* Posts by JLV

1711 posts • joined 4 Mar 2013

Python creator Guido van Rossum sys.exit()s as language overlord

JLV
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Re: 'programming styles from different languages are (to a varying extent) supported'

things it doesn't do (I've probably missed some):

- compile time checks - there are some basic syntax checks (dangling commas, bad indents, etc...), but nothing like a real compiler. It is an interpreted language, albeit a strongly typed one. Even the 3.x type annotations are more intended for 3rd party library parsing than real compile time type checking. That's a hard separation - you either want compile checks or you don't.

- information hiding and encapsulation. There is no privacy as such to class and module attributes, though single underscore, _my_somewhat_private, by convention means non-public and double underscores, __my_almost_private, are obfuscated, but still accessible.

- full-on threading. There's something called the Global Interpreter Lock in the main (C-based) version of the language that enforces code locks. It looks like full threading from the POV of the coder, but code blocks will take their turn in some cases. Different ways exist to mitigate, and it looks fine from the dev's POV, but it's still there.

- speed. You can find cases of quick Python programs that compare fairly favorably to C alternatives, but that's just because the algos are not CPU-bound. Or they are, but the heavy lifting could be left to objects which are implemented in C. For example, the built-in hash maps are very clever and can often make a huge difference in speed, but they're C-based, not native Python. Ditto things like pandas or numpy, used in data science - libs are all in C, but dev need not care. Generally, Python knows full well that it can't do everything quickly and goes out of its way to facilitate interfacing to native compiled code.

Pure Python CPU-bound code? Slow. Writing a driver in Python? Not a great idea.

- it's not manual memory management. Which means you may experience the joys of garbage collection kicking in at inopportune moments.

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JLV
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Re: 'programming styles from different languages are (to a varying extent) supported'

Different paradigms, rather than languages:

Functional - the list comprehensions and iterators, maps, reduces, lambdas, all sorts of goodies (which I know little about).

Object Oriented - pretty much everything is an object, including classes themselves and functions/methods. There's a lot of depth in the data model that few people use. For examples, classes are themselves objects with their class being a metaclass. That's useful, for some use cases, or for some people's programming preferences - I have a bit of a blind spot for them, they're an unused tool in my case. You can generate classes on the fly as well - say a class for each database table you are reading from.

(one thing to beware of : mutable objects as attributes, at a class level or as default arguments, bites everyone sooner or later. self._list = [] looks like cls._list = [], but in the first case appending stuff self._list.append(hit) affects your instance, in the second all that class's instances.)

Procedural - if you want to do write something with a main calling all sorts of functions, there's really nothing forcing you to use classes or objects as your building blocks - sticking to functions is perfectly permitted. ditto avoiding list comprehensions.

Multiplatform/scripting - rare is the case where you really have do worry about Windows vs Nix. os.path.join("foo","bar","zoom") will do the right thing on either, barring issues with Windows C:/D: drive names.

Since functions are objects, you can say assign any attribute, say a template to a function. The reasons why you might to do this are not common, but it can be helpful at times. For example, I explicitly assign template file paths to webserver functions because it allows you to automatically introspect which urls use which templates.

def f_view(**kwds):

(indent) print (f_view.template % kwds)

f_view.template = "my foo is: %(foo)s"

f_view(foo=2, bar="1")

All these tricks need to be sanity-checked against clarity - it is just as possible to write incomprehensible code in Python as in C!

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JLV
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Re: I like Python and C

Well, I didn't know that. But I'm not sure I agree with your viewpoint DOS had nothing to do with it.

It's not that I disagree with the hardware info you state, you know more than I do about it, apparently.

However, I well remember mucking around with config.sys to get DOS to see enough RAM to run a flight sim on my first pc. So, the OS, which should have abstracted away the hardware specifics, wasn't quite up to that role. Ditto tons of memory manager utilities floating around to help out.

Also, IIRC, things like QNX had no trouble running 4MB RAM workstations.

Regardless of the actual causes, it's still one of the better known examples of (hardware or software) design issues sticking around like a wart.

Last "640K is enough for everyone" is, perhaps wrongly, attributed to Gates, so hardly surprising the meme would survive as a "DOS sin".

https://www.computerworld.com/article/2534312/operating-systems/the--640k--quote-won-t-go-away----but-did-gates-really-say-it-.html

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JLV
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Re: Hmmmm...

yessssss, our first Godwin.

