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Programming

Not All Bugs Are Random 165

CowboyRobot writes "Andrew Koenig at Dr. Dobb's argues that by looking at a program's structure — as opposed to only looking at output — we can sometimes predict circumstances in which it is particularly likely to fail. 'For example, any time a program decides to use one or two (or more) algorithms depending on an aspect of its input such as size, we should verify that it works properly as close as possible to the decision boundary on both sides. I've seen quite a few programs that impose arbitrary length limits on, say, the size of an input line or the length of a name. I've also seen far too many such programs that fail when they are presented with input that fits the limit exactly, or is one greater (or less) than the limit. If you know by inspecting the code what those limits are, it is much easier to test for cases near the limits.'"
The Courts

US Federal Judge Rules NSA Data Collection Legal 511

New submitter CheezburgerBrown . tips this AP report: "A federal judge on Friday found that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records is legal and a valuable part of the nation's arsenal to counter the threat of terrorism. U.S. District Judge William Pauley said in a written opinion (PDF) that the program 'represents the government's counter-punch' to eliminate al-Qaeda's terror network by connecting fragmented and fleeting communications. In ruling, the judge noted the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and how the phone data-collection system could have helped investigators connect the dots before the attacks occurred. 'The government learned from its mistake and adapted to confront a new enemy: a terror network capable of orchestrating attacks across the world. It launched a number of counter-measures, including a bulk telephony metadata collection program — a wide net that could find and isolate gossamer contacts among suspected terrorists in an ocean of seemingly disconnected data,' he said."

Comment Re:Enough (Score 5, Informative) 224

There are whistle blower laws that would have protected him if he'd played by the rules. He chose to make a martyr out of himself.

Fool. That isn't how whistleblower laws work, not even in theory, let alone practice, especially in the intelligence industry.

And he did try to play by the rules; his superiors made it abundantly clear to him (repeatedly so) that his opinion on the matter was not solicited, and furthermore, endangered his career.

It's getting old hearing the same story day after day.

Until naive, delusional fools like yourself can't see the problem we're facing, it should be repeated constantly and continuously until you get the fucking message.

Communications

Embedded SIM Design Means No More Swapping Cards 192

judgecorp writes "A new remotely-programmable embedded SIM design from the GSMA operators' group means that devices can be operated on the Internet of things and won't have to be opened up to have their SIM card changed if they move to a different operator. The design could speed up embedded applications."

Comment Re:kWh/day is stupid. (Score 2) 424

The average PC draws around 50-200W idle.

And as you said, this is more or less what the author found, except that he apparently has no idea how to convert kW/h per hour into watts. And for some reason, he's using lightbulbs as a yardstick, and not a PC... which is, after all, basically what is running on the tesla 24/7

Yes, he's a fucking moron.

Displays

Linux Is a Lemon On the Retina MacBook Pro 780

An anonymous reader writes "It turns out that Linux doesn't work too well on the Apple Retina MacBook Pro. Among the problems are needing special boot parameters to simply boot the Linux kernel, graphics drivers not working, no hybrid graphics support, WiFi requiring special firmware, Thunderbolt troubles, GNOME/Unity/KDE not being optimized for retina displays, and other snafus, including 20% greater power consumption with Linux over OS X. According to Michael Larabel, it will likely not be until early next year when most of the problems are ironed out for a clean 'out of the box' Linux experience on the Retina MacBook Pro."
Math

Ask Slashdot: How Many of You Actually Use Math? 1086

An anonymous reader writes with a question that makes a good follow-on to the claim that mathematics requirements in U.S. schools unnecessarily limit students' educational choices: "I'm a high school student who is interested in a career in a computer science or game development related position. I've been told by teachers and parents that math classes are a must for any technology related career. I've been dabbling around Unity3D and OGRE for about two years now and have been programming for longer than that, but I've never had to use any math beyond trigonometry (which I took as a Freshman). This makes me wonder: will I actually use calculus and above, or is it just a popular idea that you need to be a mathematician in order to program? What are your experiences?"

Comment Re:But ... (Score 1) 846

He was wearing full body armor

No, he wasn't. Check your facts.

He also indiscriminately sprayed fire from high powered automatic weapons

The .223 round isn't high powered, nor was the AR patterned rifle fully automatic.

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