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Comment: Re:Do you have a right to have secrets? (Score 1) 107

> Then why do you argue like attacking some other country's network is any less barbaric than attacking their "real" infrastructure?

Actually, I'm in agreement that a cyber attack could be very bad, potentially as bad or worse than a physical attack. However, proving who was responsible may be impossible (to the burden of proof necessary to justify a military response.)

> The lack of civilized behavior which speaks from your notion of "every country for themselves" is appalling.

Whether you agree or disagree, countries spying on each other has been around since antiquity. Is it "right"? That really does depend on which side you're on. The British breaking Enigma and reading Nazi codes was almost certainly "right", unless you were a member of the German Navy and your U-Boat was sunk, in which case it was cheating?

Was China's (presumed) hacking of US companies for economic espionage "right"? We in the US see it as cheating (stealing intellectual property), I'm sure China has a justification that they see as completely valid.

If I can make a completely sarcasm free recommendation, look up the ethical theory of Cultural Relativism.

Comment: Re:They allow their spooks to break into any syste (Score 2) 107

It looks like the burden of proof for combat actions will always exceed the proof that can be obtained from computer forensics.

Further, the likelihood of taking action is inversely proportional to the capabilities of the enemy. The US (for example) has no issue with bombing a third-world country, but would not take combat actions against Russia or China for cyber-crime. For all anyone knows, the evidence was entered in emacs by Spooks at the CIA to make it look like it was China. That's completely different than (for example) capturing a US spy ship (North Korea in the 60's).

Comment: Do you have a right to have secrets? (Score 5, Insightful) 107

Spying on another country has always been "illegal" in the country that is the target. It's "spying". A sovereign state doesn't have to follow the laws of another country.

The deeper (and IMHO more interesting) question is "Are you permitted to have secrets from your own government?"

It's up to you and your government to protect yourself from other governments. But what about your own? That's the [real] question we've been debating for the last several years (i.e. AS ... After Snowden).

Comment: Why not just deliver it yourself? (Score 4, Interesting) 296

This strikes me as either silly (very James Bond), or an indication that Cisco doesn't even trust its own employees.

Otherwise, why wouldn't Cisco just hand deliver the items using its own employees.

Taking this cloak-and-dagger approach implies that if anyone at Cisco knows who's receiving the hardware, then it is at risk, meaning that Cisco is compromised and knows it.

Comment: Occupied a very important niche ... strong typing (Score 4, Interesting) 492

by NothingWasAvailable (#48900245) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

I worked on an industrial project that consisted of a couple of million (with an "M") lines of Pascal. We used IBM's Pascal/VS dialect. Pascal/VS had extensions that made it very, very close to Modula-2. We used Pascal because it was portable (across IBM platforms) and strongly-typed. At the time, it was the only strongly-typed language available to us. Our error rate (bugs reported by customers) was incredibly low, because it was really hard to make many of the screw-ups that were then common in PL/1, Fortran, and c. We ended up with a system that ran across IBM's product line (mainframes, workstations, PC's).

As Pascal aged (we could see that support would be ending), we moved to C++ by converting the entire code base into a subset of C++ (using a software package we purchased and thousands of lines of AWK and sed). We used C++ as a "strongly typed subset" of "c" for about 10 years, before we started converting to objects and methods.

That project started in the 80's and is only now (almost 30 years later) being rolled up and decommissioned. The original architecture was very structured, streamlined, and simple; with an incredible amount of effort going into defining data structures (as befit the restrictions of Pascal, like no dynamic arrays). It held up very, very well. Still blows the doors off its competition in performance, but the company is getting out of development and support, and needs something it can buy (even if it's slower and has less function.)

Comment: Re:Make an example of them. (Score 1) 247

by NothingWasAvailable (#48882065) Attached to: Dish Network Violated Do-Not-Call 57 Million Times

Agree completely (sorry, I don't have any moderator points available!)

For the reasons stated by JDAustin, a corporation must die before the others start to think "Hey, maybe we should obey the laws!"

It appears that one or two financial companies every decade or so just isn't sufficient to keep corporations in line.

Comment: Something to work into my Computer Ethics class! (Score 1) 1

by NothingWasAvailable (#48719407) Attached to: Doxing As An Attack

... this spring: Doxing. There are almost too many topics to try and cover (and the available textbooks have no hope of keeping up.)

This was also seen recently when two New York Times reporters were Doxed (is that a word?) in retaliation for an article that gave information about Darren Wilson. The actual facts of what was published seemed to be almost irrelevant.

This goes hand in hand with "Context Collapse". Making everything about someone public is sort of the ultimate context collapse, isn't it?

Comment: Who's interests are actually served by Congress? (Score 1) 1

This would seem to go hand in hand with the Princeton study from last April that claims the US is an Oligarchy.

The paper itself seems to be quite dense (try reading the abstract!) Our media overlords helpfully interpreted it for us.

Comment: Re:It takes a while (Score 1) 464

Ditto here ... it takes a little while to get used to the progressives, but then they are unnoticeable.

I had one pair that made me dizzy, so I went in and had them checked. They had ground them with the wrong pupil distance.

I've worked with several people who swore by two pairs of glasses ... progressives or bifocals for ordinary use, and a pair ground to one distance for computer work. I also have a pair of strictly reading glasses that I use for close work (mostly reading in bed at night).

Comment: Re:How on earth? (Score 1) 84

Think of it as three separate businesses. A completely full 200 mm (trailing edge, but boutique or specialty) semiconductor fab in Vermont, an under-utilized 300 mm (too small to be competitive) semiconductor fab in New York, and hundreds of engineers and scientists who have consistently produced technologies that let IBM build 5.5 ghz server chips, and continue to come up with new analog and mixed signal technologies at older nodes. The 200 mm fab has multiple small unsexy chips (like antenna switches and battery chargers) in almost every cell phone (including the iPhone 6).

GF wants the boutique fab and the engineering talent.

Comment: Just the new reality ... (Score 1) 182

by NothingWasAvailable (#47964939) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

My (ex)employer has slashed funding for participation at conferences, resulting in the situation where you can provisionally submit papers (to academic conferences) but if your paper is accepted, you may need to find someone at a local location to present the paper. That's happened to several people over the past few years, funding was cut after their papers were accepted, and they were forced to add a local employee as co-author to be the presenter.

As for paying your own way, some companies might fire you for that. It creates issues with insurance and liability. You're doing business travel on your own time and while paying your own way. If something happens to you while on the trip, is that a work-related injury or not?

Comment: Get some advice from people in the know (Score 2) 433

by NothingWasAvailable (#42420285) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: CS Degree While Working Full Time?

A company with over 50,000 employees has probably had a few folks who've been in the position you are in. Start with your HR resources, and ask them if they can connect you with people who've done a degree part-time.

I did both an MS and a PhD part-time, paid for by my employer. Obviously, that's different. A part-time MS is a well-trodden path. A part-time PhD is not quite so well trodden, but it's been done. (Although my adviser told me flat out that nobody finishes ... if that was meant as a challenge, it worked).

I ended up taking an unpaid leave of absence, but as I said, a PhD is different, in that there's a bigger "crunch" at the end.

In the end, whether you do this or not, and whether you succeed or not is going to depend on three people (if your large company is like mine): You, Your Manager, and Your Manager's Manager. Your first two lines of management will have to fly cover for you, and deflect criticism from above and from below. You'll need to be in a position where the expectations on your work are a bit lower, in compensation for the degree work. You'll also need to realize that you won't get great ratings, and you will probably be passing up promotions and raises for the duration.

Whatever you do, don't do a degree and bolt for another job. If you do, you're just poisoning things for the next person. If you do the degree, stay for a while and show that the company gets something out of this, then the next person won't have as much of an uphill fight. (When I started, the program I wanted to use was discontinued because of folks who went to UCB or Stanford and then immediately left the company).

If it happens once, it's a bug. If it happens twice, it's a feature. If it happens more than twice, it's a design philosophy.