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Comment: Re:I'm still amazed (Score 1) 248

by merreborn (#36451428) Attached to: EU Ministers Seek To Ban Creation of Hacking Tools

If you're going to legislate something, then legislate the use of memory safe programming languages and proof carrying code. Security problems would be mostly solved, and software would have fewer bugs overall to boot.

That'd drive up the cost of software development. People write buggy, insecure code because it's fast and cheap, and that's all the end user is willing to pay for.

Comment: Re:This article is confused (Score 2) 221

by merreborn (#36302630) Attached to: Rapid Browser Development Challenges Web Developers

They should decide what features to use by looking at the browser usage of their user community and making their own cost/benefit calculations.

I'm involved with a site that's 44% IE6-8. We've even got a vocal (albeit tiny) set of users running IE6 on Windows 2000 or older, which means they don't even have the full set of IE6 service packs (only XP and newer got anything more recent than IE6 SP1).

It's delightful.

Comment: Re:TLD for Financial Transactions (Score 1) 259

by merreborn (#35538976) Attached to: ICANN Approves<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.XXX

I'd really like to see ICANN create a TLD limited to banking sites and online stores

Define "online store". The line between a "legitimate" online store and an illegitimate one is a thin one indeed. If the rules for certification are too strict, you hinder cottage industry (and their are thousands of tiny, one-man ecommerce sites out there). If the rules are too lax, scammers won't have any trouble registering domains.

And of course, many people still won't know the difference between http://legitimate.onlinestore/ and http://legitimate.onlinestore.mallicious.com/

And lastly, how do you know that the guy controlling the WiFi AP in the coffee shop you're sitting in hasn't hijacked all traffic to *.onlinestore? The only protection against that would be HTTPS. And if HTTPS works, then you don't need the special TLD in the first place.

Comment: Re:Maybe app isn't short for applicaton (Score 1) 353

by merreborn (#35097788) Attached to: App &mdash; the Most Abused Word In Tech?

'app' is very different from an 'application'... they are distinct terms, and one is not merely shorthand for the other.

The term "Killer App" predates the iPhone by decades. And it referred to what you call "applications". Spreadsheets were a "killer app". Historically, "app" has absolutely been used primarly as shorthand for "application".

However, Apple and Google are definitely trying to use App in a new and specific way in their recent advertising.

As to TFS:

Here, you'll find dozens of 'apps' to install and run directly from a handy icon on the browser's home screen. Except, these aren't 'apps' at all. They're websites

Never heard the term "web app[lication]"?

Comment: Re:For those not familiar with web content (Score 2) 116

by merreborn (#35000560) Attached to: Facebook To Make Facebook Credits Mandatory For Games

If you read the article, the big boys have no problem with this

Word on the street is Zynga spent months fighting it, and threatened to leave facebook entirely -- that's why they launched http://www.farmville.com/ Of course, both Zynga and Facebook would take a huge profit hit without each other, so the odds of a divorce were always slim.

In fact, here's some evidence that the fight was bitter indeed

Everyone has a problem with someone taking 30% of the revenue. Lord knows Zynga's other payment processors never charged that much.

Comment: Re:Sterile (Score 1) 53

by merreborn (#34653774) Attached to: Using Kinect For a Touch-Free Interface In Surgery

Auto mechanics could find good use out of this technology as well. No need to drop the tools and/or get the console all greasy

All the mechanics I've seen just cover their keyboards in plastic. Cheap, simple and reliable. Trying to replace 50 cents worth of plastic with hundreds of dollars worth of electronics would be an uphill battle.

Comment: Re:What the hell *is* Minecraft? (Score 1) 775

by merreborn (#33540050) Attached to: PayPal Withholding Indie Game Dev's &euro;600,000 Account

Minecraft is an entirely new category of game. There is no name for this new category.

Think of it as something of a combo of Elder Scrolls and Second Life.

As others have mentioned, in several ways, it's similar to Dwarf Fortress, and Horde.

Also, the MMO "A Tale In The Desert" is very similar, and in many ways, has far more depth.

It combines these aspects to create something unique, for sure. But it's more evolutionary than revolutionary.

Comment: Re:shockingly bad is an exaggeration (Score 1) 657

by merreborn (#33460064) Attached to: Flash On Android Is 'Shockingly Bad'

It's the same thing that kept IE's stranglehold around for so long, especially when IE was on the Mac, so there wasn't even a cross platform argument.

IE on the mac was still in many ways a distinct platform. It used a completely different, mac-only rendering engine from the windows version, and had numerous other distinct features... and bugs.

