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Comment: Re:Mind Numbing Stupidity (Score 1) 352

by Zalbik (#48221723) Attached to: NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

Possibly...but just out of curiosity, how often are you directly exposed to the bodily secretions of other people, regardless of whether they are symptomatic or not?

Do people sneeze directly in your face that often?

It's not a matter of "how much of the virus" the person is a matter of exposure to bodily fluids. Symptomatic people are a higher risk for spreading the disease as the symptoms involve the nasty discharge of numerous fluids.

Comment: Re:Mind Numbing Stupidity (Score 1) 352

by Zalbik (#48221631) Attached to: NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

No: Mandatory quarantine of every healthcare worker who helped with Ebola patients. How many people would that really be? It would cover 100% of the cases brought into the US thus far.

If by 100% you mean 0%. The first case was brought in by Thomas Eric Duncan...he was not a healthcare worker, but had been visiting family.

Two nurses contracted the disease after direct exposure to Thomas Eric Duncan. Quarantine would have done nothing for them; better protocols for handling ebola patients should have been followed.

The doctor in new york contracted the disease while in Africa after direct exposure.

Quarantine would not have prevented ANY of these infections.

Comment: Re:Mind Numbing Stupidity (Score 1) 352

by Zalbik (#48221529) Attached to: NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

as multiple experts have said, if you have too much inconvenience on people (eg mandatory 3 week quarantine - the average person does not want to be without an income for 3 weeks) then people will start lying during questionning.

Also, medical personnel will be much less likely to want to travel to Africa to help out with the disease if the know they face a 3 week quarantine on return. As well, this limits the number of personnel available to help out.

Our best chance at fighting this disease is fighting it in Africa before it spreads. As such travel bans / quarantines on those heading to Africa to help out are very counter-productive.

Comment: Re:Alternatives? Same problem.. (Score 1) 543

by Zalbik (#48221211) Attached to: FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

Right or wrong they felt they had to go to these lengths to protect their business,

There is no right here. FTDI had no business trying to modify any data on these devices.

This story would have been very different had FTDI just disabled the DRIVER software if a counterfeit device been detected. FTDI is under no obligation to provide drivers or driver updates that are guaranteed to work with counterfeit devices.

Yes, people could have easily gotten around this by rolling back the update, but at least it would have brought attention to the fact that the device was counterfeit.

A much more effective (and justifiable IMHO) solution would have been to write the driver so that it:
1) Put up a warning that the device was counterfeit.
2) Worked fine with the counterfeit...for a while
3) Started producing intermittent failures with counterfeit devices after a few weeks
4) Randomly stopped working entirely with counterfeit devices after 3-6 months

FTDI is under no obligation to provide drivers that function properly with counterfeit (or even a clone).

Comment: Re:Counterfeiters not competitors (Score 1) 543

by Zalbik (#48220993) Attached to: FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

Also, FTDI destroyed *everything* that was fake, not just the winding gear. So for the analogy to be accurate, they'd have to destroy the entire watch (which is actually what they do today).

Although I disagree with what FTDI did, this is a terrible analogy.

FTDI did not "break" anything. They modified counterfeit products so that they would no longer function with FTDI's drivers. The device itself was still fully functional, and could even (fairly easily) be modified back into a non-counterfeit state.

The "watch" equivalent would be as if a Rolex service person was invited into your house (you initiate driver updates) to service your Rolex watch and your Rolex clock. You watch and clock are the latest "smart" devices and time-sync with each other via Wi-Fi.

The service guy notices that your Rolex clock is actually a "Rollexx" knock-off, so he wraps the antenna in tin-foil so the two can no longer communicate.

You are free to take the tinfoil off after the service guy leaves. (ok, it's a little bit harder to reprogram a PID, but given there were "fixes" up yesterday within hours of the story breaking, it's a reasonable analogy).

Comment: Re:Read the interview (Score 3, Interesting) 145

by Zalbik (#48213753) Attached to: Machine Learning Expert Michael Jordan On the Delusions of Big Data

Here's the catch: all of these quotes are from the interviewer. Jordan has a lot of really nuanced claims here, but it's clear that the interviewer has an agenda of his own.

Yes, this is one of the more shameful examples of the reporter attempting to shove words down the interviewee's mouth, and completely misrepresenting the results.

Take a look at the first sentence:
"The overeager adoption of big data is likely to result in catastrophes of analysis comparable to a national epidemic of collapsing bridges"

Then read the interview. At no point does Jordan indicate that the misanalysis of big data will cause a catastrophe comparable to the epidemic of collapsing bridges. Never. What he does (and apparently the reporter is either too stupid or too dishonest to represent), is provide an analogy between building a bridge without scientific principles and not performing proper statistical analysis on big data.

He never makes a comparison between the outcomes of these two events. He basically says: if you build a bridge without scientific principles, it will fall down. If you are not careful in your analysis of big data, your results will be wrong.

The whole article goes on in a very similar manner. Science reporters used to have something called "journalistic integrity". Here we get a click-bait article where a "reporter" has predetermined a topic that will gain lots of hits and is desperately trying to fit the interviewees words into his agenda.


Comment: Re:Definitely Users (Score 4, Funny) 114

by Zalbik (#48204293) Attached to: Windows 0-Day Exploited In Ongoing Attacks

It's a problem of false negatives. I've never been confronted with a UAC warning for which it was appropriate to say no. Never.

Well, then you should take a look at the attached powerpoint presentation! It gives an in-depth analysis of exactly why you should be careful when answering "Yes" to UAC prompts.

Comment: Re:Agile is the answer to everything (Score 1) 133

by Zalbik (#48169299) Attached to: Mixing Agile With Waterfall For Code Quality

The problem is that unless your business IS software

Exactly this.

I've found agile typically a poor solution for building non-trivial internal software for a company.

Issues I've found with in-house pure agile:
- regular access to the customer is problematic
- need to re-architect during sprints due to unforeseen requirements
- inability to produce reliable estimates or determine whether buy/build/make-do is the best option
- running over time/budget due to poorly analyzed requirements

The big "win" of agile is supposed to be that it can adapt to changing requirements. I would say more often than not for in-house development the requirements are fairly fixed. Change can occur due to changing regulations, changing business environment, but these changes typically occur slowly and can easily be fit into an existing project plan.

Agile works great in cases when it's a software dev shop that typically has much more control over the features and architecture of what is being built. For in-house development though, I've also found a mix of Agile/Waterfall to work best.

Comment: Re:Let me get this right (Score 1) 838

by Zalbik (#48160293) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Fair Tax handles this by having a certain "consumption allowance" based on family size.

When I first read about it, I was thinking the same think: This hit's the middle and lower class the most. The more I read about Fair Tax though, the more it makes sense. The issues would be determining a fair consumption allowance, and controlling evasion (the rich can consume many goods in other option the poor don't have access to).

Wealth accumulation (by and large) is not the big issue with income inequality. The bigger issues are the access to better education, better security, better health care, etc that wealth provides is as it creates a negative feedback loop.

Comment: Re:But flights from West Africa are OK? (Score 1) 463

by Zalbik (#48154527) Attached to: Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

The Flu will still kill more people in Africa this year that Ebola. Keep that in mind.

Really?!? 300,000 people are going to die of the flu in africa this year?!?

From the CDC's estimate of Ebola cases located here, taking the LOW count and assuming a 60% mortality rate (also low).

This is a huge problem for Africa. A much much more serious issue than the flu. It just isn't (too) much of a concern for western society as we have much better access to modern medical facilities and much more money to throw at the problem.

Comment: Re:Just tell me (Score 1) 463

by Zalbik (#48154425) Attached to: Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

But recognize that the ebola death curve is exponential.

Yes. In third-world countries with poor sanitation, little to no access to modern medical facilities and nearly no education on the identification and handling of ebola victims.

Ebola has been around since the 70s. This is the same virus. Although the impact of this outbreak to west africa will be massive, the overall impact to the rest of the world (especially first-world countries) will be minimal.

Stop your fear-mongering. It doesn't help.

One man's constant is another man's variable. -- A.J. Perlis