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Comment: Lies, damn lies, and statistics (Score 3, Insightful) 126

by Loosifur (#43393165) Attached to: The Rise of Everyday Hackers

"A simple Google search for 'SQL injection hack' provides 1.74 million results, including videos with explicit instructions on how to exploit SQL injection vulnerabilities."

Which means that people could be searching to learn what that means because they read or heard it somewhere, or because they want to prevent SQL injection hacks on their site. There are two alternative explanations that don't involve cracking, and I'm sure you can come up with more.

"Although SQL injection flaws are easy to identify and fix, Veracode found that 32 percent of web applications are still affected by SQL injection vulnerabilities. As a result, as many as 30 percent of breaches in 2013 will be from SQL injection attacks."

The quoted statistic does not prove the subsequent claim. This violates basic principles of logic, and anyone who's taken a statistics course (as all reporters should) would see the problem here. Just because 1/3 of web apps are vulnerable to a given attack does not mean that 1/3 of web apps will subsequently fall victim to said attack. The less horrible way to phrase this would be to say that there's a 1 in 3 probability that future attacks will involve SQL injection, and even that's not born out by the statistic.

Here's an analogy (non-automotive): 15% of college basketball players are talented enough to be drafted into the NBA, let's say. This does not mean that 15% of college basketball players WILL be drafted into the NBA, nor does it mean, and this is the kicker, that 85% of new NBA players will be talented players coming from somewhere other than college teams. Or, 1/4 of all homes being vulnerable to electrical fires does not mean that 1/4 of all home fires will be electrical.

Comment: An entertaining, gifted critic. That's it. (Score 1) 198

by Loosifur (#43364367) Attached to: Film Critic Roger Ebert Dead at 70 Of Cancer

I'm a little surprised to see the outpouring for Roger Ebert, frankly. I never wished the man ill, and I really enjoyed his work as a critic. Let's remember that this is the same guy who said that video games could never be art, which is fine as it's his opinion, but it's just a little more myopic than I'd expect to see Slashdotters ignore. Still, a matter of opinion. However, when he immediately made cracks about the death of Ryan Dunn following his death, he fell to a level of tastelessness and cruelty that was absolutely unacceptable. It's hard to feel an excess of sympathy for the passing of someone who went out of his way to cast aspersions on the recently deceased.

Comment: Yahoo's still around? (Score 1) 524

by Loosifur (#42990017) Attached to: Mayer Terminates Yahoo's Remote Employee Policy

1. I didn't realize Yahoo still existed until I started hearing about this new CEO.

2. She's a little bit Martha Stewart, but still pretty cute (call me!).

3. When I went to the new Yahoo page, I immediately thought, "Oh, shit, how'd I wind up on Facebook?"

4. Remote work often means that you have to justify your billable hours, and that you're on call 24/7. In the office, it's so, so, so much easier to dick around looking up plans for raised gardening beds and writing horror fiction. Not that I'd know anything about that. And inclement weather might prevent you coming in, or necessitate your leaving early. And illness might require that you miss a day or two, etc.

5. They have this weird thing now, it's called teleconferencing. I'd love to tell Ms. Mayer about it some time. Maybe over drinks? Say, this Friday, around 6? I'll be the dashingly handsome yet rugged gentleman in his mid-30s staring winsomely into the middle distance.

Comment: The Atlantic isn't alone (Score 4, Interesting) 213

by Loosifur (#42606545) Attached to: <em>The Atlantic</em>'s Scientology Advertorial

Foreign Policy, which was bought by the Washington Post a few years ago, started running these type of things around the time (shortly before or after, don't recall) of the change in ownership. Now that I think about it, it was probably shortly after, because the Post itself began running a bunch of "Chinawatch" segments on its site, which were basically advertorials from China Daily, one of China's state-run newspapers. At any rate, around the time I noticed that FP started to be over half full of ads by volume, and that easily 3/4 of that was some marketing drivel about how awesome China is, or how Dubai is doing such wonderful things in the world, is when I dropped my subscription. I'm not paying for a bimonthly travel brochure, and I'm sure as hell not reading a magazine about international relations that sells ad space to propagandists.

Comment: Re:And we care because why? (Score 4, Interesting) 250

by Loosifur (#42587171) Attached to: Instagram Loses Almost Half Its Daily Users In a Month

I think the following link to xkcd is instructive here: http://xkcd.com/1150/

as is the following regarding Facebook: http://www.ethannonsequitur.com/facebook-you-customer-product-pigs.html/facebook-and-you-pigs .

Instagram has no business model. It operates at a loss. The whole reason Instagram operates is to attract "customers" that provide it with free content. The whole reason Facebook paid $1 billion for Instagram was to gain access to a ton of users who now depend on the site to host their content, and who may cede their rights to said content depending on how sneaky the ToS change can be. It's just got "sucker" written all over it.

A better analogy would be if I opened a parking garage in a city and let anyone store their car(s) there for free. Then, after a year or two, let people know that I reserve the right to auction their vehicles without additional notice.

Comment: Re:Your solving the wrong problem (Score 1) 167

by Loosifur (#42576697) Attached to: Smart Ice Cubes Tell When You've Had Enough Alcohol

Man! The competition is over, ladies and gentlemen, and we have a winner!

People seem to have totally glossed over that part. In my younger days, and even some of my less younger days, there were a few times when I drank so much that I didn't remember the entire night the next morning, or at least not until later in the day after a hamburger and a nap. According to TFA, this guy blacked out after three (3) drinks, so either he was drugged, or he has some sort of severe allergy.

Comment: You've got it backwards (Score 1) 134

by Loosifur (#42576607) Attached to: Why Do Entrepreneurs Innovate Better Than Managers?

People who tend to be drawn towards risk-taking, who have tremendous focus, and who are excellent self-motivators tend to become entrepreneurs. People who are organized (and good at organizing), who have a talent for seeing things at the macro level, and who are good at sort of assembling and handling lots of moving parts tend to become managers of one kind or another.

And in reality, successful entrepreneurs are also good at managing people and resources, just as great managers are creative problem-solvers and aren't afraid to think outside of the box. There are exceptions, of course, but the Bill Lumbergh manager stereotype and the sort of Steve Jobs/Bill Gates obnoxious genius stereotype don't seem to be the rule.

Comment: Nintendo needed another reason not to buy the WiiU (Score 1) 190

by Loosifur (#42224463) Attached to: Nintendo Puts a Bedtime On Wii U Content In Europe

I'm an American, so this doesn't affect me outside of the fact that the liberals in our country will think it's a great idea in another three to five years. But, really, it's like Nintendo is trying to chase customers away. There are already parental controls, so by making it needlessly difficult to purchase games that are geared towards adults, Nintendo is just sending the (admittedly true) message that they have no interest whatsoever in adult gamers. Unless you're under 14, really like virtual bowling, or are the kind of adult who describes things as "kawaii", there is nothing for you on the WiiU.

And, speaking as an adult who plays a shit-ton of 18+ games (on PC, thanks very much) 11:00 PM finds me either in bed finishing a book or out at the bar with friends if I'm off the next day. It's been many moons since I didn't have to be up and productive by 8:00 AM, and if I get less than 8 hours of sleep, I'm draggin' ass the next day. Besides which, how many people are going to be lining up for the opportunity to stay up later than they'd like to so they can have the privilege of buying a game from Nintendo?

Comment: Re:God (Score 1) 862

Agnosticism isn't simply a point on a line that extends between atheism and theism.

A theist believes that there is a god or gods, or something along those lines, and believes that no "evidence" is necessary to maintain that belief, at least not in the conventional sense. In other words, a theist doesn't see a problem with believing in a being without having some sort of independent proof of its existence.

An atheist does not believe in a god or gods unless and until there is evidence to the contrary, in the same way that most people wouldn't believe there was a tooth fairy unless someone actually introduced them to the tooth fairy. Where a theist doesn't believe evidence is necessary, or, maybe more accurately, believes that subjective evidence is evidence enough (i.e., faith, or a "personal relationship" with the deity), an atheist doesn't believe in a god or gods without objective evidence to the contrary.

Now, an agnostic is someone who believes that metaphysical issues like the existence or nature of god or the gods is not only unknown, but unknowable in the usual sense of the word. Agnostics (gnosis meaning knowledge in Greek) believe that the idea of fact or evidence or proof is completely irrelevant to metaphysics, because humans simply aren't able to know one way or the other. The nature of god(s) is such that there can never be any true knowledge of them, certainly not in the same sense as "knowing" about gravity, or that New York City is on the east coast, or that your mom wears combat boots.

So, you can have an agnostic theist ("I believe in god, but I don't think that anyone can really know about god in an objective way,"), or even an agnostic atheist ("I don't believe in god because there is no proof, and even if there was a god you wouldn't be able to prove it,") although the latter is a little more difficult to manage. But it isn't as if putting Richard Dawkins and Pat Roberts in a blender would result in an agnostic.

Comment: Monkeys (Score 1) 387

by Loosifur (#41848047) Attached to: Seattle's Creepy Cameraman Pushes Public Surveillance Buttons

All this proves is that people are still primates. Staring at someone signals aggression. A camera can't stare at you, because it doesn't have a face. A person holding a camera is still a person, and he's a person doing the most threatening thing short of actual physical aggression that a primate can do: stare at you quietly with no expression.

Congrats, dude, you've just taught people that the kind of people who talk about surveillance and Orwell REALLY ARE socially-crippled paranoid weirdos. Privacy advocates everywhere owe you a swift kick in the ass. Two, in fact, for not explaining your purpose after freaking people out, and thus failing to do any education about privacy issues whatsoever.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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