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Comment I hate to rain on this one... (Score 1) 386

But even discounting the sand storms angle, you've got a hundred little, impoverished, unstable countries in the area.
If you think the scrappers in your suburban neighborhood are aggressive... just wait until the starving ones from the Sudan show up.

If you want to do good in the part of the world, put your money into deposing despots, ending corruption, defeating terrorists, and building solid educational systems in this area.

With all the inhumanity we see in africa, don't you think it's the slightest bit condescending to address this issue... before the litany of others?

Comment Re:I doubt this (Score 1) 164

Yes. We'd gone through this a billion times already. Every couple years someone decides they can tell who a programmer is through the binaries except they forget about how much code is little more than snippets of other code or the like.

Even so. All of this assumed that the blackhat coder is sharing his code or contributing to the open source community to begin with.
Github and repositories like it are a not a panacea of coding styles from every coder on earth. The total number of people that contribute is actually very small when you consider the size and scope of the overall community. Furthermore, I've intentionally changed my coding style a dozen times.

I would challenge these Princeton researchers to make heads or tails of me, honestly.
I don't think they could do it.

Not with the technique outlined in this whitepaper.

Comment It's going to lead to a lot of false accusations (Score 1) 164

As someone who knows a fair amount about compilers and interpreters, I would be highly skeptical of that underlying statement to begin with. Going down this path is a road that stretches the bounds of credulity.

But I think I would also dispute the notion that programmers have unique coding styles in the age of widely accepted standards and practices.
Practices, I would concede are coding styles.

Though, even then... it's not like we're talking about something like assembly, where the style you use would really be pronounced.

We're talking about mostly .net and java applications, that use commodity skillsets, that adhere to certain sets of rules and guidelines. You don't give up your best practices and behaviors when you decide to write something that breaks the law.

You don't change for github, either. In general, most programmers work with whatever is acceptable for the platform they're using, and the rest falls into place.

The exception, of course, being amateurs, and possibly some hobbyists... who don't really know enough to do anything all that malicious to begin with.

This is a witch hunt, plain and simple.

Unless of course, they're actually analyzing writing styles, and they're trying to bring all of us advanced level programmers out by saying something idiotic, knowing that we'll all comment on it.

Fuckit. They're probably doing that anyway.

Comment How far off are we? (Score 4) 174

Seems to me that the singularity keeps getting pushed back for a number of reasons.
First I hear 15, then I hear 20, now I'm hearing as much as 35 years until we hit it.

In your estimation: How far is the singularity from where we stand today? And do you see any technologies like, possibly quantum computing accelerating this trend?

Comment I want to be Nicholas Cage when I grow up. (Score 1) 95

What's interesting about this story is not that he returned it.
Sure, that was nice of him and all.

But the real story here is that Nicholas Cage stole a dinosaur skull to begin with.
That has got to be among the coolest fucking things I've ever heard about a celebrity doing.

I hope this blows up in memedom.

Comment Tracking them down again? (Score 2, Insightful) 211

Can they do that after they've been released?

Why not just leave these people alone? Why as a taxpayer am I being forced to re-incarcerate anyone?

It's bad enough that we have this many people in jail to begin with. Who exactly does re-incarcerating people benefit? Most jails in America are overpopulated to begin with, and now... we want to put more people in?

Software issue or not, this is stupid.

Comment Re:I'm looking forward to this. (Score 1) 159

Current version seems to be the exception.
But historically, php has been a fantastic prototyping language.
You can do things very quickly in php when you get fluent in it. The adhoc nature of the thing makes it great for developing one offs.

That's changing though.
The new version feels like it's a lot more formal than older ones.

I may be wrong.
Give me a week, I'll tell ya.

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