure, and that's the very definition of binning, but they must also account for demand. If Intel's process improvements yield a higher ratio of top-binned chips than the market is willing to buy, those chips will be locked and sold as the faster-selling SKU. Better to sell the thing and still make a few bucks, than have it rot in a warehouse with a $1000 price tag.

Comment Re:Exploitable? (Score 1) 89

There are numerous utilities designed specifically to tweak CPU settings while Windows is running. Enthusiast motherboards allow just about every option from the BIOS to be ajusted live, which is meant to facilitate fine-tuning by eliminating some of the reboot-tweak-test cycles in the search for a stable overclock.

If some random asshole app were to reprogram those values, you could most certainly cook a processor by setting the voltage absurdly high and disabling the thermal protection (another option on most OC bards). Run some heavy FPU loops across all threads and the chip will be dead within seconds.

The difficulty of course would be to detect and "support" a wide enough array of popular boards to render this attack effective, as I can only assume the interfaces are vastly different, even within the same brand.

Comment Re:Barcode scanner = keyboard (Score 1) 79

we reprogram them with the vendors control codes to work as USB ACM (serial)

Yes, you do that, and I do that, because you're absolutely right: wedge mode is a kludge. Problem is, lots of existing deployments do have them set in dumb keyboard mode. Why ? Because the development of that POS appliance or software was farmed out to the lowest bidder (meaning China/India), where the product was made to "work", and the project manager(s) have no idea how barcode readers even work nor why wedge mode is a bad idea.

The same is true of mag-stripe readers. I have seen countless setups in restaurants and movie theatres where the mag reader was in wedge mode. In at least one case the software hid this by enabling/disabling the device when it was expecting a swipe (using an NT filter driver) - but once enabled it would accept any input and pass it through the OS. Now the "good" thing about mag cards is the encoding does not typically support control characters, so you won't be rooting an ATM by that route. I mean... not unless the ATM has a pretty colossal backdoor triggered by a particular string of alphanumeric data.

Comment Re:Will there ever be self-storage type datacenter (Score 1) 39

In my city (Ottawa), we have a few such datacenters. They'll have one guy working the sign-in desk in the daytime, and I think they're on call after-hours. They have biometric access doors, so anyone with a private rack or cage can come and go as they please. I never counted, but I'd estimate maybe 250 racks or so. It's pretty small. Now, they are not exactly cheap, but we Canadians love to get financially sodomized by our ISPs, or so I've been led to believe.

Comment Re:AGP not working with SMP (Score 1) 232

That board was launched in 2007, but I agree it was a bit of a WTF even at that time. Anyone still buying an AGP card in 2007 was paying top-dollar for inferior performance, since the entire GPU industry had moved to PCI-E, and what few AGP cards they did release were little more than a regular card with an AGP-PCI bridge chip that sucked the life out of it.

Comment Re:KDBus - another systemd brick on the wall (Score 1) 232

As someone who does a fair bit of fiddling with init systems and other boot-time fun (I do lots of appliance-style builds), I whole-heartedly agree with you. SystemD is a solution to a non-existent problem. Classic init is elegantly simple and works perfectly fine, with the bonus that it won't make your system unbootable if you happen to swap in a new (or rescue) kernel.

Myself, I *want* SystemD to crash and burn, just for the lost hours trying to troubleshoot this unwelcome and unnecessary complication. I don't use it in my appliances, but when I have to debug someone else's bricked servers, SystemD and udev are disproportionately at fault for so much unwarranted downtime. I mean, sure, I get paid regardless, but I'd much rather not see this cruft in our beloved free OS.

Comment Re:That is the reason US should Control (Score 2) 459

Yes, because everything else the US controls has been so hunky-dory in terms of freedom and transparency. It doesn't matter who controls ICANN, it will never be 100% fair. People aren't fair. Just because the UN is a giant spin agency to cover up atrocities and foreign corruption doesn't make the US any less evil by default. You're looking at it from the wrong perspective.

What ICANN should be is a system designed to be as open as possible, and if certain networks object, they can censor it themselves as is already done. The issue of Saudi Arabia being an unenlightened medieval shithole of theocratic sociopaths has nothing to do with converting letters to numbers on the internet. Let ICANN worry about the internet, and let the warmongers figure out who's right and wrong in the world.

Comment Re:It's about damn time (Score 1) 193

For what it does, and does quite well, $50 is indeed cheap. It does have its quirks, but as a primarily Win/Linux guy, I find Textmate quite tolerable, unlike the vast majority of other Mac apps I've tried.

Sure, we PC freaks are spoiled with a gazillion free Scintilla-based editors, but that freeware culture is nowhere near as strong on the Mac. $50 is peanuts compared to the time and frustration saved (read: more hours billed). You have to put it into perspective, I don't know many Mac users who code "just for fun"; it's a work tool.

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