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Comment: Before I finish this my server will be attacked! (Score 1) 49

by EmperorOfCanada (#49325175) Attached to: Nobody Is Sure What Should Count As a Cyber Incident
In the time it will take me to type this post I will get at least one wp-admin request from my server (without WordPress) plus I will probably have an assortment of other odd requests looking to exploit various server weaknesses for web servers that are different than mine; Various cgi attacks and so on.

Needless to say these aren't terribly troubling, generally the worst they do is to pollute my logs with crap. The main problem with these sort of "attacks" is that fear mongers will use them to justify giving them lots of consulting money.

What does annoy me about these attacks is that while they are fairly ineffective I would still love to see a concerted effort to nail the people who do them to the wall. I see it like those people who aim laser pointers at airplanes.

That said, there are genuine attacks from sophisticated but unless the companies involved have political pull these attacks too go unpunished. What bothers me the most is that these attacks originate from a very few countries. How about we shut those countries internet connections down for a few days until those attacks stop.

Comment: Re:I see a problem here and it isn't Snowden/Germa (Score 1) 336

by EmperorOfCanada (#49302009) Attached to: German Vice Chancellor: the US Threatened Us Over Snowden
They broke existing laws, were caught using existing techniques, and no need to mass surveil the rest of us. The last two caught in BC were basically being pushed into doing what they did by the investigators who are desperate for a win.

The ones in Halifax wouldn't have been caught by anything short of the most severe privacy violations and massive all encompassing dragnets.

Comment: I see a problem here and it isn't Snowden/Germany (Score 5, Insightful) 336

by EmperorOfCanada (#49301385) Attached to: German Vice Chancellor: the US Threatened Us Over Snowden
In Canada there is huge pressure from the US for us to pass bill C-51 which might as well be called Orwell's law. There is endless talk about this country being dangerous or that country. But it seems to me there is exactly one country on this planet that is causing problems for just about every democracy or not.

What I love about these tools that think that they should be able to spy on us to "protect" us. Yet in Canada we have a motorcycle gang that all wear special clothing, have special tattoos, and hang out in known HQs; yet our national police force can't shut them down with every law needed already in place. Prisons which have pretty well no constitutional protections for privacy or intercepted communications are filled with drugs. So even if they manage to completely remove privacy and rights they have proven themselves incompetent at doing their jobs with simplistic criminals.

What hope do they have against actual terrorists with an IQ over 90? Or lone wolves who communicate with exactly nobody?

My assessment of all these laws is that they are there to protect vested interests. The politicians want to protect their friends in big business in the name of national security/stability. But my guess is that they mostly want to protect themselves from the erosion of power that is happening through the internet where the press and other investigators can find out what corruption is happening. Thus the ideal situation is that whistleblowers will be nervous about contacting the press because they don't know if their communications are secure. That even politicians will be nervous about trying to reduce the power of the security services because not only might they be listening but that the security services will be well placed to leak data about they or their friends.

Remember that this sort of power is very insidious. For instance when the government goes to appoint someone to a watchdog or judicial position that will oversee the security services the security service does a "background check" this is not only to make sure that the person isn't an enemy spy but to protect the politicians from embarrassment if it turns out that their potential appointee is unsavoury in some way. This could be something like anti women views or even something like they are 60 and often date 20 somethings. Thus if the person is going to a hanging judge and is happy to give the security service free reign they can give the person a clean bill of health during the "background check" but if the person has long been a defender of privacy and generally anti authoritarian then they will compile a list of rumours and innuendos that suggest the person will be an embarrassment.

Thus as we hear about judge after judge giving their blessings to insanely unconstitutional behaviour, and we hear about watchdogs that aren't watching keep in mind about who vetted these people in the first place.

What scares the shit out of these people is when they don't have control over them as in the case of politicians in other countries. This is where they have to play hardball. But my simple question is how many politicians in various G7 countries have had information "leaked" about them by the US security services? Leaked during elections where they were successfully running against right wing hardliners that the US would prefer to win?

Comment: There is always that one damn piece of software (Score 1) 385

by EmperorOfCanada (#49289097) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Laptop To Support Physics Research?
There is always that one damn piece of software. In nearly every endeavour there is a single piece of software that absolutely demands that you have a certain OS. That is this single application is the core of what you do thus having it on a VM would be silly as all your data might feed in or out of that. Sometimes you can be lucky and that that software is multi platform such as matlab. But most circuit simulation software is Windows only. Then there are things like 3DStudio that are also Windows only. Thus if some application is like this is the core of your universe then you are pretty much committed to Windows. But then there are other things that will run on most OSs but run better on the Unix type systems. Python would be a great example. Yes with some arm twisting it will run fine on Windows but is way happier on Mac or Linux.

Then there is the peer group. What do they run. You don't really want to be the odd one out even if they aren't using the best choice.

So what it all really boils down to is what software is critical on a day to day basis? And what do the peers use? These two questions will pretty much answer the question.

Comment: Re:No plans to use Hertz!!! (Score 1) 188

The key is that they will probably lose more money than the pittance they were hoping to gain. Also keep in mind that the MBAs who had nothing to do with this will use it to stab the other MBAs in the back.

Also it might serve as a warning to any other companies trying to pull that crap. Plus we techies will say, "Oh you rented a Hertz, you know they have spy cams in them?"

Plus I have had some pretty non techie types ask me about the bitcoin thing in utorrent. Plus every single one of my daughters' friend keep tape over their laptop web cams; not one of whom could make a hello world.

Comment: No plans to use Hertz!!! (Score 5, Interesting) 188

I love these MBA types who come up with these pretty much psychopathic ways to make a few extra bucks and don't realize that people will have a violently negative reaction.

I call this spreadsheet thinking; that is where a person has a spreadsheet showing the millions of car rentals and then adds a new line item where they make a few extra pennies per rental and it makes the bottom line go up by a nice jump. Then the MBAs give each other nice bonuses based upon this "brilliant" plan. What they don't have is a line item where their customers will actually pay more to use a different rental company that doesn't have cameras in their cars. The MBAs will just call them a few "irrational" actors who need to "get a life". Then when the media gets a hold of this they will say that "It was blown out of proportion" and eventually they will retreat saying that they need to "reposition" the technology.

The lesson the company won't learn is to stop hiring psychopathic MBAs.

Comment: The elites will lose, the uber elites will win (Score 1) 170

Up until now if someone had an elite horse there was a limited amount of breeding it could do but that limit was still a huge number of horses. Thus most of the racing elite could get a taste of that DNA on their ranch. This kept out the riff-raff but still allowed the fairly rich to play. But with full on Cloning this will leave all but the richest unable to pay for this. For most of the horses that result from breeding a great horse just aren't champions.

But even worse is that if a real uber-champion comes along the normal course of events is that it would have a few good years and then be put out to breed. Now a very rich person could breed a new copy pretty much every year so that at least one copy of the uber-champion is ready to run. This person might not even sell the copies, just keep running them and keep wining.

So think of hockey team where they are able to buy only the entire line up of the best players. But then these players literally never retire.

So while these guys obviously have no real idea how DNA works; what they are doing is trying to twist reality into a form that suits their needs. The general rule of thumb is the further you bend reality the worse it hurts when it snaps back into your face.

Comment: Science Mafia (Score 1, Flamebait) 320

I know people who are recent PhDs in various sciences and with only a few exceptions they have real trouble finding financing that doesn't end up going to various vested interests within their research institutions. Basically once it looks like money is coming their way all of a sudden a handful of boomer tenured professors have their hands deep into their pockets. Without it being a written rule these junior PhDs suddenly need "mentoring" or some other bullshit excuse. But when the budget is laid out the boomer will get a massive salary compared to the PhD who's research attracted the money in the first place. But then suddenly other things appear where the boomer will be the first name on any research. This is only the tip of the iceburg where the funding agencies are also cajoled into giving the money to the institution for them to disperse which means that even the boomer professor won't do well.

But in a very few instances I have seen where the money literally went to the PhD and he could even switch institutions and the money will follow. In those cases the university is 90% happy to let the PhD write the rules but still pressure for some of the money to find its way to a few boomers.

A common overlap is that the boomers to whom they try and direct the money to are also the same ones who usually are the ones who wrote the textbook that the students are forced to buy.

One great expression is: "Science progresses one funeral at a time." and I have seen this very much in action where the above are the success stories. The more likely scenario is that the younger PhD is looking for money to basically prove the boomers discoveries wrong or incomplete. The boomers are consulted as "experts" prior to a funding decision and they say that they might as well fund paranormal studies. Thus the younger PhDs are not allowed to explore the new and the only money goes to confirming what is "known".

Then at the other end of the research (assuming it is funded) is when they go to publish and the "anonymous" reviewers are those boomers with a vested interest in the research never seeing the light of day. So instead of being published in Nature they are relegated to publications one step up from a high school science fair.

