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Comment: Re:It was known before.. (Score 2) 93

by JaredOfEuropa (#48914519) Attached to: Researchers Tie Regin Malware To NSA, Five Eyes Intel Agencies
Fox IT Has close ties with various governments that are known to run cyber spying operations and/or have questionable human rights records. I wouldn't trust those guys anywhere near my systems. Also one of the founders, Prins, is politically well connected and lobbies for far-ranging police powers, like letting the police break into private citizens' computers. These guys are Part Of The Problem.

Comment: Re:Urban legend? (Score 2) 298

Nothing in that plan seems all that implausible, given other extraordinary measures that have actually been effected (the detention of Japanese-Americans in WW2, the McCarthy commission, etc). And it's highly likely that various governmental organizations had plans on how to deal with imminent nuclear attacks.

Comment: Re:It doesn't even need to be a prank. (Score 1) 145

by JaredOfEuropa (#48905653) Attached to: Secret Service Investigating Small Drone On White House Grounds
I might actually walk up to the guard if I had put a sticker with my name and address on that thing. Running off and hiding behind the sofa when the security guys come calling isn't going to cut it, and might lead to all manner of unpleasantness. Although I can imagine asking the guard "Can I have that back please?" is going to end poorly as well.

Comment: Re:What's the problem? (Score 4, Interesting) 145

by JaredOfEuropa (#48905425) Attached to: Secret Service Investigating Small Drone On White House Grounds
Perhaps a curious professional decided to sound out the White House defense perimeter, and ran afoul of the top secret drone death ray. If you're planning to fly a drone near or into a site as well guarded as the White House for some specific purpose, this is exactly what you'd do: try with an inexpensive and harmless drone first, masquerading as a hobbyist.

Comment: Re:Social Networking is a mess (Score 1) 114

by JaredOfEuropa (#48897985) Attached to: Twitter Moves To Curb Instagram Links

But as soon as Google offered a good search with minimal advertising the market spoke very loudly about that kind of thing.

Google wasn't the first search engine with a minimalist site design; Altavista started that, and I think you're right about it being an important driver for their success. This was in the days of dial-up, and the difference between loading the Yahoo page and the Altavista one was quite a few seconds.

The model for today's social networks appear to be to deliberately start with low-friction, low-bullshit, come-in-we're-open policies (sometimes after a beta-for-the-leet-only period), become popular, then cash in and pile on the restrictions, rules, ads and dataraping. Not that I begrudge the founders of a good startup their fortunes, and I'm not a big fan of the word "sell-out" and the sentiment that it carries, but in some of these cases that word does apply. When you sell your initial users on being all open and huggy, with the intent of adding massive monetization schemes later (or selling your business to someone who will), then you ought to feel a little bit sleazy about it.

Comment: Re:What a fantastic idea! (Score 2) 40

by JaredOfEuropa (#48892449) Attached to: Made-In-Nigeria Smart Cards To Extend Financial Services To the Poor
Why do you think they have no money? Or no need for financial services like bank transfers or loans? I'm surprised that the image of the average African as a fly ridden naked tribesman grubbing in the mud for meager sustenance, persists to this day. The same idea that prompts the question: "Why would these people need cellphones (or smartphones)?", when there have been so many stories about cellphones having brought about a revolution in local commerce and finance.

Comment: Re:If all goes well. . . (Score 4, Insightful) 228

by JaredOfEuropa (#48884407) Attached to: Eric Schmidt: Our Perception of the Internet Will Fade
Home automation enthusiasts quickly discover that it's wise to always pick equipment that has a manual override, and does not depend on the master controller or even its own electronics. Light switches that function independently of the controller, locks that can still be opened with a key if necessary, etc. And even when no device is broken, the software still craps out or does something unexpected, or needs changes. Some people add an "I am dead" switch to set their HA setup to full manual mode, so that other members of the household can still turn on the lights or the coffee maker in case the system craps out and the expert happens to be away.

Comment: Re:2-yr code, no devel edu == hacks, healthcare.go (Score 1) 200

It's a start. While you learn how to code you can actually start doing it as a hobby, which (as others have pointed out) is more or less required practice to reach a decent level of proficiency which no course will ever give you.

We don't expect an architect fresh out of college to design a skyscraper, nor a guy with a new medical degree to perform complex procedures on his own, nor a newly graduated MBA to run a division. (Sometimes it does happen, with crap results as a rule). By the same token, someone starting out in coding shouldn't be made responsible for critical parts of the software, design work, etc. They need coaching and training, same as in any other highly skilled profession. The problem is that, unlike other professions, there seems to be a lack of time, budget, or even perceived need to provide such coaching to new coders.

By the way, I think coding should be taught to (more or less) everyone in high school. Not with the goal of teaching them to code, but because coding teaches and trains other skills that are valuable in many other professions: problem analysis, troubleshooting, logic, etc.

Comment: Re:Phalanx CIWS (Score 1) 208

by JaredOfEuropa (#48863669) Attached to: US Army Wants Weapon To Destroy Drone Swarms
Looks like expensive overkill, and not all that suitable for vehicle mounting. But a similar weapon using short range radar and a gun firing buckshot could be made a lot smaller, lighter and cheaper. Sounds like an interesting hobby project actually, though I'm not to keen on homebrew projects involving computer controlled firearms.

Maybe these guys are on to something...

Comment: Re:strawman; nobody's asking him to be "PC" or "ni (Score 4, Interesting) 360

by JaredOfEuropa (#48839111) Attached to: Linus On Diversity and Niceness In Open Source
Exactly. There's a big difference between telling it like it is, and being an asshole. I've worked for a boss who would never fail to point out mistakes and shortcomings. Some people had a problem working with him, calling him "not nice", even though he would never chew someone out in public, and never got abusive. That I can respect. I have also worked for people taking the Torvalds approach to criticism, and I've since promised myself never to work for assholes again (it's one of my reasons to go freelance). I'm not suggesting that Linus should become PC, and he should manage his project as he sees fit, but I wouldn't work for him nor employ him.

Comment: Re:News for nerds, stuff that matters... (Score 2) 783

by JaredOfEuropa (#48829237) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone
I'm a little sad that Free Range parenting is a "thing" now. When I grew up (in the 70s), almost every kid was raised free range. From a very young age we walked or cycled to school. If we wanted to go swim, play soccer or see a movie, our parents wouldn't take us; we'd cycle there instead. The notion of "play dates" didn't exist except perhaps for toddlers; most of our after school time was unstructured and if you wanted to play with friends, you just went. Our parents taught us early on how to take the train to see our grandparents. The one rule our parents imposed was "home before dark". And all of this was the norm; parents didn't drive their kids anywhere unless the route was very long or dangerous.

The Wright Bothers weren't the first to fly. They were just the first not to crash.