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Comment: Re:I don't get it (Score 2) 167

by Unordained (#48511207) Attached to: Is a "Wikipedia For News" Feasible?

Crowd-sourcing content is one aspect, but I'm very much looking forward to "subscribing" to a story and getting only updates after that -- as short as possible, whether they be corrections, links to related stories, or truly new information. I can fit a lot more news into my day if I don't have to hear/read the same context/intro information each time there's an update.

Less important to me is a "ask the author" system, by which readers can suggest directions for investigative journalists to take: how is this incident related to previous ones, what's the political context for this, does anyone have any proposed solutions to the problem, has anything changed since this story was posted 6 months ago, etc. I don't necessarily want to read opinions from fellow readers, nor post my own "facts" as a citizen-journalist, I just want to prod journalists into doing more of what they already do well.

Comment: Re:W3C does geolocation? (Score 4, Informative) 100

by Unordained (#48382011) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Getting Around Terrible Geolocation?

Yeah, I was thinking this guy's got it all backwards. If MaxMind et al are already showing the right position, then the problem is the location returned by the W3C API call in his unspecified browser which depends on which location service his browser uses (possibly not the default), and whether his device is GPS-equipped.

In the absence of GPS, Firefox defaults to using Google Location Service (according to ), which is not one of the 4 "providers" listed at and could easily be the one database that's wrong, causing his confusion. I expect Chrome to do the same. IE may use a Microsoft-provided IP database, again separate from the four above -- I couldn't find confirmation of this.

For servers that don't rely on W3C javascript calls to get your location, it all entirely depends on which service they subscribe to, which you may not be able to find out. Short of submitting corrections to "all of them", you're just out of luck.

Comment: Re:What's the Difference? (Score 2) 102

by Unordained (#48378119) Attached to: Amazon Goes After Oracle (Again) With New Aurora Database

You might check NuoDB, as that's their target audience.

RAC was indeed pretty cool. We did have to fight with the Ops guys, though, over the advertised auto-retry feature, which was dangerous for multi-statement transactions, and the documentation (at least at the time) didn't make that clear.

Comment: Re:Because studies show ... (Score 1) 253

by Unordained (#48151975) Attached to: Facebook and Apple Now Pay For Female Employees To Freeze Their Eggs

Thank you! I'm seeing a lot of comments here about how wonderful it is to make the choice to be a stay-at-home-mom, how great it is for the kids, and how that's not less productive than a high-paying job. But I'm not seeing the equivalent for men, that there's a tough choice between "being a dad" (stay at home dad) and "being a man" (with a job), that each male should be encouraged to make the choice that's right for him without pressure from his employer.

Comment: Grain of salt (Score 1) 981

by Unordained (#47930347) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Can we get verification on this? The CNN story doesn't so much as contain a picture of the flier, let alone corroboration that these were really distributed by ISIS. Is this like how, a few weeks ago, they were incorrectly accused of performing FGM? If this one is accurate, we should be able to get some evidence, if not necessarily proof...

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 457

by Unordained (#47681355) Attached to: Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

You might want to read more of her stuff before you dismiss her. She's primarily using the analysis of trolls, as examples of bad behavior, to study what our culture considers good behavior, and the boundaries thereof. She asks questions like "why is it okay for Fox News to sensationalize tragic events for their own profit, but not okay for a troll to amuse himself doing the same?", or "what are the boundaries between dialogue, critique, trolling, and harassment?" She treats trolls as a symptom of a culture that permits (and sometimes encourages) the behavior. Not because we're "bad" as a culture, but because sometimes our values and attributes (free speech, devil's advocate, macho, narcissism, etc.) sometimes intersect in odd ways. I've not seen her claim that things are now worse than ever before, nor that anonymity has anything to do with it, nor that "online"-ness is even particularly important -- this is just an entry-point to a wider field of study about cultural norms and how/when we break/bend them.

Comment: Yes, but no (Score 5, Insightful) 637

by Unordained (#47615819) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

I've recently watched my wife (C++ environment) deal with a new-grad (Java-based education.) It's true that pointers are a sticking point -- in the process of being taught Java, they get taught that pointers are bad and dangerous (all hail Java for solving the problem,) and can be made only barely tolerable by using auto_ptr, but really should just be avoided. Yeah, it's a problem, sure.

But the bigger problem we have with new-grads and junior-devs, in general, is the same problem you'd have in any field: they're green. They don't test well, or at all. They don't think designs through. They don't communicate well. They ask too many questions, or maybe worse, they ask too few. They try to fix things that aren't broken. They're bad at estimating task sizes (admittedly, people rarely get much better at that even after decades.) In an attempt to not suck, they reach out for best-practices and apply them zealously and inappropriately. They can't imagine how things will fail, or be abused. They spend too much time fixing small problems, and not enough time fixing big ones. And maybe worst of all, they're under the illusion that what they learned in school ought to prepare them for the workforce, when really it just gets their foot in the door.

We, as their seniors, are the ones that should be spending the time fixing their misconceptions, fleshing our their education, filling their minds with the horrors we've seen, and setting up their work habits. When they fail, it's because we fail to do these things, usually because we brought them in too late in a project, gave them too much responsibility, and are fighting a deadline. So we "just fix it" for them, and they don't learn from the experience, while we gain nothing in terms of productivity from having them.

But if I were to nitpick their education? Databases. Recent grads have little or no understanding of relational databases. Their thinking on organizing data, in general, is fuzzy at best, which impacts more than just database code, it impacts class and API designs, often crippling whole features with incorrect cardinality. It deserves more attention in school. The rest, we can fix in production. =)

Comment: Re:Wait, wait... (Score 2) 132

by Unordained (#47508933) Attached to: Exodus Intelligence Details Zero-Day Vulnerabilities In Tails OS

We can still break into the systems we "need" to break into, without keeping a full hand of all possible vulnerabilities. To reduce our overall exposure to risk, it makes sense to disclose most of these to vendors for patching, maybe some with a delay. Our government can buy up vulnerabilities from Exodus, then release them -- Exodus gets paid, we get somewhat better security all around, and the NSA gets a few last holes to work with.

Comment: Re:Can someone translate the summary into English? (Score 1) 250

by Unordained (#47276953) Attached to: TrueCrypt Author Claims That Forking Is Impossible

There are situations where one could sue anonymously ( ), and they should still have copyright protections ( ) but proving themselves to be the actual authors and have standing to sue might be difficult?

Comment: Re:opt-out of untargeted ads (Score 1) 97

by Unordained (#47229661) Attached to: Facebook Lets Users Opt Out of Targeted Ads

Competition. Invisible Hand. Selective pressure from consumers who don't want a site with 80% screen real-estate devoted to ads, and subconsciously choose to spend their time on sites with (for whatever reason) fewer, better ads.
There are obviously limits and pressures already at play, or every site would be nothing but a wall of ads, because "more profit."

Comment: opt-out of untargeted ads (Score 4, Interesting) 97

by Unordained (#47224423) Attached to: Facebook Lets Users Opt Out of Targeted Ads

I'd like to opt out of the untargeted ads. I don't so much mind relevant, possibly-useful advertising -- I don't feel like it wastes my time so much, or even, in a way, creepily insinuates I would be interested in things I'm totally not. As long as the targeted advertising is done right, I'd rather have it. The more accurate such advertising gets, the more value-per-print it can generate, and therefore the less overall advertising will be required to sustain the "free" services we use. One well-chosen ad is worth dozens of spammy ones.

Or ... could we get the big advertising systems to allow us to pay them, centrally, to remove ads across all the sites they print on? And have them just forward a portion of the money to the sites themselves, just as they would have paid them to print an equivalent number of ads, while serving me nothing but 1px placeholders?

Comment: Re:Speculation (Score 1) 475

by Unordained (#47146785) Attached to: The Sudden Policy Change In Truecrypt Explained

And other people are trying to resurrect/fork it, trying to get all the legal ducks in a row to meet the requirements of the license.

I've been curious how the original anonymous developers would be able to enforce the terms of their previous license ... even if they had some means of proving in court that they really were who they claimed to be, and had the right to sue, they would lose their anonymity in the process, which is of some value to them.

The anonymity of the developers is a double-edged sword, in this kind of product. It temporarily makes it harder for intelligence agencies (or organized crime) to put pressure on them, but long-term, is it worthwhile? Either their identities will be found out and used against them, or their continued anonymity will be used against the project by at least casting down on the trustworthiness of the project. Ownership of crypto keys (software signing keys) is a pretty good stand-in for identity, except that our laws don't have the same respect for them as for other cases of identity-theft -- they're "just data", to be handed over, and possibly abused.

(Doubting the usefulness of anonymity in no way endorses the likes of Microsoft, and their line that having an established identity entrains reputation, and the desire to protect said reputation in turn guarantees trustable software. At least with TC we have source, and a hopefully independent audit, and that's perhaps the most important piece in the end.)

Comment: Re:Firefox FTW! (Score 2) 225

by Unordained (#47108833) Attached to: Google Starts Blocking Extensions Not In the Chrome Web Store

Ugh. I'm one of those developers who would be affected, as I have custom FF extensions deployed for a mid-size client. We don't use the "Enterprise" FF though. I suppose we might have to switch, and deploy FF updates differently, just to keep the ability to run extensions (that have no business being uploaded to anyone's store, as they're entirely site-specific.)

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