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Comment: Look at RpgMaker (Score 4, Informative) 876

by elysiuan (#46191965) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

Kind of a weird example but RpgMaker is a tool that lets non-programmers create their own RPG games. While there is a 'text based code' (ruby) layer a non-programmer can simply ignore it and either use modules other people have written or confine their implementation to the built in functionality.

Now look at the complexity involved in the application itself to enable the non-programmer to create their game. Dialog boxes galore, hundreds of options, great gobs of text fields, select lists, radio buttons. It's just overflowing with UI. And making an RPG game, while certainly complex, is a domain limited activity. You can't use RpgMaker to make a RDBMS system, or a web framework, or a FPS game.

The explosion of UI complexity to solve the general case -- enable the non-programmer to write any sort of program visually-- is stupendously high. WIth visual tools you'll always be limited by your UI, and what the UI allows you to do. Also think of scale, we can manage software projects with text code up to very high volumes (it's not super easy, but it's doable and proven). Chromium has something like 7.25 million lines of code. I shudder to think how that would translate into some visual programming tool.

I'm not sure how well it would scale

Comment: Reminds of this from the late George Carlin... (Score 5, Funny) 92

by elysiuan (#46053929) Attached to: Bees Are Building Nests With Our Waste Plastic

"If it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?”

Plastic asshole.”

Comment: Re:Idiots (Score 2) 583

by elysiuan (#44471807) Attached to: Half of Tor Sites Compromised, Including TORMail

Exit nodes weren't involved in this since it's an attack against hidden services whose traffic by definition remains within the TOR network. It's not really an attack on TOR, it was an attack on the server software Freedom Hosting was running and clueless/idiot TOR users with javascript enabled and other unsafe TOR habits.

Totally agree with you on people thing that TOR is some anonymity panacea is shortsighted.

+ - Half of TOR Sites Compromised, Including TORMail.->

Submitted by elysiuan
elysiuan (762931) writes ""The founder of Freedom Hosting has been arrested in Ireland and is awaiting extradition to USA.

In a crackdown that FBI claims to be about hunting down pedophiles, half of the onion sites in the TOR network has been compromised, including the e-mail counterpart of TOR deep web, TORmail"

The FBI has also embedded a 0-day Javascript attack against Firefox 17 on Freedom Hosting's server. It appears to install a tracking cookie and a payload that phones home to the FBI when the victim resumes non-TOR browsing. Interesting implications for The Silk Road and the value of Bitcoin stemming from this. The attack relies on two extremely unsafe practices when using TOR: Enabled Javascript, and using the same browser for TOR and non-TOR browsing. Any users accessing a Freedom Hosting hosted site since 8/2 with javascript enabled are potentially compromised."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:I'll wait for the next headline (Score 5, Insightful) 30

by elysiuan (#44417765) Attached to: Natural Affinities of RNA Components Could Have Led To Life

You're forgetting that our immune system blocks the vast, vast majority of bacteria, viruses, etc from doing anything at all. The ones that can have found explicit "hacks" that leverage vulnerabilities in the immune system. I suspect we'll have to agree to disagree on this one but if you can make a case about what the 'something completely different' would be that a) is compatible enough with our biology to infect us, and b) able to bypass our immune system entirely I would love to hear it.

Comment: Re:I'll wait for the next headline (Score 5, Interesting) 30

by elysiuan (#44417257) Attached to: Natural Affinities of RNA Components Could Have Led To Life

You know, our immune system as a whole is, to paraphrase Stephenson, stupendously badass. The reason pathogens still get us sick is because they too have had billions of years to adapt to combat our immune system. The chances of scientists (or some panspermic disaster scenario) introducing a pathogen that bypasses our immune system completely by accident are pretty infinitesimal.

If you want to create a bioweapon you don't start with something unknown and then try to hack around our immune system. You go find something that nature has brought 99% of the way to where you want it and tweak.

Comment: Really? (Score 3, Insightful) 1145

by elysiuan (#43240571) Attached to: SendGrid Fires Employee After Firestorm Over Inappropriate Jokes

Two men being immature at a conference and they lose their livelihood because someone quasi-famous tweeted about it? I'm sure many people would disagree but the tons of triumph in the reporting that they lost their jobs is very distasteful to me especially in this job market. I don't want to live in a society where everyone is so uptight that they don't say anything without 5 levels of mental filtering because other some random stranger can completely screw them over.

Comment: Re:NK would never do it (Score 1) 266

Except we don't really want to bomb them back to the stone age. What do you do after you take out the Kims and their government? We'd have to do something about the millions of poorly fed, uneducated people who live there. In a war blasted country they will flood to the south or west to China and the mechanisms for coping with such a thing just aren't there. It would be an absolute crises socially and economically and it gives the nation-states involved in the Korean peninsula a reason to want to maintain the status quo. Which is one of the reasons North Korea gets so much slack diplomatically speaking.

Any program which runs right is obsolete.