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Comment Huh (Score 1) 34 34

"proud to declare that we are at the cusp of a reclaiming our heritage of being connected to each other and connected to the world..."

What, were there modem hookups in the trees before that got wiped out once broadband started to be deployed? I don't remember Sri Lanka ever being the pinnacle of connectivity to the rest of the world...

Comment Re:Yep (Score 2, Interesting) 272 272

No, and there is no expectation of privacy in public places.

But this is about more than just public places.

I have a backyard that's entirely screened from my neighbors with foliage. I don't have anything particularly interesting going on in there, but by the definition of what provides a reasonable expectation of privacy, my backyard is private. You can't see what's back there with just a casual glance from outside my land; you have to use specific means to do it. If there were a drone flying around, looking down at me while I was back there grilling or whatnot, I have to say it would bug me. And the law sides with me on that front, just as it would if I were complaining about someone climbing up a tree to get a peek inside a second-story window of my home.

I do get the angst over this; I think New Zealand is going way, way too far. But let's face it...the kiwis have taken PC and liberalism to an extreme. (Hell, I'm not even a conservative, and I think they're way overboard.) But on the other hand, this seems to be what their populace wants, since they keep voting in people who do things like this. I would say that if we don't like it, we can simply stay out of New Zealand. There are other places to experience pretty much anything New Zealand has to offer, with the single exception of some over-the-top LoTR cosplay done "on location."

Comment Re: They're not going to arrest him! (Score 1) 312 312

100 acres would be a radius of only ~392 yards, and from what I can find the range of an unimpeded 9mm pistol round can be a couple thousand yards*. Obviously the accuracy will be nonexistent at that range, but we're talking about how far a stray shot can travel before hitting the ground. So, unless you've got *really* dense trees, a bullet fired into the woods will potentially cross several neighbours properties as well as your own. I really hope you're using a proper backdrop.

I challenge you to find any real woods where a bullet could fly for the better part of half a mile without a tree getting in the way. Good luck with that :)

Comment Re: They're not going to arrest him! (Score 1) 312 312

If we made "recklessly shooting into the woods" illegal, hunting enthusiasts and the NRA would be up in arms.

Besides which, there's no evidence such a thing happened with the drone - all we can tell from the video is that the drone was firing a pistol in the woods. It could perfectly well have been firing into the side of dirt hill that was off-camera. Maybe even someone's safely designed target shooting range.

I think there's a difference between "shooting into the woods" and "recklessly shooting into the woods."

If I own 100 acres of private land that I have marked as private, and I go into the middle of it and shoot away knowing full well that there's nearly no chance that a bystander will stop the round instead of a hill or tree, that's "shooting into the woods."

If I go into a public space of forest where I don't know who may be around, or where they may be, then that's "recklessly shooting into the woods."

The same logic applies to places where mountain biking is barred during hunting season on certain days...there's a recognition that there will be people with firearms who will likely shoot at targets that move at inhuman speed at the drop of a hat, and so there are rules to limit the risk to people as a result. (I only know of this situation because of recent mountain biking in Pennsylvania, in an area where this holds true for a lot of great trails.)

You're absolutely right, though; there's nothing that indicates (unless the video has GPS metadata) where this happened, in what direction the rounds traveled, or where they might have ended up. And in the absence of probable cause that something was wrong about one of those factors, I wouldn't think he should be charged with reckless use of a firearm. And certainly in the absence of proof of the same, he shouldn't be convicted.

What I see is someone looking at the video, and imagining the potential harm if someone used the same technology in a really bad way. There's a bit of knee-jerking here to go after the guy they can go after instead of the bad guy they can imagine (but who doesn't exist...yet). I think this guy was kind of dumb to post a video like this, even though I think he should have the right to do so without negative consequences.

Comment It all depends. (Score 1) 213 213

I see everyone talking about certifications as though vendor-specific certs are all there is in the world; this is not the case.

Vendor-specific certs have limited usefulness. If you have a ton of them in different areas, they are all up to date, and you have the experience to go with them, then they can be an asset in general. But certs without experience or certs that point to much older versions of software or other products probably hurt more than help. I had certs for CheckPoint, Nokia, ISS, and a number of other products along with an MCSE back in the 90s; I list none of these on my resume. With the exception of the MCSE, they were all the incidental result of training that I got in order to help me do my job, but that training and knowledge is outdated now so it's misleading at best to infer that I'm up to speed on those products by stating the certs on my resume.

