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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).

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Comment: Re:Am I understanding this correctly? (Score 1) 83

by Phoenix Rising (#46708913) Attached to: Yahoo DMARC Implementation Breaks Most Mailing Lists

DKIM validates off of the 'd=' in the DKIM signature. If the mailing list software alters the message (by adding an unsubscribe notice or other list decoration, e.g.), then the original DKIM signature is invalid regardless of any header address.

SPF validates the sending IP to the SMTP mFROM claim. Most list software changes the mFROM to a list bounce address, and therefore SPF at least passes.

DMARC does a couple of things to validate messages... First, it compares DKIM and SPF domains to the header From domain - if they "align", then it checks to see if each passes. If either DKIM or SPF passes and is aligned, then DMARC rules aren't triggered.

So, for list software to work with DMARC, they either have to keep the original message content (and some headers) - i.e. act as a (reasonably) strict forwarding system - or they have to claim ownership of the email message and resign it.

Going down the route of From vs. Sender (i.e. purported responsible address) is a rehash of the attempted Microsoft SenderID "improvement" on SPF.

Comment: Re:And google will retain that info exclusively. (Score 1) 195

by Phoenix Rising (#45710325) Attached to: Google Makes It Harder For Marketers To Collect User Data

Emails that wind up in "Promotions" are verified valid marketing material. I.e. it passes DKIM and SPF, comes from a known good behavior IP, isn't spammy...

For now, at least, Google seems to be (mostly) playing along with the marketing folks while still trying to (a) enhance their user experience and (b) give themselves a leg up. The image pre-load is definitely going to alter things like newsletter and ad read rates that marketers depend on to tell how well they're targeting their subscribers; I imagine the marketers will work their way around it in short order if they feel they're losing too much information.

Comment: Re:what? (Score 4, Informative) 258

by Phoenix Rising (#45392063) Attached to: US Postal Service To Make Sunday Deliveries For Amazon

Um, no. There is no other corporate or government entity in this country that is required to meet the standards applied to the USPS under that law, and the 75 years is indeed a hard funding benefit - they've got a $5b/year over 10 years requirement.

I believe if you look at the accounting, absent the pre-payment plan the USPS actually made money last year.

Comment: Copyright is too long, but... (Score 1) 361

I agree that Nintendo's suit based on copyright is counterproductive - that, in fact, anything that's been on the market for 30 years has outlived any need for protection under Copyright law. Limit it to the same duration enforced for patents - 14 + 14 - and I think we come closer to the intent of the founding fathers (who probably would argue that even 7 years was an incredible head start...).

But Nintendo could still have shut this project down through trademark protection. Indeed, they are obligated under trademark law to shut the site down or at least force a formal licensing agreement out of the author (and a corresponding change in the open source license terms...). SMB and its characters remain prominent symbols not only of the Mario franchise but also Nintendo as a company - there's no way they could let this go.

Comment: Re:Consider doubling down on math (Score 1) 656

by Phoenix Rising (#43881075) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?

The most important things to me as a programmer in a team:
1) Can you work logically through a problem? Can you break a problem into its constituent parts and expound on the possible consequences of what you are attempting? This isn't just math, though the logic of math helps; it's brainstorming, it's thinking outside the box, it's problem analysis; it's even part report writing and presentation - being able to express the problem clearly to others. You have to know all about the subject matter, too - that's point #3 below.
2) Can you code logically, cleanly and maintainably? If your code is one long strand of spaghetti, or reads poorly, or has too many interdependencies, then you aren't doing yourself or your co-workers any favors in the long run. Again, math is good here, but code organization is more about being able to clearly organize parts of the problem into efficient buckets - functional analysis. There are elements of writing class in here, too - even down to the use of white space.
3) Can you learn, and quickly? You don't need to know everything as a programmer - but it really helps if you can figure it out on short notice. Being a good researcher and a fast learner is an invaluable trait in the generic programmer. Having a broad knowledge base to start with is good; first rule of computer professionals - keep learning! Of course, if you're in a specialty field, you'd better look like already knowing what you need to know for your specialty - so don't skimp on the math or physics if you'll be doing game programming, don't skimp on statistics if you'll be doing accounting and business apps.

Comment: Consider doubling down on math (Score 1) 656

by Phoenix Rising (#43881023) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?

I was going to start this out by saying that some people saying DiffEq isn't "higher math" are math geeks and that they're over-emphasizing math... But then I went back and re-read the OP and, well, maybe they're still overstating the case, but they do have a point.

If you really want to go for a career in computer programming, you will need a more solid basis in math than a good understanding of long division. You need to be able to do function based math (grouped under Algebra when I learned it) in your sleep; you will never be any good with computer code if solving simple equations and reading functions isn't second nature to you, regardless of variable names or format. And all of those proofs you did in Geometry and then probably again in Calc I and II - that's formal logic, and if you can't apply formal logic at a whim, computer programming is going to be a rather rough life for you.

Beyond that, statistics and probability, linear algebra, matrix algebra, trig, vector math - these are things you're likely to run across sometime during your career. Maybe (probably) not every day, unless you're in a job that utilizes them heavily, but they're good to have learned at one point so you know where to start 10 years down the road when you run across that situation.

If you really got through the math between long division and DiffEq without really understanding it, I'd recommend going back and working through anything in the above list until you do understand it - and if you have more advanced math ahead of you, include Calculus in your review. If you need a tutor for it, get one; or audit lower level classes as refreshers; or find some book that explains things in terms you understand. Also, if you don't know it already, understand your own learning style and find something that matches your style; understanding how you learn best can help immensely as you go forward.

PS - DiffEq is a bit different; I had zero problems with math classes (aside from being bored) until I got to DiffEq. I did calculus, complex math, matrix algebra, prob&stats, and linear algebra all okay - don't know what it was about DiffEq that tripped me up. Don't feel bad that it seems difficult - it isn't simple. It's also nothing I have used in my career as a software developer.

Comment: Depends on the level of the choir (Score 1) 189

I sang in a semi-pro choir for a while and at one point our director had us all move to the edges of the largish church we were rehearsing, had us face the church walls (i.e. away from each other).... and start singing in unison. Believe it or not, if you know the music and the group you're singing with, it's very doable.

Barring that, having someone who knows what they're doing holding the blind person's hand and tapping or squeezing should do the trick.

Comment: Re:Yet detractors criticize it as being complicate (Score 0) 197

by Phoenix Rising (#42824347) Attached to: The Book of GIMP

Which industry?

I can't remember the last time I needed to use CMYK for my fine art photography. Heck, most of the photo magazines don't even want CMYK any more.

And when I go to develop my website graphics? No CMYK in sight there either.

How about printing business cards, brochures or fliers on a full-color printer? Only if the shop requires it for some bizarre reason - color profiles have pretty much removed the need for CMYK there.

So for some small definition of the word "industry" perhaps CMYK is still useful; for the rest of us, "industry" is getting along just fine without CMYK separations.

Comment: DMARC... (Score 1) 187

by Phoenix Rising (#42815771) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Handle SPF For Spam Filtering?

Add DMARC to your processing (http://www.dmarc.org/). It's a 'yes, I really meant it' notification for senders to communicate to receivers.

Other than that, the other suggestions already posted are about as good as it gets: use SPF as one element in scoring a message. Mark the message if your e-mail system allows it (e.g. label:authenticated in green, or label:authfail in yellow).

Comment: Re:I predict chaos (Score 1) 181

Average User: Hey, why doesn't the video play automatically anymore?
Other Person: You have to click the big Play button first.
Average User: Oh, okay.

The average user probably won't ever understand why they have to do it, nor will they care, but they'll be able to repeat the necessary step(s).

But they're not clicking the big 'Play' button - they're clicking the 'Are you sure you want to enable this possibly dangerous third-party software' button, and it is altering (read: degrading) the experience the web page designer intended to present to the end user.

And depending on what they just enabled, after they click the "we'll try not to make this scary warning too scary" button THEN they might have to press the 'Play' button that shows up.

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin

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