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Comment: Re:How does Microsoft test with USERS? (Score 4, Informative) 341

by ljw1004 (#48906937) Attached to: Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

I can't imagine that Microsoft's own developers are running their own development systems on Windows 8.1 - I wouldn't be surprised if it were a dirty secret within Microsoft that application development takes place on Win7 (and maybe WinXP)

I'm a Microsoft developer. I and most of my colleagues develop on Win8.1. I don't know why your imagination is failing you.

My team does much of our work on VMs running recent builds of VS, and those VMs typically run Win8.1 -- presumably because it has a lower memory footprint than Win7.

As an engineer who actually uses win8.1 for my daily work, the only main UI difference with Win7 is the start screen, and that has negligible impact because I launch apps either by clicking on the taskbar or by pressing Win and then typing by keyboard the name of the app. Exactly the same workflow and same number of keystrokes as before.

Comment: Re:Terrible names (Score 2) 341

by ljw1004 (#48906157) Attached to: Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

Well the Charms bar is apparently dead so it no longer matters that its name is terrible.

Apple already came out with "Continuity". So Microsoft's "Continuum" sounds pretty similar. You might just have to knuckle down and live with a new term for seamless transitions between phone+tablet and laptop+desktop devices. Of all the terms they could have chosen, "Continu*" don't seem too bad.

Comment: Re:What's the problem? (Score 1) 142

by westlake (#48904823) Attached to: Secret Service Investigating Small Drone On White House Grounds

What's the harm in a drone?

That depends on the payload.

Military grade C-4 is commonly packaged as the M112 demolition block. The demolition charge M112 is a rectangular block of Composition C-4 approximately 2 inches by 1.5 inches and 11 inches long, weighing 1.25 lb (0.57 kg.)

C-4 (explosive)

Recipes for homemade C4 can be found on most any Doomsday Prepper site.

How to make C4 with RDX Explosives

Comment: It's nonsense all right, I'll grant you that. (Score 2) 51

by westlake (#48901639) Attached to: A Call That Made History, 100 Years Ago Today

On May 22, 1886 .. Zenas F. Wilber, a former Washington patent examiner, swore in an affidavit that he'd been bribed by an attorney for Alexander Graham Bell to award Bell the patent for the telephone over a rival inventor, Elisha Gray, who'd filed a patent document on the same day as Bell in 1876.

But read on...

His October 21, 1885 affidavit directly contradicts this story and Wilber claims it was ''given at the request of the Bell company by Mr. Swan, of its counsel'' and he was ''duped to sign it'' while drunk and depressed. However, Wilber's April 8, 1886, affidavit was also sworn to and signed before Thomas W. Swan. These conflicting affidavits discredited Wilber.

Elisha Gray and Alexander Bell telephone controversy

There were 600 lawsuits over Bell's patent, none successful, and a bad smell about the business from the start.

Others also laid claim to inventing versions of the telephone, including a Mr. Rogers, manager of the Pan-Electric Telephone Company. Rogers distributed his company's stock to members of Congress, including Senator Garland, (soon to become Attorney General) in the unstated hope of favorable treatment. If the Bell patent were to be invalidated, the Rogers patent and the Pan-Electric stock could become very valuable.

On This Day - February 13, 1886

Comment: Re:Where Does He Stand On the Issues? (Score 1) 119

by ljw1004 (#48899855) Attached to: Fark's Drew Curtis Running For Governor of Kentucky

So, you'd be OK with him supporting mandatory labeling on all foods that contain DNA? Because 80% of the population says they support their government helping them out with that. I'd never support a politician who says he'll do what the majority say they want. We don't need mob rule directly, or by proxy, either.

Correction: 80% of people said they agreed with the government's food labelling policy on food including DNA.

That's literally the exact opposite of what you said. That's the majority following the lead of the government.

Comment: Re:People need advice more than information (Score 2) 349

by ljw1004 (#48899543) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

Is non-GMO "much better", in spite of the fact that extensive research hasn't turned up proof of *any* bad effects, and can provide effective nutritional advantages in many cases?

Indeed. The strongest nutritional advantage seems to be "Monsanto's executives and stockholders are able to eat much finer food now."

Comment: Re:Jesus, we're fucked. (Score 1) 349

by ljw1004 (#48898987) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

80%?! 80% of Americans are unfamiliar with one of, if not *the* most fundamental concepts of biology?

I support mandatory labels on *all* food products. Therefore I support mandatory labels on food containing DNA, and I've have ticked the "yes" box on this questionnaire too.

But to be pedantic the question actually asked "Do you agree with the government's policy to require mandatory labels on food containing DNA". If you had to answer yes or no to this nonsense question (since there is no such policy) I'd assume the questionnaire, like so many others, was badly written and was referring to an actual government policy on something useful.

