Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re:Multiple multi-million dollar satellites. (Score 5, Funny) 286 286

Funnily enough at the satellite company I worked for that one time, one of the older guys there mentioned how he almost lost a satellite once by logging in to his own account and issuing a maneuver command to the satellite. Problem was the satellite was expecting times in GMT and got them in MST. Took them days to get it oriented correctly again.

Now the programmers in the audience could probably think of like 10 different specific things that could be coded into the system to prevent that from happening, but this company didn't. Which really isn't too surprising. I asked one of the devs on the ground systems team if the ground systems was using GMT or UTC. His answer was "What's the difference?" I was able to infer from his answer that it was most likely GMT, and that did appear to be the case. Somewhere deep in the bowels of the system there was presumably some piece of code written by an Indian contractor with a math degree adjusting times for leap seconds, but it wasn't in any code that anyone knew about.

The early history of that company read like a Monty Python sketch. The first satellite exploded on the launch pad. The second satellite fell over and then exploded. The third satellite burned down, fell over, exploded and then sank into the swamp. The forth satellite got into orbit and was promptly bricked by sending the wrong version of Windows(!) to it. To be fair they only had to do that because they launched it with the wrong version of Windows(!!) in the first place. One would think that ANY version of Windows would be the wrong version of Windows to shoot into space, but that's why you're not the head of a billion dollar satellite company.

Comment: Crashed the Uni Mainframe Once (Score 1) 286 286

Was curious what an apparently undocumented feature on the login page did. Turns out what it did was crash the mainframe. Go figure. You'd think they'd take that shit off the login page, but apparently no one had ever been so curious as to explore it before. Which says a lot about that uni, now that I think about it. Also, once trash talked a uni in a story on a news blag website. Yeah, those were the days...

Mostly I make my career out of fixing other people's tech mistakes. Which is not something that uni taught me how to do. Man I'm glad I got out of that place before I ran up any significant student debt. Did I mention I trash talked a uni on a news blag website?

Comment: Re:useful? (Score 1) 120 120

Well, they'll be useful when I decide to start jumping off perfectly good cliffs. If I ever get sick of IT, I could make a better-than-average living packing parachutes or possibly even flying a jump plane. I'd need to go get a pilot's license and a commercial rating for the latter, but demand definitely exceeds supply for skydiving pilots. Just because the majority of people never picks up a skill (Like lockpicking, contact juggling, parquor, etc) doesn't mean those skills aren't useful. They just require some creativity to use to their full potential.

More to the point, the skills I've picked up skydiving are not ones that are going to go away at any point in my life. Even if I quit the sport, I'd still be able to hop into the wind tunnel at any point and fly. Contrast that with the ability to, let's say, run Molten Core. Anyone in a guild who did that during vanilla WoW spent way more time learning how to do that than I did skydiving. Keep in mind that my actual freefall time at the time I got my A license was less than an hour. And that's with wind tunnel time. The hypothetical guild probably spent several times that much time wiping on trash to get to the first boss. Three years later, I'm still building on my skydiving skills. Three years later, the hypothetical guild's shiny purple crap has been obsolete for three expansions and if anyone runs Molten Core anymore, it's 1 or 2 people going for some vanity drop. That's a significantly less rewarding experience, and I know that first-hand.

Comment: Re:Does this concern anyone else? (Score 1) 120 120

Heh, yeah. I took up skydiving in 2012 and the progression does feel very much like a video game. Can't advance until you demonstrate proficiency in the current training level yadda yadda. I'm building useful skills, actually have a social life now and am in much better shape than I was before. And my accomplishments are actually meaningful to me. Down sides are it's a pretty expensive hobby and has a higher than average chance of killing me. I'm pretty conservative under canopy, though.

I'm still pretty interested in the VR headset technology. Seems like the Microsoft Holo Lens is what the wearable computing guys really needed for augmented reality a decade and a half or so ago. And I'm looking forward to being able to take an audience along for a jump with a 3D camera. It'll really be much more intense than just watching it on a flat screen on YouTube. Even that's a pretty amazing technology, though. For around $400 someone can give you a window into a world that most people will never see. And they want to see it. Pretty much everyone I talk to about it says skydiving's on their bucket list, but only a tiny percentage of them will ever do so much as a tandem jump.

Comment: Re:Not Exactly.... (Score 2) 479 479

...when you connect to a new network, there's a "share with my contacts" checkbox that you have to turn ON for this network to be shared.

If true, this would be a departure from the Windows Phone 8.1 OEM requirements, which requires OEMs to fully enable this, "killer feature:" https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-...

Comment: Re:Bad Summary, Only new part is the sharing optio (Score 5, Interesting) 479 479

First, we're only talking Windows 10 PHONE


First: This is in Windows 10 desktop, as detailed here, complete with screenshots: http://www.howtogeek.com/21970...

Second: Even if this were only confined to Windows Phone 10, it would still be monumentally stupid.

Comment: Re:Ah That's Good Shit (Score 1) 66 66

Probably so, a lot of the 90's are kind of a blur now for reasons. Also, the company I was working for at the time was notoriously cheap with IT costs. They were also the only company I ever worked for that allowed smoking in the office. Around computers. That's smart. The two old guys who ran the joint both died of lung cancer a couple years after I stopped working there. So... yeah.

Comment: Re:third solution the MS doesn't want to mention (Score 3, Insightful) 479 479


There is no provision in this "killer feature" that establishes whether the person doing the sharing is the network administrator, i.e. the person who grants authorization to use their network. So if you share your WAP credentials with a friend, and that friend uses Windows 10 with Wi-Fi Sense enabled, than that friend has just compromised your WAP.

Comment: Re:No (Score 5, Informative) 479 479

ahhhh no, for networks you have SELECTED to share it can do it. [ ... ]


Wi-Fi Sense's default settings are to share everything, all the time. Indeed, Microsoft's rules for shipping Windows Phone 8.1 requires OEMs to turn this "killer feature" fully on. Expecting users to have the presence of mind to turn this off is willfully disingenuous.

Comment: Re:UO Not Just a Fighting MMO (Score 1) 75 75

I had to punch an AWFUL lot of deer to progress, back in the day. That was before Trammel or any of EA's WoW-Style gear grind nonsense. I did manage to get a mage to GM mage/GM Scribe and was at different times exalted and notorious. I probably still have a couple of shots around somewhere of the ol' guy. Made bank selling filled spellbooks, recall scrolls and rune bags to people. I had runes to damn near everywhere. That was another thing that was pretty unique to UO -- you could make a rune to damn near anywhere. And despite this, the world still felt HUGE!

+ - Windows 10 to Share WiFi Credentials by Default?

ewhac writes: Even those of us who reflexively (and correctly) bash Microsoft every chance we get are having trouble wrapping our heads around this one. It seems that the latest build of Windows 10 has a new feature called Wi-Fi Sense which, by default, will share your WiFi connection profiles and credentials with all your Facebook friends, and Skype and Outlook.com contacts.

Wi-Fi Sense is apparently a feature that first appeared on Windows Phone 8.1, and is described by Managing Editor Sam Sabri in this Windows Central article from last year — without irony or sarcasm — as a, "killer feature." The apparent use case for this "killer feature" is to more conveniently share the connection credentials to your own WAP with your friends. If, however, you would prefer your WAP's info to not be shared, you have but to append the string "_optout" to your SSID (no solution is provided for people whose SSIDs are already near the 32-character limit). The WinPhone version of Wi-Fi Sense reportedly does not display the WAP's password to recipients but, since recipients can connect, the password is (probably) stored using a symmetric cipher and, thus, can be easily extracted. Wi-Fi Sense will also automagically click through any ToS page that typically appears on public WiFi access points (thus destroying any remaining illusion of meaningful assent to such so-called contracts).

Wi-Fi Sense can apparently be turned off completely, but its default state appears to be enabled and sharing everything. It is unclear how much, if any, of this "killer feature" will be in the final release of Windows 10.

"Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come." --Matt Groening