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Comment Re:Yes, deleted files are (sometimes) recoverable (Score 2) 56

writing once is enough. It's an urban myth that you have to do it more than once to obliterate the data. Manybe with old 10megabyte RLL and MFM drives you could easily recover information as the head was miles wide and the slop from the track move was insane enough that you cna easily see it. bot for the past 10 years a single wipe of zeros will make it impossible for the worlds best hackers to read the data on a modern hard drive.

Comment Re: Ionizing radiation linked to circulatory disea (Score 2) 155

That is easy to get a larger sample.

Pack all the politicians in Congress and who are currently running for positions and launch them into space. We can check on them in a few years.

Plus it will solve a HUGE problem down here at the same time.... It's a WIN-WIN!

Comment RSS is broken (Score 1) 101

Can't just replace kat.cr with kickass.cd, the RSS feed facility is badly broken.

RSS feeds seems to work at the top-level categories, but you can't turn your search results into an RSS feed anymore... Still got the RSS icon at the top of the page and in the META so your browser bar shows it. But both just show the same old HTML page instead of an RSS page:

e.g. http://kickass.cd/usearch/test...

Comment Re:Nothing of value was lost (Score 2) 39

Replacing Usenet with 8 million different web forums that I have to register with individually and use a different interface to read is not an improvement.

You don't have to visit any web forums to read them. Nearly every site has an RSS feed, and those which don't can be scraped and converted into RSS with something like Feed43.com.

I would HATE using my smart phone to read the news if it wasn't for RSS. /.'s mobile site is the single worst piece of crap I've ever seen. But with RSS I'm fortunately able to read any and every site out there, in a uniform "eBook"-like format.

You can read my RSS tips here:

http://evilviper.pipedot.org/j...

Comment Re:dark patterns huh? (Score 1) 120

Is it any wonder that UX designers are getting a horrible reputation among some segments of the tech-savvy crowd?

The main reason for this is that people who self-describe as UX experts, as opposed to HCI experts, tend to be the ones that favour form over function and ignore the last 40 or so years of research into how to design useable interfaces. Most of them wouldn't know Fitts' Law if it dragged them to the corner of the screen and made them infinitely long.

Comment Re:How do you regression test that stuff? (Score 1) 307

There isn't much testing of the C bindings. They're also in the process of being deprecated in favour of machine-generated ones that are less API stable and have no ABI stability guarantees (precisely because most people don't actually use them from C, they use them from some other language with C bindings). For everything else, there's a bit regression test suite that works by feeding some code (source code when testing clang, IR or assembly when testing bits of LLVM) into one of the tools and then checking that the output matches. Bugs still slip in quite easily, unfortunately. The second tier of tests involves compiling and running a bunch of benchmarks and similar sample code and checking that they haven't got slower (by a statistically significant margin) and that they still produce the right answers. There's a network of buildbots that runs on a variety of operating systems and architectures that first builds and runs the regression test suite on every commit and then (less frequently) runs the executable tests. These catch most regressions, but not all - the rest are caught by users testing betas and filing bug reports.

There's been a lot of research work on improving this. The LLVM Miscompilation Detector, for example, had a semantic model of LLVM IR and would feed real and randomly-generated IR through the optimisation pipeline and then use a theorem prover to attempt to prove that the semantics of the before and after versions were the same. This could then be combined with the LLVM bugpoint tool to find the optimisation pass that performed an invalid transform.

Comment Re:As a C programmer (Score 1) 307

It's a tradeoff. Blowing away the i-cache is a good way of killing performance, but so is having a load of function calls that do almost no work. If you had to do a virtual method call for comparing two unsigned integers and a different virtual function call for comparing two signed integers when inserting them into a set then you'd have a lot more overhead. In a typical std::set implementation, the compare operations are inlined and so the costs are very low.

The real problem with C++ is that the programmer has to make the decision about whether to use static or dynamic dispatch up front and the syntax for both is very different, so you can't trivially switch between them when it makes sense to do so.

Comment Re:The Theater Experience (Score 1) 328

Exactly. I bought a fairly decent set of speakers, a projector, and a DVD player for a total of around £450 in 2003. Back then, a ticket at my local cinema cost £4.50 (it's gone up), so roughly the same as going to the cinema 100 times. Popcorn was another £4 or so (drinks another £2-3), so that brought it down to about 50 trips - one a week for a year. I split the cost of the projector with my housemates back then and we'd have friends bring a DVD and food / beer around. By the end of the year, it had more or less paid for itself. One of my housemates bought the other shares in the projector when he moved and I bought a new one and have replaced the bulb once, so I've spent a total of about £500 (plus electricity) over a period of 13 years. The up-front cost was a lot higher, but over 13 years it's been cheaper than going to the cinema once a month and not having anything to eat / drink there. And that's just the cost for me: for the first few years when living with housemates and for the last few living with my partner the benefits have been shared by multiple people. Oh, and we get to watch TV shows in the same environment.

I stopped buying DVDs for a while because renting was a lot cheaper, but as BluRay and streaming start to see adoption the second-hand market is flooded with DVDs so it's easy to pick up a film for £1 or a season of a TV show for £3-5.

The real answer to piracy? Give people the product that they want for a reasonable price. Give me a service that let's me download DRM-free movies in a standard format that will work on the FreeBSD media centre box connected to my projector, my Mac laptop, my old WebOS tablet and my new iPad and I'll happily hand over money. Until then, I'll stick to DVDs.

Comment Re:The Theater Experience (Score 1) 328

Right, because old people are the ones that have good hearing. I had a similar experience the last time I went to a cinema. Sound settings so ludicrous that any base drowned out people talking and caused distortion in the speakers. I've not been to the cinema near where I live now, but they've just done a big refurbishment that ended up with a quarter the seating space that they had before. Apparently it's doing pretty well (people like the big comfy seats), but a apparently decade ago it was able to sell out most of the screens on a regular basis. Now they always have empty seats, even with a quarter the capacity.

Comment Re:Hatchet jobs aside (Score 1) 396

I look into the witness guy's background, he has UK security clearance FFS!

Having UK security clearance is not that hard. I did for a while (though it's long-since lapsed). Anyone who works on any defence-related project is likely to have security clearance. Remember when Snowden released all of the things he could access and it turned out that over a million people in the USA had security clearance? The UK isn't that much more restrictive in who it hands our clearance to.

Comment Re:Which version of C would you use? (Score 1) 307

C11 threads are also a horrible API full of mistakes that other threading libraries learned from and fixed two decades ago. It exists solely because someone thought that you can't have atomics in a language without a mechanism in the standard library for creating threads. C++11 threads are actually quite sensible. The only significant addition in C11 is the addition of a half-arsed port of C++11 atomics (right down to accidentally including a joke footnote from the C++11 draft spec that was removed before the C++11 spec was finalised). _Generic is vaguely useful.

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