* Posts by Mage

5895 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Favored Swift hits the charts: Now in top 10 programming languages

Mage
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Coat

Re: Those who do not understand existing computer languages

I agree,

#1 Need good programmers

#2 Decent management

#3 Choice of language nearly irrelevant provided the platform/application is suitable for it. Obviously maintaining legacy code is a separate issue.

Good programmers can learn any new language in a few days, though the libraries might take a month.

Bad programmers write buggy, insecure code no matter what language they use.

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Mage
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Re: Interesting to see what people say/think is the new hottness and what's actually being used.

Depressing that THIRTY YEARS after C++ was ported to PC/DOS, Amiga, Xenix etc, that C is still number 2. (I learnt C++ in Glockenspiel, before doing any major C project, oddly.)

Maybe it's code maintenance or people writing drivers (though you can write drivers in C++). Ditto, Assembler. I don't even use assembler on PIC Micro Controllers.

It feels like the 1980s, but with a load of new names. Why are so many people using VB.net instead of C#? Real VB ended with VB6.

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Family of technician slain by factory robot sues everyone involved

Mage
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Re: Sensor?

I'd not rely on an optical sensor.

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Mage
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Sensor?

A few dollars per moving part fits sensors (even if just load sense on actuators) to "see" is something going to be in the way.

Seems like saving a few hundred dollars, in once off cost, is more important than operators or maintenance workers lives.

ANY automated system should stop if something that shouldn't be there is there. You don't even need software, though that makes it easier and cheaper.

I made a prototype machine with a rotating drum with an aperture. The prototype had a "knife" sharp edge and wouldn't even nip a finger tip, it would reverse as soon as the travel was restricted. It could cut pencils in half without the sensor.

So yes, sue everyone, this is a completely avoidable death, even if was a late 1930s automated machine.

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'Password rules are bullsh*t!' Stackoverflow Jeff's rage overflows

Mage
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Big Brother

2nd Factor Auth

There are LOADS of things it's not suitable for. Perhaps Google just likes to collect phone numbers and other personal information?

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Mage
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Re: Sometimes I can't use a long password

Not all passwords are for websites!

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Spy satellite scientist sent down for a year for stowing secrets at home

Mage
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Big Brother

Sounds strange

Why did he take them, if in fact he did?

What is the mental health thing about?

What is the discrimination issue and what resolution?

Is he just being made an "example"?

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If fast radio bursts really are revving up interstellar sailcraft, here's the maths

Mage
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Re: The Mote In God's Eye

A fun enjoyable tale (As is the sequel). However the "lasers" are probably physically impossible (power and beam divergence) and it's just a nice story, not science.

Though a light sail does work, it's only any use for low acceleration outward from a star then coasting.

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Mage
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Alien

Kardashev scale

See Kardashev scale

Someone reads too much SF. I even write the stuff and I've read it for 50 years. However while it might work as a plot device in a story, my money is on a natural explanation.

Motive: Why is someone going to build a massive generator and power a sail? Crazy Eddie is fictional.

Means: There is no evidence that such so called "Advanced" civilisations exist or that the Kardashev scale is any more than EE "Doc" Smith style "Skylark" extrapolation.

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Silicon Valley bites back via Europe’s copyright reform

Mage
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Devil

Canada is not a member of the EU*

I hope much of this is killed. EU does not need to help USA mega corps to make more money by exploiting consumers.

[* If the NAFTA is killed by Trump, who knows. They do have a trade deal with EU, recently agreed and are an Associate Member of the largely Franco-German ESA. Not all EU members are in ESA, some European members are not in the EU, though EU does do some ESA funding]

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The future of storage is ATOMIC: IBM boffins stash 1 bit on 1 atom

Mage
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Bubble memory

Bubble memory actually made it as a real (though niche) product. Maybe it could be re-born at much higher capacity (petabytes?)

This is wonderful research. It may or may not ever be in a real product.

