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Comment Licencing, and the new "SDR" (Score 1) 242

I can see the logic here - the FCC regulates the airwaves be licencing the devices on them (*OR* licencing the operators, in the case of ham radio). The rule is, devices must be approved an may not be modified. (Those withe ham licences can build and/or modify, because THEY are required to force the rules, whereas with a licensed device the device itself must "enforce the rules").

I don't think the FCC is arguing that they don't want people's own distribution running along side a WiFi device, but rather, as WiFi chipsets become more "Software Defined" - rewriting the code in them is essentially the same as "modifying the radio".

The best analogy are the RTL HDTV over-the-air capture dongles for software defined radios. Guess what? They're generic radios which only do TV decoding via software - so people write NEW code and suddenly you can use them to do (and I dare say ANYTHING) that any sort of radio receiver could ever be made to do.

This is okay (and legal) with a receiver - they just don't want to to happen with transmitters. What would happen if anyone could do anything they want on the airwaves?

The counterargument is going to be "but they're not cracking down on MODIFYING the radio - just leaving the radio OPEN to being modified". This is expressly prohibited (and has been for a very long time) by the FCC - long before software-defined stuff. Lots of devices like Family-Band radios (and other licensed transmitters) are REQUIRED to be manufactured with things like "non-replaceable antennas" - which make user-modifications more difficult, because they are prohibited (unless done by a [ham] licensed operator).

Comment Re:Not exactly new or news... (Score 1) 168

That's not the point. Having a machine verifiable proof of a correct filesystem which would protect itself in a "crash", is still subject to problems beneath it, or problems other than "crashes". There are other filesystems that can do this (without the "machine verifiable proof" - and they are vulnerable in real-world scenarios- not because they "lack the proof" - but because there are a zillion other weak links in the chain).

Comment Re:Not exactly new or news... (Score 1) 168

No. It's not. You think [your favorite bank] puts all their financial data on a plain 'old off-the-shelf [Insert brand here] and assumes that it'll all be good? They use multi-million dollar systems which do mirroring, integrity checking, verification, etc. "High-end" storage and filesystems systems do things like verification and checking at multiple levels (end-to-end, drive, block, filesystem, array, etc) so a $100 disk drive doesn't corrupt data and take down a $100 billion dollar bank. As for the apocalypse scenario - yep - they need to account for that too. That's what "Disaster Recovery", snapshotting and [long distance] asynchronous replication are all about. Reality speaking - an errant nuke or natural disaster can't take down a $100b bank - it can't even loose track of a single [large] transaction.

Comment Not exactly new or news... (Score 2) 168

No specifics. This has been done a million times with journaling filesystem (and block layers) - no idea why this is better or different. But what about disk failure? But what about data loss? But what about (undetected) data corruption (at the disk)? What about unexpected power hits that could drop a disk or tear a write? Not even going to get into snapshotting, disaster recovery, etc. There's a lot more to this than "surviving a crash".

Comment Define "CS" (Score 1) 131

This irks me in general - but there is a difference between having a "Computer Class" in kindergarten and studying "Computer Science". The analogy is that when we sew, we use fabric, but there is a difference between a sewing class and a the study of "Material Science". Learning how to do math on a spreadsheet or report on a word processor is learning how to use and work with computers, but is different than teaching or learning "computer science" - just as learning how to drive is not learning "automotive engineering".

Comment Perl Bashing - Denser vs Cleaner (Score 1) 133

I think a lot of the bashing and criticism of Perl comes from the fact that Regular Expression handling is an inherent part of the language - rather than being left out of the language design and relegated to just another set of functions in just another library. Regular Expressions are inherently hard to read - as they are complicated and dense - but even the most casual novice of Perl would be able to easily identify that what they are seeing is just a regular expression - and hopeful a comment or two would give them some insight as to what the "big picture" behind that particular exgexp was - if there was any doubt.

The alternative would be nasty - let's break out a protracted set of functions, variables, loops, etc to process this piece of text in a more "readble" way? No thanks - let me bang-out the regexp and be done.

Also - At least Perl uses a normal open/close (braces) to begin and end a scope - unlike Python - which relies on the number of leading spaces. (I've been using Python for years - can handle that - but still think it's a very bad idea).

For me - Pearl's biggest downside has been that the world has simply gone to Python largely, and so have I.Whereas I used to love Perl, I find it hard to keep switching back-and-forth.

That being said - I miss the ease at which Perl can fork a subproces, then scrape and parse it's output. Yes you can do this with Python - but it does take more keystrokes. From a linguistics point of view - it comes down to Information Density. Thus, we can argue that Python looks cleaner, but Perl's code is denser.

Comment Can't "buy" Windows 10? (Score 1) 172

From what I understood - Microsoft wasn't going to outright "sell" Windows 10 - but it was going to be available on a per-year licence type of deal. If this is true - it would mean that these aren't "free" upgrades after all - but maybe a trap in which you'd be required to buy a "subscription" down the road...

Luck, that's when preparation and opportunity meet. -- P.E. Trudeau