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Comment: Google's abuse history... (Score 1) 90

by seebs (#49665205) Attached to: How To Set Up a Pirate EBook Store In Google Play Books

Do you remember that one time when someone found a trivially obvious way to abuse Google services to do something harmful, and Google took complaints seriously and addressed the problem?

I don't either.

Last I checked, it was still really easy to make a Google Group to use to send spam to people, but block them from sending complaints through the documented interface, because why would anyone at Google care?

Comment: That's conflating two unrelated things... (Score 1) 425

by seebs (#49622515) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

The existence of programmers who are dramatically faster/more-skilled than others is not all that controversial, really. The question is whether they have to be assholes, or you should put up with them if they are.

My experience is, the majority of the really brilliant programmers I know are not assholes. They might be a little light on tact, but they are generally pretty good at cooperating and listening. If they weren't, they wouldn't be nearly as good.

Comment: Re:She has a point. (Score 1) 628

by seebs (#49601275) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

That everything is offensive to at least one person doesn't mean that some things aren't more offensive than others. I am sort of sympathetic to the "but it's history!" view, but... honestly, it's a crappy picture to use for a number of reasons, it does create a hostile environment, and many many other images would be better.

Comment: Re:Autism... The new cigar. (Score 1) 341

by seebs (#49526163) Attached to: Study Confirms No Link Between MMR Vaccine and Autism

This is a fascinating set of claims that have nothing to do with any autism research I've seen. I've never seen an "anti-autism drug" get any kind of approval or testing or even marketing, and I've never heard serious claims about people "growing out of" autism. I've never actually heard of "temporary" autism. There's lots you can do to mitigate the inconvenient or harmful symptoms, but the underlying neurology seems to be pretty stable.

Comment: Wow, that's very deeply insightful (Score 1) 594

by seebs (#48291931) Attached to: Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

Similarly, the Internet has done nothing for science or human knowledge, since so much of the work of pushing it and promoting it has been done for profit.

This isn't people dying so rich people can have fun. This is rich people funding the fundamental research that will make space travel practical in time.

Comment: Sort of spammy, also not convincing (Score 1) 169

by seebs (#48232715) Attached to: Tetris Is Hard To Test

So, on the one hand, it's sort of a spammy/advertisey thing to begin with.

On the other hand, I'm also not entirely convinced that the code coverage tool really solves the problem, because a given line of code can have different effects under different circumstances.

If you read in an address from a text stream, and then write to the memory location denoted, that's just one line of code executing that dereferences the pointer, but good luck determining what it does on all future invocations based on watching it execute once. Similarly, consider a straightforward loop like "for (i = 1; i len; ++i) a[i] = 0;" where every line will be hit if len is at least 1, but the effect of executing the code is, to put it mildly, somewhat variable.

Comment: I don't think this analysis is right (Score 1) 170

by seebs (#48214445) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Smarter Disk Space Monitoring In the Age of Cheap Storage?

While "only 5% of my disk" is now many times larger than it used to be, so are the things I'm moving around, so "95% full" is just as bad now as it used to be.

Basically, once we got past quotas measured in single or double-digit numbers of kilobytes, this stopped changing for me. 95% full on a 100MB disk and 95% full on a 500GB disk work the same for me.

Comment: That explains a lot. (Score 1) 213

by seebs (#48149917) Attached to: Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

People who didn't learn to code by the time they were 7 have never been able to program as adults. It sure is lucky a supply of people taught to code by ancient alien astronauts was supplied to us so we could bootstrap the procedure, because no one in the history of our species has learned new skills past age 7.

Comment: Re:The name (Score 4, Insightful) 204

by seebs (#48095063) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With an Unresponsive Manufacturer Who Doesn't Fix Bugs?

I am impressed, I thought I had seen some bad legal advice before, but this is spectacular.

I am sure the vexatious litigants of the world greatly appreciate your suggestion that their victims lose on technicalities because they didn't correctly understand the legal process.

Comment: Re:Briefing for management - reuse with attributio (Score 1) 318

by seebs (#47997523) Attached to: Flurry of Scans Hint That Bash Vulnerability Could Already Be In the Wild

Look at it this way:

Do you have full source to everything you run? No? Do you know whether any of them, ever, down any code path, call system() to run something? I bet some of them do. Now, could they ever do it in an environment where at least one variable has a value acquired from an external source?

If so, that's an exploit-in-waiting.

Keep in mind that "I don't call system, I use fork and exec" doesn't mean that the thing you exec doesn't perhaps call system(), or use the shell to execute some command. Or invokes something which is actually implemented as a shell script.

It's not just external exploits of servers; it's external exploits of clients which can ever run something with environment variables obtained from the environment.

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

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