Two Mahanayakas condemn monks’ election bid

The country’s top two Buddhist prelates yesterday condemned the decision by
a section of Buddhist monks to contest in the forthcoming general election.

In a joint statement, the Most Venerable Rambukwelle Sri Vipassi Maha Nayaka thera
and the Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Maha Nayaka thera said, “It
had been said in the media that Bhikkus are going to contest the forthcoming general
election citing various reasons.

“This is the beginning of a grave calamity to the Buddha Sasana. Therefore for
no reason can this be approved. Both the clergy and the laity who are concerned about
the Sasana are astonished by this move. They are distressed.

“When considering the historical background it is clear that Bhikkus have served
as advisors and mentors to those who governed while attending to the spiritual needs
of the people.

“Therefore the responsibility of the Bhikkus is to act in an advisory capacity
as aforesaid,” the two prelates stated. [ColomboPage]

Two Mahanayakas condemn monks’ election bid

J2SE 1.5 Preview Goes Into Beta

Sun Microsystems Inc. this month has released the beta
of J2SE 1.5
for public review, moving the latest version of desktop Java from
a theoretical list of requirements and definitions to code that developers can download
and test.

The beta is the reference implementation for Java Specification Request (JSR) 176
and includes the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), the Software Developer Kit (SDK),
and Documentation. J2SE licensees also have access to a beta version of the Testing
Compatibility Kit (TCK).

The software is available for Linux, Solaris and Windows at java.sun.com. Both binary
and source code are available.

Sun announced the features of J2SE last June at JavaOne in San Francisco. At that
time, the company said the features of the desktop Java platform would fall along
the themes of ease of development; monitoring and management; reliability, availability
and serviceability; and performance and scalability.

The specification and virtual machine for Java 2 Standard Edition is distributed free
from Sun, and form the basis for both the J2EE server platform and the J2ME mobile
platform.

Among the new features is support for generics. “It makes it easier and type-safe
for people to use Java,” said Calvin Austin, JSR 176 specification lead.

Other ease-of-development features include support for metadata, enumerated types
and enhanced for loops. These changes to the Java language itself come from individual
Java expert groups, and combined, the APIs make up the most comprehensive update to
the Java language since 1996, Austin said.

“Some of the look and feel of Java was from the last century. We have a whole new
look and feel called Ocean,” said Austin. The platform has a skinnable API so developers
can customize applications’ appearance. It also can use the native features of the
operating system on which it is running.

-Yvonne L. Lee [SD Times]

J2SE 1.5 Preview Goes Into Beta

zone24x7 vacancies

Shoba’s (my batch mate) company zone24x7 is looking to recruit a bunch of people.
The openings include Software Architect, Team Leads, Software Engineers, Software
Engineers (Embedded Development), QA Manager and Test Developers. They are mostly
looking for Microsoft Technologies (C, C++, VB & VC++) plus some on Linux. Leave
a comment with your address if you want me to mail you the whole advertisement.

zone24x7 vacancies

Ranatunge – Warne Friendly Banter


Retired Sri Lankan cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga hit back at his running adversary
Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne saying he (Ranatunga) would rather put on weight
than take drugs to prove his fitness.
“Arjuna, he’s probably slotting himself around at 150 kilos (kilograms, 330 pounds)
at the moment, is he? Swallowed a sheep or something like that”, Warne was quoted
as saying by the international news agency AFP on Saturday.
“If I swallow a lamb or a goat, it is none of his (Warne’s) business,” Ranatunga was
quoted by the AP news agency in reply on the same day.
“But I must tell him that I don’t swallow those pills and blame my mother for it,”
Ranatunga added, making an obvious reference to Warne’s positive test for a banned
diuretic which resulted in a one year ban for the spinner.
“It is better to swallow a sheep or a goat than swallow what he has been swallowing,”
Ranatunga was further quoted as saying. “I am fine and fit at 95 kilograms (209 pounds)”.
Warne is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on Friday for his first international assignment
after being tested positive for the banned substance on January 22 last year.
“I am certainly going to meet him,” Ranatunga said and jokingly added: “I may even
invite him to attend one of my campaign meetings. Though I know I may risk losing
some votes”. Ranatunga is contesting for a parliamentary seat at Sri Lanka’s general
election on April 2.
The verbal tirade between the two however had not stopped Ranatunga from admiring
Warne’s ability as a player. “I, however, respect Warne as a player. He is great”,
Ranatunga had admitted. [Daily
Mirror
]

Ranatunge – Warne Friendly Banter

Tour plea to Murali

Former Sri Lankan coach and Australian spinner Bruce Yardley will this week make a
personal plea to champion spinner Muthiah Muralidaran to tour Australia this winter.

Yardley, who coached Sri Lanka in the mid-1990s and is in Dambulla doing commentary
work, will meet his one-time protege this week to try to convince him to make the
two-Test tour of Darwin and Cairns in July.

Muralidaran last week revealed he had reservations about touring Australia where hostile
crowds have abused him.

“I will try to talk him into coming to prove he can take wickets in Australia and
be stronger mentally and not let the average Aussie try to break him down,” said Yardley,
who took 126 wickets in 33 Tests.

“I really hope the Aussie crowds get behind him, because he is a wonderful young man
and a sensational cricket talent.”

Though Muralidaran’s action has been the subject of enormous scrutiny and conjecture,
Yardley is adamant it is not beyond the limits of the law, which decrees his bowling
arm can not be straightened more than than 10 per cent in the act of delivering the
ball.

Yardley befriended Muralidaran in 1991 and was at his side in the challenging early
years of his international career when his action was constantly being reported to
the International Cricket Council.

“He has asked me to come and have a few sessions with him,” Yardley said. “He and
I are very close because I saw him through this. I have always believed in him.

“Back then I said to him, if they no-ball him out of the game, bowl leg-breaks and
googlies. He does that just as well.”

Yardley yesterday had his first live sighting of Muralidaran’s mysterious “doosra”
— the delivery that breaks away from the right-handed batsmen — and declared it
“sensational . . . absolute magic”.

Yardley could understand why Australia batted cautiously against Muralidaran in the
first one-day clash, in which he took 2-30 from 10 overs, but believes more aggression
would be timely in tonight’s second match at the Dambulla International Stadium.

“If I was the Aussies, I would take a risk and go the other way the next game and
charge at him, try to get him on the full and smash him,” he said.

By
ROBERT CRADDOCK
in Dambulla

Tour plea to Murali

A Quick Look At the Win2K Stolen Source

From the various articles that I read, the warning was not to go near any of the stolen
source due to its IP. This article on Kuro5hin has
a review of some of the files in the code.

A quick, superficial look at the style and content of the leaked Windows 2000 source.
I quote from the comments but not the code, so this should be safe for developers
to read.

Overview

Several days ago, two files containing Microsoft source code began circulating on
the Internet. One contains a majority of the NT4 source code: this is not discussed
here. The other contains a fraction of the Windows 2000 source code, reportedly about
15% of the total. This includes some networking code including winsock and inet; as
well as some shell code. Some other familiar items include the event log, and some
of the default screensavers.

The timestamps on the files generally say 25 July 2000. The source is contained in
a Zip file of size 213,748,207 bytes, named windows_2000_source_code.zip, which has
been widely circulated on P2P networks. Some dummy files of similar size, containing
just strings of zeroes, have also circulated.

There has been some speculation that while the bulk of the source is genuine, some
of the comments have been tampered with to embarrass Microsoft. This is difficult
to disprove, but I find it implausible. The embarrassing comments occur on thousands
of lines, in realistic places. Furthermore, if someone had done that, it would have
been easy to make the comments far more incriminating.

 

Embarrassments

In the struggle to meet deadlines, I think pretty much all programmers have put in
comments they might later regret, including swearwords and acerbic comments about
other code or requirements. Also, any conscientious coder will put in prominent comments
warning others about the trickier parts of the code. Comments like “UGLY TERRIBLE
HACK” tend to indicate good code rather than bad: in bad code ugly terrible hacks
are considered par for the course. It would therefore be both hypocritical and meaningless
to go through the comments looking for embarrassments. But also fun, so let’s go.

Curse words: there are a dozen or so “fucks” and “shits”, and hundreds of “craps”.
Some dissatisfaction with the compiler is expressed in private\shell\shell32\util.cpp:

 

// the fucking alpha cpp compiler seems
to fuck up the goddam type “LPITEMIDLIST”, so to work
// around the fucking peice of shit compiler we pass the last param as an void *instead
of a LPITEMIDLIST

 

Some insight into Microsoft’s famous daily build process is given in private\windows\media\avi\verinfo.16\verinfo.h:

 *      
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 *       !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 *       !!!!!!!IF YOU CHANGE TABS TO SPACES, YOU
WILL BE KILLED!!!!!!!
 *       !!!!!!!!!!!!!!DOING SO FUCKS THE BUILD
PROCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 *       !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 *       !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quality

Despite the above, the quality of the code is generally excellent. Modules are small,
and procedures generally fit on a single screen. The commenting is very detailed about
intentions, but doesn’t fall into “add one to i” redundancy.

There is some variety in the commenting style. Sometimes blocks use a // at every
line, sometimes the /* */ style. In some modules functions have a history, some do
not. Some functions describe their variables in a comment block, some don’t. Microsoft
appears not to have fallen into the trap of enforcing over-rigid standards or universal
use of over-complicated automatic tools. They seem to trust their developers to comment
well, and they do.

However, not everything is so rosy. Some of the modules are clearly suffering from
the hacks upon hacks mentioned earlier. As someone who struggled immensely trying
to get the MSInet control working not long after this code was released, it’s a relief
to see that the inet code is as bad as I thought.

From the comments, it also appears that most of the uglier hacks are due to compatibility
issues: either backward-compatibility, hardware compatibility or issues caused by
particular software. Microsoft’s vast compatibility strengths have clearly come at
a cost, both in developer-sweat and the elegance (and hence stability and maintainability)
of the code.

 

Open Source

It’s been widely rumored for a while that Microsoft relies on stolen open source code.
The rumor has faced widespread skepticism too. Microsoft has hundreds of millions
of lines of code, most of it highly specialized. Hardly any of that could benefit
from stealing: it hardly seems worth the legal risk. It’s true that early versions
of the TCP-IP stack were (legally) taken from BSD: but that was a long time ago, when
Microsoft was much smaller.

Searching the code for “linux” and “GPL” finds no references. “BSD” finds only a couple
of references to BSD-convention strings. “GNU” finds a lot of references to a GNUmakefile
in private\genx\shell, which in turn mentions a “mode for Emacs.” This is apparently
legitimate: simply using a makefile does not apply the makefile’s copyright to the
resulting code.

Therefore, a superficial look at the code finds no evidence that Microsoft has violated
the GPL or stolen other open source code. Closer examination might turn something
up.

 

Favoritism

It’s noticeable that a lot of the “hacks” refer to individual applications. In some
cases they are non-Microsoft, such as this case: a Borland compiler came to depend
on an existing bug, so their fix worked to preserve some of the bug’s behaviour. But
just as often these application-specific fixes are for Microsoft’s own apps. There
seems to be an informal hierarchy when it comes these: Microsoft apps take precedence,
then major software companies like IBM and Borland.

 

It’s also interesting to finally see references to the notorious undocumented features,
which Microsoft application developers have long been known to use.

 

private\mvdm\wow32\wcntl32.c:

// These undocumented messages are used
by Excel 5.0

private\mvdm\wow32\wgdi31.c:

// InquireVisRgn is an undocumented Win
3.1 API. This code has been

// suggested by ChuckWh. If this does not
fix the s 2.0

// problem, then ChuckWh would be providing
us with an private entry

// point.

 

private\mvdm\wow32\wgfont.c:

* This thunk implements the undocumented
Win3.0 and Win3.1 API

* GetCurLogFont (GDI.411). Symantec QA4.0
uses it.

* To implement this undocumented API we
will use the NT undocumented API

 

In some cases, the programmers themselves appear to have been frustrated or surprised.

private\ntos\w32\ntuser\kernel\mnpopup.c:

// Set the GlobalPopupMenu variable so that
EndMenu works for popupmenus so

// that WinWart II people can continue to
abuse undocumented functions.

private\windows\shell\accesory\hypertrm\emu\minitel.c:

// Guess what? Latent background color is
always adopted for mosaics.

// This is a major undocumented find…

 

private\windows\shell\accesory\hypertrm\emu\minitelf.c:

// Ah, the life of the undocumented. The
documentation says

// that this guys does not validate, colors,
act as a delimiter

// and fills with spaces. Wrong. It does
validate the color.

// As such its a delimiter. If…

 

Conclusions

The security risks from this code appear to be low. Microsoft do appear to be checking
for buffer overruns in the obvious places. The amount of networking code here is small
enough for Microsoft to easily check for any vulnerabilities that might be revealed:
it’s the big applications that pose more of a risk. This code is also nearly four
years old: any obvious problems should be patched by now.

Microsoft’s fears that this code will be pirated by its competitors also seem largely
unfounded. With application code this would be a risk, but it’s hard to see Microsoft’s
operating system competitors taking advantage of it. Neither Apple nor Linux are in
a much of position to steal code and get away with it, even if it was useful to them.

In short, there is nothing really surprising in this leak. Microsoft does not steal
open-source code. Their older code is flaky, their modern code excellent. Their programmers
are skilled and enthusiastic. Problems are generally due to a trade-off of current
quality against vast hardware, software and backward compatibility.

A Quick Look At the Win2K Stolen Source

thirteen

Sound advice from ChrisAn.

Tonight I watched the movie “thirteen“.
Truely disturbing.

Every parent always says “It couldn’t happen to my child”. Every to
be parent (like me & megan) says “We will do it right”. I’m not sure today is
any worse than in the past. Did parents in the 50’s have the same scares that we have
today?

If you haven’t seen or heard about thirteen, it is the story of a 13
year old girl that befriends a popular girl in the seventh grade. The movie chronicles
their sprial down into alcohol, drugs, sex, and theft. The movie is based on the real
story of one writers.

I hear parents that want to be “friends” with their child. I hear about
children’s rights (to privacy, to disagree, etc). Parents are not there to be friends
with their children. Parents have a right and obligation to not give their children
unconditionaly privacy, to not let their children decide everything in their lives.
When you have children, you have a life long obligation to be their parent.

I hear stories from various teachers that parents of their students
come in asking the teachers to someone “make” their kids do homework. Guess what?!
It’s a parent’s job to make sure kids do their homework, not the teachers. It’s the
parent’s job to teach kids responsibility. It’s the parent’s job to teach right and
wrong. It’s the parent’s job to know if their kid is on drugs.

I know that I will make mistakes when I’m a parent. It’s almost a requirement
of the job. I just hope that I will never be my kid’s friend.


[simplegeek]

thirteen