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Comment Unregulated Profession (Score 4, Interesting) 171

Yesterday there was a post titled "The History of SQL Injection, the Hack That Will Never Go Away ".
Someone raised a good point that the problem was more economics than technology.
Employers, with no clue about technology, "employing monkeys and paying them peanuts" to produce something that looks visually ok but hacked into existance underneath.

We, programers, work in an unregulated profession which keeps it dynamic, fast paced and forever evolving.
Regulation = stagnation
So, yes, there's a lot of crap code out there and it won't go away - live with it.

Without Stackoverflow years of man hours would be wasted struggling to figure out some problem that has already been solved by someone else.
Wasn't that the idea behind the free software movement, not having to re-invent the wheel each time?
What about re-debugging, re-attaching, the wheel each time?

If the strength of our profession is in the fluidity, speed of adaptation and evolution then something like Stackoverflow is essential.
If you really need the accreditation of a regulated profession then ask an interviewee for their Stackoverflow account to see what questions they've ask and answered.

Stackoverflow is the best thing that's happened to our profession that I can remember in my 25 years as a programer.

Comment They won't see the next thing coming. (Score 3, Interesting) 204

This war on encryption and personal privacy can't be won by the ordinary man against governments.
It's inevitable. They will get their way.
I take personal comfort in seeing a repeating cycle in history where they can only legislate once the genie is out of the bottle, and they are slow to react.
A basic lack of understanding of technology, by those in power, and technology's ability to evolve outside of their constraints means that they are really just sowing the seeds for the next big thing after the internet - it's replacement.
Peer to peer communications, not network based would be my guess.
How? I dunno, but when forced into a corner we always find a way out.

Comment Pointless (Score 2, Insightful) 167

Saying you need to make your data available to government law enforcement is like saying it's illegal to walk around in public with a loaded AK47.
Like the real bad guys do as their told, right?
What galls me the most is the way we're being treated like we're too dumb to understand what they are really trying to achieve.

Comment Fight Club (Score 1) 203

When I saw this post my first thought was "Oh cool, a fight to watch". As usual it didn't disappoint.
It's like Dawkins -v- Christians. Neither side is going to win, both are pretty angry with the other.
A total waste of time and emotion.

When the hell did Science become an official world religion?
My guess is that it's a legacy from church persecution for challenging their version of "truth"

"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Comment Re:Berlin Wall Take 2 (Score 2) 674

No we haven't.

Communism has become the "cold fusion" of political ideals.
It's a dirty word used to black list any alternative, "left wing" political movements that (appear to) oppose capitalism.

Finland isn't talking about setting up a Satsi, encouraging family members to spy on each each other, covertly installing listening devices in their homes and putting up travel restrictions (although according to Snowden your "free west" is doing exactly that right now).

Nor has anyone, yet, imposed economic sanctions on Finland for trying this social experiment.
Finland isn't, yet, limited to importing goods from Cuba alone.
Try actually talking to someone who grew up in East German to find out why people wanted to leave.

Comment Re:Money is humanity evolutionary block (Score 1) 674

"Things that society needs."
Decided by who exactly? Thats nanny state thinking, which is exactly what society doesn't need.

If I've learned anything as a software engineer, but more recently as an MBA-ed business man, it's that things are often counter intuitive.
The problem with using the head (guided by $$'s) to steer any course is that you often miss the real gold just by letting the wind blow you off in a different direction.

Comment Money is humanity evolutionary block (Score 2) 674

The 20 century model of paper work and bureaucracy to get welfare is inhumane, degrading and a waste of money.

If you remove the burden of the worry of income from people you open them up to turning their attention to working on things that they are interested in doing.
This is, in the long term, is a better economic model as it encourages growth in areas untouched or ignored due to fear of failure and hardship.
The capitalistic model is to ask for funding from investors to try something new and innovative.
The problem there is that you need to convince them they can get a return on their money.

Not all good ideas and great work should necessarily be locked down by investors or the need for monetary return/gain.
Where would we be without the free, and open source, software movements?
How much more productive, creative and efficient would our technology be if more of it was written for free?

Comment Taken too seriously (Score 2) 406

Chill. It's not worth getting worked up about. It's just a TV show.
I personally enjoy it and the characters, it's no worse or better than The Simpsons, Family Guy or South Park.
The acting has as many dimensions.
I do enjoy reading Chuck Lorre's vanity cards and I often wonder where he gets his inspiration from.
An entertaining writer, not a serious one, just a good comedy satirist.
If it makes you laugh, great. If it doesn't, don't watch it.

Comment Re:How do people optimise their designs? (Score 1) 213

I must be old. First assembly I ever coded in was 6502 on a BBC B, 2nd was ARM on my Acorn Archimedes just as I was starting University.
I wrote a paper for my 1st year course on microprocessor design comparing the compiled output for a C function from a Sequent x386, a Sinclair XL 68000 and the ARM.
The truly astounding thing was that the ARM compiler took 1/3 of the instructions to complete the same task as the compilers for the old processor architectures.
Which, I'm proud to say, was then quoted in class by the lecturer. :) The fact that the RISC, with fewer instructions was more efficient showed up how wrong the complex instructions set approach had been and the brilliance of RISC design.
16 instructions, 16 registers and ran on 0.1W of power. It's a true marvel of tidy, sensible engineering.
It was/is so elegant and simple to code for.
I've not looked at the v7 assembly but the original was beautifully simple.

Comment A farm environment has many factors at play here (Score 0) 112

I grew up on a farm and I have asthma. I would have put it down to the consumption of raw, unpasteurised milk by farmers and their families.
A farm raised child eats much more unprocessed food and is exposed to much higher levels of bacteria.
The theory that asthma is a modern disease caused by living in a world that's too clean makes a lot of sense.
We've descended from people who survived due to their strong immune defence.
This inherited army needs a fight and when it has nothing better to do it attacks it's own.
Maybe this theory is correct and the farm dust that prevents asthma.
It didn't help me as dust isn't something you see much of when you grow up on a farm in Scotland where it rains 351 days of the year. :-/

Comment Regulation looms (Score 1) 450

You only have to look at the affiliate marketing commission being offered by these casual dating sites to see it's "men only"
I had a look at this a few years ago but, as my website is 95% female audience, it made no sense to try it.
So if they have no interest in paying for referrals of women where do the women come from?
Digging deeper you'll find that most of the affiliate partners are the porn websites.
The conclusion I came to was that the entire "casual dating" industry was just the monetisation of the online porn industry.
The BBC did an expose on it a few years back.

I've wondered how long it'll be before this gets political and regulated.

Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas