* Posts by Michael

6 posts • joined 31 Jul 2007

Linux group, Microsoft form unholy alliance against US lawyers

Michael

100% bug free not required

Many of the commentators on this story don't seem to realize what "material" means in legal jargon. The proposal isn't that software must be 100% bug free. It means that the software developer provides a warranty against "significant or substantial" (ie "material") defects in the software.

Speaking as a professional software developer, software development practices are generally atrocious. Most development shops don't followed even the most basic of best practices when developing code. It's hard to be sympathetic towards my own industry, as I know that it pays the bare minimum attention to software quality. Putting into place an implied warranty that would at least require software companies to address the material flaws in their products seems completely reasonable. A wide range of other industries live with this requirement, and it hasn't apparently crushed their ability to innovate and deliver new products.

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'Overplayed' privacy concerns rile Symantec boss

Michael

Consumers have no recourse against business

If businesses are going be responsible for data protection, not the government, there must be some incentive for businesses to act. One such incentive would be some legal framework under which consumers could sue businesses that leak their data. Business leaders who say the government should stay out of this area never seem willing to have any incentive or penalty put into place for businesses that don't comply.

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DNS lords expose netizens to 'poisoning'

Michael

random versus unpredictable

The key difference is whether your number generator is designed to produce a good statistical spread of numbers, or if it's designed to be difficult to predict. It's possible to have a random number generator with excellent statistical properties that is highly predictable, or a highly unpredictable generator with terrible statistical properties. The first is good for monte carlo simulations, the latter for cryptography.

Unfortunately most programmers don't seem to understand the difference.

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HTC applies for multi-keypad sliderphone patent

Michael

Phone already exists

I already have a phone like this: In the USA it's available as the Helio Ocean. Slide one way for the querty keyboard, another for the number pad. Only difference from the patent described is that the screen is the same size as the keyboard layers.

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T-Mobile Sidekick Slide messaging phone

Michael

Review is wrong: great for some business users

Every BOFH I know in the San Francisco bay area now carries a sidekick. After you've downloaded the SSH client, having a sidekick frees you from being tied to your desk when you're on-call. Go out to dinner, get paged about an emergency, whip out the side kick, SSH into work, examine a few logs, restart your mysql server, and viola, back to the party.

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UK gov offers car CO2 rankings by class

Michael

CO2 can weigh more than fuel burned

I don't have the weights off the top of my head, but burning fuel strips off hydrogen (light), and adds oxygen (heavy) to make CO2. So a complete conversion of the carbon in the fuel to CO2 will put out more grams of CO2 than the original fuel weighed.

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