Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Why make it less secure? (Score 2) 384

by Etcetera (#49737473) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Solve a Unique Networking Issue?

Dear Lord...

You have an airgapped network that prevents remote access, reducing the question of security to one of physical security... which is typically handled with big locks, cameras, 24 hour staffing at the gas station, and maybe men with guns if it comes down to it.

Why would you network these together and create an avenue for simultaneous, surruptitious hacking and attacking of your industrial equipment?

Be thankful you have a job, and don't let the SysAdmin's (natural, and usually good) desire for laziness and efficiency to lead to a future security issue justified by convenience.

Comment: Re:Rust made a mistake in going C++-syntax (Score 1) 149

by Etcetera (#49702457) Attached to: Rust 1.0 Released

They could have made the same simple concepts without going C++ style. This is obviously just aesthetics, but I don't think the language looks nice compared to lots of newer languages (Swift, Ruby, Kotlin, and even D).

The :: scope operator is ugly and redundant.

This match syntax is just ugly and hard to type:

Honestly, if you're going to throw syntax open to a full re-evaluation, I'd much prefer something like perl6. It may seem convoluted, but at least it's been designed by a linguist and has an internal coherence. It also provides enough of a hint as to what the programmer is intending that a (future) perl6 compiler should be able to optimize the heck out of it.

Comment: The Ghost of 2000 echoes --20 mins into the future (Score 3, Insightful) 258

by Etcetera (#49690327) Attached to: Online Voting Should Be Verifiable -- But It's a Hard Problem

Democrats, hipsters, and neo-technotards, please give it up.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with paper ballots that reminding people to double-check the accuracy of wouldn't solve. It's worked forever, reduces security to the (relatively known problem to solve) of physical security of a location and transit -- something banks have done for centuries. For voter verification, require Photo IDs from a recognized entity, and/or "vouching" similar to what's done now in many states when needing to notarize something from someone with insufficient ID.

Make ballot-by-mail and online voting special-case-only (eg, registered expats; those on deployment; etc.) and such a small scope that it's not worth the coordinated, targeted investment in massive hack schemes, then secure using the best, reasonable internet-encrypting technology.

Stop trying to re-invent things that aren't really that broken to begin with. And sorry Millennials, the inability to vote by app from your cell phone is a feature not a bug.

In related news: I wish more people would go watch Max Headroom again. Sometimes I feel we're living about 15 of those 20 minutes into the future

Comment: Re:Integrity much? (Score 1) 127

by Etcetera (#49668375) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Fark Founder Drew Curtis a Question

But all too often a moderator obviously born a Puritan steps in and ruins the fun.

A Puritan? Hardly. The social justice warriors enforcing political correctness everywhere aren't, and have never been, from the Right, let alone the Christian Right.

Evangelicals haven't had serious sway in this country for 75-175 years (depending on your specific issues in question and threshold). It's all about the left wing and grievance-mongering. Reminds me of the mid-90's, before South Park made being politically incorrect palatable to the masses again.

Comment: Re:See it before (Score 2) 276

by Etcetera (#49666673) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Future of Desktop Applications?

Some people keep saying but I have yet to see any personal evidence for this alleged "trend". All of my relatives, all of my friends and all of my colleagues (with not a single exception!) have a PC and a tablet in their household, if they own a tablet. I have never heard of anyone who uses a tablet but does not use a PC or laptop at the same time.

I also highly doubt that there is any statistical evidence for this trend, according to which clearly more people have a tablet and no PC/laptop than there are people with tablet and a PC/laptop. Probably for mobile phones but not for tablets. Tablets are additional throwaway/low lifespan gimmicks rather than replacements of PCs and laptops.

There are some, but mostly those are people who aren't using personal computers to produce in the first place. In the early-mid 90's a common refrain (I remember my parents even saying it at one point) was "Why do we need a computer?" For those people, virtually everything you could respond to answer that question with (intercommunication with others, organizing, entertainment, writing text documents, etc) is served by a combination of smartphone and/or tablet with access to internet-enabled applications. Maybe a tablet + keyboard (or a Chromebook) for extended writing sessions.

