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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: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: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:Are you kidding (Score 1) 804

by bill_mcgonigle (#46768487) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

I have no interests in controlling women's reproductive lives, but as a Catholic I believe life begins at conception, and abortion is murder.

I don't disagree with you, but what matters in public policy is actions, not sentiment.

The operative question is whether you believe society is better off by imprisoning mothers who get abortions.

It's possible to both believe it's murder and to believe that imprisonment/prosecution is not the correct response. Don't be fooled into the "insult/vengeance" paradigm that we're told by civil religions to be essential. I'm pretty sure you'll find the opposite recommendations in the Gospels.

And, BTW, this is why "the issue" cannot be resolved by our current system of governance - it's located directly at the insult/vengeance nexus. Until we can get past legislating revenge the "two sides" will never find any common ground.

Comment: Baloney (Score 1) 98

by bill_mcgonigle (#46768339) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

I cannot believe the summary. Thousands of Slashdotters here already knew that elevator cables need to be super strong and that carbon nanotubes are the only calculated material that can do it and that spinning long nanotubes is a technological problem.

The Google research team did not discover these things - they're smart guys, they already knew this.

So, venturing further into the story will be a waste of time. If Googlers did spend time on space elevators, then they probably did learn some new things. But they may well be keeping that knowledge in the "deep freeze"r for when they can make some money at it.

Comment: Re:Polution tax (Score 1) 156

by bill_mcgonigle (#46768213) Attached to: Pollution In China Could Be Driving Freak Weather In US

Hey! That's a good idea. Put a 500% tariff on everything that's not made here. Who care who makes it?

Brazil does this. Since Nikes cost $300 a pair, the local manufacturers can get away with charging $165 for a pair of sneakers. That's just under a week's median wages.

All these policies do is keep the people poor. It's a non-zero-sum game with losses on all sides.

Comment: Re:The Canadian Exodus.... (Score 5, Informative) 1578

by bill_mcgonigle (#46768039) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Everyone should be armed.

This is how Switzerland does it. They haven't been in a foreign war in two hundred years. Even Hitler decided not to try it.

Their crime rate is very low and they actually have a civil defense plan that doesn't involve people hiding in closets and hoping somebody shows up to save them. Plus, obviously they don't need to incur all the costs of foreign wars, so they can run data centers, banking platforms, and ski resorts instead.

Comment: Re:Get rid of income Tax (Score 3, Insightful) 416

If you want to talk overall economic health, taxation does not really impact it since all those tax dollars just go strait back into the economy anyway.

Please remove this falsehood from your economic system. If you take productive money and piss it away on boondoggle projects instead of useful purposes then it's a complete loss for the economy. The entire premise of capitalism is that money that gets invested into useful purposes (production equipment, invention, entropy-reducing services) multiplies the value of that money over time. All spending is not created equal (so far from it)! Hanging fiber optics on poles and getting drunk are not equally beneficial!

it tends to skew who pays and who does not

Everybody pays. The producers add their tax burden to the cost of goods. The study from Harvard econ. sets the price of goods as 22% higher (average) than they would otherwise be without the income tax. When that single mother is buying a $3 loaf of bread for her kids' school lunch, more than fifty cents of that is going straight to pay the income taxes of the people in the supply chain. That's why it's the most regressive tax possible. People can only pretend that it's progressive if they completely ignore second order effects and beyond.

Comment: Re:And they've already stopped (Score 4, Interesting) 289

by bill_mcgonigle (#46757985) Attached to: OpenBSD Team Cleaning Up OpenSSL

$30,949 is how much the OpenBSD Foundation received in donations in 2013. That has to get fixed as their expenses were $54,914 and only a one-time transfer from an old account covered the deficit.

The community that depends on OpenSSH, OpenNTPD and the like needs to figure out how to support these projects.

Personally I'd like to see the Foundation offer targeted donations to specific projects with a percentage (~20% perhaps) going into the general operations fund. I bet there are a bunch of people who would throw a hundred bucks at OpenSSH but would be concerned that a general donation would go to some odd thing Theo is doing (whether that be fair or not).

And if "Fixing OpenSSL" were one of the donation options, then hold on to your hats - I think we're all in agreement on this. We do know that the folks currently working on the projects are paid by others but if the Foundation can get enough money to offset expenses then it could actually do some development work and possibly finally take care of some sorely-neglected tasks on a few of these codebases.

Small is beautiful.