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Concerning free software, programming, and whatever else I find interesting. Also the blog for my Web site,

Chuck Schumer - keeping those smart phone developers in line

Posted 03-05-2012 at 01:24 PM by hydraMax (Bits and Pixels)
Updated 03-05-2012 at 01:42 PM by hydraMax (typo)

FTC asked to investigate Apple and Google over personal data collection

Okay, data privacy is a good thing. But when did it become Chuck Schumer's job to decide what kind of security measures are implemented on smart phones? Schumer states:

"[Smartphone] makers should be required to put in place safety measures to ensure third-party applications are not able to violate a user's personal privacy by stealing photographs or data that the user did not consciously decide
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 510 Comments 0 hydraMax is offline

Two handy manual pages from the LPM

Posted 02-24-2012 at 04:46 PM by hydraMax (Bits and Pixels)
Updated 02-24-2012 at 04:47 PM by hydraMax

One of the downsides to living in the age of the search engine is that many of us do not know how to find documentation in the place it is supposed to be. Sometimes, we waste much time and bandwidth trying to find information that is available locally. Two such examples from my own experience are listed below:

1) OPERATOR(7). I can't count the number of times I have done a Google search trying to remember if a '&&' had higher precedence than a '||', or some similar question....
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 440 Comments 0 hydraMax is offline

First program in x86_64 assembly!

Posted 02-23-2012 at 12:38 PM by hydraMax (Bits and Pixels)

I wrote my first program in x86_64 assembly, learning from the AMD and GAS manuals. It is a text-based implementation of the old sliding puzzle game Fifteen:

Requires GCC to compile and a 64-bit OS to run.
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 654 Comments 0 hydraMax is offline

Thanks, Sonny Bono

Posted 02-07-2012 at 01:56 PM by hydraMax (Bits and Pixels)

Interestingly,the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 (also termed the "Mickey Mouse Protection Act") which extended copyright by 20 years, was named after Sonny Bono:

Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act

He didn't actually get the bill passed, but it was named in memory of him. Reportedly, it was his opinion that copyright should last forever. But the CTEA bill compromised with a "mere" twenty year extension.

Sigh... just imagine...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 441 Comments 0 hydraMax is offline

Keep a "secret" file open

Posted 02-05-2012 at 11:13 PM by hydraMax (Bits and Pixels)

There is an interesting thing about the way file deletion works in POSIX systems like Linux: When you call a command like "rm" on a file, ultimately you are calling the unlink() function on that file. the unlink() function does indeed remove the file name from the file system; however, the actual file itself is not removed from the file system until the last open file descriptor to that file is closed. (see UNLINK(2))

This means that, effectively, you can keep any file you...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 890 Comments 0 hydraMax is offline


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