But there are also a lot of non-vendor-related certifications, especially in the cybersecurity world. These certs are more like professional certifications in other careers (like a PE, CPA, etc.) in that they require both a base level of experience and continued education in order to obtain and maintain them. The CISSP is the most commonly thought-of one, and the one that is most often called-for; many jobs are off-limits to people who don't hold one. Myself, I feel that getting the cert was nothing but a time-wasting exercise. I learned nothing in the process, gained nothing but a job qualification from it, and don't think it really assessed whether or not I knew anything that was at all useful. But the CISM, on the other hand...that was actually an eye-opener for me. It was very challenging in a manner that really made sense, and I actually had to expand my knowledge to study for it. The tests were sensible, challenging, and relevant to actual understanding of useful concepts and ideas. I really think that it's a hard cert to obtain, but one that does a good job of measuring whether or not someone can manage security from a holistic, program-based perspective in an effective manner. And that, in turn, makes me think that ISACA's other certs (like the CISA) are probably highly credible as well.

Comment Re:Oh look (Score 2) 213 213

Listen, kiddo, Slashdot is a Dice Holdings property and you don't expect it to publish their owners' content?

One day I'll want to visit your fantasy world, but in this one Slashdot wouldn't have been sold to Dice if it was profitable.

Actually, a lack of profitability isn't what causes a company to get bought. Quite the opposite; companies that have few tangible assets and are not profitable almost never get bought. What causes a company to get acquired is profitability along with growth or synergy potential (don't blame me for using that phrase; it's what gets bandied about) as well as a cost of acquisition that makes it seem worthwhile. So in this case, I would think the synergy potential was the main factor (being able to stump for Dice's other operations or their worldview in general) along with a reasonable cost of purchase. Nobody wants to buy a failing business unless they want some specific asset that they own, or the sum of their tangible (aka "resellable") assets is worth more than the cost of buying the whole company in the first place.

Comment Re:With stock tires on my local road? (Score 1) 171 171

Somehow I get the feeling that this $10K upgrade will just get me a bit more smoke and rubber left on the road. Just how was this tested? What am I likely to really achieve on a local highway and with stock tires (presumably while steering clear of cops and any other nearby traffic)?


This is an upgrade to a six-figure car that brings its 0-60 speed from 3.2 to 2.8 seconds...and you're asking practical questions about how this would play out under normal driving conditions???

Have you ever DRIVEN on real roads with real traffic before? Aside from a toll booth, I am having a very hard time imagining a place where you would be at a dead stop and go right up to 60 mph at full force with no hesitation, no deceleration or any other such interruption along the way. And a tool booth is the last place where you should do such a thing, since there are so many other cars merging and mixing (especially if it's one of those "go left for this way, go right for that way" situations right afterwards) that you're begging for an accident by doing this.

The 0-60 metric is's a metric. It's imperfect, it's subject to specific conditions, sure...but the fact is that if the car manages to accomplish it, it can do it. And at the end of the day even though the real-world conditions may not be the same as the test conditions, you can say with a lot of reliability that the lower the number the better the car will accelerate.

Comment Re: Like the nazi used to say (Score 1) 431 431

Yes, you must BUY things. None of that reuse-crap.

And who pays for his medical injuries if he gets injured while trespassing in an abandoned building that may well be structurally unsound or otherwise hazardous? There's typically a fence around such structures for a reason. One can laugh at the absurdity of the SWAT team getting involved over chemistry experiments without condoning the previous trespass. And, come to think of it, the SWAT team/bomb squad would never have gotten involved if he had procured his mercury legally.....

I would say, the same people that benefit from his learning and exploration; this kid sounds intrepid and bright, and it only helps society if he's able to utilize his intellectual curiosity and intelligence. Saying "oh, but what if..." isn't really all that helpful. The exact same argument could be used to condemn science labs involving chemicals, physics, electricity...and so on. Life is not without risk, but I would say that the medical bills of a minor injury while in an abandoned building would be nominal compared to the lifetime contributions of a skilled chemical engineer.

Also, to say that SWAT would not have been called because of a kid buying mercury switches and chemicals is ludicrous...I would argue that going through normal supply chains for such items would tend to set off a few flags of their own, and would likely have precipitated the overreaction just as quickly and easily.

Comment Old-School vs Old-School (Score 1) 149 149

So, as far as the old-school pitmasters go, look at it like this:

Let's say someone wanted to go through engineering school using software that would do all kinds of mathematical equations for them, without them having to learn the underlying math and other discrete skills that the software automates for them. You'd frown upon that, right?

That's kind of how the old-school pitmasters look at rigs like this. It has a purpose, and it has value...but you won't get any respect for using one.

Comment Typical Slashdot... (Score 0) 97 97

They're omitting a really, really important point here in the OP..they barely hint at it in the title, but that's it. The claim isn't against the music itself; it's against a recording of a specific performance of it. That performance is, actually, copyrightable.

Here's another way to look at it. Let's say someone uses the song "Dear Prudence," off the album by the Beatles, in a movie. They owe royalties to the owner of the library that holds the rights to that. But let's say they use "Dear Prudence," the cover done by Siouxie and the Banshees...essentially the same song, but a different performance by a different artist. They would then owe royalties to a different owner, even though the two recordings (while slightly different in instrumental arrangement) are from the same original song written by the same person.

In this case, Rumblefish isn't saying "every time someone plays 'America the Beautiful' we deserve to get paid." Rumblefish is saying "The US Navy Band pays us to hold and manage the licensing to their performance of that song. When someone uses that recording for commercial purposes, we deserve to get paid." And they're right.

Comment Re:This makes complete sense (Score 1) 44 44

On the plus side, unless WWIII is breaking out(in which case the personnel getting burned out is likely to be a trickier problem; but also one you'd encounter regardless of spare parts), you can probably swap out crew more easily than you can parts(especially the larger ones, or the more sensitive ones that you can't just put in checked baggage); unless the ship is in the midst of active hostility, in which case the crew would be pretty dumb to sabotage equipment that increases their odds of making it home alive.

With humans, you have some uncertainty(accidents, unusual medical issues, the occasional psych freakout or disciplinary problem); but the approximate rate at which you need to rotate people to keep them from burning out is comparatively predictable. With spare parts, there are some you know you'll need; but an impractically bulky number of ones you might need; but can't say for sure about. Much easier to ferry out a fresh batch of crew every X months than it is to guess, sufficiently far in advance, what parts to put on the next supply boat.

You think that crew are the expendable element on a ship? Wow...where did you get your expertise in military operations...Jerry Bruckheimer movies?

The military throws tremendous amounts of materiel and money at preservation of personnel, because personnel are always the choke point. It's always been that way, too...back in WW2, they could build fighters like nobody's business, but training pilots took far longer and cost much more. Expertise, experience, training, team acceptance...these are all hard-won things that cannot be rushed and for which no shortcuts have been found. Even without 3D printing, it takes a lot longer to produce a seaman or an ensign than it does to create a replacement part. (And I'm hoping nobody catches on to the phonetics of "how long it takes to produce a seaman in the navy")

Comment Re:Johnny can't get a job (Score 5, Insightful) 133 133

Have you actually priced these guys? My ex-wife used them back in 2001-2003 to finish up a BSN degree, and paid an obscene amount of cash each month to do it. They also adopted that neat little trick the state colleges have of requiring 'bridge classes' and of discounting certain courses taken (in favor of pricier ones they provide), so sometimes you're taking superfluous classes and in some cases re-taking classes you'd already taken.

One thing I do wonder about though... most of the oft-touted 'free' community college courses are more towards getting an Associates' degree, whereas Phoenix' big advertising push is for folks who want to convert their 2-year degree into a 4-year one, or to convert a Bachelors' into a Masters'.

Personally, I think their biggest competition is the recent growth of small state-accredited colleges going online, expanding their presence, and pushing to provide the same thing Phoenix does. Many of these colleges have provided this sort of thing remotely (albeit not online, but by 'traveling prof') to military members for decades, but have recently decided to get a piece of the civilian market now.

The thing is, what matters isn't the final bill. What matters, in recent years, has been the apparent short-term affordability of such institutions.

Two things have been happening in higher education in the last 15 years. One, a recession drove many people out of the work force, and a lot of those people instead turned to higher education while they were idling as a way to improve their marketability and also kind of hit the 'pause' button on working until things improved. And two, most of those people did it by taking on student debt. For-profit schools flourished during this time, because they understood that the name of the game to growing their enrollments was at least as much about how to finance the education as it was about the nature of the education itself.

But now, two other things are happening that counteract each of those effects. One, the job market is growing steadily, and even more importantly, people are returning to the work force. That's how it's possible for more and more net job creation to take place, and yet for unemployment (the number of people *looking for work* who are unemployed) to rise at the same time. And two, everyone has suddenly caught on to the fact that people are racking up massive amounts of debt to finance these classes, without really gaining all that much in the way of job opportunity. So the drive towards education using this model fades, and a counterforce starts pushing away from it.

Really, this was's almost like there was a "higher education bubble" that is bursting as we watch. Instead of it being funded by subprime mortgages and shady income verification, it has been funded by aggressive student loan processes and overstated promises by many institutions.

It is not best to swap horses while crossing the river. -- Abraham Lincoln