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* Posts by Destroy All Monsters

8140 posts • joined 3 Jun 2008

What Compsci textbooks don't tell you: Real world code sucks

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Holmes

Re: This would be closed source proprietary code, yes?

In truth, once you open up Open Source stuff, you may well have to grab the barf bag regardless.

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Trollface

Banking and Trading Software: LOL Incompetence and dumping risk on consumers

This one I like to repost again and again (Google reveals: more often than I can remember. Frak you, Google!)

"Social Impact of Information System Failures"

IEEE Computer, June 2009 (Vol 42. Issue 6, pages 58-65); Tamai, T.

The case of Mizuho Securities versus the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) is archived in the 12 December 2005 issue of the Risks Digest, and additional information can be obtained from sources such as the Times and the New York Times, among others.

The incident started with the mistyping of an order to sell a share of J-Com, a start-up recruiting company, on the day its shares were first offered to the public. An employee at Mizuho Securities, intending to sell one share at 610,000 yen, mistakenly typed an order to sell 610,000 shares at 1 yen.

What happened after that was beyond imagination. The order went through and was accepted by the Tokyo Stock Exchange Order System. Mizuho noticed the blunder and tried to withdraw the order, but the cancel command failed repeatedly. Thus, it was obliged to start buying back the shares itself to cut the loss. In the end, Mizuho’s total loss amounted to 40 billion yen ($225 million). Four days later, TSE called a news conference and admitted that the cancel command issued by Mizuho failed because of a program error in the TSE system. Mizuho demanded compensation for the loss, but TSE refused. Then, Mizuho sued TSE for damages.

....We then segue into design horror....

The part of the system that handles order cancellation appears to have low modularity. The logic in part B of the flowchart made a wrong judgment because the information telling it that the target order had induced the reverse special quote had been temporarily written on the Stock Brand DB by the order matching module and had already been cleared. This implies an accidental module coupling between the order matching and order cancelling modules. The order cancellation module appears to have insufficient cohesion as different functions are overloaded. It is not clear how the tasks of searching the target order to be canceled, determining cancellability, executing cancellation, and updating the database are this module’s responsibility.

etc. etc.

There is a grabbable copy on the Internets, so no need to pay abject obeisance to the IEEE paywall.

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Holmes

Re: No time to refactor

Gentlemen!!!

The word your are looking for is "Technical Debt".

You may want to check out the paywalled November/December issue of IEEE Software or avail yourselves to the multimedia gallery at your discretion.

Martinis will now be served on the lounge deck.

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MIT boffins demonstrate NEW form of magnetism

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Pint

Re: Wait...

Indeed, this seems to be ongoing work.

The 5-year old story says there is a new ansatz which comes from condensed matter physics, modeling empty space as a "string net" subject to excitations. Note: Similar approaches where attempted even longer ago, additionally one may note that the whole approach which led to the idea of a Higgs field is actually a port from condensed matter physics math into fundamental physics math, postulating that empty space is some kind of superconductor for something.

If the spins that form our space organize into a string-net liquid, then the collective motions of strings give rise to light waves and the ends of strings give rise to electrons. The next challenge is to find an organization of spins that can give rise to gravitational wave.

Other theories that describe light and electrons also exist, of course; Wen and Levin realize that the burden of proof is on them. It may not be far off. Their theory also describes possible new states with emergent light-like and electron-like excitations in some condensed matter systems, and Young Lee's group at MIT might have found such a system.

So the MIT guys currently seem to be refining their math and are looking at herbertsmithite in a closer way. Which gives the El Reg article.

This also ties in nicely with the SciAm article above in which String Theory math is applied to large sets of entangled particles by postulating a string structure "going sideways" with particles at the string ends. This is unlike the case of the usual "particles are strings" idea, which transforms the path of a particle in spacetime into a tube. Whether there is more to this than mathematical approaches clicking in place is another question.

Maybe Thanu Padmanabhan has some ideas on how to use ideas from thermodynamic to fit gravity into this.

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Boffin

And now for something somewhat different

More interesting condensed matter physics + quantum phenomena here:

Strange and Stringy

Newly discovered states of matter embody what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.” They defy explanation, but lately answers have come from a seemingly unrelated corner of physics: string theory

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Re: Xen crystal

Bah.. probably not a problem.

Commence insertion!

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Re: Didn't someone once say......

Wasn't that Zuckerberg?

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Canadian man: I solved WWII WAR HERO pigeon code!

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Paris Hilton

But it's about WWII anyway?

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Coat

It's a message from Yossarian

Just "CTH22" encoded over and over with a stream cipher.

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AOAKN = "Artillery Observer At 'K' Sector, Normandy"

CMPNW = "Counter Measures [against] Panzers Not Working"

Very unlikely that one takes up the "At" in one code but the "Against" is elided in the other.

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10,000 Indian government and military emails hacked

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FAIL

Go to DEFCON "ARSED"!

“destroy, disrupt, deny and degrade”

Sounds like any standard civil servant's job description, really.

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Apple said to be testing 46, 55-inch big-screen TVs

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Childcatcher

Re: Bounties

Whenever El Reg rumormongers an Apple Rumor, a Foxconn worker has to die!

PLEASE, THINK OF THE FOXCONN WORKERS!

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Paris Hilton

Why, do you have TV??

"The usual rule of thumb for screen size,"

Where does that one come from anyway, and does it apply to modern flat screens and PC display units?

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Boffins cook raw numbers, hope to bake PERFECT kilogram

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Headmaster

Some french and/or letters are required!

We read:

Among other things, the 'mise' will tell national measurements bodies how they should combine results from different projects to define the quantum kilogram to help ensure reliability. 'Mise en pratiques' accompany all SI units.

Mise en pratique means "The act of putting into practice". You cannot use the word mise alone because then it means a bet. As for the plural, you want to put the s ending on the other word!

Thus:

Among other things, the 'mise en pratique' will tell national measurements bodies how they should (and I think this is the SHALL from the RFCs) combine results from different projects to define the quantum kilogram to help ensure reliability. 'Mises en pratique' accompany all SI units.

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US patent office: Nice try Apple, but pinch-to-zoom is NOT a new invention

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Re: If Apple have licensed this 'tech' to 3rd parties..

Not unless a lawsuit happens to occur.

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Windows

Re: Apple=Bastards

"oriniginality as herpes!"

I remember the good old times when the commentariat had advanced spelling skills (more advanced than 10-year olds with ADHD doing left-hand browsing) and trolling was actually good.

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Valve hauls down The War Z, offers refunds

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Holmes

Isn't "WarZ" basically a reattempt to do "DayZ", which is an enthusiast's attempt to reskin "ArmA II" into a Multiplayer Zombie Apocalypse Survivor Theme, which kinda works, with less rampant game hackers and more pay-to-play?

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Wikipedia doesn't need your money - so why does it keep pestering you?

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Paris Hilton

Few¹ politicians or media figures now dare criticise Wikipedia²

¹[weasel words]

²[citation needed]

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Google can't use finger-fumble patent to poke Apple - Trade panel

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Paris Hilton

Re: Self-evident wisdom

Well, there is some lass that can still be elected Miss Multiverse.

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Devil

Someone cares about Apple outside of California?

"it's going to have to be in a foreign forum where it doesn't have the clout or the cachet it has at the ITC or the northern district of California"

The Asian Landmass (funnily described by Andrew as gearing up on IP enforcement) DOES NOT CARE.

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Phone-hack saga: Police cuff man in southwest London

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The cake is a lie! You are under arrest!

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Information teleportation goes large-scale

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Happy

Re: Count me in

That's about the single occasion where copying does become stealing.

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Facepalm

Holy stuff, the comments at Phys.org reach YouTube level of stupidity.

"Don't accept that relativity anyway..makes no sense, and as an engineer was taught to reject nonsense answers no matter who said them."

I sure hope that guy does not engineer any machines I need.

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Re: Count me in

You wouldn't quantum download a cat!

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Pint

Re: Confused

> I thought quantum entanglement was totally unaffected by removing the entangled entities to any distance.

That, truly, is still an open question that has to be solved experimentally. It is commonly assumed that entanglement does not break down over large distances or large differences in time because the mathematics currently used to describe what happens say "no, it's just a state as any other". But is that really so? No-one knows for real.

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Perl programming language marks 25th birthday

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Devil

Re: Perl

Not to mention .... THIS!??!

$? : The status returned by the last pipe close, backtick (`` ) command, successful call to wait() or waitpid(), or from the system() operator. This is just the 16-bit status word returned by the traditional Unix wait() system call (or else is made up to look like it). Thus, the exit value of the subprocess is really ($?>> 8 ), and $? & 127 gives which signal, if any, the process died from, and $? & 128 reports whether there was a core dump.

At some time, someone must have thought it good style to inject bit diddling into a glorified report processor

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Naked Scarlett Johansson pic snatch bloke gets 10 YEARS

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FAIL

Re: But...

> Anything you wouldn't put on a postcard shouldn't be put in an email.

Nice motto when the door closes on you for 10 years.

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Judge: There'll be no US Samsung ban, BUT no new trial with Apple either

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Megaphone

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? IS THAT NOT WHY YOU ARE HERE?

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Trollface

"which include Cupertino patents"

This should be universally named "Cupertino's pretends".

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Trollface

Never brought up again. Ever.

Sound like the final line the good-looking protagonist utters at the end of a hollywood slasher/horror movie.

You know there will be a Part II.

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Dutch operators: Ugh, we really overdid it on the 4G last night...

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Pint

Well, someone hasn't learned from the 3G auction disaster that wrecked Deutsche Telecom.

Where's the SHRUG icon?

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Facepalm

> Luxembourg.

> Offshore Tax Haven

MFW

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Conmen DID use leaked info of sporty civil servants... to attack HMRC

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Devil

"HMRC has said it can’t comment on the investigation as it is ongoing: so we don’t know the nature of the attack, or whether it was successful."

Additionally, they didn't pick up the phone. At all.

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VCDX: The elite certification just 105 people hold

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Devil

“It is a completely transferable skill that goes across all boundaries”

Right.

Why dontcha help me clean the office fridge, appease the tax collector, then manage the grumpy IT cats in the dev bunker for whom everything is "easy peasy" until they actually have to deliver when it suddenly becomes "extremely complex". Meanwhile their latest construction is throwing bugs left and right which they don't care about, but hey the boss thought "better go downmarket on developer costs". Yes, we will do debugging in the afternoon.

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GRAIL orbiters make DEATH DIVE into lunar mountain

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WTF?

"GRAIL orbiters make DEATH DIVE into lunar mountain: Impact point honors first female US astronaut"

It's all about her driving?

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Chinese spacecraft JUUUUST avoids smashing into Toutatis

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Pint

Re: Photoshop in Spaaaaace!

Could also be that it's actually a fleet of seven Toutatises poised to attack earth like interplanetary giganto-turds!

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Paris Hilton

Very nice but...

Why do these Chinese Explanatory Posters look like something one might find as inlay on a typical ripped DVD in a market stall in Shanghai?

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Ray Kurzweil to become Google's top engineer

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Big Brother

Re: No worries here

I sure hope it won't emerge from the Googleplex like a bad idea emerging from the mind of a green lieutenant.

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Pint

Re: Kurzweil

So he's like the MARX of ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE?

But he has 19 PhDs!

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There was a Battlestar Galactica episode about that kind of problem....

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Apotheker: HP board was just as culpable for Autonomy buy

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Needs more Vader

"You have failed me for the last time, Apotheker!"

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Musos blast US copyright bods: 'ARTISTS MAKE LOUSY SLAVES!'

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Meh

What is there to cherish

Confused shock-jock language from addled minds, with the obligatory "occupy"?

Tiresome.

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Hackers warn: We'll hit US banks... again

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Devil

Why?

The banks are being DoSed by dollar stuffing anyway? Watch out for those fatty banker livers..... hmmm. Very nice with a side-dish of Weimar pickles.

We now have the announcement that Ben Bernanke’s Fed will buy $45 billion a month in treasuries, QE4, until unemployment reaches 6.5% or his version of inflation exceeds 2.5%. What a surprise! ....

Well, it does appear now that Bernanke was just easing his toe in by announcing the purchase of agency mortgages last September, and is really focused on treasuries. In all probability, he is afraid that the market for treasuries will falter. He can now support it anytime he wants without causing panic.

The next announcement may well remove the $45 billion monthly limit. Then he will be able to finance the government with as much fairy dust money as he likes.

There is always the chance that the foreign buyers will eventually be spooked and it will all come crashing down. But right now the foreign buyers do not have a lot of options and anyway Bernanke retires in a year.

It would be interesting ( and helpful) if Alan Greenspan suddenly had a Saul of Tarsus/ Paul experience and spoke out against his protege Bernanke. Or perhaps Paul Volcker, who admitted that the Fed might be violating the Fed statute in 2008 ( there was really no doubt about it) might speak up? Unfortunately none of this is likely. And we will continue on down the rabbit hole.

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Second Higgs possibility pops up in CERN data

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Big Brother

Re: Time out a second...

The particle has rest mass, yes. 140 GeV/c², was it?

In this universe, any operation conserves the quantity mass energy, not the quantity rest mass. Transformations between energy and rest mass are scaled according E=mc²

So you can have the rest mass of 140 GeV/c² going away as long as the 0-rest-mass-photons coming out of your operations have a total energy of 140 GeV/c²

This is how matter/antimatter annihilation can happen.

Big Brother because Big Mass.

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Boffin

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON INCREASING STANDARD DEVIATIONS (away from the null hypothesis)

> This peak is a single Higgs.

Most quite likely on a likelihood scale of 0..1

After discussion plots, Tommaso Dorigo of the CMS collaboration has this to say:

So, to answer the question one idea is of course that some miscalibration systematics are affecting either or both mass measurements in ATLAS. However, I am sure this has been beaten down to death by the experimenters before making public the present results.

Another idea is that the gamma-gamma signal contains some unexpected background which somehow shifts the best-fit mass to higher values, also contributing to the anomalously high signal rate. However, this also does not hold much water - if you look at the various mass histograms produced by ATLAS (there is a bunch here) you do not see anything striking as suspicious in the background distributions.

Then there is the possibility of a statistical fluctuation. I think this is the most likely explanation, and I am willing to bet $100 with as many as five takers that the two measurements will be reconciled with each other once more statistics is added, and that no observation of a double state will be made. This however might take three years to sort out, given the impending shutdown of the LHC.

Finally, you might instead want to believe that we are indeed looking at the first hint of new physics -Supersymmetry or some other model producing multiple Higgs-like particles. Very exciting, but I just do not buy that.

Time will tell! So if you have some extra cash to throw away consider taking the bet...

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John Lewis agrees to flog Microsoft's Surface RT tablets

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Devil

This is getting into Blackadder territory.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Demand has been phenomenal.

What jingle is that?

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Senator threatens FAA with legislation over in-flight fondleslabbing

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Re: I dunno....

Tons of radio pickups in there.

Anyone old enough to remember the CRTs knows what a mobile will do to the signal for sure.

But then again, a mobile is designed to dump energy into the aether, and radios are designed to pick them up or at least don't assume to be next to a 900 MHz milliwatt emitter.

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Destroy All Monsters
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Re: An interesting example that doesn't involve aviation

The thumbs-down herper-derper strikes again.

But I really want to know.

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Stop

Re: 'Phone battery spark is an urban myth?

It is as impossible to ignite fuel with a mobile as it is to cook an egg. Yet another case of the "fear new technology" mindset. Static electricity from your pullover is a larger danger.

Around here, mobiles were forbidden on public transports (i.e. bus lines) in the early noughties because of "interference". Some drivers had experienced sudden unexplained revving ... turns out the real reason was yoofs opening the maintenance hatch in the back of the bus and playing around with the engine. Yup, must be those devilish mobiles.

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