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Comment: Self-healing drivers (Score 2) 93

by peppepz (#47917329) Attached to: New Release of MINIX 3 For x86 and ARM Is NetBSD Compatible
Don't present userspace drivers as a panacea for all kinds of driver troubles: when a driver fails, it can make the hardware it drives hang your machine solid from the hardware's side, or make said hardware DMA all over your RAM with complete disregard any CPU-imposed protection; there's no safe recovery from such a situation, and in this case applications had better be stopped even if they appear to be still running.

Comment: Re: Would be nice to see Scala replace Java (Score 1) 94

by peppepz (#47844581) Attached to: Scala Designer Martin Odersky On Next Steps
Please read the post I was replying to, it was claiming that checking for object value equality using == sometimes works. That's what doesn't work, and rightfully so. Sorry if it wasn't clear, but unfortunately I'm using the mobile site and I can't find the "quote parent" option.

Comment: Re: Would be nice to see Scala replace Java (Score 1) 94

by peppepz (#47842223) Attached to: Scala Designer Martin Odersky On Next Steps
No, it never works. Ever. For any kind of object. Comparing references instead of values is logically wrong, it does not make sense, and it "works" with compiler-generated structures in the same way as comparing C strings with == instead of strcmp() may happen to "work", or comparing C arrays using > may happen to "work". The difference between a value and a reference is a very basic concept of programming, and in the case of Java it's explained very early in learning courses. If anything, languages that allow complexity-hiding features such as the overloading of == are much better puzzler-generators than the simple, elegant, plain Java. Which didn't even have autoboxing originally.

Comment: Re:Would be nice to see Scala replace Java (Score 5, Informative) 94

by peppepz (#47841807) Attached to: Scala Designer Martin Odersky On Next Steps

Every time I teach a beginner's course, I am reminded of just how ugly Java really is. Here's a simple example:

- Comparing two "int" variables, you use == - Comparing two Integer variables, you probably want .equals()

Comparing *any* object, you want to use equals(), there's no "probably".

- But it is possible to have two different Integer objects with the same value - this is when you wand ==

No, you don't. Comparing two Integer objects, as any other object, with ==, will compare the two references to the object in order to determine if they point to the same object. The object contents won't be looked at. This is simple to learn and teach, and elegant as a design. I find no ugliness whatsoever in this.

- But Java wants to save memory, so in fact == and equals yield the same result for values from -128 to +127

Although you didn't mention it, you are thinking about autoboxing. Java makes efficient use of memory and, by using == to test object identity instead of equals() you can detect this optimization. This can't influence any working code (because comparing the results of .equals() and == makes no logical sense) and certainly isn't confusing.

A more advanced example are the generics that disappear when the code is compiled. I understand the arguments for doing it this way, but I disagree with them - if you have generics, you ought to be able to query the types at run-time. There are lots and lots of highly questionable design decisions - basically, 20 years of backwards compatibility.

It's past time to clean house. Building a new language on top of the established JVM technology seems like a very good idea indeed. Perhaps Scala can fulfill this role...

Scala has type erasure, too, and IIRC it was designed by one of the guys who are responsible for the design of type erasure in Java.

Comment: Re:Let's get rid of EU (Score 1) 272

by peppepz (#47240405) Attached to: EU May Allow Members Home Rule On GMO Foods

So when, precisely, in your opinion did the Italian Republic become "fascist," or "military-controlled"?

To sum it up in poor words, the point of Gladio was to replace a left-wing government with a fascist one. This was never needed however, because the Italians were good boys and never elected a left-wing government. This notwithstanding, the Italian military secret service supported right-wing terrorism with money, weapons and judiciary protection.

The people who created Gladio were Italians elected by their countryman. They preferred a world where their country had a secret, Anti-Soviet Army directed partially by the CIA to one where it didn't. When those countrymen realized it was acting up they disbanded it.

Those countrymen were never aware of such activities, precisely because they were kept secret. In those cases when they become aware of them, the few persons identified as responsible for them had to spend the rest of their lives in South America or Africa to flee from Italian justice.

As for "terrorism-ridden," Italy has never had a year in which Gladio bombings made up the majority of terror attacks. There were leftists, and other Fascists active in the same period. Most of the time Gladio was third, behind the various leftists, and the Ordine Nuovo Fascists.

