* Posts by james_smith

331 posts • joined 29 Aug 2017


Apple's at it again: Things go pear-shaped for meal planner app after iGiant opposes logo

james_smith Silver badge

Re: Not Only Apple

To be fair, I don't think I'd like to be associated with VB6.

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Re: Naked Genius Bar

"Designed by Apple in California ... made by slave labour in China".

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Re: Bully

I was responsible for a bunch of Apricot servers in one job. They were more sophisticated and cheaper than any of the Apple products at the time, which is unsurprising when you know how crude both the Macintosh hardware and software were. Apple ceased to be a vendor of decent hardware when they effectively ended Wozniak's line of computers with the Apple IIGS.

james_smith Silver badge

"A trademark infringement does not require being a competitor of the brand, so that part of your argument doesn't hold much water."

Bollocks. Apple (the computer company) were sued by Apple (the record label founded by the Beatles). It was agreed that Apple the computer company could keep the name as long as they stayed out of the market sectors the record label were in. How about Apple record label (or their successors) sue the f*ck out of Apple for iTunes? That would be amusing.

Linus Torvalds pines for header file fix but releases Linux 5.8 anyway

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That's just a poorly written system header file.

james_smith Silver badge

NeXT's implementation of Objective-C had an #import that did away with the need for preprocessor guards when using #include. Stallman didn't like it for no same reason I can find, so it got deprecated when GCC reimplemented its Obj-C support.

IDE like an update, please: JetBrains freshens IntelliJ, adds improved GitHub integration, Java support

james_smith Silver badge

This suggests a possibility that I hadn't thought of before. Our projects consist of a parent Maven POM, a bunch for projects for libraries and then a project for each application. I recall that there's some way to get Maven to check out a hierarchy of modules into one hierarchical structure that nests the projects. If so, then from your comment it sounds like IDEA can open those modules as one project - is that so?

As for NetBeans versus Eclipse, I prefer the former because it has a much more consistent UI and saner default options. I also find it much less of a resource hog than Eclipse and it supports Maven projects properly. NetBeans did suffer from poor maintenance while under the ownership of Oracle, but it's come on leaps and bounds since becoming an Apache project.

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Something that keeps me on NetBeans rather than switching to IDEA is that you can only have one project open at a time in the latter. I really like the NetBeans "Projects" view, where I can move quickly between projects and do cross project refactoring.

Any IDEA users aware of a similar approach? My last go at using IDEA a few months ago I found it took time to switch between projects and no way around the refactoring issue.

UKIP blackmail, data breach sueball allegations were groundless, rules High Court

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Re: And just to think...

Nah, Farage will toddle off to Germany. His ex-wife and kids have German citizenship already. Judging by his past antics (such as coming close to being expelled from school for singing Nazi songs and Sieg Heil salutes), he may have to moderate his behaviour to avoid getting in a little legal trouble though.

Oh what a cute little animation... OH MY GOD. (Not acceptable, even in the '80s)

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Re: Head

"Turning Japanese" actually isn't about polishing the one eyed gopher.

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Re: Regrets cut both ways

"And by the way, if you see your mom this weekend, be sure to tell her ... SATAN, SATAN, SATAN!!!"

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Re: Adult floppies...

Went to a school open day once when I was a kid. Some parents had brought in interesting things from the "world of work", including one father with punched tape and telex printer. All went well, churning out animals rendered in typewriter characters, until said father loaded the wrong tape. From a distance it was quite a convincing picture of a lady performing on the pink oboe...

Soft press keys for locked-down devs: Three new models of old school 60-key Happy Hacking 'board out next month

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Re: Model M

Unicomp make new Model M keyboards with USB connectors.

The reluctant log trawler: The buck stops with the back-end

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Had a team member who wouldn't use prepared statements, just concatenated user input onto strings to build SQL statements. Despite repeated demonstrations he wouldn't change his ways and management didn't give a shit since he was their most prolific coder - not difficult when he wrote no validation code.

The answer was to wait until a small system entirely written by him for management reporting went into acceptance testing. Then during the testing I did a classic "DROP DATABASE" SQL injection, because he also didn't bother with limiting DB permissions and ran everything as the superuser. There was also no logging in the application, so no blame could be attached to me...

(Edited to note that big_D had the same approach as me).

james_smith Silver badge

Re: Session ID?

Sessions in web applications are evil. Dictates a bottleneck on the server side with either server affinity or excessive reading of state from persistent storage. Push state to the client, ensuring it cannot be tampered with in any nefarious way. In our apps it's serialised data in Base 64 that's then encrypted - just make sure you only serialise the minimum of data to establish state. Many frameworks support this approach.

james_smith Silver badge

Re: Fault at both sides

That's supposed to be standard parctice for web applications - validate in the client and server side. Sadly, it's a practice all too often ignored.