Comment: Re:kiosk manufacturers are the culprits (Score 1) 288

by merreborn (#32819800) Attached to: Photo Kiosks Infecting Customers' USB Devices

I did own an Agfa Photo Kiosk. It didn't have an AV by default and it ran "Windows XP embedded edition" that prevented me from installing an AV (installers didn't allow me to do an install.). I saved a raw image of the hard disk for safety and allowed it to infect customers. It was a security nightmare. Viruses had their way into the machine, but AV software didn't

Well, that seems easy enough to fix: write a virus that installs antivirus software.

You're welcome.

Comment: Re:Magsafe (Score 1) 365

by merreborn (#32819622) Attached to: Working Toward a Universal Power Brick For Laptops

All the MagSafe supplies I've owned broke after a few months after the pins got stuck into the plug.

I've had the same problem. Exposure to humidity can rapidly lead to corrosion, which causes the spring-loaded pins to fail. Then you've got no contact. I've had 2 or 3 magsafe connectors fail on me in this way in the last year.

In some ways, this is the lesser of two evils; it's much better for the brick-end of the connection to fail, than the connector inside the laptop itself -- which is how my last HP laptop died.

Comment: Re:Tsk tsk (Score 2, Insightful) 237

by merreborn (#32466344) Attached to: Germany Finds Kismet, Custom Code In Google Car

They're not being evil now, are they?

Collecting data isn't (necessarily) evil. Abusing it is.

For example, google's well known for finding web pages that were intended to be private, but never properly locked down -- phpmyadmin installations, router admin pages with no passwords, etc.

Finding those things isn't evil. Were google to, say, forcibly install software on every unsecured router their crawlers found, *that* would be evil.

Are they being evil? Maybe. But data collection itself isn't necessarily evil.

Comment: Re:One of the biggest problems is configurability (Score 1) 120

by merreborn (#32466226) Attached to: 'Month of PHP Security' Finds 60 Bugs

As I brought up on the mailing list months ago when I was trying to make my case, of the books in the top 10 search results for PHP on Amazon, 5 or 6 of them, including the book by Rasmus himself (wrote PHP originally), use the ereg functions in their examples. So you can imagine that there are lots of people out there learning basic search functions out there that will be going away in the next major version. This is not good.

When has using a book that's more than 1 major revision behind ever been a good idea? A MySQL 3 book proved pretty worthless when MySQL 4 came out. And MySQL 5 adds all kinds of stuff that MySQL 4 books don't cover.

I just threw out my java books from college because they covered java 1.2.

That's just how it is with programming books. Major language releases make them obsolete.

Comment: Re:Stop listening to the PTC (Score 1) 821

by merreborn (#32343470) Attached to: Decency Group Says "$#*!" Is Indecent

And really, that's kind of how it should be. If a small group of people really really cares about something, and the rest of us don't care too much, it's basic social wisdom to compromise in favor of the people who really do care.

The KKK feels awfully strongly about limiting the rights of non-whites. On the other hand, I (and, I suspect, millions of other Americans) am a strong believer in equal rights, but I'm not nearly as emphatic about it -- I wouldn't engage in the sorts of terrorism the KKK has been known to in years past. "Basic social wisdom" is then to compromise in the favor of the KKK?

Democracy should not mean giving the reins to those with the loudest voice. But that certainly would explain the dismal state of gay rights in this country.

Comment: Re:CGI scripts (Score 2, Insightful) 148

by merreborn (#31971808) Attached to: Proof of Concept For Ajax Without JavaScript

Sure, being able to click and drag an online map was neat when it first came out, but faster than clicking an arrow in the corner? Not for me... I'd rather have it move in whole, consistent, step sizes. And faster? Hell no! I sit around waiting several seconds for Google maps to load up, prompt after prompt to "keep waiting" or else any address you type in will get munged.

Wow. How's the weather back in 1998?

I've got a PC that I built for $300 in 2008, and two macbooks (the bottom of the line models. Not the Pro). They're all behind a perfectly average comcast cable modem. Running Google Chrome, google maps loads just as fast as any desktop app, on any and all of 'em. This is not a bleeding edge setup.

So... Is it your Pentium 2, or your 9600 baud modem that's holding you back?

You're right... AJAX doesn't run great on systems built before the turn of the century. If you don't like it, pick up a system that has more than 64 meg of ram. You have every right not to upgrade, but if you choose not to, you have no right to bitch.

The "everything should run on my Windows 95 machine" mindset drives me nuts. I bet driving your Model T on the interstate isn't much fun either.

Never trust an operating system.

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