Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 25% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY25". ×

Comment Is he really this stupid? (Score 1) 164

Is he really this stupid? Nothing in those first two months gives the kid the advantage. For a good chunk of that time the child will be functionally unable to see much of anything. Bonding with the mother and establishing healthy sleeping and feeding habits will be more important than having him around.

The point of these studies are that the ability to take time off CORRELATES to better outcomes, not that they are CAUSED by taking this time off. Being the type of dad who can take time off, who is financially stable, who is involved, who is willing, etc are all related to having better outcomes at all the little points in time that add up to influence the outcomes of a child.

Zuckerberg is probably missing the pages of virtually every long-term study every performed which show, pretty decisively, that parental income is the single best indicator to positive educational and life outcomes.

Comment That's fine (Score 1, Interesting) 291

I will support this "zero knowledge" key escrow when I have three assurances:

1. Death penalty for any government employee who misuses data. You look up data about a girlfriend, or an enemy, or a political opponent? No problem, enjoy your Federal death penalty.

2. Death penalty for the cabinet level director for any agency who abuses or has a single employee who abuses data. Oh, sorry, low-level contractor abused data? Enjoy your needle.

3. Excess funding to 0 for any agency that abuses data - no health insurance, no travel, no coffee in the lounge, no flat screen TVs, no car repairs, no vending machine fixes, nothing. No comforts at all, for 1 year.

Comment Re:And by emergency they mean (Score 1) 48

You got it. There has been hardly any wage increases. Shortages always lead to higher prices. If there are no higher prices, the shortage is a lie.

Whats the rate of growth for salaries? A good rule of thumb is that there isn't' a shortage until nominal prices have doubled.

Comment Re:What's Good for Microsoft is Good for K-12 Scho (Score 1) 48

"We need talent [], we need it now, and we simply cannot find enough."

What they mean is:

We need talent [at a wage we are willing to pay], we need it now [but not so much that we are willing to train people, and spend the time and effort developing corporate training of people with aptitude], and we simply cannot find enough [who are willing to move to our area, fund their own skills development, accept a mediocre wage, put in longer than normal hours, have a lower than average quality of living, and do things which are pretty unimportant].

The reality is that there are plenty of people with talent, they are just working in areas of the country where the economics are better, where they don't have to live like paupers, and they don't have to deal with megalomaniacal personalities like the people running Facebook, Microsoft, and Google.

These are just not good places to work. They are not paying enough to entice otherwise talented people to upset their lives, move to an overpriced bubble driven real estate market, and try to put up with these quacks untested, new age, assine management techniques.

The word is out out about these tech giants.

Microsoft - guess what - you have a toxic culture where co-workers have incentive to back stab and dethrone managers, in order to "make the cut" each year? Why would I move out to a very pricey area and give up superior pay, superior work-life balance, and superior education opportunities for my kids, just so I can be stabbed in the back, shuffled around, re-org'ed, and eventually laid off because I don't have whatever latest skill you want and you aren't willing to invest in workforce development? All for 90k a year starting salary? Pass.

Facebook - why would I want to move to one of the most insanely expensive places in the country to work, ride a bus to work each day, be locked up inside your campus for "free lunches", be part of data mining, spamming, and exploiting users personal habits, relationships, and preferences for money. It's not revolutionary, it's not hip, it's not cool. All for about 95k a year starting salary? Pass.

Google - why would I want to work for the new evil empire, single handily expanding a dark shadow of data collection and kowtowing to authoritarian powers worldwide in order to sell shitty text ads to users, all the while locking out competition and blocking users from knowing whats really going on? Why answer to two silver-spoon billionaires who have delusions of importance for a starting salary of under 100k a year, while moving to yet another bubble driven real estate empire and being forced once again to ride a shitty bus to campus? So I can redirect funds from one or two profitable lines of business into trying to find the next hot thing which won't do anything important or lasting for mankind? Pass.

The problem is not a lack of a talent. It's a lack of talent who wants to work for these shitty companies, doing insignificant projects that will probably never see the light of day, while paying too much to live and having to answer to people who are convinced they are doing something special.

Comment They Do Cool Stuff (Score 1) 125

My next door neighbor in Celebration just had hernia surgery at the Nicholson Center done using this technology, it's pretty amazing. Minimal invasivness and very efficent. It's nice to see Celebration getting good press for this type of thing.

Interestingly, residents in Celebration have access to the very best fiber connections, competitive to Google but from a smaller regional telecom. For $60/month residents get 1000/1000 internet. On the town message board, residents routinely post their Speedtests with tests in the high 900 Mbits.

Comment Re:memory (Score 4, Informative) 148

This is very flimsy, as well. Sen. Wyden gave the DNI advance notice of the question, and, his office offered the DNI to correct the testimony in the written record the day after (which happens often with minor technical or honest mistakes; basically an aide to the person testifying who is knowledgeable sits and takes notes on anything that needs technical or administrative clarification after the fact, and then in the official copy of the testimony that is submitted for the record, these imperfections are buffed out; incidentally it would be nice if normal people had this courtesy when dealing with the law).

These statements from Clapper were premeditated vicious lies. He knew that Sen. Wyden knew the truth, being privy to it, and he knew that it would be a felony for Sen. Wyden to reveal that he knew Clapper was lying. Clapper only had to be exposed because of Snowden.

