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Comment: But is it that easy? (Score 1) 184

by swb (#46798689) Attached to: OpenSSL Cleanup: Hundreds of Commits In a Week

For a handful of developers to just "run through the code" and fix everything that easily? And do it quickly, without introducing other bugs?

I am not a developer, but I can remember writing software whether for BASIC, Pascal or Perl and going back to fix or extend something and seeing stuff and saying "Why did I do it that way?" and making changes that I'm not honestly sure were "improvements" except for they seemed like improvements at the time even though they may have created new bugs.

I don't know anything about the internals of OpenSSL so maybe it is that easy, but it makes me wonder why it hasn't been done before. But I suspect it is complex and having a lot of people committing changes all at once seems like it runs the risk of working a cross-purposes without a lot of coordination (which, maybe they have).

Comment: I'm no engineer, but (Score 1) 159

by argStyopa (#46797515) Attached to: The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper least according to the summary, wasn't this a little histrionic?

"Without the tuned mass damper, LeMessurier calculated that a storm powerful enough to take out the building hit New York every 16 years." In other words, for every year Citicorp Center was standing, there was about a 1-in-16 chance that it would collapse."

No, the "lack of a tuned mass damper" was already presupposing that the POWER was out. The power doesn't go out in NYC all that often, and even if it did...Would it have been impossible to have, I dunno, 5 backup diesel generators tested in rotation every day to provide emergency power to the tuned mass damper in the event of a coincidental power outage AND storm?

Comment: Re:"subject" (Score 3, Informative) 108

by bill_mcgonigle (#46796389) Attached to: Google's New Camera App Simulates Shallow Depth of Field

Can boken be overdone? Sure. A 1mm think depth of field is overdoing it, but so is shooting at f/16 everywhere. But even a thin DoF and the right can result in some magical results

Just because you know what you're talking about, and we're among friends:

It's bokeh, with an 'h'. And it refers to the character of the blur, not the blur itself. If you've got an image, say f/3.4, a hipster might say "nice bokeh" to you, but he means that you have a good lens, not that you've selected a good aperture. And then he might also suggest you make a "glisse" print. ;)

And, of course, shallow depth of field is a huge fad, and there's an entire generation of kids who won't ever be able to tell where they were in any of their childhood pictures. *That* will seem very "early 21st century" in a couple decades.

Comment: Re:What poetry is this? (Score 1) 159

by Alsee (#46795773) Attached to: The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper

Or flip the view:
A towering bank undercut by a small church.


In the intersection between religion and the modern world
Religion razes grandeur to the ground for 20 pieces of silver.
In the intersection between religion and the modern world
Religion refuses to budge from barren historical ground.
In the intersection between religion and the modern world
A towering bank undercut by a small church nearly kills us.


Comment: I think AGW is largely a scam (Score 0) 338

by argStyopa (#46789975) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

...but I agree with the interpretation of the law.

IANAL, but if there is indeed an exemption section to the VA FOIA that states:
"Data, records or information of a proprietary nature produced or collected by or for faculty or staff of public institutions of higher learningâ¦in the conduct of or as a result of study or research on medical, scientific, technical or scholarly issuesâ¦where such data, records or information has not been publicly released, published, copyrighted or patented." ...then pretty clearly this data is very specifically exactly that, exempt from the FOIA.

*PERSONALLY* if the research was funded by public funds, I find such an exemption execrable, but it's the law and its authors that are at fault, nor Mann at all.

PS and tangential to the point of the OP: Slashdot, it's fucking 2014. Perhaps we could invest in modern posting tech that lets us paste things like biased quotes without getting crap codes like âoe ?
Or maybe convert all postings to monotype courier, so we're reminded that slashdot's still only a handsbreath above a BBS?

Comment: Re:"Current infrastructure" (Score 1) 351

by swb (#46787145) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

I think it's a scaling problem that affects not just local distribution but all distribution and even generation.

There's roughly 200 million passenger vehicles in the US, if 20% of them switched to electric you have a new total electrical load of 400 gigawatts. I think there are significant power scaling issues there that are hard to offset (eg, night charging, on-site solar, new efficiencies in other consumption, etc). Even if you cut it by a factor of 10, it's still a lot of power consumption that just doesn't exist now.

I'm skeptical that adoption will grow that fast for all kinds of reasons (cost, consumer acceptance, battery availability, etc) but I'm also skeptical that the power network can scale fast, either.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 176

by bill_mcgonigle (#46786947) Attached to: Heartbleed Sparks 'Responsible' Disclosure Debate

There's no one-size fits all solution. I've made the argument for informed disclosure here in the past, but in this case it probably wouldn't work. The DTLS code is so small and self-contained and the code so obvious to an auditor that just saying that there's an exploit in DTLS or to compile without heartbeat is probably enough to give the blackhats a running start. But there are other situations where informed disclosure is better than responsible disclosure.

Did Google do the right thing here? I'm not sure, but it's not completely clear that they didn't. There are several factors that bridge the gap between theoretical ideal and what can work in every situation in the real world.

Comment: Re:Which is why the smart grow underground (Score 2) 256

by swb (#46786231) Attached to: Criminals Using Drones To Find Cannabis Farms and Steal Crops

A guy I used to know in college was from a rural area. There was a small river that was navigable by canoe, and his brother used to go canoeing in the spring and plant seeds along the river.

He'd make a few trips during the summer to check up on them, in the fall he'd come by, cut them down to dry and then make one last trip to pick up the most promising plants.

Comment: "Current infrastructure" (Score 1) 351

by swb (#46784401) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

I'm curious if the residential electric grid (the part in most single-family home residential neighborhoods) is up to the task of charging electric cars if there's some rapid shift to EVs.

There's maybe 50 houses on my block, and say 75 cars. If half go to a Tesla-style car and charge at 10kW, my block alone suddenly has a new load on the neighborhood grid of nearly 400kW. Are we wired for that, especially in A/C season?

Suddenly that looks like a whole lot of grid demand.

Comment: Re:Hypocrisy abounds (Score 1) 804

by argStyopa (#46782167) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

To the Left, yes.

My favorite question to Democrats is: Quick, tell me 5 things that George W Bush said that were commendable.

I can easily find 5 banal positive things that Obama, or Kerry, or Clinton said that I agree with, despite disagreeing with them politically. I don't find them evil, just ignorant or misprioritizing things, so it's simple to find basic human statements I agree with.

If you can't find 5 positive things to say about your opponent, you're a zealot, and any discussion you enter is a waste of time.

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 289

by bill_mcgonigle (#46780493) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

and with the greater long term job security that working as part of a larger company provides

Aye, there's the rub. It works out until it doesn't. Wouldn't this guy be ripped if the put up with two years of this crap to just get outsourced anyway?

Because that's what they're saying here. They don't trust him to do his job. Maybe that's fair, maybe it's not, but it's something a professional in his line of work can handle and they're saying "no". They wouldn't ask a surgeon to file paperwork on each cut he intended to make, because they feel the surgeon is competent to make the best decisions in the time alotted. Him, clearly not (I'm assuming this is standard work, not 10-9's / life safety).

So, they're going to fire this guy anyway at some point. He might as well find employment with an outsourcing company that gets paid by the value and minimizes their time expense, which it sounds like the environment he's more comfortable being in.

You can live to work or work to live - it's not worth being in a sucky job when there are so many opportunities to get or create a different means of employment.

Comment: Re:We do not need solid state to replace platter d (Score 1) 253

by swb (#46780345) Attached to: SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

I think the theory behind caching is that what *should* work best is just keeping a list of the most frequently accessed blocks on flash, since, well, that's what you access most frequently. I would be nice to have a config tool that would be able to flag file(s) or directories as "always-cache".

I think the parent is mostly right in that most of the hybrid drives just have too little flash to really provide a lot of meaningful acceleration. 8 GB just doesn't cut it against 750 GB of platter. More flash capacity would also allow you to reserve some meaningful space to cache disk writes.

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow