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Comment Re:Time to ask some hard questions (Score 1) 53

This may be a dumb question, but why aren't everyone doing this? I know nothing about desktop apps, but if I were to do this on a server environment, I would catalogue all the executables with their checksums and verify it every time before launching. Then (if I had that sort of influence), I'll create a system where all respectable software vendors (and OSS writers) separately distribute checksums as well. That'll take care of infections of legit software.

Why even use AV software? This safeguard could be directly built in to the OS. Of course, this won't prevent you from downloading unknown crap from the Internet. I always verify the vendor before installing anything and I always download directly from the source. I haven't had an infection of any sort in YEARS. All we need is the same process, streamlined so that the average non-technical user can do it without the same investment in time.

And as you say, monitoring and permissioning program behaviors should take care of a lot of problems, even if we don't fingerprint (although that's a considerable amount of work to be done on existing OS's). For example, I don't want my word processor accessing or writing anything outside designated document directories (why should it?), or accessing the Internet unless I allow it.

Or is this an overly simplistic view?

Comment Re:Breaks down to two words (Score 1) 250

Indeed. Notice how this happens just around the time when a tech startup that was until then run by the founders, get an infusion of MBA executives? I've seen it happen. Not only do they change the focus of the company from great products to shorter term profits, they bring a certain bring a certain small-mindedness and blame culture that ends up polluting and demoralizing the entire workforce. Yeah, sorry. Kind of off topic.

Comment Re:Can I vote against this? (Score 1) 205

I agree. These petitions (What's next? Convert Cheyenne Mountain into a wormhole research facility?) dilute what little influence the petition process already has. Someday the government will be able to point to all the wacky petitions when they really need to trivialize a valid petition that they consider a threat.

Want to do something for science? Look at the Brits. They petitioned for an apology for the way the government treated Alan Turing. And they got an uncharacteristically honest and unqualified apology.

Comment Re:Clearly (Score 1) 101

I sincerely hope this won't turn out to be like the martian canals. I'm not an astrophysicist so please correct me if I'm wrong, but we're assuming the only thing that can cause regular and periodic brightness changes in a star is a planetary transit. I know we've a very few blurry visuals of at least a handful of planets, but could it be that not all these are transits? Is there a secondary method that can be used to verify the result?

Comment Re:Dying gasps (Score 1) 535

I went through the languages in the following order: Basic, Fortran, Pascal, Java, C/C++, Perl, PHP and a bit of C#. After a decade of programming, I find that C++, PHP and Perl can cater to most of my needs. It's just a matter of recognizing the appropriate language for the job and not becoming a religious fanatic. I'm very fond of C/C++, but I would never try to write a web app or text processing scripts with it.

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