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Comment: Re:Why are critical systems connected to the inter (Score 1) 210

by Zontar The Mindless (#48646055) Attached to: Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

Why do banks ... NOT allow me to block access from other countries (and/or identify which country I'm visiting)?

A: You need to change banks.

My online banking allows me to block the use of my card to make in-store purchases or ATM withdrawals within and/or outside the country and/or EU. I can also enable or disable the use of my card for online purchases. I can also enable or disable any use of the card for other than logging into online banking from within the country--that last item takes a call to the bank. (Not sure whether not being able to lock yourself out unless you're overseas is a good or bad thing.) I can also set and change separate limits on in-store purchases, cash withdrawals, and online purchases. Doing any of these things takes about 2 minutes, and I can do any of them any time that it suits me.

Banking online with my bank also requires multiple factors--the card, a card reader issued by the bank, a government-issued personal ID number, and the PIN--and uses multiple challenge/response to confirm login and any monetary transactions, with a time limit of 4 minutes before the codes become invalid and you must start the authentication process over from scratch. I'm aware that there's no such thing as perfect security, but this seems to run pretty close.

Comment: Re:Microsoft is adapting to a new role (Score 1) 396

Another thing that bothered me is that the documentation consists mostly of examples. However, if I read documentation I don't want a code fragment to copy-paste, I want to read the specification for a particular method. In particular, how it handles edge cases. That information was usually missing. Of course you can test the behavior, but there is no guarantee the next release will have the same behavior if the behavior was never documented. All in all, it didn't feel like a good platform for writing reliable applications.

As someone who works on API documentation (no, nothing to do with .NET, thank goodness), I really wish you would tell this to the marketing types at work who keep telling me, "Nobody wants... [*grimace*] specs. Just give them lots of examples to work from." And then smack them a couple of times.

It appears that PL/I (and its dialects) is, or will be, the most widely used higher level language for systems programming. -- J. Sammet

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