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Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 1) 470

by phantomfive (#49177655) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial
Yeah, there's a line that might be somewhat blurry, but I'll worry about clarifying things when it happens. I don't have to decide everything right now.

However, there are some things that are clearly not fair. Will the trial be secret? Absolutely not fair. Will significant evidence be blocked? Also not fair. So there is some clarity.

Comment: Re:File extensions? (Score 1) 450

by tepples (#49177411) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

Windows do: they'll both pop up a thing saying 'You are trying to run a program downloaded from the Internet, do you really want to?', which isn't normally something that happens when people try to open a file

I beg to differ. Occasionally on Windows 8.1, I've opened a text file and still seen an alert to the effect "You are opening a text file downloaded from the Internet; are you sure?".

Comment: Re:Virtual Self Defense (Score 0) 166

when you're going to shoot someone, you can see them and know what you're aiming at. I guess you didn't think of that.

I didn't think of that because I dismiss inherently ridiculous thoughts. All that happens is that a persons OWN WORDS are pointed out to others.

It's far more like I have a magic shield that reflects anything shot at me back at the attacker. Guess then who is responsible for the amount of damage received back...

You totally should be able to do something about it, and that something should not require you to become a private investigator, politician, lawyer, judge, and security guard.

Too bad that is the reality is that in fact that is the case. It is utterly unrealistic to expect ANY kind of public service like a police force to scale to handle the amount of trolling that actually exists - every other person on earth would have to be employed to handle this.

You claim it's a hardship to have to be " a private investigator, politician, lawyer, judge, and security guard". Well guess what, the internet solves that issue by training you how to be all of those things online, if it matters to you.

This behavior pattern - acting before thinking it through

And YOUR behavior, of failing to act until it is far too late, is what leads to things like gangrene and amputation in real life. It is FAR batter to take informed action quickly than action that comes far too late, or to become lost in analysis paralysis.

YOU were the one to claim that self-defense means you must be "a private investigator, politician, lawyer, judge, and security guard." How can you go through those stages WITHOUT thinking it through? The very act of doxxing or shaming is inherently not done without thought, because it requires thought to complete.

Nothing about what I've just said demands "having inherent trust in the system to do everything for you".

Except that you are advising in waiting for action that will, by the natures of scale of the problem, never come. It's hard to imagine what good that will do anyone, except for serving trolls very well indeed.

Comment: How? Reaction is equal and opposite. (Score 1, Insightful) 166

The Salem witch trial methods would still have killed many innocents even if witches did exist

But all that we are seeing in THIS case is someone pointing out what people are saying to others. So the harm done is directly proportional ONLY to the persons own actions.

Someone moderately clever will post horrifically offensive content under someone else's name, then "catch" the designated offender and post their info and purported crimes to social media.

So since that might happen one in 500 million times of ACTUAL trolling - so we should do nothing at all about real trolls that we can actually combat. Even though it can be disproved...

The good of the many and all that. We should not back down from preventing common crime because of a hypothetical.

Comment: Re:C++ is the only logically option (Score 1) 368

Sather (and Eiffel and Smalltalk etc) are less broken than Simula, I'll grant you that.

I do come at this from the point of view both as an engineer working in the high-performance computing area, and as a programming language theorist. People like Stepanov, Knuth, Dijkstra, Luca Cardelli, Alan Kay, Benjamin Pierce, and many others have written and spoken (sometimes at length) on the problems with implementation inheritance. And the fact that most OO proponents consistently tell you to avoid it ("prefer composition over inheritance") is telling.

However, I would say that the claim of "broken concept" is based not on one single argument, but on independent converging lines of evidence.

Here's another one, which again is not convincing by itself, but adds to the picture: the Curry-Howard isomorphism. One of the signs that you know you've found something interesting is that it turns out to be formally equivalent to something else that's interesting. (Think of the isomorphism between regular languages and DFAs, for example.)

Programming language theorists have found many such isomorphisms over the last few decades, and what's interesting is that programming language features seem to be equivalent to interesting objects in logic and category theory. For example, Scheme-style continuations are actually Pierce's Law in logic. Call-by-value and call-by-name turn out to be dual in the programming language which is isomorphic to Gentzen's classical sequent calculus.

Subtype relationships are pretty well-understood, and interface inheritance has a straightforward interpretation (e.g. see Haskell's typeclasses). However, despite searching for decades, nobody has found any such connections with implementation inheritance.

The industry desperately needs the style of OO that everyone uses to be on a sound theoretical footing, because it makes program analysis and compilers better. Lots of smart people have tried. The fact that we haven't found it by now strongly suggests that it's not theoretically sound.

Comment: The Metaphor (Score 4, Insightful) 166

The Salem Witch Trials were good thing. After all, there might have been some real witches there.

In this case you have people literally flying around on metaphorical brooms on Twitter.

If there had been actual witches eating children, are you saying they should have done nothing? Because that's what you are saying should be done in the case of people talking on Twitter about how they want to rape his daughter.

We aren't talking about witch-hunts here against people who have done nothing. We are talking about bringing consequences to people who in fact HAVE done something and expect nothing to happen as a result.

Comment: Re:C++ is the only logically option (Score 1) 368

It's bloated and unreadable due to C++'s template syntax.

I'm with you on the syntax issue. The greatest weakness of C++ is also its greatest strength: it retains something very close to backwards-compatibility with C. That inevitably means that all the good syntax is taken.

However, "bloated" is a puzzling claim. The whole point of the STL is that you can do things like type "sort" and it chooses the best sort algorithm for the data structure (e.g. merge sort for lists, quick/heap sort for vectors) automatically at compile time. Or you can create an array of 1000 elements, and it will initialise it with object construction or memset depending on the type, and this is all handled for you automatically at compile-time. You do not pay a cost to do this at run-time.

Your homegrown lib can't do that.

[...] but when I have to choose some publicly available software, I pick Boost over STL.

Boost and the STL don't compete. In fact, most of Boost (e.g. Algorithm, Array, Circular Buffer, Container and of course Iterator, among many others) are designed with STL in mind.

For the rest: Objective-C is not a great language. It has some cute features, but they are primarily useful for GUI programming and don't really contribute to better software development.

I've said some slightly uncomplimentary things about Objective-C in this thread, but I do have to admit that it's one of the best compromises between "dynamic"/scripty languages and "static"/low-level languages that has yet been developed.

It's just a shame that it's also based on Simula's broken object model.

Comment: Virtual Self Defense (Score 0) 166

This is why we have police departments.

Come on, you realistically expect the police to handle every case like this?

This is no different from having a reasonable right to self defense to protect your life. If you are being harassed online you should be able to do something about it, because chances are the police will not are at least not nearly as expediently as you can. The earlier you take action, the more you cut off the really bad stuff.

that's a reason to fix what's broken about our system

What if what is broken is having inherent trust in the system to do everything for you?

Sounds like it is being fixed.

Comment: Re:Also can be some of one and some of the other (Score 1) 470

by Sycraft-fu (#49176779) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Well in the case of civilians, you are in a special situation when you have access to classified data. You agree not to release it on penalty of criminal charges and you do so explicitly to be granted access. If you aren't ok with the restrictions, then you don't agree, and don't get clearance. Normal people like us aren't under any such restrictions, which is why the press doesn't get in trouble publishing it. They never agreed to shit.

As such it could be a situation where even if they agree it was just, it was still illegal.

The degree of technical confidence is inversely proportional to the level of management.