20 years after Bubble memory (static wafer), the MO spinning discs were wonderful.

The holographic storage that was supposed to replace it, never really left the lab, Flash grew and replaced both static RAM with a coin cell and smaller HDD.

Now we are promised various kinds of "better than flash" solid state memory from IBM, Intel, HP etc, that always seem 6 months away.

So will it be a spinning disk type device or a card like device?

My SF stories devices obviously must have Holmium based storage on their sapphire substrate wafer scale integration "circuit" boards.

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Anti-TV Licensing petition gets May date for Parliament debate

Mage
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Re: shot themselves

Yes

Too much reality TV, chasing ratings, and propaganda of various curious types. I don't think "left" or "right", it's more complicated.

Too much fake science now.

However BBC content and governance is a separate problem to TV licence. Here in Ireland we have a TV Licence (which applies if TV works, even if it's Analogue or 405 lines, or no aerial historically because of UK reception, Cable TV and MMDS. They nearly brought in TV licence in 1950s though Irish TV started late night 31st Dec 1961, basically 1962). Even RTE radio is dire, unless less you want what is on Lyric FM or the pop on 2FM.

RTE is full of overpaid managers, overpaid cult of presenters and nearly no useful content. Irish people have Adverts on RTE *AND* have to pay TV licence even if TV is only used for Netflix. If it's a computer, it's liable for TV licence if it can get live TV.

Careful what you wish for, it might be what Murdoch or Silicon Valley wants.

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Mage
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Paris Hilton

Re: Cool - - - but

Indeed the petition and demand to abolish the TV licence seems lacking in a plan. It would totally play into the pockets of Amazon, Netflix, Sky/Fox, so called Virgin (really UPS/Global Liberty) all of whom produce little content and content of a low common denominator, they are nearly parasites. YouTube (Google) is a content parasite.

Certainly the present "enforcement regime" is totally wrong.

Which content providers do they want to see taxed?

P.S. I wondered was I on wrong thread. (Speeding etc)

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Microsoft: Can't wait for ARM to power MOST of our cloud data centers! Take that, Intel! Ha! Ha!

Mage
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Re: Just why would you want to run MS server on ARM?

If you are Microsoft, it may make more sense to run Windows on Arm than Linux.

I actually used MS Xenix back in 1987, I think.

MS DOES have a linux for their Edge Routers.

So the day MS can make more money from Linux than Windows, then Windows brand will be actually running Linux ("Windows" has been three totally incompatible platforms in the past).

MS ultimately has no allegiance to an OS or a CPU. They even had MS version of OS/2 (without IBM!) between XENIX and first NT, the NT3.1, perhaps that's why NT starts at 3.x, not because of the DOS + GUI shell of Win 2., Win 286, Win 3.x, WFWG 3.x. Win 4 was a Chinese version of Win3.1 and Win95 was really a roll up of WFWG3.11 + Win32s + VFW etc with new explorer Shell.

Same applies to Apple. They will replace Mac OSX on Intel with iOS ARM if it makes financial or PR sense to do so. Mac started on 68000 then was Power PC. OS X has no relationshiip internally to OS 9 and earlier. Apple has no allegiance to Intel or any OS, only profit.

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Mage
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Windows

is now built from a single source code base

"Windows – both the Server and client flavors – is now built from a single source code base"

Oh, party like before 1999 (NT 3.1, NT3.51 NT4.0 all ran on multiple cpu types and essentially only difference between Server & WS was the default registry settings and number of clients allowed).

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UK.gov 5G strategy 'mostly sensible', says engineering brainbox

Mage
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Boffin

Basically

In summary he's saying the same as I always have. It's not the shiny tech but simply more base stations that are needed.

Look up WHY it's called a cellular system.

So called 5G services? Even 3G services (video calling) are dead. Mobile apart from non-VOIP voice (which isn't even part of 4G) is no longer about "services" or "added value" (remember WAP?). It's simply about a connection. Basic physics and economics dictates you need more base stations for more speed / capacity, not a new protocol.

