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Comment: Re:Security compiler? (Score 1) 121

by swillden (#46788775) Attached to: Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

Why not a security compiler? Seems some clever, creative hackers could work up something which would take raw code, subject it to some scrutiny and give output/feedback. Perhaps even a security switch to the standard compilers or even a security test suite. Shouldn't be that hard to do.

Shouldn't be too hard... in the sense that solving the Halting Problem shouldn't be too difficult. I conjecture that with an appropriate set of assumptions it's possible to use Rice's Theorem to prove that security analysis is equivalent to the Halting Problem.

Of course, static analysis can catch some vulnerabilities, and can highlight potential vulnerabilities. That's what Coverity does. But I don't think any mechanical process can defeat a creative attacker.

Comment: Inductive Fallacy (Score 1) 121

by swillden (#46788645) Attached to: Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

This analysis is based on an erroneous assumption which is derived from an inductive fallacy. Specifically, the author assumes that because one researcher who found one bug believes he could have found a second for roughly the same level of effort means that the researcher believes this process could be repeated indefinitely. I'm certain that if Kohno were asked he would deny the validity of this assumption. I'm sure he would say that his team could find a handful of similar bugs for similar level of effort, but once the pool of low-hanging fruit bugs was exhausted, the cost and difficulty would rise.

Comment: Re:I switched from sitting to standing. (Score 1) 282

by swillden (#46786967) Attached to: Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk
The desk I have is motorized. Push a button, takes about five seconds. Another option is to get a desk that is always positioned at standing level and a tall chair. That seems cheaper and more convenient but there are some downsides. One is that you have far fewer options in chairs than if you're getting normal-height chairs. Another is that changing the level of the desk is difficult, which is particularly problematic if the seating gets rearranged regularly.

Comment: Re:base it around my OS (Score 1) 383

by ncc74656 (#46780975) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

Just remember to deduct that $100 next year (for those that don't know, tax prep fees are deductible).

Not always. Tax-prep fees go in a part of Schedule A for which there's a minimum you have to meet (2% of adjusted gross income) before you can deduct anything. The $500+ my wife and I forked over to H&R Block last year? Not deductible. :-P

OTOH, I was able to do my own filing this year by looking at what forms had been generated last year and making changes where appropriate. I grabbed the fillable forms from the IRS website, filled them in with Okular, printed them out, stapled our W-2s to them, and stuffed them into an envelope. Since we still owed money (less than $100 this year, vs. $3000+ last year...w00t!), I don't care how long it takes for the mail to get through and for the IRS to do its processing.

Comment: Re:I switched from sitting to standing. (Score 4, Interesting) 282

by swillden (#46778589) Attached to: Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

I'd recommend a standing desk to anyone with the willpower to make it through the transition.

And I'd recommend a sit-stand desk to anyone at all. Even if you don't stand all the time (I don't), being able to spend part of your day standing will make you feel better without discomfort, in fact being able to switch back and forth is more comfortable than sitting.

Comment: Re:Information = Wealth = Power (Score 1) 98

by swillden (#46778561) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

Then it's not the same as mine. I've also followed the company from the beginning... and I have the benefit of the insider view.

Unless your insider view involved board meetings making top-level executive decisions, I'm not impressed.

Obviously not, but you may not realize how open the company is internally. Larry Page stands up in front of the entire company every week, for example, and takes -- and answers -- live questions. There are no negative consequences for asking hard questions, and hard questions do get asked. Sometimes the executives duck or dance around them, but not very often, and questions that aren't really answered continue getting asked until they do get answered.

In addition to that, other than things like acquisitions there are very few "top-level executive decisions" at Google. Most decisionmaking is driven from the bottom up.

You're probably still not impressed. Whatever. I'm just giving you my perspective and opinion. I would think that an intelligent insider's viewpoint would be of use to you; you're certainly free to dismiss it, whether or not that makes any sense. Time will tell, and I'm quite confident that the future will bear out my statements.

YouTube was a very obvious acquisition. What YouTube needed to survive and grow was low-cost scalability and a way to monetize the views it was getting. What Google had was massive data centers and network connectivity, plus a proven revenue model.

YouTube managed to grow to epic proportions before Google had to "save" them, as you imply. They also good have slapped ads onto their service at any time without Google buying them out.

Not according to YouTube employees who made the transition.

Comment: Re:Not sure how standing up would solve anything.. (Score 2) 282

by swillden (#46778219) Attached to: Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

...when the main problem isn't really sitting down, but being STILL in the same position hour after hour.

This is why it's not a "standing desk" but a "sit-stand desk". The idea is that you alternate between sitting and standing, changing position every hour or two.

Comment: Re:Information = Wealth = Power (Score 1) 98

by swillden (#46778179) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

My basis is the same as yours, except not from the inside, and not from just three years.

Then it's not the same as mine. I've also followed the company from the beginning... and I have the benefit of the insider view.

The tipping point came when they bought YouTube for an obscene amount of money (at the time). You don't spread your tendrils in such fashion throughout the industry just because you like technology.

YouTube was a very obvious acquisition. What YouTube needed to survive and grow was low-cost scalability and a way to monetize the views it was getting. What Google had was massive data centers and network connectivity, plus a proven revenue model. YouTube also needed a better search engine, and Google was interested in finding ways to index and search non-textual content. It was an ideal match, technologically.

Comment: Re:Information = Wealth = Power (Score 1) 98

by swillden (#46776627) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

Google's primary goal is the technology, the profits and competitive advantage are a means to that end, not the other way around.

They are empire building. The technology is a means to that end.

The basis for your claim is?

The basis for my claim is three years of seeing how the company operates and what decisions it makes, and how, from the inside.

Mathematics deals exclusively with the relations of concepts to each other without consideration of their relation to experience. -- Albert Einstein

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