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Comment Re:Not really (Score 1) 111

you haven't seen this yet is because most malware is directed at turning a machine into a zombie

I admit to not reading the article, but this is my concern here. Is mobile malware the same definition?

I have an android phone. Permissions are such I can tell if an app wants "unneeded" permissions in some cases. An (offline, single player) game that needs no permissions, or maybe wants to have "disk access" (save a little game state) sounds safe.

On the other hand, certain apps (gmail, you name it) need lots of permissions for "legitimate" purposes. The problem is, just because an app might have good use for camera or GPS permissions, doesn't mean I can trust it to only read/store/send those values as I expect.

I'm concerned about all the "free" apps that may collect information. I don't (yet anyway) have a good way to know whether they are behaving or not. I just have to trust that they do. And certain things, like my phone number, I can't necessarily just put in fake data for.

There are lots of reports (many exaggerated) that talk about this already happening. I'm not sure to what extent, but I wouldn't doubt I've been "victimized" and just don't know it. If 2011 is the year I find out the hard way, I'm can't say it will be all that surprising.

But yeah, I don't see "regular" (desktop) malware getting substantially worse on mobile in a short time frame.

I'm not sure there's an easy fix for this either. Java applets allowed much more fine grained permissions, and it sucked ("Yes to all"). I think android is better, but I still want a way to override and (to the extent I trust the OS) have the OS enforce it.

Comment Re:Well then, CHANGE the law. (Score 1) 515

In my state (Maryland) the law is already correct (but could be better I suppose). The problem is a (county) prosecutor can still try to bring charges, even if they won't stick, as happened with the motorcycle rider.

The "no-tax freaks" may not have accomplished much. I think it's too early to judge. But paying taxes is something everyone would like to avoid, but only the very rich are able to do.

Can we even boil this down to "no-tax freak" or "police accountability party" or something that sounds better than "anti-cop freaks"?

I don't want to pay taxes is simple. Recording the police is a little more nuanced.

Comment Re:High school math versus college math (Score 1) 266

Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I didn't search, I just filtered. The #2 advanced result for slashdot is the robots.txt file.


It does seem like $20 words do well, but "collision" comes up a lot in slashdot discussions (hashing and such), probably less so (or in the car crash sense) for celebrity watcher sites. Advanced is rather subjective.

Comment Re:Success (Score 1) 349

I wish I could say I think you are wrong. Best I can do is hope you are wrong.

The expense and risk are tricky. One things bombs have going for them is a track record. They may not always achieve your goals, but you have more history to look at.

The history here isn't good. As a software developer, I wish people wouldn't "do that" as it's a PITA to code against. People will do that, and it helps to keep me employed.

Long term, will black hats consistently win over white hats, even with things like nuclear energy? So much so that bombs become ineffective?

As an american, software developer or not, I'm not sure that's in my long term interests.

Comment Re:Check, But Not Mate (Score 3, Insightful) 342

No wonder efforts to open Java stalled out a couple years ago, because along comes Google, who's willing to leverage every strength of Java, borne on Sun's back, and take it away without giving back, by walking some fine line of the letter of the law, while ignoring the spirit of the law, which is that if a company drops billions of dollars into a technology, and is trying to sell it (JavaME), they should be compensated. Why didn't Google simply make their own technology from the ground up? Because they received tremendous value from taking it. Was that not worth some compensation?

I would say they did make their own technology from the ground up, as much as Sun did anyway. Android is not compatible with JavaME, you can have floats, there's no CLDC. Android is open source, how is Google not giving back?

Sun didn't drop billions on JavaME. Java itself was open (at least to an extent) that was the spirit of the "law". Google ignored the ME part of the blueprint when building their own house, which me to removes any obligation to pay for it.

Certainly Java is a fine language. But it built on the state of art at the time, not from a void. Android does the same. Isn't Java just a "proprietary copy of a more open platform, with a few tweaks, and a cynical dodge of paying for it"?

I still don't understand what you think Google is supposed to pay for. JavaME license? Certainly Google didn't invent computers, programming or phones (and neither did Sun). Who was Sun supposed to pay for the progress they took advantage of?

It's not that I don't understand how Google benefited or how Sun contributed. I just don't understand what business model you expect.

Comment Re:Check, But Not Mate (Score 3, Informative) 342

Why is more free, Java or Dalvik?

Dalvik, because Oracle has sued over Java and not the other way around. At least, that's one way to look at it. Dalvik is apache licensed.

Can you download and use Dalvik on your desktop or server? Is it completely open source?

Yes, you could download and run it on a PC (the SDK which includes an emulator is available for Linux, Mac and Windows). If you want to boot directly into android, google doesn't provide that, but see http://www.android-x86.org/. As far as I know it's completely open source.

Or is it just a proprietary copy of a more open platform, with a few tweaks, and a cynical dodge of paying for it?

This is the part I don't understand. Pay for what?

The JVM they aren't using? The implementation of the core classes from apache? The android stuff they did themselves? What are they supposed to be paying oracle (or sun) for?

Oracle would probably prefer that Google had used J2ME and would pay fees. But they didn't choose J2ME. Oracle would probably prefer that Google had licensed the JVM. But they didn't, they wrote their own.

Comment Re:This is good (Score 1) 527

We want to improve citizens productivity and their willingness to work

I disagree on this point. We (or at least I) want to improve quality of life. That's not exactly the same as productivity.

I'm having trouble finding clear information on alcohol use before, during, and after prohibition. Most sources seem to say basically alcohol use was in decline prior to prohibition, usage during prohibition is unclear due to the illegality but may have gone up, and went back to about pre-prohibition levels afterward.

Given my luck finding a clear reference on alcohol usage, I'm not even going to attempt to find quality of life data. I will say fundamentally I don't think "opening the door to Marijuana is actually quite stupid". I'm not the least convinced usage will go up significantly, much less that it will lead to significantly lower productivity or quality of life in this country.

Are we really going to increase tax revenue by locking up pot smokers? Was quality of life or productivity really increased by prohibition of alcohol?

Comment Re:Drupal hell. (Score 1) 65

I find drupal a bit difficult to work with ("hell" if you wish).

I think my two areas of concern are:

Moving target - drupal changes a fair amount in a short amount of time. This is all relative of course, I'm primarily used to working with in house proprietary CMSes. An example would be the Form API which is nice, but changed too much between drupal 5 and drupal 6 for my preference. Or perhaps there are just too many alternate ways to do things with (for me) no good defined best practices. Whatever the primary cause, I feel like I'm still struggling with over 2 years of drupal development.

Web framework vs complete CMS - if drupal was just a framework I think things might be easier. We have pretty customized requirements such that drupal + contrib modules + css doesn't come close. Yet drupal is designed to be customized in large part through various admin screens (e.g. views). So often the default behavior seems to get in the way, something that must be reconciled with, but doesn't help much. Version control is more difficult with so much stored in the database (I'm curious how others deal with this).

Overall drupal is a PITA for me over the proprietary system it (sort of, 2 sites converted) replaced. Some people clearly like it and I think if I had more generic requirements I would too (drupal does seem pretty decent vs wordpress, joomla or other CMSes). Or perhaps if I could just say "if you want that, go ahead and do that in the admin then". As it stands, I feel like drupal is costing me more time than it is saving me, and thus the learning curve doesn't seem worth it.

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