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Comment: Re:must fail (Score 1) 296

by xonen (#49370097) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

I think the problem with most programmers (and techies) is they aren't big picture and very detail oriented

Then, maybe, your using the wrong approach.

Try "Don't document your code, but code you documentation"..

This is as easy as creating all files you normally would, and just write down, in comments, the code you are planning to write. You catch several flies at once here: You design the entire code base, top-down, you bring structure to it, and you already documented it before you even started coding!

All you have to do now is work out your comments. You start by prototyping your (OO) classes and methods or (non-OO) functions. Once you validated your information flow (as in: all methods take all parameters they need, objects have all variables and methods they need in a non-redundant way, etc etc)- the remaining task is trivial: work out any method.

Then once you completed implementing the last method, you hit compile. And guess what: chances are your code _just works_ because you organized yourself and your activities in such a way that will avoid creating stupid mistakes and oversights, and 100% of your focus was with implementing well-defined functions or methods.

Top-down just works. Especially when your projected project is large. Resist the temptation of coding (but of course, you can consider your approaches while designing). Don't feel stupid for spending 2 or more days designing without coding - you will earn this time back tenfold. And while designing without implementing, you will get a good feel of which potential libraries you need, and where the easy and tough bits of coding are. But eventually, it all comes down to avoiding errors while having oversight of the entire program flow.

+ - Chinese CA Issues Certificates to Impersonate Google

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "Google security engineers, investigating fraudulent certificates issued for several of the company’s domains, discovered that a Chinese certificate authority was using an intermediate CA, MCS Holdings, that issued the unauthorized Google certificates, and could have issued certificates for virtually any domain.

Google’s engineers were able to block the fraudulent certificates in the company’s Chrome browser by pushing an update to the CRLset, which tracks revoked certificates. The company also alerted other browser vendors to the problem, which was discovered on March 20. Google contacted officials at CNNIC, the Chinese registrar who authorized the intermediate CA, and the officials said that they were working with MCS to issue certificates for domains that it registered.

But, instead of simply doing that, and storing the private key for the registrar in a hardware security module, MCS put the key in a proxy device designed to intercept secure traffic."

Comment: `In your face, customer!` (Score 0) 322

by xonen (#49283435) Attached to: Microsoft Offers Pirates Amnesty and Free Windows 10 Upgrades

I feel stupid for paying now. MS just said that they are ok with stealing their software. For consumers & small businesses who actually consciously purchased a license - MS just showed us their middle finger to show how valued we dear customers are.

And now since MS said that stealing propriety software is ok, some other software vendors may not be happy with them. Pirating photoshop or games or whatever is just accepted, according to MS. Don't search for really free alternatives, they rather have you steal/copy it than using an alternative.

Really, i don't like stealing software. That's why i stick to free solutions quite often. It's also not why i like Linux, but a nice added benefit, and added benefit of OS in general. But now i feel stupid because one of the richest companies in the world say i was a moron by paying them in the first place, and that they don't care if you play the game fair or not. I suddenly regret any penny i payed them over the last 20 years.

Comment: Other.. (Score 3, Informative) 307

All of the above, in the past 15 years, with the exception of the CPU, that was pre-2000.

Made me hard to choose from.
* RAM - on occasion, mostly when new.
* Videocard - 2 'blown up'; bad capacitors or GPU defect
* Motherboard - bad capacitors. And cheap models suck - better spend more on mobo less on cpu.
* Fans - always an issue especially if you are a smoker
* Hard disk fail - 1 soft fail, replaced it before end of life. One very hard fail, on a brand new drive. Unfortunately it kept all my data as i was migrating.
* Power supply - again, i learned not to buy cheap stuff.

In general, failed components (apart the video cards) were indeed cheap / low budget. My current PC is ok, because i choose better quality parts (mobo+PSU mostly). Apart the harddrive which was acting 'weird' after 4 1/2 year and hence got replaced by an SSD disk, which was a good idea anyways.

Lessons learned: if the PC is acting weird, check the unobvious: the PSU. Older hardware: check capacitors. New hardware: don't trust memory, mobo and hard drive until proven (`burn-in`).

+ - NASA Launches Four Spacecraft To Study Earth-Sun Magnetism->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Late Thursday NASA used an Atlas rocket to put four new, identical spacecraft into orbit. "The quartet of observatories is being placed into an oblong orbit stretching tens of thousands of miles into the magnetosphere — nearly halfway to the moon at one point. They will fly in pyramid formation, between 6 miles and 250 miles apart, to provide 3-D views of magnetic reconnection on the smallest of scales. Magnetic reconnection is what happens when magnetic fields like those around Earth and the sun come together, break apart, then come together again, releasing vast energy. This repeated process drives the aurora, as well as solar storms that can disrupt communications and power on Earth. Data from this two-year mission should help scientists better understand so-called space weather.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Google Product (Score 4, Insightful) 140

A year is not long. Only young people think a year is long. It might as well have been a week.

Some people just want to put their code in 'the public domain'. It may be code they are not maintaining, not commercial, or targets a very small niche.

Sometimes you want your code just published - shared with the world - forever, for the next one to find it useful.

Google promises such service. One would think 'google, they know how to store data'. Even google engineers use the service themselves. And then, one day, they announce the service will cease in 2 years.

Google should NOT HAVE STARTED SUCH SERVICE. They mislead developers, and now put them up with the extra hassle of moving stuff. If they wanted to kill it, they should have said 'testing' 'alpha' 'beta' 'do not use for your project' etc.

I'm totally with the some of the other people here, Google has proven to be unreliable. Any service they not like could be gone at ant time they choose, no matter how well it works or how succesful it is. Your gmail account may well be next.

I don't mind google cleaning up beta projects. But Google Code was anything but a beta project. Ok, they were not the largest player in the market, how bad is that? I do like choice, and multiple players can learn from eachother.

So.. My personal conclusion: a very very bad move of Google which will steer many people away from their current and future projects.

+ - EU free data roaming & net neutrality plans in jeopardy->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "EU free data roaming and net neutrality plans now look like they are in doubt as European regulators have dropped plans to ban roaming charges and have proposed net neutrality rules allowing privileged access in some cases."
This comes as an about u-turn of plans in 2014 when EU MEPs voted to scrap mobile roaming fees in Europe by 15th December 2015 with the proposal orginally covered in slashdot in 2010"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Electric not the answer (Score 2, Insightful) 212

by xonen (#49099789) Attached to: The Best, and Worst, Places To Drive Your Electric Car

I don't think the average Tesla buyer buys the car because it's 'green'. They buy it because it's electric sports car. Being electric, the (peak) power output is much much higher than achievable with combustion engines.

Then, the battery problem will likely solve itself over the next decennia. We may not have reached the optimal solution, but Tesla clearly shows there is a market for what is available with current-day technology.

Other car manufacturers are going the hybrid road to increase efficiency. But i do agree that the 'green' aspect is misleading, in general. If we want to be green, best thing we can do is reduce the amount of times and distances we (need to) travel; improve public transport and promote/easify carpooling. Yet, i think electric cars are here, and are here to stay, just as gasoline cars are, for the foreseeable future.

+ - Week long movie of Pluto produced by New Horizons

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Cool images! Using New Horizons’ long range camera scientists have compiled a movie showing Charon and Pluto orbiting each other during the last week of January 2015.

Pluto and Charon were observed for an entire rotation of each body; a “day” on Pluto and Charon is 6.4 Earth days. The first of the images was taken when New Horizons was about 3 billion miles from Earth, but just 126 million miles (203 million kilometers) from Pluto—about 30% farther than Earth’s distance from the Sun. The last frame came 6½ days later, with New Horizons more than 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) closer.

The wobble easily visible in Pluto’s motion, as Charon orbits, is due to the gravity of Charon, about one-eighth as massive as Pluto and about the size of Texas.

Our view of Pluto, and Charon, is only going to get better as New Horizons zooms towards its July fly-by."

Comment: Somewhat expensive... (Score 1) 249

by xonen (#49024599) Attached to: How good is your audio equipment?

...30 years ago.

I love my old transistor amplifier. The only thing i purchased are a (few) sets of speakers. I prefer to get my other 'gear' second-hand too. Record player, tape player, amplifier - it's all reasonable high-end electronics from the mid 80's up to late 90's.

I don't have a standalone CD or DVD player anymore - that task is being done by a laptop or a R-PI with external sound card. My smartphone works too, it has reasonable sound but a audible 'click' every few seconds, so it is not the best option. I'm considering to purchase a (car?) memory card/USB player, as soon i find one with proper specs that can read flacs.

Concluding: good audio doesn't have to be expensive. A lot of people dump their pearls at the trash only to replace it by shiny boxes with cheap electronics.

+ - A pdf reader that lets you read a screen full at a time? 4

Submitted by blackest_k
blackest_k (761565) writes "Ok here is the problem I can't fit a whole page of a pdf file on screen the document is tall and my screen is wide. So I set zoom to page width, if i scroll by page around 2/3rds of the page is skipped. The only other ways are pressing the down arrow for every line or trying to use the scroll bar which a slight slip can move you + or — 50 pages.

What i'm looking for is a pdf reader that can break a pdf page into screen size chunks and give me a shortcut key to go to the next chunk. So I can read it as i would a book. Does anyone have a reader that works for pdf files."

+ - JavaScript, PHP Top Most Popular Languages, With Apple's Swift Rising Fast->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Developers assume that Swift, Apple’s newish programming language for iOS and Mac OS X apps, will become extremely popular over the next few years. According to new data from RedMonk, a tech-industry analyst firm, Swift could reach that apex of popularity sooner rather than later. While the usual stalwarts—including JavaScript, Java, PHP, Python, C#, C++, and Ruby—top RedMonk’s list of the most-used languages, Swift has, well, swiftly ascended 46 spots in the six months since the firm’s last update, from 68th to 22nd. RedMonk pulls data from GitHub and Stack Overflow to create its rankings, due to those sites’ respective sizes and the public nature of their data. While its top-ranked languages don’t trade positions much between reports, there’s a fair amount of churn at the lower end of the rankings. Among those “smaller” languages, R has enjoyed stable popularity over the past six months, Rust and Julia continue to climb, and Go has exploded upwards—although CoffeeScript, often sited as a language to watch, has seen its support crumble a bit."
Link to Original Source

+ - Is Pascal an Underrated Programming Language? 6

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In the recent Slashdot discussion on the D programming language, I was surprised to see criticisms of Pascal that were based on old information and outdated implementations. While I’m sure that, for example, Brian Kernighan’s criticisms of Pascal were valid in 1981, things have moved on since then. Current Object Pascal largely addresses Kernighan’s critique and also includes language features such as anonymous methods, reflection and attributes, class helpers, generics and more (see also Marco Cantu’s recent Object Pascal presentation). Cross-platform development is fairly straightforward with Pascal. Delphi targets Windows, OS X, iOS and Android. Free Pascal targets many operating systems and architectures and Lazarus provides a Delphi-like IDE for Free Pascal. So what do you think? Is Pascal underrated?"

+ - 3D mouse for free

Submitted by Yuri Kravchik
Yuri Kravchik (3988713) writes "I've finally opensourced my 6DOF (six dimensions of freedom) manipulator (aka 3D mouse, but better). https://github.com/paperpointe...
It includes simple editor for demonstration of basic usages of paperpointer and driver which you can use for your projects, plugins, etc. For example, you can create a plugin to get 6DOF input for your Max, Maya, etc.

You don't need any specific hardware except of simple web-camera.
Sources: https://github.com/paperpointe...
Show case, info, files: http://paperpointer.com/"

Felson's Law: To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.