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Comment: Should have outsourced to Disney (Score 4, Insightful) 88

by ShaunC (#49586759) Attached to: White House Outsources K-12 CS Education To Infosys Charity

If this is such a pressing issue, they need to start turning some of the Disney stars into developers (whoops, sorry, I mean "coders," that's the trending buzz word).

All these people should have their own prime time shows about the exciting life of a software developer. The basics of CLIs and text editors on multiple operating systems. How to use version control. How to write unit tests and pass continuous integration. How to help QA your own dog food. How to diplomatically interface with folks in other departments. How to write documentation. How to triage trouble tickets. How to train your own replacement.

Oh, wait! None of that's sexy. Kids wouldn't tune in to shows like that because it isn't what most of them want to do, any more than most kids wanted to do in decades past. The ones who really are interested in development will pursue this path on their own, as many of us did. We don't and won't have any lack of competent workers, because some percentage of us will always be nerds who love this stuff. We do have a surplus of companies who want to save every last penny by farming jobs out to H-1Bs, and we do have a corresponding surplus of unemployed competent Americans.

We're at a point where entry-level tech support jobs are routinely requiring a bachelor's degree or foreign equivalent, junior analyst jobs are requiring an MBA or foreign equivalent, etc. Companies are quick to complain that there are no qualified local workers, because they can't find an American with a four-year degree who knows Linux + Solaris + J2EE + Servlets + IIS + SAP + Oracle + 10 years with Sharepoint, and is willing to work 70 hours a week for $35,000 per year. Meanwhile they have a guy from Bangalore whose resume claims he does precisely all of that, and maybe they won't check out all of his qualifications if he's willing to share a room at Extended Stay America with 5 of his peers for a year or two, wink wink nod nod.

The market is already saturated, and will be for some years to come. Where's the federal push to create more tradesmen (plumbers, electricians, mechanics, carpenters)? To create more lawyers, or accountants, or any other career path? I'm growing weary of this idea that every child in America must be a developer^Wcoder. It serves no purpose but to suppress salaries across the board and even further encourage the H-1B loophole.

Comment: Re: Why do they not have the paper as backup? (Score 1) 263

by ShaunC (#49577743) Attached to: Crashing iPad App Grounds Dozens of American Airline Flights

I don't buy this at all, it isn't like the airlines calculate fuel so well that they are taking into account the weight of a single or likely even the entire jar of olives.

It wasn't the weight of the olives, it was the scale and sheer cost. One olive seems like a pittance, inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. But when you fly many thousands of flights with several pax being served salads on each flight (this was the 80s after all) that one olive per salad turns into $100,000. In the 80s, that paid a captain for a year. Now it would probably pay two, but I digress.

Furthermore, the airline doesn't have any idea how much the plane is going to weight prior to boarding so I don't think you can say they are saving any amount of fuel by taking 35lbs of paper charts off the plane, what if everyone on the flight just had a big meal prior to boarding on a 747 flight that could be 500 - 1000 lbs of additional weight in undigested food.

You're intentionally distracting from the point. Passenger weight will fluctuate whether paper manuals are on board or not. The weight of the POH and other documents is a known quantity; the airline does know, at least in approximation, how much the dead-tree manuals and a big book of Jepp charts weigh. Eliminate that weight and you will see savings through the fleet. Passenger weight is going to vary whether you're going with paper manuals, AA's app, Foreflight, or some guy who thinks God is his F/O.

Comment: Re: Why do they not have the paper as backup? (Score 2) 263

by ShaunC (#49577227) Attached to: Crashing iPad App Grounds Dozens of American Airline Flights

You have to consider scale. In the 1980s, American saved $100,000 a year by removing one olive from each salad they served on their flights. One olive is no big deal, but across their entire operation, the savings added up.

American says they operate 6,700 flights per day or around 2.5 million per year. If they remove 40 lbs of dead tree manuals from each flight, that's 100 million pounds of cargo they aren't paying to carry around every year.

Comment: "Offenders" (Score 1) 234

by ShaunC (#49485651) Attached to: Can Online Reporting System Help Prevent Sexual Assaults On Campus?

Studies have shown that as many as 90 percent of campus rapes are committed by repeat offenders.

Do those studies take into account so-called victims who make multiple false reports of rape and sexual assault? Do those studies take into account imaginary offenders? Do those studies tally up "offenders" like "Haven Monahan" who exist only in the mind of their demented accusers?

But some argue that having the ability to report someone with just the click of a button may not be a good thing.

You're damned right. I understand that rapes and sexual assaults do take place, but we've seen a number of verified false reports over the past year. It's bad enough that a woman can file a false police report and ruin someone's reputation or even send him to jail; the ability to do it at the click of a button is simply absurd.

Comment: Re:A first: We should follow Germany's lead (Score 5, Informative) 700

by ShaunC (#49478875) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

Yes, pretty funny story.

A local church that has been hosting naked paint parties and slumber-party Sundays with the "sexiest ladies on the beach" will now have to pay taxes on the property as officers investigate the church's practices, authorities said Tuesday. [...] Sheriff Frank McKeithen said it is a "blatant slap in the face" to taxpayers and law enforcement. "They're trying to get around the laws, and they're using the church to get there," McKeithen said.

On the plus side, if that's enough justification to strip this church of its tax-exempt status, maybe it'll work on the scienos, too.

Comment: Re:Free advertising (Score 2) 218

by ShaunC (#49471495) Attached to: Legislation Would Force Radio Stations To Pay Royalties

It's much more efficient now. Everybody is owned by the same megacorps so there doesn't have to be any "corruption" to make sure only your artists get airtime.

