Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment I don't Think That's The Point (Score 1) 245

You don't need to emulate the hardware to see a program's output, you can just look at your screen. There is little point in hiding the output of a program from the user who's running it so I don't see that as the point (if one cannot observe the output of a program, it is of little utility).

Which instructions a given program executes depends on the inputs to said program. For any given input, most programs only execute a tiny portion of their code. Therefore, in order to completely reverse engineer a program, you would have to observe the output for all possible inputs. This is almost certainly intractable for any sufficiently complex program. Suppose you wrote a program to iterate over all possible inputs observing the output of each input; things get interesting if you liken this to the halting problem.


Irish ISP Wins Major Legal Victory Against Record Companies 96

An anonymous reader writes "The High Court in Dublin ruled today that there was no precedent in Irish law to force ISPs to identify and disconnect people accused of illegally downloading copyrighted files. The court case was spurred by objections to the recording industry's three-strikes system from Irish internet provider UPC. Earlier this year, Eircom, one of Ireland's other large ISPs, gave in and implemented the system, as we discussed previously. This resulted in many of the more 'technical' users leaving that ISP in droves. Nice to see an ISP willing to take a stand."

Comment Re:I've read the court order and... (Score 2, Interesting) 243

I'm not saying torrent sites shouldn't be moderated, just that the site's owners should shy away from doing it themselves. Any site of sufficient size can be reasonably moderated by its users and there are plenty of ways to allow users to flag bad torrents. Also, I don't see any problem with having generic "top 20" lists for specific categories (preferably user generated); you just shouldn't (effectively) call them "Top 20 Copyrighted Hollywood Blockbusters" as you are acknowledging and condoning their existence.

Comment I've read the court order and... (Score 5, Informative) 243

... it seems like Fung's downfall was his own arrogance. The judgment states that Fung's failure to filter out copyright content alone would not have been sufficient grounds for contributory infringement. Contributory infringement was established because, in addition to this, Fung made forum posts detailing how to rip specific copyrighted works for his site and suggesting search terms to help find specific copyrighted works on his site. He also bragged about having certain copyrighted works available on his site and facilitated access to such content via top 20 lists.

Seems like other torrent sites should take note. Never acknowledge the existence of copyrighted content on your site or specifically facilitate access to it (e.g. "top 20" lists) or use copyright suggestive terminology (e.g. "blockbuster") or profit from your site, and you might just escape unscathed. You want to offer about as much assistance as google does when searching for torrent files. Do this and the 5% legitimate content might just save you.

Comment Whoa Now (Score 1) 303

You've actually seen intellisense work? I program primarily in C++, and since VS 2003, I've never seen it work reliably in any program with more than 1,000 lines of code. In larger code basses it just gives up entirely, forever updating and never assisting. I disable it and use Visual Assist when I can.

Comment Publishers Aren't Interested In Sales... (Score 1) 246

...they're interested in gross profit. The problem with PC games is you have a shorter window in which to make a profit before piracy takes hold. If you don't believe that initial sales will be high enough, you either don't release a PC version or you delay it. It's about risk management. There is still a market for PG games, the games you see being released are the games that are expected to have strong initial sales (or that have some other mechanism to thwart piracy (be it DRM, online accounts or what have you)).

Comment Summary of Technical Reasons Stated In Videos (Score 5, Informative) 65

I've summarized the technical reasons given by the three videos.

Executive Summary:

Seems like their peer-to-peer architecture exasperated otherwise common matchmaking and NAT transversal problems that should be expected and thoroughly tested when developing networked games.

Video 1:

  • Summary: The game is peer-to-peer.

Video 2:

  • Quote: "We're trying to figure out why users are being removed from the database, which keeps them from being connected, but their not really disconnected, but the server thinks they're disconnected."
  • Quote: "...and if you put a return to just ignore the disconnect message it works fine".

Video 3:

  • Quote: We're working on a problem in which something, for some reason, keeps telling the database that manages people's records that they're disconnected and we don't know why.
  • Quote: So you're putting in the the debug messages?
  • Quote: Yep. Just putting in some debug messages to figure out where these ... what is, like ... wh what ... first of who is sending what, um these disconnects.
  • Quote: Right, okay, we'll be back.
  • Quote: "One of the fields in the database are backwards, or something, on IP addresses because there are so many IP addresses and ports and sockets and stuff that I don't know anything about."
  • Observation: They test a fix and it seems to work on several office PCs.
  • Summary: The description of the fix includes faster lobby connection time and visual changes to each players ping in the game lobby.
  • Paraphrase: How about in terms of the robustness of it, like, how much will people be able to connect?
  • Paraphrase: Their games are significantly more intelligent now. Um, there were are lot of crazy things that were going on before and we've been able to simplify a lot of them.
  • Paraphrase: What about proxy servers, do you think we need proxy servers now?
  • Paraphrase: No I don't think we need proxy servers. It might be good for backup; we were tossing around the thought, I think you brought this up, with routing some traffic if we can thorough the host. That may or may not be possible.
  • Paraphrase: Though we had to take care of the case if the host leaves the game we don't want the whole thing to fall apart.
  • Paraphrase: Right, right. But it might be a solution for players with low ping times who, you know, can't seem to connect to anybody, but, you know, want to get in the game.
  • Paraphrase: Right, that's true. Of course as a backup plan; so if the host left it would take out those people who have really bad connections. But based on what we're seeing, we think, this should handle symmetrical NATs now?
  • Paraphrase: What's that?
  • Paraphrase: Asymmetrical NATs; this should handle that now?
  • Paraphrase: Uh, it's going to handle it better, yeah.
  • Paraphrase: Well before it didn't handle it at all, so...
  • Paraphrase: Right before it didn't handle it at all, before...
  • Paraphrase: I mean if I have two IP addresses, will this work with it now?
  • Paraphrase: I don't know that if you have two IP addresses this will work. Uh, this is going to help alot with firewalls and nats, however, um, it does a better job of piercing through the firewall.
  • Paraphrase: Of course if you port forward to the right IP, then, from your router, then you're just set.
  • Paraphrase: Yeah, that's not an issue.
  • Paraphrase: So anyone who's technical will be fine, pretty much for sure, no matter on what kind of crazy connection they've got.
  • Paraphrase: And since we've spent more time improving the base systems in the program instead of doing one of the things we wanted to do, which hopefully we'll do next week, is detect if you have been able to optimize your network connection by opening your ports.
  • Summary: Discuss adding test connection button and providing some help based on connection type.
  • Summary: State why they are against DRM because it hampers soldiers in Iraq from playing the game..

Comment Re:i wondered what larry craig was up to (Score 1) 370

After about 13 minutes of sitting in the stall, the police officer observed Craig lingering outside and frequently peeking through the crack of the door on the stall.

No doubt wondering WTF was taking the officer so long...

At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. ... The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area. Craig then proceeded to swipe his left hand under the stall divider several times, with the palm of his hand facing upward.

More like a signal that he was out of toilet paper (which explains why he was "lingering outside" prior to the foot tapping).

Comment Perhaps this should be the next poll? (Score 4, Insightful) 371

A lot of us here on /. are IT workers, why not just ask us?

How has the current economic landscape affected your employer?

  1. We're hiring!
  2. No layoffs, but hiring's on hold.
  3. We're "upgraded" a few members of our staff.
  4. We've laid off <= 5% of our staff.
  5. We've laid off <= 10% of our staff.
  6. We've laid off <= 25% of our staff.
  7. We've laid off <= 50% of our staff.
  8. No one left but me.
  9. I've been sacked you insensitive clod.

It might actually provide some useful insight. #6 applies to me.

Comment Re:A Solution in Search of a Problem (Score 1) 149

The first question that came to my mind after reading the article was are these laser generated random numbers suitable for cryptography? The article just states that random numbers are "vital" to cryptography, not that this method generates cryptographic grade random numbers. Certainly the brief explanation on how it works leaves a lot of room for question.

BTW, CryptMT is a simple stream cipher based on the Mersenne Twister. Sadly, the last time I looked at it it lacked any solid proofs. Nonetheless, Mersenne Twister is an excellent pseudorandom number generator.

Slashdot Top Deals

I think there's a world market for about five computers. -- attr. Thomas J. Watson (Chairman of the Board, IBM), 1943