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Comment: Re:Fundementally broken system (Score 1) 251

by Logos (#35994364) Attached to: Sony: 10 Million Credit Cards May Have Been Exposed

The point is that the "magic number" would be different for each purpose (i.e. generated by you for this transaction with Sony).

The key here though is not the technological hurdles - it'd be relatively easy to come up with a better system. The problem is that its not cheaper for Visa et al to switch - and they have no incentive to do so. The system as designed puts the economic burden on the merchants (and then the consumers) leaving the "cardtels" unscathed.

Until that externality is addressed, we will continue to read about breaches in the news.

Comment: Why use hospital network at all? (Score 1) 1307

by Logos (#35857128) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do I Give IT a Login On Our Dept. Server?

Plug it in at home, problem solved.

However: Why buy a server at all? Get a hosted vm image somewhere, throw the software on there, and just have everyone in the department use it. Putting a machine on the IT department's network is what causing the issue (legitimately for them, annoyingly for you) remove that part of the equation, and the problem is largely solved (only issue left would be whether keeping the schedule outside is a privacy, or policy violation).

Programming

+ - Why MacOS X is Unsuitable for Web Development 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Ted Dziuba has an interesting and amusing post on why he made a big mistake when he went to work for eBay and was offered a choice for his company laptop: Lenovo Thinkpad or MacBook Pro and picked the Mac, thinking it would be closer to what he was used to. So what's wrong with using the Mac as a development machine for Milo, a Python application backed by PostgreSQL and Redis? "I've only poked around a little, but so far I've found three separate package managers for OS X: Fink, MacPorts & Homebrew," writes Dziuba adding that when you are older, you will understand the value of automated version dependency satisfaction. "The scary part about having many general use package managers is that it pushes programmers toward using programming language specific package managers like gem and pip, which only serve to metastasize the problem." Next is that your development platform should be as close as possible to your production platform but "OS X and Linux have different kernels, which means different I/O & process schedulers, different file systems, and a whole host of other implementation details that you'll write off as having been abstracted away until you have your first serious encounter with "It Works On My Machine.'" Finally Textmate sucks. "Sooner or later, you have to face facts. Man up and learn Emacs." Dziuba used to be a big time Mac fanboy. In fact, he even had a letter published in Macworld magazine when he was 15. "However, at some point, I started writing code to put food on my table, and found that the Mac just does not cut it," concludes Dziuba. "Mac developers, stay out of the command line. You'll hurt yourselves.""

Comment: No, but it's a marvelous way to relax (Score 4, Funny) 104

by Logos (#33921826) Attached to: Modeling a White Hole With Your Kitchen Sink

(obligatory Douglas Adams reference)

"You get this bath, see? Imagine you've got this bath. And it's ebony. And it's conical."

"Conical?" said Arthur. "What sort of ..."

"Shhh!" said Ford. "It's conical. So what you do is, you see, you fill it with fine white sand, all right? Or sugar. Fine white sand, and/or sugar. Anything. Doesn't matter. Sugar's fine. And when it's full, you pull the plug out ... are you listening?"

"I'm listening."

"You pull the plug out, and it all just twirls away, twirls away you see, out of the plughole."

"I see."

"You don't see. You don't see at all. I haven't got to the clever bit yet. You want to hear the clever bit?"

"Tell me the clever bit."

"I'll tell you the clever bit."

Ford thought for a moment, trying to remember what the clever bit was.

"The clever bit," he said, "is this. You film it happening."

"Clever," agreed Arthur.

"You get a movie camera, and you film it happening."

"Clever."

"That's not the clever bit. This is the clever bit, I remember now that this is the clever bit. The clever bit is that you then thread the film in the projector ... backward!"

"Backward?"

"Yes. Threading it backward is definitely the clever bit. So then, you just sit and watch it, and everything just appears to spiral upward out of the plughole and fill the bath. See?"

"And that's how the Universe began, is it?" said Arthur.

"No," said Ford, "but it's a marvelous way to relax."

Space

Astronomers Discover the Coolest Known Sub-Stellar Body 60

Posted by Soulskill
from the miles-davis's-home-planet dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Science Daily reports that using the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in Hawaii, astronomers have discovered what may be the coolest sub-stellar body ever found outside our own solar system. Too small to be stars and with insufficient mass to maintain hydrogen-burning nuclear fusion reactions in their cores, 'brown dwarfs' have masses smaller than stars but larger than gas giant planets like Jupiter, with an upper limit in between 75 and 80 Jupiter masses. 'This looks like the fourth time in three years that the UKIRT has made a record breaking discovery of the coolest known brown dwarf, with an estimated temperature not far above 200 degrees Celsius,' says Dr. Philip Lucas at the University of Hertfordshire. Due to their low temperature these objects are very faint in visible light, and are detected by their glow at infrared wavelengths. The object known as SDSS1416+13B is in a wide orbit around a somewhat brighter and warmer brown dwarf, SDSS1416+13A, and the pair is located between 15 and 50 light years from the solar system, which is quite close in astronomical terms."

Comment: Don't be ridiculous (Score 1) 464

by Logos (#30142176) Attached to: The Jet Fighter Laser Cannon

The laser is nailed to the head, so that it won't fall off during high speed maneuvers and the fish* is taped to the airplane so that it can be dropped on commando raids deep behind enemy lines - granted, they just sorta flop around on the ground afterward, but anyone walking by is likely to get quite a sunburn.

*Yes, we've been *told* they are mammals, but I believe its all a conspiracy started by the "late"** Douglas Adams to ensure that they wouldn't be seen as cannibals during the pre-release marketing for his fourth book in the trilogy.

**I put late in quotes because we know that he's just gone home.***

***OK, I've got nothing... POPCORN!

Comment: I agree but... (Score 1) 481

by Logos (#29946022) Attached to: If I Had To Choose, I'd Be A ...

...not because of the Nazgul - they were all royals too, just 2nd rate ones: Numenoreans who couldn't get to the top any other way, Easterlings with Gondor-envy, etc.

However, in the Orcs we do see true meritocracy at work: moving up in the hierarchy was a function mostly of how efficiently one could lop off the heads of those on the next rung up - though deceit, cunning, cruelty to prisoners, squashing bugs and the ability to commit patches regularly were also rewarded too... wait somehow I got off topic.

Anyway, definitely the orcs were a meritocracy in the purest sense of the word, not basing everything on birth like man or on how many times one lived next to a glowing tree like those pesky elves.

Comment: Did anyone actually read the patent? (Score 4, Informative) 105

by Logos (#28449021) Attached to: Boingo Awarded a Patent For Hotspot Access
Yes I know, this is /. and no one read the article, let alone the actual patent - however the article (and the /. excerpt) are very misleading about what was patented. Reading the actual patent, it appears that the patent was granted on a method for the user to create an account with the patent-holder and then use the patent-holders software to access any number of various for-pay and other wifi hotspots without having to manage the individual credentialing, network configuration and associated billing. I am not a lawyer, or a patent attorney -- and I'm not a big fan of software patents in general -- but this doesn't sound anything like: "patenting wifi hotspot access". More like: "patenting an integrated, account-managed, token passing, billing system for accessing multiple diverse wifi-hotspot vendor systems". I.e. Much narrower and a based on a product built on basic wifi access. In short: Boingo was granted a patent on their software that makes it easier to manage all those wifi accounts you have to set up if you travel a lot and use a bunch of different carriers. Not wifi access in general. The editors should consider amending the front page summary because its very misleading.

Comment: Re:What are the implications of this discovery? (Score 1) 127

by Logos (#27706931) Attached to: Rydberg Molecule Created For the First Time

Please don't mod my post up - I hate it when someone thinks I've said something funny when it was really informative or vice versawise not the other and it gets twisted into a comment on the fundamental nature of molecular... oh the hell with it, It's Friday, I'm going for a beer.

Comment: Re:Learn Programming, not Language (Score 5, Insightful) 569

by Logos (#27280321) Attached to: Programming Language Specialization Dilemma

you can master any language withing a matter of weeks

Not really, but you can be *proficient* and a *productive contributor* in a matter of weeks.

Mastery of a language takes longer because it's more about mastering of all of the little quirks, warts, conventions and whatnot that only come with experience with a certain platform than it is about syntax and transliteration of general programming techniques to the new language.

Still, I agree with the overall sentiment: Focus on being a good programmer and learning new languages (and being a valuable contributor) takes care of itself.

Comment: Re:Mod parent up (Score 1) 1182

by Logos (#26991549) Attached to: Gamer Claims Identifying As a Lesbian Led To Xbox Live Ban

>my motorcycle is highly important to me and a fundamental part of who
>I am but I don't introduce myself as "I'm Steve the motorcyclist".

You might, if fundamental meant: "you had to ride that motorcycle" yet you were being told it made you unwelcome anyway and you were still trying to define your identity and your place in the world. Then, you might very well say, "Hi I'm Steve the motorcyclist, I won't be at the movie theater tonight because they don't allow motorcycles on their property", or: "I'm Steve, the motorcyclist, I can't visit that other state/country/province because they don't allow motorcycles on their roads." You'd be even more likely to say: "I'm Steve the motorcyclist" if you did go to the movies or that other state, because then you'd be protesting the injustice by going anyway and what's the point if everyone there thought you arrived in a car.

Besides, you're doing a disservice to those motorcyclists who've gone before you. At one time, wearing leathers and sporting a pony tail was enough to land you in jail all by itself. How is this any different? Maybe you wouldn't be riding your bike now if it wasn't for all those hippie freaks flying their flags 40 years ago. And maybe (if people like this girl "keep on keepin' on") homosexuals 40 years from now will be forgetting how controversial it was once to be one and will be chastising someone else for wearing their identity on their sleeve.

If at first you don't succeed, you must be a programmer.

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