Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Physical encryption. (Score 1) 809

by Peter Simpson (#49049337) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?

"Suppose you wanted to send me a file with very sensitive information, how would you encrypt it in such a way that I would decrypt it?"

I'd use a cross-cut shredder, then send it to you in a paper bag along with some Scotch tape. (You didn't specify how easy it needs to be to decrypt, especially if I include some random shredded pages in the mix.)

Works for most types of files: Excel, PDF, etc...

Yes, but you are wasting paper

ZIP it first -- use the encryption option for extra security. THEN print the resulting hex dump and shred it.

Deliver the key with a phone call.

Comment: Re:Where did they get the COA for the ingredients? (Score 2) 412

by Peter Simpson (#48971803) Attached to: Major Retailers Accused of Selling Fraudulent Herbal Supplements

Every herbal supplement that is going to be ingested in America needs a COA (Certificate of Authenticity) to verify their legitimacy. Disclosure: I used to work in the herbal supplement industry. This is not wholly uncommon. The biggest issue here is that the suppliers/manufacturers were ripping off the GNC etc. Someone along the way faile dto check the authenticity, and they got burned.

Yeah...can you tell us where most of them originated? I'm betting China or India. Where the Certificates of Authenticity are...well...not always "authentic", shall we say? And yes, what you pay for in China or India is not always what you get. To say the least!

Comment: Multivitamins? (Score 2) 412

by Peter Simpson (#48971611) Attached to: Major Retailers Accused of Selling Fraudulent Herbal Supplements
I'm highly skeptical of store brands as a whole. They're much cheaper than the national brands, and claim to be the same thing. But, as they're "supplements", FDA doesn't check. We should just trust CVS, Walgreens, etc, to be telling the truth, right? I mean, they're huge, honest companies and they distribute real medicines, so you know they are taking great care to make sure the stuff they sell is as advertised. Let's do a sniff test on that statement. Nope. Doesn't pass. I suppose the store brands *could* be legit, and I could be getting a great deal -- exact same, high quality multivitamins for 1/4 the cost of the national brand. But my spidey sense says, no. Rice flour and rat droppings are far more likely, especially since the package gives no indication of where the product originates, just "Distributed by CVS". Yeah, that in itself inspires a whole lot of confidence...NOT.

Comment: Re:Terrible names (Score 5, Insightful) 378

by Peter Simpson (#48906189) Attached to: Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

Charms bar? Continuum? Names used to be fairly intuitive, and even when they weren't completely intuitive their names were derived from their technical function. I'm thinking "context menu", "start menu", "task list", "quick-launch menu", and "system tray". Now they're just marketing doublespeak.

Hey Microsoft!

Pick a UI and stick to it! I'm getting very tired of having to relearn the entire UI whenever you make a new release.

Comment: Re: He'll win in a landslide (Score 2) 120

by Peter Simpson (#48905875) Attached to: Fark's Drew Curtis Running For Governor of Kentucky

Fraud by ineligeable voters is a ridiculously inefficient and costly way to rig an election.

You sound like you think that either party would consider that a reason not to do something.

Nope, I'm thinking from the point of view of someone who wants to win an election. Counting on ineligeable voters to show up is risky, and if I wanted to make sure my guy came out ahead, I wouldn't bet all the marbles on that scheme. I'd mess with the machines or the accounting software. Much cleaner and, if done right, leaves no trace. Or, I'd take advantage of defects in the voting system itself (hanging chads, for example).

Whatever you might think of political parties (and I probably share your feelings, but perhaps not about the same party), they employ some very smart people. Smart enough to realize that "voter fraud" is and always has been, a non-issue. Voter ID laws are about one thing and one thing only: raising the bar high enough so the people you don't want voting...can't. It's literacy tests all over again. To claim otherwise is to insult the intelligence of the people you're talking with.

Comment: Other old tech (Score 2) 28

by Peter Simpson (#48857523) Attached to: NJ Museum Revives TIROS Satellite Dish After 40 Years
Occasioned by a weekend trip to the (bitingly frigid cold) Sunday River ski area this past weekend, I learned that TELSTAR 1 is still happily orbiting the earth. The US ground terminal was in Andover, Maine, not too far from Sunday River. It's now just a few equipment shelters and some dishes, but back in the day, there was a huge horn antenna inside a radome. The regional high school is named Telstar. I wonder if the students (or the administration, for that matter) realize the history behind the name...

Comment: Re:More US workers == offshoring?? (Score 1) 484

by Peter Simpson (#48818553) Attached to: IEEE: New H-1B Bill Will "Help Destroy" US Tech Workforce

Explain to me how allowing more foreign workers to come to the US under H1B visas will increase offshoring? Surely not allowing people to work here is going to cause work to be sent overseas, not the other way around.

Every H1B worker I've met (including myself) wants to get a green card so they can live and work in the US permanently. At which point they are just as much part of the US tech workforce as a citizen who was born and raised here.

H1B workers are a boon to employers. They work for lower wages because they can't legally change jobs. So the employers can get a better deal - longer hours, fewer perks, than with US workers, who are free to demand more and leave if they don't get it. It's a scam, everyone knows it, and our elected officials, by continually increasing the H1B cap, show exactly who they work for...and it's not the US tech worker.

The US has plenty of good engineering schools and plenty of graduates from those schools are looking for work. There is no shortage of skilled tech workers in this country, they're just asking for more money than the employers are willing to pay.

Comment: Re:5 stages of handling a PR problem (Score 1) 341

by Peter Simpson (#48754025) Attached to: Intel Pledges $300 Million To Improve Diversity In Tech

1. Profess shock 2. Start an investigation 3. Promise to do better 4. Apologize and abase yourself to every aggrieved group you can find 5. Throw some money at anything related, esp. self-appointed "community spokesmen" Looks like Intel has hit stage 5.

6. Claim that there are not enough qualified graduates in the US and ask for yet another increase in H1B visas. Remind us that the US can't stay competitive without being able to hire H1Bs.

Comment: Re:Slowed to 1bit/year without NN (Score 1) 41

by Peter Simpson (#48744121) Attached to: FCC Revamps Customer Complaint System

That's completely not true. Comcast is working hard on improving transmission speeds over their slow speed lanes. They're going to have facilities on the peaks of mountain ranges that transmit the information via semaphore flags.

I believe they're in full compliance with RFC1149.

Comment: Re:Additional background (Score 2) 293

by Peter Simpson (#48661267) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

A few things are worth noting about the original case. Marriott agreed in a plea deal to have improperly used "containment features" of FCC-licensed equipment to block Wi-Fi hotspots, and this was performed in conference facilities, not the hotel. "Marriott Hotel Services, Inc., will pay $600,000 to resolve a Federal Communications Commission investigation into whether Marriott intentionally interfered with and disabled Wi-Fi networks established by consumers in the conference facilities of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, in violation of Section 333 of the Communications Act. The FCC Enforcement Bureau’s investigation revealed that Marriott employees had used containment features of a Wi-Fi monitoring system at the Gaylord Opryland to prevent individuals from connecting to the Internet via their own personal Wi-Fi networks, while at the same time charging consumers, small businesses, and exhibitors as much as $1,000 per device to access Marriott’s Wi-Fi network."

"containment features"??? You mean "illegal jammers", don't you, Marriott? Because, unless the FCC has drastically changed the rules, intentional jamming of legal signals is absolutely illegal, no matter what the reason, unless of course, they have prior FCC authorization. Which I highly doubt. Sauce for the goose, etc...

Comment: "The theory is that 'something' should be done" (Score 2) 216

Politicians aren't the right people to be handling this. You can legislate all the laws you want, but they don't fix the problem. It's illegal to burgle houses, but it happens all the time. Sony got burgled. Better luck next time. Buy better locks, build a more secure IT infrastructure, and be thankful that nobody died. Nobody even lost real money, as I read it, except, of course, for the costs of the cleanup.

Although the thought of all those Sony employees filling out paper forms with typewriters is kinda humorous...

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.