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‘codemonkey’ Archives

Automatically generate regular expressions with Txt2re

Automatically generate regular expressions with Txt2re

A programmer who hates coming up with regular expressions has produced a visual tool for automatically generating them. You paste in a block of text, identify the parts of it you'd like your regexp to catch, and it produces an (admittedly inelegant but absolutely functional) regexp ready for your use. The programmer explains, "It's free [...]

Email address validation: Please stop!

Email address validation: Please stop!

It’s something that’s been bugging me for a long time. All around the web, people are making flawed attempts at validating email addresses, causing a headache for their users, and probably for themselves. I really started to notice this when I began to use the disposable addresses system that Gmail provides. Any mail sent to [...]

How Facebook Ships Code

How Facebook Ships Code

I’m fascinated by the way Facebook operates.  It’s a very unique environment, not easily replicated (nor would their system work for all companies, even if they tried). These are notes gathered from talking with many friends at Facebook about how the company develops and release software. It’s been over six months since I assembled these [...]

So who else speaks C++?

So who else speaks C++?

I met a chick who spoke assembly, it took her forever to make a point.

Why Johnny Can’t Program

Why Johnny Can’t Program

This was just published this on Huffington Post. Maybe some policymakers will consider adding programming to the US public school curriculum... Just last year, while researching a book on America's digital illiteracy, I met with the Air Force General then in charge of America's cybercommand. He said he had plenty of new recruits ready and [...]

Facebook to kill IE6 support for Chat on IE9 beta day

Facebook to kill IE6 support for Chat on IE9 beta day

I am torn between my hate of IE6 as a web developer and my hate for Facebook as a human. Facebook has announced that it will soon end Internet Explorer 6 support for Facebook Chat. The kill date is September 15—the same day Microsoft plans to release the first IE9 beta. Today's announcement comes just a week after Microsoft launched a beta [...]

The Terminator was written in Cobol

The Terminator was written in Cobol

This one is incredibly nerdy, but I think it fits my standards for anachronistic use of type in a movie. Besides, I just love it. In The Terminator (1984), a cybernetic assassin from the year 2029 is sent back in time to 1984 to kill the mother of the rebel leader who will eventually lead humans in victory in a war against the cyborgs, [...]

How do emulators work and how are they written?

How do emulators work and how are they written?

"Freakin' emulators, how do they work?" Great writeup about writing emulators, from the people that have the experience. Excellent info here: Emulation is a multi-faceted area. Here are the basic ideas and functional components. I'm going to break it into pieces and then fill in the details via edits. Many of the things I'm going to describe [...]

Dear Google: You keep using that word…

Dear Google: You keep using that word…

Google's Jonathan Rosenberg wrote a paean to 'open,' in which his company's commitment to 'open' is pitched at great length. The most remarkable paragraph, however, is the one dealing with things that Google keeps closed: While we are committed to opening the code for our developer tools, not all Google products are open source. Our goal is to [...]

The history of the IMG tag

The history of the IMG tag

Mark Pilgrim traces the history of the humble IMG tag and the heated discussion that ensued when graphics were added to the web: I'd like to propose a new, optional HTML tag:IMG Required argument is SRC="url". This names a bitmap or pixmap file for the browser to attempt to pull over the network and interpret as an image, to be embedded in [...]

This text and the one beside it are equal

This text and the one beside it are equal

People tend to have the misconception that making an anagram gets harder the longer the sentence is - the opposite is true. The longer a sentence gets, the more possibilities there are for making small re-arrangements in the anagram to fit the original text. See this famous anagram: To be or not to be: that is the question, whether tis nobler [...]

(1) Open a Linux terminal, (2) Enter “cal 9 1752″, (3) wtf?

(1) Open a Linux terminal, (2) Enter “cal 9 1752″, (3) wtf?

Wikipedia can explain it. Britain and the British Empire (including the eastern part of what is now the United States) adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752 by which time it was necessary to correct by 11 days. Wednesday, 2 September 1752 was followed by Thursday, 14 September 1752 to account for 29 February 1700 (Julian). Claims that rioters [...]

Somebody’s been working on their Mario AI

Wow, there's a whole competition for this? Damn, that's awesome. Back in my day we simply wrote AI for Battleship or Prisoner's Dilemma or even Tic-Tac-Toe.

Rock Band opens track creation to home musicians

Rock Band opens track creation to home musicians

Minorly earth-shattering music/game news this morning from the Rock Band camp as they officially unveil The Rock Band Network, a new program for any musician or band to create their own Rock Band tracks and sell them through the game's online store a new Rock Band Network store. The Network will work alongside the Xbox 360's XNA Creators Club, [...]

Student challenges his professor and wins right to post source code he wrote for class

Student challenges his professor and wins right to post source code he wrote for class

Thanks to some perseverance and asking the right questions, SJSU professors are now prohibited from barring students from posting their code solutions online, as well as penalizing their students for doing so. A win for students, programmers, and copyfighters nationwide! Kyle's a student at San Jose State University who was threatened with a [...]

Bugs and inaccurate readings found in breathalyzer source code

Bugs and inaccurate readings found in breathalyzer source code

After a long legal wrangle, some defendant-side attorneys have audited the source-code of Alcotest, the breathalyzer used in New Jersey DUI stops. Turns out it was programmed by muppets who don't know how to calculate an average and who throw out error messages by the dozen. Like voting-machine vendors, breathlyzer vendors go crazy when [...]

NoScript: Security or Malware?

NoScript: Security or Malware?

Attention NoScript users · by Wladimir Palant Recently I wrote about how not giving extension developers a good way to earn money might lead to very undesirable effects. The recent events give an impression of the kind of effects we should expect here. This is going to be about the popular NoScript extension which happens to make its money from [...]

The Rocky Road To Secure Code

The Rocky Road To Secure Code

Homeland Security's Build Security In, Microsoft's Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), BSIMM, and now OpenSAMM: Secure application development programs are spreading amid calls for more secure code. The practice of writing applications from the ground up with security in mind remains in its infancy, even with software giant Microsoft leading [...]

Nazi codebreaker which shortened the Second World War by two years

Nazi codebreaker which shortened the Second World War by two years

The rows of silver dials and tangle of scarlet wires look more like a telephone exchange. But this is the inside of the Turing Bombe, the part-electronic, part-mechanical code-breaking machine and forerunner of the modern computer, which cracked 3,000 messages a day sent on Nazi Enigma machines during the Second World War. There were 210 [...]

HOWTO: Install Ruby on Rails on Debian

HOWTO: Install Ruby on Rails on Debian

Installing Rails on Debian or Ubuntu is quite simple. To ensure that you have a Rails-compatible version of Ruby installed, do not install the old (and possibly broken) version of Ruby with apt-get/aptitude. Rather, install Rubygems and have it fetch Ruby for you. Again... Do not install rails using apt-get/aptitude! The debian repository includes [...]

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