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Submission + - SPAM: Should Facebook block "blasphemous" content?

peetm writes: Pakistan says it has asked Facebook to help investigate "blasphemous content" posted on the social network by Pakistanis.

[spam URL stripped]...

Pakistan has often blocked access to pornographic sites and sites with anti-Islamic content and in 2010 a Pakistani court blocked Facebook over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

Comment Is GDB as good as the VS Debugger? (Score 1) 159

I'm more than curious.

I find the VS debugger to be simply wonderful; as do others. In my institution, a lot of developers (mostly Ph.D. students) who have to target Linux, choose to run VS in a VM and develop/debug under Windows before recompiling under Linux. This is so popular that some have automated the process somewhat and perform Linux daily builds (only).

I've used GDB in the past, but wasn't impressed: so I'm wondering why, if the VS debugger under Windows is so good, why don't more people don't do this sort of thing?

Submission + - SPAM: Secure OS? PLEASE!

peetm writes: Very simple /. question:

What with Vault 7 Exposé; could someone please — please — point me towards a 'secure' OS. 1) that is still functional, vis-a-vis modern standards.

OS/X; Linux; Windows aren't safe — and, of course, no OS will ever be probably! But surely, there must be something (see point 1) — Kaspersky?

Submission + - SPAM: Writing an Unknown Unknowns Workshop for Novice Programmers

peetm writes: I have to put together a 3 hour (max) workshop for novice programmers — people with mostly no formal training and who are probably flying by the seat of their pants (and quite possibly dangerous in doing so).

I want to encourage them to think more as a professional developer would. Ideally, I would to give them some sort of practicals to do to articlate and demonstrate this, rather than just 'present' stuff on best practice. I need some help.

If you were putting this together, what would you say and include?

Comment Re:IMHO (Score 1) 176

Donald Knuth is an elitist. It is not necessary to have a background in mathematics to write software. I taught myself PHP and I certainly don't have any kind of mathematics background whatsoever. It isn't dumbing down as he claims. It's about creating opportunities. If you can code and you can do it well without mathematics, so be it. The math side is for those that want to do research. I work in the real world ....

Um, IMHO, no he isn't.

Formally, there's a big difference between being a 'Coder/Programmer/Developer' and 'Software Engineer' and 'Computer Scientist'. The latter two usually require a mathematical understanding of what a computer system is (includes programs, OSes, networks, languages, ...) and how it will perform.

At my own institution, our CS degree was really a pure mathematics degree at one time ... the department had a saying "The computers are for email and writing up, please use the blackboards for the Computer Science". We do these days teach some programming - because it's expected - but we usually use this to animate the mathematics.

Comment It was more 'Fun' (Score 1) 449

I agree, in that it was more fun (don't know if it was more cool).

At university, I never saw the machine we programmed. Back then it was coding sheets handed through a hatch and because the university leased much of its computing out to local companies, a 24 hour debug cycle. The fun in this was in getting your code correct the first time.

When I got a computer of my own (kit ZX80) I pretty much used machine code exclusively. The fun there was in coding directly to the 'machine' if you will, and in learning and using the cpu's primitives, and to some degree, what was going on at the logic level inside the chip.

The only fun I get out of contemporary computing these days is in teaching it as an academic. The fun is when you see students 'get' some subtle concept and their eyes light up.

Submission + - Apple Hires Corporate Security Chief Amid Legal Battle With FBI (fortune.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Apple has hired a new security executive to oversee its corporate digital defenses as a result of the ongoing battle with the U.S. government over law enforcement's desire to crack into the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone 5c. George Stathakopoulos, formerly vice president of information security at Amazon.com and before that Microsoft's general manager of product security, is the new appointee designated to be the vice president of corporate information security. Stathakopoulos will be responsible for protecting corporate assets, such as the computers used to design products and develop software, as well as data about customers. The new hire is a sign of increased focus on security issues at Apple.

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