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Comment More Crap Science (Score 1) 560

This work goes beyond the normal logical confusion of "correlation implies causation." It's just a really poorly designed experiment. A better experiment would have compared blood flow in brains of people who have never used marijuana and them had them use marijuana and then again measured blood flow. (This also lacks a control but at least it measures something useful. And I spent all of five seconds coming up with it and I'm not in the field. So.....)

So what's wrong? Maybe people who have abnormally low brain blood flow are prone to using marijuana, perhaps even to _increase_ blood flow, but less than perfectly. And instead of _causing_ psychosis, maybe people who are psychotic are prone to using marijuana. I know people who have told me that they need to use marijuana to feel normal, and maybe normal for them means non-psychotic.

Submission + - Does NASA intentionally add artifacts to Hubble photos?

iliketrash writes: Hubble photos, as amazing as they are, invariably include bright points such as stars which include sidelobes, as for example in this beautiful shot Notice the "spurs" that emanate from some of the bright white spots which are coincidentally aligned perfectly with the frame of the picture. Surely these are not flaws of NASA's fine imaging system but are artifacts added to meet the expectations of the unsophisticated viewer to match the imperfect optics that many of us experience in our normal viewing.

Symantec Antivirus Products Vulnerable To Horrid Overflow Bug ( 79

An anonymous reader writes: Tavis Ormandy of Google's Project Zero team has discovered a vulnerability in Symantec Antivirus Engine. The said engine is vulnerable to a buffer overflow when parsing malformed portable-executable (PE) header files, reports ZDNet. "Such malformed PE files can be received through incoming email, downloading of a document or application, or by visiting a malicious web site," Symantec said. "No user interaction is required to trigger the parsing of the malformed file." For Linux, OS X, and other Unix-like systems, the exploit results in a remote heap overflow as root in the Symantec or Norton process, Ormandy said in the Project Zero issue tracker. "On Windows, this results in kernel memory corruption, as the scan engine is loaded into the kernel (wtf!!!), making this a remote ring0 memory corruption vulnerability -- this is about as bad as it can possibly get," he said.The vulnerability, if exploited, results in kernel memory corruption without user action and instant blue-screening on Windows.

New NASA Launch Control Software Late, Millions Over Budget ( 205

schwit1 writes: The launch control software NASA is writing from scratch for its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket is way behind schedule and way over budget. According to ABC News, "Development of this new launch control software is now projected to exceed $207 million, 77 percent above 2012 projections. The software won't be ready until fall 2017, instead of this summer as planned, and important capabilities like automatic failure detection, are being deferred, the audit noted. The system is vital, needed to control pumps, motors, valves and other ground equipment during countdowns and launches, and to monitor data before and during liftoff. NASA decided to write its own computer code to "glue together" existing software products a decade ago -- while space shuttles still were flying and commercial shippers had yet to service the space station. Both delivery companies, SpaceX and Orbital ATK, rely on commercial software, the audit noted."

In other words, even though NASA could have simply purchased already available software that other launch companies were using successfully, the agency decided to write its own. And that decision really didn't come before the arrival of these commercial companies, because when it was made a decade ago that was exactly the time that SpaceX was beginning to build its rocket. This is simply more proof that SLS is nothing more than a pork-laden waste of money designed not to explore space but to generate non-productive jobs in congressional districts.


Software Bug in F-35 Radar Causes Mid-Flight System Reboot 153

Reader Lisandro writes: The F-35 Fighter jet can't seem to catch a break. An advanced AN/APG-81 AESA F35 radar system has been found riddled with a software bug that causes it to degrade and stop working. The solution? Rebooting the system while in the air.

Major General Jeffrey Harrigian, director of the Air Force's F-35 integration office at the Pentagon, was quoted as saying "radar stability - the radar's ability to stay up and running. [...] What would happen is they'd get a signal that says either a radar degrade or a radar fail - "something that would force us to restart the radar." The issue was spotted in late 2015, and thankfully, it was caught during the testing period. The software version "3i" is affected. An update aimed to resolve the bug is expected to be delivered to the US Air Force by the end of March.

Comment It's a design patent, not a utility patent (Score 2, Informative) 127

The OP apparently does not understand the difference between a design patent and a utility patent. He/She should learn this before calling this design patent stupid or whatever other inappropriate language was used. Utility patents describe a function; design patents describe only the appearance.

Comment Julia needs arbitrary array indexing base (Score 4, Informative) 106

Any language that purports to be a good for technical computing needs to get away from a forced base for indexing arrays. No, this is not a 0 or 1 problem. Arrays should be numbered from whatever the programmer specifies. The Pascal-type languages including Ada have this feature and it prevents many many errors. Maybe the $600K can buy this, but somehow I doubt it as this fixed-index-base is usually in the mindsets of the language's designers.


Linus Rants About C Programming Semantics ( 576

jones_supa writes: "Christ people. This is just sh*t," begins Linus Torvalds in his message on the Linux Kernel Mailing List. Torvalds is grumpy because some new code added to the IPv6 subsystem has created conflicts. "The conflict I get is due to stupid new gcc header file crap," he writes. "But what makes me upset is that the crap is for completely bogus reasons." The new improved code uses fancy stuff that wants magical built-in compiler support and has silly wrapper functions for when it doesn't exist. Linus provides an alternative that contains a single and understandable conditional, which looks cleaner and generates better code.

Ask Slashdot: Is it Practical To Replace C With Rust? 437

interval1066 writes: I've heard of rust from various sources around the net for a few years and never paid it much mind, there are so many new languages out now since my early days doing C programming, which what I've stuck to and made me my career. Now I'm heading a project that uses a RoR application to control a large series of sensors and controls in a manufacturing process. Naturally I want to talk to the hardware using a GEM extension written in C, as I've done before.

But another engineer who is not a fan of C (seems few younger engineers are) said he could write the extensions needed easily in Rust. Seems like this is a thing. I took a closer look at rust and it looks to me like another attempt at "C" without pointers, except rust does have a kind of pointer, it appears. I like its ranking on a list of fastest languages, and it seems pretty simple with an initial tool footprint that is quite small.

But what are the trade offs? Another language, and one that few engineers know (much like Vala, which I like very much but has the same small user base). What if I need another engineer to work on the code? I pretty much know what I can expect from C/C++, rust is a huge unknown, what if I run onto a roadblock? The engineer pushing for rust is emphatic, should I bulldoze him or take the plunge?

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