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Comment: Re:"no indication ... site has been compromised" (Score 2) 66

by tlambert (#46797835) Attached to: Preventative Treatment For Heartbleed On Healthcare.gov

If only it could have been prevented via a cheap, preventive program, instead of costing so much later! I know! We should lobby them to create a new agency, one tasked with the security of the nation, and when they knew about risks like this, why, they could step in and ensure that no one would unwittingly deploy vulnerable systems in the first place!

Perhaps we could call them the Responsible Agency for Intelligently Securing the Interests of the Nation... R.A.I.S.I.N., for short... or National Organization Securing You... N.O.S.Y. for short... I'm still working on the name.

We could even nominate someone to put in charge of making sure they are doing the job they are supposed to be doing, a kind of Special National Operations Watch Director Executive Nominee... Haven't decided what to call that one yet, either...

Comment: "no indication ... site has been compromised" (Score 4, Funny) 66

by tlambert (#46797719) Attached to: Preventative Treatment For Heartbleed On Healthcare.gov

"no indication ... site has been compromised"

I believe them.

What possible motive would a hacker have for targeting a site containing social security, tax, medical, personal, and financial information?

I'm sure it's all perfectly secure.

Just in case, though, you should probably change your one-factor authentication token so that the next time your "keep me logged in" cookie expires, it's hard to remember.

Comment: Re:"...who exactly is the H1-B police..." (Score 1) 211

by tlambert (#46797677) Attached to: California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers

Well there's an authority to base your response upon! I especially like the links to payday loans and making sure your H1B sponsor treats you properly. I missed the part where it actually backs up a single thing you assert since the press release it references is not linked.

http://www.uscis.gov/archive/a...

Government press release you could have googled yourself. Feel free to continue whining that nothing is ever enforced in this area of law.

Comment: Re:And the attempt to duplicate their efforts resu (Score 1) 447

by squiggleslash (#46796069) Attached to: Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

Not really, no. The "We're called racists if we say anything against Obama"/"Obama's a Kenyan Muslin usurper!" nonsense has been going on now for a long time. The AC's criticism is absolutely on the money. And ironically, you're attacking the AC for bringing up what you consider to be a strawman when you the "We're called racists just because we disagree with Obama" thing is a ridiculous characterization of what Democrats and liberals have actually criticized.

If you really want to do something about it, you need to counter-attack your allies when they try to pull either BS. Tell those who insist that Democrats are not highlighting actual racism when they complain about it to knock it off. And tell those who continue to push the Kenyan Muslim Usurper bullshit to leave, and stop self-identifying with Republicans. If you continue to call yourself a Republican, but also continue to allow such views to be associated with Republicans, you don't have a leg to stand on when you claim it's a "fringe".

Comment: Re:Frist pots (Score 1) 246

by metlin (#46796049) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

But it's you who sees religion where there isn't any. Why else would you call it "Calvinist"?

You should consider doing some reading, especially the writings of Max Weber -- "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism".

In American history, the work ethic that places value on hard work and frugality is often ascribed to the puritans. It is by no means unique to them -- if I had brought up Asian Tiger Moms or the Jewish work ethic, someone else would have jumped on that, ignoring the rest of my argument.

But historically and culturally, the puritans were known to place a higher value on being good, hardworking people than on the ceremonies of religion. In fact, their whole idea is that being a good and useful member of society is a far better display of being "good" than going to church or confessions. In that sense, they have effectively distanced themselves from the traditional ceremonies of religion, despite the origins of the term (which is also why the new GOP has a bastardized concoction of values that admire both Jesus and capitalism).

In any event, I certainly think there is value to that worldview (hard work and frugality), your religious affiliations (or the lack thereof) notwithstanding. Perhaps I should call it the Horatio Alger work ethic, as Neal Stephensen calls it.

All right, all right. I'll stop having a beef with you.

Eh. You do realize that I am an American, right?

Comment: "...who exactly is the H1-B police..." (Score 2) 211

by tlambert (#46793523) Attached to: California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers

And who exactly is the H1-B police who come arrest the violators?

That would be:

= U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
= U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services - Fraud Detection and National Security Division (FDNS)
= U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General
= U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS)
= U.S. Department of State
= U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa

At least that's who it was for this case: http://exbay.blogspot.com/2009...

