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Comment: Re:All the more reason (Score 3, Insightful) 146

by msobkow (#49155291) Attached to: Google Taking Over New TLDs

The new TLDs are a cash grab and nothing more. Not only for ICANN, but for every company that manages to buy up a gTLD.

Basically, the people buying up these gTLDs are hoping to cash in on companies wanting to register .searchterm domains. Which, in my books, is nonsense. I don't trust any of these new domains to be anything but spam traps and phishing expeditions. Given the options in search results, I would always go to the .com, .org, or .net address over a gTLD.

Comment: Pen/stylus tablets? (Score 1) 117

by msobkow (#49155237) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Whiteboard Substitutes For Distributed Teams?

I'd think using pen/stylus tablets to scribble diagrams and then emailing or messaging those amongst the team members would be about as good as you can get, unless you can find a software package that would let the people share a drawing space using individual tablets. I've long wanted to get one of the Samsung tablets just for that purpose.

Comment: Re:He will only act alone (Score 3, Interesting) 80

by Alwin Henseler (#49154001) Attached to: NSA Spying Wins Another Rubber Stamp

But when he's using the NSA to spy on you, he blames Congress.

"using the NSA" ?!?

I doubt anyone is "using" the NSA @ this point. Other than as a source of info - for those who have access.

More like the NSA is an 'entity' that operates on its own. With money flowing in from a variety of sources, some government, some non-government, some legit, some non-legit. Doing whatever it's doing without much oversight, possibly continuing to do some things even if declared illegal by a court of law.

I assume there's some people in that organisation that take orders from the US president directly, other employees may get note of what the US president wants & to some degree try to make that happen. But overall? A big-ass train that keeps on steaming ahead in whatever direction(s) it's going.

Of course the proper response would be to cut funding, bring people doing illegal things to justice, and strengthen oversight until the NSA does answer to those authorities it's supposed to take orders from. Fat chance that's going to happen in a climate where the "War on terrorists! War on drugs! Think of the children!" fire is burning strong. :-(

Comment: What *is* their market? (Score 3, Insightful) 52

by msobkow (#49152793) Attached to: BlackPhone, In Wake of Gemalto Fallout, Receives $50 Million In Funding

Given that iOS and Android can and do encrypt user data now, and that web device communications encryption is largely a question of whether a site uses SSL/HTTPS, what is the distinguishing feature of these phones that would make them marketable?

To me it looks like pure marketing hype, not a real benefit compared to other devices now that they've started using encryption.

Comment: The black box is a trap (Score 1) 149

by msobkow (#49151699) Attached to: Invented-Here Syndrome

The problem with black-box programming is that it's a trap. Far more often than anyone cares to admit, the black box implements functionality in an unreliable or inefficient manner. When you're dealing with code that you wrote yourself, you can correct that behaviour of the "grey" box. But with a third-party black box, all you can do is file a bug report and hope that someone can not only replicate the problem, but that they'll give it high enough priority to fix it before you retire or your project is cancelled.

The worst culprit for black box problems are frameworks of all kinds. Some say you're not a "real programmer" until you've written your own framework. I firmly believe that's true, because what is a reusable code base on a large project except a custom framework?

The difference between a custom framework and an off-the-shelf one is that your custom framework is designed and coded with your project in mind, to service the bulk of your project's needs while maintaining enough flexibility to deal with the exceptional cases of your project. A third party black box framework is pretty much never designed that way. It was designed to serve the needs of someone else's conceptual or real project, then tweaked and adapted to serve needs it wasn't originally designed for, and finally unleashed on an unsuspecting world as "the next big thing."

A pox upon frameworks, I say. Design a solid object model, code to it, use it, and get over the fact that you're going to have to write some code.

At least if you wrote the code, you can fix it. Without worrying about whether some upstream integrator will deign to consider your "fix" worthy of integration to the mainstream code. Without having to wait for someone else to replicate, analyze, prioritize, schedule, implement, and test a fix for your problem.

Realistically, any half decent custom framework isn't going to be more than 10% of your total code base anyhow. "Framework" is just a fancy term for what was called for decades "application library."

Comment: Was it ever alive? (Score 1) 156

by msobkow (#49151621) Attached to: Can the Guitar Games Market Be Resurrected?

I knew a lot of people who had the controllers for those types of games over the years, which they'd either bought along with their consoles in bundles, or been given by relatives. But not once in my life did I ever see anyone actually play games like "Guitar Hero." Not once.

Yet I knew over a dozen people who had the controllers.

I wonder what percentage of those overpriced components sat gathering dust, never to be used after the novelty wore off in the first couple of weeks?

Comment: The *first* thing I uninstall is McAfee (Score 2) 200

by msobkow (#49150231) Attached to: Lenovo Saying Goodbye To Bloatware

The first thing I uninstall is McAfee. That piece of crap wedges in a VB script interpreter that breaks many of the software installers I have to put on my machines to make them useful. THE worst anti-virus product ever.

It also claims that SAP/Sybase ASE is infected, and deletes critical files from the install.

Comment: "Mr. Spock" is everywhere today (Score 3, Insightful) 394

by msobkow (#49149645) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

I find it gratifying to see that Mr. Nimoy is being remembered on every website and feed that I've visited today. And not merely remembered, but remembered by more people than I've ever seen pay tribute at the same time. Even the passing of Robin Williams wasn't marked with as many posts and comments.

RIP, Leonard.

Comment: Sickening (Score 1) 184

by msobkow (#49145673) Attached to: Facebook Puts Users On Suicide Watch

It's absolutely sickening how many trolls have responded to this topic with comments about people "just wanting attention" or the world being better off without them, and other such tripe.

The absolute cruelty and judgementalism of people who've never dealt with chronic depression or mental illness is just shameful.

This is the "intelligent" commentary of slashdot nowadays?

Man has this place ever gone down hill. How I long for the days of harmless "trolls" posting comments about Natalie Portman and hot grits, which did nothing more than annoy instead of being outright mean, spiteful, and hurtful.

Comment: Re: Cost savings (Score 1) 103

by JanneM (#49144065) Attached to: Argonne National Laboratory Shuts Down Online Ask a Scientist Program

It is ridiculous of course. It is also a common attitude among PI's toward their postdocs and students, especially in high-profile, high-pressure labs.

This letter from a PI to a worker made the rounds a few years ago. The PI claimed later it was a joke. It doesn't read like a joke, and the exact same attidude is not uncommon at all:

http://www.chemistry-blog.com/...

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.

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