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Comment: Re:Blast from the past (Score 1) 42

by dgatwood (#47733347) Attached to: Researchers Hack Gmail With 92 Percent Success Rate

Then its using pre-calculated patterns of the shared memory usage (presumably allocation order, sizes allocated, NOT the actual memory contents etc) to guess what the user is doing in the other app. Then, when it detects a pattern that corresponds with "I'm about to log in" it pre-empts the app with its own phishing login screen skinned to look like the original. The user is -expecting- a login screen to popup, and one that looks right does... so they enter their credentials.

Really? Android allows one app to take control of the screen and become foreground without explicit user interaction? There's the security flaw right there. The shared memory stuff is noise by comparison.

Comment: Re:That's why slashdot is against tech immigration (Score 1) 349

by dgatwood (#47732487) Attached to: Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

Ugh. I'm so sick of all this nationalist bullshit. Why are we so afraid of the global economy? People should be free to move between different countries and seek employment at will. Ultimately, it's better for the world if we break down these artificial barriers.

Because when it comes to jobs, we don't even have a national economy. We have a local one. By the time you get into your 30s, most people have zero interest in packing up everything and moving to another state to get a job, much less another country. That barrier isn't artificial. It's ingrained in human nature.

When it becomes too easy for people to move to another place and take jobs, the inherent result is age discrimination. People who are younger and more mobile come in and take jobs that were needed by people who are less mobile, when the mobile people could just as easily have taken or created jobs closer to home.

It would be different if the world's wages were somewhat balanced, because then the number of young people leaving the U.S. for jobs would be balanced by the number of people entering. However, this is not the case. The U.S. pays higher wages to compensate for a higher cost of living. Therefore, those young people moving into the U.S. and taking jobs from older folks constitute a real burden. And at least in our lifetimes, there will never be balanced wages worldwide. There will always be some new third-world country to exploit for cheap labor. And workers in those countries will always benefit from coming to the U.S., where wages are higher. So tearing down those artificial barriers to labor entering the U.S. will always cause serious harm to workers in the U.S.

Worse, tearing down those barriers does nothing to improve the world on the average, at least for the foreseeable future. Because there will always be cheap labor pools to exploit, raising the standard of living in one country will only continue up until the point where they start demanding more money. At that point, they'll just bring the educational standards of another country up to the point where they can start exploiting it, and leave folks in the first country homeless and starving. The only true way to raise the quality of life around the world is to ensure that no one anywhere is willing to work for less than a living wage. This is, of course, hard to do.

If you want to see a demonstration of why a lack of barriers is a bad thing, you need only look at the Silicon Valley with respect to the United States as a whole. There are no barriers to moving to California from other states with lower cost of living and lower average salaries, so lots of young people move here to make more money. The result is that age discrimination is rampant, the cost of living has skyrocketed, and there aren't enough jobs to keep people from losing their homes. And now you're talking about making the problem worse by making the entire world flood to the Silicon Valley.

As far as I'm concerned, if a company wants to hire workers outside the U.S., they should create a division in another country and hire those employees locally. This has several benefits over H1Bs. First, it is less likely to result in a reduction in jobs in the U.S., because separate business units tend to work on separate projects, and have separate staffing needs. Second, it does not drive up the cost of living in the U.S. by artificially inflating demand for housing. Third, it puts a lot more money into the economies of those other countries, because those workers are spending money in businesses near their homes, rather than here. That makes it much more effective at driving up the standard of living in those other countries than bringing workers here would.

Why don't companies do this? Because they don't want to drive up living standards in other countries. They just want cheap labor from those countries. If they drive up living standards in those other countries, then workers from those countries would eventually start demanding higher salaries, and they'd have to go and find another country to exploit before too long.

In short, government's whole reason for existing is to protect the powerless from the powerful. Employers are relatively powerful compared with their employees, so government actions that limit the ways in which those companies can abuse employees are generally a good thing, whether that means protecting U.S. workers from losing their jobs to foreign workers or protecting foreign workers from the often abusive working conditions that they encounter as foreign workers working in the United States by forcing those companies to start divisions in other countries and hire the workers locally instead.

Comment: Re:Feh (Score 1) 5

by mcgrew (#47729669) Attached to: Funny? Racist, dishonest hypocrisy.

It IS about race, you stupid fucking racist. Brown wasn't a thug, he had never been in trouble with the law and was enrolled in college to learn engineering.

The protests started peaceful, and only turned into rioting when the idiotic, racist Ferguson police acted like the racist morons they are.

People (and I use that word grudgingly) like you are the problem. I'm a white man who grew up in the St Louis area, and can tell you from experience that Missouri is indeed the most racist state in the union.

User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Forty Three

Journal by mcgrew

Monsters
"Hold on, Destiny," Tammy said, "we're still in trouble."
I got it. Finally, even being so tired that my brain wasn't working right. God, what a dumbass I was! I really needed some sleep, but I wasn't going to get any for a while. "Computer, lock all doors," I said. "She's right, Destiny, We're in trouble. I finally get it. She left them short of drops and told them the pirates stole them. They're not even human a

Comment: Re:We get cancer because we have linear DNA (Score 1) 173

by jd (#47726213) Attached to: New Research Suggests Cancer May Be an Intrinsic Property of Cells

That's easy to fix. If a cell has not just the existing error correction codes but also digital ones as well, then mutagenic substances (of which there are a lot) and telemere shortening can be fixed. Well, once we've figured out how to modify the DNA in-situ. Nanotech should have that sorted soonish.

