Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Flash and Silverlight (Score 1) 60

by ncc74656 (#47952041) Attached to: Tinba Trojan Targets Major US Banks

Frequently the bank forces the user to use exploitable means just to communicate with the bank.

IE6+ActiveX required, anyone?

If your bank requires you to use that steaming pile of fail, why haven't you left yet?

Wells Fargo used to throw up warnings when you used a browser they hadn't yet evaluated, but I think the rapid-release schedule taken by most browser vendors put a stop to that. Even then, it was just a didn't affect functionality.

Comment: Re:Paid advertisement (Score 1, Insightful) 39

by ncc74656 (#47950417) Attached to: SteadyServ Helps Keep the Draft Beer Flowing (Video)

If you told me someone was selling draft beer supplies (or whatever this crap is), my first assumption would be that it was for bars and taverns, not for home use. Thanks for taking time to point out the obvious.

I take it you don't know any homebrewers, then. Kegging is a hell of a lot easier than bottling. That said, the usual insurance against a keg running out is...wait for it...having a second keg on tap. Cheap and low-tech.

Comment: What is really happening here? (Score 1) 949

by Bruce Perens (#47930483) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
We are in a War on Faith, because Faith justifies anything and ISIS takes it to extremes. But in the end they are just a bigger version of Christian-dominated school boards that mess with the teaching of Evolution, or Mormon sponsors of anti-gay-marriage measures, or my Hebrew school teacher, an adult who slapped me as a 12-year-old for some unremembered offense against his faith.

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 1) 949

by Bruce Perens (#47930331) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Hm. The covenant of Noah is about two paragraphs before this part (King James Version) which is used for various justifications of slavery and discrimination against all sorts of people because they are said to bear the Curse of Ham. If folks wanted to use the Bible to justify anything ISIS says is justified by God's words in the Koran, they could easily do so.

18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Comment: Re:Seriously? This is a post? (Score 1) 231

by bfwebster (#47929089) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

Yep.. Many years ago, I said in testimony before a Congressional committee (yeah, I went there):

"Humanity has been developing information technology for half a century. That experience has taught us this unpleasant truth: virtually every information technology project above a certain size or complexity is significantly late and over budget or fails altogether; those that don't fail are often riddled with defects and difficult to enhance. Fred Brooks explored many of the root causes over twenty years ago in The Mythical Man-Month, a classic book that could be regarded as the Bible of information technology because it is universally known, often quoted, occasionally read, and rarely heeded."

Software is hard, and it gets harder the larger the project. Stupid human behavior just compounds the problem. ..bruce..

Comment: Seriously? This is a post? (Score 5, Insightful) 231

by bfwebster (#47925807) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

Not to pile on here, but there is nothing new or recent about fear-driven projects of any kind, much less fear-driven IT projects. All you need to do is read some of the classic books on IT project management, including The Psychology of Computer Programming by Jerry Weinberg (1971), The Mythical Man-Month by Fred Brooks (1975), and Death March by Ed Yourdon (1997).

Back in the early 90s, I was chief software architect for a start-up developing a large, complex and novel commercial software product. After working long hours for years, we had missed our original release date and were struggling to come up with a new date that we could be sure of making. Top management (CEO, CFO) was considering carrot/stick "incentives" to "motivate" the engineering team to make a certain date; one of the senior developers stopped me in a hallway by the engineering offices and asked, "Don't they realize they're dealing with grown-ups back here?"

P.S. At the risk of sounding like an old fart, I remain appalled at the profound lack of familiarity among far too many IT industry practitioners of the essential books on software engineering and IT project management. As I have said ad infinitum and ad nauseum, not only do they keep re-inventing the wheel, they keep reinventing the flat tire.

Comment: Re:My wife just died of cancer this week (Score 1) 140

by ncc74656 (#47903857) Attached to: If We Can't Kill Cancer, Can We Control It?

My wife just died of breast cancer this week -- she did not live to be 40 -- so articles and research like this give me hope that, when our child grows up, cancer will not be something that takes people's lives away from them so quickly and so young.