If we want to be precise, no bombing (or targeted murder) was ever set up by "Gladio". They were carried out by right-wing terrorists that were sponsored by "deviated" Italian secret services. But frankly, counting the victims of the "red" terror versus the ones of the "black" terror seems silly to me (others have done it, and in case you're interested, it's "a draw"). I can assure you that I despise the KGB-sponsored killings as much as the CIA ones. The point of this discussion was that the USA's only interest was a peaceful and boring Europe, and in my opinion terrorism is incompatible with peace and boredom.

In fact I think if you consult a dictionary, you'll note that "military control" is generally considered the opposite of having terrorists run around your country, so that Italy in the 70s and 80s was suffering from a distinct lack of military control.

Military control would have been an option of last resort, and it was never put in place. However, in certain times we got pretty close to that. It's not surprising, as the rest of southern Europe was not democratic until the 70s, and something like that went on in America's backyard.

Comment: Re:Let's get rid of EU (Score 1) 272

by peppepz (#47239759) Attached to: EU May Allow Members Home Rule On GMO Foods

Gladio had what to do with private corporations?

It was an emanation of the government of the United States of America, which, as we've already discussed here, is an expression of the private corporations that pay the politicians it's made up of.

It was an anti-soviet guerilla-prep program run by NATO in every country in Europe, wherein later a few groups got infiltrated by right-wingers who tried to use their power in immoral manners.

It wasn't anti-soviet. It was anti-democratic-countries-of-europe should one of them elect a government that wasn't appreciated by the USA. In this aspect, it was very soviet-like if anything.

About the "right-wingers", I don't know if "immoral manners" is the label that best describes turning hundreds of innocent people into jumbled meat, and then derailing the investigations with the support of the local secret services (very tangible stuff, both the bombs and the evidence that emerged during countless investigations, not conspiracy theory).

But that doesn't stop a particlar brand of conspiracy theorist from crediting to Gladio everything under the sun.

Eh, that's what happens when you set up secret organizations to subvert the democratic order of foreign states and end up supporting and funding terrorism. As a side effect, when you get busted, people tend to lose the faith in you.

Comment: Re:Users make the final decision ... (Score 1) 406

by peppepz (#47036363) Attached to: Did Mozilla Have No Choice But To Add DRM To Firefox?

So by restricting what people can use their browser for, you think its more free?

Yes. In the same way as restricting what people can take away from other people's houses makes everyone more free.

You can choose not to use DRM content or you can choose not to

You can't choose not to use DRM once it's required to access most content of the Internet thanks to the fact that Mozilla, too, made it possible.

but if the browser doesn't support it, there is no freedom of choice, is there?

This is an injustice that is to be ascribed by the perpetrators of DRM: Google, Apple, Adobe, Microsoft. Now Mozilla have joined the club of the culprits.

Comment: Re:I don't like DRM either (Score 1) 361

by peppepz (#47003843) Attached to: How Firefox Will Handle DRM In HTML
When a relevant portion of the Internet requires DRM, compiling out DRM support from your browser will only lock you out of the Internet. It's just like Flash. Sites will require it for the silliest reasons and people who can't run it won't be able to access them. Except that now it's worse, because unlike Flash, EME backends cannot be implemented on open source platforms and they will never be made obsolete by some standard technology as HTML5 did with Flash. Basically, Mozilla caved in to the pressure from Google and the other servants of Hollywood to split the web into two unreachable halves. So much for Mozilla's mission of "an open web".

Comment: Re:Isn't hard drive access desirable? (Score 1) 361

by peppepz (#47003655) Attached to: How Firefox Will Handle DRM In HTML

DRM being crackable is not actually that important, what matters is how difficult it is for the average user. You only have to make it slightly tricky or add some slight perceived risk to downloading pirated stuff and they will choose to pay for it instead.

No, skilled users will pirate the contents and serve them to the average users in a form that is even more convenient to consume than the DRM-ridden one.

Refusing to support this part of the standard would have robbed Firefox of more users than they will lose by supporting it.

The EME non-standard cannot be supported by open source platforms. It's not a matter of Mozilla "refusing" to support it, it's mathematically impossible for them to support it in a meaningful way. A EME-enabled site implicitly refuses any user running Firefox on Linux. So it's EME itself that robs Firefox of its users, not Mozilla's decision to support it or not.

The reality is that people who view piracy as some sort of moral duty and right like you do are in the minority, that is why most of the public quite happily go along with more stringent copyright laws being drafted by the politicians they elect.

Even if that were true, it doesn't make those laws any more just. In some places of the world, the vast majority of people believe that gay people should be hanged from a crane in the public square.

Remember, UNIX spelled backwards is XINU. -- Mt.

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