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Comment Threat Model Failure (Score 3, Interesting) 288

The "conventional wisdom" of having automatic updates on is to keep the huge ecosystem of windows desktops and laptops at least reasonably up to date, especially as to security issues, and this has to some extent worked. However, this new policy of trying to cram windows 10 down everyone's throat is beginning to have the opposite effect. Many people I know, myself included, have disabled automatic updates and more will follow. I have been asked many times how to stop upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and about the only answer I can give is either to turn automatic updates off or switch to Linux. Since few people are willing to move to Linux this change by Microsoft is actually increasing the threat from people using windows platforms.

Now in Windows 10, with no indication of what a given update may contain or do it opens the door to just about anything on those machines. Somehow this makes me think of the recent unpleasantness that Volkswagen has unleashed upon itself. Just trust me to do the right thing. I am not a great admirer of Regan, either as an actor or politician, but one thing he said was on the mark. "Trust but verify."

Comment Re:What's old is new again. (Score 1) 320

The F-111 was pretty much Robert Strange McNamara's baby. He was the consummate bean counter, but combat is different from counting beans. Actually, one of the most used aircraft in my neck of the woods in SEA was the A1-E under the call sign Sandy. My neck of the woods was NOT Vietnam (although I have the Vietnam service medal and credit for a Vietnam tour of duty), but other places nearby. When I got off the transport at my base in 1971 I thought I had gone through a time warp. Everything in sight had propellers and many were tail dragers to boot.

Comment Re:scientist vs engineers? (Score 1) 73

I think the real problem with the whole premise of this post is that it groups scientists and engineers into the same group. I've been a scientist for many years and have known quite a few engineers. They are actually quite different breeds. Engineering is about applying known stuff to new problems. Science is about discovering new known stuff. The Nobel prize is really a proxy for scientists and says not much about great engineers.

There is a misconception that engineering is and has always been the application of scientific principles that are well known. This has not historically been true and is still not true today. The steam engine was invented and in common user before Sadi Carnot understood the science behind it, which is now known as Thermodynamics. Yes, once the science was known engineers were able to apply it to make BETTER steam engines, but the original engineering came before the science. The relationship is not that one is better than the other, but that they mutually support and enhance each other. Engineers build the technology that the scientists use to increase knowledge. MOST "rocket scientists" are actually "rocket engineers." There is, however, a difference in the focus of scientists and engineers. Scientists are, for the most part, asking the question, WHY, whereas engineers most often ask, HOW.

In the beginning the Artist or Artisan, the Natural Scientist, and the engineer were often one and the same. Wikipedia lists Galileo Galilei as an astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher AND mathematician. Michelangelo was a painter, poet, artist, sculptor, architect and engineer. There are many more examples throughout history of the symbiotic relationship of all of these areas. In engineering the phrase "state of the art" is an acknowledgement that engineering owes as much to art as to science.

Read Engineering and the Mind's Eye by Eugene S. Ferguson for an in depth presentation of this throughout history.

Comment Cut the damn boot off (Score 1) 150

I agree that this is a a crappy design. I was never a fan of the way Cisco designed equipment anyway, but back in the day I cut off boots on any Ethernet cable I used in either the data center or wiring closet simply because SOME equipment had ports slightly recessed and the boots would prevent the cable from locking in reliably. Caused a number of hard to find intermittent problems before we figured out what was going on.

Comment Extreme Managerbabble (Score 1) 289

I have a degree in Industrial and Systems engineering and worked in areas ranging from coding (in multiple languages from assembly up), systems analysis, network architecture and design and even network security so I can follow the buzzwords and hand waving in this about as well as anyone I suspect. However, it is still the most unmitigated piece of managerbabble and bovine excrement that I have read in a long time.

Comment JP-1 vs AvGas (Score 1) 157

The comments about Diesel nozzles vs gasoline nozzles for cars brought back a memory I hoped I had forgotten. Back in the 1960's an aircraft that was produced in two models -- one with reciprocating engines and the other with turboprop engines -- took off from Peachtree Dekalb airport north of Atlanta. It got airborne and just East of Atlanta the engines, which were gasoline engines, stopped since the aircraft had been fueled with Jet fuel. The aircraft made a crash "landing" on an Interstate very close to where I lived at the time. The landing was at least partially successful since I think most of the people on the aircraft survived, but there was at least one and perhaps several people in the cars in the way that did not. I was in my early teens then and can still remember that day. Back then at least it WAS possible to put the wrong fuel in an airplane. Bad designs happen -- some cost lives.

Comment Jury Nullification at least (Score 1) 292

As a resident of Georgia this would be ONE case I would not mind being on the jury for. As with so many things that this State's legislature does this is beyond absurd. If this is being published by the State of Georgia as an official document then it should fall under the Open Records Act. Yes, a "reasonable" charge for producing a document is included in that Act and, even though IANAL, I worked for this state for over 30 years and was involved in a number of open records cases and the "reasonable" requirement was pretty strict. Also, the documents are PUBLIC RECORDS and therefore not copyrightable. I would presume that this would include any annotations if published by the State. If Mr. Malamud bought ONE copy of OCGA from the state for whatever their normal charge is then he should be free to reproduce it in any way and in any form that he desires. Newspapers and other news organizations do that here all the time.

Comment Public Information (Score 4, Insightful) 430

For those that have worked in the public sector this is often the norm -- at least it was where I worked. Back in the dark ages (pre Internet) the State Audit department published a book with every employee's actual earnings and travel expenses annually. That document was a public record and available to anyone who knew about it and took the trouble to get a copy. When the Internet came along the data is now on line and searchable on a public web site. When vendors came to sell us the latest and greatest security gismo or software their standard example of confidential information was the employee salary data. Once it was on line I always got a kick out of going to the Web site and calling up the application and showing them that salary data was NOT at all confidential where we worked!

Comment Re:Learning how to learn (Score 1) 306

lol! YOU sir, are talented and full of esoteric knowledge. How much were you paid? Were you promised a full position, at least?

Yes, I had more than a full time position and esoteric knowledge is one attribute of an education. My degree was in engineering, but I took electives in everything from Geology to Technical Writing and many more. I spent most (30+ years) with one organization and made, and invested, enough that I have retirement income that is quite enough for me and in fact greater than my last official salary. I am still learning and staying active, but with projects and interests of my own.

Comment Learning how to learn (Score 4, Interesting) 306

College is, or should be, learning how to learn. I don't mean taking more classes, I mean just learning what you need to know to get what you need done DONE.

I graduated with an engineering degree in 1970 and am now 68 years old and "retired." I retired as a network/security engineer back in 2007. Any idea as to how much of that was taught in college in the late 1960's? Well, actually NOTHING I worked on for the last 10 and very little of what I worked on for the 10 years before that even existed when I was in college.

An example of what I mean by learning how to learn is when our upper management decided in the late 1990's that their entire infrastructure based on Token Ring was not going anywhere and I was given the job of converting everything to eithernet. I was told we had a vendor conference in about two weeks to begin picking a vendor and the equipment that would best fit our needs. I knew very little about ethernet at that time, but was able to learn enough in just two weeks to be able to filter the BS and FUD out in the meetings and ask the right questions that needed answering. I did this on my own in my "spare" time by reading everything I could find about eithernet and all the vendors products we would be looking at. I had enough "education" to know how to learn this on my own very quickly. A background in electronics, knowledge of Boolean Algebra (yea, that is REALLY how a net mask works) helped, but were background to understanding how the new "stuff" worked.

There is a difference between education and training. With education you can learn on your own, sometimes with training your your "learning" becomes obsolete with the next change in technology. It is easy to remember the difference. Which would you prefer for your teen age daughter to attend -- a sex education class or a sex training class.

Nothing recedes like success. -- Walter Winchell