Comment: Re:Even in Chrome it doesn't fucking work (Score 1) 190

by Jesus_666 (#48896227) Attached to: WhatsApp vs. WhatsApp Plus Fight Gets Ugly For Users

What device would you be carrying with which you expect to use a web application over Wi-Fi? Or do "normal" people still carry laptops?

I'd ask "Do 'normal' people still carry tablets?" as the tablet-on-the-go fad seems to have cooled off quite a bit. I see a lot of people with smartphones and a sizable number of people with laptops but pretty much nobody with a tablet. Tablets are commonly found in homes but they definitely don't seem to be popular for mobile computing.

This might be because tablets suck for the two things I commonly see people do with their laptops on the train: Watching movies (big stationary screen, easy to view with more than one person) and working (big screen, physical keyboard and sometimes software that has no smartphone equivalent).

Comment: Now you are creeping me out. (Score 1) 368

by westlake (#48890391) Attached to: Behind the MOOC Harassment Charges That Stunned MIT

I mean a college-aged girl has to get over the fact that older men will be attracted to her, and make advances. Just because she's creeped-out by it, doesn't necessarily mean it's inappropriate. Ultimately gender equality means others have the right to hit on her...

I read a line like this and all I can think of is the ton of crap dumped on my sisters when they entered graduate schools focused on careers in male-dominant professions.

Comment: Re:Parent's responsibility (Score 1) 653

by westlake (#48886495) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

What might be ok in small towns where the population isn't very mobile is utterly insane in such an area.

Rural populations can be decimated by diseases that are rarely fatal elsewhere.

Idaho is gaining a reputation as a place where rigidly libertarian politics and local, hermetically sealed, nominally Christian religious sects combine to deny urgently needed medical care to children.

Fallen followers: Investigation finds 10 more dead children of faith healers. Sect shuns doctors, children pay the price

Comment: Re:Is there something wrong with me that .,.. (Score 2) 178

by ljw1004 (#48886203) Attached to: New Nicotine Vaccine May Succeed Where Others Have Failed

Is there something wrong with me that I find this offensive?

Yes there is something wrong with you. You lack empathy and compassion.

(I'm not sure if you "chose" to lack these things or if they're a product of your upbringing, and so I don't know whether your logic would blame you for lacking them or not).

Comment: It's all about me. (Score 1) 799

by westlake (#48878219) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

People will just have to adapt to the fact that you can't trust your hearing to know if a car is coming or not anymore.

No they don't, actually.

Situational awareness matters at all ages, audio and visual clues are helpful --- and if people decide they want to keep them in place, it's the geek who will have to make the adjustment, not the other way around.

It was the geek's sense of entitlement, his in-your-face attitude, that killed Google Glass. The very definition of what it means to be Glasshole,

Comment: Re:Choose a CMS you like (Score 2) 299

by Jesus_666 (#48874973) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Has the Time Passed For Coding Website from Scratch?
If you want to lock down the login the easiest way (besides using a nonstandard admin user with a good password) is to rename wp_login.php and write a little plugin that changes the login URL to point to the new file. There's actually a hook for that. That way all brute force attacks will get 404'd by Apache without the WordPress core getting involved, which saves a ton of resources. In case someone mounts a distributed brute force attack on you this might mean the difference between somewhat elevated traffic and the server going down. (Yes, that happened to us already. Renaming wp_login.php took us from base load of 6 with spikes of 120(!) to a base load of 1 with spikes of 3. Login limiters and fail2ban weren't nearly as effective against distributed attacks.)

XML-RPC should mainly be disabled because of pingbacks; not too long ago these could be exploited to make your site participate in a DOS attack. XML-RPC itself not a significant security risk these days. You can go for a more nuanced approach by only disabling the functions used for pingbacks (there's a hook for that too) but if you don't need XML-RPC it might be easier to just rename or delete the entire file.

Trackbacks should be disabled because of trackback spam. Yes, you can install plugins that help you deal with it but - seriously - pretty much no Wordpress-as-a-CMS user cares about trackbacks (or pingbacks, for that matter) in the first place. Disabling them means fewer hassles.


Again, these days the biggest security risk are badly-written plugins. We once had an infected WordPress where it turned out that the attacker never compromised any user account. They didn't need to because a plugin allowed them to execute PHP code on the server. They just injected their attack code directly into WordPress and could do whatever they wanted, such as displaying dodgy pharma ads without even touching the database. That's the kind of danger unreviewed plugins pose.

WordPress can be quite capable when managed correctly. Just don't make the mistake of assuming that you can just install a plugin and get new functionality without any risk. Badly-written plugins are common and they can screw you just as much as an insecure admin account can.

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