Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:New rule (Score 2) 113 113

Yeah, we've got a programmer in our group that we played with one night. After his second questionable 2 letter word we added a rule (democratically voted on and adopted) that you must be able to define your word and use it properly in a sentence if anyone asks.

That's fine but that's not Scrabble. There is no requirement to know what word easy, just that it is a valid word. We occasionally had tournaments in college and I'd play for fun; wasn't any good but it was fun anyway. the best part was when someone looked at word and got ready to challenge it was to use it in a sentence but improperly so they'd think it wasn't a real word and lose a challenge. The mind games were as much fun as the tiles on the board.

Comment Re:Lore Harp sounds awful (Score 1) 191 191

If Lore Harp had said "OK, well, maybe we can make a superior third architecture", then yeah, the dismissal of the first point might be easier to take. But Lore Harp apparently refused to listen to Bob Harp's concerns expressed in (2) because LH apparently felt she knew the market better than BH, despite Bob Harp's advice being rather obviously correct on every factual level.

While I agree with your points, Harp's solution probably would not have helped save the company. He recognized one part of the problem but it looks like he missed the bigger threat: that CPM was on the way out and thus their ability to differentiate themselves, which had been what made them successful, was going away. Even a better architecture would have been useless in the face of the adoption of MS-DOS; since they would have either had to use a customized version that would have limited compatibility with programs or run the generic version and lose much of the benefit of a better architecture. ThePC market had reached that point where standardization was going to result in a few winners and a lot of losers, no matter what companies tried to do to remain viable.

In short, a combination of market forces and poor decisions, across engineering, marketing, and executive leadership, resulted in them becoming one of the many "Whatever happened to..."stories.

In fairness to them, at that time in history it was hard to tell which companies and OS's would succeed. Given IBM's money and clout in the computer world in the market it was a pretty safe thing to bet on whatever they decided to use, but that also meant you would be competing with a company with vastly greater resources and the ability to buy into any market they wanted by cutting sweetheart deals that small companies could not afford to match.

Comment Re:Seriously... (Score 1) 245 245

Could you provide an example of something that teachers should teach but that cannot be tested?

That is not the point. There are many things that can be taught and tested. However, when you test specific things and tie an infividual's renumeration to trst results teachers will focus on what is on the trst to the detriment of other things that would be useful to know. As a result the test is not a broad measure of acheivement but how well a teacher can prep students for the things on the test.

Comment Re:Lore Harp sounds awful (Score 2) 191 191

It sounds like a somewhat familiar story to most people in tech: the engineers put out decent work and have a decent idea of what's possible and necessary, but are increasingly sidelined by a management that's far too egotistical to believe anyone else might know more than they do, and far too fawned upon to realize that.

Not really. His idea was basically to clone the IBM PC and compete with them; it wasn't some brilliant engineering feat but rather a guess at what it takes to survive. Quite a few vendors tried just that strategy and wound up bankrupt despite their efforts. A number of them ran MS-DOS but just because ether ran that didn't mean a program that would run on an IBM PC would run on the clone unless it was designed to run on the particular variant of MS-DOS the clone used. What all three missed was the only way to compete was try to be different and control your own destiny, like Apple. Even so, it was nor apparent that Apple would survive and other companies that went down that route ultimately didn't. Apple survived because of the brilliance of the two Steves as well as a board that helped guide them through the market.

Comment Re:45 million? Tha's all? (Score 1) 154 154

I think the extra cost for the satcom was for getting -now-, when it's needed, instead of sometime in the future...

Exactly. The operational forces can't say to the bad guys "Timeout while we wait for the administrative folks to get us the comms we need to launch an airstrike. Take a bresk and we'll get back to you in a few months."

Comment Re:Valasek and Miller are assholes and should be a (Score 1) 173 173

As I felt with their first video, these "security researchers" play with the steering on a car moving 40mph on a public road. Now they've gone and done this. Playing with the driving controls on a 2 ton vehicle moving at 70 mph on a busy road.

Excellant points. They could have made just as powerful a statement in a safe environment instead of running a test on an open road where they would endanger the driver and others if something went wrong. Expecting someone "not to panic" when they find themselves slowing down with no escape route and a semi on their tail is stupid at best and criminal at worst.

They had the ear of some powerful Senators. You want to get things done? Find a safe place to show what you can do, such as a parking lot where the owner will offer to cordon it off while you run your demonstration. Offer to put one of them in the Jeep with the journalist. Partner with a University that has access to a test track.The got a grant and appear to have the credentials to be taken seriously, use them. A stunt like this could very well result in a backlash and articles condemning them for putting people at risk; rather than focusing on the real issues they bring up.

Frankly, I'm surprised the automakers use the same bus for vehicle control and the entertainment systems that are linked to the internet.It would seem at a minimum it should be air gapped for security and access to the control systems limited to the diagnostic connector. I'm guessing it was cheaper to use 1 bus to carry all the signals with no real thought that someone might exploit the weakness. Oddly enough BMW coders (who change vehicle orders in cars to activate additional features) have apparently been remotely updating the coding for a number of years. Granted, the person doing the update needed information from the owner to do so but the vulnerability would still be there; I say apparently because I have not used a remote coding service but done updates via the OBDC and software myself through a wired connection.

Comment Re:45 million? Tha's all? (Score 1) 154 154

If you have EVER seen how the federal government works it's supply systems, specifically the defense department and the Federal Stock System, it's abundantly clear WHY things are so expensive. It's not about the actual thing they need, but the paperwork that proves that what the supplier sold to the government was EXACTLY what the stock system requires.


Bolt for nuclear submarine piping: $2

Paperwork to prove it meets all the mil spec and you can trace the manufacturing back to the raw material source: $1000

Being able to surface at end of cruise: Priceless

Comment 45 million? Tha's all? (Score 1) 154 154

Given how sliw the procurement process works and at the end you get the lowers"qualified" bidder who may or may not provide what tou need it isno wonder people bypass it any way they can. Of course, DOD can't just have one giant blanket purchase agreement because that wouldn't spread the wealth around to enough businesses in as many congressional districts as possible.

Comment Re:nothing new under the sun (Score 4, Interesting) 446 446

It costs $15 and their data doesn't even get deleted...a scam that has netted $1.7M for ALM

In that case, AM might be liable for damages if someone paid to have the information deleted and it turns out it wasn't and then later gets stolen and released causing damage to the account holder. IANAL, but it would seem they would have at least an expectation the data was deleted, paid a consideration for AM to take a certain action (deleting information) in exchange, failed to do so as promised and as a result some suffered damages. While there is probably some T&C fine print that attempts to absolve them of all responsibility I would argue they were negligent in not deleting the data and safeguarding their systems and thus still liable. Given they are looking at IPO money they would have deep pockets for a class action suit.

Comment Re:nothing new under the sun (Score 3, Interesting) 446 446

I'd hazard a guess that this is a disgruntled insider, based in part on the fact that they claimed knowledge of internal practices (charging for profile deletion, but then retaining the information anyway). It's certainly possible someone could find that out through other means (having paid to have it deleted, then having it found anyway), but insider access explains a lot of things.

I wonder if someone got laid off or feels screwed out of IPO shares? It would seem someone who had access to accounts might be able to grab the info, or at least enough to convince AM they have.

Comment Impact on credit scores (Score 1) 133 133

IIRC, too many credit checks can impact a credit score; so what happens if an app checks it repeatedly to serve up adds? Not saying Apple will do this, but that could be a potentially problematic downside if someone's credit score goes down and result sin denied credit o higher interest rates.

Comment Re:Now only if we could do that with real mail! (Score 1) 114 114

USPS Form 1500 only pertains to sexually oriented advertisements. Unless one wants to claim an obscure fetish about credit card offers I don't see how this form would help.

IIRC it doesn't require any explaination of why it is objectionable. Always use the rules in your favor.

Comment Re:Now only if we could do that with real mail! (Score 1) 114 114

Is there such a thing as a spam filter for regular (paper) junk mail?

It's like some perverse life cycle - my paper recycling gets picked up, made into paper, which is then made into junk mail, which is then delivered, and unceremoniously dumped into my paper recycling without being read.

Yes, it's called United States Postal Service Form 1500; which let you decide what mail is offensive and should be stopped.

Comment Re:C'mon.... (Score 1) 628 628 many average Windows 10 HOME users would know if a patch breaks something so badly and that they would know how not not install it? If it's that bad and ubiquitous, MS will pull the patch. Tech savvier people will be either running a higher version, or know how to work around it.

This policy is really a non-issue; it's just geared towards the lowest common denominator--of which there are LOTS.

Exactly. This will help make it more difficukt to exploit security holes; until MS releases one that causes a major problem and ddcides auto update is bad. The problem will be many users who use Windows for critical applications will probably run Home, even in business environments if that is cheaper than buyin a PC with Pro installed. They shouldn't but what you should fo and what you do aren't necesssrily the same.

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce