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Comment: Re:Worst Summary Ever (Score 1) 567

by zestyping (#23212910) Attached to: Donald Knuth Rips On Unit Tests and More
I am in complete agreement with #23208332. Your summary is an unfair exaggeration of Knuth's position; he mentioned that unit testing was rarely useful for him, in an interview that was mostly about many other topics. To make "rips on unit tests" the main headline is a wild distortion of what he actually said. For shame.
Programming

Donald Knuth Rips On Unit Tests and More 567

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the all-hail-knuth dept.
eldavojohn writes "You may be familiar with Donald Knuth from his famous Art of Computer Programming books but he's also the father of TeX and, arguably, one of the founders of open source. There's an interesting interview where he says a lot of stuff I wouldn't have predicted. One of the first surprises to me was that he didn't seem to be a huge proponent of unit tests. I use JUnit to test parts of my projects maybe 200 times a day but Knuth calls that kind of practice a 'waste of time' and claims 'nothing needs to be "mocked up."' He also states that methods to write software to take advantage of parallel programming hardware (like multi-core systems that we've discussed) are too difficult for him to tackle due to ever-changing hardware. He even goes so far as to vent about his unhappiness toward chipmakers for forcing us into the multicore realm. He pitches his idea of 'literate programming' which I must admit I've never heard of but find it intriguing. At the end, he even remarks on his adage that young people shouldn't do things just because they're trendy. Whether you love him or hate him, he sure has some interesting/flame-bait things to say."
Portables

HTC Shift + ThinkPad X300 + MacBook Air = Perfect Notebook? 108

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the pipe-dreams dept.
Tom's Hardware has an interesting look at the HTC Shift, the newest contender in the ultralight portable arena, with a strong compare and contrast to the other two heavyweights, the ThinkPad X300 and the Macbook Air. "As some of you know, I actually like the Macbook Air but found the Lenovo ThinkPad X300 to be a vastly more useful product in the class. I'm one of the few folks that have been using an early version of the HTC Shift , a smaller screened ultra light tablet with a keyboard and a touch screen which is superior to both offerings in some ways and just released on Amazon.com for $1500 (someone screwed up, this wasn't supposed to happen until next week). This got me thinking: The perfect next generation ultra-sexy notebook should be a blend of all three products."
Math

Road Coloring Problem Solved 202

Posted by kdawson
from the hard-but-not-complicated dept.
ArieKremen writes "Israeli Avraham Trakhtman, a Russian immigrant mathematician who had been employed as a night watchman, has solved the Road Coloring problem. First posed in 1970 by Benjamin Weiss and Roy Adler, the problem posits that given a finite number of roads, one should be able to draw a map, coded in various colors, that leads to a certain destination regardless of the point of origin. The 63-year-old Trakhtman jotted down the solution in pencil in 8 pages. The problem has real-world implementation in message and traffic routing."
Privacy

US Senate Votes Immunity For Telecoms 623

Posted by kdawson
from the not-even-a-wrist-slap dept.
Ktistec Machine writes to let us know that the telecom companies are one step closer to getting off the hook for their illegal collusion with the US government. Today the US Senate passed, by a filibuster-proof majority of 67 to 31, a revised FISA bill that grants retroactive immunity to the telecommunications companies that helped the government illegally tap American network traffic. If passed by both houses and signed by the President, this would effectively put an end to the many lawsuits against these companies (about 40 have been filed). The House version of the bill does not presently contain an immunity provision. President Bush has said he will veto any such bill that reaches his desk without the grant of immunity. We've discussed the progress of the immunity provision repeatedly.
Security

+ - California Tightens Security on Electronic Voting->

Submitted by
Peaceful_Patriot
Peaceful_Patriot writes "According to the LA Times nine minutes before the midnight deadline, Secretary of State Debra Bowen decided to require additional security measures on electronic voting systems, including reinstalling the software before the Feb. 5. election to ensure it has not already been tampered with; placing special seals at vulnerable parts of the machines to reveal tampering; securing each machines at the close of each day of early voting; assigning a specific election monitor to safeguard each machine; and conducting a complete manual count of all votes cast. Diebold and Sequoia machines were limited in use to one machine per precinct for disabled voters."
Link to Original Source
Security

+ - California Limits DREs, Adds Security Restrictions->

Submitted by
zestyping
zestyping writes "At 11:45 pm last night, Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced her decisions on the use of electronic voting systems in California, following the review that found vulnerabilities in all three systems tested.