But then there is one last FU waiting for younger researchers where they will publish something fundamental in a third rate journal only to have a "respected elder" in their field effectively republish the same results in a major journal and have that publication be the one that is heavily cited.

The last layer of stupid is where a few of the top schools seem to have the ears of the media. So if they come up with a solar cell that is 5% in one way while much worse in 20 other ways they will make the science news in many publications as "revolutionizing" solar power. But someone in a 2nd or 3rd tier university who comes up with a new solar cell that is 5% better in a few ways and as good as in all other ways will be ignored. This is critical because this is where new corporate funding often comes from.

But once in an extreme blue moon someone young and hungry gets out there and sets the world on fire. This despite so many layers of old school thinking these few bright lights do manage to squeak through. This is why science is so very off the rails. Most of the institutions don't exist to further real science but to ensure the tenure of those who have put in the decades and are "entitled" to their security.

Comment: Opportunity for a cleaner watch (Score 2) 389

I love the idea of a dumb-ish watch or a brilliant watch; But not something in the middle. I have looked at the Apple watch talk and it seems that you will still need your phone yet you will have not a whole lot of battery life.

Right now I want a watch that basically gives me minor tips as to what is going on with my phone. Texts, the time, the date, appointment reminders, and maybe directions from a running GPS route(all coming from my phone). That is about it. I don't need a map, I don't need to schedule appointments, I don't need health crap, I don't need to send texts, I don't need video, I don't need to take pictures, and just about anything else. For those features I have a phone that is really good.

This way my watch can be thin, simple, and have a great battery life.

Eventually (when the tech is ready)I want my watch to be my phone so that in theory I can wear it alone and be able to do a scaled down version of most of what I do on my phone now. Then I want to carry a screen thing that talks to my watch to access its features. But I only want this when the battery life is at least as good as my phone is now.

So if the Swiss are smart they will go for simplicity and elegance as a substitute for the gold plated pickup truck that apple plans on selling.

That said, Apple is going to sell a bazillion of these things and make piles of money; which is a good thing for a company. I just hope that they eventually go for simplicity or that someone else does; which will be a good thing for me; and maybe the Swiss.

Comment: Re:Python/C++ Combo (Score 1) 757

by EmperorOfCanada (#49236915) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?
Actually I tend to use the two separately but in concert. I will deploy an app that is pure C++ but the data that was created for the app was processed using Python and then when the app calls home it is talking to python and the data sent back will be python processed.

One interesting place where I do blend the two (C to be specific) is with OpenCL. Python will load and prepare the data into a Numpy array, then send it off to OpenCL for some abuse, then it returns and is maybe fiddled a bit more, and then put into some pretty format using Qt for the interface. This will soon be C++ as well seeing that C++ is apparently coming to OpenCL.

In the above development there is a tradeoff as debugging OpenCL is a monster pain in the ass. So often when I would develop something that would use OpenCL I would do it as a function in normal world and then when I had it working port it to OpenCL and send it off to the GPU for the massive speed boost.

Comment: Re:Python/C++ Combo (Score 1) 757

by EmperorOfCanada (#49232473) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?
I was actually talking about two concepts that annoying people use. They will template things that really do not need to be templated. I have seen people using pretty much strange template type code almost at the initializing a variable level. But these same people tend to put everything they can into an object. Very Java-like in that they will use an object with getters and setters where a struct(or simpler) would have been perfect.

I am not joking when I have seen people create classes where they will ever only be one instance of the class. It has no member functions other than getters and setters. The getters and setters only set and get (no business logic) and there are only a tiny few member variables.

The icing on the cake is when people will do the above with inheritance. Then when called on this lunacy will say, "It isn't proper OOP otherwise." The same people after they have finished wearing out the angle bracket keys making ridiculous templates will also use the term "Modern C++" to defend themselves.

What I find it boils down to is that there are people who's goal is to make clean code that works, and other people who lose site of why they are programming and focus on how they are programming.

Comment: Re:Python/C++ Combo (Score 1) 757

by EmperorOfCanada (#49231333) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?
I don't so much use it for glue code but I use it for whole programs. Once in a blue moon I will combine the two. But my primary thing is to use each for where it is best. Often I will have a shrink wrapped software product that uses data that has been massively noodled or will send data to a server for noodling. So the pre and post noodling will be done with python (in so few lines of code it is often obscene) and the shrinkwrapped shipped product will be in C++.

The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere, bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.