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Comment: Re: Try and try again. (Score 2) 445

by rabtech (#49185757) Attached to: Microsoft Convinced That Windows 10 Will Be Its Smartphone Breakthrough

You must have lost your mind. I used Windows Mobile for years. I had to install task managers to kill apps before they killed my battery. I had to install a registry editor and fiddle with settings to get even basic functionality working. IE on WM was a sick joke. I rebooted the phones every other day just to keep working.

  iOS was better in every way. It had a real grown up browser. Shit just worked. The fluid animations were just icing on the cake.

Powerful but flaky is useless.

Comment: Re:Slashdot stance on #gamergate (Score 0, Troll) 693

by rabtech (#48861711) Attached to: Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force"

Why is it that you have to fall back on name-calling? Why not address the actual point?

It is wrong to dox people.

It is wrong to swat people.


It's ridiculous how much vitriol and harassment is being dished out against random people (mostly women) just because you don't like what they say.

To a letter, every single person I've talked to who is supporting gamergate is spouting lies and half-truths. Maybe there was a legitimate point buried in there, but it's long been lost in the random mob attacks.

Now people are being attacked simply for saying "hey guys, random aggression/doxxing/swatting isn't cool".

It's pure insanity. You should be ashamed of yourself and your comment.

(For the record, I hate the SJW crowd and the Tumblr really-a-dragon-spirit bullshit, but that doesn't make it OK to lash out)

Comment: Re:Why tax profits, why not income? (Score 4, Insightful) 602

by rabtech (#48514973) Attached to: UK Announces 'Google Tax'

Tax income, and they have reason to make less. Why go get the new job that pays a tad more when 25% of your raise goes to the feds?

This has to be one of the dumbest arguments of all time and I can't imagine anyone who actually has money ever actually operates this way or they're headed for ruin rather quickly.

Of course you take the job; 75% of the extra income goes into your pocket. A business that decides not to sell more widgets at a 75% profit margin because they'd have to spend 25% to sell the widgets (taxes, overhead, etc) is a business headed for bankruptcy.

The only programs in the USA that lead to less overall income when you get a raise are ones for poor people like Medicaid where making one extra dollar can cut off your benefits.

Comment: It's the data, stupid! (Score 1) 558

by rabtech (#48235933) Attached to: Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

Sounds a bit glib but this is totally about retailers data mining you. The banks are giving Apple a cut from their side of the fees so it costs the merchants nothing. In fact it lowers their liability because the ApplePay numbers are single use tokens, not credit card numbers. But that means they can't track your purchase history.

Google Wallet (as far as I can tell) does not use one time numbers; I presume that's why they never card about it.

Comment: Humans don't move that quickly (Score 1) 144

People interested in programming in high-school probably had some nerdy interests as adolescents. Interests that weren't squashed by teachers, peers, or parents as so often is the case.

By the time they are 16 or older it's probably too late. Granted there are certainly exceptions, but don't look for a shift in numbers so soon. It takes a concerted effort over at least a decade to begin moving the needle, then a slow ramp up over the following decade to shift the cultural pressures and expectations. Look at how long it took for geekdom/nerdiness to become accepted.

There's also the whole unique snowflake issue where the first girl to show up at the clubhouse is likely to attract a lot of attention, which can go in a negative direction fairly quickly because young kids are so scared and unsure of themselves (on both sides). Once you regularly have girls/women in programming meet ups, comp-sci courses, etc it becomes much less of an issue.

We know this is just cultural and not some bullshit "maybe girls don't like programming" garbage because the ratio of women in the field was much higher in the past.

Comment: Seriously (Score 1, Insightful) 132

by rabtech (#48069539) Attached to: FCC Puts Comcast and Time Warner Merger On Hold

I'm not talking about spread out rural areas here, so let's just stop that idiotic argument right up front.

For the top 50 major cities in the US, how can anyone argue that the government is less efficient than private enterprise? It would take maybe 10-20 years and we could get 95% coverage of gigabit fiber to every home in those top 50 cities. Any ISP that wanted to offer service could plug their router in on the back end.

Of course that's the joke about free markets. There is no such thing because political connections will always exist and people will always abuse them to avoid competition if possible (that and duplicating last mile infrastructure is ridiculously expensive, making it a natural monopoly).

Comment: Re:gtfo (Score 1) 724

by rabtech (#48052423) Attached to: Intel Drops Gamasutra Sponsorship Over Controversial Editorials


Women tend to catch a lot of bullshit from immature men (boys?) online**. That's not news or controversial, except that a small but very vocal subsection of the gaming community reacted to that non-news by freaking out and throwing the world's largest temper tantrum. A small but very vocal subsection of the "social justice" crowd reacted by freaking out as well. Now there's a war between two camps arguing about a bunch of shitthatdidnthappen.txt, while everyone ignores the real issue. The entire thing has been lost behind a cloud of anecdotes, fabrications, and nonsense.

For the vast majority of us (gamers and non-gamers), the take away is this:

1. Don't be a jerk to other people. (Most of us probably have this one nailed already.)
2. If you spot someone being a jerk, call them out, don't just ignore it (The actual part that some people haven't put into practice).
3. Some people (e.g.: women) are far more likely to have had someone be a jerk to them and tell them they don't belong in the gamer community. Unfortunately it takes a concerted effort to overcome one jerk.
4. If someone is trying to do the right thing, then be supportive, don't be a jerk about tone/word choice/etc (probably applies more to the SJ crowd)

By practicing #2 the silent majority of reasonable people can tell the jerks and trolls to get lost. Again, we are talking about very small but extremely loud minorities of the overall communities here.

** Women are not the only group to experience this obviously, but the one we're discussing at the moment because they make up the largest group in terms of (% of all gamers):(harassment) ratio. Women are 40-60% of all gamers, depending on how you choose to define gamer which is another can of worms. Personally I don't have a burning desire to define game to exclude games I don't like but whatever.

Comment: Attention Slashdot Editors (Score 4, Insightful) 72

by rabtech (#48039859) Attached to: iOS Trojan Targets Hong Kong Protestors

Is this a story about iOS malware? Then you should require the answer to this question:


The only *interesting* iOS malware story is one that does not require jailbreak. I'm not aware of any; there may be some that use known or unknown exploits, but in this case the malware requires the user to have a jailbroken phone. That's not news or "stuff that matters".

Slashdot Readers

Comment: This is how it had to be (Score 1) 188

by rabtech (#47928063) Attached to: NASA's Manned Rocket Contract: $4.2 Billion To Boeing, $2.6 Billion To SpaceX

You can't unwind the tentacles of the military-industrial complex all at once. You also can't ignore SpaceX and how well they have been doing.

This award is simply acknowledging reality. Boeing has to get some pork to keep the lobbyists happy, SpaceX has to get some money to keep them in the running. It will be a slow shift over time as SpaceX continues to deliver for less money.

SpaceX is playing the game... why do you think they are opening a spaceport in Texas? Gotta spread those jobs around to keep Congress happy.

The funny thing is, you can play that government game and get rich while still delivering an excellent product (SpaceX). It takes several generations of bloated military contracts to teach people to stop working so hard (e.g. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, etc).

Comment: It's not that difficult (Score 5, Interesting) 202

by rabtech (#47759903) Attached to: How the Ancient Egyptians (Should Have) Built the Pyramids

Anyone remember that guy who was moving Stonehenge size concrete blocks around his back yard and erecting them in place, single-handedly? To stand them upright he would fill the pit with loose sand and slope one side of the pit, then he kept dumping water in. The mud was soft enough to be compressed and ejected from the pit as the stone slowly sank into place.

If you counter-balance the blocks you can move them fairly easily with just a few people. Or put them on a sled and use logs to roll them. Or flood the basin using Nile flood water and float them into place.

It doesn't take super-geniuses or fancy technology, it just takes dedication and some manpower.

These dumb "How did the Egyptians do it?!?!?!" stories are highly annoying. They did it first and foremost by deciding they were going to do it, trying and failing several times, then perfecting their techniques. Same damn way we got to the moon. The hardest part is step 1.

Comment: Use DRM (Score 4, Informative) 209

by rabtech (#47578123) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

No, not that DRM, I mean Data Relationship Management. It's designed for taking that manual excel spreadsheet crap and turning it into an actual process. I should know, I integrated the JS engine into it. You can version the data, blend (merge) it, and so on and create workflows.

I don't feel bad mentioning it since I'm leaving Oracle shortly to join a startup, but that's my full disclosure.

Comment: Hypothetical (Score 4, Insightful) 962

by rabtech (#47512031) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

For all of you trying to turn this into a men's rights issue, just stop.

You're embarrassing my gender.

  Yes there are some unfair things that happen to men. Yes there are some real issues.

But we aren't talking about those issues right here in this post. We're talking about women right now, so let's stick to the topic.

  Even as a man I find it highly annoying that the Internet jackass squad has to jump into the middle of every single conversation about women and cry "BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ?!?!". Just fucking stop it already. Write your own blog post about men's issues and submit it to slashdot and we can discuss it over there.

Comment: Re:Occams Scalpel (Score 4, Insightful) 962

by rabtech (#47511989) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Just how annoying is this person that she generates that kind of hate ?

I have worked with/under/and above women and the only time I have ever seen anyone get this kind of reaction, male or female is when it is provoked or the people perpetrating it were a few punch cards short of a program.

Says the person who's never been publicly visible. No matter who you are, what your personality is, etc there will always be some people out there that don't like you, won't hire you, or otherwise throw negativity your way even if you've done absolutely nothing to earn their hate.

Your reaction is what I've noticed most women get if they even gently bring something up. It's 100% complete denial and blame the messenger.

What I can't figure out is why? I'm a guy, I'm a software developer. I like to work off data. Every single even halfway notable woman I've seen or talked to from conferences in person to online forums and Twitter all tell the same story: massive ongoing campaigns of harassment. The quantity only varies with the topic under discussion. Even the women developers I've worked with who aren't famous have multiple stories of being threatened with rape, patted on the head and dismissed in a meeting with colleagues, having their boobs grabbed at conferences, etc.

True, this behavior may be a small group of bad apples, but by denying the problem exists at all you're enabling those bad apples to continue doing what they do. You don't need to do much to be part of the solution, just admit you're not a woman and don't actually know what women experience when other men aren't watching and that there's so much smoke from almost every single woman in tech it is highly probable there is fire.

Seriously, why can't we just admit women catch a lot of shit just for being women in tech? No one is claiming they shouldn't catch shit for having stupid ideas or writing bad code. No one is claiming you can't ask women out or you have to be some kind of PC choir boy for fear of offending someone. What is this irrational urge to deny, deny, deny?

Comment: Huge Caveat! (Score 5, Informative) 98

by rabtech (#47502555) Attached to: Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

There is a huge caveat here:

You can only do this if you have the keys from a computer you have sync'd with previously. That only happens if you enter your passcode then see the "Trust this Computer" prompt on a computer that has iTunes installed and you click "Trust" at the prompt. That creates a set of sync keys that the iOS device will then accept to access the various services.

Some of the stuff he complains about is only enabled for devices used for development or if the device is enrolled in enterprise provisioning. As far as I'm aware, Apple requires that the company purchase the device on the company account to support over the air enrollment in this system so it wouldn't affect personal devices. Even for USB connected devices, you must enter the password/passcode to allow the device to be visible to MDM tools in the first place. Even enabling development mode requires entering the password/passcode.

The one main point he brings up (which I agree with) is Apple needs to provide a way to see the list of computers on your device and remove them.

There are some other more theoretical issues here that Apple should address, but no your iPhone is not running a packet sniffer and will not hand over files to anyone who connects. If your device isn't provisioned for enterprise and has never connected to a PC to sync (the vast majority of iOS devices these days) then as far as I can tell, none of the issues he found are of any use whatsoever.

Comment: Re:Serious? (Score 1) 71

by rabtech (#47343133) Attached to: KeyStore Vulnerability Affects 86% of Android Devices

That was a new $700+ iPad, from the Apple Store in the summer of 2010 about five months after launch.

That's certainly a nerd sort of pedantically correct, but the scope and scale matter a lot. Apple is far, far better about updating old devices. Anyone who tries to argue that they are equivalent to Google on this front is just being an asshole.

Yes, there are a few models that did not get more than two years of OS updates due to hardware limitations (or business reasons if you want to think that) and the iPad you mention is one of those.

If we compare to Android, the majority of all Android devices have *never* seen a software update. A supermajority (if not 90%+) don't get updates a year past their original introduction (meaning people buy them brand new and *never* get a single update).

By contrast, when Apple's famous "goto fail" bug was discovered, they issued a patch for my test device, a four year old iPod Touch 4th generation running the end-of-life iOS 6. The patch was released immediately, at the same time as the patch for the latest hardware.

Tell me... what 4 year old Android devices are getting any OS updates whatsoever?

Honestly... how is this even slightly controversial?

Apple controls their own hardware and software, and they release a limited number of models. Their support burden to release updates for older devices is minimal. They also have the benefit of requiring complete open access from the carriers and have stuck to their guns, forcing carriers to cave in. (I remember the days before Apple, when carriers struck features from devices at their whim, and the only "app" store was the horrible carrier's app store). That's also part of the reason you will never see this on Android - having let the cat out of the bag, they absolutely will not allow anyone else to usurp their control again.

By contrast, Android is developed by one company, has firmware developed by an SoC company, then gets modified for hardware by another, then certified by thousands of individual carriers. If anyone in that chain decides it's too much work, doesn't care, or just drags their feet then you don't get updates.

P.S. Expect carriers (at least in the US) to start injecting boot loader verification into the baseband ROM, then refuse to let your device on the network if it has been rooted. They are fighting tooth and nail to not be a commodity dumb pipe and will try anything. Many of their most profitable customers are iOS users, so they basically can't avoid doing as Apple says (ask NTT DoCoMo or Verizon how resisting Apple's demands worked out). Samsung has no such leverage - one Android phone is, to a rough order of magnitude, as good as another, so when the carriers demand locking and verification you can bet Samsung will comply.

Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side. - Han Solo