For Diebold and Sequoia (but not Hart), only one DRE is allowed per polling place, and there must be a 100% manual count of all votes cast on it. The ES&S InkaVote, which wasn't submitted in time for the review, is decertified.

Several new restrictions apply to both DREs and optical scan systems by Diebold, Sequoia, and Hart. All software and firmware must be reinstalled on all devices prior to the February primary election. Security seals must be serialized. If a machine error requires the machine to be rebooted, it must be removed from service and the vendor must explain the cause of failure. Vote tallies must be posted outside each polling place. There will also be increased post-election manual auditing of the results.

See the official documents for all the details: Diebold, Hart, Sequoia, ES&S."

Link to Original Source
Security

+ - Reports: Voting machines fail review->

Submitted by l2718
l2718 (514756) writes "The California Secretary of State has released the reports of the teams studying e-voting machines from Dieblod, Hart InterCivic and Sequoia. These were three source code study teams (one for each manufacturer), a "red team" tasked with developing exploits, and an accessibility review team. The conclusion: in all cases the design and implementation are extremely insecure and vulnerable. See also the reactions by Ed Felten and Avi Rubin."
Link to Original Source
Security

+ - California Voting System Code Reviews Released->

Submitted by
zestyping
zestyping writes "Today, the California Secretary of State released the reports from what is probably the most comprehensive analysis of voting system source code to date. The reports cover optical scan and touchscreen voting systems by Diebold, Hart, and Sequoia that are used in many California counties.

Whereas the "red team" reports released last Friday described specific attack scenarios, these reports offer a detailed analysis of the software architecture and source code. All three reports identify significant security weaknesses in the respective systems, including susceptibility to tampering of voting machine firmware, the possibility of viral propagation, and vulnerabilities in the central election management software.

The Secretary of State has until tomorrow, August 3, to decide whether to decertify any voting systems, because she is required to give six months' notice of decertification before the California primary election next February."

Link to Original Source

Chinese Prof Cracks SHA-1 Data Encryption Scheme 416

Posted by Zonk
from the mad-math dept.
Hades1010 writes to mention an article in the Epoch Times (a Chinese newspaper) about a brilliant Chinese professor who has cracked her fifth encryption scheme in ten years. This one's a doozy, too: she and her team have taken out the SHA-1 scheme, which includes the (highly thought of) MD5 algorithm. As a result, the U.S. government and major corporations will cease using the scheme within the next few years. From the article: " These two main algorithms are currently the crucial technology that electronic signatures and many other password securities use throughout the international community. They are widely used in banking, securities, and e-commerce. SHA-1 has been recognized as the cornerstone for modern Internet security. According to the article, in the early stages of Wang's research, there were other data encryption researchers who tried to crack it. However, none of them succeeded. This is why in 15 years Hash research had become the domain of hopeless research in many scientists' minds. "
XBox (Games)

New Version of Xbox 360 Rumoured 102

Posted by Zonk
from the maybe-maybe-not dept.
Carlo Becchi writes "According to Engadget a new version of the Xbox 360 is on the way. The next version of the console is codenamed 'Zephyr', and sports a bigger disk (120 Gb), better manufacturing process (65nm) and HDMI digital out up to 1080p. From the article: 'The 120GB drive may or may not come bundled with the kit, we don't yet know, just as we also don't yet know how much a Zephyr 360 is going to run (we imagine it'll go for the same price as currently so they can keep up a little on their expanding margin).'" It should be pointed out at this point the whole story is a fairly convincing photo and leaks from 'a source'. Take with a grain of salt.

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