* Posts by E

573 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Jun 2007


WD drops 4TB whopper



Some company sticks 2 disks in a box. WOW! OMFG! STOP THE PRESSES!

This is utterly pointless news.

@Chris Harris: ah yes, the Apple-button/click combo - it is a graceful act of worship that helps perpetuate the Cult of Mac.

US team create carbon nanotube ultra-memory



Gimme a hammer and a blowtorch and I can shorten the thing's lifetime considerably.

Intel MIDs stare into the great abyss


Product features

Not too sure about this: MIDS are not cell phones, yes? Crackberry and IPhone and other worthy devices do the 'net and are cell-phones. Why would anyone buy a MID?

David Carradine found dead in Bangkok



He was a good actor, I enjoyed his stuff.

Scientists design picture projection specs



I often read a book while walking down the street. It is not difficult.

Windows 7 to ship October 22



Unless MS arranges for crowds of screaming kawaii girls waving win7 boxes in the big intersection in Shinjuku. That would be interesting.

Dell axes hackintosh makers' favourite netbook


OS 10

Why do people want to run OS 10 at all? If they must, the little white Macbook is not that expensive.

Israeli TV star ordered execs beaten up


Par for the Israeli course

This guy ought to join Likud or the IDF.

Sun rolls out OpenSolaris 2009.06 release



Solaris is slick, though Gnome makes me a bit gnauseous.

Critical Windows vulnerability under attack, Microsoft warns


No title

Or... just don't use Windows?

SATA Revision 3.0 released



They should give it up and adopt SAS already.

Some mention above of RAM type drives: those things should be plugged directly into the PCIe bus, not the SATA bus.

Have a happy day.

Summer debut for Judge Dredd computer smart-rifle


Minimum range?

The gun seems to be a sort of ballistic weapon: the little bomb follows a trajectory taking it over the obstruction.

What if the evil-doer is behind a ten foot wall that is, say, ten feet away? The trajectory would be mostly vertical. I would not want to be betting my ass on the accuracy of the delivery.

So it has a minimum range or range/angle limitation.

Obama to invent cybersecurity czar

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Decentralized competitive software development, open processes for standards definition, the Internet's decentralized structure have all provided enormous gains for IT - though obviously not perfection. Perfection probably not possible. I do include both GNU and M$ in the software development bit.

So now a Czar is going to fix the problems from the center at the top? If the position were intend solely to address government practice, that would be OK. Extending the Czar's reach into the private business sector is a bad idea, self defeating, will suppress innovation.

And really, does anyone believe that whatever the Czar comes up with will not have the worst features of, say, proposed solutions to non-government crypto systems from the '90s and 80's?

Does anyone remember key escrow?

Microsoft arms half-wit developers with PHP handgun

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Ted knows flame baiting...

if you swap the instances of the strings 'PHP and 'Python' you'll get the exact same article except it will irritate the Python users.

Europe, Russia discuss 'orbital shipyard' plans


@guy eastwood

It must be strong to withstand the impact of the photon torpedoes.

Dell designs 10in netbook for Bash Street


Nah, it is butt ugly

Too ugly to purchase. Dell certainly paid some designer to wrap that red plastic around the black hull. The designer should have done a better job even if some kind of Apple salivation design was not on the cards. Just because it is a netbook does not excuse it looking like crap.

An unthinking programmer's guide to the new C++


Clarifications, with apologies to M. Stob

Shamelessly nicked from an interview with Mr. Stroustrup.

1) Compare:

int i = {};


vector greats = { "Newton", "Darwin", "Archimedes", "Bohr" };

2) Compare:

auto i = 0;


for (auto p = v.begin(); p!=v.end(); ++p) cout << *p << '\n';

The auto says that the type of p is to be that of its initializer (v.begin())


My addition:

In the auto case you've already declared it somewhere. Presumably we will have to be a bit careful about saying 0.0 for double and 0.0f for float. Thus auto is not DWIM, as I first understood it to be. {} for an integral tyoe thus means 0, but for a non-integral type must present correct structure.



[I don't care what language any of you like to code in. Doubtless I like some of them and can't stand others. Debating the identity of The One True Language is bootless.]

I've seen some stuff suggesting C++0.42x, if you will, is to have threads built in. Now here is something worth debating. Threads are AFAIK always operating system or virtual machine artifacts. Something like Java can have explicit thread support because it runs in a VM. C++ by contrast does not: it runs on the metal, and whatever thread model the metal & OS support can be exposed to C++ as a library (you know, posix threads, sun threads, linux threads, userland thread systems, etc). So adding explicit thread support to C++ seems pretty weird given that C++ does not define an execution environment.

If the idea is an abstraction wrapper that covers all possible threading systems, it is still a weird idea. One picks a thread system for it's characteristics: a wrapper just hides the details and specifics, makes it harder to use the thread system. Maybe a crappy comparison, but... did you ever program Windows GUIs with Win32 and then tried to move to MFC: what was fairly clean and reasonably sparse became opaque and baroque.


@Anton Ivanov

Unreadable: there's the potential problem. It does seem to me that the proposed changes will introduce greater scope for unreadability. Haha, so the compsci profs teaching C++ courses will have to come up with new programming rules to go alongside "Do not use goto".


Last comment

Someone pointed out above that the article was probably more a humour piece than a critique of the language. I agree.

Now, if you want to read something funny about a programming language, go find a copy of the Intercal programmer's guide. Suspend criticism and just read. You'll probably laugh your *ss off!


@Colin Barfoot

The thing about C++ (and to a good degree C also) is that it is a very open ended language. So you can do all this wild stuff with it that Stroustrup maybe never dreamed of. The people you mention are IMHO people of good faith. In scientific computing FORTRAN has lost some ground to C++ - so adding complex numbers and such is a good idea.

What really convinced me C++ was worth learning and using was it's combination of flexibility and expressiveness and compactness (compared to most other languages at the time). That's what hooked me about C too.

But, hey, the ability of a language to express increasingly subtle things gives us arm-chair language designers something to talk about, eh? 90% or 95% of C++ programmers and C++ programs will not use the more esoteric new features. But where they are useful, nothing is wrong with having them.

My $0.02.

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@Anonymous Coward

"...the auto keyword will be fine if it is implemented sensibly. The whole point is that you still have strong typing, but you no longer have to type an essay to define a complex type..."

I conclude I need to spend a bit more time understanding the auto keyword. It seemed to me it was sort of a 'variant', like in VB. Your comment contradicts this. Thanks.


I read a quote from

... K or R a few years ago, where it was said "Now that C++ has got away from us..."

He was IIRC talking about template metaprogramming vs 'just solve the programming problem at hand.'

I dunno about this stuff. Tempates are great if sometimes obscure. The STL is great, Boost is mostly great, but it's kinda like the sermon on the mount: I don't claim to understand all of it.

Some of the other stuff looks like angels dancing on the head of a pin. Trying to be all things to all people generally results in a big mess. KISS applies here.

int i = 0; // OK

int i = {}; // WTF? What obscure subtlety is this syntax addressing?

auto fn(int foo) { ... }; // Most C++ programmers *like* C++ strong typing. Why break it?

The right hand reference && thing (wrong name?) does make some sense though.

Editors: let's have a K or R or K'n'R icon!

Herschel and Planck safely away



It would be more efficient and smaller if it were written in C++ not Ruby. Silly Euros.

Otellini questions EU logic


@Shaun Hunter

Yes, Shaun, you did.

The suit was intended to block some of Intel's behaviours: the suit put pressure on Intel to behave itself once it's documents were possibly under subpoena. So Intel had to cut back on the baksheesh or risk getting caught red-handed not just retrspectively. This is all documented and has been commented/analyzed/blogged to death already.

Chip cooler launches liquid nitro at CPUs


@Martin Lyne

The liquid nitrogen is not sold as an over the counter product. The liquid nitrogen will still come in big(ish) canisters from gas supply houses.

This cooler is pre-packaged kit that lets users not have to build their own. It is not intended that this is used as a production system... it is for overclocking enthusiasts.

Adobe PSD pushes programmer too far


@Michael Baldry

Properly used, goto is perfectly acceptable.

Zend plugs PHP into Amazon cloud


AWS well hidden

If there is direct support for AWS (S3 and EC2) is ZF1.8 then it is well hidden. The PDF doc only mentions methods of using Amazon 'marketplace' APIs and the tarball itself contains nothing I can see that looks like like S3 or EC2.

Paris Hilton

Pardon me



Paris, because clearly I did not look hard enough.

Sacha Baron Cohen scars Paula Abdul for life

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I have never found Borat very funny, but Bruno is absolutely brilliant. I have wound up laughing so hard I was gasping for air while watching Bruno interview politicians.

Microsoft's DNA won't permit Oracle-Sun deal


M$ & Hardware

I have always had the greatest respect for Microsoft mouse product.

GE talks up 500GB-per-disc optical storage tech


Commercial use

This would include data backup products?

