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Comment Two, both for mobile devices. (Score 2) 480

(1a) Root/jailbreak everywhere, as an easy option (not called that any longer). Rather like the security control on Mac OS. "Security" on by default, but can be turned off with a click.

(1b) An unlocked SIM socket on every device, of every size, along with a dialer/calling app for mobile networks. So that I don't have to choose amongst the limited selection of "phablets" but can instead use an iPad Mini or a Samsung Galaxy S2 as my phone if I want to.

Comment Sadly, I find the same thing. The SJW feminists (Score 3, Insightful) 291

are rather sexist and are so busy fighting against "masculinism" that they don't notice they're reifying the very gendered category system that feminists once, at the beginning, set out to make obsolete. Once again, war, labor, objectivity and striving are seen increasingly as being for men, while flowers, cooperation, peace, and "locality" (a thin veneer over domesticity) are the supposedly more desirable feminine (i.e. not so masculine) traits that we ought to promote.

It's gone gone from "women should be free to leave the kitchen and join any action they want" to "if we can move the Oval Office and the battlefield into the kitchen, we can have women present in both places as they cook!"

Comment This seems unsurprising to me. (Score 1) 103

I'm no expert in human cognition or neural nets, but it seems to me that if, on average, something looks like a human face to the average human, then it must share regular correspondences to a human face. Take a few of these that vary in one way or another but all share such average correspondences and average them together, one would expect to get a human face.

I don't know, the obviousness factor is just still there for me. Maybe the profundity escapes me.

Comment First, this post is an ad. (Score 1) 145

Second, and in the spirit of my frustration, I'll encourage everyone just to hit Amazon or eBay and get better deals than big-box black friday deals. Oh, and on eBay and Amazon you can get them year-round and without having to battle large-muscled, tracksuited, crooked-teethed thugs that are in stores at 12:01 AM scooping up the total four items actually available at the uncompetitive but somehow alluring price that was advertised to millions.

Black friday is a scam. Also, Best Buy is a scam. Also, Wal-Mart is a scam.

Comment Bizarro world (Score 2) 156

Um, I would hypothesize that there is correlation between liking Sci-Fi and liking technology and coding that has nothing to do with gender.

Gosh, why don't we focus on poetry instead of tools in shop class? BECAUSE IT'S SHOP CLASS.

You might get a few unusual suspects to come to the first week of shop class if it's focused on cake-making, too. But eventually the tools will come out and at that point you'll still lose anyone that wasn't in it for the hardware and banging.

Same thing goes for IT and STEM in general. It is what it is. Geeks like it. Geek women like it. They also like films and bits of pop culture that are full of technology and physics and stuff. Downplay that all you want, but at the end of the day, it is what it is. Hanging a bunch of photos of flowers and unicorns in programmer school is not going to keep the flower-and-unicorn set there once the homework begins.

I read the Fortune article linked from the Facebook post and it's pretty flawed. It's based on simply asking teen girls if some art and flowers in the classroom would make them more likely to enroll in computer science classes. Of course they said yes. That has shit all to do with whether they'd actually do it, or whether they'd actually stay in computer science class once they got there. Clearly not. Anyone that is swayed to choose their courses by the presence of art and flowers in the classroom (or that concedes so easily to a survey like this one) is not likely IMO to stick around and become a computing professional through years of staring at a screen all day, or to hang tough through the related homework.

Silly stuff.

Comment The public knows not thing one (Score 1) 568

about civil engineering regulations. They know they want buildings to be "safe" and also that they want buildings.

I expect the same over the next 50 years in tech. They know they want tech to be safe and they know they want tech. The regulators and legislators will take care of the rest, for better and for worse.

Comment Yup. And when security is a key to operational (Score 2, Interesting) 291

goals, this is close to what happens. Where truly "hard" computing is necessary, resources are disconnected from networks, etc. People know which side their bread is buttered on, they're not fools. Sure, security is an important "nice to have" but it's not bigger than the task at hand in most cases.

Witness how the public continues to use cloud services, social media services, online commerce, and mag-stripe credit cards, despite regular breaches. They'll bitch and moan, but they're not going to stop doing their stuff.

Similarly, notice how Linux effectively rules the world as THE key component of network and mobile space infrastructure, even dominating big chunks of consumer space (i.e. Android). And meanwhile, OpenBSD is an asterisk.

People want security, sure, but they're not going to choose to martyr themselves (or their projects or tasks) to it. Linus is a pretty smart guy at the end of the day.

Comment And by the way, (Score 1) 568

as more computing systems become more visible to the public as risks (self-driving cars, autonomous drones, potentially robotics down the road, etc.) I fully expect we'll get to a point where software engineering is a tightly defined field, primarily regulated by government works, yes with a drastically limited and highly scrutinized toolset available to which hobbyists are not limited. The public will increasingly demand it, or the code will simply not be allowed in public at the end of the day (again, think self-driving cars).

Comment Not trying to say that the implementation is the (Score 1) 568

same, but rather that the needs and purposes that lead to the title are the same. The standards will have to be different (appropriate to the materials, practices, etc. of the field), but the reason for the standards is nonetheless clear: code that the public relies upon must serve the public responsibly, and the public has an interest in ensuring that this is so.

In private, for code whose execution instances will only affect one individual or family at a time, people are free to use Visual Basic code written by copying and pasting from Google searches if that's what they prefer.

Comment The difference is starting us in the face, yet we (Score 5, Interesting) 568

back away from the distinction again and again. It's not programming vs not-programming, and it's not about building stuff in meatspace vs. building stuff in memory.

It's about public vs. private effects and risks. People who build stuff for backyards = not engineers. People who build stuff for the public square = engineers. People who build a bridge over their own stream themselves = not engineers. People who build a bridge over a public byway for heavy public use = engineers.

The same ought to be true in codingland. If you are building critical public infrastructure or software that many people must use in order to participate in society, then you should be licensed and bonded and held to higher standards. If you are building software that is for personal, private use, then this is not the case.

Note that I am talking about instance of execution, not instance of code. For example, MS Windows would not be "engineering" code because each instance of execution is private, while the code inside, say, a traffic lights system, aircraft control system, or automobile is "engineering" code because these instances of execution happen in public, with public effects. (If MS Windows was to be used to run, say, a battleship, then it ought to be a separate "engineered" version held to higher standards of scrutiny, professionalism, and liability.)

We don't certify and license people as engineers because they might touch wood and steel we think wood and steel are special or important, we certify and license people as engineers whose single instances of wood and steel construction will each touch (and possibly put at risk) many lives.

Comment Linus isn't trying to make it black and white. (Score 5, Insightful) 291

He's trying to say that if people want powerful, flexible networking, they'll choose an 80% safe OS that enables this easily over a 90% safe OS that imposes lots of overhead costs to make it possible; that people will choose a 60% secure OS that runs their processing jobs in 3 hours over an 85% secure OS that runs their processing jobs in 6 hours.

He's pointing out that people like security well enough, but they want to get stuff DONE even more, and that most people will take the calculated risk to be less secure if it makes them more productive at lower costs. That if there is a less secure but more productive option, up to some arbitrary point (that is different in each case, but that can be inferred by the movement of markets and communities as a whole), they'll choose the more productive option.

And that there is no point in saying "then all of us that produce these things must get together and make highly secure, if less capable stuff, so that all choices are equally highly secure!" because as soon as that happens, a garage coder somewhere is going to have a project on github that says "I got tired of waiting for jobs to finish, so I wrote my own from scratch. It's totally insecure, but damned if it doesn't finish the job in half the time!" and that people will immediately flock to it.

In other words, his goals for Linux aren't for Linux to be the most secure OS on the planet, but to be one of the most useful and used ones.

Comment The point is that safety alone is not productive. (Score 4, Insightful) 291

We are talking about securing tools. But the point is that tools do things. We want tools to help us to accomplish the things that the tools do.

A perfectly safe hammer is entirely possible. Make it out of flame-resistant, soft, synthetic materials and fill it with something equally soft. Shape it more like a ball than like a stick, so no-one can accidentally stick it in their mouth and suffocate.

Of course, now you have something that can't be used to pound in nails—but it's entirely the safest hammer on the planet.

Will anyone buy it or use it? Of course not. And they'll still need something with which to pound in nails. That's Linus' point.

You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements. -- Norman Douglas