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Comment: Re:Similar to pay-upfront job scams (Score 2) 89

If you have to pay a fee to get the job -- it's a scam. Except in this case, they're not even bothering to guarantee you the job. Because it's so exciting, they need only promise you the opportunity. And then further down the road, they'll likely ask for more money, "to get further up the ladder, still".


Maybe Mars One should partner with Amway.

Comment: Re:Type "bush hid the facts" into Notepad. (Score 5, Informative) 119

by rudy_wayne (#49309567) Attached to: OS X Users: 13 Characters of Assyrian Can Crash Your Chrome Tab


  About every ten months, somebody new discovers the Notepad file encoding problem. Let's see what else there is to say about it.

First of all, can we change Notepad's detection algorithm? The problem is that there are a lot of different text files out there. Let's look just at the ones that Notepad supports.

        8-bit ANSI (of which 7-bit ASCII is a subset). These have no BOM; they just dive right in with bytes of text. They are also probably the most common type of text file.
        UTF-8. These usually begin with a BOM but not always.
        Unicode big-endian (UTF-16BE). These usually begin with a BOM but not always.
        Unicode little-endian (UTF-16LE). These usually begin with a BOM but not always.

If a BOM is found, then life is easy, since the BOM tells you what encoding the file uses. The problem is when there is no BOM. Now you have to guess, and when you guess, you can guess wrong. For example, consider this file:


Depending on which encoding you assume, you get very different results.

        If you assume 8-bit ANSI (with code page 1252), then the file consists of the two characters U+00D0 U+00AE, or "". Sure this looks strange, but maybe it's part of the word VATNI which might be the name of an Icelandic hotel.
        If you assume UTF-8, then the file consists of the single Cyrillic character U+042E
        If you assume Unicode big-endian, then the file consists of the Korean Hangul syllable U+D0AE
        If you assume Unicode little-endian, then the file consists of the Korean Hangul syllable U+AED0

  Some people might say that the rule should be "All files without a BOM are 8-bit ANSI." In that case, you're going to misinterpret all the files that use UTF-8 or UTF-16 and don't have a BOM. Note that the Unicode standard even advises against using a BOM for UTF-8, so you're already throwing out everybody who follows the recommendation.

Okay, given that the Unicode folks recommend against using a BOM for UTF-8, maybe your rule is "All files without a BOM are UTF-8." Well, that messes up all 8-bit ANSI files that use characters above 127.

Maybe you're willing to accept that ambiguity, and use the rule, "If the file looks like valid UTF-8, then use UTF-8; otherwise use 8-bit ANSI, but under no circumstances should you treat the file as UTF-16LE or UTF-16BE." In other words, "never auto-detect UTF-16". First, you still have ambiguous cases, like the file above, which could be either 8-bit ANSI or UTF-8. And second, you are going to be flat-out wrong when you run into a Unicode file that lacks a BOM, since you're going to misinterpret it as either UTF-8 or (more likely) 8-bit ANSI. You might decide that programs that generate UTF-16 files without a BOM are broken, but that doesn't mean that they don't exist. For example,

cmd /u /c dir >results.txt

This generates a UTF-16LE file without a BOM. If you poke around your Windows directory, you'll probably find other Unicode files without a BOM. (For example, I found COM+.log.) These files still "worked" under the old IsTextUnicode algorithm, but now they are unreadable. Maybe you consider that an acceptable loss.

The point is that no matter how you decide to resolve the ambiguity, somebody will win and somebody else will lose. And then people can start experimenting with the "losers" to find one that makes your algorithm look stupid for choosing "incorrectly".

Comment: Re:I can't wait for the Linus Torvalds rant over t (Score 0) 362

by rudy_wayne (#49305329) Attached to: OEMs Allowed To Lock Secure Boot In Windows 10 Computers

Make no mistake. This is a literal and direct attack on Linux. OEM's will not care about the few people who use Linux and will omit this ability essentially killing Linux off. This is Microsoft's attempt at the final nail in the coffin of Linux.

This isn't about Linux (although I'm sure Microsoft's hatred of Linux has something to do with it). People who buy a pre-built system from one of the big OEMs have no intention of installing an alternative OS, so this is a non-issue for them.

If you do buy a pre-built system from one of the big OEMs so you can put Linux on it, you're too stupid to be allowed near a computer.

Buy the components and build it yourself and you won't be bothered with any of this bullshit. Anyone who knows which end of a screwdriver to hold can easily do it.

Comment: Re:Build it yourself -- from source (Score 4, Informative) 237

By building the browser yourself (with CFLAGS, CXXFLAGS and even CC and CXX set to something unusual — such as to target only your specific -march) — rather than downloading prebuilt binaries — you make the attacker's job much harder. To successfully exploit your browser, he'll now need to make a custom exploit just for you.

And, if you include -fstack-protector or equivalent among your compiler-flags, you may even be able to make such attacks impossible for good.

Technically, this is correct.

However, I've tried to make my own custom builds of Firefox and it's a nightmare. The build process used by Firefox is so complicated and convoluted, it would make Rube Goldberg laugh. I haven't tried building Chrome, but reading the build instructions, it appears to be only marginally better.

Comment: Re:What portion of the memory is usable this time? (Score 1) 110

What really matters is the final performance, using the universal standard measure of FoC(3), aka "Frames (per second) of Crysis3".

Except it's not. Not even close. Some of us have never even played a Crysis game.

But it's still a good benchmark even if you never play any of the Crysis games.

If the card gives a good performance in "Frames (per second) of Crysis3" then that's a reasonably good indicator that you'll get good performance in other applications -- it's at least better than AMD or Nvidia's meaningless marketing doublespeak.

Comment: Re:I must be missing something. (Score 5, Insightful) 240

by rudy_wayne (#49263307) Attached to: Windows 10 Enables Switching Between Desktop and Tablet Modes

It's worth putting all this out there because it has been one gigantic clusterfuck ever since Windows 8's features were revealed. And I will continue to point out that PR firms and fanbois have harmed Microsoft more than help them. I really hope Windows 10 can put this awkward, uncomfortable, frustrating dynamic to bed. The social costs of Windows 8 have undermined its value as an OS, and that's so damn silly that it's a shame I have to type it. In the Army, we called that "Mickey Mouse bullshit." All that should matter is the OS itself, and I'm optimistic about Windows 10 in that regard.

I some time running the Windows 10 Technical preview that was released in January. Although it's an early, nowhere-near-finished- pre-beta version, it shows where Microsoft's thinking is headed. And it's not good.

While they have made some improvements over the clusterfuck that is Windows 8, in most cases they have doubled-down on stupid, keeping the vast majority of bad design decisions that were made with Windows 8. Even bringing back the Start Menu was botched. It still isn't as functional as Windows 7.

And the whole thing is just fucking ugly. More and more people spend an enormous amount of time in front of a computer, not just for social/entertainment purposes but for work as well. Aesthetics matter and Windows 8/10 fail horribly. This picture sums it all up perfectly:


Comment: Re:I must be missing something. (Score 4, Insightful) 240

by rudy_wayne (#49263225) Attached to: Windows 10 Enables Switching Between Desktop and Tablet Modes

Getting out of a metro app is a mystery to me. I want to kill the video, not have it running in the background. The only way I can find is to swipe to the metro start screen, click on the desktop icon, go to task manager, find the metro app I want to kill, and end the process.

Why can't they let me exit the metro app directly?

Because Microsoft knows better than you.

This is part of the absurd new mindset at Microsoft. You aren't supposed to exit the application. When the application has been idle for a while the OS (supposedly) will suspend it.

This design makes no sense, but neither do the other 1000 bad design decisions they made with Windows 8/10, so it's not surprising.

To err is human -- to blame it on a computer is even more so.