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Comment: Qt? (Score 4, Informative) 240

by unwesen (#46461563) Attached to: Google To Replace GTK+ With Its Own Aura In Chrome

"Couldn't Google just switch to Qt, which is becoming an industry standard?"

It is? I haven't seen evidence of that. Trolltech/Digia have been working on that for a long time, and have in fact gained significant market share, but I don't see many projects outside of the KDE sphere of influence or very specific embedded platforms adopting Qt. In fact, the popularity of entirely new mobile platforms that did not adopt Qt is a great counter-argument (i.e. iOS, Android, ChromeOS).

Mind you, that's no argument against using Qt - I just don't see evidence of it becoming an industry standard.

Comment: Re:As Frontalot says (Score 1) 631

by unwesen (#46355007) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

The mathematics are sound enough, but that doesn't make BitCoin sound.

After the MtGox situation, I tried to understand what exactly the transaction malleability problem they're blaming is. The best (?) starting point I've found is, but while that gives you a high level overview, it also raises more questions. Why are there three distinct issues with BitCoin that share the same name? Why did the BitCoin designers ever think it's a good idea to take a signature over part of a message as verifying the entire message?

Mostly, though, I asked myself what it was they were signing and for what purpose, before going on to the previously stated questions. Several hours later, and I concluded that BitCoin is the single worst documented software system I've seen in a 15 year software engineering career.

Yes, I managed to get the information I wanted. No, it wasn't straightforward. Documentation is distributed amongst this wiki, forum posts (which are then badly copy & pasted into the wiki) and source code. Oh, and external sites like reddit or stackexchange. The wiki is very badly cross-linked, and the terrible naming choices (see above) mean it's not easy to search. Some vital information is effectively hidden from sight in image files, which wikis currently don't tend to index at all. And that's just about the stuff I was interested in at the time.

You should never trust a crypto system whose authors can't explain it cohesively and concisely.

If nothing else, it makes a security audit a nightmare.

That said, of course the BitCoin devs aren't stupid, and they plugged the holes documented in the transaction malleability page as best they could. The wiki still states they exist, incidentally, and since it's the de-facto documentation on BitCoin, it's IMHO fair enough to conclude that the BitCoin specifications are still broken even if the reference implementation is fixed.

None of which should mean that BitCoin itself did worse that MtGox - the latter certainly screwed up royally, and their screwup doesn't mean BitCoin is doomed.

But nothing I've seen of BitCoin so far goes to convince me it's trustworthy.

Comment: I've found... (Score 1) 627

by unwesen (#46331991) Attached to: Does Relying On an IDE Make You a Bad Programmer?

... that all the work other programmers do in the IDE, I do by hand whilst my mind solves the next problem.

So far I haven't encountered an IDE that lets me habituate these tasks as easily as my plain old text editor does. That means no IDE so far lets me parallelize my efforts in the same way as my text editor. Though I would be the first to admit that habituation is also - but not exclusively - a question of how long one tries.

It's not that IDEs are bad, it's that in my experience they're in the way of my being effective. In part, it's because they rely on the use of a gesture device so heavily - anything that lets me use the keyboard tends to be better for me. Insert obligatory personal/anecdotal evidence warning here.

I think there is an argument to be made that IDEs with fairly complex UIs will resist habituation, and many IDEs fall into that trap. Whether or not that's true should be examined carefully rather than debated aimlessly, though - and even if it's found to be true, then an entirely different question would be whether better habituation *generally* leads people to parallelize tasks, as I described above.

Comment: Print... (Score 1) 333

by unwesen (#45765795) Attached to: Rise of the Super-High-Res Notebook Display

... is considered to be rough at around 150dpi, ok at around 300dpi, good at around 600dpi, and anything at 1200dpi or higher is considered very fine print and is usually reserved for art prints, etc.

Of course, print dots and pixels aren't exactly the same, but comparison is hard - mostly because print dots are not as clearly part of a grid system as pixels are. Comparing print dots and subpixels would make more sense, but is even harder.

So assuming that pixels and print dots are equivalent 3200X1800 on a 13" 16:9 screen would mean the screen has something like a sqrt(3200*3200 + 1800*1800)/13 = 282ppi resolution (simplified maths).

So we're just about moving from "rough" into "ok" territory, by some 30+ year old standards. To me, that's not "good enough", but YMMV.

Comment: Put money where his mouth is... (Score 2) 346

by unwesen (#45546941) Attached to: The Burning Bridges of Ubuntu

... is exactly what Mark Shuttleworth has been doing for almost a decade now. If that amount of effort hasn't helped the Ubuntu team initiate some drastic changes in otherwise community-run projects, then I very much understand why he's fed up and wants things to Just Work (TM).

This is irrespective of who did what, and whether they did the right thing, by the way. There's always multiple people at fault in any conflict. I'm talking purely about the desire to stop wasting time and money on something for which there is overwhelming evidence it doesn't work. If I had been in his position, I would have started my own Ubuntu-run competitor projects a lot earlier, but then I'm not a patient man.