It's because of lax licence conditions and economics (ROI. Companies have almost no extra revenue from more coverage and especially from better performance, which costs a lot more) is why coverage isn't 100% geographic and speeds can be down to dual basic ISDN, but with more packet loss, jitter and latency.

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Mage
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Facebook?

Not an example of innovation. Irrelevant parasite.

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Tesla 'API crashes' after update, angry rich bods complain

Mage
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Re: iOS

The issue isn't iOS.

It's just stupidity with ANY OS having other than status reports of a car or house etc. Control of car via any app on any OS of a car is just like one of those 1960s/1970s Ford cars that could be opened with any key or a screwdriver once the lock was a few years old.

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Mage
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Happy

Security

This makes sense. Having iOS access is insecure.

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That CIA exploit list in full: The good, the bad, and the very ugly

Mage
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Black Helicopters

Obligatory XKCD

Also my view on how significant this "wikileak" is

XKCD Hacking

Hover mouse text (for those on phones/tablets)

The dump also contains a list of millions of prime factors, a 0-day Tamagotchi exploit, and a technique for getting gcc and bash to execute arbitrary code.

(use view element, copy outer HTML)

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Mage
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Hmm, wikileaks

There is nothing here I not expect them to have. It's always "game over" when you attack one specific person and get physical access to their device. Even cloning a targets phone to an identical looking one with bug HW &SW is old hat.

Indeed as the article suggests, is the reason to leak this to support freedom and democracy or some other reason?

Even if the Trump angle is wrong, (why would Wikileaks support him?), Wikileaks seem more interested in their own ego than the public good.

All the expert agencies are using these sort of tools and often they rely on a human attack on a specific target, such as the "hotel maid" and the senior official's laptop.

Nothing to see here at all, bear in woods etc.

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Huawei's just changed the way you'll use Android

Mage
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Windows, it still supports Alt-F4

So does Linux (at least Mate on Mint).

My Sony Ericsson Z1 is still working perfectly, but if it breaks, I'll look at the Huawei.

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Rap for chat app chaps: Snap's shares are a joke – and a crap one at that

Mage
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Devil

Pyramid selling like scam?

Like Anglo Irish Bank the early guys get the profit, but eventually they sell to "marks". Then the price will implode.

The non-voting nature of the shares "screams scam".

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Aah, all is well in the world. So peaceful, so– wait, where's the 2FA on IoT apps? Oh my gawd

Mage
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Yawn

It's irrelevant Nest / Google PR.

Google is still getting all the info.

Something that should not need a 3rd part server is using a 3rd party server.

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Spies do spying, part 97: Shock horror as CIA turn phones, TVs, computers into surveillance bugs

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: And they all laughed...

There is nothing to see here, this is all oldschool stuff. If you have a specific target and get physical access, it's always been "game over". You don't even need CIA tools.

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Sir Tim Berners-Lee refuses to be King Canute, approves DRM as Web standard

Mage
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Re: I have given upo trying to read paid for e-books

Manage them with Calibre and suitable plugins.

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Mage
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Devil

Re: DRM means you don't own your content

I buy ebooks from Amazon and use my REAL Kindle's serial number on a plug in for Calibre so I will always have it and can read on non-Amazon eReader or apps with no DRM.

At least Amazon does let publishers (or indie authors) be DRM free. Smashwords is also DRM free.

DRM is evil period.

I never give other people copies of anything still under copyright. Eventually the content of my physical and digital archives ought to be public domain.

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Mage
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Re: And will this DRM realise its been run in a VM and is a chocolate teapot?

Point camera on tripod in dark room at 4K screen.

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Mage
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Re: you won't get HD quality output when videoing a screen

Actually you can. It's not hard at all.

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Mage
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Devil

Re: Any Restriction Placed on the Internet

DRM has many problems:

1) It adds extra cost to consumer (HDCP on HDMI)

2) It can fail where a authentication server is needed (Adobe ePub extensions or Plays for Sure etc)

3) It ultimately is contrary to properly implemented copyright laws based on Berne convention

4) Usually it doesn't stop professional pirates and makes life awkward to users.

5) It blocks innovation, entry of new hardware, software, operating systems etc. Benefits largest suppliers of end user SW/HW

There are other problems too. Basically unlike copyright or patents which can be implemented properly, DRM is simply coercive and evil. It's often misused to achieve other ends than copyright enforcement.

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Scammers hired hundreds of 'staff' to defraud TalkTalk customers

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: blocking all traffic from a couple of Indian call centres?

That might block too much "legitimate" support that's been outsourced!

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Mage
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Headmaster

Re: ???

I'll bite.

A "trojan" isn't always a virus. It's something dressed as something else. Beware Greeks bearing gifts, or Geeks baring Gifs. c.f. Story of fall of Troy.

They existed in mainframe days, a free 9 track tape with a demo would actually also do something else.

A Trojan might have any purpose. It usually needs to be explicitly run. It might be presented as "click here to install this codec you need", or as legitimate app.

A "virus" is code that replicates itself from the computer it somehow got on, to another computer via any method. Amiga should have warned MS that "autorun" CDs on Win95 was rather ideal for a virus replication medium.

Malware can obviously combine Trojan and Virus techniques.

A root kit is a way of hiding malware, it may be legitimate such as special kind of device driver to emulate some particular hardware, or make a mounted ISO look like a CD/DVD to anti-piracy software.

I suspect wikipedia, bing, google, yahoo answer the question.

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Trump, Brexit, and Cambridge Analytica – not quite the dystopia you're looking for

Mage
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Big Brother

In the original Foundation trilogy

Asimov's Psychohistory was a sort of Maguffin.

Who'd imagine people would try to make it real?

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A mooving tail of cows, calves and the Internet of Things

Mage
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Boffin

Re: Coverage - and not in the nice way

It's a phone with a sensor.

Yes, no study has ever found a statistically significant connection between mobile phone RF and health.

Too much RF gives burns or cataracts.

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Mage
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Mooving story

They have these things in the local Co-op. They just use the regular mobile phone network and send an SMS.

Not the usual IoT horror.

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Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

Mage
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Re: campaigners pdeudoscience

I'm not sure it's not decided by beancounters based purely on the "bottom line" or "control".

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Mage
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Remote sites

Some remote sites and street lights are not metered (in Ireland anyway). The Electricity provider simply bills based on an agreed usage (like a mobile base station power consumption only changes if the equipment is changed).

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Mage
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Re: CE mark ... in some way connected to reality,

I've seen PC PSUs with the filter caps all left out and filter coil / chokes all replace by wire links.

Also phone chargers and CFL ballasts with the filter components missing.

They get mark and then leave out components to save money. Most governments only test if a lot of consumers complain. Most governments have no interest in pro-active enforcement of consumer rights or approval marks (c.f. SOGA, sale prices, equipment in retail for a different market etc).

Power socket networking gear SMPSUs are well filtered as otherwise they'd not work. They pass EMI/RFI by only being plugged in and also not being used with data.

Also the domestic wiring setup for CE testing isn't realistic. The lighting circuits only have live to wall switch, so they even more than socket wiring act as aerials.

Contrary to popular belief the main fuse box / meter provides no significant filtering for mains networking or SMPSU/Electronic ballast noise.

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Mage
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Flame

Re: most LED lamps draw

Most LED lamps are SMPSU giving a low voltage. Most CFL use a SMPSU that is called an Electronic ballast, which replaces the passive iron cored choke.

The problems are that the circuits take current spikes at the peak of the sinewave and generate RFI. Also life is short due to the electrolytic capacitors drying out.