The existing error correction is neither very good nor very reliable. This is a good thing, because it allows evolution. You don't want good error correction between generations. You just want it in a single person over their lifespan, and you want it restricted so that it doesn't clash with retrotranspons and other similar mechanisms. So, basically, one whole inter-gene gap/one whole gene protected by one code. Doable. You still need cell death - intercept the signal and use a guaranteed method.

Comment: Exploit that which you cannot defeat (Score 1) 173

by jd (#47726171) Attached to: New Research Suggests Cancer May Be an Intrinsic Property of Cells

Here, in the year Lemon Meringue, we decided to solve the problem once and for all.

Instead of trying to kill cancer, we hijack its techniques. We start by having nanocomputers in the vaccuelles of each brain cell. These keep a continuous backup copy of the state of the brain up to death. Cancers disable the hard limit on cell duplication that cannot otherwise be avoided. By using the techniques of cell-devouring microphages, the cancer "consumes" the old cells and replaces them with new ones. They can't spread anywhere else, because that's how the cancer is designed to spread. Once the body has been fully replaced, the cancer is disabled. The brain is then programmed by the nanocomputers and the remaining cells are specialized by means of chemical signal.

This does result in oddly-shaped livers and three-handed software developers, but so far this has boosted productivity.

Comment: Re:It's not a kernel problem (Score 1) 686

by jd (#47726057) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

The free market didn't provide alternatives. The free market created Microsoft and the other monopolies. Adam Smith warned against a free market.

The majority do not create alternatives, either. The majority like things to not change. The familiar will always better the superior in the marketplace.

Alternatives are created by small groups of people being disreputable, commercially unproductive and at total odds with the consumer. These alternatives will typically take 7-14 years to develop. Adoption will typically reach peak after another 7-14 years. By the 30th year after first concept, the idea will be "obvious" and its destiny an "inevitable consequence" of how things are done.

In reality, it takes exceptional courage and a total disregard for "how things are done". 7-14 years with guaranteed losses is not how the marketplace works. Even thinking along those lines is often met with derision and calls of "Socialism!" by the market. No, real inventors are the enemy of the free market.

If you want a Linux desktop, you must forgo all dreams of wealth. You must subject yourself to the abject poverty that is the lot of an inventor in a market economy, or move to somewhere that supports the real achievers.

Comment: The problem isn't X. (Score 1) 686

by jd (#47725933) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

The problem is corruption. OSDL were working on a Linux desktop environment, but a key (financial) figure in the organization worked hard to kill off success and left around the time the unit went bankrupt. Several organizations they've been linked to have either gone belly up or have suffered catastrophic failure.

I won't name names, no point. What is the point is that such people exist in the Linux community at all, parasites that destroy good engineering and good work for some personal benefit of their own.

X is not great, but it's just a specification. People have developed Postscript-based GUIs using it. It's merely an API that you can implement as you like (someone ported it to Java) and extend as you like (Sun did that all the time). The reference implementation is just that. Interoperability of just that set of functions used by Glib/Gtk and Qt would give you almost all the key software.

Alternatively, write a GUI that has a port of those three libraries. You could use Berlin as a starting point, or build off Linux framebuffers, or perhaps use SDL, or write something unique. If it supports software needing those libraries, then almost everything in actual use will be usable and almost everything written around X in the future will also be usable. If what you write is better than X, people will switch.

Comment: Re:Nobody else seems to want it (Score 1) 686

by jd (#47725801) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

Binary drivers exist and are loadable so long as they are properly versioned.

Block drivers can always use FUSE.

Automatic builders can recompile a shim layer with new kernels (or even the git tree version), automatic test harnesses or a repurposed Linux Test Project can validate the shim. You don't need to validate the driver for everykernel, if it's totally isolated from the OS and worked before then it'll remain working.

Automated distributors can then place the binaries in a corporate yum/apt repository.

What has an ABI got to do with it? Only gets in the way of writing clean code.

Comment: Why? (Score 1) 686

by jd (#47725719) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

The commands to the bus don't change.
The commands sent to the hardware don't change.
The internal logic won't change.

That leaves the specific hooks to the OS and the externally visible structures.

Nobody is insane enough to use globals directly and structures are subject to change without notice. So external stuff will already be isolated.

If the hardware is available for any two of HyperTransport, PCI Express 2.x, VME/VXI or one of the low-power busses used on mobile hand-warmers, err, smart devices, then the actual calls to the bus hardware will be compartmentalized or go through an OS-based abstraction layer.

So 95% of a well-written driver is OS-agnostic and the remaining 5% is already is isolated.

So either drivers are very badly written (which is a crime against sanity) or the hardware vendor could place the OS-dependent code in its own DLL at bugger-all cost to them. Since the OS-dependent code has nothing trade secret in it, they can publish the source for the shim at no risk. Since the shim isn't the driver, there's no implication of support for OS' they don't know or understand. It's not their problem what the shim is used for.

Everyone's happy. Well, happier. The companies don't get harassed, the Linux users get their drivers, Microsoft gets fewer complaints about badly-written drivers killing their software. It's not open, it's not supported, but it's good enough.

Comment: Re:Puritanism (Score 1) 225

And this - with a little help from the One-Percenters - is why there will never be a Star Trek style future, where one works due to passion and not subsistence necessity.

So all those Redshirts have a passion for being the first one shot after they beam down, and not because they need the money?

Comment: Re:This is a civil case (Score 1) 228

by dgatwood (#47718209) Attached to: $125,000 Settlement Given To Man Arrested for Photographing NYPD

Actually, that's not true. It is fairly rare, but at least at the state level (in many states), you have the right to petition the courts for a declaration of factual innocence. In such a proceeding, the burden of proof falls on the defendant—that is, you are presumed potentially guilty until proven innocent. However, if you succeed at doing so, the arrest record is expunged completely, as though you were never arrested or tried.

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