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Comment: Re:iPad is a luxury? (Score 1) 257

by SecurityGuy (#48927541) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

They are still called phones because that is the primary reason most people carry them around. It may not be what they use it for the most, but it is still the core reason a person owns it.

I don't think it is. I had a dumbphone and upgraded to a smartphone because I wanted a mobile web platform in my pocket. It happened to make my dumbphone unnecessary, so I no longer carry one. I, at least, did not buy a smartphone because I needed a cell phone. I *had* a cell phone already.

Comment: Re:iPad is a luxury? (Score 4, Insightful) 257

by SecurityGuy (#48923945) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

A $700 smart phone is, too. Here in .us, a lot of the price is buried in your 2-year contract, so people see it as a $200 smart phone.

Calling it a phone is also a misnomer. It's a small computer that also makes phone calls. If all you want to do is make phone calls, buy a dumbphone. Having a moderately powerful, always connected computer in my pocket is nice--but admittedly, it's still a luxury.

Comment: Bad guys don't follow rules (Score 1) 232

by SecurityGuy (#48915051) Attached to: White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

This issue is at the core of a lot of misunderstandings about security in general I see. People expect to be able to solve security problems by creating a framework of rules. Sometimes they're societal rules (aka laws), sometimes they're software like writing a client that can only access a server in a particular way, and assuming no one can access your server in a way not supported by your client (hint: other people can write code, too).

Writing rules won't keep people intent on harm from flying drones at things they want to damage. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to figure out how to keep those drones from doing damage EVEN WHEN they aren't following the rules.

A Phalanx-style interceptor with beanbags would probably work, and be comically appropriate for a threat posed by glorified toy helicopters.

Comment: Nobody read the law, huh? (Score 4, Insightful) 322

It says nothing about giving passwords. It says schools have to create and follow a policy, and that they have to investigate claims of bullying. Nowhere in that law does it say that students have to actually cooperate with the investigation. Investigating could be as simple as questioning the involved students. Perhaps reviewing their public profile. Perhaps having the alleged victim show the evidence using the victim's login WITHOUT giving that to anyone.

School districts who claim this law gives them the right to demand account credentials are...well, I'll be polite. They're wrong.

Comment: Re:2-yr code, no devel edu == hacks, healthcare.go (Score 1) 200

Fair enough. My experience of CC teachers was variable. My calculus teacher was atrocious. I had an English lit prof who thought it was reasonable to have students read aloud. I dropped that course in a heartbeat. I had a good biology teacher, and my Anthropology course was excellent. I seriously consider teaching CC myself now and again, mostly because I think I'd like it and, as you say, have some experience I want to share. Sadly, they require a masters in the field you want to teach. I have one, but not in math or comp sci, the areas I'd most enjoy teaching.

The real problem with the whole "Let's teach everyone to code" idea? Not enough coding jobs, even if you did train this many people. How about we train everyone how to fix cars? Then we can all make money fixing everyone else's car! Oh, wait...

Exactly. Thanks. It's even a little worse, because code is infinitely copyable. 1 mechanic can only work on so many cars. Some number of developers wrote iTunes, which I happen to be using now. How many devices can their work be used on? All of them. Given the sorry state of a lot of software today, what we need is not more developers. It's better developers (or managers, or processes, or audits, etc. I get that it's a lot more complicated than just blaming the developer.)

Comment: Re:2-yr code, no devel edu == hacks, healthcare.go (Score 1) 200

Quite likely, but I don't get your point. You illustrate that formal education isn't required to excel. I never said it was. Some amount of learning happens in 2 years of community college (been there, done that). I've never met Carmack, but I suspect what he's learned about software vastly exceeds that. Unless I'm wrong, and he's some sort of idiot savant, you aren't actually disagreeing with me.

Comment: Re:2-yr code, no devel edu == hacks, healthcare.go (Score 3, Insightful) 200

Those who end up on the far end of the bell curve won't be those who stop at a 2 year degree in "coding" at a local community college. The very best developer I know has a masters degree, 25+ years of experience, and STILL spends more time learning.

My objection to things like this are the false belief it instills that all you need to do to learn to be good at this is go to community college for a while, where you'll be taught by other people who aren't good at coding. If they were good, they'd be doing it, not making peanuts teaching community college. The second false belief is that it's a ticket to a high paying job. High pay comes with scarce skills. If you send everyone to community college and they actually do become good at coding, it won't be a high paying job.

We should send everyone to a 4 year school and teach them basic economics so they'd understand things like this. Doctors don't make a lot of money because their jobs are important or it costs a lot to train one. They make a lot of money because when you need one, you'll pay whatever you have to, and because there are a limited number of them. In the ideal world, we'd call that 4 year degree high school. It's terrible that people entering the real world don't understand this stuff, and it's why the US electorate falls for nonsense like this time and again.

Comment: Re:This Again (Score 1) 556

I think you're confusing religion with any sort of formalized way of living your life. One of the themes of the religion I was brought up in was that you sacrifice now, but get your reward in heaven after you die. According to your empirical test, few people would choose that religion. It made me do things I didn't like (never a fan of going to church) and feel guilty for doing things that probably aren't wrong in any objective sense (who cares if I covet your car/house/wife as long as I don't go any farther?) Of course, deviating from the tenets of that religion is frowned upon and sometimes punished. Not because doing those things makes your life better, but because that religion is true (so they say), and therefore the directives are what God tells you to do. End of story. If God exists, and tells you to do something, there really isn't any argument to make.

Other religions act the same way. In some, converting away from them is punishable by death. Again, not because following their religion makes you necessarily happy, but because it's true. God said do it that way, and to kill people who don't.

I suppose I disagree on your main point. The fundamental "sell" of any religion I've been exposed to is that it's actually true. I'd like to optimize my long term happiness. Most religions have a theory on what happens after you die (including atheism, which would just say nothing happens), and most have a theory on how what you do now affects that. I'd think the actual truth of those claims is very important. If I have to be a Christian or be pitched into a lake of fire for all eternity, then surely I'd do that. If I have to be a Muslim, or have to go to hell forever, surely I'd be a Muslim. Only if neither is true would I really be free to just pick whichever makes my life better, or choose none.

Comment: Re:Someone please aware me: (Score 5, Insightful) 303

There was a recent decision that 24/7 camera surveillance of a suspect's house required a warrant even though it was somewhat equivalent to parking a police car in front of the house and watching.

There's an intuitive difference between the fact that a human being can hear you talking on the cell phone if they're nearby, and having a device that listens to every cell phone call AS IF it was a human being standing next to every person on both sides of every conversation within range. Courts are beginning to understand that.

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