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Comment: Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (Score 1) 202

by Dast (#43647223) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's Your Company's Marketing-to-Engineering Ratio?

If the company you worked for was a US company, it sounds like they were in clear violation of the FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act). US companies are barred from bribing foreign officials. I'm surprised to hear that such illegal acts would be included in the budget. Or perhaps were you working for a non-US firm in a country that does not have a similar law?

Comment: Re:Austrian economics (Score 4, Interesting) 600

by Dast (#42090011) Attached to: Bitcoin Mining Reward About To Halve

Sounds questionable to me. Going by the definition on wikipedia:

"A deflationary spiral is a situation where decreases in price lead to lower production, which in turn leads to lower wages and demand, which leads to further decreases in price.

If nobody is really pricing goods in bitcoins and nobody is getting paid in bitcoins, how could the feedback cycle that would normally cause a deflationary spiral exist? Even if bitcoins deflate massively, I don't think that necessarily proves the Keyensians right.

Comment: Re:This is not an SSL problem (Score 4, Insightful) 84

by Dast (#41770607) Attached to: SSL Holes Found In Critical Non-Browser Software

This is a problem of bad APIs and people not competent to select libraries with better ones.

While that might sound true, I think the problem is deeper than that. The issue in a lot of cases is developers having to deal with non-ideal SSL/TLS setups that they have no control over.

It usually goes like this:

Dev monkey gets told by PHB, we need to make our communications secure, so implement SSL. Dev monkey adds SSL support to the app. Code seems to work. Testing (or even worse, someone in Production) comes back and says: dev monkey's SSL code doesn't work with our Customer XYZ's server. Dev monkey tests things himself and finds that Customer XYZ is using a self signed cert or an expired cert. Dev monkey tells PHB that Customer XYZ needs to fix their setup. PHB tells dev monkey that the setup cannot be changed because of ABC and that dev monkey needs to "code around the issue". Dev monkey updates app to not choke on bad certs. Code gets released, and Customer XYZ's remote worker gets p0wned by a man in the middle attack. Customer XYZ blames PHB, PHB blames dev monkey. Dev monkey sighs and gets another mountain dew.

Comment: A crowdsourced method of mining for Big Ideas (Score 1) 309

by Dast (#41623723) Attached to: US Looks For Input On "The Next Big Things"

My "Next Big Thing" is the best. (Always wish for more wishes!)

The issue isn't that we need one specific "Next Big Thing"; our future requires that we maintain a steady stream of "Next Big Things". So...

If we only had a way we could harness the power of the "crowd" and come up with a method of mining ideas for the "Next Big Thing"... Perhaps a forum for professionals, engineers, and suits where they can post and discuss a stream of ideas about the "Next Big Things". If only such a thing existed...

And don't even think about trying to use this idea. The patent is already applied for and I'll sue you into the ground.

The goal of Computer Science is to build something that will last at least until we've finished building it.