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Comment Re:^ this guy for president. Which end game reason (Score 1) 592

My 5 cents

Getting rid of IS should be the top priority - they are the most direct threat to the US and their allies out of these groups. Boots on the ground is not a good idea, but the good news is those are probably not necessary - you can undermine IS using good old intelligence, diplomatic and law enforcement methods:

- shut down their online propaganda machines
- find and shut down their recruitment
- destroy their logistical centers
- disconnect their international support (money, weapons)
- stamp down on their oil business

With the above, you can weaken the enough that the other groups would annihilate them. Other than that it's hard to support any other groups in the fight against Assad - this would effectively be a proxy war with Russia and you know how those go...

Comment Shortsighted law (Score 5, Insightful) 187

So what happens if the backdoor leads to a different criminal offence - such as leaking of the medical records of millions of citizens? Will the company be allowed to disclose that the vulnerability has been introduced to comply with another law? Can the company be held liable for the consequences?

Comment Re:I have no debt and a hefty savings account (Score 1) 386

but then if you've never had a car loan, a credit card, or any kind of debt, even if it's because you're financially well off, it's still probably a bad idea to hand you a 300k mortgage.

I still don't quite see the connection. How is the situation above any different from a person who kept paying off 2 digit monthly ballances off of a credit card for the last two years? Why should you trust that one with 300k? look at it the other way around - what are the most common traits for people who declared bankrupcy? Large outstanding debts, little savings, no safety nets (i.e. disability insurance or other applicable insurances), unstable income etc.

These are BTW things that European banks look into before providing a mortgage and the personal mortgage market has been fine in EU for the most part (countries like Spain mostly had problems with large construction projects failing).

Comment Re:Which continuity? (Score 1) 438

Gene Roddenberry had nothing to do woth DS9 - not even in the first seasons. I think the creators were just still searching for the right tone and themes for the show for the first one and half seasons. The problem was I think that the characters were not fleshed out yet. For instance, the ferengi merchant was pretty much just a caricature at first but later they added some deeper qualities to him. Similarly, the main villain, who was played wonderfully Louise Fletcher (a.k.a. nurse Ratchet from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest) was just too despicable with no redeeming qualities. You can empathize with the later villains much better.

Generally they added more memorable recurring characters and that gave them much more room for good stories. And maybe it's not just that they had to learn how to do that, you have to give a large cast some time to flourish. All in all the quality was already pretty good at the end of Season 2 with some great episodes like The Maquis 1&2, The Jem Haddar or The Wire.

Submission + - Activision Buys Candy Crush Developer For $5.9bn (

ForgedArtificer writes: Activision Blizzard picked up Candy Crush Saga developer King Interactive Entertainment tonight for a cool $5.9 billion USD; about 20% above market value. The move likely leaves them owning the top five grossing games of 2015 in America and makes them the most successful game publisher in the world.

Comment Re:Berlin Wall Take 2 (Score 1) 674

After WWII the West and the Soviets split Germany. East Germany has socialism, where everyone's needs were provided for. West Germany had a capitalist system, where people got what they worked for. Well it didn't take long for people working in the East to figure out that they could do much better in the West, so they left.

It was not socialism that created the gap but rather the planned economy system that would be very inefficient on its own but it also (expectedly) came with massive corruption. Nobody is proposing Finland goes off capitalism.

Here in Canada we already enjoy a brain drain of our medical professionals. Why stay in Canada with lower incomes and higher taxes, when you can jump across the boarder and make out so much better. And I predict that Finland will see the same thing. Many Fins already speak Swedish and English so the barrier to exit is low. If you are a high paid professional why lose a huge chunk of your income to those who don't work when you can leave via the Schengen agreement.

But don't take my word for it, or the media's word for it, sit down and do the math yourself. Basic income that provides any meaningful level of income is crazy expensive, well beyond what a few cuts here and there is going to cover.

People much more suited than you or me did the math and concluded basic income is affordable

There are tangible things you get for your taxes in your country. You can make a lot of money in the US - for as long as you (or your family members) don't get seriously sick or you try to fund your kid's college. It's a high risk - high reward kind of situation and a lot of people don't like it. I live in Germany now and I pay almost half of my income in taxes (though some of them are called "insurance" they are still taxes. It's a lot but I'm still fine with it because I get a lot in return - not having to worry about much

Comment Re:The old talent doesn't understand the new stuff (Score 1) 229

If you think that Win7 on up doesn't suffer from the same issues

I am very positive that Win7 does not have the same issues as WinXP. It's got different ones. Even the one that you describe does not technically exist in WinXP because it does not even have an elevation of privileges mechanism - the privileges are simply all granted at the start.

