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Comment It was to half-assed to have a future (Score 2) 211

After all, Microsoft and the DOS community messed up to many points badly. For example the "driver" concept was basically unused. Few people ran ansi.sys because it meant sacrificing a ridiculous amount of RAM. That's why most software had to access the hardware directly, even for primitive things like coloured text.
Also there was the problem of not having a compiler coming with the operating system which meant that there was no free software movement. People actually sent out binary files. So every software was restricted to a narrow band of hardware.

Essentially there is now the need for a "new DOS". It would run on hardware like STM32-class microcontrollers which have (much) less than a megabyte of RAM and no memory management.You'd start off with decent lightweight hardware abstraction, then add a file system as well as simple version of the usual UNIX tools. Once you have an editor and a shell you'll have a decently working system which can be used for all kinds of things.

Comment Re:Explanation is bogus (Score 1) 348

There are still 4 bit microcontrollers. Even if you can get a C compiler, the limitations will be so severe most of the time just writing assembler directly will be a _lot_ less work.

Also certain things like "long arithmetic" are actually simpler in Assembler. Or just try to add 2 1024 bit numbers in C. It's surprisingly difficult. On Assembler you can simply use the carry flags.

Comment Assembler is good for certain things (Score 3, Interesting) 348

First of all, many, if not most, computers run software so trivial on microcomputers so small, installing a compiler for them would just be _way_ more effort than to just code to program in C. Typical examples are the microcontrollers in electric toothbrushes or other smaller embedded systems. It's hard to get your software running on a 4 bit microcontroller as modern C makes assumptions like having your memory addressible at a byte level.

Then there is another, in my opinion more important, point. Assembler is a great teaching aid. It shows you what the computer actually does. Understanding things like pointers is trivial in Assembler so you can learn a lot from it. Also in Assembler every control structure hurts, as you need to keep track of it yourself. This nudges you towards writing simpler code, away from thousands of nested if statements and functions with hundreds of lines. Those are desirable traits in all programming languages.

No language is suitable for everything, but most languages have at least one are where they are really useful.

Submission + - systemd starts killing your background processes by default ( 1

nautsch writes: systemd changed a default value in logind.conf to "yes", which will kill all your processes, when you log out. And as always: It's not a bug, it's a feature. Translated from the german source: "Bug of the day: systemd kills background processes on logout". There is already a bug-report over at debian: Debian bug tracker (link also from the source)

Comment Networks never can be secure (Score 1) 143

A network will always be able to mess with your data. Trusting in the security of a network is stupid. It used to be a theoretical threat, but now we know that organizations like the NSA sniff everything they get.

The Internet has taught us that we must always use end-to-end encryption. That's why, unlike the phone network, a big percentage of data is secure. The phone network is one of those networks that are considered to be "secure". In reality it's very likely that most phone calls, and particularly their "metadata", will be recorded. In fact many phone companies record the "metadata" in order to be able to send you a bill.

Comment Well we have already dealt with that problem... (Score 1) 414

At least in a minor form. We could now have 20 hour workweeks, yet we have chosen to go down the path of "Bullshit Jobs". Those are Jobs that serve no productive use and are just there to keep people occupied. Typical examples are certain types of marketing executives and middle management people, others are badly educated engineers which do not know how to solve problems and are not in a situation where they could ever learn that. The effect is that you have huge numbers of people working all day accomplishing nothing.

Comment Uhm... No... (Score 1) 100

First of all it's a bit misleading when we are talking about software here. Technically it is, but actually it's more like a parameter set the actual software is working on. The actual software is the same for many companies and written by Bosch.

Dubious parameters have been used by other companies before. One example is BMW motorcycles.

If you want to get some information with some credibility, watch this talk:

Those people have reverse-engineered the software and the parameter set... and they have done actual real-life tests to verify that.

Comment Let's start with a better proposal (Score 1) 263

Let's first ban all forms of DRM so that I can easily just watch my BluRay disks or copy them to harddisk without having to go through dubious providers.

Once DRM is gone and piracy therefore has dropped considerably as you can simply pay for DRM-free copies on the Internet, we can talk about hunting "pirates".

The MPAA has to understand that their 1970s business models of "renting cartivision tapes" just can't coexist with a computerized digital world where making copies is trivial.

Comment Probably not much different to today (Score 1) 279

I mean seriously, there is nothing paradigm shifting on the horizon. Yes people may now use graphical tools to write GUI applications, but they did so since Visual Basic and Delphi, both of which were originally released in the first half of the 1990s.

There will always be specialized systems for special applications, but none of those are suitable for general consumption.

Comment The manufacturers of those devices should be... (Score 1) 108

... required to pay for all of the damages caused by their stupidity.

Seriously this could only work if you connected medical devices (incompetently) to a network. It could only work if you used some completely overcomplex operating system with far more features than you need.

Comment Some projects may actually have to much money (Score 1) 68

And Mozilla is probably one of the best examples. They used to make a browser, now they implement every miss feature they can find, from DRM over HTTP/2 to binary Javascript.
Instead of saying, "We want a simpler web", they just continue on with layer after layer of complexity, making it harder for competitors to write their own browsers.

Of course they also do great stuff like investing into codec research, however they more and more behave like any big company.

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As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie