Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Assumptions (Score 1) 365

by bmo (#48648547) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Up To the Job?

So, assuming Microsoft is sincere

That's a pretty fuckin' big assumption there, guy.

>BMO goes back to read the Halloween documents

The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, A Sincere Microsoft Board Member, and a Rabbi (a Rabbi is required in every joke) come to a 4-way stop/intersection at the same time.

Who goes first?

The Rabbi, because the others don't fuckin' exist.


Comment: Re:Fundamental failure of process design (Score 5, Informative) 192

by drinkypoo (#48646081) Attached to: Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

What kind of a plant is designed in a way that a full failure of their control system would result in being unable to shutdown in a controlled manner.

Pretty much all of them. At best, you can lose a batch of something if the process fails in the middle. If Sunsweet loses power in the middle of cooking a batch of fruit paste, the batch not only fails and has to be trashed but cleaning the system is far more difficult than if the batch succeeds. At the point where factories become complex enough to need digital automation, you cannot reasonably create a failsafe mechanism which will prevent an error from losing a batch. The best you can hope for in some situations, probably most, is to create mechanical interlocks which will prevent immediately catastrophic combinations of inputs and outputs.

Comment: Re:Old news. (Score 1) 238

by drinkypoo (#48644703) Attached to: Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

Well, thankfully I live in a country where it is virtually impossible to get into the predicament due to the special way our traffic lights work. You know 5 seconds before your green light goes to yellow that it's about to happen.

It's been well-demonstrated that some cities adjusted the yellows downwards. That's not a problem inherent to red light cameras, but there's no other "good" reason to do it.

Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 365

by drinkypoo (#48644665) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Up To the Job?

So I really don't understand where this bashing of .Net comes from, but I'm guessing a lot of it is from open source fanboys that love to hate Microsoft and have never taken time to use the recent (last 3-5 years) iterations of it's products.

It's not about perceived quality, although the perceived quality is fairly low because all of the identifiably .NET software I've used so far has been slower than the competition... but I'm willing to imagine that the software I've used has been of particularly poor quality itself, and it's not .NET's fault. It's because I don't trust Microsoft. Now that they are apparently open sourcing the interesting parts of .NET, their primary influence over the language should be only their control over the best IDE, which is significant but not necessarily a deal-breaker. However, as long as the majority of the .NET world is Microsoft-based, I still won't trust it. And therein lies the problem; it's going to have to have a bunch of competing implementations and thus many of the same problems as Java before it's going to be trustworthy.

If you're happy being tied to Windows, more power to you, I guess. I'm not. I'm not happy about invitations either, mind you. But I don't actually see those on Linux.

Comment: Re:Network Level (Score 1) 97

by bmo (#48642979) Attached to: Staples: Breach May Have Affected 1.16 Million Customers' Cards

Otherwise it's potentially just a matter of inserting a tiny reprogramable USB stick when there are few cashiers on and the cashier who is on isn't looking for a few seconds (ie two people walking into a Staples store can pull this off really easily).

Indeed, so much this.

I've seen open USB ports on all sorts of POS terminals and it just boggles my mind, especially because I've been in industrial environments in small companies where hot-gluing USB ports shut is a matter of course.

You can buy a USB flash drive that sits almost flush and if you take a little bit of elbow-grease and sandpaper, you can get it to sit flush easily.

So I don't see how big companies like Staples, who have the actual budget to look at security this way, don't even bother to do the basics like this. It's time we start fining/class action lawsuit-ing firms that don't even do the least bit of security, with amounts of money that actually hurt and not take "5 minutes of profits" to pay.


Comment: Re:Ethics? (Score 1) 549

by drinkypoo (#48640909) Attached to: FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

Don't try to blow this off as some kind of SJWer bullshit. I believe those people actually exist, but I don't believe as many of the people you think are that are in fact that. I think gamergate is bullshit, and I have had passionate argument about how the name "feminist" is sexist and had to personally field the arguments about how it's not sexism if you're on the more oppressed side. Well, I could see how that could seem true if one doesn't own a dictionary... but let's face it, 1) the core claims of Gamergate have now been shown to be overblown at best, 2) there is no public evidence that any of the claims of harassment or threat at question were fabricated, only speculation, and 3) gaming journalism has long been corrupt, and even if all the initial claims were true, this would have been a minor example. So, being prepared to have a massive fight about it (even putting the discussion of threats and harassment aside for the moment) is fairly pathetic.

Do you really find it hard to believe that these death threats are genuine? I don't mean to imply that they are genuine in the sense that they will be acted upon, but that's not actually necessary for them to be an attack, is it? In fact, depending on where you live, it often is not. It's not okay to tell people that you're going to kill them if you could carry out the threat, because of the real psychological impact that has. We don't want a society of fight or flight. Being able to relax once in a while is, in fact, one of the primary goals of civilization.

Comment: Re:Ethics? (Score 1) 549

by drinkypoo (#48640901) Attached to: FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

Having a game of Civilizations where the best way to achieve victory is through scientific exploration IS a political statement.

The best way to achieve victory in Civ is to crush your nearest neighbors early in the game, and expand into their territory. That's true whether you're pursuing the scientific game (either for eventual economic or space victory) or the military conquest victory.

Comment: Re:Ethics? (Score 1) 549

by drinkypoo (#48640893) Attached to: FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

There's no reason why, for example, her boyfriend at Kotaku couldn't raise his hand at a meeting and say, "Hey, how about this game Depression Quest that my girlfriend made? I think someone should review that. Not me of course, because I am filled with integrity, but one of you should give her some free press."

What you're not getting is that this would be an example of relatively high integrity in the entertainment media. Most of it is much sleazier. A favor for a friend is the cornerstone of successful business. The benefits are intangible in this case, because you [allegedly] can't simply buy that kind of press from that particular outlet. But most "news" is simply something some corporation wanted published, and it often gets reprinted without meaningful comment, let alone changes. The parallel to law is, pretty frankly, disgusting.

The flip side to your argument is that nobody should ever say anything nice about someone they're screwing if they are a media personality, right? But since the internets have made sure that everyone knows who you were inside last night if you are even remotely worth trolling, we all have plenty of disclosure anyway.

That this moment is the "gate" of gaming journalism is deeply embarrassing, and what's more, it has guaranteed that gaming journalism is going to go through another era of embarrassing corruption — not the kind where someone helps a friend, but the kind where review scores are just made-up bullshit. This is what tells us that Gamergate is in fact simple petulance. There has never been integrity in gaming journalism, and you guys (yeah, you've found a handful of women to ally themselves with your "cause", congrats) are upset now because some sex was involved. Usually, it's just the typical ho-hum giving games a free pass in the form of undeservedly high review scores so that more free review copies will show up, which has led directly to the generally pathetic state of new game releases where they don't work for large numbers of subscribers until a patch cycle has passed and so on. The reviewers give a free pass to poor quality and we all "suffer", at the first world level anyway in this case. That's not to say that nobody should be incensed about the lack of ethics in gaming journalism, only that even if all the gamergater claims were true this would still not be the most egregious example of its lack going on right now. You would still have, for example, the entire mainstream gaming press. And by the way, the reason they're not sounding off on this whole rant? They're happy that you guys are distracting the people's gaze away from them, and clouding the whole issue of journalistic integrity with this nonsense non-story. Indeed, if the mass media et al have noticed this flap at all, they must be breathing a sigh of relief that calls for journalistic integrity at the grassroots level are currently being linked with sexism — due to some sexism.

There must be more to life than having everything. -- Maurice Sendak