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Comment: Re:Conditional recording (Score 1) 293

by Tom (#49366917) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

There could be streaming capability to the ground

Because never in the history of the world has any such capability been abused.

In the case of Germanwings, ground control would have been able to see what's going on once they detected the loss of altitude.

And then do what about it? Collectively praying that FSM picks up the plane with his tentacles?

t stifles me that in 2015, a young troubled copilot can end 150 lives in a way that can easily be prevented with simple technology.

Technology is not a panacea. Add one thing to make flying more safe (locked cockpit doors), create another problem without which a catastrophy could have been prevented (locked cockpit door).

Something I learnt in my first leadership position: When someone has an idea, ask them about the downsides and potential issues. If they can't think of any, they haven't thought it through enough.

Comment: Re:And what good would it do? (Score 1) 293

by Tom (#49366877) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

Follow the money. Who is asking for video cameras?

The last thing you would have seen would have been a smug face and a victory sign. Maybe not in this crash, but in the next. That, my friend, is headlines material. That's a breaking story right there. That picture is worth a hundred times its weight in gold, even if you print it on the most heavy paper you can find.

Comment: Re:Ikea (Score 2) 62

by Tom (#49364081) Attached to: Ikea Refugee Shelter Entering Production

That's a meme, but also a lie. As IT people especially, we can take a big hint from IKEA in this regards. Their documentation is short, mostly visual, always step-by-step and gives the user exactly the information he needs, with none of the unimportant blabla that many blow up many other documentations from the necessary 3 pages to the actual 30.

If the instructions for Windows were made by IKEA, thousands of IT support people would be out of jobs because users could actually do simple tasks by themselves.

Comment: Re:Ikea good points (Score 1) 62

by Tom (#49364073) Attached to: Ikea Refugee Shelter Entering Production

And don;t forget to put a price on convenience: instead of waiting 4-8 weeks for your new stuff, you get to take it home and use it right away

This.

When my girlfriend moved in, we needed some new furniture. The huge wardrobe took three weeks to be delivered, and then one more week to exchange an (important) part that was broken in transport.

We both dislike IKEA a lot, but we went there to buy some dressers. Half of what they have on offer is trash and the other half ugly, but we went home with two pieces of the one dresser that's not a shame to have in your bedroom. Because we didn't want to have her clothes in luggage and bags waiting for furniture to be delivered. It's not the 16th century anymore where people had to go into the forest to chop down trees every time they wanted to have a table.

Comment: Re:Good Luck (Score 4, Insightful) 323

by orasio (#49357197) Attached to: Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements.. For Warehouse Workers

In any case, you would need Amazon to actually enforce it.
While they do have more money for legal fees, they would risk a big PR issue if they tried to prevent some guy from working at Walmart after quitting Amazon. Also, the first guy with such a problem wouldn't have a lot of trouble finding someone to help them with legal fees, if only for the publicity.

This is probably just a scare tactic, to discourage people from leaving them, it is unethical, but not really enforceable.

Comment: Re:Good code (Score 4, Interesting) 290

by orasio (#49356481) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

For newly written code, things like readability, testability, and maintainability all can come in to whether it is "good" or not

For legacy stuff, Good code is code that works. Who cares how easy it is to read or test as long as it works?

The second one should also include "immutable". If it's hard to understand it will evolve easily to non working, and time spent on improvements can start to creep up very fast.

I have worked in very clever, solid code, but not easy to read. It was then maintained and extended by average, but competent programmers down the road, and turned into a big mess, only because it was so hard to understand.

In my experience, good code is easy to read, above all. That will make it easy to extend it coherently, find bugs and stuff. Also, if it doesn't work OK, it's easy to find out why. The single metric that saves time, money, and improves quality down the road is readability. Eveything else should be suject to that.

And, about the last point in the "article", "efficient", it's nonsense. Premature optimization is the root of all evil. You should _always_ follow the second rule of optimization (see http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?RulesOfOptimization ).

Comment: Re:Not being PHP (Score 1) 290

by orasio (#49356379) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

PHP can be good or bad, like any other code. Lately it's getting better.
As an example, do you think this looks bad? Looks pretty good to me.

  https://github.com/symfony/sym...

I have some awful, unreadable examples I could share in Java, PHP, Javascript and even C, but chosen language no longer forces you to write bad code. Maybe Perl, but I haven't seen it lately.

Comment: bullshit (Score 1) 257

by Tom (#49352371) Attached to: Generate Memorizable Passphrases That Even the NSA Can't Guess

This is total bullshit, and dangerous at that.

Firstly, a lot of software out there still has password length limits, sometimes silently discarding additional characters. You will still need ordinary passwords now and then.

Secondly, no normal human will type a five, six or more words passphrase every time they want to unlock their screen. They will do it for three days while they're hyped on how secure they are now, and then it'll become something they hate, and then they'll change it back to "123".

Thirdly, this is a bit more tricky, the real world security of almost every password scheme I've come across in 15 years of IT security experience is several orders of magnitude lower than the mathematical assumption. Because we consistently forget to take the human factor into account. Maybe some extreme nerds will actually follow this guideline, more normal people will discard words they can't remember for words they can, change things "a little" for convenience, and generally sabotage the whole system without even realizing it. It's the same as with passwords, all over again. Yes, on paper, a password has on the order of 10^16 possible combinations. But in reality, taking into account how people actually choose passwords (even ignoring the whole "password" and "123456" problem!) the actual diversity is more on the order of 10^9. Same here. You think using dice removes the human factor. omg do you underestimate humans!

Comment: yes, they are (Score 1) 159

by Tom (#49348935) Attached to: Many Password Strength Meters Are Downright Weak, Researchers Say

In fact, they're ridiculous. I've given a couple presentations on password strength, and password meters are to password strength what the TSA is for air travel security - a better-than-nothing baseline approach that is mostly for show.

The problem is that we have nothing better to offer at this time, even though most security experts agree that passwords are a solution whose time is over.

Comment: ethics (Score 2) 176

by Tom (#49348881) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

For example when faced with the decision to crash into a pedestrian or another vehicle carrying a family, it would be a challenge for a self-driving car to follow the same moral reasoning a human would in the situation

Or maybe it would follow better moral reasoning. Ours is not perfect, it's just whatever evolution came up with that gave us the best species survival rates. That doesn't mean it's really the most ethical solution.
For example, in a post-feminist society, let's assume for arguments sake that gender discrimination has been overcome, wouldn't we also do away with "women and children first" - which is a suitable survival approach in a species fighting for survival in the african prairie, but hardly for the dominant species that already is overpopulated.

Google

"Google Glass Isn't Dead!" Says Google's CEO Eric Schmidt 141

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'm-getting-better dept.
lord_rob the only on writes "After Google stopped selling its wearable Glass device in January this year, many people speculated that the controversial gadget was on its way out for good. However, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has said that the technology behind Glass is too important to throw away, and that the program has been put under the control of Nest's Tony Fadell to "make it ready for users" in the future.

Comment: Re:Animal House (Score 4, Insightful) 764

by Tom (#49318303) Attached to: A Software Project Full of "Male Anatomy" Jokes Causes Controversy

There is no right to create a hostile working environment for women.

You are right. There's no reason to make boob-grabbing a sport at work, or install under-table cameras and post the up-skirt shots in the Intranet. There's no reason to announce publicly the menstruation periods of every girl in the office, or enforce a dresscode that ignores female anatomy. Definitely sex should not be a condition for promotion, and meetings should not start with blowjob requests, made in order of beauty to the attending women. Likewise, putting a single toilet for women into the basement while having men toilets everywhere.

Oh wait, you were talking about a software joke project on some random Internet site that nobody is forced to visit or even know about? Yeah, that definitely is the dictionary case for "hostile working environment".

the entire back office being papered over with pinups

That's absolutely the same as a random Internet site that nobody... why am I wasting my time here, a monkey would see the difference.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990

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