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Comment: Good operating systems don't use extensions (Score 1) 113

by Simon Brooke (#49171799) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

If you're trying to determine what the file type of a file is from an extension on the end of its name, you're engaging in industrial archaelology, not computer use. You can rename any file to have any 'extension'; consequently this idea is completely broken. The idea that you deal with this misfeature by hiding it just compounds the error.

Comment: ICYMI: Frontline's Secret State of North Korea (Score 5, Informative) 33

by eldavojohn (#49171137) Attached to: Inside the North Korean Data Smuggling Movement
This exact same topic was covered in Frontline's special on North Korea over a year ago. Their point of contact was Jiro Ishimaru of Asiapress who was sneaker netting USBs over the border. They even took a video of people trying to watch on a tiny screen and having to shut everything down whenever they heard someone outside.

The documentary also touched on humanitarian issues as much as it could using a secret camera. Sad stuff. Great thing to watch. Occasionally you can catch it streaming on Netflix but it seems to not be available right now.

Comment: For once, backwards compatibility is a BAD idea (Score 2) 166

by Simon Brooke (#49146463) Attached to: Microsoft's Goals For Their New Web Rendering Engine

The Web is in the mess it now is because Microsoft (and, to a lesser extent, Netscape, back in the day) has gone through so many iterations of deliberately trying to create subtly incompatible variants of HTML. Creating a browser which is backwards compatible with that mess simply perpetuates the mess. The new browser should simply refuse to render non-conforming legacy pages at all - that would force web site owners to clean up their act in short order.

Comment: Convenient error, perchance? (Score 5, Interesting) 108

by Simon Brooke (#49093153) Attached to: Scotland's Police Lose Data Because of Programmer's Error

Speaking as someone who's been following this story as it developed, it seems to me that the data that has been 'lost' is data the high heid yins of Scotland's police were very eager to lose. They'd been acting beyond their remit - and probably beyond the law - and they knew it.

So I suspect someone with scrambled egg on their hat took that programmer into a quiet room and said 'you will make an unfortunate error this afternoon, or we'll be sending the boys round'. I'm pretty sure the government suspect the same.

Heads will, I suspect, roll - and I don't think they will be the heads of programmers.

Comment: Re:That clinches it. (Score 1) 393

by Simon Brooke (#49072455) Attached to: PC-BSD: Set For Serious Growth?

It was 1993 for me. And I moved to Linux from, guess what, BSD. I've never gone back and I don't plan to.

Yes, I really have been using Linux as my main operating system for more than twenty years, and I still haven't found anything better. And Linux, in 1993, was just a reimplementation of UNIX, which is forty years old. Software evolves so bloody slowly!

Comment: Burst Forth, Publish Your Policy Report! (Score 5, Insightful) 213

If you look at this list, the majority of these problems are man-made. Other than a super volcano and an asteroid impact, the solution seems pretty simple. We must abandon all technology and kill all but a small percentage of the population. And those that are left must live in isolated groups. That way there will not be a world wide disease outbreak.

Yep, that's the only option. There's nothing between doing nothing and that option. It's all we have. And if anyone starts to talk about mitigation strategies, planning ahead of time or devoting a single cent of taxpayer money toward preparing for it, we are just all going to have a meltdown and throw a tantrum with teabags on our hats. Thank god we have these strawman arguments for what these ivory tower Oxford elitists are telling us to do: eliminate the human race to protect the human race. I cannot believe they would actually come to that conclusion but there it is, right in the article. Those environmentalists will have us starving in mud huts by the end of the month if we just sit by and let this academic report go unabated and without criticism!

*tortured sigh*

Comment: Methodology is flawed (Score 1) 411

by Simon Brooke (#49036601) Attached to: Your Java Code Is Mostly Fluff, New Research Finds

From the article:

From that they got 100 million lines of Java code and tossed out simple methods (those with less than 50 tokens).

Good coding style is to decompose your problem thoroughly, so your methods will be very small. Indeed, using this methodology, the more you refactor the greater proportion of so called 'chaff' you'll get.

I'm not arguing with the general propositions that

  • Java is an extraordinarily prolix language, and
  • These days, most Java is exceedingly poorly written

But this study doesn't show it, because it arbitrarily tossed away the better-written code and then analysed the remainder.

Comment: Re:NONE (Score 4, Insightful) 55

by Simon Brooke (#49027501) Attached to: Which Freelance Developer Sites Are Worth Your Time?
My experience is that freelancers - at least those with a good few projects under their belt - tend to have higher coding standards in the first place, and are more adaptable to different coding standards than permanent staff. Good freelancers are used to, and skilled at, learning and adapting to new stuff.

+ - Something Resembling "The Wheel of Time" Aired Last Night on FXX->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "If you didn't partake in the DDOS attack on Dragonmount as fans tried to figure out just what the %&#% was going on last night, you should probably prepare yourself for Billy Zane filled disappointment and watch a curious pilot covering the prologue of "Eye of the World" by Robert Jordan that apparently aired around 01:30 AM Eastern time on FXX. The reviews of said pilot are unkind and appear to contain question marks all the way down starting with Jordan's Widow disavowing its authorization. The world of film and TV development is a confusing one but it appears that NBC initially bought options to turn it into a mini series which were then optioned by Universal/Red Eagle Entertainment in conjunction with Red Eagle Games to do a coordinated release. Red Eagle games announced a combined effort with Jet Set games and around 2012 began releasing information on an "Aiel War" project to target mobile gaming platforms. But that appeared to die with its failed kickstarter attempt. It is suspected that Red Eagle Entertainment is behind the odd FXX airing last night. Was this an eleventh hour "use it or lose it" move by Red Eagle Entertainment without Universal's knowledge? In any case, it was a secretive, odd, low-budget, disappointing start to The Wheel of Time in film."
Link to Original Source

"Nature is very un-American. Nature never hurries." -- William George Jordan