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JLV
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Re: I like Python and C

SE has some extremely toxic individuals, esp in the G... police that moderates it

As to 2 vs 3 an analogy might help: DOS’s 640k RAM limit.

Some design decisions were, in hindsight, wrong. ‘print’ - statement rather than ‘print()’ - expression, for example . Means you can’t ‘[print(x) for c in x]’.

Revisiting them was considered better than enshrining them forevermore. Guido, who in temperament is very consensual - dictator is a bit of a Monty P joke - has mused that 3.x would be handled differently in hindsight.

Now, you can write 90% matching 2-3 code on 2.7, which is intended as a transitional 2.x bringing as much of 3 as possible. There are automated converters. Almost all of core lib packages written on 3, if they do not rely on 3’s internals, get backported into 2.7. Being careful, you can use special scaffolding that keeps your code running on 2 and 3.

The problem was less the language incompatibilities _for your code_ as the existence or not of your core dependency packages (ORMs, web frameworks..) in 3. Plus, for the first 3-4 years 3.x was slower by 10-20%.

So... much later, a cleaner language. How many times do we techies regret cruft and inconvenience kept in the name of backward compatibility? Yet, for all that, it was a traumatic birth and unlikely to be repeated in a 4.x release.

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JLV
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Too bad. I've chatted with Guido twice and he is really a very nice, unassuming person. And you can tell that he is also quite engineer-curious - him and his posse got sidetracked wondering about snow load vs roof slope (or something like that). Just geek-ish fun, not at all business types.

PEP 572? I took a short look at it and didn't get till I saw what @Thames had posted. I have wished in the past to reuse filter-side expression. It's nice, maybe a bit syntaxic sugar rather than core need. If it's really expensive computation you can always do it in 2 lines.

result = [f(x) for x in input]

result = [x for x in result if x]

I guess maybe the pushback was concern that too much special casing of stuff and symbols ends up PERL-ing things up?

Suppose it's all for the best though - the language will need to transition to another governance one of these days anyway.

BTW, for those who just don't get it: liking Python does not mean a dislike of C. Quite the opposite, matter of fact.

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JLV
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Trollface

Re: Here's a PEP

While you are at it you should also open up a PEP to the LISP folk and tell them off about about their parenthese use. I am sure they're dying to have your input.

It's a core language design decision. Doesn't mean it's a good one for everyone. But there's also nothing, zip, nada, zilch to keep you from coding in something else.

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Azure Dev Spaces has hit public preview, so El Reg took it for a spin

JLV
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additionally, whatever’s generated is useless if it can’t be maintained manually if needed, resonably structured and styled w meaningful naming and storable in source control and diff-able. 2 way: wizard <=> manual trips are nice to have.

from viewing long-past MS abortions in VS db-layer wizard outputs and 05 SSIS un-editable 1 line “XML” files, my expectations are, perhaps unwarrantedly, rather low.

call me a doubting Thomas, and not just because it's alpha-ware, but rather because I sense the potential for it never being more than demo-ware. reviewers need to look at the generated artifacts, not just the observable behavior.

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JLV
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>For developers used to a visual way of debugging and happy in the world of Visual Studio

any indication that the tech stack involved could ever support an editor+command line approach, or is this resolutely for IDEs only?

what’s worrying with all this behind-the-covers wizard approach is that, depending on the quality of the generated stuff you may very well have something that works on 80% of contexts but just doesn’t support the odd 20%. if you spend a lot of time succeeding before hitting the wall and if the system doesn’t allow for manual code in its 20% blind spot, you’re hosed.

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Intel, Microsoft, Adobe release a swarm of bug fixes to ruin your week

JLV
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>Adobe somehow managed to find itself plugging nearly twice as many security holes as Microsoft.

Somehow? this is Adobe we’re talking about. Their prime role is to make everyone else’s security look professional in comparison.

Meanwhile BBC’s still putting out Flash...

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Sueball claims Apple broke hacking laws with iOS batt throttling code

JLV
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Trollface

Re: Watch those EULAs

You know, I really look forward to a court case where the lead lawyer pleading an EULA-based defense is asked detailed questions about the contents of the 500 page EULA on any of his devices. And his team is allowed to help by chipping in about any of theirs.

And when it is shown not even lawyers ever read them that is used to throw out EULA abuse evermore.

Sadly, about the same probability as Kate Upton jumping in my bed.

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Leatherbound analogue password manager: For the hipster who doesn't mind losing everything

JLV
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>pwd manager for Mac OS

1Password is OK.

Likes:

- it works

- fairly comprehensive and seems serious about providing a good product. they've been caught out in some of the password manager audits, like others, but they patched promptly.

- you don't HAVE to store stuff in the cloud. if not, no syncing, but that's ok

- you don't have to use browser integration and you can keep it closed most of the time.

- multiplatform.

Dislikes:

- data file is stored in/mediated by macos Keychain. That's probably an overall positive, but worries me about what would happen if the mac dies and Time Machine doesn't save the day. I'd rather export it encrypted somewhere, only needing the app and the master password to restore. Now, IIRC, I did manage to find the file somewhere and do just that, but it's not well documented and needlessly obfuscated and complex to do so.

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No one wants new phones – it's chips that keep Samsung chugging

JLV
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>committed to 3 years

I can't be the only person who thinks that a 3 yr lifetime, for a consumer item costing upwards of $500 is a rather low bar.

In what other field would we buy something of that price and then be OK that the manufacturer would just drop us off in the lurch past that? Especially when the countdown sneakily starts at the product's release date? Given that the lack of security updates basically means the product can be risky to use without it?

For computers, we have rather higher expectations out of Windows (7 will be 11 years old by the time its security patches dry up). To say nothing of Linux. And cheap laptop prices are now in the ballpark figure of midrange phones.

What makes cell phone manufacturers so special that we consider 3 yrs support to be great and forgive the majority who can't even bother that long? We're talking about established big name companies with massive marketing budgets here, not just cheap Chinese knockoff vendors.

This was more understandable when the hardware evolution cycle meant that a 2 yr old phone was totally obsolete and could barely run new OS versions. But we're not there anymore, are we?

</rant>

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JLV
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Re: maybe apple should....

Perhaps, but for all the complaining about Apple, I was able to confidently pick up a craigslisted SE previous generation cause Apple - while cheering you on endlessly to buy their new stuff - will support 4-5 years, easy. I mean, how many years of macos supported the PowerPC CPU, after X86? How old did your system have to be, before it wasn't supported?

That 2yr old SE, bought last year? expecting 3-4 years more, easy.

Pixels get 3 yrs from 1st release date. For that SE, that would be March 2019.

I'd love to see competition to iPhones. Missing BB10, wish MS hadn't failed and chickened. And I have bitched about the price, contents and upgradeability of last-gen MBPs. None of this makes me like Sammy or Google more. or Android in general and this after 18 months of Nexus5 use.

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iPhone 8 now outsells X, and every other phone

JLV
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Boffin

caveat emptor

On pricing my SE (which I ended up picking up cheap on Craigslist), it turned out

$x contract phone cost + $y * 24 months = about $100 less than buying myself. Makes sense, volume pricing and all. Reasonable.

Except, small print, hardly mentioned, gone is the carrier's $5/month discount for BYOD.

Not only for 24 months, which would make contract about the same. Forever.

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And in current affairs: Rogue raccoon blacks out city power grid after shocking misstep

JLV
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Re: Are you SURE it's dead?

2 fighting with Dobermann:

dog’s losing

dog owner assists pet - ignored

dog owner returns w baseball bat? raccoons leave, unhurriedly

They look cute, but getting bitten by one means rabies shots and the ones most seen by tourists in Stanley Park are right next to a cliff where people have died falling.

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Apple is Mac-ing on enterprise: Plans strategic B2B alliance with HPE

JLV
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Re: I like Apple stuff - Generally

Totally missed that, but yes, you are right. Desktops suck, big time.

Mind you, even on the MBPs the newer ones are nothing to write home about with rather limited SSD space unless you pay totally outrageous prices. And very limited serviceability.

There's some good groundwork done on the OS, but their desire for hipness and slimness above all may not be a good enterprise fit at all. I am starting to eye Linux options because of little you can do to swap parts on newer macs. My 2011 MBP has had its keyboard changed (my bad: water damage), 2 SSDs (first 850 died), 2 RAM upgrades. The new stuff is not appealing hardware-wise. Or price.

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JLV
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interesting, wonder what will come out of it

I don't know if Apple has it in their DNA to provide systems suitable to large established enterprises. Or even commercial users in general, barring creatives and developers. It may work better with newer companies that rely a lot on cloudy stuff for their back office.

