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Comment Re:Drone It (Score 1) 843 843

again, assuming intel was right, and the place was an ammo stash and not a madrasa full of little ones.

Who says those two are mutually exclusive?

Because if there was a rule about not bombing a madrasa full of little ones, that would be a strong incentive to also use it as an ammo stash. Of course an incentive doesn't mean it's often or even likely. Worse still, the evidence might all be vaporized and you might have nothing more than circumstantial "video of secondary explosions" claims.

So in a war you'll probably have to settle for not knowing whether the mosque or madrassa actually had ammo, combatants, worshippers or some mix of all three.

Comment So when did my thumbprint become some big secret? (Score 1) 141 141

Because nobody told me and I've been leaving it literally everywhere I go.

And boy do I feel like an idiot -- I had a cup of coffee the other day (without my tinfoil gloves) in the breakroom and left a good looking print on the shiny mug. Then I realized that I didn't wipe clean my thumbprint off my shiny car! And I definitely read the newspaper at the park the other day and just left it there for the next reader instead of securely incinerating it! To make matters worse, I let a nice lady borrow my pen and maybe she lifted it too!

Comment Re:Because no one else does (Score 2) 260 260

Closures and lambdas are definitely compatible with strongly typed performant code. C++11 has both and is still very performant (std::function is lightweight enough to toss around, doubly so with reference/move semantics) and as an added bonus with C++14's "auto-goes-everywhere" you get output that's strongly typed without the hassle of naming it. Purists can still opt to explicitly type everything if they prefer of course.

Similarly, Apple's block extension to C has all of those and is still reasonably performant. Their implementation is a bit slower (all variables captured are ref-counted on the heap) but still very reasonable. Function-objects themselves need to be manually managed/copied around, but that's the legacy of C shining through...

Totally agree about VMs and the obsession with functional languages though :-)

Comment Lying != Evading (Score 1) 510 510

I'm really not clear what "evading government scrutiny" means at all. What Hastert did doesn't seem to fit that definition -- he lied to investigators. Not even a questionable/sort-of-weasel lie even, it was a simple and direct statement that was contrary to the truth.

I agree the government has no right to harass anyone (or snoop their phone calls or steal their emails, FWIW). And the government has no right to demand answers to their questions -- Hastert had the right to remain silent and he declined to exercise it. What the government did here was pretty classic "traditional" investigation -- interview people that are speaking to your voluntarily and find the inconsistencies in what they say.

[ And while there's a lot to say about coercive interviewing, it's a bit ridiculous to think that applies to a powerful defendant. We're talking about a man that was third in line to be the President, not some teenager being browbeat by a pair of officers in the middle of the night. ]

Comment Re:Well there's the problem... (Score 1) 201 201

If you want fair competition, you have to do it under the same rules as everyone else.

And fair rules would be that any driver that meets some objective criteria relevant to driving (vehicle inspection, insurance, licensure, ...) can operate a taxi and obey the same rules. Unfair rules would be something like "the first 1000 people to sign up" can operate a taxi and everyone else can sod off.

Not every rule or regulation is an evil plot to suppress the entrepreneurial spirit.
Not every rule or regulation is justified in protecting consumers or the public.

In this case, the consumer-protection part of the laws are undoubtedly the former while the arbitrary limitations on the number of licenses seem very likely to be the latter.

This has nothing to do with fair competition, or protecting entrenched players. This is about governments having the authority to pass laws, and whiny idiots claiming they don't want laws.

Of course they have authority to pass laws. And people have the right to complain when the laws go beyond protecting consumers into protecting a racket. Not every law is foolish or an imposition or liberty but as the same time some are giveaways to special interests.

Comment "How much would you be willing to pay?" (Score 1) 515 515

That's a silly question, since it depends on what airfare for the equivalent trip is. In truth, what I'll probably do is go to ${AirfareSearchSite} and ${RailSearchSite} and compare on a trip-by-trip basis. That would probably include factors uncorrelated to the modality -- like which particular departure times are convenient for me.

It's beyond me why you would want to answer this question in the way it was asked -- as if there was some magical price for the trip as opposed to a comparison with other substitutes.

[ And, of course, the comparison is not just on the fare. Total travel time (including the connection on either end) is a factor, as are possible delays (SFO gets slowed by fog) or comfort (train legroom?). But again, it's a comparison not an absolute ... ]

Comment Re:Behavior that is rewarded is repeated .... (Score 1) 334 334

What's the morality of saving one hostage taken now if that leads to 10 more kidnappings laters? Just because those hostages are nameless and faceless (until they get taken hostage and possibly become headless) does not mean that their moral interests are any less real.

And, of course, the current hostage now was a hypothetical hostage in the previous iteration. Back then, he would have said "bomb them so they don't have an incentive to kidnap me later". Now he says "pay them $10M so I go free" even if that money goes to funding a kidnapping later, whereas the victim of that future kidnapping would prefer otherwise.

Comment Behavior that is rewarded is repeated .... (Score 5, Insightful) 334 334

If kidnapping Westerners and keeping them within 50 feet of you grants you immunity from airstrikes, that increases the incentive to kidnap westerners.

There's no winning the hostage game -- if you ignore the hostages you lose the PR war, if you play to the hostages then you encourage future kidnappings. It's a lose-lose game. The same is seen for the millions of Euro paid by various European nations as ransom -- some of that money goes right back into funding more hostage-taking missions.

There is no way to time-consistent way reconcile the interests of the current hostage in not getting bombed/beheaded with the interests of future hostages in not being kidnapped in the first instance. It's a repeating game, we cannot evaluate each iteration separately but at the same time we cannot evaluate them all together.

Comment Re:Tabs vs Spaces (Score 1) 428 428

No, they don't even allow customization of IDEs there's no way to get vertical alignment on continuations. For example, consider you want to align multiple parameters of a function that's split among multiple lines. Spaces don't work because you have to eat up an amount of horizontal space equal to the initial indentation by tabs. Tabs don't work because you also need to eat up horizontal space equal to the number of characters before the alignment. The only thing that preserves the proper formatting is a mix of tabs and spaces like:

class Foo
\tvoid SendNow(ConnectionHandle handle,
\t\x20\x20\x20 DataObject data,
\t\x20\x20\x20 DataPolicy policy,
\t\x20\x20\x20 Callback callback,
\t\x20\x20\x20 CallbackContext context);

And that is worse than forcing everyone to chose one or the other.

Comment Re:goddamnit!!! (Score 2) 123 123

they didn't "hack" the machine using heat!

they gained control of both machines ahead of time, and THEN used heat (etc) to exfil data.

they didn't gain control of an otherwise stock computer using heat over air gap. stop saying "hack".

I'm afraid you don't understand the meaning of the word "hack" in this context. It does not always mean "gain control/privileges on a computer system in excess of your authorization". In this context, it means "defeat a method used to guarantee a particular security property".

Property: No control/data flow shall pass from the outside world into this computer
Method: Air-gapping that computer
Hack: Defeating that property and passing data between the machines

Let me give you another example.

Property: Computers in different classrooms shall not be able to talk directly to each other despite being on the same physical network
Method: Assign each classroom a VLAN and enforce that at the switch
Hack: By Double tagging certain ethernet frames you can defeat the property.

Now you are going to sperg because no one gained control of anything (even the switch). But of course it's still a hack -- you have shown that the switch + VLAN configuration is not capable (in its current configuration) of providing that guaranteed property of non-communciation between VLANs. In some sense this is actually a more elegant hack than taking control of the switch for obvious reasons.

TL;DR Version: "Hack" means to gain advantage or defeat a security property. Sometimes that involves traditional exploits/privilege escalation, other times it involves other methods.

Comment Re:Whathuh? (Score 1) 247 247

Or it makes the developer's intimately aware of all the different places it can break and the places you need to make changes. And since they wrote large portions of it they grok the flow from a high-level ...

That is to say, you can make the code more maintainable without changing a single line. Another example is documentation changes or environment/setup like dev instances.

Comment He's trolling and you fell for it (Score 2) 122 122

You really don't think he understands the irony of his request?
You really don't think he understands (or was explained) the flimsy legal basis for his request?
You really don't think he knew that the headline "Man who violated privacy upset about privacy violation" was going to spread like crack?

Please do not feed the trolls
Please do not reward the media whores.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.