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Comment: Re:Only usefull for wine? (Score 1) 55

by c0d3g33k (#48176209) Attached to: Direct3D 9.0 Support On Track For Linux's Gallium3D Drivers

You make no sense, since having only the proprietary driver available sounds to me like "require you to have a specific driver installed". The Gallium3D driver, which supports Radeon cards since the R300 series (Oct 2002), offers an alternative to the required proprietary driver. And since AMD regularly drops support for older hardware in the proprietary driver, the Gallium3D drivers supports a wider variety of hardware, and will continue to do so. Seems like writing for the proprietary driver is the more risky approach with a smaller potential audience.

Programming

Code.org: Blame Tech Diversity On Education Pipeline, Not Hiring Discrimination 227

Posted by Soulskill
from the maybe-fix-both dept.
theodp writes: "The biggest reason for a lack of diversity in tech," says Code.org's Hadi Partovi in a featured Re/code story, "isn't discrimination in hiring or retention. It's the education pipeline." (Code.org just disclosed "we have no African Americans or Hispanics on our team of 30.") Supporting his argument, Partovi added: "In 2013, not one female student took the AP computer science exam in Mississippi." (Left unsaid is that only one male student took the exam in Mississippi). Microsoft earlier vilified the CS education pipeline in its U.S. Talent Strategy as it sought "targeted, short-term, high-skilled immigration reforms" from lawmakers. And Facebook COO and "Lean In" author Sheryl Sandberg recently suggested the pipeline is to blame for Facebook's lack of diversity. "Girls are at 18% of computer science college majors," Sandberg told USA Today in August. "We can't go much above 18% in our coders [Facebook has 7,185 total employees] if there's only 18% coming into the workplace."

Comment: Re:So essentially... (Score 1) 76

by c0d3g33k (#48056635) Attached to: JP Morgan Chase Breach Compromised Data of 76 Million Households

Don't trivialize this by ignoring the true nature of the breach.

This is more like obtaining an exclusive unlisted client list detailing who exactly is doing business with a given organization. The phone book doesn't provide that connection - knowing names, addresses and phone numbers doesn't tell you which crucial and vulnerable businesses are associated with a household. Obtaining the same information from a business of interest is a different story entirely. Metadata is crucially important.

Comment: Re:Security through obscurity - useful but inadequ (Score 0) 76

by c0d3g33k (#48056559) Attached to: JP Morgan Chase Breach Compromised Data of 76 Million Households

Well, that's hardly comforting. So even spending an ENORMOUS amount of money on IT and security can't prevent your system from being breached in a big and spectacular way? Then either that enormous amount of money was spent poorly, or that information should not have been exposed to the internet in the first place until it was properly secured. They were breached, in a big way. So their systems were exactly as weak as I think, enormous expenditure aside. I fail to see your point. "They tried REALLY hard" doesn't count for beans if they don't succeed.

Comment: Security through obscurity - useful but inadequate (Score 4, Insightful) 76

by c0d3g33k (#48055657) Attached to: JP Morgan Chase Breach Compromised Data of 76 Million Households

The hackers appeared to have obtained a list of the applications and programs that run on JPMorgan's computers — a road map of sorts — which they could crosscheck with known vulnerabilities in each program and web application

I find this interesting because it shows both the usefullness but ultimate inadequacy of security through obscurity. Had the hackers been unable to obtain this information, the implication is that the breach would not have happened, or at least not happened as soon. Without the ability to create a road map, they would have had to take the less efficient approach of randomly guessing and probing with the hope that something worked. So keeping that list of applications and programs a secret has some value.

On the other hand, it underscores the importance of the point that people have been making about security through obscurity for decades: it's very weak security, and once that layer of the security onion is breached, there had better be stronger security layers underneath. Like patched and updated programs and web applications that close known vulnerabilities. I'm guessing that didn't happen, because the JP Morgan Chase management has probably acted like many other management teams I've had the "pleasure" of working with - they placed higher value on the secrecy than actually fixing stuff, because the former costs less, and it kind of works until it doesn't (and then that policy fails in a big way).

I sincerely hope that these breaches light a fire under the asses of lax management at these large companies and they realize that spending the time and resources to *really* secure their systems is worth it in the long run.

And then I laugh sadly, because that's wishful thinking.

Comment: Re:How long is a piece of string? (Score 1) 209

The data bits go by pretty fast when using one's phone as a hotspot to RDP to a work computer...

Yep. I've done that too. And that's kind of the point. The benefit of the unlimited plan isn't about the constant baseline level of usage - it's more about when you need more data than normal. If you don't approach the capped limit, Verizon comes out ahead because you used "less" than your alotted limit (if you were capped). but when you exceed the capped limit under the new plans, you pay dearly, because you likely don't just go over a little bit, you go over a lot for the time when you are solely relying on that 4G data stream. And you probably really need it, so there isn't the option of just not using your 4G connection.

I personally find the concept of data caps problematic because unless you consistently exceed them, you can't really be considered to be "abusing" the network when your usage spikes on occasion.

So why the big focus on data caps? Probably because they know that data usage is only going to go up, so what used to be excessive data usage becomes the new normal. And then your risk of exceeding the data cap becomes even greater, and the framework is in place to catch you doing so in order to extract the requisite fees.

One thing I've never heard is the data caps being raised as a function of the average use across the entire customer base so that overages continue to represent spikes of excessive use rather than just evolving with the increase in streaming everything. As more people stream, the idea of what constitutes excessive use should increase.

Comment: How long is a piece of string? (Score 3, Insightful) 209

Stupid analogy, that.

Useful answers to this should take into account the problem with the question of "How long is a piece of string?" Give some context about how much you pay, and how much you use -- and how much that would change if the price were different.

The second half of the commentary in the summary is a bit easier to digest. Yes, it all boils down to math. The key is, Verizon has probably calculated how the math will benefit them in the long run, and customers effectively can't, so the game is rigged from the start.

Let's give an example. Verizon bases their "limited" usage caps based on the average usage of their aggregate customer base (plus a little wiggle room, I guess). So on average, the data usage of a given customer won't go over the limit. However, the usage of a particular customer might exceed the cap at particular times. Travel/vacation time is a good time for this. You use more data while running the GPS-based turn-by-turn navigation while driving to your destination. Once there, you want some entertainment during the evenings, but you're not at home where you can use your home-based internet via wi-fi, so you stream some Netflix via 4G. Since your phone can output 1080p via HDMI, you use that cable you bought to plug into the HDMI port of the television at the place you are staying. Depending on the length of your stay, that's a significant spike in your data usage.

Under the unlimited plan, you either get throttled at some point (but now you don't) or you just don't notice the fact that you wandered above the average usage for the week or two you were traveling, because unlimited. Under capped, metered data plans, you are subject to overage fees based on a cap that has been fine tuned to be just above the threshold of "normal" usage, so your bill is higher. It may be only for those few weeks, so easy to absorb, but add that up across the entire customer base and Verizon has made more money than they would have with the unlimited data plans in place.

*That* is what it's all about. So unless you absolutely have to, you might as well stick to your grandfathered unlimited plan, because once you give it up, you will be fleeced, even if just a little bit.

Comment: Re:Speak for yourself, Mr. Emanuel (Score 1) 478

by c0d3g33k (#47967347) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

I have a wife who is a board member for the local hospice, so I get to accompany her to a lot of functions. Many of the board members are approaching or have passed the age of 70 and still seem to be going strong. Note I said "board members" - those who are managing the entire affair (quite effectively from what I can gather), not those in need of care. Your friend may have experienced some selection bias because of his work. That doesn't mean his observations apply to everyone. In fact I'm sure they don't.

Comment: Speak for yourself, Mr. Emanuel (Score 3, Insightful) 478

by c0d3g33k (#47966951) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

You lost me when you assigned an arbitrary number as your cutoff rather than defining the cutoff on reasonably definable measures of physical and mental health. I exercise, eat healthy, avoid smoking and drugs etc. because these activities provide *measurable* benefits to my health based on measurements made by my doctor. Not to mention that I feel better.

Does the fact that I do things that measurably improve my health and prolong my life as long as possible mean I am "obsessed"? Does "I don't smoke, overeat, take drugs or engage in dangerous life-threatening activities (extreme sports, for example)" mean I am obsessed? I find it completely rational, and my insurance company sure loves it because I'm a low risk according to their actuarial tables. Because science.

If I take your advice, I should just sit around and passively wait to die after reaching a certain age rather than doing things that measurably increase my ability to be "vibrant and engaged". Sorry, but no thanks. Save me a place when I get to the Pearly Gates - I might be a little late to the party. And when I get there, we're going to blow the roof off of that sucker.

Mars

2 Mars Missions Set For Arrival, Both Prepare for Orbital Maneuvers 65

Posted by timothy
from the you-can-collude-but-don't-collide dept.
As reported by the BBC, NASA's Maven Mars orbiter has nearly reached the red planet, and will undergo a 33-minute rocket burn to slow its course. Monday's big manoeuvre on Maven's engines will place the satellite in a high, elliptical, 35-hour orbit around the planet. Confirmation of capture should be received on Earth shortly after 0220 GMT (2220 EDT Sunday; 0320 BST). "We should have a preliminary answer within just a few minutes after the end of the burn," said [principal investigator professor Bruce] Jakosky. In the coming weeks, engineers will then work to bring Maven into a regular 4.5-hour, operational orbit that takes the probe as close as 150km to Mars but also sends it out to 6,200km. India's first mission to Mars faces a critical test as it does a similar maneuver -- firing of a rocket to slow its travel as it approaches Mars orbit.

This is a good time to punt work.

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