And let's not forget the $$$$. CAD$3.5K for a, not extremely tricked-out, MBP?

But at the same time they do have:

- a reason to be motivated - that's a big untapped market for them and they're running out of consumer opportunities. Less of a potential return than say smart cars, but also less competitive - the smart/EV car field which has major established players. They need something to move the needle on their market valuation basically.

- lack of competition in the enterprise desktop OS. It's basically Windows, with a smattering of Linuxes for some. Anyone who's fed up with Windows/MS might consider macos favorably. Or not. But it's not like they have many other choices, Linux desktops aside.

- Windows 8 and 10. Different enough from 7 (esp 8) that it's not that much more of a jump to train end users to macos. Not exactly stellar perception either. Many people will already know macos from their home use and Office runs on it. And there's a fair bit of dev goodwill towards macos, if not necessarily towards Apple.

- security. Though Apple is sometimes quite sloppy in the details, macos is a BSD/Mach derivative and is generally fairly secure out of the box. Viruses and malware do happen, despite Apple's claims, but they happen at much less frequency in practice.

- Has Apple abandoned their software in the past? Definitely, as other commentards have pointed out. And I recall shabby LDAP implementation glitches. But, again, MS has softened that particular argument with their inability to stick to their own products and dev stacks. The Apple development stack is actually pretty stable - I don't much like ObjectiveC, but it's been around for ages and plays well with newbie Swift. Macos supports a lot of Unix software too - anything that's not GUI is usually good to go.

Methink service, ability to listen and availability of suitable 3rd party service and software offerings will decide, but only if they're ready to commit for the long term. Add to it something to support group policies and IAM.

Yeah, really deep insights here, but they do have some opportunities. Which, to be honest, I doubt they'll pull off - I really don't think it's in their corporate DNA.

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JLV
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Re: Actually...

hmmm, my ASUS ROGs secure boot UEFI is peculiarly resistant to booting off USB Linuxes. Worked at some point, using one particular USB imaging utility, which lulled me into not taking good enough notes. Hasn’t since, despite several tries. Incredibly time consuming to play with when you’re not familiar with UEFIs.

Are macs easy to boot off USBs? No idea (would expect the opposite), but it’s a stretch to say all’s rosy all the time in PC land.

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Feds charge Man after FCC boss Ajit Pai's kids get death threat over net neutrality axe vote

JLV
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Re: He commited a Felony

To be clear, I have no sympathy whatsoever for the person who threatened Pai and took issue with the tone of this article from the start.

Coming from BJ, of all people, I find this lament about "the left demonizing them for mere political disagreements" rather ironic however.

Just as I don't really appreciate people generalizing the Charlottesville neo-nazis into a wider narrative applicable to "the right" in general.

Civility doesn't hurt, even in political matters ;-)

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JLV
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Re: He commited a Felony

>the left does routinely these days

I guess that whatever part of the brain manages irony isn't very developed with you, eh, BJ? Not that I have high expectations for the other parts.

Now, had you said, many elements of the left and right do routinely these days, then I'd have to agree with you.

This insistence on demonizing people who don't agree with you, for policy differences which are often trivial in nature (immigration aside, that's where "the right" likes to "shine" - but see Italy's hybrid abortion too), is royally effin up our democracies, just as much as self-awarded increasing monetary suck into the C-level management.

If you managed to put together one or two sentences from time to time without resorting to name calling, but rather criticizing policies, you'd be taken a lot more seriously here and with people other than your fellow travelers. Shame you can't quite manage.

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JLV
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>while it is completely unacceptable to threaten officials and their children

Markara is a jackass and his prosecution, or not, for making death threats should proceed as it is customary in these cases towards public officials, including taking into account the apology, circumstances and motivation.

Personally, 3-6 months, suspended or not, would be ambly sufficient, unless there’s any indication he was planning to go through with.

Pai’s well-documented tendancy to be a contemptible excuse for a public servant (and the outstanding questions re his potential corruption) should NOT figure in a ‘but’ or ‘while’ aside regarding Markara’s actions.

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When Google's robots give your business the death sentence – who you gonna call?

JLV
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presumably he’s also spending a fair bit of money there, so the lack of any dialog - not to ask Google how to use their APIs, but to not get deleted which is a different thing entirely, is worrying

basically it’s “don’t use our base plans for anything serious”. so who does that leave that version of the Google cloud for? consumer backups? hobby projects? that’s a pretty limiting use case and they should be more upfront about it.