I'd like some of what you're smoking

I do not smoke, but I do enjoy a glass of wine from time to time - I'd recommend an aromatic white from New Zealand - and stay away from the Malborough ones, they are hopelessly overpriced. Try something from Gisbourne or Napier...

Comment It's no different in other proffessions (Score 1) 229

I don't see how IT is any different from other proffessions - technology brings change everywhere. Doctors have to keep up with the latest medicine tech and procedures, lawyers have to keep up with changes both in case laws and black letter laws - same goes for people like accountants or anybody in a regulated industry. Even assembly line workers have to keep learning new stuff - the ones that wouldn't need to have already been replaced by robots.

Comment Re:The old talent doesn't understand the new stuff (Score 1, Interesting) 229

For Microsoft OSes, I was fine with XP. I didn't care for some of the UI changes that were done following Windows 2000, but it seemed quite stable.

You might be fine with win xp on at home (although you shouldn't) but it should have no place in proffessional environment. Windows 7 fixed some gaping security issues with XP. Here are some examples:

- in XP If something is started by a user with administrator rights, it automatically runs in administrator context, Win 7 has a much better structured User Access Control (though still not as good as even 80's era Unix)
- in XP the memory space for programs is alloted in sequential address spaces, which greatly helps when cracking a program, in Win 7 memory is alloted in random spaces
- win 7 fixes the Structured Exception Handler exploit of XP
- win 7 has integrated hdd encryption - win 7 includes moder crypto tools (though even those should be replaced with stronger ones soon)

Running your stuff on Win XP is just not feasible - not because of the superficial UI differences, but the deeply engrained unsecure mechanisms it employs.

Comment It's doable, but they don't do it. (Score 1) 132

You can get from novice to a full fledged programmer in a couple of weeks. Back when I started college, I felt that I was a dismal programmer and my teacher suggested I should look at the (now legendary) book "Thinking in C++ "by Bruce Eckel (he was the one that inspired a lot of "Thinking in" copy-cats). So I did - I went through all the content and did all the exercises suggested. It took a couple of weeks of long hours since it's like 1000 pages long, but at the end I felt I understood programming to an acceptable degree.

The 20 years that followed just validated my experience - while I had to learn some specific areas of computing for specific projects, like WinSock (hey, it was the 90's), or parallel programming (which admittedly took another similar learning session), I was always head and shoulders above the average corporate developer.

I've also seen a lot of other people do it in a similar way - a relatively shor burst (like up to two months) of concentrated learning and self-training. On the other hand I've never seen a shitty programmer become a good programmer slowly over the course of 4 years. That just does not happen - either you put the effor in and become better rapidly, or you half-ass it and learn very little.

The problem with the coding academies is that they have low standards and they don't push people. A lot of folks don't have the patience necessary and should be failing these courses, but they are handed the certificate anyway. That's just the way it is with diploma mills.

Comment Re:GOTOs in C (Score 1) 497

But most importantly, no one can demonstrate how it is wrong.

You may end up "cleaning up" something that's not there and crashing. While it's hard to see how that would be a problem in a simple function that you've written yourself, it becomes a problem with time - after it's grown to a couple hundred lines, modified by 10 people in the span of 6 years. The failure scenario might be relatively rare and not detected during testing.

Comment Re:long methods and coupling (Score 1) 497

My rule of thumb for long methods is very simple:

Is there a routine that can be reused in other parts of your code?
Are there complex/critical parts that should be (unit) tested separately?

If the answer to any of those questions is yes, split the method. In my experience, most of the time when I see a very long method, it fails the second question - testability. I can't really remember an example of a very long method that would just contain simple straightforward stuff.

Comment Re:Not everyone becomes scientists... but (Score 1) 300

I would even go one step further - just like most people don't know how fuel injection works, programmers don't necessarily know how processors work. Programming is just usage of the computer and it would be helpful to a lot of people. Anyone who ever needs to work with long lists of things whether it's data in spreadsheets or in databases or long lists of files could benefit from knowing how to write even some simple scripts. Nowdays that's pretty much everyone with a desk job. It's the difference of knowing how to drive and using a driver anytime you need to go somewhere.

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie