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Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 1) 541

by swillden (#49176897) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Civil disobedience has ALWAYS carried the potential for punishment and if you break the law to make your point that the law is unjust you should stand ready to be arrested, imprisoned and tried in court for what you choose to do.

Your argument would carry more weight if the government who'd be trying Snowden weren't the same one he outed for violating its own laws, with the active collaboration of its judicial branch. Not to mention all of the recent fully-public sidestepping of due process for hundreds of other enemy combatants. Oh, and the torture, including of US citizens. And... do I really need to go on?

Snowden has extremely good reason to be skeptical of the fairness of a trial... or if he'd even get a real trial.

Comment: Re:Leverage (Score 1) 541

by swillden (#49176761) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Snowden may be using what leverage he has left. He has not yet disclosed all the information he obtained so the US government might cut a deal to avoid further disclosures.

I see no evidence that Snowden didn't hand everything over to the Guardian et al, all at once, as he said he did. On what do you base your claim that he's still got something left?

Comment: Re:C++ important on Apple too (Score 1) 373

Cross-platform compatibility of C++ code is excellent these days, C++ can call low-level Apple APIs exactly as well as C, and there is no performance cost to C++ unless you choose it.

1) Good but not as good as C.

In most cases these days it's a distinction without a difference.

2) But it's an unnecessary third layer. Obj-C has the objects. C has the speed and compatibility. What do you need a third layer for?

I see this differently. Obj-C has the objects I need to interact with the framework. C++ has the speed, compatibility and expressive power I want. C has speed and compatibility, but lacks expressive power, which creates a lot of tedium and loses a lot of safety.

3) Indeed.

We agree on something :-)

So virtually no one uses it in this scenario.

Only time I see it used is when it's a library that was written in C++ on another platform and is simply being used on a Mac.

I haven't really done much on Macs, but I did a lot of work on NeXTstep back in the day, and C++ was quite common in scientific computing there. Actually, what I saw a lot of was "Objective-C++"... they may have grown further apart, to the degree that this no longer works, but in the early 90s gcc allowed you to mix Objective-C and C++ constructs freely in the same code. So a common approach was to build everything in an OO fashion, but to choose between Objective-C and C++-style classes based on performance and flexibility tradeoffs. The result required you to be fluent in both, but that really just means being fluent in C++ because a C++ programmer can learn Objective-C in a day (which is something I respect about the language).

Comment: Re:Jerri (Score 1) 517

There are ways to prevent wars between hostile groups. The more obvious one is redrawing the border such that each gets its slice, and in disputed areas, allocating them one way or another and forcibly resettling the population (as was done in the aftermath of WW2). It sucks, but it's better than a genocide later.

And why is it a good thing exactly?

Comment: Re:Better idea (Score 1) 487

by PPH (#49175733) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

OK. I'm not sure what it is we are arguing about here. The 'old archaic' standard to which I refer is the magic number embedded in the executable file. Often just a bunch of digits, but sometimes a string like

!# /bin/sh

That is inextricably linked to the file (being a part of it) and identifies it as an executable type and its execution environment (shell script in the above example). Ownership, file date, execution permissions are attributes of the file on one particular file system. These have security implications beyond the file type. For example, the administrator of a server may choose not to grant execution permissions to a script for which the system is only intended to provide storage.

I agree that file extensions are a bad place to hold such data. But that was a Microsoft innovation to provide a human readable (and editable) place to hold such information.

Comment: Re:C++ important on Apple too (Score 1) 373

You're dropping out of Obj-C for cross platform compatibility, because you're dealing with a low level Apple API, or because you want maximum speed for some part of the code. All these things are usually best served by C.

Cross-platform compatibility of C++ code is excellent these days, C++ can call low-level Apple APIs exactly as well as C, and there is no performance cost to C++ unless you choose it.

Unless you're concerned that you may need to target a platform not supported by a decent C++ compiler (which is really rare, given that gcc is basically everywhere), the only reason to choose C over C++ is personal preference or concern that some of the users of the code may not know C++.

Comment: Re:The Big Bang Is Obsolete (Score 1) 138

by PPH (#49173595) Attached to: Astronomers Find an Old-Looking Galaxy In the Early Universe

Maybe not obsolete. But perhaps not accurate for all cases. Assuming that redshift is proportional to distance for all cases may be in error if some phenomenon could cause a higher receeding galactic velocity. Something like a slingshot effect due to a close encounter with another galaxy, black hole or other massive object.

Comment: Re:FDE on Android doesn't work as of yet (Score 3, Informative) 110

by swillden (#49173587) Attached to: Google Backs Off Default Encryption on New Android Lollilop Devices

The issue with FDE in Android has for long been the lack of combining strong passwords with a pattern lock or pin lock for unlocking the screen. In other words, your encryption key is only as strong as the pin code or password you are willing to put in every time you open your screen lock.

No, it doesn't. At least in Lollipop FDE-password is separate and you enter it at boot.

It's not separate. In stock Lollipop there is only one password, and it's used both for FDE and for screen unlock. Some customized ROMs (e.g. CM) have separated it, which allows you to choose a strong boot password and a more convenient unlock password. Stock Android didn't go that direction because too many users would set a strong boot password which they only use once every few weeks and therefore forget, losing all of their data.

Comment: Re:It's too late... (Score 2) 127

by TheCarp (#49173497) Attached to: Supreme Court Gives Tacit Approval To Warrantless DNA Collection

No, I am worried about the constant expansion of police powers, which, I think need to be rolled back.

I am worried about surreptitious collection AT ALL. There really is no need for it. Frankly any time the police say "We think that guy there is a suspect we need to collect more about"....warrant. Period, every time, every situation....with the exception of the very time sensitive "ticking bomb" scenario.... and a very narrow one

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