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Comment: Re:Here come the certificate flaw deniers....... (Score 1) 80

by Alioth (#48564169) Attached to: New Destover Malware Signed By Stolen Sony Certificate

Signing certificates are normally encrypted. Stealing the file will do no good unless you know the decryption passphrase. For example, to get a package into our local debian repository such that it can install/upgrade in our production environment, you'd not only need the gpg signing keys, but the 60+ character passphrase (which is NOT written down) to go with it.

Comment: Re:I've hired people with misdemeanors before (Score 1) 720

by Alioth (#48555701) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

> Would you want to hire someone who was convicted of violent assault?

It depends why. Were they the initiator of agression, and beat up their spouse? Perhaps not.

Were they defending themselves from a bully? Yes, I would hire them.

A 40 year old who was convicted at age 17 when he flew off the handle for some reason, but has not been in trouble since? Yes, I would hire them.

Comment: Re:Finland will save money on napkins (Score 2) 523

by Alioth (#48489787) Attached to: Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

Wiritng cursive has crossed the line for decades (just teach them so they can write legibly, which is still required - but all that cursive shit, no).

However long division and other things such as doing multiplication by hand are important skills that should still be taught: it internalizes the idea that a big difficult calculation can be made easier by turning it into several smaller calculations. It's a bit like learning asm in computer science - you're (probably) never going to use it in the real world but it's important to know in the understanding of how a computer actually works.

If anything I think schools need to be able to get more people to be able to do mental arithmetic and estimation. If you understand these even if you only ever use a calculator it gives you the skills to sanity check the result (how many times have I thought "that's not right" after entering something into a calculator because it disagreed with a mental estimate, then discovered I had miskeyed a number, especially on a touch screen)

Comment: Re:Tetris is based on a Russian board game (Score 1) 37

by Alioth (#48433685) Attached to: The Man Who Made Tetris

The original game is fun to play. Last month at Retromañía in Spain we had the original game running on the Russian pdp-11 clone for which it was created (unfortunately the pdp-11 clone had to be emulated - we actually have a real pdp-11 but it's a DEC built one and the original code won't work very well on it due to the lack of the Cyrillic character set). It's a good bit harder than the PC version which I think was the next version of Tetris to be written.

"Life sucks, but it's better than the alternative." -- Peter da Silva