You may be distracted by the pandemic but FYI: US Senate panel OK's backdoors-by-the-backdoor EARN IT Act

james_smith Silver badge

Re: Pssst... wanna buy some strong crypto?

There is already a thriving market for encryption that is used by privacy seeking non-crims and crims alike. The recent cases of encrypted phones from a Canadian firm and the EncroChat system for example.

james_smith Silver badge

Re: Not Good.

Feinstein has been a wrong 'un since her days in local government. She was one of Dan White's apologists up to the point that it felt like she secretly approved of his crimes.

Capita Consulting ditching more than a quarter of its workforce 45 days after consultations with consultants

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Re: What do you call Capita shrinking by 25%?

"I find it hilarious when people lose their jobs too".

They're (ex) management consultants, so their role was to recommend sacking other, productive people.

I was screwed over by Cisco managers who enforced India's caste hierarchy on me in US HQ, claims engineer

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Re: "We have robust processes"

Cisco is in a position where lots of firms buy their kit because of the brand, despite the quality of said kit dropping dramatically over a number of years. Until their sales decline rapidly I can't see them making changes in the workplace. Even then, they're so dominated by Indian cultural norms that it may be too late to start promoting talent over caste loyalty.

Apple gives Boot Camp the boot, banishes native Windows support from Arm-compatible Macs

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Re: "...banishes native Windows support ..."

Nope. Linux on my work provided 2016 15' Macbook Pro has issues with keyboard and trackpad not always detected at boot. Never been fixed, as it has a quirky chipset. The days of Linux kernel devs favouring Macbooks is long over, and support has become a bit flaky.

james_smith Silver badge

Re: "...banishes native Windows support ..."

This might be of concern to some developers who work for companies (like mine) that insist on giving Macbooks to their developers. This is despite the devs and admins preferring or even *needing* Linux or Windows to do their jobs.

james_smith Silver badge

When work gave me a Macbook (against my protestations that I'd rather have a laptop with a decent keyboard) I booted Linux on it without Boot Camp. Admittedly I wasn't interested in dual booting anything else on it though.

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth

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Re: Big African rats

Sounds like a pouched rat. Big, but very docile. Very intelligent - as well as landmine detection they can be trained to detect TB in sputum samples.

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Re: Boy the Wonder Dog

Terriers are awful hedgehog worriers, no matter how many times they end up with bloodied mouths and covered in fleas. Never quite worked out whether my dog's prime directive was chewing, humping or peeing on things.

james_smith Silver badge

Re: Meester Fawlty!

As someone with a German grandparent I f*cking hate Fawlty Towers. As a kid in an English school (in an army town no less) I got sick and tired of the oh so not funny references to the war.

After huffing and puffing for years, US senators unveil law to blow the encryption house down with police backdoors

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Re: OpenPGP

I've just been reminded of the T-shirt I had with Perl code for a "non exportable" encryption algorithm printed on it. I even got US passport control (both entering and leaving the country) while wearing it.

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Re: Extraditable?

And therefore has a US passport. as does a Turkish friend who happened to be born in the US while his parents were working there for NATO.

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Re: So once the Government gets its way....

In the 1983 and 1987 UK parliamentary elections the Liberals (or Liberal SDP Allicance as it was) got 25% and 22% of the vote respectively. However, they only got 6% of the parliamentary seats.

Working from home on Virgin Media's broadband? Too bad. Outage hits English capital

james_smith Silver badge

We're a Virgin business customer in central London, and we get those messages almost weekly. As well as overrunning the outage also causes the Virgin supplied router to stop trying to reconnect, resulting in a need to reboot the f*cker manually.

Netgear was told in January its routers can be hacked and hijacked. This week, first patches released – after exploits, details made public

james_smith Silver badge

In the fourth paragraph of the article it states that this is exploitable over the internet if the machine is exposed (as it will be in most circumstances as it will be the user's edge device).

DevOps to DevOops: Docker Hub proves so secure that 430 Docker images out of 2,500 have no vulnerabilities

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So Docker images, which are basically rarely updated mini OS distributions, have vast numbers of vulnerabilities? Who'd have thought it?

Facebook boffins bake robo-code converter to take the pain out of shifting between C++, Java, Python

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I worked on a system that had beens largely written in Pascal and converted to C with pascal2c. While the converted code compiled and ran, it was impossible to maintain in its C form. That left us tacking on new functionality around the edges but having little or no interaction with the core code. I'd like to know how this FB system with 75% reliability that the conversion even wirksis any advancement.

Germany to fund development of edge CPUs as part of 'tech you can trust' plan to home-brew more kit

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Re: US pulling troops out of Germany

Europe has a massive defence industry, and only uses US equipment when it's politically expedient. The EU and British economies are larger than any other bloc or nation, including the US, and isn't running at anywhere near the deficit or debt levels of the US.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: UK man gets 3 years for torching 4G phone mast over 5G fears

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Re: why vital?

were these fttc/fttp burnings proven to be due to RF extremists?

Judging by the amount of Openreach engineers getting abuse from 5G conspiracy nuts while working on the boxes it's a reasonable assumption that the burnings are also the work of the same idiots.

Trump's Make Space Great Again video pulled after former 'naut says: Nope

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Re: 450 cities protesting racism

"I'm citing 231 years of continuous Democratic process with all its institutions intact."

Apart from that little matter of a civil war.

Have I Been Pwned breach report email pwned entire firm's helldesk ticket system

james_smith Silver badge

And if PHP was anywhere near fit for purpose it would have a decent core API for database interaction that uses bind variables. An API that wasn't specific to each databases engine. Perl for all it's faults ay least has a decent de-facto standard DB API that has an abstraction layer above each database engine specific library.

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Checks GLPI code repo ... and yup, it's written in PHP.

Snapping at Canonical's Snap: Linux Mint team says no to Ubuntu store 'backdoor'

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The worst thing about snap is that it runs contrary to the concept of shared libraries that are easy to upgrade. Each snap package includes the dependencies for the app, which means you may have multiple (vulnerable) versions of a library installed. It's DLL hell all over again from a security perspective.

Watch an oblivious Tesla Model 3 smash into an overturned truck on a highway 'while under Autopilot'

james_smith Silver badge

Re: It is autopilot but not autonomous

"as Tesla stats show: Accidents happen far less often with activated AP than without."

Ah, stats from a company that is very selective about what stats it releases. Also consider:

1. Autopilot is usually engaged on the kinds of roads with significantly less accidents per mile travelled for all car models.

2. Many, many more miles are travelled with autopilot deactivated.

Twitter ticks off Trump with new 'Get the facts' alert on pair of fact-challenged tweets

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While his pushing of the voter fraud fantasy is the wider issue, the continual tweeting by Trump about the Joe Scarborough conspiracy theory is all the more disgusting - especially since Klausutis' husband has called on him to stop.

Chicago: Why I just grin like a dork... It's my kind of Bork

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Re: "...or a simple mistype in the max_connections system variable"

Running the tests without enough concurrent requests is the usual problem. So many times I've had to fix other people's code that works fine in a single thread with one request, but doesn't scale ...

Berlin's renowned nightclub scene is showing signs of life. Just one problem: No dancing

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Re: Sounds like nerdvana

I'm reminded of my first visit to a US nightclub in San Francisco. Music too quiet to dance to in case anyone sued for hearing damage. Lights too dark for any atmosphere in case anyone sued for tripping over something. And a refusal from the bar staff to serve more then two drinks "in case you get drunk".

ALGOL 60 at 60: The greatest computer language you've never used and grandaddy of the programming family tree

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Re: Pass by name

Aren't variables from the enclosing scopes supposed to be immutable in lambdas? Or is that implentation dependent?

james_smith Silver badge

Re: .. never used .. ?

"They're surprisingly small compared to modern language manuals."

Reminds me of the BCPL book, smaller than K&R but still includes the source code to a compiler for the language itself.

Rust marks five years since its 1.0 release: The long and winding road actually works

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Re: Meh

FFS, C has had a boolean type for over twenty years. I guess you're one of those hippies who can't accept that the world didn't buy into the LSD soaked world of Lisp and its obsession with parentheses.

Behold: The ghastly, preening, lesser-spotted Incredible Bullsh*tting Customer

james_smith Silver badge

I've got a similar issue right now. Wrote and extensively tested a new data import feature on my Linux development laptop. Deploy new app version to my boss, where the import fails on his Windows machine. It turns out the system that generates the data to be imported checks the OS and produces a subtly different format for Windows.

Source code for seminal adventure game Zork circa-1977 exhumed from MIT tapes, plonked on GitHub

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The same guy has also made a PDP-8 control panel. Both kits use a Raspberry Pi running SIMH as the guts of the system. I've built the PDP-11 kit and it's fantastic, want to replace the Pi with an FPGA recreation of the PDP-11's internals at some point as someone else has that project on the go. Hoping there'll be a PDP-10 control panel next!

Data centre reveals it modeled interiors on The Hunt for Red October sets

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I assume the emergency lights would go on if an alarm was triggered. The monitoring of who was allowed into the building and whereabouts they were was very good as well, with the swipe cards only allowing access to the specific floor and area that our kit was housed in.

james_smith Silver badge

Last employer where we had our own physical servers in a data centre, the place reminded me of the the funeral home in Phantasm. I always felt really creeped out in there, although the worst occasion was when I wandered into a corridor to unexpectedly find one of the centre technicians sat on the floor. Wasn't helped by the technician in question looking a lot like Jabba The Hutt.

It also had motion activated lights. You'd be sat there tapping away at the KVM keyboard when suddenly all lights would go out leaving just a few blinkenlights behind rack doors to prevent you being in pitch darkness.



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