So more power to him, I say.

Comment: TL;DR (Score 1) 926

by unwesen (#44628983) Attached to: What's Causing the Rise In Obesity? Everything.

The TL;DR version is the rather less spectacular "The problem with diets that are heavy in meat, fat or sugar is not solely that they pack a lot of calories into food; it is that they alter the biochemistry of fat storage and fat expenditure, tilting the body’s system in favour of fat storage."

Yes, we've known that for a while.

Comment: I've posted this before... (Score 2) 352

by unwesen (#44606123) Attached to: Google Outage: Internet Traffic Plunges 40%

... I will post it again. This relates to the page views GoSquared measures, NOT to the entire internet.

GoSquared self-describes as "trusted by 30,000 businesses", which is not a small number, but also doesn't really compare to the number of businesses with websites out there. says there are about 150 mio domains (in the most popular gTLDs). Assuming domains is a decent measure for websites (which it isn't, but let's go with that for now), at best GoSquared measures 0.02% of the internet.

That means, we only know that 0.02% of 40% was affected, which is some 0.8% of the total internet.

But wait, we're talking page views, not websites. estimates 3.76 billion pages (indexed, not existing). If we assume those 3.76 billion pages are spread evenly across those 150 mio domains, we have some 25 pages per domain.

It now depends on the type of businesses GoSquared represents: are they SMEs (often with no more than 1-5 pages on their domain) or large businesses (often with hundreds of pages)? With 30,000 customers, my guess would be that they represent more SMEs than large businesses, meaning the total number of pages they represent is actually less than 30,000 x 25. Which also means the 0.8% percentage of total page views would drop even further.

Lastly, page views does not mean traffic. Traffic is mostly generated from streaming media these days, not pages.

All the numbers to be taken with a grain of salt, of course, but they still seem to be in a better range than the ones GoSquared published. Never trust statistics you didn't forge yourself.

Comment: Re:Update from the author (Score 1) 331

by unwesen (#44518285) Attached to: Why PBS Won't Do Android

Yes, Android is somewhat fragmented. No, that doesn't play much of a role here.

Android is no more fragmented than e.g. the Desktop, and provides better support for various screen sizes and aspect ratios than most other development environments.

The fragmentation of Android starts to matter once you want to support esoteric features, or use the latest APIs. For UI concerns, Google provides backwards compatibility libraries. For Audio/Video processing, Android's APIs haven't changed since about version 1.5. For what I can see in this case, it shouldn't matter much at all.

None of which means that supporting all these different device configurations is going to be *fast*, and time does have a cost. Development-wise, though, you can reduce the cost best by considering the different screen sizes right from the start. One sadly common mistake I see people repeat over and over is to design for one screen size first, and then try to adapt that design to different screen sizes or aspect ratios. If you go down that path, you're likely going to end up spending more than if you design with an adaptive layout in mind from the start.

If you need help with that, let me know :)

Comment: He didn't build it in 30 days. (Score 3, Insightful) 266

"it took him only 30 days to build and launch a basic open source office" and "The suite was released as an alpha version" mean's he's got the 80 (visible) percent done that take 20 percent of the time.

I wish people wouldn't get headlines with this sort of claim. It helps push the entire profession towards cutting corner in order to under bid each other, which does not speak well for the quality of future software.

Speak instead of prototyping. That's much closer to the truth.

Comment: The only real argument against reviews is... (Score 1) 495

by unwesen (#36695414) Attached to: Are You Too Good For Code Reviews?

... time. And it is a good argument in many cases. Code reviews are great, but they make sense only if you provide good feedback from your review, and the original author has time to revisit their code and make changes according to the feedback. I've seen many work environments were such things were considered too expensive (in terms of time).

+ - Carry-On Luggage with detachable Laptop Bag?->

Submitted by unwesen
unwesen (241906) writes "I'm going on more and more short business trips, and am sick of checking in luggage when a carry-on bag holds everything I need. That's also convenient, as some airlines do not allow you to carry an extra laptop bag. My current solution is less than ideal, though: I basically squash my laptop bag into a duffel bag of the right dimensions. Surely there must be a better solution? My ideal would be a fairly sturdy carry-on backpack or trolley with a detachable laptop case just large enough to hold a 15" laptop, a magazine or two and a few pens. My searches haven't led to much; I've found one or two potential candidates, but they all seem to have serious drawbacks. Surely I can't be alone amongst the /. crowd with my requirements; do you have any suggestions? There seems to be plenty of luggage with a laptop compartment, but you can't take that to the office on its own..."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Big difference (Score 1) 1486

by unwesen (#35747190) Attached to: Is Science Just a Matter of Faith?

And how does it relate to the topic that people have faith in some things, but take a scientific approach to trying to understand others? The two are not mutually exclusive. It's not even mutually exclusive that they apply both approaches to the same thing at different times.

Trying to understand science in relation to individual faith is non-sensical; science works at the scope of humanity as a whole. Many individuals being able to double-check many other individual's claims, not one individual proving their own.

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik