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Comment: Re:A Corollary for Code (Score 1) 203

by smooth wombat (#49378341) Attached to: Why You Should Choose Boring Technology
which often makes for horribly unintuitive or unnecessarily complex systems.

Indeed. Witness the unmitigated mess which are today's web pages, filled with mountains of complex code creating unintuitive navigation and unnecessarily complex layouts.

KISS has officially been abandoned in favor of crazy language tricks just because the programmer could.

Comment: Re:What stops people from bypassing Amazon? (Score 1) 116

Nothing much, but then you lose the guarantees of service and predictable pricing, and to be honest, finding a reliable plumber or AC person is sufficiently difficult in the real world to ensure that something that makes those guarantees will be popular, even if, on average, it costs a little more than going directly.

Comment: Why don't they recompress all the images? (Score 3, Insightful) 109

by Ambassador Kosh (#49371705) Attached to: How Malvertising Abuses Real-Time Bidding On Ad Networks

Aren't most exploits removed by loading the image and then recompressing it? Why would you ever serve the raw binary for an image at least that was directly given to you by an advertiser? Isn't that just asking for an exploit?

I understand flash is much harder to deal with. Maybe the ad networks need some kind of template for allowed flash so they can take the flash file, take it apart, recompress all the images in and and then load it into their own template so that any exploits in it are probably removed.

Comment: Re:Don't blame me. (Score 1) 124

by drsmithy (#49368991) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

They have however maintained a farely solid voter base through recruitment of a younger generation who sadly don't seemed informed enough to see greens for what they really are.

The only remotely mainstream party in Australia politics with a progressive, centre-left, social democratic policy base ?

Pretty sure that's why they're getting the youth vote - because they're the only party that give a shit about demographics after baby boomers and have policies with a view past the next election.

Greens really are part of labor now, the only time they vote against labor is when they see a chance to gain publicity or popularity.

The Greens have a well developed and mature policy platform. They promote legislation that aligns with it.

no offense but it sound more like you are the one getting their information from Rupert to have such a positive view of them.

Murdoch portraying the Greens favourably ? You live in a very different world to me.

Comment: Re:The Canadian middle class is dying out. (Score 3, Informative) 195

by epine (#49364223) Attached to: Best Buy Kills Off Future Shop

This is a huge change from what the country was once like, when it had a robust middle class.

First of all, this is the norm among industrialized economies. Perhaps Norway is different. I haven't checked since the fracking boom.

Second, the thriving middle class was a fairly short lived affair, centered around three decades from 1950–1980. Most affluent societies have now returned to pre-1930s levels of economic inequality. Historically, an affluent middle class is the exception and not the norm.

I had a college roommate whose brawny younger brother dropped out of high school with few skills and somehow got a job with the CAW at a starting wage north of $70,000 per year, back in the early 1980s. He soon had a wife and children, a driveway filled with expensive motor toys, and cash-flow problems.

He was almost certainly employed at a factory making automotive products that discerning consumers—those of us lacking misty-eyed Big Three loyalty—did not wish to purchase.

Meanwhile, high school drop-outs trying to scrape by on non-union wages weren't necessarily doing much better than those same people today, a major difference being that the majority of those fantasy union jobs have now gone away.

Someone needs to get in a time travel booth to go back to the early 1970s to inform the CAW management group that no matter what course of action they chose, their business model (high union wages for semi-skilled labour) could not survive selling shit product. Marketing the hell out shit product was a short-term solution at best (Future Shop—ultimately—not excepted).

As much as the Reagan and Thatcher plutocrats initiated a self-serving destruction of the middle class, the middle class itself was hardly blameless.

Now it's time for the plutocrats to determine whether they can recognize how they are painting themselves into a non-viable corner before they encounter a messy corrective force of their own seeding.

Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming

Comment: Re:Isn't Government wonderful? (Score 1) 157

It may be a private company, large portions of UK (and US I believe) functions are performed by private contractors and have been since the 1980s.

That said, even if it isn't, this experience is something most of us have suffered over the last 15 years from public and private entities. Most have ended up capitulating under pressure to knock it off with the "IE6 only" BS, in part because Microsoft (yes, Microsoft!) forced the issue with IE7 and its follow-ons, itself in part because too many people liked Firefox for Microsoft's comfort.

It shouldn't surprise anyone there's still "IE only" crap out there. Especially amongst organizations that are (1) large, and (2) constantly cutting their budgets and having to apply "defered maintenance" to everything they do to stop going under.

And those budget cuts are, for the most part, the fault of the same people who insist governments are always incompetent.

Comment: Re: Don't blame me. (Score 1) 124

by drsmithy (#49359603) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

I think the biggest indictment of them is the fact even my highly pro environmental friends refuse to vote for them as they see them as only a destructive force towards environmental sustainability and see either coalition or labor as a better choice for the environment.

I'd love to hear the rationale behind their thinking.

Because I'm at a loss how two parties promoting growth at all costs, overconsumption, exploitation of the environment (stripe-mining Coal, CSG, dumping of spoil on the reef, etc) could possibly lead to a "better choice for the environment".

Comment: Re:Don't blame me. (Score 1) 124

by drsmithy (#49359597) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

I think you are thinking of the greens from more than a decade ago. The Greens haven't stood for that for a long time. They are basically part of labor and push for policies for short term rather than taking consideration of the long term effects or goals.

Here is the Greens policy platform.

Tell us about which parts bother you.

The greens having power would probably do more damage to human decency and DEFINITELY more damage to the environment and the prospects of a sustainable future (if you destroy business you can't head to sustainability, you head towards being a 3rd world country or Greece).

Yes, obviously they'd do far more damage than the "growth at all costs", "destroy the middle classes" pro-oligopoly parties.

Comment: Re:Don't blame me. (Score 1) 124

by drsmithy (#49358525) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

They are all pretty much scumbags. Not even most environmentalists vote for the greens anymore as they are little more than an extension of the labor party, focused on short term thinking and power plays.

Greens an extension of Labor ? Now there's a chuckle.

Sounds like you get most of your political information from your local Rupertarian.

I'm sure a few hardcore greenies have abandoned the Greens as they slowly morph into a generalist centre-left social-democracy party, but their share of the primary vote has remained pretty constant for a decade or more.

Comment: The inside threat is more potent (Score 3, Interesting) 378

by smooth wombat (#49355501) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up
airlines have fewer options if the threat comes from within.

This shouldn't be a surprise. It's the same thing with networked systems. It's not outside threats which pose the problem, it's the people on the inside who either inadvertently or deliberately cause the problems.

Once you've granted someone access to your data, no amount of firewalls, air gaps or anything else can prevent that person from doing damage in some form, even if only taking that data and giving it someone else on the outside.

In this case, since the co-pilot was on the inside and had the ability to override the security code to open the door, the damage was done long before he crashed the plane.

Comment: Simple solution to the problem (Score 1) 132

As this is government (i.e. taxpayer) money, you stop paying Nothrop Grumman until they grant access to the employees.

Since, as people like to say, the government doesn't create jobs, cutting off funding won't have any effect so there can't be any complaints. In fact, stopping payments on a project which is this far over budget would be good PR: a private company unable to do what they've been paid to do so the government is cutting them off.

Comment: Re:'Conservative' is a misnomer (Score 1) 124

by drsmithy (#49353057) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

If these people were actually conservatives, then they'd try to maintain the status quo, not introduce new controls, etc.

They are conservatives. They want to go back to the good old days of Feudalism.

Progressivism is how we escaped that history and created democracies, free speech, equal rights, and the like.

If a thing's worth having, it's worth cheating for. -- W.C. Fields

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