Considering that they specifically mentioned IHeartRadio, which is what ClearChannel has become, I'm certain that you're correct to an extent. There's still corruption, but it's been redirected. These days instead of labels paying the stations, the labels are paying politicians. And ClearChannel's campaign contributions have apparently dwindled to the point where the music industry is outdoing them. I figure all this proposed legislation will do is cause ClearChannel, or IHeart, or whatever they call themselves these days (funny they change their name around, sort of like Gator/Claria or Blackwater/Xe/Academi) to send more sacks of cash. The politicians will benefit and everyone else will get fucked.

Comment: Free advertising (Score 5, Interesting) 218

by ShaunC (#49467863) Attached to: Legislation Would Force Radio Stations To Pay Royalties

For decades, AM/FM radio has used whatever music it wants without paying a cent to the musicians, vocalists, and labels that created it.

That's because radio is free advertising for the artists. Now they want the free advertising and to get paid for it, too? In decades past, the labels would bribe radio station PD's to get their music played; I wonder if they'd rather return to that model where it costs them money (and coke, and cars, and plane tickets) to get their artists some airtime?

Speaking of payola, it should come as no surprise that "TV/Movies/Music" are among the top 3 industries donating money to both Mr. Nadler and Ms. Blackburn.

Comment: Re:used devastatingly already (Score 2) 171

by ShaunC (#49465861) Attached to: Windows Remains Vulnerable To Serious 18-Year-Old SMB Security Flaw

I hadn't heard that for all the North Korea rabble-rousing and misdirection. Were there ever any real postmortem details? I remember seeing plenty of speculation, but none mentioning this attack; if the official report from Mandiant ever came out, it didn't cross my radar.

+ - Chinese Government to Put 3D Printers in All 400,000 Elementary Schools-> 1

Submitted by InfiniteZero
InfiniteZero writes: Education is probably one of the areas that will benefit the most from 3D printers in the long run. The problem though is getting the machines into the schools in the first place. The Chinese government has a new policy to install a 3D printer in each of its approximately 400,000 elementary schools over the next two years.
Link to Original Source

+ - Solaris 11.3 Onwards Will Feature OpenBSD's PF Packet Filter ->

Submitted by writes: In his most recent article, Solaris Admins: For A Glimpse Of Your Networking Future, Install OpenBSD, Peter Hansteen points to leaked information (via a patch to a mailing list) that Oracle's Solaris from version 11.3 (expected this year) onwards is joining the ranks of OSes using the OpenBSD PF firewall. From version 12 onwards, PF will be the only packet filter, replacing the legacy IPF system. Which was the software PF was designed to replace, due to performance and rather nasty licensing reasons.
Link to Original Source

+ - Doctors and others reject UK 'Let's protect the children' moral panic->

Submitted by Bruce66423
Bruce66423 writes: The NSPCC, a large child protection charity in the UK, recently produced a report with the headline claim that 10% of 12-13 year olds reported themselves to be addicted to pornography. This prompted a Conservative Party pledge to block internet access to such material. This article is a letter challenging the moral panic and its scientific basis, going as far as to suggest that greater porn use is correlated with reduced sexual violence!
Link to Original Source

+ - ESA Says Preserving Gaming's Past Is Illegal Because It's "Hacking"

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A major game industry trade group is fighting back against a proposed DMCA exemption that seeks to give gamers the right to modify games with abandoned online servers in order to restore online gameplay and functionality. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), with support from the Motion Picture Association of America and Recording Industry Association of America, argues that the proposed exemption would amount to 'enabling—and indeed encouraging—the play of pirated games and the unlawful reproduction and distribution of infringing content.' The argument centers on a proposed exemption to the DMCA's DRM circumvention rules for games whose publishers have abandoned the online servers that represented the only official way to access online gameplay or authentication services. Last November, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) formally requested that users of such games be legally allowed to modify software and hardware to get around those dormant authentication server checks or to restore online gameplay through third-party servers. In a 71-page brief, though, the ESA says that these kinds of workarounds can't be separated out from the wider piracy-prevention functions that the DMCA protects against. To add third-party server support to a console game, for instance, the ESA argues that a user has to first get around access controls built into the software and the hardware itself to modify the code. 'Consequently, the proposed exemption would, in effect, eviscerate virtually all forms of access protection used to prevent video game piracy.'

Comment: Re:Hand slap, LOL. (Score 2) 92

by ShaunC (#49433681) Attached to: AT&T Call Centers Sold Mobile Customer Information To Criminals

When a company says that they'll protect your data, can they really speak for every one of the employees or contractors they hire?

Especially when they offshore so much of their workforce in order to pay shit wages. Some guy sitting in a boiler room in Colombia has very little connection to his parent company and is outside the jurisdiction of the US. I'd say that gives him more incentive to steal and sell corporate data, or at least less incentive not to, than a happy US-based employee.

Comment: Re:Traceability? (Score 1) 50

by ShaunC (#49431065) Attached to: Anonabox Recalls Hundreds of Insecure 'Privacy' Routers

I use the free tracking service and it places my laptop within 300ft no matter how I try to hide it. HOW?

I'm pretty sure Prey uses a database of known wifi networks and their locations. For example, the Google Maps cars don't just take pictures, they also record a fingerprint of every 802.11 network they encounter; SSID, coordinates, the router's MAC address. There are public crowdsourced databases that do this, too. If you power up your computer and you're in range of a wireless network that's in one of these databases, Prey will locate you that way.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter