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View Diary: The MSFT-NSA conspiracy theory (40 comments)

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  •  I've dabbled in several languages on and off (1+ / 0-)
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    Free Jazz at High Noon

    In a non-professional context since 1982.

    Apple BASIC, AutoLISP, C, VB, php, python, etc.

    I wrote programs that were bug free and performed exactly as expected. They were small scale, to be sure, but not every piece of software has bugs by default. And bug-free software is not unattainable. So this assertion that every program has bugs that have yet to be discovered is bullshit and impossible to verify.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 09:32:40 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Do you realize just how short binary search is? (4+ / 0-)

      The average routine is less than 10 lines long.  It's the kind of routine that one is expected to be able to write at the end of one's first programming language course.

      In the case of the languages you listed, you absolutely have never written a piece of code without a boatload of bugs.  The libraries themselves in all of those languages have known defects -- your program had bugs, you just never saw them.

      •  I see (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Free Jazz at High Noon

        So my programs had bugs because the libraries used to compile them had bugs. Even though my programs did not produce erroneous results, it still had bugs, and, should a "perfect storm" of circumstances occur, my programs will then return erroneous results. Someday. Maybe. Not sure when, but someday.

        What do you recommend? Should we all just stop using Excel until we have certification from Microsoft that the compiler used to compile Excel was 100% defect free? Can we ever have confidence in our spreadsheet formulae returning accurate results?




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
        ~ Jerry Garcia

        by DeadHead on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 11:01:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What do I recommend? (0+ / 0-)

          To answer your last question first, it depends.  Technically, I trust Excel to about eight digits, but not much beyond that.  (At least as long as the code isn't running on a first-generation Pentium 4,)

          What I remember at all times is that the biggest vulnerability on my machine is the person providing input: me.    I never load any macros I haven't read and audited, and if they aren't obviously as-correct-as-possible to me, I use a different spreadsheet to export the content as csv and reimport it.

          To answer your second to last question: see above.  I use it, so I obviously consider the risks minimal.

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