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Comment Re:Why the Spectrum? (Score 1) 42

I believe that the Spectrum hardware was very similar to the ZX81, with the (rather horrible) colour support and more RAM the only big differences. I say this because, decades later, someone managed to port the Spectrum ROM image to the ZX81, giving compatibility with at least some Spectrum software: https://groups.google.com/foru...

Comment XML external entities (Score 1) 18

I think it's a flaw in some XML or XSLT libraries that DTD expansion and external entity resolution is either on by default, or in some cases, cannot be turned off. It also opens up attack vectors for XML injection using xsl:include, where if an attacker can provide the XSLT he can also read arbitrary file contents. It would make more sense for the default XML mode to not allow fetching any external content, and you have to set a 'trusted' flag in the API to turn on the magic.

Comment Re: Not "continuously" in the geek sense of the wo (Score 2) 137

"an old microchannel PC" - so relatively fancy in fact. The quality and reliability of IBM's Micro Channel machines (and their small number of licensees) was a notch or two above the typical AT clones of the time. In particular they were designed with some attention to airflow and cooling, rather than just a box with a fan in it, so would be more likely to survive a dust-covered existence.

Comment Re: Unfortunately no and I have a reason (Score 1) 381

It reminds me of Anthony Burgess's novel A Clockwork Orange. He realized that any real-world slang would soon become out of date so he invented his own slang language, Nadsat, for the characters to speak. Of course, this can be taken too far, where the made-up language comes to dominate the work with the story being an afterthought. Like some of JRR Tokien's works, for example. In fact you could say that TAOCP is the LOTR of computer science.

Comment Re: Unfortunately no and I have a reason (Score 1) 381

See what Joel Spolsky wrote:

If you show a nonprogrammer a screen which has a user interface which is 100% beautiful, they will think the program is almost done.

People who aren't programmers are just looking at the screen and seeing some pixels. And if the pixels look like they make up a program which does something, they think "oh, gosh, how much harder could it be to make it actually work?"

Government

Largest Auto-Scandal Settlement In US History: Judge Approves $15 Billion Volkswagen Settlement (usatoday.com) 128

A federal just has approved the largest auto-scandal settlement in U.S. history, a $14.7 billion settlement concerning Volkswagen Group's diesel car emissions scandal. USA Today reports: U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco approved the sweeping agreement between consumers, the government, California regulators and the German automaker in a written ruling a week after signaling he was likely to sign off. He said the agreement is "fair, reasonable and adequate." The settlement comes about a year after Volkswagen admitted that it rigged 11 million vehicles worldwide with software designed to dodge emissions standards. The company is still facing criminal investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and German prosecutors. The U.S. probe could lead to additional financial penalties and criminal indictments. About 475,000 Volkswagen owners in the U.S. can choose between a buyback or a free fix and compensation, if a repair becomes available. VW will begin administering the settlement immediately, having already devoted several hundred employees to handling the process. Buybacks range in value from $12,475 to $44,176, including restitution payments, and varying based on milage. People who opt for a fix approved by the Environmental Protection Agency will receive payouts ranging from $5,100 to $9,852, depending on the book value of their car. Volkswagen will also pay $2.7 billion for environmental mitigation and another $2 billion for clean-emissions infrastructure.

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