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Comment Re:Professional programmer? (Score 1) 347

Professional programmer, noun, someone who has made programming their primary CAREER and has a recognized formal education.

There is no need to have a recognised formal education to be a good developer (although it sometimes helps you get your first graduate junior developer job). Far more useful is a few years spent contributing to open source projects and getting used to getting your code reviewed.

Once you have been programming professionally for a few years it is all about your previous roles, nobody gives two hoots about your academic background if you ace the interviews, do well on the technical tests and have at least 2 or 3 years solid commercial experience.

Comment Re:Very simple (Score 2) 347

They only have three hours in which to do this.

Personally, I'd suggest beating them over the heads with printed copies of man pages whilst trying to emphasize the importance of commenting their goddammed code.

But that's just me.

If code needs comments your probably doing it wrong. Code should instead be broken down into small units with meaningful method names and tests.

There are certain edge cases where you need to include a comment because you might be doing something strange then the comment can explain why you doing, for the most part though the code should be easy to follow just by reading through the method names.

Oh, and while we are on the subject, as soon as you use And in a method name really try and split it into two seperate functions.

  Change:

function doThisAndThat(...)

Into
function doThis(...)

function doThat(...)

Even if both of those methods will always be called together one after the other for the rest of eternity that it still far than the alternative which is that some fool after wards comes along and changes it into: doThisAndThatAndTheOtherThing(...)

Comment Re: Not good enough! (Score 1) 339

Damn, you have a lower UID than me. Hey, on Slashdot, that's a pretty good test of credibility!

Seriously, I get bothered a lot by mixed model software, as it's very hard to keep straight what the programmer intends (and worse for the compiler, the nonsense that compilers magically work it all out is just that, stacks don't manage themselves and optimization - which has always been one of the black arts - isn't simplified by ad-hoc paradigm mixes).

When it comes to using a single paradigm, always choose the one that makes robust code the easiest to write. Forth is still used because there's a lot of hardware programming that is far, far easier with stack operations than procedures or objects. No matter what the current generation of whippersnappers think.

So, the question reduces to this. Is there a class of problem that is better done with aspects? If so, you need it the same way you need Forth. And even Ada.

Comment Not good enough! (Score 3, Funny) 339

I want him to roll in the additions from Cilk++, Aspect-Oriented C++ and FeatureC++, the mobility and personalisation capabilities of Occam Pi, the networking extensions provided by rtnet and GridRPC, full encryption and error correction code facilities, everything in Boost, and a pointless subset of features from PL/1.

If you're going to do it all, might as well do it in style.

Seriously, though, Aspects would be nice.

Comment Re: Bradley Manning needs a HOSTS file (Score 2) 384

Yes there is. It's not a right-left test, but there's a near-perfect match between gender and specific neurological features. In a higher than expected number by chance, people who think they are mentally female are female in structural and functional studies. Likewise, people who believe themselves male have a male brain.

I try not to get too annoyed at dogmatic statements, but unless I specifically defer, I have a comprehensive archive of published literature from high-standing sources. Don't rip on me unless you know either my interpretation is wrong (it happens) or you plan on publishing a peer-reviewed rebuttal on each particular of relevance.

The first of those has happened a few times. Let's see if you can bring it up into double digits. Feel free, but remember that you're dealing solely with article facts and my interpretation. Where I used other sources, pick any peer-reviewed paper that covers the same basic aspect of brain development concerned (i.e. neuron type is indicated by chemical transmitter, it is not hardwired into the genome. Doesn't matter if it is the one I used or not. Falsify it. Better yet, falsify it and get the scientist or magazine to retract it for further work.

Ok, you should now be at the point where you accept the data sets I used. That just leaves two options. If the seat of the mind is in the brain, then a female brain must have a female mind, regardless of Y chromosomes, appendages and birty certificate.

The only other option is to falsify that, to argue that the mind is independent of brain. If you choose this, please choose to announce it at a medical school outside the brain surgery department after a very taxing practical, shortly before exams. Contrary views are nothing to worry about.

Finally,You can just let the basis be, the chain of reasoning be, but then you have to accept the conclusion.

Let me know your preference.

Comment This is insanely obvious (Score 1) 384

Manning should get a full pardon and a medal of honour. S/he has done more for this country than Biden ever did, and that was after getting a forcible deployment against regimental doctor's orders.

The worst Manning is truly guilty of is exploiting severe violations of DoD regulations by the unit s/he was in. Those violations, and not her actions,compromised national security, as did Manning's superior officer. Those people were under strict orders on not deploying the severely mentally ill into Iraq and to withdraw clearance from such folk, but violated those orders in order to look pretty. That is a serious crime. A crime they, not Chelsea, are guilty of.

Under DoD regulations, computers holding top secret information may NOT be secured by just a password and may NOT support USB devices. I was working for the military when they did the cutover from passwords to passwords plus Class III digital certificate on a smartcard. The USB restriction has been there more-or-less from the introduction of USB, as it violates Rainbow Book standards requiring enforceable multi-level security.

I should not have to point this out on Slashdot, half the three digit IDers were probably involved in writing the standards! And the rest know all this because we had to look the bloody stuff up to get the NSA's SELinux working!

She was also under orders, remember, to ensure that no war crime was concealed by the military. Concealing a war crime, even if that's your sole involvement, is a firing squad offence under international law. Has been since the Nuremberg Trials. Nor is it acceptable to be ordered to carry out such a cover-up. You are forbidden from obeying such orders on pain of death.

Those are the rules. The U.S. military's sole defence is that nobody is big enough to enforce them. If someone did, the U.S. population would be noticeably smaller afterwards. We know that because of Manning.

But Manning's service doesn't end there. Military philosophers, tacticians and strategists will be poring over those notes for decades, running simulations to see when, where and how the U.S. was eventually defeated in Afghanistan and Iraq. They will compare actions carried out with the military philosophies the U.S. officially abandoned in favour of modern theories. They will search for ways in which the new approaches worked and where they should have stuck with the traditional.

Because modern computers can run millions, even billions, of tactical simulations in just a few hours, it is certain that, inside of a decade, someone will have done this and published a book on where the military went wrong and where the Taliban and Iraqi army went wrong as well. This core material allows for that.

These wars may turn out to be our Sun Tzu Moment, when through cataclysmic defeats at the hands of, essentially, barbarians (and make no mistake, they're defeats), a systematic analysis of all that went wrong will be conducted in order to produce a guide on how to have things guaranteed to go right.

Without Manning's data, this couldn't happen. Direct footage, real-time tactical information, logistics, international political interactions, there's enough there to actually do that.

I'd prefer it to be us, because nothing stops the next terror group to form from performing the same study. Historically, it has been shown that a smart army can defeat a confident opponent with superior technology and ten times the numbers, or with inferior technology and a hundred times the numbers. No reason to assume these are hard limits.

If it is us that figures it out, the Pentagon (still fixated on Admiral Poyndexter and his psychic warriors) won't be involved, it'll be people on the outside with more nous and fewer yes-men. And for that, Manning deserves the highest reward.

Besides, it'll annoy the neoconservatives and that's worth their weight in gold-plated latium.

Comment Re: Bradley Manning needs a HOSTS file (Score 2) 384

Define "male". Not in terms of social norms - those vary between societies. And, since you didn't accept the suggestion of a genetics test, you don't get to use that either. Historical records are of no interest, you weren't there when they were made so you can't vouch for them. Besides, plenty of species have individuals change gender. History proves nothing.

You could try a neurological test, but I'll wager you that it shows Manning to be female. The feelings come from the brain, there's no such thing as a spirit outside of hard liquor.

So what have you got to offer?

Comment Re: Keep it original... (Score 1) 304

There isn't, and indeed can't be as every stage in creating art is art, but storage space stopped being an issue a long time ago. Film archives could keep copies of every movie ever released. That would be perfectly reasonable. This would ideally be both uncut and cut versions, maybe the rush copy as well. This frees up small studios from having to have complex archives, frees up directors to produce new cuts from a choice of every possible angle of every take, even from deleted scenes, and unmerge/remerge the audio layers as more complex audio systems appear.

However, if you don't do that, I think "world heritage" needs to click in a lot sooner. Star Wars (the real movie) could easily have been considered world heritage status within a couple of years.

Where undo/redo facilities exist, they should exist to the extent that it's possible to revert to an earlier checkpoint and then play back a different development line.

Does anyone really think that the ancient Babylonians would have cared about one of their cities being blasted into rubble thousands of years later?

But it does matter to those there now, the past always shapes the present, and it will matter in the future as there was a vast store of knowledge that scholars can now never see and that makes a big difference in understanding how conclusions were reached, what some of their more obscure documents meant, and where the hell they came from to begin with. It's important for other reasons, but it's hard to explain in ways that would make sense to people focussed on the future. Just accept that forgetting is a very bad thing.

So, anyway, it matters. And it will still matter when the destruction is as close to the construction as the destruction of the original Star Wars tapes was to their construction. The interval doesn't matter.

Was George Lucas the original artist? Most of the cells in his body would have been replaced, his bones would have regenerated, the DNA in his brain cells would have new genomes. The person exists only as a virtual construct, but that means there's a new George Lucas every time he experiences anything, since the machine running the simulcra - and therefore the simulcra itself - changes with experience.

There is no soul, there is only a construct that can be activated and deactivated by medical science at will.

Comment A few obvious corrections (Score 1) 53

First, DES is 56 bit (near enough 60). Triple DES as per first mode (the authorised standard) is 168 bits. The article fails to distinguish, implying the authors are just a little bit naff. 3DES seems to be quite safe, as long as not used in DES emulation mode. And who the hell emulates a mode that was broken in the 80s?

Second, Blowfish was replaced by TwoFish, ThreeFish and Speck. Skein, an entrant to the DES3 challenge, makes use of ThreeFish.

Third, the Wikipedia page states it has been known for a long time that weak keys are bad. This particular attack, though, is a birthday attack. You can find all the ciphers vulnerable or free that you should be using. Anything not on the list is something you are solely responsible for.

http://csrc.nist.gov/archive/a...

In other words, this information is about as useful as telling up that Model T Fords weren't good at cornering at highway speeds. Below are some links, I can't be buggered to HTML-ify them.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik...
http://www.skein-hash.info/
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik...
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik...

I do not trust most encryption software these days, but that's because programmers these days are sloppy and arrogant.

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