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Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 459

Sorry, let me clarify.

During those 8 weeks or so it is a full time job. And honestly, some of the laws and especially the budget are so complex that it isn't something you just whip out the pen and start writing. Maybe full-time research staff, but honestly that is the job of legislators.

And I personally believe that they should spend as much time reviewing old laws for relevance, modification and possible repeal as they do making new ones.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 459

I don't know. This was the way things were set up back when it all started, a couple hundred years ago. The intent was that government was small enough to not be a full time job.

The problem is that belief has become a religion. We are no longer in the 1700s and the complexities of governing such a large and varied State have greatly evolved. It really isn't a part time job anymore, but not enough people are willing to admit that.

Comment Re:Too Late (Score 1) 237

It promotes a shallow understanding of the way things work. You can be good doing this, but will never be great unless you understand the fundamentals, deep down. This applies to almost every craft, and companies who are in the business of creating things should know that. It matters.

Comment Re:Oh you mean you want unintuitive code (Score 2) 237

The key is once you get a good knowledge of assembler, you stop using assembler as a general purpose tool and only use it were it would benefit.

Back in the day ham radio exams in parts of the world required building a functioning radio from supplied parts. You had to know how a radio worked, in the abstract.

That doesn't mean that once you have that knowledge you forever build your own radios from unassembled kit.

Comment Too Late (Score 4, Insightful) 237

"Code reuse, libraries, sharing, and open-source are very important to software engineering, but we should be careful to not enable the belief that programming should be as easy as gluing things together."

That is the management view of programming and a major corporate goal. This way it reduces the skills needed to complete the task, and hence you can pay less for the less skilled laborers.

Why do you think the average salary of a Windows Admin is lower than that of a Unix/Linux Admin? Because Microsoft pushed the "we've made it simple, just push the button" marketing drek and aimed it squarely at the management crowd -- who bought it hook, line and sinker.

"They made it easy, so I shouldn't have to pay you as much because anyone can do it. I'll just hire some kid with the latest MS cert..."

Comment Meh (Score 1) 9

Fun, if you totally turn your brain off.

I can't say it was worse than the prequels because of Jar Jar Binks, midi-chlorians and Hayden Christensen's acting skills (or lack thereof).

This one had plot holes big enough to drive a space freighter through. And the space physics were bad, even for Star Wars.

It was solely about passing the torch, making money and then making more money. Oh, and setting the tone that future installments will be shallow enough to skip stones on -- no more boring politics or attempts at though behind motives.

Comment Because It Works (Score 4, Interesting) 247

The simple truth is that while unbreakable encryption is out there in the form of books or papers with the math, most people -- bad guys included -- are lazy and just going to use what the simple, convenient stuff. (The back-doored stuff.)

They fall into the trap of thinking "there are so many people using Facebook chat, the authorities will never find MY stuff in all that noise". In many cases they end up using simple code-book substitution and trivial code names. Instead of Abdul al-Hazred, they'll use "Mr. White". Instead of the Twin Towers they'll use "Faculty of Commerce". They think they're being clever because THEY would never catch this stuff.

I've had this argument with gov't lawyers and it boiled down to me saying "but this is trivial to bypass -- smart bad guys would just use X", and them responding "yeah, but we'll catch the stupid ones and there are a TON of those".

Anyone who has studied the history of crypto knows it is damn near impossible to get it right every last time, much less develop it without bugs. Even WITH source code samples, algorithms and coding skills people who have been doing this for a lifetime screw it up. Thus, "the horse has escaped the barn" isn't really an honest argument. That horse is going to trip of its own volition fairly quickly.

The popular cryptographer and author Bruce Schneier in his blog recalled a conversation with fellow crypto expert Matt Blaze of the University of Pennsylvania, who said the publication of the Snowden documents would begin a âoenew dark age of cryptography, as people abandon good algorithms and software for snake oil of their own devising.â

Comment Re:Business is Booming (Score 1) 1134

They're one-day classes, so the training is essentially the bare minimum necessary to get the permit. Regardless, it isn't the responsibility of the instructor to ensure these people are competent in threat assessment and situational awareness. That takes constant practice, and THAT is my concern. Being able to properly handle a firearm, much less in an intense situation, takes commitment and practice.

Being a regular shooter at a couple ranges I can attest that the rise in the number of people coming to actually practice HAS risen, but nowhere near as much as the CC classes and gun sales have.

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