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Comment: DNT is useless by design (Score 4, Informative) 130

by janoc (#48681559) Attached to: Google and Apple Weaseling Out of "Do Not Track"

Did anyone actually believe that the do-not-track flag was effective? There is pretty much no way it can be enforced and the companies can do whatever they want in most cases. E.g. Facebook does not honor it outright, most advertising networks ignore it as well. It was only a silly boondoggle to quickly placate the regulator/lawmakers by showing that the self-regulation in the advertising industry actually "works" and thus no heavy-handed regulation is necessary. That flag is completely useless otherwise.

If you want some semblance of privacy from the pervasive tracking, you must use a solution that is completely under your control - i.e. ad blockers, NoScript, Ghostery, block Flash, etc. and not something that relies on the good will of the advertiser that they will obey some silly flag.

Comment: Stupid and sad ... (Score 4, Insightful) 83

by janoc (#48679099) Attached to: Lizard Squad Targets Tor

Bunch of bored kids over Christmas break that got fed up with CounterStrike and Call of Duty, so they are wreaking havoc for fun and getting way too much news time for it. I have almost gagged when I have seen a reporter saying on TV with a straight face that "it is not confirmed whether the attackers are linked to North Korea" and that "The attack is not thought to be a terrorist attack". *double facepalm*

I am not sure what is more sad, whether these jerks getting off on griefing others or the mom of one kid who couldn't play XBox over Christmas because of the DDOS and she lamented on camera - "What is he going to do now? He has nothing else to do!" I don't know - like going outside for a while?

Our society is really going downhill :(

Comment: Re:You don't know C++ properly until you know C (Score 1) 641

by janoc (#48553977) Attached to: How Relevant is C in 2014?

" don't really seem to understand the difference between pointers and C arrays"

Well, because there isn't one at the language level. The array syntax using square brackets is only a syntactic sugar for pointer arithmetic, nothing more. This is a common myth that there is a difference.

I suppose you mean the difference in the sense that an array means a continuously allocated block of memory of a certain size, whereas a pointer can point anywhere and you need to explicitly allocate that block if you want it. However, that has to do with memory (non-)management in C, not some intrinsic difference between pointers and arrays. You can get the same functionality e.g. using STL vectors - those guarantee that they are allocated as a continuous block.

This entire mess is a consequence of people coming from higher level languages where a pointer (address) doesn't really exist as a type. For people who have learned assembler and understand how the machine works at the low level pointers are an obvious concept. And yes, jumping into C++ without learning C is a really bad idea - especially when that student is often still struggling with basic concepts like data structures or algorithms.

Comment: Very relevant, programming is not only desktop/web (Score 2) 641

by janoc (#48553935) Attached to: How Relevant is C in 2014?

C is very much still relevant - most of the deeply embedded computer firmware is written in either assembler or C, where the bit twiddling capabilities, compactness of the language and efficient generated code are of high importance. All those ATMegas, PICs, 80x51, Z80, Renesas, small ARM Cortex cores - chips that are too small in terms of available memory to use higher level languages and OSes effectively. Essentially, if you are writing "to the metal", you are most likely going to use C, assembler and (rarely) C++. Those chips costs peanuts and are pretty much everywhere, controlling everything from your toaster to brakes in your car ...

Programming is not only about the desktop and web, you know.

Even on more "grown up" platforms you will find C in the network code, most of system programming is done in C, C with its standardized ABI is an interface language (e.g. you can load a C-interfaced DLL into Python or Java, for example) and many many other applications. I would say that knowing at least the basics of C is as much a must for any programmer as knowing basics of English - unless all that you do are web apps in Javascript.

Comment: Re:If at first you don't succeed... (Score 2) 262

by janoc (#48384345) Attached to: Ubisoft Points Finger At AMD For Assassin's Creed Unity Poor Performance

Since when was video game production about releasing quality software in the last 10 years?

These days it is about rushing an unfinished release to rake in money during the holiday rush, the bugs and problems will be fixed after the "release" with multigigabyte patches or (even better) a paid DLC. If ever ... Spending time on debugging and optimizing takes resources away from building the next AAA blockbuster to be released 6 months later.

I am not even considering buying many of these "AAA" releases because of this "release unfinished crap and then milk-and-dime the buyer with pointless mandatory DLCs and season passes" anymore. There are better ways to spend my money.

Ubisoft is particularly known for their crappy games in the last years, draconian DRM, being openly hostile to PC gamers, so this fiasco shouldn't really surprise anyone.

Comment: Re:Typical muslims (Score 1) 389

And you want to say that beheading people is somehow *representative* of Muslims? Or opposing gays is somehow representative of Christians?

If your answer is "yes", then you really need to widen your horizons, mate - you are painting people with an enormously wide brush if you dare to say that most people sharing a certain religion are murderers.

You are pathetic.

Comment: Re:Typical muslims (Score 5, Insightful) 389

Thank you for demonstrating your blatant racism and ignorance.

You do realize that there is 1.6 billion of people that are muslims in the world, spread out over the most of the globe? Your comment is like saying that we should ban all Christians from having human rights, because they are Bible thumping bigots opposing gays and abortions.

Please, do educate yourself before you open your mouth next time.

Comment: Re:They're probably correct (Score 1) 273

by janoc (#48318427) Attached to: Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don't Think They're Smart

Unfortunately, that's not how real world works. I have pretty much screwed up the first year of Uni, failing a calculus course badly - exactly the case of suddenly having to work much harder than I was used to in high school, where I really didn't have to do much to have good marks. The guys from the more math-oriented schools were running circles around me.

Unfortunately, that early screw up in the first semester has costed me cum laude graduation, despite having no problems later on - the university rules didn't allow for someone do graduate with honors when they have flunked a course like that. And trust me, there is quite a difference when you are looking for a job after the school in whether you have graduated or graduated cum laude ... It is even more pronounced if you are thinking about continuing in grad school or doing a PhD.

Comment: Right ... (Score 1) 2

by janoc (#48299715) Attached to: Safety expert: Virgin Galactic 'ignored' repeated warnings

Except that according to NTSB ( the crash had nothing to do with the engine which worked fine until the breakup, but apparently one of the pilots unlocked the tail too early and/or the tail malfunctioned.

So much for the "we told you so!" brigade that jumps to conclusions and immediately knows the cause even before the wreckage has even cooled down ... sheesh ...

Comment: Lump of metal != centrifuge (Score 5, Insightful) 260

by janoc (#48295197) Attached to: Buying Goods To Make Nuclear Weapons On eBay, Alibaba, and Other Platforms

Sorry, this is pretty much BS scaremongering.

Buying a piece of metal that could be made into a centrifuge doesn't mean that you will actually succeed to make one. There is a lot of specialized equipment needed for that which is tightly controlled (try to export a high precision CNC machine, for example!).

Most of this gear has lots of legitimate uses as well. Not to mention that if someone really wanted to obtain this sort of gear, I cannot imagine them shopping for it on Alibaba or eBay - they would be spending a ton of money for a product of unknown quality possibly from a mom&pop shop somewhere in China that sells everything from rubber bands, dresses up to car accessories, that is assuming it isn't a scam in the first place. There are better ways of obtaining it - e.g. through shell companies abroad acting as middlemen to avoid embargoes or from friendly nations.

And before someone pulls out the "terrorist building nukes" bogeyman - that requires a lot more than building a few centrifuges from stuff bought on Alibaba. There are plenty of simpler, cheaper and easier accessible methods to wreak havoc than trying to build a nuke that even countries like Iran didn't succeed in so far, despite vastly bigger resources than some lunatics in a cave possess.

Comment: Did you mean ... (Score 1) 44

by janoc (#48264937) Attached to: Remote Vision Through a Virtual Reality Headset (Video)

Telepresence (

Why do I feel that whenever Oculus Rift is mentioned, the project has to be new and ground breaking, something that has never been done before, right? Never mind the decades of previous work and existing industrial applications (like telesurgery or underwater ROV operation ...).

Comment: Pretty much why I am turning down US job offers .. (Score 2) 284

by janoc (#48260875) Attached to: Skilled Foreign Workers Treated as Indentured Servants

I am from EU, however this situation around the H-1B visa is why I am not even remotely interested in most of the job offers from the US that I am getting.

I have been in a similar situation in Europe before my country entered the EU and it is a lot of "fun" when you have to go every year to the immigration office, apply for a work permit renewal and pray that some clerk didn't get off the bed with the wrong foot and won't deny your application because of some bizarre reason - forcing you to lose the job and to leave the country, potentially incurring catastrophic financial losses (relocating abroad/overseas is one heck expensive, especially on a short notice!). On top of that, there is the inevitable "second class" treatment of the foreign employees, because the company knows that if the guy decides to leave, his or her permit is cancelled and they would have to leave the country on a short notice. The alternative is to have their new employer re-apply for the visa/permit again, but that must be done while the applicant lives outside of the country (yay, Switzerland ...), waiting another 6+ months for the paperwork to go through, with no guarantee of success ...

Sorry, but this is not how you treat skilled workers that you are ostensibly so interested in.

The US is doing itself a lot of disservice with this, because apart from the horrid H-1B regime, there is little else available for foreign workers (good luck trying to get the "green card" ...). I am sure there are many companies that use the visa responsibly and treat their foreign employees decently, but it is still a pretty big sword hanging over one's head.

I am certainly not expecting any entitlement to have a job in the US as a foreigner, but right now if someone wanted to hire me, they would have to offer a very sweet deal for it to be worth the gamble with the visas for me.

Comment: Don't forget (Score 2) 631

by janoc (#48252389) Attached to: Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

Not like banks have any profit-robbing security measures in place. If there weren't laws in place forcing them to indemnify/limit the customer exposer against fraud, do you think they would bother?

When banks started to issue VISA/MasterCard credit cards in my country (one of the ex-commie countries) some 15 years ago, they had no clue about what they were doing - when I asked how it works in case of fraud, the clerk told me with a straight face that I have to bring a receipt from the sale and they will claim the money back from the seller. Yeah right, someone who swipes my cc number is going to give me a receipt ... The clerk couldn't fathom that such situation could occur, because nobody ever uses the card outside of an ATM or a POS terminal, right? (and those cannot be tampered with, right?)

Basically, if someone swiped your card, you were screwed - hopefully you had a sufficiently low withdrawal/payment limit on the card, otherwise your account could have been completely emptied.

Not defending CurrentC here (can be pretty much even worse), but the illusion that a credit card is somehow more secure is really that - an illusion ...

+ - FTDI is intentionally bricking devices using competitors' chips. ->

Submitted by janoc
janoc (699997) writes "It seems that FTDI has started an outright war on cloners of their popular USB bridge chips. At first the clones stopped working with the official drivers and now they are being intentionally bricked, rendering the device useless. The problem? These chips are incredibly popular and used in many consumer products. Are you sure yours doesn't contain a counterfeit one before you plug it in? What are you going to do if your device gets trashed?

The article is on Hackaday:"

Link to Original Source

Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein