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Comment Re:Code should be as concise as possible. (Score 1) 193

I never use variable names of more than one character unless all possible single character names have already been used, which rarely happens.

If you're not routinely using up all possible single-character variable names, then you're not making your functions large enough, and/or you're not using enough global variables. You can do better.

Comment Re:Most "automation" isn't, just like this. (Score 5, Insightful) 322

No, "better healthcare outcomes" is a measurment anomaly.

The fact that the average is dragged down because a large percentage of the US population doesn't get adequate health care is not a "measurement anomaly". It's an epic failure.

It's like a C average student claiming: "I'm really a straight-A student! I got As in all the classes I didn't flunk. (And BTW, for some reason my education cost twice as much as that of any other student.)"

Comment Re: yay more emojis (Score 2) 198

This is where Emoji came from. Imagine a late 1990's cell phone with the 12 standard buttons, and having to send text messages to someone in Japanese. How do you use those 12 buttons to select from thousands of Kanji symbols?


Don't try and be an amateur linguistic historian, when people are alive today that sent SMS messages in the mid 1990s. Also, the history of emoji is in Wikipedia.

So what's the real story? Someone at NTT Docomo wanted prettier emoticons. Then once they had that, they decided to shove all their icons into this new dingbat font for ease of use. Softbank wanted feature parity, so they did the same. Then later the two fonts were shoved together, and so we have the unholy union that gives us ðY"' and ðY--, âoe'ï and ðY-, and my favorite ðY" and ðY"Z.

Submission + - Facebook Offers Innumerate Explanation For Its 1% Black Tech Workforce 1

theodp writes: Back in 2014, Gas Station Without Pumps patiently explained that while the case can clearly be made for female and black students being under-represented in Advanced Placement Computer Science exams, pointing to states with zero female or Black AP CS test takers is not the way to do it. Of the eleven states that had no Black test takers in 2013, GSWP explained: "The zero black AP CS test takers for the nine states can be fairly confidently attributed to the lack of AP CS test takers, and in Maine to the shortage of black students. For Alaska, the lack of black AP CS test takers is probably due to the shortage of AP CS test takers in the state." But that didn't stop Facebook from using the dramatic-but-statistically-fallacious arguments on Thursday to explain away its still-1% Black tech workforce. "It has become clear that at the most fundamental level, appropriate representation in technology or any other industry will depend upon more people having the opportunity to gain necessary skills through the public education system," said Facebook Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams, who was tasked with explaining why Facebook's diversity efforts don't seem to be working (Facebook's tech workforce is 48% White, 46% Asian, 3% Hispanic, 1% Black, 2% Other). "Currently, only 1 in 4 US high schools teach computer science," Williams continued. "In 2015, seven states had fewer than 10 girls take the Advanced Placement Computer Science exam and no girls took the exam in three states. No Black people took the exam in nine states including Mississippi where about 50% of high school graduates are Black, and 18 states had fewer than 10 Hispanics take the exam with another five states having no Hispanic AP Computer Science (CS) test takers. This has to change." To give Facebook's innumerate explanation some context, according to 2015 AP Data, Mississippi had a grand total of five AP CS test takers. And in the three states where no girls took the exam — Montana, Mississippi, and Wyoming — boys respectively took zero, five, and three AP CS exams.

Comment Re:Just reformat it to your liking. (Score 1) 523

Reformatting code is a big no-no in shared version-controlled environments.

In many version-controlled environments, a hook is added to the check-in command to automatically run the reformatter, so there are never any diffs in the history caused by the formatting process.

I really don't like some of the settings that were made on the formatter my current project is using, but at least I never have to worry about things like typing lines too long. They're automatically fixed up on commit.

Comment Re:They should just pull the trigger (Score 1) 144

What other search engine is there? There's Microsoft and Google with deep pockets. Does DuckDuckGo have fat stacks of cash sitting around for some reason? How bad would it be for Mozilla to take Facebook funding? Would we really stand for it if Moz got funding from Baidu or Yandex?

I mean, insofar as we stand for things that the Mozilla foundation does now, which are mostly terrible and stupid.

So probably Facebook then.

Comment At least it's good to know FB has priorities (Score 2) 293

They're only permitting the naughty-bits of human bodies in settings "generally recognized as art." It's just so much more dangerous to society to see the image of a female nipple or other male/female naughty-bits than it is to see live-streamed images of graphic violence. (Notwithstanding the fact that we all have those same bits ourselves, simply covered by clothing.)

I'm not advocating anything-goes - I'm not sure what I'm advocating. But I know something is out of balance, here.

Submission + - Android KeyStore Encryption Scheme Broken (threatpost.com)

msm1267 writes: The default implementation for KeyStore, the system in Android designed to store user credentials and cryptographic keys, is broken, researchers say.

In a an academic paper published this week, researchers argue that the particular encryption scheme that KeyStore uses fails to protect the integrity of keys and could be exploited to allow an attacker to modify stored keys through a forgery attack.

KeyStore, which performs key-specific actions through the OpenSSL library, allows Android apps to store and generate their own cryptographic keys. By storing keys in a container, KeyStore makes it more difficult to remove them from the device.

Mohamed Sabt and Jacques Traoré, two researchers with the French telecom Orange Labs, claim the scheme associated with the system is "non-provably secure," and could have "severe consequences."

The two point out in their paper "Breaking Into the KeyStore: A Practical Forgery Attack Against Android KeyStore," that it's the hash-then-encrypt (HtE) authenticated encryption (AE) scheme in cipher block chaining mode (CBC) in KeyStore that fails to guarantee the integrity of keys.

Comment Re:Hillary concerned about legitimacy ? (Score 1) 801

I haven't seen anyone who publishes acting as Hillary's lap dog, lately. Perhaps government functionaries seem to be acting that way, but certainly not anyone who puts anything in the press or online. The only good things I've seen printed about her character have been niche liberal postings, but certainly nothing in mainstream press and nothing in the more visible online.

Comment Re:Second sun (Score 4, Funny) 131

Not having a single sports molecule in my body, I had no clue what they meant by "Juno is a spinning, robotic probe as wide as a basketball court."

Remember when you were in high school and they sometimes made all the students go to a big room where you sat on hard benches and the principal emceed for some brief talks and activities?

That was probably a basketball court.

Comment Re:90% of dinosaurs survived? (Score 3, Insightful) 265

That word, as defined by pedants, is utterly useless. Other than those who hail from one particular ancient civilization that had a certain peculiar military punishment, nobody kills exactly 1 in 10 of anything.

That's why the vast majority of the population who have normal minds use an entirely different definition of the word. A definition that's actually relevant to enough real situations to justify the word's existence.

Submission + - String Theorist Makes Intellectual Property Claim to Suppress Critical Paper (blogspot.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Sabine Hossenfelder at the blog Backreaction has this curious story of a new paper which makes an experimental test of the "multiverse" in string theory: "In a recent paper, William Kinney from the University at Buffalo put to test the multiverse-entanglement with the most recent cosmological data. The brief summary is that not only hasn’t he found any evidence for the entanglement-modification, he has ruled out the formerly proposed model for two general types of inflationary potentials... Much to my puzzlement, his analysis also shows that some of the predictions of the original model (such as the modulation of the power spectrum) weren’t predictions to begin with...To add meat to an unfalsifiable idea that made predictions which weren’t, one of the authors who proposed the entanglement model, Laura Mersini-Houghton, is apparently quite unhappy with Kinney’s results and tries to use an intellectual property claim to get his paper removed from the arXiv. I will resist the temptation to comment on the matter and simply direct you to the Wikipedia entry on the Streisand Effect. Dear Internet, please do your job."

Comment Re: Yes, because we need another (Score 1) 157

That is true. I haven't. I don't. I do have Google Voice configured to deliver SMS messages as email (and I whitelist senders to a minimum as well), precisely because I don't want to deal with another, extremely limited messaging tool. I already dislike the idea that I need accounts on six or seven different platforms to communicate with my contacts. Why add another to the list?

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