Mine passed a year ago last Saturday of uterine cancer; she was 33. You're probably feeling absolutely gutted right about now. Things will improve slowly, but they will improve. Just yesterday, I was looking through photos for something to illustrate a fundraising page for a run benefiting cancer research. I got a bit choked up on an engagement photo, but that only served to tell me that was the picture to use. Those kinds of things will most likely keep happening for a long time to come...probably forever, at some level. They'll come along less frequently, though, and mostly around things like birthdays and anniversaries. Keeping busy—with work, friends, hobbies, etc.—might help; it seems to have helped me out, at least.

Comment: The Curse of Geolocation Strikes Again! (Score 1) 5

by MonTemplar (#47901971) Attached to: Android International

Crazy, isn't it?

Evidently, there is some unwritten law that states that Geolocation by IP address shall override any and all set preferences by the user on their device, and ignore any possibility that barring or redirecting the user makes no sense.

I get a version of this periodically on Spotify, where I'm informed that the particular album or single I'm looking at can't be played because it isn't licensed to my region. And of course there's the small matter of my being IP-blocked from Pandora Radio for the same reason.

I ran into a particularly nasty geolocation issue back in late 2012, when I was informed that I couldn't access my National Lottery account because they no longer believed that I was accessing it from the UK. Went back and forth between them and my ISP (VirginMedia), with each blaming the other for the problem.

I've also heard of situations where people have found the books on their Kindles vanishing because they're holidaying in an area where said books aren't licensed.

Comment: Re:it's not a technical problem (Score 1) 116

by ncc74656 (#47840853) Attached to: E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

Your suggestion assumes all American kids have either 1.) A library within walking distance, 2.) Access to transportation.

The schools they attend have libraries, don't they? If they're not within walking distance, there's a bus that will take them there. For ~9 months of the year, your "problem" is sorted.

Comment: Re: TI calculators are not outdated, just overpric (Score 1) 359

by ncc74656 (#47839513) Attached to: How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

You can't use a tablet on the SAT

Back when I took the SAT, they didn't allow calculators. No scientific calculators, not even basic 4-function jobs. Graphing calculators weren't even on the market when I took it the first time in junior high, and they had only been around a couple years or so when I took it again in high school. Now get off my lawn!

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 116

by ncc74656 (#47839105) Attached to: E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

Reading e-books two or three lines at a time on a 3.2-inche screen would turn anyone off of reading.

I did just fine reading ebooks from an iPhone 3G back in the day. If you can only fit two or three lines at a time on-screen, you're doing it wrong. It'll be less than you can get with a tablet screen, but it's certainly usable. The iPhone 4 was a nice step up (smoother text), and the tablets I've since picked up are better still (7" is plenty...I do most of my reading on a Galaxy Tab 2 7.0), but I still keep ebook apps on both tablet and phone, with bookmarks synced between them so I can get a little reading in if I have some time to kill.

Comment: Re:Yes it is (Score 1) 167

Getting 240p to display properly on HDTVs is a huge pain for retro gaming enthusiasts.

It largely comes down to the quality of the scaling hardware within the display and the assumptions it makes about the signal. I knocked together an RGB-to-component converter for the Apple IIGS recently and tried it out with the LCD displays I had on hand: three TVs (two name-brand and one not-so-name-brand) and a monitor that also has component input (and S-video and composite, in addition to the usual VGA and DVI). The monitor kinda worked, but it chopped off the first line of text IIRC. The not-so-name-brand TV didn't work at all. The other two TVs worked: the entire screen area was visible. Color quality and 40-column text were pretty good. 80-column text was usable, if a bit fuzzy. I had hoped to use it with the monitor in the computer room, but the missing line of text would be a bit of a problem (it's like it's not syncing up until it's too late). None of them are as clear as the ancient NEC MultiSync 3D I normally use with it, but who knows how long that will continue to work? It already takes several minutes to settle down and run right after a cold start. I suspect a CRT TV with component input would be better than the LCDs, but I haven't had one of those for several years.

(While the adapter is intended to plug straight into the IIGS's RGB output, you could lash up an adapter to use it with other devices. In addition to red, green, blue, and composite sync, it also needs +12V and -5V. It only cost me about $50 to build, and maybe $20 of that was two extra boards from OSH Park, which ships in multiples of 3.)

"It's curtains for you, Mighty Mouse! This gun is so futuristic that even *I* don't know how it works!" -- from Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse