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Comment Re:Unit Tests (Score 2) 254

If possible, I would try writing unit tests for the existing code. This tests your understanding of what you are reading and will come in handy later if you change the code. If unit tests already exist then I suggest that you read them since they will tell you the intention of each function.

Unit tests are a lot like documentation: they will tell you what the code is _expected_ to do. (Not what the code actually _will_ do, especially in corner cases). Thus, if you are already digging in to see what any section of code is doing, document what you've found: write a unit test.

Submission + - German dam bursts (

dotancohen writes: Thousands of people have been evacuated to safety in eastern Germany after a dam burst on the swollen River Elbe and farmland was flooded in an attempt to spare towns, with meteorologists forecasting more rain.

In Magdeburg, one of the oldest cities in eastern Germany and a regional capital, some 23,000 people were asked to leave on Monday as water levels in the Elbe rose to a record 7.48 metres — about 5 metres above normal and surpassing the level reached during devastating floods in 2002.

Comment Re:Let me be the second (Score 5, Informative) 267

How is this bug fixed? From the initial bug report, reproduction instructions:

Steps to repeat:

        1. Visit a local PC store.
        2. Attempt to buy a machine without any proprietary software.

What happens:

Almost always, a majority of PCs for sale have Microsoft Windows pre-installed. In the rare cases that they come with a GNU/Linux operating system or no operating system at all, the drivers and BIOS may be proprietary.

What should happen:

A majority of the PCs for sale should include only free software.

I can still reproduce the bug in its entirety. Nothing has changed since 2004.

Comment Re:Perverse incentive (Score 1) 318

"Remember kids: If you find a bug in Paypal's system, you'll get paid more for selling it to the black hats."

Back that up. Where are these supposed blackhats? If I have discovered a security flaw in a common product (Adobe, Canonical, Microsoft) where might I sell? If this becomes better known, then Paypal will have competition (i.e. compete on the free market) to pay for the bug reports.

Comment Re:Ask any McDonald about domain (Score 2) 381

The impression I got from the story was that he tried to make a quick buck (when asked for a price, he said "I don't know, $15 million?") and when he realized that made him look bad he turned it around into a victim story.

Don't get me wrong, that doesn't excuse Nissan Motors' behavior. I was considering buying a Nissan Murano in 2005, and chose another brand specifically because of the debacle. My wife emailed a copy of the vehicle we purchased instead to their customer service department with an explanation.

Thank you for the perspective. I hate cybersquatters, but assuming that Uzi was not cybersquatting and legitimately using the name, why wouldn't he ask for a few mil? I don't know if that is what he did ask for, but I sure would do the same if some multinational corporation suddenly wanted from me. Note that I am not cybersquatting but rather using it for the purpose for which domain names were intended, as was Uzi doing with

Comment Re:Here's my office suit, written in 3 minutes in (Score 1) 266

And as of C99 no return is necessary.

Not necessary does not mean that it _should_ be eliminated. I personally find it bad form, because it makes the intent of the code less clear. Even in PHP, the intent of the code becomes much clearer when return is specified. It is a code smell, and it only gets smellier as the application gets larger.

For the trivial program above, I wouldn't have even mentioned anything, though.

Comment Re:Ask any McDonald about domain (Score 5, Interesting) 381

Go ask any of the McDonalds, whose great-great-great-grandpa 200 years ago proudly called himself "Mr. McDonald", how he or she feels about the domain

Go ask Uzi Nissan what Nissan Motor Corporation did (is doing) to him over the name that he registered circa 1996. Uzi Nissan, having a computer shop, bought the domain name of his last name. Never mind that he _also_ had a car dealership called Nissan Motors in the 1970s, when Nissan Motor Corporation was still called Datsun.

Comment Re:A better philosophical approach (Score 1) 397

Or just have an undo button...

That is exactly what he said in the following paragraph:

it is better to make it easy for users to recover from those mistakes, and for others to recover easily from any side effects of those mistakes

Say what? Is this guy the real deal?

Welcome to /.. Yes, you'll meet some real people here who you've heard of before. But don't ever read the articles.

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman