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Comment: Re:Should have been spelled out in the contract (Score 1) 64

by bill_mcgonigle (#49351641) Attached to: GAO Denied Access To Webb Telescope Workers By Northrop Grumman

Lesson learned for how to draw up future contracts, I guess.

Hahaha - if the contracts were designed to produce on-time, on-budget they would be written that way (fixed price, fixed requirements, penalties for late delivery). Their intended purpose is quite the opposite of that. If something useful happens to be generated in the process of funneling money from taxpayers to the MIC, so much the better excuse for the next contract.

Comment: Perhaps the problem is with the concept. (Score 1) 145

by hey! (#49349767) Attached to: Many Password Strength Meters Are Downright Weak, Researchers Say

What does "password strength" really mean?

If people used a textual representation of number obtained from a reliable hardware random number generator then the meaning would be unambiguous. It's the number of digits in that number. But most people don't do that (perhaps more should).

So what does it mean to say that a password has so many bits of entropy? Well, I guess it means how many truly random bits it would take to index their password from the universe of passwords the user considered. This is more an exercise in psychology than it is in mathematics. You have to figure out how users generate passwords or discount passwords. For example requiring a mix of upper and lower case letters doesn't add as much entropy as you'd think, because most users are mediocre typists who'll avoid using the shift key too often. Requiring digits means that many people will just "0" for "o" and "1" for "L".

So it's really easy to concoct passwords which you know are bad, because you know the methods used to select which passwords you'd consider; if the developers of the strength meter don't take your particular generation algorithm into account the meter will show the password to be stronger than you know it to be.

Comment: Re:Bummer (Score 4, Insightful) 262

by bill_mcgonigle (#49349439) Attached to: RSA Conference Bans "Booth Babes"

Personally a beautiful woman tastefully dressed is more of a turn on than the slutty look anyway.

I guess it's different because I pay for conferences out of my own pocket, but I'm not going to go to all the hassle and expense of attending an Expo to waste my time at a vendor booth which spends its marketing dollars on objectifying women. The women may be there of their own free will and the whole arrangement may be perfectly morally straight (for the sake of argument), but the vendor is clearly disrespecting its customers' intelligence, and that itself makes me feel uncomfortable and want to avoid their booth.

Each time I've experienced the 'booth babe' phenomenon, never once did any of them know what an ARP reply was or how many key exchanges TLS modes use. This isn't a matter of nerd-quiz, it's that talking to them serves no purpose for why I go to an expo.

While several I've encountered have been both nice and pretty, I never once imagined that I was going to scurry off to a corner to make out with one or that they might suddenly provide useful product information, so a polite smile, the briefest of small-talk to let them know that I value them as a human being, and a thank-you and I was on to the next booth to talk to a sales engineer. Did the booth-babe vendor have something useful to sell me? Maybe, but I only have so much time, and this wasn't why I was there. I don't care if the sales engineer has a spare tire and a scraggly mustache, because I'm not there to make out with him (or her) either.

That booth babes is a thing tells me a few things: 1) target customers don't get to talk to pretty women much unless they're being paid (Jesus people, try being kind and friendly for a change) 2) target customers are mostly there blowing their employers' budgets on a half-assed vacation and don't really care about the cost or value, and 3) they probably play the Lottery and go to strip clubs too, for all their investment is worth (but I guess they have nothing better to do).

There would be no booth babes if they didn't provide value, and that they do is an indictment of the crowd attending. RSA might be putting up a roadblock, but the industry only needs to look itself in the mirror if it wants to find someone to blame. Stop being creepy and get a girlfriend, people.

Comment: Re:Good news/Bad news (Score 1) 263

by roc97007 (#49349225) Attached to: RSA Conference Bans "Booth Babes"

tomorrow's email from management:

"The good news is removing attractive models from the event is positive progress for our society. The bad new is that we already bought the skimpy outfits for the models, so now you have to wear them."

If there is one truth in the world, it's this: Nobody wants to see me in hot pants.

Comment: Re:Bummer (Score 1) 263

by roc97007 (#49349197) Attached to: RSA Conference Bans "Booth Babes"

> Vendors are still willing to objectify women to have a chance at winning business.

...and certain women are willing to be objectified (at least a little bit) for money.

> If so, are you saying that attractive women are not allowed to represent a company or product?

That appears to be the case, yes. No fun allowed here.

Comment: Re:Bummer (Score 1) 263

by roc97007 (#49349171) Attached to: RSA Conference Bans "Booth Babes"

Actually they can still have booth babes they just need to look professional. Personally a beautiful woman tastefully dressed is more of a turn on than the slutty look anyway.

I know you mean well, but you're completely missing the point.

You beat me to it. I was going to ask "What part of 'turn on' did you not understand?"

Comment: Re:Love how they avoid the things humans CAN NOT D (Score 1) 152

by Qzukk (#49348853) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

As soon as any autonomous car advocates start talking about 'what actually happens'

Why yes! Just the other day a baby stroller magically appeared 2 feet in front of me while I was doing 90mph on the local autobahn, forcing me to make a snap decision between creamed baby or ramming the President's car which was carrying a gaggle of pregnant neurosurgeons to a peace conference that just happened to be in the other 5 lanes of the freeway and the shoulders and the sidewalks and the ditches, all at the same time (except for the lane the baby stroller was in, of course).

    Fortunately being the superior human being that I am, I was not constrained by mere binary thinking and through a little ingenuity and physics, managed to lean my manly, manly physique across the vehicle just in time to ski past the baby and land safely on the other side. Not only that, but as it gracefully settled back onto four wheels, the breeze from the air displaced by my HMMWV (only the real ones are worthy of my leisure time) blew out a forest fire that was threatening to ignite a fireworks factory right next to a nuclear waste storage shed.

Let's see one of those auto-no-muss cars do that!

Comment: Re:Top Gear: The BBC Whovian Reboot (Score 2) 530

by hey! (#49348357) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

A fourth car races by.

It opens, and the words Top Gear: Mark II appear.

It's a young British woman of mixed Asian descent.

The crowd goes wild.

Seriously, an exotic woman driving exotic cars too fast? Who'd watch that?

I would, because I'm a man and I'm not afraid to admit that on some level I'm a pig. Ideally she'd be smart and funny too, because I don't like to think of myself as being a total pig, but either way I'm in.

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes. -- Dr. Warren Jackson, Director, UTCS

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