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Comment: How do we actually know? (Score 2) 203

by Sebastopol (#47874453) Attached to: 5 Million Gmail Passwords Leaked, Google Says No Evidence Of Compromise

I could harvest 5m gmail names from google searches, and then publish them with bogus passwords and create panic. Is there some statistic that says how many of these were real passwords? Because wouldn't it be illegal to use them (accessing another person's account w/o their permission is a crime in the USA).

Seems like it would be easy to manufacture a lot of FUD by making these claims w/o really having any passwords at all, and no one could verify it?

Comment: Re:That's a garbage lawsuit (Score 2) 286

What you're describing is what TV sets already do to display interlaced video. The reason why "1080p!" is an advertising point is because 1080i, even after interpolation, is inferior; that's why they weren't using that less-deceptive description to begin with.

I mean if you don't like the product you can return it.

If they don't like being sued for fraud they can stop committing fraud.

Comment: Did we check for confounding variables? (Score 1) 187

by roystgnr (#47108095) Attached to: Temporary Classrooms Are Bad For the Environment, and Worse For Kids

Or is there really nothing other than CO2 levels which correlates strongly with the use of portable classrooms and with absenteeism? Perhaps low socioeconomic status has nothing to do with which school districts have more trouble affording permanent buildings? Perhaps higher numbers of children per family are unrelated to which schools are overcrowded?

It's hard to tell, when the bibliography consists of "studies show".

What's sad is that this is still better-than-average science and science reporting. We got an actual transcript, and the correlation seems to be at least a step above the "people who wear parachutes are more likely to die in skydiving accidents!" level which is so good at grabbing headlines.

Comment: Re:Big shoes to fill this one has (Score 1) 183

by Sebastopol (#46313849) Attached to: The Ultimate Hopes For the New Cosmos Series

I didn't state my original point clearly enough. If you edited Cosmos to take out Dr. Sagan's lengthy and yawn-inducing monologues about our insignificance in the cosmos, you end up with The Mechanical Universe, which is paced at the speed of top-tier college lecture.

I also don't think it is a problem to match the pace of the lecture with what today's you are accustomed to. When sound was added to cinema in the early 20th century, purists claimed it would ruin the art form. The same thing happened when people actually began to edit with an artistic eye and shots reduced in time from 30-60 seconds to 5-10 (with the advent of new technology). In fact, there was even resistance to technicolor by the French auteurs!

I wouldn't be quick to claim the way I learned, or the way engineers in the 1950's (or 1850's!) learned, or the way you learned is "the one true way." If youth are accustomed to fast-paced editing, then use that form. If you personally don't like it, open a book and learn at your own pace, or launch a Kickstarter. :)

Comment: Re:Big shoes to fill this one has (Score 3, Insightful) 183

by Sebastopol (#46264939) Attached to: The Ultimate Hopes For the New Cosmos Series

When is the last time you watched the original Cosmos? There are a lot--and I mean A LOT--of scenes featuring Carl sitting on a beach or in a meadow looking off into the distance with pontificating voice-overs that kinda ramble. Believe me, I'm 42 and I grew up on that series, but having re-watched it recently, I was surprised at the large spans of near bloviation that adorn the show. I absolutely adore the series, I just think it could have used some tightening up during editing.

Also, I graduated from COSMOS to The Mechanical Universe, which--aside from the haircuts of the classroom--would still feel modern by today's standards.

Comment: Missing the point (Score 0) 325

by Sebastopol (#46015535) Attached to: The Whole Story Behind Low AP CS Exam Stats

Obvious Men's Rights Activist is obvious.

Sure, if there is a problem where people who want to take the CS AP exam and cannot, it should be addressed.

So start a campaign about it, its a great idea.

But when you position it AGAINST studies citing under-representation of minorities in a field that has long been hostile to them, especially women, you're trying to cover it up and become part of the problem.

So yes, please start a campaign to increase CS AP coverage, and please stop trying to marginalize / cover up another legitimate problem in the process. Both need addressing, it is not either / or.

Comment: where's the research (Score 2) 66

by Sebastopol (#45292801) Attached to: Book Review: <em>Stay Awhile and Listen</em>

I realize this is a history of Blizzard, but I find it disappointing when authors write histories of video games and stop at 1990. Diablo didn't set the standard. Wizardry, Ultima, and Might and Magic set the standards for RPGs. Diablo successfully "Michael Bay"d them with 3D and 'splosions and the most robust, practically uncrashable game engines ever seen.

Comment: If A is evidence, then ~A is contrary evidence (Score 3, Interesting) 279

by roystgnr (#45144813) Attached to: David Cameron Wants the <em>Guardian</em> Investigated Over Snowden Files

Had the Guardian not complied, I suppose David Cameron's response would have been "I thought they were guilty, but when they refused to voluntarily cooperate with my national security adviser and cabinet secretary, I started to reconsider."

No? But if not, then he is just trying to rationalize some "damned if you do, damned if you don't" nonsense.

+ - RIM gets a copy of your IMAP password on the Blackberry 10

Submitted by Fefe
Fefe (6964) writes "When you use the mail app on the Blackberry 10, and enter your IMAP username and password, an IP address from the RIM IP range will connect to your mail server with your credentials, which means that a) RIM is NSA'ing your email credentials and b) if your mail server is not configured with mandatory SSL, your credentials might be sent over the internet from Canada in clear text. The guy who found this out lives in Germany, and he notes that for him the route to that RIM IP goes through both the US (NSA) and the UK (GCHQ)."

Comment: Byte and National Computer Camps (Score 1) 623

by Sebastopol (#43851009) Attached to: How Did You Learn How To Program?

I started programming Commodore PETs in 1982, in 5th grade. My teachers had ordered a box full of cassette games and I asked me to evaluate all of them and write a paragraph explaining each game. I wanted to know how the games worked so I started reading the BASIC source code. BASIC is so readable that I was writing my own games in about a month. In 6th grade we had a C64 and I started taking a self directed class for BASIC. My parents bought me an Apple //e (a HUGE fight ensued over the cost). That summer I went to National Computer Camps in Connecticut (back then it was at Westminster Prep School) and learned to program 6502 assembly language.

The rest is history. All of my learning was self-directed. There were no programming classes anywhere in my elementary school or the nearby highschool.

I have fond memories of the sound that a Commodore PET makes when you turn it on... *chink chink chink... bzzzzzzt ... POP*

Debug is human, de-fix divine.