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Comment Re:The reason I hate WordPress is PHP. (Score 1) 119

IIRC, early php inherited some features from Perl, including logic to convert scalars to numbers I'm guessing.

Perl has the same subtle problem, but at least you'll hear about it if you follow best practice and enable warnings:

$ perl -lwe 'print(int("123test"))'
Argument "123test" isn't numeric in int at -e line 1.


Submission + - Bunnie Huang's "Hacking The Xbox" Released As Free PDF

McD writes: Andrew "Bunnie" Huang, in conjunction with his publisher, has released his landmark book "Hacking the Xbox" as a Creative Commons Licensed PDF, in honor of Aaron Swartz. From the release notice:

No Starch Press and I have decided to release this free ebook version of Hacking the Xbox in honor of Aaron Swartz. As you read this book, I hope that you'll be reminded of how important freedom is to the hacking community and that you'll be inclined to support the causes that Aaron believed in.

Comment Re:What the hell are you talking about? (Score 1) 556

Name a single thing you used to be able to do on Mac OS X that you can't do anymore on Mac OS X.

Download the compiler toolchain without "registering".

Xcode and all dev tools used to be free to all - bundled on the OS media as an optional install, or a free download. Now it's only available to "registered developers."

Yes, it's a token bar to get over, but this more than anything is indicative of the problem with Apple's new mindset. OS X used to be an inviting place for anyone to create programs, they're now taking the first steps towards closing it off. "App Stores" are the next example of this - by creating a curated and "authorized" distribution channel, you cast suspicion on any other method of software distribution.

This bothers me, not because I can't get over the bar, but because I don't want to live a software ecosystem where only "professionals" need apply. The end result of this is what we see in the iOS app store: trivial utilities that would have been open or gratis on any other platform are instead nickle-and-dime, or else free but invasive to your privacy trying to be ad-supported.

Comment We've been here before (Score 1) 116

From TFA:

Among all apps tested, the most widely shared detail was the unique ID number assigned to every phone. It is effectively a "supercookie," says Vishal Gurbuxani, co-founder of Mobclix Inc., an exchange for mobile advertisers.

On iPhones, this number is the "UDID," or Unique Device Identifier. Android IDs go by other names. These IDs are set by phone makers, carriers or makers of the operating system, and typically can't be blocked or deleted.

"The great thing about mobile is you can't clear a UDID like you can a cookie," says Meghan O'Holleran of Traffic Marketplace, an Internet ad network that is expanding into mobile apps. "That's how we track everything."

Anybody else remember twelve years ago, when Intel started putting serial numbers in CPUs? There was widespread outrage, and they dropped the idea.

Today, Google and Apple have (effectively) put serial numbers in (handheld) computers, and software is rabidly exploiting that.

We didn't tolerate it then, we shouldn't tolerate it now.

Comment Re:Please don't use ANY blacklist (Score 3, Insightful) 44

and arrives at a recommendation ("do not use DNS-RBLs").

This entire analysis is spot on, but the reason blacklists are so popular is that they tend to work - you use one, the spam goes down, your users are happy. (Right up to the point where they discover a false positive that the RBL is blocking them from getting, anyway.)

In light of that, "do not use DNS-RBLs" is kind of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The obvious middle ground, of course, is "don't use DNS-RBLs to make a binary accept/reject decision." Instead, use them as a weighted input to an overall spam score, such as is done by SpamAssassin or policyd-weight.

But then, that's generally more work. :-)

Comment Turbo Tax Did It First (Score 3, Interesting) 429

We've been down this road before. In 2003, Intuit's Turbo Tax (for tax year 2002) pulled the same stunt, indiscriminately overwriting sectors at the beginning of the disk (outside any partition) and trashing people's bootloaders.

All in the futile pursuit of DRM. That's reason enough for me to use Tax Cut, instead, every year since.

Submission + - Slashdot RSS Feed Broken? 1

An anonymous reader writes: The Slashdot RSS feed hasn't updated for me since 2AM this morning. Is there something wrong with it?

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