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Comment: C relevance and what C and C++ really are today (Score 0) 641

by jfz (#48553905) Attached to: How Relevant is C in 2014?
As long as C continues to serve as the foundation for a number of operating systems, it will remain relevant. To understand its merits as a language alone however, it along with C++ should be used only _after_ learning a high level language that doesn't clearly model allocation or memory within in its syntax, e.g. Haskell, Python, Java, Lisp. Then one can return to C, along with C++ and say "hey, this is an incredibly useful syntax for reasoning about efficient allocation and memory use". It does have competitors in that arena, however it continues to dominate due to tooling, inertia/entrenchment in education, industry and cargo cultism.

Comment: Relationship to Microsoft's University Propoganda (Score 0) 262

by jfz (#45052247) Attached to: Microsoft Makes Another "Nearly Sold Out" Claim For the Surface Line
Microsoft is so desperate to get people to supply apps for their platforms, that they are sending Marketers to University students which try to convince them to learn .NET and write software for their tablets through fake workshops and "student sponsored" events. "Learn .Net, get a job!", etc.

This got me thinking about how much money, waste, and energy is being pumped into maintaining this vertical integration with developers. Irregardless, the sheer destructiveness of this "funneling" of young minds into closed technology tracks must be a huge hidden cost on society.

+ - Sorm: Russia Intends To monitor "All Communications" At Winter Olympics In Sochi-> 1

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "The Guardian reports: Athletes and spectators attending the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February will face some of the most invasive and systematic spying and surveillance in the history of the Games, documents shared with the Guardian show. Russia's powerful FSB security service plans to ensure that no communication by competitors or spectators goes unmonitored during the event, according to a dossier compiled by a team of Russian investigative journalists looking into preparations for the 2014 Games. The journalists, Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, who are experts on the Russian security services, collated dozens of open source technical documents published on the Zakupki government procurement agency website, as well as public records of government oversight agencies. They found that major amendments have been made to telephone and Wi-Fi networks in the Black Sea resort to ensure extensive and all-permeating monitoring and filtering of all traffic, using Sorm, Russia's system for intercepting phone and internet communications. Ron Deibert, a professor at the University of Toronto and director of Citizen Lab, which co-operated with the Sochi research, describes the Sorm amendments as "Prism on steroids", referring to the programme used by the NSA in the US and revealed to the Guardian by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. "The scope and scale of Russian surveillance are similar to the disclosures about the US programme but there are subtle differences to the regulations," says Deibert. "We know from Snowden's disclosures that many of the checks were weak or sidestepped in the US, but in the Russian system permanent access for Sorm is a requirement of building the infrastructure.""
Link to Original Source

+ - PureVPN shuts down due to "legal issues"-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It looks like PureVPN has shut down due to an as yet undisclosed incident. To quote "We had to handover all customer’s information to the authorities unfortunately. They might contact you if they need any details about the case they are working on. The following information was handed over: your name, billing address and phone number provided during purchase and any documents we had on file...""
Link to Original Source

+ - US Intelligence Chief Defends Attempts to Break Tor

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Arik Hesseldahl writes that James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, says that the NSA tried to penetrate and compromise Tor, but it was only because terrorists and criminals use it, too and our "interest in online anonymity services and other online communication and networking tools is based on the undeniable fact that these are the tools our adversaries use to communicate and coordinate attacks against the United States and our allies." It was all legal and appropriate, Clapper argues, because, “Within our lawful mission to collect foreign intelligence to protect the United States, we use every intelligence tool available to understand the intent of our foreign adversaries so that we can disrupt their plans and prevent them from bringing harm to innocent Americans. Our adversaries have the ability to hide their messages and discussions among those of innocent people around the world. They use the very same social networking sites, encryption tools and other security features that protect our daily online activities.” Clapper concludes that "the reality is that the men and women at the National Security Agency and across the Intelligence Community are abiding by the law, respecting the rights of citizens and doing everything they can to help keep our nation safe.""

+ - Google Wants Patent on Splitting Restaurant Bills 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes ""In a classic example of parody coming to life," writes GeekWire's Todd Bishop, "a newly published patent filing reveals Google’s ambitions to solve one of the most troublesome challenges known to humanity: Splitting the bill at the end of a meal." In its patent application for Tracking and Managing Group Expenditures, Google boasts that the invention of six Googlers addresses "a need in the art for an efficient way to track group expenditures and settle balances between group members" by providing technology that thwarts "group members [who] may not pay back their entire share of the bill or may forget and not pay back their share at all.""

Comment: More studies/sites/resources like this please. (Score 1) 387

by jfz (#44876387) Attached to: True Size of the Shadow Banking System Revealed (Spoiler: Humongous)
In addition to this, I also want: 1) A continuous mapping and quantification of the Military Industrial Complex, complete with relations to people, and businesses up and down the chain. 2) Continuously updated Corporate to Lobbyist to Politician studies, with full exposure. I want to make smarter decisions about the people and companies that I choose to deal with and give money to on a day to day basis. And I can't do that without such clear analysis. These people are only in power because _we_ allow them to be.

Comment: Re:Sounds fair (Score 0) 458

by jfz (#44140783) Attached to: FBI Paid Informant Inside WikiLeaks
No and No. You're forgetting the court of public opinion, which allows Wiki-leaks to occupy the moral high-ground, and that makes all the difference in the world. To add a little independence day flavor, this is the equivalent to stating that the British were justified in spying on American Colonies, because the Colonies had spies on the British side. One group uses the tool in the support of unjustness, the other uses the tool because there is no other defense against that unjustness. I have to wonder how much money, time, and effort is being expended on going after Wikileaks, rather then changing our mentality in how we view the world. But like every single problem that Washington faces, it looks at those as one in which the only solutions in the quickly exhausted tool-box are state terrorism, the military, and espionage. To those playing the long game, this is rightfully a sign of weakness, not strength.

Comment: Problems and Estimatated Solution Times (Score 0) 297

by jfz (#43530417) Attached to: Overconfidence: Why You Suck At Making Development Time Estimates
Estimates seem to be driven mostly by the following forces:

Non-Tech Problem Space

In the worst case, this is the equivalent of walking up to a student and asking how long it will take them to solve a problem in both a subject he/she hasn't studied yet, and in a problem with no similarity to those at hand. Any notion of accuracy gets thrown out the window under these conditions.

Tech Problem Space

What tech is needed? And how long will it take to acquire proficiency in this tech? Since tech is a road well traveled by others, this makes the estimation of the learning curve and the tech application easier.

I think the answer lies in patience, instead of demanding estimates that can be produced in the next hour. In many cases, the problem needs to be inspected and possibly specified further to come up with anything approaching accuracy. I have to wonder if this is something that is understood and being communicated effectively to non-engineers and those on the client side. Nevertheless, if businesses chooses to subjugate informed, honest estimates to salesmanship, then none of this matters anyway.

Comment: Re:People are assholes (Score 0) 210

by jfz (#41013111) Attached to: Dozens of Reported Plagiarism Incidents On Coursera's Free Online Courses

Since the benefit to student is actually in doing the work instead of official credits

LOL, where do people like you get this notion from? Whatever fairly-land of academic value you suggest, it isn't one in which undergraduates around me currently live. My university for example has numerous courses that serve no other purpose than to make payroll and give students a hamster-wheel like challenge. People are realistic and game the system.

Sentient plasmoids are a gas.