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Micro Focus offloads Linux-wrangler SUSE for a cool $2.5bn

JLV
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Re: Bits about SUSE (especially versus Red Hat)

surely the corporate market can accommodate, and benefit from, more than 1 big publicly traded Linux vendor. If the VC plays its cards right, they could IPO them solo later as a competitor to RH.

Plus, MicroFocus is the vendor that wanted a pound of flesh $2000+ for a COBOL compiler a while back (still?), so anything they’re involved with gets an automatic black mark in my book. Good escape for SUSE.

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Git365. Git for Teams. Quatermass and the Git Pit. GitHub simply won't do now Microsoft has it

JLV
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given a once-popular substitution for the S in MS, some unkind souls - not me, guv - might go for Git$

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Science fiction legend Harlan Ellison ends his short time on Earth

JLV
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RIP.

"Along the Scenic Route".

Powerful, 30 yrs after my first and only read.

https://scifi.stackexchange.com/a/175644

and a short about a manipulative guy who picks up a woman by gifting a "family heirloom" nickel. Turns out he has a cupfull ready for next mark. Him, right?

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Potato, potato. Toma6to, I'm going to kill you... How a typo can turn an AI translator against us

JLV
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Re: Rubbish in, rubbish out...

ook een beetje Frans

http://www.ezglot.com/etymologies.php?l=nld&l2=fra

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JLV
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Re: Hmmm

good point.

but still, you’d figure lions’ pattern matching would have evolved to

lunch = regex.match(stripes) by now.

I wonder how you cook up an AI translator that doesn’t bat an eye at a word like ‘Psy6hothearpeiut’. maybe that’s the price you have to parse online dating profiles like ‘I hope your a happy man. I am a clever women’.

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MongoDB turns on, tunes in, drops ACID and goes mobile

JLV
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Headmaster

Re: Don't need transactions?

Not sure how good their transactional support is in practice, but reading the article makes it seems as if they were trying to enhance it, rather than getting rid of it.

>the decision to offer multi-document ACID transactions, a feature that is generally available from today.

So, maybe drops takes ACID would have been a better headline? Still a good fit for Jerry Garcia fans.

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FireEye hacked off at claim it hacked Chinese military's hackers

JLV
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and what if they had done it?

I can see them denying capability or keeping adversaries in the dark.

But I wouldn’t really care much about respecting _known_ hackers’ privacy. It’s not like Fancy Bear and all the assorted state-sponsored slime trawling the net on behalf of Putin, Xi, Fat Kim and, yes, the NSA, are persona grata.

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A volt out of the blue: Phone batteries reveal what you typed and read

JLV
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Re: If someone is able to open my phone

I am not all that clear on why you are so relaxed, considering that removable batteries seem very high on the wish list of many commentards here.

A user might very well buy a “poisoned” aftermarket battery, taking into account the typical gouge level that manufacturers apply to their branded batteries. Yes, you can expect exploding batteries, but keyboard sniffing should not be on the menu.

IMHO, until systems are much hardened against timing attacks, really high frequency/resolution sampling of “stuff” from the browser/JS should be disabled by default, whenever possible. Anything over say 60-240hz to cover display considerations. I believe that Firefox is doing just that to avoid Spectre timing attacks.

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Cops: Autonomous Uber driver may have been streaming The Voice before death crash

JLV
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Boffin

Simples. Charge both Uber and the driver

Uber disconnected the autobraking system and required the driver to annotate the drive experience on a touchpad. They, and maybe because that's because they were expecting her to be taking notes, totally failed to enforce good driver attention, despite having a recording video that shows her looking down and away. You're on a job and you know you are on video and yet you goof off? Somebody didn't tell her to take her job seriously. What were her qualifications? We know she's an ex-con - not a something negative in itself, reinsertion is important - but did she have the training and education to be doing this? Or was she just cheap for Uber to employ, in a position that was mandated by law, but considered onerous by Uber?

If she was watching entertainment, it's entirely her fault but probably due in no small part to her feeling that she could get away with it. This lack of oversight - in a job where the job profile is pretty much conducive to folk slacking off by its very nature - and the overall lax safety attitude we've perceived from Uber so far well warrants Uber getting sued. Those facts can come out in court.

If she was indeed watching entertainment, then she should be charged for distracted driving causing death. This local police department was also quick to absolve Uber, very early in the investigation, so they seem quite sloppy and a court should also look at the evidence.

(quoting wikipedia)

>

The driver said it was like a flash, the person walked out in front of them. His [sic] first alert to the collision was the sound of the collision. [...] it’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway.

— Chief Sylvia Moir, Tempe Police, San Francisco Chronicle interview, March 19, 2018[21]

While we are at it, maybe review also what steps the Arizona DMV took to ensure public safety. Did they just trust Uber? Uber? They don't necessarily need to be sued, but a hearing should disentangle the facts about which steps Uber was tasked to take to ensure public safety. If a state like Arizone can regulate hair dressers, surely it can regulate autodriving cars. https://boc.az.gov/licensing

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Oracle's new Java SE subs: Code and support for $25/processor/month

JLV
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looking forward to the spin

by the Java-is-greatest-thing-ever brigade.

If Android/Google exit Java via Fuschia, and fees get added too, what’s going to motivate new users to touch Java?

Simplicity and terseness, perhaps?

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Mate, have a Flutter on the Darts: Google's mobe app toolkit for Fuchsia, others emerges

JLV
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Trollface

Might be that Fuchsia + Dart is intended to fix Google's Oracle issues by replacing Dalvik + Java ;-)

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OpenBSD disables Intel’s hyper-threading over CPU data leak fears

JLV
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Re: Let's start a list...

Std, single-process CPython? Probably not that much given its long, oft scrutinized, reliance on its GIL (global interpreter lock).

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What's all the C Plus Fuss? Bjarne Stroustrup warns of dangerous future plans for his C++

JLV
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Re: Disagree....

>I'd suggest Java

Yeah, because GC-originated slowdowns are not a thing. Precisely the type of focus that will motivate team to use C++.

System-level, which Java is not. Java drivers, anyone? If you're using C++ for a good technical req reason, Java is _not_ the alternative.

Contrast also interop capabilities: almost anything can talk to C++. Anything can talk to Java as well... provided it's Java, or at least JVM.

Lots of crap to learn:both.

If you separate active developement from legacy corporate base maintenance, a la COBOL, I suspect that C++, for all its flaws, will age better.

Been casually looking at Rust lately. Nothing immediate to do with it, but it does seem like a potentail for a true generic system language. Their focus on memory is what really sets them apart.

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Microsoft says Windows 10 April update is fit for business rollout

JLV
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Re: good news

which is unfortunate given that Windows 7 ends security patches Jan 2020 (same month as Python 2x, hopefully a sheer coincidence).

https://www.lifewire.com/windows-7-end-of-life-4161085

I wonder why so many here proudly say “I’ll upgrade to 7” if it is dying.

Stick it to The Man? Jousting with windmills? Surely, a noble activity, but not at the cost of shooting your own security in the foot, unless it’s air-gapped.

I have no real recommendations you haven’t heard: Linux, macs? BSDs if you’re into exotica? Or maybe you expect MS to relent and de-telemetrize Win 10 in 18 months? Install Win 10 and defang its telemetry, possibly by blocking associated IPs at the router level? Bring a GDPR violation lawsuit against MS telemetry not having optouts, assuming that is applicable?

But sticking to Win 7 is not a particularly secure way ahead, IMHO.

Or did I miss something?

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Keep your hands on the f*cking wheel! New Tesla update like being taught to drive by your dad

JLV
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Boffin

why?

For now at least, Tesla is one of the most lusted-after EVs on the market (see https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/06/forget-about-that-tesla-the-jaguar-i-pace-is-the-most-compelling-ev-yet/ for something that looks sweet too).

How central is Autopilot to its appeal? How much pain is the scrutiny about it inflicting on Tesla? Does Tesla have the resources to ramp up its manufacturing on the Model 3 and solve an AI problem that seems harder the more it is looked at? Does Tesla have the IT hardware/software expertise to do so? How much distraction is this mess causing management? Doesn't help that any self-driving accidents are for now associated with the Uber lepers.

One possible upside might be that an acquirer of Tesla, late into the self-driving game, might look very favorably about all that accumulated real-world data and experience and cost the acquisition accordingly.

But still, how much does the average Tesla buyer really count Autopilot as a need-to-have, rather than a nice-to-have? Esp as the ambitions to what it's supposed to do on its own are shrinking. It wouldn't even register on my liradar.

Boring Company, SpaceX, Autopilot, Model 3, EV Truck, grid batteries that's a lot to chase after. A little pruning of spending and focus might be warranted?

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Microsoft tries cutting the Ribbon in Office UI upgrade

JLV
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That and MS implementation is a cardinal sin of UI design - don't hide/move widgets willy-nilly on the user.

With a menu, I was always told to gray out options that were inapplicable. Everytime I use the ribbon, it seems as if I have to hunt and peck through the tabs till I find the option I want again.

Now you could have different modes of operation that show certain widgets. But the user should then switch mode explicitly, not have it happen when he does something on the doc rather than on the ribbon/commands real estate.

All of this whining would be moot if MS was a bit more willing to allow users to decide how they want to use the system - there are utilities to show menus, so allowing users to switch between menus and ribbons would solve all this. Even a degraded menu mode, where real power use would require dropping back to the ribbon would be an acceptable compromise.

But of course, this is the company that justifies Telemetry as about enhancing the user experience.

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Microsoft loves Linux so much its R Open install script rm'd /bin/sh

JLV
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Re: I'm going to make a guess. It was only ever tested on a dedicated VM

You know this reminds of talking to this lowly game QA tester for a big name game company who had been promoted to QA tech lead.

Her insight (she was pretty smart)? Apply statistics to see which graphics cards were particularly prone to blowing up their games. Then concentrate a lot more efforts on testing the games on systems with these cards.

Microsoft could, gasp, learn from their mistakes, and gradually build up herds of tarpit test machines that were loaded with crap that has caused them issues in the past. Kinda like a honeypot for bugs.

Rather than what you suspect they do.

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No fandango for you: EU boots UK off Galileo satellite project

JLV
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Re: Working as intended

Perhaps a new guest article by Tim Worstall, detailing the upcoming boom, would be salutary in bring all you ungrateful straying sheep back in the warm fold of Theresa May’s leadership.

Some ancient wisdom in lieu:

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/05/10/so_what_would_the_economic_effect_of_britain_leaving_the_eu_be/

This is all going according to plan /s

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Devuan ships second stable cut of its systemd-free Linux

JLV
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Re: Storm in a teacup

So, I am curious. What does one "lose" from not having systemd around? Who depends on it and can't do anything without it? What's the average end user (whatever that means wrt folk that pick less mainstream distributions) going to miss?

Would that be mostly gnome apps?

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PETA calls for fish friendly Swedish street signage

JLV
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Re: PETA... yeah... right...

Actually, I was kinda dubious about the portrayal of PETA. No, I don't like them, but I was wondering if that claim wasn't playing with stats. Are these kill % higher than for other shelters? Is PETA getting stuck with a bunch of un-adoptable pets resulting in higher kill stats than other shelters?

Going to Skeptics, found https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/36808/does-peta-euthanize-unwanted-pets-at-its-virginia-headquarters

So, first the numbers do seem high. 80+% kills vs 30-40% at other shelters. Yes, there is the possibility that PETA gets the mutts. But what's really disturbing was the claim that "most PETA kills are within 24hrs", so they don't even try. That's what really left a bad taste in my mouth, because it would be so obscene if it were true.

Mind you, for a Skeptics entry, I found the citations very one-sided, where most of the cited sources could, by their nature, be expected to be very critical of PETA. Still, you have libel laws to combat fake articles. And an opportunity to refute it on Skeptics, which no one in PETA seems to have taken.

So, take that Skeptics with a grain of salt, but if there's any truth to what's driving those numbers, PETA's behavior is even more reprehensible than appears at first glance.

I also wonder what they feed cats there? Maybe they just can't keep them alive? Or only want to release them to vegan pet owners for adoption? I do get that humans have a choice to opt out of meat and dairy, that's just not true of carnivores.

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JLV
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Re: They're about as interested in animal rights as [insert topical comparison here]

And it is important to educate PETA that even plant diets are mostly based on the subjugation of poor innocent bees.

It's not just honey that must be avoided, anything in supermarkets or farms is likely stained with the evils of bee slavery.

The obvious ethical solution is for vegans to abstain from eating any such food unless they can get official certificates that no bees were involved at all. Starting now.

The government should appoint a committee to study suitable certification schemes. Thoroughly and exhaustively.

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Microsoft will ‘lose developers for a generation’ if it stuffs up GitHub, says future CEO

JLV
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Thumb Down

Re: Be smart

>Be smart, host the repository yourself

Github, Gitlab, pypy, npm and all the repos are basically a gamble when one installs stuff. They're educated gambles, but they remain gambles.

In the context of open source, and making your repo freely available, why do you think I would have _any_ trust whatsoever in your ability to keep your repo safe from malicious actors who would put malware in it?

I may not have any reason to distrust your intentions when you set up a repo. But nor do I have any reason to trust you and tens of individual repo hosters will all be 100% proof against malware injections.

https://www.techradar.com/news/popular-video-encoding-mac-app-handbrake-compromised-with-malware

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-security-avast/hackers-compromised-free-ccleaner-software-avasts-piriform-says-idUSKCN1BT0R9

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/hacker-compromised-official-phpbb-download-links/

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JLV
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Boffin

if Github was running out of money

Then MS's involvement is a bit less toxic. The Ars commentards for one seem fairly down with it. Part of it is the sheer lack of less toxic suitors - Oracle or IBM, for example? Google and Apple are not obviously much better. FB and Amazon even less so.

There is even one potential upside, which is that, done well, this could really give open source credibility in stodgy ol' Enterprisey companies that have never looked at open source. I.e. it could open a lot of doors to suits that perceive open source as the domain of hippies and beardies, if they're aware of it at all.

But, yes, if MS screws that up, and on past record it would not be an unreasonable expectation for them to do so, then they will have done that very publicly and alienated a core constituency.

The less they do and the more they lay low for the next year or so, the better.

Be lazy. Don't change things.

Don't change them "the MS way". Don't monetize openly on the site. Don't telemetrize. Under promise, over deliver. Put necklace bombs around your rah-rah marketing and PR people and have them set to blow up if they go anywhere near the site. Shoot anyone who thinks of automating LinkedIn integration.

You need to commit, very strongly, and with the appointment of an internal ombudsman and external auditors, that private repos will not be accessible by MS at large and will only be looked at when required to support customers. OK, sensible companies with any possible competition w you will flee anyway, but at least it will show you understand the issue and respect your users.

Pick a few long hurting problem areas identified as needing improvement by the community and try fixing them.

Given that "security and MS" often rhymes with "security and Adobe", and that Github repo poisoning has been a potential issue in the past, be doubly careful - you don't want to reinforce negative associations here. Time to invest in maybe some predictive analytics/machine learning to flag things like typo squatting.

Surprise us.

Sounds ungrateful to someone who just overpaid to the tune of $7.5B, but that's now your shareholders' problem, not ours. Remember that many people expect you to fail and it will be visible enough that you want to think 3 times before doing your business as usual.

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Stop us if you've heard this one: Adobe Flash gets emergency patch for zero-day exploit

JLV
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>shoot it in the back of the head or in the forehead?

both, from orbit, only way to be sure.

"These attacks leverage Office documents with embedded malicious Flash content distributed via email."

This combination is cringe-inducing in terms of both the insecurity of Office allowing Flash payloads and the existence of professionals who think embedding Flash in Word docs is somehow good communication.

Come on, MS, it's 2018, time to think through how insecure highly active content payloads are in Office docs. An Office doc's payload should have really limited access outside of its own representation. Perhaps fetching data in from databases, certainly nothing affecting the OS. And since Flash is too much of a sieve to trust, disable it. Do it now, you're only what 2-3 years of Adobe's own announced retirement for the mangy mutt.

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At last: Magic Leap reveals its revolutionary techno-goggles – but wait, there's a catch

JLV
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Re: meanwhile, back in forums where people actually know what they're talking about </s>

this thread's not buying it though:

https://www.reddit.com/r/magicleap/comments/8p1r8o/today_meet_magic_leap_one_on_twitch_at_2pm/

>At this rate I want to figure out a way to short their stock.

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JLV
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Holmes

meanwhile, back in forums where people actually know what they're talking about </s>

"https://www.reddit.com/r/magicleap/comments/8p3gr7/our_best_look_at_a_real_device_yet/"

probably much of the thread

>Don't get too swept up in the hype

It's amazing how the local commentards and they are weaving different orbits but _they_ liked it well enough. Ditto things at the F35 threads @ http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=65&sid=6d3e4dae899c203cec066ac81376bced

It's almost a reverse Dunning-Kruger effect in both cases, with experts vs the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisdom_of_the_crowd.

Popcorn's waiting! and mind the gap /s.

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