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Comment Re:Developer=Engineer (Score 1) 465

Commenting to remove accidental redundant moderation. It's right next to "Insightful".

Sorry!

Since I'm here -- I've always though that the "hardware is cheap, programmers are expensive" position presented a false dichotomy: a choice between achieving passable performance through good design, versus optimizing for developer efficiency. Efficient use of resources and ease of development are not mutually exclusive.

Comment Re:Java, Java, Java, Java, (Score 1) 136

Modern mobile devices have fast CPUs yet very limited RAM. And no swap.

They have faster CPUs than they used to. The CPUs are still not "fast".

I spent the last week implementing, profiling, and improving up disk-backed image caching with a front-end LRU memory cache for the iPhone, and experimenting with offloading batch image processing off to a OpenGL FBO. Doing image interpolation while scaling is so expensive on the iPhone's relatively fast CPU that it's absolutely necessary for me to cache thumbnails.

The cache implementations themselves had to be highly optimized in order to pull images off disk fast enough to run inside of a tight animation loop, while also supporting a background thread rendering of not-yet-cached thumbnail images and saving to the disk cache.

I can't even fathom writing this in Python. Any spare CPU I have, I put to good use -- there's absolutely none available to spend on a slow interpreter, even for non "performance critical" parts. If there's a non-performance critical code path, then I can always use any available CPU time to do more background work and achieve better perceived UI performance.

Image

Bottom of The Barrel Book Reviews-Confessions of a Recovering Preppie Screenshot-sm 228

An anonymous reader writes "Michael de Mare's, Confessions of a Recovering Preppie, has been sitting on my desk a long time, for good reason. They say you can't always judge a book by it's cover but in this case, the unintentionally embarrassing front is perfect. Confessions is a painfully ordinary collection of college stories. Michael seems to have a different definition for the word preppie than the good people at Webster or I do. Even though the author specializes in cryptography, he seems unable to decipher any social situation, himself or the code to writing a book worth reading. Click below to see how confusing it gets.
Mozilla

Firefox SSL-Certificate Debate Rages On 733

BobB-nw points out the ever more raucous debate over the way Firefox 3 handles self-signed certificates. The scary browser warnings have affected a number of legitimate sites (such as Google AdWords and LinkedIn) that didn't renew certs in time. Lauren Weinstein loudly called attention to the problem early in July. "If you visit a website with either an expired or a self-signed SSL certificate, Firefox 3 will not show that page at all. Instead it will display an error message... To get past this error page, users have to go through four different steps before they can access the website, which from a usability standpoint is far from ideal. This way of handling websites with expired or self-signed SSL certificates is bound to scare away a lot of inexperienced users, no matter how legitimate the website is."
Encryption

When Is a Self-Signed SSL Certificate Acceptable? 627

UltraLoser writes "When is it acceptable to encourage users to accept a self-signed SSL cert? Recently the staff of a certain Web site turned on optional SSL with a self-signed and domain-mismatched certificate for its users and encourages them to add an exception for this certificate. Their defense is that it is just as secure as one signed by a commercial CA; and because their site exists for the distribution of copyrighted material the staff do not want to have their personal information in the hands of a CA. In their situation is it acceptable to encourage users to trust this certificate or is this giving users a false sense of security?"
Politics

Ralph Nader Might Announce Run For President 333

SonicSpike writes "According to the AP, Ralph Nader could be poised for another presidential campaign. Nader will appear on NBC's 'Meet the Press' tomorrow to announce whether he will launch another White House bid. Nader kicked off his 2004 presidential run on the show. Kevin Zeese, who was Nader's spokesman during the 2004 presidential race said, 'Obviously, I don't think Meet the Press host Tim Russert would have him on for no reason.'"
Technology

MIT Offers City Car for the Masses 290

MIT's stackable electric car, a project to improve urban transportation will make its debut this week in Milan. "The City Car, a design project under way at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is envisioned as a two-seater electric vehicle powered by lithium-ion batteries. It would weigh between 1,000 and 1,200 pounds and could collapse, then stack like a shopping cart with six to eight fitting into a typical parking space. It isn't just a car, but is designed as a system of shared cars with kiosks at locations around a city or small community."
Utilities (Apple)

Submission + - Adium code forked over Leopard Dispute (livejournal.com)

admiralfrijole writes: Earlier this week, several people opened tickets against Adium crashes occurring in the latest Leopard Beta, which started a veritable firestorm of controversy that included discussions of GPL violations, disabling features, and quite a spat across no less than 3 different IRC channels.

Today, one of the people who filed a ticket and was told that it would not be fixed until Leopard ships announced on his blog that he, and several other unnamed individuals, have forked Adium to create A.org.

The Internet

Best Buy Acquires SpeakEasy 285

spazimodo writes "From the announcement e-mail from Speakeasy CEO Bruce Chatterley: 'I am pleased to announce that Speakeasy has been acquired by Best Buy, an innovative and growing Fortune 100 company and the top consumer electronics retailer in North America. This is a significant milestone for our company as our new relationship will help us realize our goals of becoming the No. 1 provider of voice and data solutions to small businesses. It is important to note that though Speakeasy will now be a wholly owned subsidiary of Best Buy, we will continue to operate as a standalone, independent operating division with headquarters in Seattle.' As a longtime Speakeasy customer, it's too bad to see their business moving in this direction. Back in the day when I called up their support with a problem, and mentioned I was using an OpenBSD box as a firewall/gateway the response was: 'cool!' — slightly different from the response Comcast or Verizon would give. I can't imagine they'll be able to maintain that independence, and there's no way I'm paying a premium for Internet service to Best Buy."
Security

Wordpress 2.1.1 Release Compromised by Cracker 48

GrumpySimon writes "The recent 2.1.1 release of the popular blog software Wordpress was compromised by a cracker who made it easier for to execute code remotely. This is interesting because the official release was quietly and subtly compromised, and has been in the wild for a few days now. There's no word on if any affected sites have been compromised, but anyone running Wordpress is urged to upgrade to 2.1.2 immediately, and admins can check their logs for access to 'theme.php' or 'feed.php', and query strings with 'ix=' or 'iz=' in them."
Windows

Submission + - Windows Vista keygen is a hoax

An anonymous reader writes: The author of the Windows Vista keygen that was reported yesterday on Slashdot has admitted that the program does not actually work. Here is the initial announcement of the original release of the keygen, and here is the followup post in which the same author acknowledges that the program is fake. Apparently, the keygen program does legitimately attack Windows Vista keys via brute force, but the chances of success are too low for this to be a practical method. Quote from the author: "everyone who said they got a key a probably lying or mistaken!"
Science

Reflectivity Reaches a New Low 166

sporkme writes "A new nanocoating material developed by a team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has the lowest level of reflectivity ever seen ... or not seen in this case. The amount of light reflected by the composite of silica nanorods and aluminum nitride is almost the same amount reflected by air. From the article: 'Schubert and his coworkers have created a material with a refractive index of 1.05, which is extremely close to the refractive index of air and the lowest ever reported. Window glass, for comparison, has a refractive index of about 1.45. Using a technique called oblique angle deposition, the researchers deposited silica nanorods at an angle of precisely 45 degrees on top of a thin film of aluminum nitride, which is a semiconducting material used in advanced light-emitting diodes (LEDs). From the side, the films look much like the cross section of a piece of lawn turf with the blades slightly flattened.' Suggested applications include increased efficiency in solar cells, more energy-efficient lighting and advances in quantum mechanics."
Data Storage

Disk Drive Failures 15 Times What Vendors Say 284

jcatcw writes "A Carnegie Mellon University study indicates that customers are replacing disk drives more frequently than vendor estimates of mean time to failure (MTTF) would require.. The study examined large production systems, including high-performance computing sites and Internet services sites running SCSI, FC and SATA drives. The data sheets for the drives indicated MTTF between 1 and 1.5 million hours. That should mean annual failure rates of 0.88%, annual replacement rates were between 2% and 4%. The study also shows no evidence that Fibre Channel drives are any more reliable than SATA drives."
Education

Princeton ESP Lab to Close 363

Nico M writes " The New York Times reports on the imminent closure of one of the most controversial research units at an ivy league School. The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory is due to close, but not because of pressure from the outside. Lab founder Robert G. Jahn has declared, in the article, that they've essentially collected all the data they're going to. The laboratory has conducted studies on extrasensory perception and telekinesis from its cramped quarters in the basement of the university's engineering building since 1979. Its equipment is aging, its finances dwindling. Jahn points the finger at detractors as well: 'If people don't believe us after all the results we've produced, then they never will.'"

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