Comment Re:Holy misleading summary, Batman! (Score 1) 587

Sad Puppies is different because it used the slate to effectively take over a category. In the past, there most definitely has been bloc voting, any look at the nominations clearly shows that the nominated blocks haven't changed much at all. A very small number of nominations has been enough to get you on the ballot.

The slate providing 4-5 nominations per category pushes out other works, which is new. So in the past, a bloc or voting campaign would get the target work on the ballot, which was seen as fine, because other works also got on.

I think something like 75% of the nominations made it to the ballot.

Comment Re:Honestly (Score 1) 587

That's also where I heard it. It might be a fine story, it's just sort of an odd choice for SF/F. I think the Sad Puppies campaign is a backlash against this, among other problems they see with the genre.

What just makes it that much more odd is that the Nebula is a jury award, and is arguably (with the Hugo) the pinnacle of the industry. The author is pedigreed and connected well enough that she was a quite an industry star, and that may have helped her otherwise not SF/F work - Iowa Writers Workshop, UC, etc.

I makes sense that SF/F should be diverse and progressive, it's just a little weird to see the awards spin fairly far off base from the roots of the genre.

There is also a popularity gap. The works that win are trending down into more obscurity, except in some categories. I mean this year's nominations include self-published works read by not more than a few hundred people, and episodes of Game Of Thrones, seen and loved by millions.

Seems like disarray.

Comment Honestly (Score 2) 587

It does seem like a big deal. I mean, last year there nominations titled "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love", which was an unusual choice for both a Nebula (a different SF/F award, chosen by a jury) and a Hugo nomination. The genre is floundering fairly hard.

Comment A Good Thing but for bad reasons (Score 1) 98

This is probably a good thing, but the most likely reason to do this is to juice their diversity numbers. Both companies have problems with diversity and by bringing in lower skilled, lower paid workers to the corporate fold, they will immediately increase the number of minorities on staff.

Next reporting period, when they disclose their racial and ethnic diversity numbers, look for a big jump in the number of minorities on staff.

Comment Re:What it really reveals (Score 1) 112

True, you didn't built everything from source, but you were happy enough that everything traced back to "the" sources to make you feel secure. That's a lot more protection than anything from a commercial vendor, who probably just sold you formulaic encryption without any extra work to make you feel secure. Your data would have been more secure, if not actually secure, but you'd have felt it less, because really you have no way of knowing. So without somebody taking the extra time to make you feel secure, you naturally wouldn't feel it very much, if at all.

The problem is that there is no conceivable way to do what you are saying. It involves compromising or proxying disparate traffic, expertly.

And then, after all that, it would involve rooting an otherwise secure installation that is barely network connected, and using that to inject what, defects into the right sources so that the resulting binaries are weak or exploitable?

I agree that the NSA, CIA, and FBI have extraordinary capabilities, but the attack vectors that have thus far been revealed are the same attack vectors that security researchers have known and published for a long time - firmware, obscure libraries that are often used but seldom examined, zero-day exploits of popular software, mathematical flaws in encryption implementations, and physical security and chain of custody.

All of which is to say, the basic landscape of the threat has not changed much in 20 years. It is sophisticated, but as always, a strong layered defense and strong procedures and policies will minimize the possible impacts, exploits, and severity of breaches (if they occur in the first place). There are few things more secure than a well maintained GNU/Linux or OpenBSD box running in the wild.

Comment Re:Actually, ADM Rogers doesn't "want" that at all (Score 5, Insightful) 406

If, on the other hand, you live in a world where simply crying "Encryption!" is some kind of barrier that magically sanctifies the underlying data, and that it then cannot and should not ever be accessed by anyone other than the data owner...well, then I would ask what you think about the German and Japanese codes in WWII?

I think it's deeply sick that our government or anyone would equate our foreign, Congressionally declared, military enemies locked in nearly unrestrained warfare with the private effects and papers and their electronic equiavlents of it's peaceful citizens.

The law and Constitution (as interpreted and implemented by our system of government) are the constraints -- not specific technological capability.
Disagree. The Constitution recognizes an inherent right - that of a person to be secure in his person and papers from unreasonable search and seizure of his person and those effects. That natural right, along with the natural right to be held personally inviolate (i.e. not tortured) are the dual foundations for the presumption that encryption keys, like secrets ensconced in your memory, are immune for the government's attempts to ascertain them.

What he "wants", when US-based companies hold data that still can technically be accessed for legitimate foreign intelligence purposes supported by our system of law, is that a legal framework should allow for it. When it can't be, it's up to NSA to determine other mechanisms to access that data.

It is impossible to know hat the NSA, or any government agency, actually wants. There is no legal nor oversight mechanism that will force them to disclose that information to you, or me, or even to their Congressional overseers, or even to other members of the Executive branch. They have demonstrated lawlessness at the highest levels and vast dishonesty, using every legal, regulatory, judicial, and yes extra-legal mechanism possible to avoid operating transparently. Whatever the intention, whatever the reason, it is beyond question that civic minded citizens should believe any pronouncement, no matter how clearly worded it appears to be, from the Executive branch. When the Director of National Intelligence says point blank they are not collecting records of millions of Americans, it is not simply a matter of redefining away the words. It's lying. Without punishing those who deceive American citizens and especially Congressional oversight, we must only be left to assume that the NSA operates outside of the realm of the rule of law, and because of that, we must act accordingly.

Even if it means a massive terrorist attack on US soil, even if means the collapse of the government, or invasion, or a mushroom cloud over a major US city, we have to resist the presumption that any agent of the executive acts without oversight and accountability.

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.