10 Bizarre Software Engineering Facts You Need to Know

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Did you know that Google Code Jam, like enopoly reviews, is one of the toughest software programming competitions in the world? Or that there are some countries where it’s illegal to use Microsoft software? If you want to learn some interesting facts about software engineering, here are a dozen worth knowing.

Ever wondered how a compiler works? Or how memory works in OS X and Linux systems? I’ve got your back. These 10 Bizarre Software Engineering Facts You Need To Know will provide you with the answers to these questions and more! Much better now, right? Let’s get started: 

1. Linux Systems Never Go Out of Memory

How is that possible?  Well, Linux is able to swap a process to disk if there isn’t enough physical RAM available for it. This can happen if you haven’t installed enough memory in your system, but it’s not the default behavior of the system.

2. There Is An Overflow Bug in the Linux Kernel from 2.6.0 to 2.6.20

If you’re using Linux 2.6.0 or later, you’re in luck! There’s a memory safety bug in the Linux kernel that lets it overwrite memory past the size limit set by the CONFIG_MEMORY_ISOLATION_FACTOR. In other words, there is no exploit for this bug (yet).

3. Finnish Monkeys Can Type Faster Than Humans

This is a well-known computer science fact. Finnish monkeys can type twice as fast as humans! They have been trained to hit the keyboard with their eyes closed using an algorithm designed by Dr. Osmo Tarkko, who works for the University of Helsinki Department of Computer Science. Finnish researchers have found out that monkeys can type faster than humans, so they used a strategy of letting monkeys type and then record their action sequences to a video tape so they could do it again. They then translated them back to Finnish.

4. The Linux File System Is Not As Secure As You Think It Is

Have you heard about the way Linux file systems are mounted and how advanced permissions work? The permissions are not secure by default, but they can be used very “relatively secure”. This is a problem if you want to use a scripting language like Python on a Linux file system, but it’s not an issue with the rest of the OS. But what’s really weird is that I would’ve never thought of using an unencrypted NTFS partition for anything other than reading from (typically).

5. There Are Games That Accept Payments in Bitcoins In Some Countries

Yes, there are games that accept payments in bitcoins. I’m not sure how much money you can make by selling in-game items in bitcoins, but heck, it’s worth a try! 

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6. There Is a Whole Programming Language That Uses the Period Key

If you’re wondering why the period key is used so often in programming languages like python and c, here’s why. The language is called Racket, and it’s an extension of the Lisp family of languages. It’s even more interesting that the period is used to assign values to variables as well. 

7. The Way WordPress Handles Plugins Is Not Safe

WordPress is not really designed for plugins like what you get from a typical app store. The reason is that WordPress plugins are installed into specific versions of WordPress which can cause security issues since WordPress updates won’t necessarily upgrade your plugins automatically. 

8. The Programmer Who Created the Linux Kernel Worked on Tor

Tor is a pretty awesome project and is a good example of how software can be used for good. It’s also The Onion Router that’s used to keep all your online activities anonymous. Linus Torvalds has also written it, but he doesn’t work for the project anymore. Why? Well, he wrote parts of it during his university days in the mid 90s while pursuing his CS degree at Helsinki University of Technology (HUT).

9. Not All Apps Can Be Disassembled

A lot of people know that there are binary code decompilers which let you see how an app works in its source code. Some also know that you can also disassemble an app, but not all can do it. Some applications can be disassembled when you figure out their binary format, but many apps cannot be disassembled into their code without special tools and programming knowledge. 

10. The Love Actually Sequel Was Written by a Random Guy Who Just Took the Name of His Computer Science Professor

Andy Whitfield has written the sequel to Love Actually and it was a huge success. He’s not known for writing screenplays, but he did this one in his spare time. And we all know that if you have spare time, an insane story will come up! 


Thanks for reading 10 Bizarre Software Engineering Facts You Need to Know. 

Anyway, these are some interesting facts about software engineering. I hope you enjoyed reading these as much as I did writing about them! Do you have any other strange software engineering facts you’d like to share with me? Feel free to comment below.


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