The business users, academics, and developers are still there, but they now make up a much smaller fraction of the overall computer market. When you add back in enterprise users where corporate policy aligns well with thin client / network computing paradigms, you get an even smaller fraction that needs local personal computing... basically just those above, plus those who need or want local control for reliability, network reliability, custom performance (eg, gamers) or philosophical reasons.

So a need for local apps will still be present for some folks, but the large surge in the late 90s and 2000s doesn't have a need for a true PC. It's a shame, because it increases the barrier to entry from consumer to developer (Apple products, ironically were great at *reducing* that back in the Hypercard-installed-on-all-Macs days), but it's good because it lowers the barrier to entry for access to computing resources generally.

tl;dr: Desktop apps (and "personal computers that aren't smartphones or tablets") are going to shrink back down to the market they were before the late 90's. Congrats, all of us, on becoming geeks again. =)

Comment: Re:It's the Millenials (Score 1) 405

by Etcetera (#49652299) Attached to: Is IT Work Getting More Stressful, Or Is It the Millennials?

65-85 = Gen X
85-05 = Millenials
05-25 = Digital Natives

Gotta disagree on that, judging from totally unscientific personal experience watching each incoming set of undergraduates at my local state university.

65-80 = Gen X
80 - 88 = Gen Y (if that)
90+ = Millennials

For political and cultural purposes, becoming "politically aware" somewhere around 2006 is about where I'd draw the line. A quick determiner is to ask them how much they remember about 9/11. If it's vague things about the adults being worried, or their 3rd grade teacher bringing them in for an announcement, they're probably a Millennial.

Comment: Gen X - Gen Y - Millennial differences (Score 1) 405

by Etcetera (#49652275) Attached to: Is IT Work Getting More Stressful, Or Is It the Millennials?

Whether it's due to accelerating change, proximity, or whatever, there's arguably a pretty large difference even across those 10 years or so. Born in '79, I graduated HS in 1996, which puts me right at the borderline of Gen X and the early Gen Y's. I spent several years working at McDonald's before leaving college to work in the tech industry (just in time for the dot com implosion, natch).

I could more or less imagine friends of mine over the next few years also working at McDonald's... I can't imagine college friends now (born in the early/mid 90's) doing it -- it's seen as beneath them.

Comment: Re:No, but your own choices are. (Score 1) 179

by Etcetera (#49648573) Attached to: Is Facebook Keeping You In a Political Bubble?

Of course, ymmmv, but I've never seen so much hate and vitriol directed at any president as what Obama has had to endure. Endless anti-Obama bumper stickers, even after he has no more terms to run for! And of course all the endless propaganda about how he's a secret muslim out to destroy the country. I find that the liberals tend more to argue the policy, whereas the cons do the name-calling and conspiracy theories. I never pay attention to how many friends I have on FB, so I can't say how many cons de-friended me. I don't defriend people for having a different point of view, though I may hide them if I just can't take the constant stream of hate.

Were you politically involved, or anywhere near a college campus, during the 2000's? The Bush hatred was strong. They didn't call it "Bush Derangement Syndrome" for nothing. And this was even before 9/11 and the 2003 Iraq War... Liberals never really got over the Florida election recount, hence faculty members turning their backs on him during mid-2000 commencement speeches.

Of course, the Internet was quite different then, and social networking as we know it was basically pre-infancy, but various political blogs developed strongly during this time, and all it takes is to scroll back into the 2002-2007-era Daily Kos or Democratic Underground archives to see outrage arguably on the same level as what you might find today. (I'm discounting the New World Order conspiracy theorists, who are along the same lines as the 9/11 Truthers, but accusations of a conspiracy around faking a birth certificate frankly pale in comparison to accusations of a conspiracy to attack your own country because Halliburton.)

I mean, I can't even imagine the outrage that would be present on the left if someone came up with a cover like this in an alt weekly with Obama on it: Meanwhile, people got bent out of shape at one parody New Yorker cover.

Part of this might be related to the slight age gap between the average liberal and average conservative, at least in the broad range of folks I know. Many people who are (now) conservative are those who are roughly in their 30's, and have strong memories of the 2000's and 9/11. Those in their 20's came of age in in the Obama era and don't have as much recollection of the political state before c. 2007/08.

Comment: Re:No, but your own choices are. (Score 1) 179

by Etcetera (#49646655) Attached to: Is Facebook Keeping You In a Political Bubble?

