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The "timer tick" processing is huge. From the other side... Many years ago I had a text compressor and dictionary/index generator - small but brute force as I only would have to run it once - on an overclocked AMD (233Mhz to show the age) In C. Under Linux, the processor would overheat, windows not. Same code (gcc). Everything would stay cached under linux, under windows the timer tick rescheduler would dump enough out so it had to reload code and data. I don't know what was going in and out and on how many ticks, but it was repeatable.
Note where Julian Assange is and why. Remember the Anthrax attacks and the "person of interest" that lost his job and could not find another? No one remembers the suicide of the other person the FBI suspected and threatened, not even charged but harassed - note they tried to intimidate and coerce his son into saying something, anything, against his father as well as the rest of family, friends and acquaintances. I could go on for pages about the people who you either never heard about and weren't controversial so you might not care either way - so is it only because it was Aaron that you care? - or people you would find odious or obnoxious so you desire to have the jackboots around assuming they will only destroy people you don't like. Every so often the hacker community is attacked about rights it holds dear, and like the NRA it sometimes succeeds in beating back the tyranny. But like the NRA it is UTTERLY INDIFFERENT to liberty itself. There are no "fundamental rights" or you and the NRA would work together to insure the 1st, 4th, 5th, AND 2nd amendments were strictly interpreted and enforced. When most people do not care BECAUSE the tyranny is part the 80% of the constitution they aren't affected by, each overlapping 80% means that NOTHING IS LEFT. You love speech and privacy but hate guns. Some love guns and privacy but hate speech. Some love speech and guns but hate privacy. Deitrich Boenhoffer was the one who said "When they came for the gypsies/communists/jews I did not speak up because I was not one of them... [but] when they came for me there was no one left to speak for me". Last election there was Ron Paul who was against the jackboots. But not enough people wanted him - and I would note that during the GOP primaries and caucuses the tech community was either apolitical or were democrats so didn't care to have a choice, so it was Romney v. Obama. There was rallying about SOPA, but nothing about the FBI and DoJ malicious prosecutions. I had hope for #occupy, but that seems to have fizzled although it did provide a constant witness against the corruption and injustice. Does it matter if the tyrant who kills your liberty has a D or R label any more than the virus that kills you has DNA or RNA?
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2013 on The End of Ragequitting at Coding Horror
I have a Toshiba Thrive Android tablet (10"). It has a full USB port so keyboards work as well as mice. Of course there's always bluetooth keyboards, so the "surface" is at best evolutionary. Logitech has had iPad and Android bluetooth cover-keyboards for a while. The mouse is the bigger thing if you are doing drawing. Touch isn't precise enough, and it can't tell which finger and you don't have a scroll wheel. But what allowed me to leave my netbook at home was Hacker's keyboard. (and when I learn morse code better, they have several so I won't have to look). I can adjust the key size and various options and voice works fairly well. Because it is a full qwerty with 4th row, with a shift to get all the function keys, I can almost touch type, it is easy for complex passwords, and I can do ssh. I don't do long documents where I'm doing a lot of editorial changes (I should try the mouse again, select-cut-paste is awful in touch), but it is good for 3-4 paragraphs. Something like the length of this comment. There's also Thumb Keyboard and many others on Android. The iOS soft keyboards are awful and immutable. I also have the Galaxy Player 5.0 which I use on my motorcycle for GPS maps, weather, and HarleyDroid since I have a mobile hotspot. But that is for media, mainly audio. It fits in my pocket. I'm looking at the galaxy note 2 - I still have my Nokia n800 and n810 (x2, I have a wimax). The stylus allows for precision, and they have the "second mouse button".
Toggle Commented Nov 1, 2012 on Do You Wanna Touch at Coding Horror
I find it interesting in the context of a lawsuit that what is being focused on is "Somebody must be to blame for this", and they seem to want it to be the medical personnel who treated the man. Nothing so far shows any indication they were at fault, no more than if he was run over by a bus in the parking lot while leaving. There are lawyers around. If the medical institution is found at fault, they will get a good portion of any award. From a faceless insurance insurance company or medical corporation, yet the money has to come from somewhere so do not wonder at the expense of health care. Did the lawyers take the case because they thought they could make a rational argument or emotional appeal? Facelesscorp v.s. Widow and Orphans. Who cares about actual guilt or responsibility, it is always good to have pity on widows and orphans. Yet the wisest thing said is "We are all to blame". What petty or gross evil do we permit, if not encourage, if not engage in ourselves? This can be as simple and banal as treating any other human being as an object to be used instead of the subject they are. We are all wastrels but soothe our consciences by voting for the green party or banning plastic bags or some other trivial nonsense. We support some amorphous and remote programs to help the poor, not the person in distress down the street you see every day. We do not love our neighbor as ourself, we love some collective or composite remote person we will never meet and don't want to - while they love us, as we continue to destroy, degrade, and disrespect each other. Religion may be an opiate, but it also seems to be an anti-psychotic. People who really believe and practice won't lie, cheat, steal, have sex without the commitment of marriage, much less do violence, and that comes from something deep within that lets their conscience work - not merely because they might get caught or suffer some other unpleasant or painful consequence. They are usually willing to suffer evils imposed upon them without doing evils to escape. Becoming dark. Wanting everyone else to hurt. Finding scapegoats. The best argument an atheist has is "How could a good God permit evil?" Yet here is the answer. If he didn't permit it, none of us who have free will today would have ever existed or would quickly cease to exist. C. S. Lewis wrote "The Problem of Pain". More answers are there, but it is not a substitute for the virtues of courage and fortitude as he says in the introduction. And someone is to blame for all this - the Devil, Lucifer, Satan. And us to the extend we sin which is just another word for the evil, petty or gross we do at his urgings. Beyond that, I can only offer that most can stand any what if there is a "Why". There is a "Why", but you have to accept it. Actually a Who and you have to accept him. Rationally. Not emotionally. Out of thought and will, not out of pain. And out of love, not hate.
