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Comment: open-source voting machines. (Score 0) 91

by nimbius (#48470765) Attached to: Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County
This is old hat, and honestly the horse has been beaten to powder on slashdot, but systems that are both complex as well as powerful should be open source. Breathalizers and voting machines have no intrinsic monetary value in a society. Certainly it is a need to perform such tasks, but the greater good, the preservation of liberty and the accurate as well as precise regulation of a functional society, are of such an overwhelmingly greater imporance as to render the quite visible hand of the american free market moot. But we're hardly a capitalism here anymore. We're a plutocratic oligarchy.

Comment: Re:At least there's an implied admission... (Score 1) 428

by Rob Y. (#48463167) Attached to: Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

Absolutely. When my company outsourced, they (a big public Co.) were preparing to dump our devision. Presumably the bottom line looked better that way for the sale. Anyway, the private equity firm that bought us had a 2 year IPO horizon right from the start - and an IPO 'story' that assumes huge systems will be rewritten 'in the cloud' over that 2 year period - of which 1 year has already passed. Breathtaking doesn't even begin to describe it.

I'm doubtful that our finance system does 'work well'. There was a lot of value in it to destroy, and that's making a few people very rich while it lasts. That's about the best you can say for it at this point.

Comment: At least there's an implied admission... (Score 3, Insightful) 428

by Rob Y. (#48460325) Attached to: Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

There's one silver lining in all this bitching about needing more H-1 visas. The tech companies that can't find enough cheap labor in the US are still looking for labor in the US. They could find all the cheap labor they want as long as they're willing to outsource the jobs to India - but they've already tried that, and it doesn't work.

As one of the few remaining onshore resources in an outsourced company, I can attest to the horrible inefficiencies that outsourcing brings to a tech project. Sure, it's cheaper. Perhaps even by enough to account for all the extra process to manage the outsourced workers. But what isn't said in there is that nothing actually gets done. Our outsourced systems are gradually falling into unsupportability by a thousand bits of bad code put in by cheap offshore resources that don't have adequate guidance to get up to speed without doing damage - and aren't kept on the project long enough to ever finally do some productive work once they get up to speed.

The big guys either know this intuitively, or have tried outsourcing and know it from painful experience. Either way, asking for H-1 visas amounts to an admission that outsourcing tech jobs doesn't work. Now we just need the political will to tell them that paying crap wages isn't an option either.

Comment: from TFA he seems to regret a lot more. (Score 2) 142

by nimbius (#48458641) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

KDC seems to regret having ever placed good faith and trust in the criminal justice system as it applies to the united states and international community, and clearly with good reason. His violent raid, the united states illegal seisure of the majority of his income, and his criminal prosecution despite 3 independent lawfirms under his employ having confirmed no such action could or would transpire. KDC regrets not taking the MPAA more seriously, because the MPAA has extremely powerful political connections and can rewrite rules as it sees fit. It can escalate your extradition, exacerbate your arrest, and fleece your civil liberties all under the guise of the free market and "intellectual property" law. The most appropriate response to the MPAA is not litigation, but mobile theatre ballistic missile.

Comment: Re:Who cares (Score 1) 161

by Rob Y. (#48440527) Attached to: Mozilla's 2013 Report: Revenue Up 1% To $314M; 90% From Google

It sounds like high-ups at the Mozilla Foundation are a bunch of usurpers that managed to take 'ownership' of an open source project and turn it into a cash cow for themselves. Not saying they didn't do a good job of popularizing Firefox back in the days when getting the general public to download a replacement browser for IE was a hard job. But it seems like that mission's been accomplished, and they're all too happy to simply coast as long as they can collect their outsize salaries.

Why don't you serious developers fork it then? And then go for your own Google - or Yahoo - or whatever deal.

Comment: what a real guard does vs a robot (Score 2) 140

by nimbius (#48433879) Attached to: Microsoft Rolls Out Robot Security Guards
For people quesitoning the functionality or durability of this machine, its important to understand what a meat-space security guard does, observe and report. Security services will tell you upfront that their services are only meant to convey a sense of security, not to actually secure or make secure things in the first place. Guards, in most capacities, are not charged with stopping assailants, arresting theives, or even confronting people who break the law. The vast majority do not in fact even carry pepperspray. their appearance alone is used as a deterrance, and at best while they receive CPR, AED, and O2 certifications they are compelled to use their discretion when and if to apply these skills.

Machines are perfect for this work as they never tire from watching monitors for hours or days on end. They will never sprain an ankle or catch a cold, or show up late. the question is however, does the presence of a machine deter criminals as well as the presence of a human being in an official looking uniform. If theives routinely disregard electronic locks, security cameras, inventory control alarms, burglary and silent hold up alarms, and even warnings of time-delay safes, then its perfectly reasonable to assume these robotic guards will be no more effective than a curiousity. Expect to lose any gains saught from employing a real person when you have to pay for graffiti removal theft. You can also expect them to exist as a vector for network security attacks.

Comment: FBI Director James Comey may not care. (Score 1) 93

by nimbius (#48425521) Attached to: WhatsApp To Offer End-to-End Encryption
FISA courts, secret warrants and GITMO still exist. If the government wants information on encrypted data being sent from a computer to a server, they'll quietly demand it from the root console. Systems that would seriously secure the user would be over the wire and on disk encryption, with keys dynamically generated and unknown to the provider. This however would also empower the user to seek privacy from facebook itself.

kids dont care but then again they arent allowed on my lawn. Stop using *cloud, *app, *book, *mail. Back in my day we ran our own mail and patronized services like freenode that ensure the security of their users and avoid pavlovian backflips for governments.

Comment: its true, there is no such crime. (Score 1) 171

by nimbius (#48425479) Attached to: US Gov't Seeks To Keep Megaupload Assets Because Kim Dotcom Is a Fugitive
Secondary copyright infringement may not exist, but there is another law that prohibits a foreign defendant with a competent legal team from making the US government look like an incompetent wing of the entertainment industry in a kangaroo court during a show trial to enforce imaginary laws for propaganda. Last i heard the penalty was 67 million dollars.

Comment: its all about choice. (Score 3, Interesting) 573

by nimbius (#48416773) Attached to: Debian Votes Against Mandating Non-systemd Compatibility
Im not sure who at debian proposed this idea, that packagers be required to maintain support for non-systemd applications, but its untenable at best. It would mean a redesign of gnome, KDE, and a dearth of other code that in many cases makes no sense (how does networkManager get this treatment outside the scope of systemd?) this particular vote also smacks of an attempt at debian character assassination. the fact is that Debian, and Ubuntu, need to sit down and recognize is that open source software means If i, or users, want rc-init support in Debian for a package we can code it.. If the package doesnt do what we want we can either commit, fork, change packages, or change operating systems. Bureaucratic red tape seems to be an Ubuntu specialty thats strong-armed its way into debian from the start of Systemd. pointless electoral procedures avoid the cusp of the communities argument. SystemD is controversial enough that Debian should give the user the choice to decide whether they want systemd.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 178

by Rob Y. (#48413985) Attached to: Microsoft Releases Out-of-Band Security Patch For Windows

You're missing my point. It's not "to share" at all. Yes, they have your data. And if you hate that they use that to send you targeted ads, well, then don't use gmail - or google search - or the rest. But don't go claiming that they're sharing the info they have - they're not. Microsoft wants you to think they are - so they can get you to switch to MS services - where they will collect exactly the same data and do the same things with it.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 3, Insightful) 178

by Rob Y. (#48412295) Attached to: Microsoft Releases Out-of-Band Security Patch For Windows

For the bazillionth time, Google is not "sharing all your data in the world". They are using your data in some very specific ways - and giving you free services in exchange. Those uses are relatively benign, as free internet services go, and they do not include sharing with any third parties.

Comment: Re:This article is useless (Score 1) 91

by Rob Y. (#48402403) Attached to: Facebook Planning Office Version To Rival LinkedIn, Google

g. cloud services

For all the paranoia about cloud services eating your privacy, the one place where they're a no-brainer is as paid services targeting corporations. The cloud itself, in this case, could be hosted by the corporation - but in any case, it wouldn't be ad-funded, and there's no reason to think that a hosting organization would snoop on content they're paid not to snoop on.

But in this case step 3 ("is not perceived as useful...") has some entrenched interests helping to muddy the waters. Turns out there's a lot of software that's been written for the traditional desktop. Much of that is tied to a back-end database, and would be much easier to deploy and support if it were rewritten to live in the cloud. But many of these systems are extremely complex, and those rewrites are expensive. Until a viable competitor comes out with a cloud-based alternative, vendors try to justify their client-server wares based on their robust features - playing down their mediocre performance and abysmal supportability. In the face of the new-found popularity of cloud app architecture, some have tried to pass off Citrix server farms as 'the cloud'. Good luck with that...

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"