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Comment Re:Can't get there from here (Score 5, Insightful) 709

I started with the BASIC language as a child. And it was not easy.
If Basic didn't have lines numbered, a goto, a limited set of instructions (no while for instance), and no mysterious crash (no pointer for instance), maybe I'd have given up. After a while, when Basic concepts were understood, I wanted to get over the language limitations: speed and abilities. The next step was the assembly language, at the time.
Then learning C: coming from Assembly helped a lot to understand pointers and what happens under the hood.

Basic was simple enough to give me interest in programming, and its limitations made me want to learn more elaborated languages afterwards.

Comment Skype login (Score 2) 167

the company has a massive infrastructure that it uses for purposes such as authentication

I've always been amazed by the large amount of time it takes to be authenticated from a Skype server, compared to connections to other providers - time that suggests there is something wrong with their infrastructure.

Space

Submission + - Japanese space craft misses Venus (telegraph.co.uk) 1

hcs_$reboot writes: "A Japanese space probe on a £190 million mission to orbit Venus has missed the planet completely – but could be more successful when it next passes by in six years' time, scientists said."

While the reason of the failure is not confirmed, it is likely the probe didn't slow down enough when approaching Venus.

The Internet

Submission + - Fix to Chinese Internet traffic hijack due in Jan. (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: Policymakers disagree about whether the recent Chinese hijacking of Internet traffic http://www.networkworld.com/news/2010/111810-china-telecom-operator-denies-hijacking.html was malicious or accidental, but there's no question about the underlying cause of this incident: the lack of built-in security in the Internet's main routing protocol.

Network engineers have been talking about this weakness in the Internet infrastructure for a decade. Now a fix is finally on the way.

Beginning Jan. 1, Internet registries will add a layer of encryption to their operations so that ISPs and other network operators can verify that they have the authority to route traffic for a block of IP addresses or routing prefixes known as Autonomous System Numbers.The fix – known as Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) – is not perfect. It will require adoption by all of the Internet registries as well as major ISPs before it can provide a significant amount of protection against incidents such as when China Telecom hijacked 15% of the world's Internet traffic in April.

Proponents of RPKI say it is a much-needed first step in improving the security of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which is the core routing protocol of the Internet.

Apple

Submission + - Apple iPad 2 To launch in Feb 2011 (softview.co.in)

srimadman writes: While Apple only recently caught up with demand for the iPad, and the tablet is virtually guaranteed to be one of the most coveted gifts of 2010, the pieces appear to be falling into place to start shipping the next generation iPad.

Comment Too much malware protection may alter good scripts (Score 3, Insightful) 88

I think it was in IE7, Microsoft decided to prevent by default the use of "Prompt" in Javascript to help fighting against phishing.
Technically this was probably not a good idea, as programmers with a minimum of skills can emulate the "prompt" behavior via a DIV.
What happened anyway is that many people could not use some pages normally, and were looking at remedies on the Net (like disabling the "feature").
MS should not go against the standards, but cope with them instead, and built a secure approach more smartly.

Let's hope this new tool will not cause more problems than it can solve.

Submission + - Guy Fined For Posting Links To Official Broadcast (techdirt.com) 1

hcs_$reboot writes: Over in Sweden, it appears that a guy has been fined for linking to an online broadcast of a hockey game. We've heard stories of people getting in trouble merely for linking to unauthorized content, but this story is even more ridiculous. The guy wasn't linking to unauthorized content. He was linking to an online video feed from the official broadcaster, Canal Plus.
The issue was that Canal Plus was apparently technically incompetent in how they set up the feeds, and never intended to make the feeds public.

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