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Comment: Re:Breakdown of adult interaction, oral tradition? (Score 1) 351

by dkf (#48899409) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

How in bog's green earth is any sort of family unit supposed to deal with the current knowledge set? Hell, even a university level professor can barely keep track of what goes on in their own field.

That's what the professor's family is for, to keep track of all the rest of human knowledge that the professor hasn't got time for.

Comment: Re:strawman; nobody's asking him to be "PC" or "ni (Score 1) 361

by dkf (#48841789) Attached to: Linus On Diversity and Niceness In Open Source

They're free to go fork the kernel and have their own software wonderland, with neither blackjack nor hookers.

If they want to arrange their own blackjack and hookers, they're free to do so. It's Open Source.

I will screw my tinfoil hat on a little tighter and suggest it might have something to do with the US Army being their largest customer.

I really doubt that that's it. I think you've let the tinfoil slip over your eyes a bit too far, and you've lost sight of reality there.

Comment: Re:Is this a US only problem? (Score 1) 217

by dkf (#48841577) Attached to: FCC May Permit Robocalls To Cell Phones -- If They Are Calling a Wrong Number

The problem in the USA is that people are getting several to dozens of calls a day.

That's not special to the USA. I have some numbers set to auto-block with very good reason. It's significantly less annoying in Europe though, as the caller pays the cost of the call (except in exceptional circumstances, which robocalls don't count as).

Blacklists/Blocking numbers is useless because the callers use spoofed callerID, so the number shown is different every time. Lately, they have been using spoofed callerID numbers that belong to government agencies or well-known businesses.

That's what the FCC needs to crack down on. The easiest way would probably to have a rule change that makes the phone companies part liable for any court-imposed liabilities arising from private actions over robocalls where those robocalls come from a spoofed number. That'll encourage the phone companies to sort out the problem very rapidly indeed, perhaps by making it significantly more difficult for phone users to supply the phone number in the first place. I know this will be inconvenient for some PBX operators, but mechanisms that are too easy to abuse need revision anyway.

Comment: Re:Editable scientific data? (Score 1) 61

by dkf (#48732623) Attached to: The Next Big Step For Wikidata: Forming a Hub For Researchers

Versioning only ensures that anyone who subsequently performs the calculations will reach the same result - it does not verify the data is complete or correct.

Nothing much ensures that the data is complete or correct now either, other than peer review over a long period of time by people who are wholly unconnected with the original work (and its funding). In fact, in some sciences you're not going to get complete data in a public venue anyway (some sciences work with data that in raw form can identify individual people; think medical research). Correctness is hard to evaluate; what does it even mean for raw data in the first place?

But keeping versioned data does help with some types of analysis, such as working out whether a scientist's hypothesis was reasonable based on what data was available at the time, and whether that hypothesis still holds water or when it ceased to be good. It also makes it much easier to detect fraud, and you can use all the sorts of concepts developed for distributed source code management to make it all more comprehensible.

Don't think "wikipedia for scientific data", think "github for scientific data". That's a much better model.

Comment: Re:IDEs with a concept of 'projects'. (Score 1) 421

by dkf (#48732225) Attached to: What Isn't There an App For?

if they save it to a file

As opposed to what? Saving state by tattooing it on a hairy fairy's derriere? If you're saving state, so that you can shut down an IDE and start it up again in the sam place, it's going to be saved to disk somewhere, and the chance that it's going to be in a file when its going to disk is enormously high. (Technically you could also store it in a DB that is written to a raw partition, but I'm not aware of anyone mad enough to use a full installation of Oracle on dedicated storage devices just to save the state of their IDE...)

Comment: Re:Missing the point (Score 1) 303

by dkf (#48730543) Attached to: Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

In other words message passing works completely dynamic and is resolved by the runtime system while method calls are resolved statically by the compiler.

Am I right in saying that the marks of a message passing solution are that it can handle "calls" of arbitrary methods and that the class/object itself can control what happens in that case?

