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Comment Re:As a C programmer (Score 1) 295

Reading a few O'Reilly books might cut it for web monkeys, but then again, anything you can learn from an O'Reilly book can also be learned just as well by someone in India or eastern Europe. Real programmers can re-implement chunks of the standard c library with their own mods because they know what's going on.

Are you implying that there are no "real" programmers in eastern Europe or in India?

Submission + - When is 'Unnecessary' Code Necessary? 1

theodp writes: Catching himself terminating statements with semicolons out of habit when none were needed, Rick Wicklin asks: Do you write unnecessary code? And while Wicklin tries to skip certain unnecessary statements, there are others that he finds, well, necessary. "Sometimes I include optional statements in my programs for clarity, readability, or to practice defensive programming," he explains. Wicklin's post is geared towards SAS programming, but the question of when to include technically-unnecessary code — e.g., variable declarations, superfluous punctuation, block constructs for single statements, values for optional parameters that are the defaults, debugging/validation statements, non-critical error handling, explicitly destroying objects that would otherwise be deleted on exit, labeled NEXT statements, full qualification of objects/methods, unneeded code from templates — is a language-agnostic one. So when-and-why do you find it necessary to include 'unnecessary' code in your programs? And are you tolerant of co-workers' unnecessary code choices, or do you sometimes go all Tabs-vs-Spaces (YouTube) on them?

Submission + - How Obama sold us the Iran deal (nytimes.com)

mi writes: Maybe, it is not just Vladimir Putin, who uses an army of online trolls to push his agenda. The New York Times piece — already dissected by Weekly Standard — details, among other things, that, as the officials were officially concluding, what has already been agreed upon with the Iranians, a "war room" in Washington dealt with reporters and lawmakers, selling the deal to the American public:

In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. “We created an echo chamber,” he [Ben Rhodes, the main seller of the deal -mi] admitted, when asked to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”

Of course, Slashdot-readers — the supposedly sophisticated lot of nerds — didn't escape the government-architected brainwashing either...

Submission + - SPAM: FOSSA - Now we need feedback from real Free Software experts

Noonian Soong writes: The "Free and Open Source Security Audit" (FOSSA) is a project by the European Union whose aim it is to increase security of Free Software used by European institutions. Unfortunately, after initially asking the public for feedback, communication broke down while the EU was reviewing information and their report now is full of misconceptions and factual errors.

Because the report shows such a lack of understanding of the underlying issues, the Free Software Foundation Europe is asking for feedback from people who are actually involved in Free Software so they can pass that information on to the EU who will hopefully rectify the current situation. The alternative is letting the EU spend the money dedicated to code review without any real impact.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Visual Studio 2015 c++ compiler secretly inserts telemetry code into binaries (infoq.com) 4

edxwelch writes: Reddit user "sammiesdog" discovered recently that the Visual Studio 2015 c++ compiler was inserting calls to a Microsoft telemetery function into binaries.
"I compiled a simple program with only main(). When looking at the compiled binary in Ida, I see a calls for telemetry_main_invoke_trigger and telemetry_main_return_trigger. I can not find documentation for these calls, either on the web or in the options page."
Only after the discovery did Steve Carroll, the dev manager for Visual C++, admit to the feature and posted a work around. The "feature" is to be removed in Update 3 of the product.

Comment Re:Moore's law dead? (Score 3, Interesting) 44

Moore said density (transistor count), not your "power". Must I always correct those who failed History?

No, you must not!

Moore's law is not a law, it's just an observation (and maybe self-fulfilling prophecy). And the observation of computers getting more and more powerful was also correct. So why not associate one with the other!

Submission + - Systemd now kills processes when you sign out (pcworld.com) 4

walterbyrd writes: The initialization software systemd has now been integrated into most popular Linux distributions, including the latest versions of Ubuntu. But a change in systemd 230 alters the way Linux and other UNIX-like operating systems have worked for decades, and some Linux users aren’t pleased.

Systemd now kills processes when you sign out Thanks to a new change, systemd will automatically kill a user’s processes when that user logs out. Previously, it was possible to start long-running processes that remained running, even when you signed out. You could use the tmux, screen, or nohup commands to ensure that a process remained running. Systemd will now kill all those leftover processes to clean things up.

This change is being debated in Debian’s bug tracker, and on Fedora’s mailing list. On Fedora’s mailing list, systemd’s Lennart Poettering explained that systemd is designed to be “a process babysitter.” Red Hat’s DJ Delorie expressed why he and some other Linux users are frustrated: “It’s becoming a user nanny instead. I wish it would stop trying to enforce its ‘my way or the highway’ approach to system rules. I’ve been playing whack-a-mole trying to keep up with all the tweaks I need (assuming I can find them) to let me do what I want to do with my own machine.”

There’s a new secret handshake Of course, systemd provides a way to disable this behavior and keep processes running, if that’s what you want. To do this, a system administrator can set the “KillUserProcesses=no” option in systemd’s configuration file at /etc/systemd/logind.conf. Linux distributions could also choose to disable this systemd feature for all their users, which is what some Debian and Fedora users are asking for. In both cases, the feature would be disabled systemwide.

If just a specific user wants to run processes that are left alone by systemd, that user has to enable “lingering” for their account, with the systemd-run command preceding the tmux, screen, or nohup commands. So, if you end up using a Linux distribution with systemd 230 or newer that has this option enabled, you’ll need to run tmux, screen, and nohup commands in a systemd-specific way. It would make sense for these tools to become systemd-aware to negate this new secret handshake, but they aren’t, and users will therefore need to use this new workaround.

Submission + - 202.0 Demetrios: The Big Cynical Adventure: A Big Cynical Review (The Gamer's L (the-gamers-lounge.com)

kube00 writes: Having been an afficionado of adventure games over the years, I understand that they aren't without their difficulties. For every Monkey Island or Space Quest, there are four that take the route of Phantasmagoria* and about six different games featuring puzzles with solutions that read like poorly translated stereo instructions. While it's the easiest genre to design for (no combat algorithms or anything like that, clean narrative with a few branches) it's also one of the easiest to screw up. All it takes is one puzzle where processor speed determines difficulty, or pouring whiskey into the gas tank of a car to fuel up a spaceship, or an
infuriating pixel hunt and instantly people will throw up their hands and
uninstall in annoyance.

Submission + - What would a new particle at the LHC reveal?

An anonymous reader writes: The "diphoton bump" at 750 GeV is perhaps the best active signal we have for the possibility of fundamental new particles beyond the Standard Model. While the upgraded LHC should collect enough data that we'll know by the end of the year whether it looks real or goes away, there are six different possibilities for what it could be if it pans out, including: a second Higgs, dark matter, extra dimensions, neutrino physics, a composite particle or even a surprise! But don't get too excited; a similar bump at three times that energy has already gone away, and this one might be next.

Submission + - SUSE Enterprise Linux promises 100% uptime (softpedia.com)

LichtSpektren writes: Utilizing the live patching that was implemented into the Linux kernel version 4, SUSE now promises 100% uptime for version 12 of their Enterprise Server distro. Softpedia reports: "SUSE Linux Enterprise Live Patching is available starting today for all SUSE customers who run their workloads on the SAP NetWeaver technology platform, the SAP HANA platform, or any other SAP (Systems Applications Products) applications, helping them save money and keep their customers happy by offering 100% uptime."

Submission + - Blue Galaxy Found. A Test For Big Bang.

William Robinson writes: Astronomers at Indiana University recently have detected a faint blue dwarf galaxy which can be used as a medium to test the Big Bang Theory. Nicknamed Leoncino, meaning the little lion, the AGC 198691 galaxy is the most metal poor one among the list of discovered galaxies until now. Therefore, Leoncino can be used as a time capsule that will give scientists more insight into the conditions that prevailed right after the creation of the Universe. A metal poor galaxy is in a chemical state similar to the early Universe and it could help contribute to a quantitative test of the Big Bang. The current accepted model of the start of the universe makes clear predictions about the amount of helium and hydrogen present during the Big Bang, and the ratio of these atoms in metal-poor galaxies provides a direct test of the model. The story is covered here too.

Submission + - Sweden's Mastery of Technology Addiction (bloomberg.com)

pacopico writes: How did Sweden end up as a nation of unicorns? That's what this mini-documentary from Bloomberg tries to answer. Despite having only 9 million people, Sweden has emerged as Europe's premiere technology powerhouse. It produced a ton of torrent sites and Skype and then later things like Spotify and Minecraft. Sweden also has a massive Internet infrastructure fueled by cheap power produced near the Arctic Circle where Facebook has one of its largest data centers. The country's economy is booming thanks to tech, but its culture is also undergoing painful changes as millionaires flood Stockholm.

Submission + - Did Peter Schorer just solve the Collatz Conjecture? (occampress.com)

Randym writes: Recently, Peter Schorer published the latest version of his potential solution to the Collatz Conjecture: a famous unsolved halting problem in mathematics. (Short version: X starts as any integer > or == 1; if X is odd, newX = 3*X+1; if X is even, newX = X/2. Does newX *always* eventually arrive at the number 1?) To quote from the abstract: "Our proofs are based on a structure called “tuple-sets” that represents the 3x + 1 function in the “forward” (as opposed to the inverse) direction. In our proofs, we show, by a simple inductive argument, that the contents of the set of at least one tuple-set are the same, regardless if counterexamples exist or not, and from this we are able to conclude that counterexamples do not exist." Read his short, simple paper and decide for yourself.

Submission + - Great Computers Never Die (ieee.org)

schwit1 writes: The Vintage Computer Festival East (VCF East) took place from 15-17 April at the InfoAge Science Center in Wall, New Jersey. Computers on display included: a fully restored and working Apple 1;an Altair 8800;and a host of 8- and 16-bit machines, including a collection of (mostly unlicensed) Apple II clones from around the world, and an array of Commodore 64s upgraded to do things like control the lights in your home. Speakers at the festivalincluded the legendary Ted Nelson, the man who coined the words hypertext, hypermedia, andother additions to our modern digital lexicon. We sent IEEE Spectrum’sSenior Editor Stephen Cass out to New Jersey to give us a dose of nostalgia and some inspiration from the dawn of the Digital Age.

Submission + - AMD lands 3 large semi-custom SoC orders, expects revenue of $1.5 Billion over n (arstechnica.com)

John Smith writes: AMD announced an expected 15% income gain in Q2 2016 (and even larger ones in Q3 2016) mostly driven by three semi-custom SoC orders. They expect these three to bring in $1.5 billion in revenue over the next 3-4 years.
We know one of them is the new PlayStation from various leaks, but what are the other two? General suspicion seems to be the Nintendo NX and a Xbox refresh. This would among other things suggest that Nintento is going for an SoC design over their previous PowerPC/AMD chips, and that an Xbox refresh is coming soon.
However, whatever these turn out to be we are going to be seeing them soon. According to Ars Technica, "At least one of those three SOC deliveries will begin "ramping" in the second half of this year, with all of those SOCs launching by 2017."

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