If you de-friend someone (or large groups of someones), their stories are basically not going to be on your feed in the first place, and liberals have been shown to be more likely to de-friend conservatives over political differences than conservatives de-friend liberals

In my experience, the reason for this is that conservatives push out a lot of hate in their postings and liberals don't. No one wants to read a lot of nasty name-calling.

In my circle, it's been widely the other way around... or at least it used to be, circa 2008 (Obamamania) - early 2012. By the time of the actual election things had moderated down somewhat, and it's been better since. But my feed was *filled* with pro-leftwing, anti-rightwing links of vitrol, often to ThinkProgress or Salon during that time, with lots of associated name-calling ("Those damn Rethunglicans", etc.)

I've been heavily involved in the arts community over the years, and had (and still do have) many friends still in college. The liberal skew was *extremely* strong.

Right before the 2008 election, when *everyone* was changing their profile pic to the Obama "HOPE" image/logo, I replace mine with the McCain/Palin logo. Friend count dropped by 10 in the first 30 minutes.

Comment: Re:No, but your own choices are. (Score 5, Insightful) 179

by Etcetera (#49643737) Attached to: Is Facebook Keeping You In a Political Bubble?

Which differs from XX year olds who have no basic understanding of liberal principles, or presume that there's no other possible motivation for some random liberal policy than abject hatred (especially of America!) and/or slavish devotion to the government that is stealing their money/freedom/religion in what way exactly?

My point is that's is very hard to NOT have a "basic understanding of liberal principles", because they're the "default" view you see in most media and entertainment, and in most humanities coursework. "Income inequality is ipso facto bad" and "raise the minimum wage" are not difficult to understand the meaning behind; there's no need to assert a hatred of America. OTOH, "raising the minimum wage won't really help" is not easy to understand (at first), and it's quite simple to simply assert that someone who'd say that is "greedy" and wants more money, screwing over everyone else, and leave it at that.

Comment: No, but your own choices are. (Score 5, Informative) 179

by Etcetera (#49643647) Attached to: Is Facebook Keeping You In a Political Bubble?

If you de-friend someone (or large groups of someones), their stories are basically not going to be on your feed in the first place, and liberals have been shown to be more likely to de-friend conservatives over political differences than conservatives de-friend liberals

Unless you're a complete recluse or are making a conscious effort to sequester yourself from any popular culture, it's virtually impossible to be in your teens or 20's and not be exposed to various legitimate liberal political stances -- most often during college years. OTOH, it's quite easy to never interact with any "real life" legitimate conservative arguments, other than straw men that the liberal political arguments are using.

Thus you end up with 25 year olds who have no basic understanding of conservative economic principles, or presume that there's no other possible motiviation for some random socially conservative policy than abject hatred and/or slavish religious belief.

Comment: Re:They forgot the best feature.... (Score 2) 80

by Etcetera (#49596451) Attached to: OpenBSD 5.7 Released

BSD is a major commodity ecosystem for end-consumer products. I'd wager that there are more MacBooks and iPods out there running OSX and iOS flavors of BSD than there are Linux ones. They just suck in the server space, though, and that's where Linux cannot at the moment be questioned, let alone defeated.

Ironically, systemd is quite well suited for system designers creating embedded products, or those where there's effectively no "middle layer" between the naive "true end user" and the original builder/vendor -- a locked down iOS or an OS X system where the terminal-level control isn't needed.

The folks most objecting to systemd are in the server space -- true OS system admins who design and integrate the architecture, and are responsible for keeping things up and running.

Yeah, systemd+busybox might be perfect for the next OpenWRT embedded IoS device -- but it's not what I'll want on the next massive Dell server I'm responsible for at work.

Comment: They forgot the best feature.... (Score 5, Insightful) 80

by Etcetera (#49594457) Attached to: OpenBSD 5.7 Released

No systemd ;)

Seriously, though. Although I can't see myself switching wholesale back to BSD, and the long term *nix-esque commodity (non-specialized) ecosystem will revolve around Linux for the foreseeable future, there are enough people frustrated by the OS vendor directions that it's good to have a backup.

Think of BSD as a third party, to keep the primary two enterprise Linux vendors in check should they decide to ignore their constitu^H^H^H^H^H^H^H users too much.

Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy