DailyDirt: Help Me, Software, You're Our Only Hope…

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Everyone relies on software nowadays — sometimes without even realizing it. But when an entire airline shuts down due to a computer outage, our dependence on technology becomes obvious. (And Skynet is simply reminding us who is really in charge.) Here are a few links on software projects that humans might want to keep an eye on.

By the way, StumbleUpon can recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.

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Companies: international computer games association

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Help Me, Software, You're Our Only Hope…”

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Rekrul says:

The world’s best chess software has been caught cheating (because its human author copied from open source chess programs). Sorry, Rybka, the International Computer Games Association (ICGA) says you can’t play anymore.

The headline makes it sound as if the chess program cheated. It’s claimed that the author of the program cheated by using code from other chess programs. The program itself doesn’t cheat.

Greevar (profile) says:

Sore losers. He built a better chess program.

Just because they didn’t get to see the source code and it performs similarly to Fruit and Crafty, they automatically assume that it was taken from those two programs? Could Rajlick not have developed his similar algorithms independently by studying the competition and find his own way to incorporate them? Besides that, it seems Rybka was doing it better since it beat everyone else. I think these people are stuck on the illusion that two people can’t come up with the same idea and just assumed he “stole” it. If he’s truly genuine, then this is just cruel and damaging to an innovative programmer.

If he did just simply use their code, then he should give credit, lose his current winnings and be disqualified, but since nobody is allowed to look at it, we can’t know for sure. That’s certainly not a justification to call him a cheat and take away his winnings retroactively. That’s just being petty. “We think you’re plagiarizing, but we can’t prove it; so we’ll just judge you with ambiguous evidence instead.” People can be so possessive of ideas and, when threatened, will act indignantly towards those that come to similar discoveries independently.

Marcel Popescu (profile) says:

My problem with proof of correctness...

… is that you can easily prove that a program calculating the average of two numbers, a and b, by doing

result = (a + b) / 2

is correct. And then you run the program and it works, until a year later someone sets a and b to very large values, and the program crashes (or returns a negative value). That’s why I prefer testing to proofs, even though I agree that proofs are theoretically better.

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