I like the new filament string LED (typically 28 LEDs and 110V per filament, but 220V/240V models may use longer "filaments" or pairs). Virtually no RFI, though they still only take current over part of the cycle as they have a rectifier and capacitor, though no pesky SMPSU in ones I've looked at.

Some SMPSUs will blow up or go on fire or trip the "fuse box" during a "brown out" as they take more current to maintain output power and voltage.

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Mage
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Re: WHOLE point is reduce the ability to swap suppliers easily

No, that's reason #2

Reason #1 is to remotely disconnect you either because they THINK you didn't pay or because they need to shed load.

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Mars orbiter FLOORS IT to avoid hitting MOON

Mage
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Headmaster

Re: CAPS LOCK

My Capslock key acts as the Compose key.

I do have a way of engaging SHOUTING AT PEOPLE mode. A bit like a nuke launch, I have to engage both shift keys.

Occasional all caps words are acceptable for emphasis. It's a bit hard to read a large passage that way. Hence the monks invented lower case (miniscule). The Romans might only have had capitals. Probably that's why the Celts, Huns, Goths, Jews etc thought them arrogant.

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UK watchdog to probe political campaigns trading personal info

Mage
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Devil

We didn't break any laws

Then laws need to be changed to outlaw the entire privacy theft industry euphemistically called analytics with their immoral use of browser stats, clear pixels, cookies and javascript.

Browsers should only report window sized etc to ensure server supplies content that can be rendered.

Website owners should only log impressions per hour.

Any other information should be supplied with genuine freely given consent of the user without coercion.

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BT splurges £1.2bn on securing Champions League rights, Sky heads for an early bath

Mage
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Re: Ban exclusive rights

The money is destroying football.

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COP BLOCKED: Uber app thwarted arrests of its drivers by fooling police with 'ghost cars'

Mage
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Devil

Re: legal to track their whereabouts and activities with police scanner radios

In many countries it may be legal to listen*, but illegal to act on the information or communicate it to a 3rd party. In some democracies it's also illegal to listen.

In many countries the use of Greyball would be illegal.

[*Tetra and use of Mobile make listening in very difficult, no scanner generally available supports that]

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Java? Nah, I do JavaScript, man. Wise up, hipster, to the money

Mage
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Coat

Language?

I'd put choice of language third. Though obviously it depends a lot on the platform / application.

Microcontroller with no OS, embedded OS, desktop apps, server applications, web stuff, setboxes, routers etc.

The most important thing is the attitude and quality of the programmer.

Then sensible management.

Though I have a preference, in many cases the language is not something the programmer chooses. Many use cases are unsuitable for my "favourite" languages. I hate web programming more than any language to do it. I counted six "languages" in use in the same file, if you count HTML and SQL as "programming". No sensible way to have aid of a compiler's sanity check.

Compared to that, arguing the merits of Java vs C# (MS concept of Java), C++, etc is pointless.

Though I'd point out that Java can be used (and has been) for TVs, Setboxes, Windows/Mac/Linux desktop, phones, servers as well as Web applications. Anyone use PHP for anything other than Web?

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Mage
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Windows

Nostalgia

This thread is so 1980s!

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Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: PHP

Look at the OLD security bugs in new PHP modules on mailing lists for all the popular CMS / Forums etc.

EVERY WEEK!

Popular or fast to put out the door != good

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Mage
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Re: web apps

Plenty of software development doesn't involve web apps.

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Google, what the hell? Search giant wrongly said shop closed down, refused to list the truth

Mage
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Re: Guidelines fixed

Still inadequate. It should be impossible for users to mark a business as closed without verification. This is arrogant negligent behaviour and worse than Wikipedia (because Maps), which is bad enough.

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Mage
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Devil

Re: What about the postcard thing?

Users of Google maps should not be able to mark a business as closed, period, not without proper verification. That's too open to abuse by competitor's shills, trolls and idiots. It's an abuse of Google's market share too.

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