So perhaps you are an idiot for implying that these laws are unenforced and unpoliced, and it's a scaremongering tactic which actually has very little to do with the offshoring indicated by the original article, which in turn has very little to do with H1-B's at all, since off shore workers are in other countries, and don't require H1-B visas to be employed by a U.S. company, if they never leave their home country.

Comment: Re:Profits (Score 1) 326

by tlambert (#46790797) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

Given that Ford earned $7.2 Billion in net income in 2013 and GM made a $3.8 billion profit over the same period I think GM and Ford will be very surprised to hear that they cannot make cars in the US profitably since most of their profit comes from US operations.

They'd only be surprised if you told them they'd be doing it in Detroit, instead of non-union plants in other U.S. states:
http://www.nytimes.com/ref/us/...

You don't need to expand factories to make the efficient.

Correct. You just need to reduce the number of employees to increase the profit per employee, which is something you can do with automation, and.or lower wages, which is not something you can do in Michigan.

Comment: Re:FLYOVER (Score 1) 326

by tlambert (#46790703) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

If you're interested in high tech manufacturing with a skilled workforce, it would be hard to find a better place than the automation alley counties. What you'll spend in wages will be more than made up in productivity. And you won't be spending a fortune in recruiting costs. If you build a factory your staffing problem won't be finding qualified workers, engineers or tradesmen, but getting a big enough HR department to hire them.

The reason all but one automotive assembly line has pulled out of Detroit is that the unions wouldn't allow that much automation, or you were "allowed" to have it, but you had to still hire the same number and type of workers to satisfy the contracts, so it didn't do crap to change your value to unit labor cost ratio.

You are an absolute idiot if you locate a manufacturing facility in a state where the unions are in charge of whether or not you get labor, and you can't push costs down by automation.

Most blue collar jobs have migrated outside the U.S. due to inflated labor costs relative to value produced. It has dick all to do with what a living wage is or isn't, and *absolutely everything* to do with value produced per unit labor cost. Most U.S. auto manufacturing that still exists in the U.S. at all is in non-union states, in non-union shops.

As Steve Jobs said, "Those jobs are gone, and they're not coming back". Near the end, before they sold it to Canon, the NeXT factory producing laser printers required exactly two (2) full time workers to operate the entire factory.

Comment: Re:Frist pots (Score 2) 246

by metlin (#46788953) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

You are clubbing all the 1% into a single group. There's a study by Saez and Zucman of Berkley/LSE that talks about how clubbing the entire 1% into a single group is disingenuous -- The other wealth gapâ"the 1% vs the 0.01%.

Most of the 1% to .1% are nothing more than hardworking Americans with a Calvinistic work ethic who have been successful. It is easy to do the math and realize how a two income family can break into the 1% territory after a couple of decades of hard work and fiscally conservative habits. Socially and economically, they are nothing like the top .1%.

The surge in 1% is entirely attributable to the growth in capital of the .1% while the rest of the 1% has in fact stagnated. The "middle rich" (1% - 10%) are in fact losing ground to the top .1% (i.e. capital is flowing upward) while the 1% to .1% have merely succeeded in holding on to their wealth.

Most government policies favor the really rich and *punish* the hardworking upper middle classes. In fact, I would argue in favor of Reagan-esque tax policies for these folks, who are for the most part well educated, successful individuals in banking, law, medicine, technology, consulting and so on. These are the ones who are really building the economy, but the ones who are being punished by the government and vilified by the mass media who club them with the truly wealthy.

Imagine a successful husband and wife earning $150k/year, working in a white collar job (lawyers, doctors, consultants, IT -- take your pick). According to the IRS, making $343k/year puts you in the top 1% (by income). But what about wealth? Well, that's supposedly $8.4MM.

Some simple math will make it evident that a husband and wife earning (an average) of $171k for 40 years (assume raises and lower starter incomes are factored into the average) who save 15% of their annual income, with a starting principal of $10000 will have ~$5.4 MM at the end of their careers. Assume that they invested in a home that cost $300k early in their careers, whose value has gone up 5X in the 30 year time that they had to pay off the mortgage. Assume that they more or less maxed out their 401K, giving them $17,500.00/year for 40 years each, which is ~$1.4MM. At best, they have $8.4 MM, assuming market crashes, children's education, and life threatening diseases didn't wipe out their savings.

However, by virtue of having $8.4 MM, suddenly, these people are being placed in the *same* category as someone with enough capital to buy legislation or pay an army of Cravath lawyers. That is not factoring in any smart investing in what's been a pretty bullish run (minus the recent crisis) or basic fiscal conservatism.

Comment: Re:at&t wasn't welcome anyway (Score 1) 91

If you honestly believe this, it makes me suspect everything else you said.

Well, tough, because it's true. Railroads were suffering from ever increasing property taxes, and the only way they could deal with them was by getting rid of as much property as possible, undermining their network effects. And like I said, it's in part one of the reasons, not the whole reason.

Interestingly most of the reasons you give are not real reasons - the Interstate system being a partial exception (though if that had been it I think the railroads would have survived), but the major ones are:

- Aforementioned tax burdens where taxes were in proportion to area and people served, not income.
- Stifling Federal bureaucracy, making it impossible to reorganize services as population shifts occurred and making cutting routes actually preferable to reorganizations.
- Aforementioned Federal bureaucracy preventing railroads from setting competitive prices. They were forced to sell many services at a loss, even when there was no reason to believe customers weren't perfectly prepared to pay proper commercial rates.
- Zoning reforms that made car ownership mandatory for anyone living in any area developed since the 1940s, plus the (deliberate, in my view) mal-administration of urban centers.

Add union intransigence to the mix, and the occasional mismanagement (Penn Central - if only they'd have let Al Perlman do his job), New Haven, etc) and it was a recipe for disaster.

Comment: Re:Almost all router bandwidth management is shit. (Score 1) 98

by tlambert (#46786077) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which Router Firmware For Bandwidth Management?

OK, as someone who has been trying different methods of QoS over the past years, with varying levels of success, mainly to have my VoIP phone rock solid over DSL, I'm very interested in what you're saying.

Is there a reason this approach hasn't been implemented yet? Does it break something? If my router is lying to one my upstream router about its TCP window size, wouldn't that impact both the FTP and video stream?

You lie about the window size on a per connection basis, so no, since it's not a global policy, it's a resource policy by application, and potentially by port/IP tuple, so it's not a problem. The point is to keep the upstream router packet buffers relatively empty so that the packets you want don't have to be RED-queued. Nothing breaks because of it.

It generally won't work, unless everyone "plays fair", and the port overcommit ratio for upstream vs. downstream bandwidth is relatively low. As the downstream data rate increases to approach the upstream data rate, the technique loses value, unless you get rid of overcommit, or do it on a per-customer "flow" basis (as opposed to a per virtual circuit "flow" basis) within the upstream router itself, or move to a "resource container" or similar approach for buffer ratio allocation in the upstream router.

So in theory, Comcast (as an example) could do it if they made everyone use the router they supplied, and their routers all participates in limiting upstream buffer impact.

Maybe the next time they replace everyone's cable modems, they'll bother to do it?

Without the deployed infrastructure, it's easier to RED-queue and just intentionally drop packets, forcing a client to request a retransmit as a means of source-quenching traffic. This wastes a lot of buffers, but they probabilistically get through, and for streaming video, that's good enough if there's a lot of client overbuffering going on before playback starts (JWZPlayer, for example, is a common player used for pirated content that will habitually under-buffer so intentional drops tend to make it choppy).

For VOIP, unfortunately, forced retransmit causes things to just typically suck, unless you use a sideband protocol instead, where the router at the one hop upstream peer agrees to reserve buffers for specifically that traffic. This is why Skype is terrible, but your phone calls over your wall jacks which are actually wired to the same packet interface instead of a POTS line are practically as good as a land line or cell phone.

Google hangouts tend to get away with it because they are predominantly broadcast, and are either "gossip"-based CSMA/CD (ALOHA style) networks between participants (i.e. people talk over each other, or wait until the other end is done before talking themselves). It means they tolerate large latencies in which 1:1 VOIP/Skype connections won't. They can be a bit of a PITA for conference calls because of that (Google uses it internally, and gets away with it, but mostly because Google has its own, parallel Internet, including transoceanic fibers), but if Google employees never see the problem, they never fix the problem. Same way any company that assumes local-equivalent bandwidth works as well for their customers as it does for them (free hint to Microsoft inre: Office 386 there).

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