Interstellar Bebo spamgasm targeted at 'water world'



Excellent. I love sushi!



God provides! When we've completely fished out the oceans here we can go there to harvest and eat the aliens!

eBay officially not cheaper than High Street


It depends

It depends what one is buying.

I just bought a USB cable for a Canon Powershot Pro 90 IS camera on ebay: $7.00. At retail it was over $50.

I just bought a Dell PERC 5/i on ebay: $165 inc shipping. I don't know what Dell would ask for the thing but I seriously doubt they would meet the price I paid.

I frequently see good ethernet switches selling below retail too though I've not bought one.

Video cards and CPUs and new hard drives and mainboards on the other hand are not appreciably cheaper on ebay than the local computer parts bigbox shops.



So, you pay for it, do you?

Brutish SSH attacks continue to bear fruit



Keys do avoid passwords, but keys mean that if an account on a box with public keys for other boxes is compromised, the other boxes are wide open.

Fail2ban works very well at shutting out brute force attacks. Using a password cracker to identify simple passwords and configuring PAM to refuse simple passwords on password change completes the circle.

Sysadmins have to make users choose good passwords or at least make it difficult for users to choose simple passwords. It sucks but it was ever thus.

SLED 11: a distro for businesses, not idealists


@Adam Williamson

Ingrained prejudice - I don't know that I entirely agree. I know about su & sudo and I use them. However if I have a serious amount of work to be done as root, then I just do not want the hassle of su'ing to root in some number of xterms. I want to be able to log in as root at the console. I can defeat Ubuntu's silliness by changing the config, but I also do not see why I should have to.

Do you remember flame wars between users of vi & emacs, or even between users of different versions of emacs? I don't claim that arguing over the Ubuntu Way is any more useful than that - but I have a perfect right to be irritated by the number of hardware vendors offering Ubuntu not something with a more normal security concept. Certainly I can be legitimately irritated by grad students and docs that speak the Holy Word "Ubuntu" with the same reverence that Apple fans speak the Holy Word "Macintosh".

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@Adam Williamson

I cannot imagine where I got the crazy idea from, but I think I should be able to log in at the console as root.

Log in as root via the network is bad IMHO, but when I am standing in the server room with the cold air howling about me and the security door closed, and my squad of armed guards outside, I think I should be able to type 'root', '***********' '<ENTER>' and get root.

Any distro that won't accept that out of the box is a nanny-distro. That is all.


One very nice thing about SuSE

SuSE admin tool, called YAST, is quite complete and straightforward. I do not think Ubuntu or Redhat or Fedora can touch YAST.

Also, enterprise distros - Redhat and SuSE at least - come with enterprise support. Can you call up Canonical and get dedicated tech support?

And, well, I can't resist some flameage: Ubuntu makes it a pain in the neck to become root. Why would a real sysadmin use such a distro? I thin Ubuntu is popular mainly because it rides on the back of Apple's gorgeous UI strategy. Under the hood, the idiot root thing aside, it's no different from any other distro.

US parkies in 'burrow-buster' marmot detonation campaign


Alt soln

Perhaps they could introduce some predators instead?

Obama & Gates vs the US military-industrial complex


Let me be the first

...to salute our newly pacific USA overlords!

AMD offers Opteron upgrade discounts


sex-core Istanbul opterons

Let us hope it is not a soft launch!

Apple Mac Pro



Well, really, the interior of a computer is irrelevant if it has proper cooling and offers reasonable physical access when parts need to be changed. Apple makes gorgeous interiors, but why should I pay for that - I never look at it?

Japan talks lunar 'bots as commies go hot


I for one

wish to salute our kawaii moonwalking overlords!

China goes gung-ho for EVs



Beautiful model. Nice car too.

Asus Eee Linux-based Skype Videophone



Presumably ASUS will iron out the wrinkles. What it really needs is 802.11b/g/n though.

HP Mini 2140 netbook

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One step forward two steps back

2133 had a lovely screen, good resolution. 1024x600 is just usable, 1024x576 is just a silly idea.

Most undergraduates 'show fear when asked to do maths'



Oh, I dunno, I get a nice share of opportunity to map convex hulls and investigate concave manifolds.

Intel 'Nehalem' Xeon 5500 series


Adding my voice.

We already know what these processors can do with desktop apps and games. The info in this article is irrelevant to just about everyone. Only a small small number of people will use dual nehalem systems for the desktop.

How about a test using real enterprise or professional software? Things like RDMS's, HPC apps, web apps, java middleware, professional rendering apps and engineering/CAD/CAM apps!