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Comment detached robotic torture (Score 1) 146

From TFA:

Robots can monitor vital signs of interrogated suspects, as well as a human doctor can. They could also administer injections and even inflict pain in a more controlled way, free from malice and prejudices

This is a terrible (human) atrocity.
This is humans renouncing their humanity, by trying to get as far as possible from the victims of their actions through robots and drones, thous avoiding the moral responsibility. Horror.

Comment a mirror of stack overflow users, nothing else (Score 2, Insightful) 185

"Suprisingly, JavaScript turned out to be the most 'over-represented' language on StackOverflow, [...]
Could this also be because programming JavaScript is generally quite difficult and will result in people seeking help more often?

I think that JavaScript is also used by people that do not understand it very well, and they are more likely to resort to the kind of help that this website provides.

Following this was C# (which I had expected to be number 1), at 153%. After this, PHP, Ruby and Python were basically fairly balanced at around 100%. The most 'under-represented' major language would definitely be C at 11%.

I am a C programmer and do not need help from this "stack overflow" web site.
My references are the C programming language standards and the single UNIX specification.

Comment duckduckgo (Score 1) 397

I am giving duckduckgo a try, they seem to be better at giving you the results for what you actually typed in.
They also say (who knows if that's true), that they do not track searches, and do not keep records.

https://www.duckduckgo.com/

I had it as the default search engine in firefox for about a week now, it seems to work fine.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/duck-duck-go-ssl-search-plugin/

A couple searches did not give me the result I was looking for, so I used the feedback link, and they got in touch with me very quickly, and they fixed the problem (as it turns out, there was a wrong link on wikipedia which they valued too much).

Comment 404 Not found for most of the links on kernel.org (Score 1) 94

sh-3.1$ wget http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v3.0/ChangeLog-3.0.4
--2011-10-06 12:41:23-- http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v3.0/ChangeLog-3.0.4
Resolving www.kernel.org... 149.20.4.69
Connecting to www.kernel.org|149.20.4.69|:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 404 Not Found
2011-10-06 12:41:23 ERROR 404: Not Found.

Comment Re:Definitely slowed ... (Score 1) 148

Moore's law is about transistors, and no, the 3 year old cpu is not "the samesame as today".
But the experienced performance gains now are much slower, and much more workload-dependent than back in the day.

And back in the day, more MhZ _was_ the (main) way to increase processor performance.
You could feel the incredible yet predictable pace at which that happened, and suddently you had to upgrade, since the 3 year old cpu could not keep up with newer software anymore. This is less the case today.

Comment Re:doubt it (Score 1) 148

Yes, GEM was also included with my Amstrad PC-1512 here in Italy.
The PC also came with MS-DOS 3.20.

Both GEM and Windows were completely useless at the time, as there were no useful apps (=games and programming tools).

The Amstrad 1512 also had a special graphics mode, 640x200x16 colors that was not compatible with any of the graphic standards of the time [Hercules, TGA (Tandy), CGA, EGA]. That special graphics mode was supported only by GEM. But it was pointless, since there were no apps. GEM Paint was the only program I remember where I could use the 16 colors on screen that were advertised in the magazine-ads.

At the time, I looked up at the Amstrad 1640 as the "perfect" computer, with 640K RAM and an EGA adapter (this time, 16 colors on screen _for real!_).

Good times...

Comment TFA: a rebuttal (Score 1) 594

Did Ken, Dennis, and Brian choose wrong with NUL-terminated text strings?

The author of TFA does not like that choice for the C system programming language.
But tries to demonstrate that it is an objectively "wrong" choice with weak and plain false arguments.

The hardware development cost argument is weak. The fastest CPUs around have a very rich instruction set. It maybe hacky and ugly but where is the evidence of a noticeable burden on CPU performance or cost due to the additional instructions to handle 0 in the input? And they are pretty handy instructions anyway.

The compiler argument is uninformed about how compilers work, and are permitted to work by the C standard. There is simply nothing there.

The gets(3) argument does not have anything to do with the NUL-terminated strings.
It has to do with the fact that gets is for most uses a broken API that should seldom if ever be used.

The FreeBSD libc bcopy/memcpy argument is plain false.
If the program is correct C, there is no "unwarranted page not present" fault.
One can do mistakes by mixing memcpy and C Strings if one is not careful, but it's exactly the same with any attempt to read past the end of an array.
If the confused author is trying to copy C Strings around, he can use the C String functions.

TFA speaks more about the ignorance of the author than the value of the NUL-terminated string choice for the C programming langugage, which can still be debated, but not on these grounds.

Comment Flash gaming for Linux is Opera-only now (Score 1) 188

Lets see if they fixed flash gaming.
Currently the only browser for Linux where flash gaming still works is Opera.
firefox broke it in the name of "integration" with the new flash API (firefox 4 + flash 10.3),
by putting every local state together in the same "cookie" setting, thereby
_destroying every flash saved game during my upgrade from firefox 3.x to firefox 4_.
The same insanity was in google chrome, so lets see if they did it right this time
(ie separating web cookies from flash local shared objects, and providing different settings for both

nope, it's still broken. Also, the "cookie exception" patterns do not help much since there is no way to remove all cookies at the end of the session for everything BUT a certain domain.

So flash gaming for Linux is on Opera only now. Lets hope the Opera guys don't copy this horrid "feature" from chrome/firefox.

Role Playing (Games)

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Announced for November 2011 231

Bethesda took advantage of the Video Game Awards this weekend to announce the fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls series, titled Skyrim. The game is planned for November 2011, and a teaser trailer has been posted on the Elder Scrolls website. Details are sparse, though the game will apparently run on an "all-new" engine.

Comment Re:my wishlist (Score 1) 159

3. "Nice" for bandwidth. It would be great if there was a command similar to "nice", which acts not on cpu-cycles but instead on bandwidth.

This one is since a long time in my wishlist too.
Some tc and iptables magic can realize this (traffic shaping), but the nice/renice metaphor would be easier and make more sense.

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