Black Magic Code

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fun fact: You are responsible for what your IP-address does.

If you live in a western democracy, you are responsible on what your IP-address does on the Internet. This because of all the law enforcement and Intellectual Property enforcement. I don't like being responsible for my IP-address. Because I can't possibly know what is done on it at all times. It is millions lines of code that drives that IP-address. Even if all those lines that does stuff on the Internet was accessible to me(which they aren't) I would not be able to read through it and comprehend it. I'm a programmer at my day job, I can understand code. I can read code. But it is too much to understand if I try to comb through every line of code that could touch my IP-address. Think about it... you are responsible for what your computer(s) does on the Internet. Do you really understand at all times what happens under the hood?

Monday, February 06, 2012

ACTA has many problems...

But I'm not going to talk about those well known ones. You know that you can take your whole CD collection and put on your fancy new smartphone. It is fully legal to take you music that you bought over the years and carry it with you in a different format. But you can't do that with your DVD collection. It is strange because they both the same physical form but what makes the DVD different? And how is it related to ACTA?

When you buy CD with music it is not protected with encryption. When you buy a DVD it is encrypted to protect against piracy. Now some countries have protected the encryption for the purpose of copy protection. You are not allowed to sell or distribute software to break that encryption. It is already protected by laws and now ACTA wants to keep those laws in place.

The point of the laws are that pirates should not be able to easily obtain software so they can make easily distributable copies of DVD movies. The success of the law for that purpose has been less than stellar. Pirates are doing something that according to the law is illegal why would they care that break one more law?

The law has one side-effect. It quite effectively controls regular consumers. Regular consumers can't behave the same way. You can legally get your CD on to an iPod, but you can't store your DVD on an iPad unless you use the same tools as the pirates. No legal alternative for you. And with ACTA in place we might not see it for a long time.

There are many problems with ACTA and the problem that I just described might be the smallest one. But it is clear the encryption protections aren't there to protect you, they are there to protect your DVD movies from being watched on a tablet like an iPad.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

C++ has an air of COBOL of it.

I recently heard from a person that C++ was doomed in the same way as COBOL. The exact word where "C++ has a COBOL warning". I'm stunned... Any language that is going to share the faith of COBOL it is Java. If you look at what is happening out there with a metric of job ads you'll see it. Big corporations run their business systems with Java and banks love Java. They used to love COBOL. It is evident in their job ads. Now that Oracle has bought Sun and Java with it. See what happened here. An enterprise company bought the rights to Java. Java might not be all about the enterprise and business right now. But we could all see where this is headed can't we.

Now I'm not angry at the person that dropped the remark on my favorite programming language. He seems to be a genuinely nice guy who voiced his opinion. Opinions are personal and I'm not to deny them. But lets get some facts straight.

If you are reading this on any web browser you are dependent on C++ technology. All popular browsers out there are written in C++. If you play any type of computer/video game odds are that it is coded in C++. If you use Adobe products yet again you use C++ software. The Java Virtual Machine is made with C++.

Notice the pattern in the last paragraph. If you are an enduser consumer of software you are using C++ software. It has been like that for a long time and will be the nearest future.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

When hiring...

I suck at coding tests when it comes to job interviews. I for one hate them. I can code, I can write code from scratch and I can modify complicated and complex methods/functions. I have more than once bludgeoned the compiler into submission with the keyboard to do my bidding. But when asked to write simple and almost irrelevant pieces of code to be judged, my performance will always be less than stellar. Only because I personally hate them.

So when hiring I won't like your workplace if you ask me to write irrelevant code. I'll much rather show you code I've written. Or ask me to do a task I can complete in a few hours or even a day. The reason is simple, I always read back my code and see if there is something wrong with it and test it at least once before I ship anything.

But if you feel that you must put people under the gun with code. I don't mind pressure, give me code samples with problems or errors. I much rather give an analysis quickly of code than write problem code myself that is never going to ship or run even a single time.

But this is only my opinion.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A good thing to think about.

This is short and to the point. Productivity. My personal reflection to this, he blames the Operating System(OS). It is not actually that where the problems is. You can get a productive experience on most OS:es. The problem is the software put on the OS.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Opinions, everybody has them.

There is plenty of C++ hate to go around. There are forums, blogs and social bookmarking sites where the hate sometimes appear. This is usually posted through a web browser. The post are about how bad the language is in managing memory(because it doesn't), how hard it is to parse(there are some fun ambiguities) and so on. People claim in these posts that it takes a genius to get all these things right. But the thing is that bothers me is that... Ehm.... the majority of the web browsers are implemented in C++. In other words, they rely on the very language that they hate so much.

Further, this is the fun part. By anecdotal evidence, the people that spread the most hate about C++ have their head up so far the "Web 2.0" ass, that they don't see that their beloved web experience is run by C++.

Sorry and hate to break it the "Web 2.0" fanboys C++ is good for something. And it does not take a genius to program with it. Your favorite language of the hour is not good enough to build a complete web browser, that can bring the "Web 2.0" experience to people. Prove me wrong please.

Monday, July 07, 2008

This is getting out of hand now.

Adobe has released their latest Adobe Reader. Funny stuff can be read here and here. Yes if you want to read PDF:s with the adobes own reader you must have atleast +200 megabytes available on your hard drive.

This is a sorry state of affairs. This is not about bloat anymore. It is intrusive behavior by the software company. It is not new in the industry as a whole. Microsoft has done it, the redistributable for .NET 3.5 is a whopping 197 megabytes. Yeah old Realplayer stole file associations for media files types(persistent rumors say that they even didn't support). Apple did a nice trick with an update.

This is not about bad programming with way too many features A.K.A. bloat. This is wasting the resources of their users without "asking" them what they want. If they even bother to ask what the users want they have to take an action to avoid the feature(s).

Now ask yourselves this! What gives Adobe, Apple, Microsoft and RealNetworks the right, to steal disc real estate, your file associations and install other software that you downloaded?