Accuracy and Precision in Scientific Publications
The interesting article by Paper, Rodger and Simon,
Voice Says it All in the Navy,
(Communications of the ACM
47(8):97-101, August 2004), is tarred by an unfortunate
and, sadly, increasingly common error. In the article's tables and
explanatory text the authors report their results with an unwarranted
precision of three significant digits: 71.4, 42.9, 57.1, and so on.
Continue reading "Accuracy and Precision in Scientific Publications"
Involving Students With Open Source Projects
A Slashdot story titled
OSDDP: Involving Students With Open Source Docs
prompted me to describe my experiences with the
Software Comprehension and Maintenance
course I am teaching.
The reactions from the—difficult to please—slashdot crowd
were surprisingly positive and friendly.
Continue reading "Involving Students With Open Source Projects"
A Toddler Discovers Globalization
A toddler decided to explore and uncover
the production chain behind his touch-and-feel book.
Continue reading "A Toddler Discovers Globalization"
Apple's Presence in Greece Appears to be a Joke.
Earlier today I tried to buy an Airport Express base station by
visiting what appeared to be an Apple store in Stournari street:
the road in Athens with the largest physical concentration of computer shops.
Continue reading "Apple's Presence in Greece Appears to be a Joke."
Cracker Code Review
According to a popular myth, crackers are computer whiz kids:
brilliant software developers who run circles around their
"peers" in the corporate world.
When my undergraduate student Achilleas Anagnostopoulos sent me a
to the source code of the
Microsoft GDIPlus.DLL JPEG Parsing Engine Buffer Overflow
exploit, I decided to test the myth
by performing a code review of the exploit's source code.
The results are not flattering for the exploit's developers:
no self-respecting professional would ever write production code of
such an abysmally low quality.
Continue reading "Cracker Code Review"