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Comment: Re:There has to be a better way. (Score 1) 27

by Trepidity (#49188963) Attached to: Firefox 37 To Check Security Certificates Via Blocklist

A surprising number of things are starting to rely on these curated lists to handle "most" cases. The valid-key flip-side of this key blocklist is the public-key pinning list, which is also pretty half-assed.

With a different (non-crypto) bit of web technology, there's also the mess of how to determine what the "real" domain of a site controlled by an entity is. E.g. in the UK, a domain like example.co.uk is a third-level domain, but is conventionally treated as domain 'example' with suffix '.co.uk', not as domain 'co' in TLD 'uk', and subdomain 'example'. Whereas in dot-com, a domain like foo.example.com would be treated as domain 'example' in TLD 'com', with subdomain 'foo'. How to tell which is which? Yes, some human maintains a giant list, which browsers all build in.

Comment: Re:basically how the UAE works (Score 4, Interesting) 226

by Trepidity (#49188477) Attached to: Facebook Rant Lands US Man In UAE Jail

Yeah, that's common across the region; Saudi Arabia does it too. Seems a bit unnecessarily old-fashioned, since with computerized passport control these days you could keep someone from traveling by just flagging them in the computer, no need to actually confiscate the passport. But maybe keeping the physical passport is a better intimidation tool?

Comment: basically how the UAE works (Score 5, Insightful) 226

by Trepidity (#49188395) Attached to: Facebook Rant Lands US Man In UAE Jail

It's an old-school feudal state mixing in a little bit of a hot modern idea, corporate oligarchy. The businessmen and sheikhs (many of whom are related) run the place, and jailing foreign workers if they get inconvenient is one of their main tools to retain control. Usually you don't hear about it because most of the workers aren't from the USA.

Comment: Re:weird numbers on certs (Score 1) 87

by Trepidity (#49183215) Attached to: Demand For Linux Skills Rising This Year

Yeah I can see Linux being important, I just didn't think companies put much stock in the certifications themselves, vs. work experience or interviews or other such screening methods. There was a period in the '90s when certs were a big deal, Microsoft's MSCE and Certified Novell Administrator and Cisco's CCNA and whatever, but in the 2000s the certs started being more ignored, at least in my experience, b/c they weren't that reliable a demonstration that the employee was actually any good. Maybe they're back, or the RHEL ones are taken more seriously?

Comment: Re:Blackberry (Score 1) 410

the almost-death of Blackberry may help Microsoft somewhat here. Microsoft's strongest market is basically "business", mostly traditional business that isn't "hip" enough to be using Apple products. People who want nice Exchange integration, connections with Office 365, etc. Previously that market was totally sewn up by Blackberry, but as they're collapsing Microsoft might grab some of that market.

Comment: weird numbers on certs (Score 2) 87

by Trepidity (#49182397) Attached to: Demand For Linux Skills Rising This Year

I can see companies caring about Linux expertise; after all, the vast majority of servers run Linux, so if you're hiring for someone doing devops you probably want them to know their way around Linux. But 44% prefer people with "Linux certification"? I know some companies care about stuff like RHEL certifications, but I didn't think it was that many.

Comment: Re:Brain drain (Score 2) 167

by Trepidity (#49168075) Attached to: Marissa Mayer On Turning Around Yahoo

When was that part of SV culture? Even if you go back to the old-school SV firms, they were pretty negative on telecommuting, and ran regular offices. What era and kind of company do you have in mind? If you go back to the '60s-'90s even, Silicon Valley companies like Intel, Sun, Apple, SGI, Oracle, etc. required regular office time. You could certainly shift your schedule at many of them (e.g. come in at 10am, not 8am, as long as you stay late too), but you couldn't work from home, or get away with less than 40+ hours in the office (often 50+).

Comment: Re:serious question (Score 4, Informative) 167

by Trepidity (#49167851) Attached to: Marissa Mayer On Turning Around Yahoo

From a monetary, stock-price perspective, at the moment the main value in Yahoo is that they own a significant stake in Alibaba, a huge Chinese conglomerate. Their stake in Alibaba at current prices is worth about $34 billion, and Yahoo's current market cap is ~$40 billion. Even assuming a discount on their Alibaba stake due to some overhead that would be involved in unwinding it, it still represents more than half of Yahoo's stock value.

Comment: Re:Metadata (Score 1) 308

by Trepidity (#49130247) Attached to: Moxie Marlinspike: GPG Has Run Its Course

That is actually what "metadata" means in the current privacy debate. The NSA was claiming their snooping wasn't such a big deal because they were only collecting "metadata", which meant basically logs of senders/recipients (or phone callers/callees) along with things like message size (call duration), etc. I think it's reasonable to point out that GPG does nothing to stop this kind of dragnet collection, though it's also true that it's not "useless" as a result.

Comment: Re:Please tell me this is satire (Score 4, Informative) 320

by Trepidity (#49127641) Attached to: Use Astrology To Save Britain's Health System, Says MP

I could see that in a proportional-representation system. If 10% of the population is really into homeopathy, they could vote for a party that represents those interests. But the UK has a first-past-the-post system, like the US, meaning members are elected by getting the most votes in a specific district. Is Tredinnick's district really majority in favor of astrology being funded by the NHS? My guess is no, and that he's elected despite this issue, not because of it. Incumbents are very hard to knock off, especially outside of marginal districts (his district is a Conservative stronghold, and the UK has no party primaries), so he keeps winning regardless of whether his district's residents think astrology is useful or not.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant