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Comment Re:So why continue it... (Score 5, Informative) 665

The point of using control-alt-delete is that it's a key combination that can not be caught by any userspace process that does not have a special permission. This means that it's impossible to spoof the login screen on Windows without already having compromised the kernel. It doesn't matter what the key combination is, as long as it's one that is not delivered by the normal keypress event delivery mechanisms. Control-alt-delete is a reasonable choice, because no application author is likely to complain that they can't use this shortcut combination.

Comment Re:Oh good grief. (Score 1) 254

And what's the difference between that and

FOR i = 0 TO 9
PRINT i

Or

0 to: 9 do: [ :x | Transcript show: x ]

That's right, the difference is syntax and you've picked a terrible example. A better example would be method invocation. The differences between calling a C function pointer, a C++ virtual function, a Java method or an Objective-C method are significant.

Comment I'd rather think... (Score 1) 621

...that there are two kinds of parents. The ones that blame everything from video games to rock music to whatever else they don't understand for whatever their teenage son or daughter fucks up (because it cannot be their fault, no way) and those parents that understand that they, the parents, and their peers have a lot more influence on their kids development than video games, music, TV or whatever other makebelieve items their kids might fall in love with every could have.

Be honest: What do you think would have more influence on you, your behaviour and our outlook on the world? The schoolyard bully that beats you up or the virtual gangster that sells you a virtual hooker?

And then please answer why you think it should be different for your kids. Why do some parents think their kids are stupid? It's usually the parents where I'm fairly sure their kids are way smarter than their parents think. And most likely smarter than their parents are.

Comment Re:poor article summary: reason in the In Serbia m (Score 4, Insightful) 95

That makes sense. I get a couple of 'call for papers' emails a day from dubious journals, often with such broad titles as 'The Journal of Modern Research', so it would be completely impossible for them to rate articles. The research establishment in the UK has tried quite hard over the last decade to counter this 'publish loads of crap' incentive. The old Research Assessment Exercise and the new Research Excellence Framework by which departments are assessed requires a small number (about one per year) of 'research outputs'. These can be high-impact papers, books, and so on, and in computer science can include things like published open source software (which counts as technology transfer if you can point to people using it).

Comment Re:Questions (Score 1) 138

And it's a completely fucked-up policy, because the hoops that a US company needs to jump through to hire an Iranian national are insane. So you end up educating a load of people, then telling them that they're second-class people and sending them back home. Guess how favourably disposed they are to the USA after that...

Comment Re:A pox on both houses. (Score 2) 170

No it isn't. NaCl is a great proof of concept. It shows that you can sandbox x86 apps using some static analysis of the binaries and a few other constraints (it also showed that segmentation support on modern x86 chips is pretty poor and terrible on Atom). The problem is that it only works on x86 binaries. What proportion of Web use these days is (ARM-based) phones and tablets? 20%? If you make something that only works for 80% (and falling) of your customers, then that's a problem.

PNaCl is promising, but it's currently in early draft stage. It hard-codes some things into the ABI too early and misses other important things (e.g. no mechanism for exceptions, and they're very difficult to implement correctly in a PNaCl model). And, unlike NaCl, PNaCl relies on a complex compiler being bug free for security, and we all know how well that worked out for Java...

Comment Re:"standards-based web platform" (Score 1) 170

Yup. It's a pretty horrible API to and has completely insane integration with both event delivery and drawing, which made sense when you were trying to squeeze the last possible bit of performance out of a 33MHz machine without double-buffered graphics but make absolutely no sense now. It definitely does need to be replaced, the problem is getting people to agree on what. Microsoft tried to make ActiveX a replacement, but no one else adopted it. The only reason NPAPI still survives is that it's the only way of making a plugin that all of the major browsers support. Maybe now Chrome market share is enough that they can make all of the plugin makers implement a new API. Or maybe plugins just aren't as important anymore...

Comment Re:Poor NASA (Score 1) 106

Give it time, give it time. Nobody considered the oil sands a commercially viable source of oil, then the barrel hit the 120s and suddenly it is.

We just have to wait until the barrel hits the 1000s. Which is far from unlikely, since we so vehemently avoid looking for an alternative to oil. After all, pretty much anyone who could decide to look has an interest that we don't.

Comment Re: and so meanwhile... (Score 1) 245

My guess is that you weren't using Windows. On most *NIX platforms, installing either was pretty trivial. On Windows, however, MySQL had a point-and-click installer years before PostgreSQL worked reliably on the platform. For web developers working on Windows, this meant that if they wanted to install the same DB on their dev machine as on their deployment system, MySQL was a clear winner.

Comment Re:Too late (Score 4, Informative) 219

Your metric will end up with no computer books being available. It took about 2 days between my last book being published and it being possible to find pirate copies online, and yet people are still buying it so obviously some people would rather have the dead-tree edition, and I suspect that most of those would happily buy it at a fraction of the price in a charity shop...

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