Comment: Re:Encapsulation (Score 1) 303

by dkf (#48730511) Attached to: Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

No they are not procedural, if at all they are like C++ and are called multi paradigm.

That's largely a crock of shit and C++ programmers are just kidding themselves. The only two paradigms that C++ really implements are OO (for structural organisation) and imperative (for operation description). It's not functional in any meaningful way (it's possible to pretend, but it feels very strange if you do) and declarative programming is rather different. The only declarative language that most programmers normally encounter is SQL.

My point was that there's no real reason why OO can't be used with functional programming, or declarative programming. It just tends to be paired up with imperative programming for historical reasons.

You are mixing up 'imperative' languages (that is actually what the parent meant) with 'declarative' languages.

I forgot the term. Oh well.

Comment: Re:Encapsulation (Score 1) 303

by dkf (#48727231) Attached to: Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

Most OO language really fall under that category, too.

That's because most OO languages are also procedural programming languages (for historical reasons). OO is principally about how to organise data and the operations on it, which is orthogonal to whether the operations are sequences of commands or composite functions to be applied.

Comment: Re:But *are* there enough eyes? (Score 1) 255

by dkf (#48724595) Attached to: 2014: The Year We Learned How Vulnerable Third-Party Code Libraries Are

the problem is 'security' software is never as secure as promised

And the problem with OpenSSL is that they start out from the position "this is complicated" and then go straight to "so Joe Working Programmer should deal with all the complexity themselves" without properly spelling this out in very clear letters in a large font. That's abysmally awful. It leaves people exposed to trouble without them realising that this so.

Comment: Re:Make that THREE other things (Score 1) 255

by dkf (#48724567) Attached to: 2014: The Year We Learned How Vulnerable Third-Party Code Libraries Are

That's a double edge sword as shown by the clusterfuck that is OpenSSL. When you start supporting many architectures then the strange hacks you need to do to make things work can be the ones that introduce the security risk.

If you're introducing strange hacks, it's probably a sign that the design of some of the rest of the code (being charitable here!) is wrong in the first place. Writing the code to be more portable, to use fewer quirks (ideally none), that's the way to go. Yes, it can make things long-winded, but it's worth it.

Comment: Re:not just many eyes (Score 1) 255

by dkf (#48724551) Attached to: 2014: The Year We Learned How Vulnerable Third-Party Code Libraries Are

"Don't roll your own security" is advice aimed at people who don't know about security. Some of us have to implement and 'roll' the specs. The world looks different when your reputation is tied to your stuff not get broken before senility sets in. You can do it right, but you need all the elements in place including a well thought out spec.

A good start is to have some sort of test suite. When implementing a spec, TDD is very much the way to go. You should also try to make sure you've got tests for all the failure modes that you expect (including all the ones in the spec). Yes, that can be devilishly hard. Do it anyway.

Comment: Re:C versus Assembly Language (Score 1) 226

by dkf (#48721913) Attached to: Red Hat Engineer Improves Math Performance of Glibc

when you've measured and proven the compiler is generating sub optimal code

That's the important part. Don't start mucking around with low-level assembly for things until you've proven that you've got a problem and that the fix you're proposing to work on is worthwhile. (Where a library gets very widely distributed, such as a basic math library, it may well become worthwhile very quickly. Most code doesn't get anything like that level of distribution.)

Comment: Re:Hilarious, but sad (Score 1) 441

by dkf (#48658365) Attached to: How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans To Live 120 Years

Of-course I am against slavery and initiation of force by anybody, however it is the government initiation of force that is the most immoral of all, since it is the 'law of the land', so to speak, so you can be born into a system that prearranged your slavery within it.

So, in effect you're denying that there is such a thing as society, as comprised of the bulk wishes and desires of the country that you live in, and consequently the use of taxation as a redistributative economic measure? That's a morally/politically consistent position, even though I thoroughly disagree with it.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"