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Comment Error Handling (Score 4, Insightful) 345

I've always considered error handling to be the most important thing when it comes to knowing a language beyond the beginner level. Every language has it's own idiomatic ways from RAII in C++, finally/using in Java to the myriad of ways of handling return codes in C. It is also frequently undertaught in most programming language courses.

It is for this reason I despise seeing C/C++ on CVs. It implies that you don't have a strong foundation in either language as idiomatic code is so different between the two. By all means list them as two separate languages, but be willing to demonstrate sound knowledge of both, not the bastardised, resource leaking hybrid I see so often when the term C/C++ is invoked.

Comment Re:Need to think about why it is being done (Score 4, Interesting) 68

The aim of honeypots in this scenario isn't to bait out people but software. The first thing that a targeted piece of malware is likely to do is find other systems to infect and map out the internal network. If a computer in the accounts department is suddenly firing off CIFS requests at your honeypot it is an anomaly that should be investigated. It's much easier to find dodgy traffic if there isn't supposed to be any rather than looking for it in the corporate network as a whole.

If it turns out it was a bored intern browsing the local network then the situation can be explained. If it was an opened dodgy e-mail or other attack vector then the machine can be wiped and connection logs gathered so that a clean-up operation can be attempted.

Comment Re:Several enigma machines (Score 4, Insightful) 210

What you have stated is not the entire truth either. The Poles cracked Enigma by relying on a protocol weakness (the Germans sent the initial rotor setting twice). Even before cracking the naval Enigma, Turing et al devised a way to break Enigma should the Germans realise they had a vulnerability by using a known plaintext attack. The Germans changing the protocol to only send the initial rotor setting once rendered the Polish cryptanalysis unusable. They also developed the machinery needed to automate the cracking of Enigma on a far larger scale than the Poles had managed.

Comment Re:Start with curiosity, them experiment ... (Score 1) 623

In my opinion, the "quirks & different ways of doing things" are a key part of knowing a language and are essential for building large or complicated systems. For example, while I may be able to look in the documentation to find the library classes and methods to open a file and write to it, Java/C#/C++ have quite different idioms and constructs to ensure that handles are properly closed in the presence of exceptions. While it would be possible for me to very easily write something hacky that worked most of the time in Java, there is a good chance I will miss some quirks of the language and runtime which either cause things to break or could have been exploited to make the code smaller and more readable.

I agree that a lot of the hard work goes into the learning the first language most of which can be reused for subsequent languages, but at the same time I would feel uncomfortable putting myself forwards as a Java programmer despite good C++ and C# knowledge and experience.

Comment Re:21st Century Lobotomies (Score 1) 385

A Hemispherectomy is occassionally used to treat very serious epilepsy. Resorting to brain surgery is usually done only in young children as the brain has an ability to reroute most of the affected functionality. In adults this does not happen as easily. However when patients are having 1000+ seizures a month and anti-convulsants aren't working it is very effective (assuming the source of the seizures is localised)..

Comment Re:Self-Driving cars (Score 1) 111

Out of interest what is the view of bikers in the US on cars with daytime running lights? In the UK there has been some opposition to making them mandatory for cars as it may make motorbikes less visible (new motorbikes are required to have daytime running lights).

Comment More Information (Score 2) 180

There is slightly more information in the grant overview from EPSRC http://gow.epsrc.ac.uk/ViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/I01196X/1 although it is quite light of specifics.
The proposal appears to be usual blend of new modulation techniques, all optical switching and the usual "green" nonsense which is required to get anything approved these days.

Comment Re:They could just use (Score 1) 109

ISBN check codes are designed to catch common errors back when hand entry was common -

a run of two digits in the wrong place (eg 556 instead of 566)
a mistyped digit
two digits swapped around by one place

The UPC code does not support the latter at the expense of only requiring the check symbol to be one of 10 regardless of the number of digits in the code. The ISBN algorithm requires n+1 where n is the number of data digits. Whether this is required nowadays given that very few ISBNs are entered by hand is another issue.

Comment Re:cue the skeptics (Score 1) 128

Except that electrons travel a fuckton slower than the speed of light through a wire. 66% through standard coaxial

Electrons travel a lot slower than that - although you are correct that that is the wave propagation speed in coax which is what really matters.
It's still faster than wave propagation in an optical fibre though.

Comment Re:Down with the aspie defense! (Score 3, Informative) 278

This used to be true, however in the last couple of years the treaty has been fully ratified by the US such the the extradition conditions are now the same for both the US and the UK. See http://press.homeoffice.gov.uk/press-releases/UKUS-extradition-traety for details

What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expect generally happens. -- Bengamin Disraeli

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