Toggle Commented Sep 27, 2012 on Somebody is to Blame for This at Coding Horror
Learn how to think. The 7 liberal arts - rhetoric, music, logic, arithmetic, geometry, grammar, and astronomy were the standard. If you can think - both linearly and in patterns, programming will be easy. Google 'the perils of java school' Other things might be nice and make for nice people, but people can't think these days. Fast food cashiers can't make change without the register (shocked looks when I get exactly a quarter back).
Toggle Commented May 15, 2012 on Please Don't Learn to Code at Coding Horror The commandment says not that we must be candid, nor even honest, but that we must not bear false witness. The above is very nuanced, including the case where nazis ask if you are hiding jews. Love the person, love the truth.
Toggle Commented May 4, 2012 on Trust Me, I'm Lying at Coding Horror
I enabled it. Then about a minute later I disabled it. There are dozens of individual "applications", and each of them would require a different application specific password, and I have dozens of devices. If there was ONE application (non?) specific password, I could deal with it, eventually getting everything in sync over a few days or maybe even longer as I used the apps on the different devices. Instead I have to go into each of maybe 20 apps on each of 6 or more devices. I would like to do something else this weekend besides generating and entering mind-numbing random strings (they don't even show it as a QR code - otherwise I could just point my device). Google even has an authenticator app but apparently it cannot generate application specific passwords. I don't think there is any easy way to do this from my tablet or something else, I would have to be at the desktop and request one for each. I can't even batch them and print out or save the list (which I would burn afterward). This is the equivalent of having a global reset so I would now require different password on every application for every device. They need to have an easier way to sync all the applications. Maybe a secure one-time password to a master authenticator so all apps on my tablet would be authenticated.
Toggle Commented May 4, 2012 on Make Your Email Hacker Proof at Coding Horror
I think one factor that is missed is "A good app might kill a bad website", and a "bad app won't kill a good website". I don't know why someone would spend $100k to develop an app but not $20k to fix a web page, but it happens. Maybe people expect web pages to be stupid, cluttered, slow, and hard to use. If a coding horror or stackoverflow app would kill the respective sites, something would be really wrong.
Toggle Commented Apr 24, 2012 on Will Apps Kill Websites? at Coding Horror
I prefer Drambuie or Grand Marnier, but sitting back with a hardcopy of my latest source and a pen (red, preferred, I have a Lamy fountain pen with dark red ink in a converter) is one of my highest productivity times. The code typically works, but all the inefficiencies, errors, junk, remain awaiting markup. Documenting code is an art, but futile in most cases as the source will be a moving target. At best, it is an ought - but regression or unit test source are better enforcerers.
Toggle Commented Apr 17, 2012 on Learn to Read the Source, Luke at Coding Horror
This doesn't work well for embedded devices. While I agree that anywhere there needs to be authentication (authentication is NOT encryption), https should be used, but plain HTTP can be done via telnet or netcat type programs. If you have a speedy enough ARM (say, chumby) https isn't as much of a problem. If you are trying to do it with an arduino it won't be possible. This is becoming less of a problem as typically you can go bluetooth or wifi to smartphone and the smartphone is adequate as a platform to use SSL. I should also note ENCRYPTION USES ENERGY. You complain about battery life now - but you expand by 100x the energy to send the page. Google and Bing have web spiders - what is the carbon footprint if everything is now HTTPS? 1% might be nothing to your laptop, but is it to the search engine spiders? There is a larger problem of SSL. The CA model is BROKEN! You are encrypting traffic but you might be sending it to a bogus site conducting a MITM. If I disable all CAs in firefox, the web breaks. Mainly when going to, there is a separate cert for,, etc. Try figuring all the individual certs you need to allow for something like github or even so that firefox can update, sync, and load extensions properly. But that brings another problem. To type this in I needed to enable javascript. Most of the web these days, even if encrypted, demands they be able to run a computer program on my system to access things. Flash?! Secure? Java? Other media plugins? And Javascript itself - instead of a plain, simple, "submit", there is often a lot of background code running in even the simplest forms that is entirely unnecessary and can cause security holes - complexity is the enemy of security, yet we demand a complex web of multimedia and think merely encrypting that will fix everything.
You need a revokable and replaceable token. The site sends me a random string (there was an Ansi token that used DES). I type it in or have something like a yubikey maybe with pin or fingerprint (and/or clock) in a usb port. It returns a cryptographic response. Something like this exists with cell phones where you can get texts or voice responses.
I disagree on one point - you need more than a modicum of technical skill. There is a lot of well-commented bloatware, atrocious API designs which are meticulously documented, and even simple things like which parameters or when to split something into a set of functions that are badly messed up or never refactored. Using a very fine typeface and perfectly formatting "Jabberwocky" doesn't make it clear and transparent. In some ways too much skill can be a problem (which is why C is great and terrible at the same time). If you are really skilled, you can actually write usable bloatware in the atrocious API as a monolith or as tiny fragments, but the higher skill is in knowing how to reduce the design and architecture so that you only need to be a mediocre programmer to implement it. At that point, being able to communicate it effectively is a big bonus (especially the hows and whys), but I find either I can read the code (sans comments!) and from its existing topology and structure I can understand it, or it is an impenetrable gordian knot that no amount of gloss will reveal even if the translation into the colloquial speech is both credible and accurate. The medium is first and foremost the code itself. If that is bad, being able to explain it instead of fix it is not a plus.
Toggle Commented Feb 6, 2011 on How to Write Without Writing at Coding Horror
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Nov 18, 2009