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Comment Re:Two Solutions (Score 1) 266

NOT: "Oh, we're about to ship in a month, and our startup time is 50 seconds. Where do we even begin in tracking down thousands of calls and data structures?"

Oprofile can annotate the entire source code with execution time statistics, line by line. I don't understand how developers on Windows can live without it.

Submission + - EU Commissioner Oettinger Calls Net Neutrality a Taliban-like Issue

next_ghost writes: Pirate MEP Julia Reda reports that Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, called net neutrality a "Taliban-like" issue at an event hosted by German Ministry of Finance. Excerpt from MEP Reda's translation of Oettinger's words:

"Net neutrality: Here we’ve got, particularly in Germany, Taliban-like developments. We have the Internet community, the Pirates on the move, it’s all about enforcing perfect uniformity. They talk about “the evil industry”. It’s not about the industry, it’s not about the CEO and his salary. If you want to have real time road safety, our lives are at stake, this has to have absolute priority with regards to quality and capacity."

He also argued that life-saving devices like road safety systems or remote surgery robots need traffic priority over entertainment services like YouTube, apparently unaware that lack of net neutrality would do the exact opposite (assuming these devices use public networks in the first place).

Comment Re:No matter how much power we gave them ... (Score 1) 319

It may seem like Christian nations have made some progress, in reality a lot of those nations where hatred and overall violence have diminished have adopted more secular values over the years.

Exactly. The greatest moral progress of the western civilization happened when people stopped taking their religion too seriously.

Comment Re:Trying to wrap my head around this (Score 1) 389

Up to this point, I don't really have a problem. For all its flaws, this pretty much works as intended (though there should be some penalties - beyond the hypothetical-but-never-enforced perjury - for filing false DMCA claims). I've used this to take down content people stole from me.

There is no perjury for false copyright claims. The penalty of perjury only applies to lying about your identity. If you state your true identity in the takedown request, the law allows you to claim copyright over absolutely anything.

Comment Re:Powershell (Score 1) 729

- if (a = b) assigns the contents of b to a and executes the code following if b <> 0. Who the hell thought that would be a good idea?

Somebody who thought that adding unnecessary special cases to otherwise very simple and straightforward language was a bad idea. And he was absolutely right.

- sizeof(string) (I may have got the name of the function wrong) returns the length of a single byte rather than the length of the entire string. Who the hell thought that would be a good idea?

First of all, sizeof is a compile-time operator. The compiler replaces it with a fixed constant which indicates how many bytes are needed to store the argument (which is either a symbol or another constant) in memory. If you pass a pointer, you'll get the size of the pointer (4 bytes on x86). If you pass a statically allocated array, you'll get the total size of the array (int foo[9]; sizeof foo; will give you 36 on x86). If you pass a constant, you'll get the total size of the given constant in memory (sizeof "foo bar baz"; will give you 12). But all of that happens at compile time.

When foo is a variable of simple type or instance of structure, sizeof tells you the size of foo itself. But when foo is a pointer, you want sizeof to tell you the size of some completely unrelated block of memory? The fact that foo can point somewhere to the middle of the memory block makes the idea even more ridiculous. Now tell me, who the hell would ever think that making sizeof behave inconsistently like that is a good idea?

- strings terminated by a binary zero rather than their physical size. Who the hell thought that would be a good idea?

Somebody who realized that zero-terminated strings have the lowest possible overhead for the most common string operations. Both from the machine's point of view and from the programmer's point of view. And it also avoids artificial limits on string length (Pascal's 255-byte strings say hi!).

Comment Re:Formal specifications are pretty useless for th (Score 1) 180

I am not confused at all. I never wrote "formal language", I wrote "formal specification language", which is a completely different beast. You fail.

"Formal specification language" is "formal" because it's a formal language in the same sense that any of the many dialects of "regular expressions" or even PHP itself is a formal language. Nothing more, nothing less. The fact that you keep calling C/C++ standard specifications "informal" means that you're just parrotting buzzwords without actually understanding them. When you talk about formal specification languages or any formal languages at all, the word "informal" is inapplicable because it's a completely different kind of formality (syntactic formality) than the word "informal" implies (semantic formality). The word "informal" has meaning only when you want to make a distinction between formalised natural language and non-formalised natural language.

Comment Re:How much closer (Score 1) 24

The test looks for a set of 10 proteins in the blood. I suspect that part is fairly reliable which means the theory that those proteins are markers for Alzheimer's is probably incorrect or incomplete.

Whether or not those 10 proteins are markers for Alzheimer's is not the issue at all. When you look for markers, the search goes this way: disease => chemicals. But when you start testing patients for markers, you're actually using the inverse of that relationship: chemicals => disease. If the disease is rare, false positives will vastly outnumber the number of patients really afflicted by the disease even though you test for the right markers.

There are 3 important percentages for disease tests:
- How many people are afflicted by the disease in the general population?
- How many afflicted people get positive result?
- How many healthy people get positive result (false positive)?

I'll give you an example. Let's say we have some test with perfect accuracy (100% of people afflicted by the disease get positive test) but the test has 10% rate of false positives. We'll test 1000 people.

If the disease afflicts 50% of the population, about 550 people will get positive result but about 50 of them are healthy.

If the disease afflicts 10% of the population, about 190 people will get positive result but about 90 of them are healthy.

If the disease afflicts 1% of the population, about 109 people will get positive result but about 99 of them are healthy.

If the disease afflicts 0,1% of the population, about 101 people will get positive result but about 100 of them are healthy.

Is the problem clear now?

Comment Re:Hah! (Score 1) 681

Allow me to brag a bit: I've switched to Linux in 2006. Since then, I've made a complete hardware replacement twice. Each hardware replacement meant only about 2 hours of downtime while I was installing the packages essential for work and copying the whole /home and most of /etc directories from the old machine. After that, I was back in business pretty much exactly as I've left the old machine (minus some less important packages that were still installing in the background for another couple of hours). It's really awesome when you don't need to spend a month manually reinstalling and reconfiguring all the software you had on the previous system.

Comment Re:Not sure what the "secrecy" fuss is (Score 1) 222

Off the top of my head, if any agreement is negotiated in secret, it has a much higher chance of agreement then if it is negotiated in public or by commitee. So the idea is that people you elect to represent you do it, and do it in secret in order to get things accoplished.

Democracy is slow and it takes tons of work to agree on anything. That's not a bug, that's a feature.

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The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky