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Comment: Also those sliding "give us your email' boxes (Score 4, Insightful) 365

by david.emery (#47490967) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

I've noticed a really annoying trend, where you're on a site for a 10-20 seconds reading their content, when this (presumably JavaScript) box pops in front of the content soliciting for your email address. This is really annoying, since it totally breaks the concentration on what you're reading. Since this apparently done with JavaScript provided by the hosting site, pop-up window blockers and cross-script blockers don't prevent it.

So here's a hint for web designers: THIS IS F***KING ANNOYING! STOP IT!

Thank you.

Comment: Re:PowerPC (Score 1) 126

There seems to be a significant number of people here who believe if a device isn't either very complex, or doesn't require or at least allow you to tear it apart and rebuild it, it is somehow "unworthy." For a lot of the rest of us, these are tools we use to do useful things, and the utility of the tool is in part based on how easy it is to use.

If that makes us "hipsters," I guess I'll have to grow a ponytail.

Comment: Re:Florian Mueller's take (Score 1) 220

by david.emery (#47274143) Attached to: US Supreme Court Invalidates Patent For Being Software Patent

As long as you understand where he's coming from, and that he's been paid as a lawyer to advocate in the past for clients, his stuff is worth reading. His arguments may be biased towards a specific perspective, but they are well-reasoned and documented in support of his position. That's a lot better than the normal bovine effluent you read from tech reporters or (other...) paid shills.

Even PJ would pick-and-choose references to support a position, that's what "making an argument" is all about.

That being said, Mueller's recent writings on Apple abandoned a lot of the balance they had in years past. I don't know if he lost patience with Apple's positions on the Samsung trials, or if his change was motivated by something less transparent.

Comment: Re:Heartbleed was very shallow, fixed as soon as i (Score 1) 113

by david.emery (#46833105) Attached to: OpenSSL: the New Face of Technology Monoculture

I have a couple problems with the implication that "short time to find/fix" is so acceptable.

1. Some amount of damage was done (and no one really knows for sure) through this bug. A fix was identified rapidly after the bug was -discovered-, but that's a long time after the bug was -introduced-.

2. For some systems, particularly those like SCADA systems where we really have deep information assurance concerns, patching software is not easy! Not everything can use "grab the patched source, rebuild and reinstall" or even "download the patch and install" repairs.

Thus the emphasis Has To Be on preventing these kinds of problems, then defending against them. Fixing them after the system is deployed is by far the weakest strategy. (Thus I salute with a full hand the initiative announced today, and discussed on a related SlashDot thread: )

Comment: ISO study on programming language vulnerability (Score 1) 189

by david.emery (#46760231) Attached to: The Security of Popular Programming Languages

And here's my $.02: C syntax has been actively harmful in this regard. It's too easy to make a typo that compiles, or to introduce a statement/expression that has a different result than you expect (e.g. the Apple "extra break statement" bug.)

Comment: Let's use a sailng metaphor (Score 1) 270

by david.emery (#46728483) Attached to: The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

The new captain has set a new course, one that veers away from the rocks. But this ship will take a long time and a lot of leeway to make that turn.

(Of course, I thought the old captain should have been 'relieved for cause' years ago, but since personally I'm neither a customer/user nor a direct shareholder in MSFT, it really wasn't my business :-)

Comment: Boolean algebra & number theory in 5th grade (Score 2) 231

by david.emery (#46399737) Attached to: Teaching Calculus To 5-Year-Olds

My school had a one afternoon per week gifted students program. Among other things we did programmed/self paced instruction and classroom work on boolean algebra and basic number theory. This was in the late 1960s in a middle class school district in suburban Pittsburgh (Avonworth.)

The other thing worth noting is how most mathematicians make their breakthrough discoveries before age 30. (Sorry don't have the reference for this, but I've seen it widely discussed.) So that means the earlier we expose kids "with the math gene" to more complex topics, the greater the possibility that stuff will 'stick'.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.