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Comment: Re:Fairly Obvious (Score 1) 240

It is fairly obvious that it is in Google's best interest to provide these API's and to an extent they have. Apple makes a killing in the phone world not because their phones are locked down but because they are free of bloat. Heck if I could install a better browser and music player I'd be quite happy with iOS but I can't because it is locked down. Similarly my experience with Android is that I can't remove the Verizon crap and the HTC/Samsung crap so while Android is nice in an emulator (if really depressingly dark) it does not work in the real world without root because I need to substitute stock vanilla android to get the simple easier (Google you have a lot of work to do here...) to use interface that lets me just use my phone.

Comment: 200 pages? (Score 1) 140

Okay, you may think you only have time for 200 pages. And you may have some students putting in only the minimum effort but you really ought to have more than 200 pages. One of the best teachers I had assigned 100 pages a week for 11 grade history. I haven't read Blown to Bits yet (downloading) but it looks good. I would stay away from fiction even near reality works like Little Brother and 1984 as the primary source but they are important if only in how they have changed how we look at technology. Put them on an additional reading list and have them handy for the student that resonates with the material. Also consider having at least an excerpt of Lessig or watch one of his presentations in class. Have it ready for a substitute, he is a great speaker and I use him as an example when teaching presentation skills. You might also consider Bruce Schneier's blog as a source. Bruce has essays about this material and links to scholarly and popular works in this areas all the time.

Comment: Depends (Score 1) 146

by cppmonkey (#44147885) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: IT Spending In Engineering?
8% may be low, just right or high depending on what else is in your "engineering budget". The 50% number is management BS. A number pulled out of someone's arse that is completely meaningless. You could just as easily spend more on engineering salary and grow the "engineering budget" to the magical 4% spending target as slash costs to the point you are out of business. Let me suggest the better approach to your manager. Look at where you are spending money, evaluate alternatives and if you see something offering a significant cost saving like say dropping expensive Microsoft Office licenses for Libre Office (especially in the engineering dept.) then make the decision to save some money.
Security

+ - EFF to Verizon: Should Etisalat have a CA cert?->

Submitted by Peter Eckersley
Peter Eckersley (66542) writes "Today EFF published an open letter to Verizon (NYTimes coverage), calling for investigation of whether Etisalat is really an appropriate party to be a trusted SSL Certificate Authority. Etisalat is a majority state-owned telecom of the United Arab Emirates with operations throughout the Middle East. You may remember that last year Etisalat installed malware on its subscribers' BlackBerry phones, and was recently pivotal in the UAE's threat to disconnect BlackBerry devices altogether if Research In Motion did not provide a backdoor for BES servers' crypto.

This company, which appears to be institutionally hostile to the existence and use of secure cryptosystems, is in possession of a master certificate for HTTPS, encrypted POP and IMAP, and other SSL-based security systems. Etisalat's CA certificate is not trusted directly by Mozilla and Microsoft, but was instead delegated as an Intermediate CA by Verizon. As a result, we are asking Verzion to investigate whether it is appropriate for Etisalat to continue holding this certificate, and to consider revoking it."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Talk to them (Score 1) 453

by cppmonkey (#32928368) Attached to: Measuring LAMP Competency?
Lots of people have said: "have them design a trivial app". My experience is that a) a trivial app will be so trivial as to tell you nothing or b) take so long as to be unreasonable for an interview. It is a good idea in principle but hard to pull off. Something you could try is think back to the hardest exam you had in school what was a good problem on it. Try maybe: Write a derived type for use in this way... plus test cases, plus documentation. But ask talk with these folks do a code review together on a sample of their code/design review on a page of their's. Give them a short synopsis of a problem you had internally (and solved) and have them lay out a plan of attack. Check their references; good references can tell you a lot. And remember a probationary period is important too because an interview that lasts three months rather than a day is going to tell you a lot more about their work habits, coding style and ability to work with your team.

Oh yeah and like most people here are saying... most certifications in technology mean nothing more than the certified has worked at a job where the boss bought into the certification scam or they have too much time on their hands.

Comment: Re:150: 1 is Decent.. (Score 1) 414

by cppmonkey (#30595194) Attached to: How Many Admins Per User/Computer Have You Seen?

The parent post is right on with what I've seen. 250:1 (users to admins) in the environment where it was Windows+Office+Thunderbird on the desktop and 50:1 where it was Mac+Adobe+Office+Video production+1/2 doz other highly specialized pieces of software.

What is perhaps just as important as the ratio is having a great secretary. The ability to keep moving and not have to stop and worry about signing for the Fed Ex man or the boss making "executive decisions" while you are at a users' desk is invaluable.

United States

Obama Wants Computer Privacy Ruling Overturned 670

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-me-see-what-you-got-there dept.
schwit1 writes "The Obama administration is seeking to reverse a federal appeals court decision that dramatically narrows the government’s search-and-seizure powers in the digital age. Solicitor General Elena Kagan and Justice Department officials are asking the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its August ruling that federal prosecutors went too far when seizing 104 professional baseball players’ drug results when they had a warrant for just 10. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
Image

Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child 331

Posted by samzenpus
from the snack-is-going-to-be-on-the-floor-today dept.
Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California have shown that the more germs a child is exposed to, the better their immune system in later life. Their study found that keeping a child's skin too clean impaired the skin's ability to heal itself. From the article: "'These germs are actually good for us,' said Professor Richard Gallo, who led the research. Common bacterial species, known as staphylococci, which can cause inflammation when under the skin, are 'good bacteria' when on the surface, where they can reduce inflammation."

Comment: Re:It's obvious (Score 1) 502

by cppmonkey (#30153170) Attached to: Fedora 12 Lets Users Install Signed Packages, Sans Root Privileges

Huh What? OS X let's standard users install software? Sorry but looking at my 10.4 and 10.5 machines that would be a no. Having worked on a few 10.6 machines today I am confident that they are the same but I don't have one here to test. Standard (non admin users) can not "install" software except in their own home directory just like Linux (though installing to one's home directory is not for the faint of heart). Standard users can not add launch deamons or otherwise modify /Library or /Applications. This is actually how it should be. Users can do anything they want in their space so long as it does not affect other users or the system. That's actually security not this we will control what you can and can not do in infinitely fine detail. The big problem is that Linux and Windows require you to modify the SYSTEM in order to do practically anything. Want to run new/updated software then you need to drop some libraries in /usr/lib some resources in /usr/share etc. One of the ways OS X makes management so much easier is to let applications bundle their libraries inside those application bundles. Those same bundles that end users who happen to be the owner in terms of file permissions can indeed modify (unless they are a "managed" user) This enables drag and drop installs and the ability to have ~/Applications/Nifty*.app. So every user can have their own web browser and their own productivity software and it just works.

Comment: Re:Yes, that's bad coding (Score 1) 660

by cppmonkey (#30118644) Attached to: If the Comments Are Ugly, the Code Is Ugly

Is it bad coding? Yes. Is this the worse coding? No. We've all been pressured to ship and all too often it sucks. But you commented the code indicating that you don't know why it works which helps your or the next person to come along to fix the problem. Points for actually commenting and saying you don't understand, shipping code you don't understand; not good. But the big question is did you go back and review the comments and try to fix the problem (ie understand your code)

Comment: Good be great (Score 1) 557

by cppmonkey (#29814471) Attached to: Apple Blurs the Server Line With Mac Mini Server
Heck for a tiny little 6 person company like mine this thing could be great. Only one problem... the local telco hates the idea of competition and thus blocks low ports so as to keep small companies from cost effectively hosting in house.  Sure the D&E sales guy said he could offer me a static ip for $1200+ a month but still not allowed to host on ports 25 or 80 and hey their $25/month IIS + Exchange hosting with no uptime guarantee is such a great deal right so why don't I do that? So as much as I'd like to bring things in house I think we'll have to keep using keep using Dreamhost.

Comment: Expected Date for Windows 8? (Score 2, Funny) 581

by cppmonkey (#29682787) Attached to: Microsoft Leaks Details of 128-bit Windows 8
I once read that it took us 30 years to figure out 8 bits then about 5 years to exhaust the abilities of 8 bits so we moved to 16bits which we exhausted in 10 years so we moved to 32bits which took us about 20+ years (this post written on a 32 bit machine which has thus far been far more reliable than the wife's 64 bit machines) to exhaust so following this logic it will take us 40+ years to exhaust 64bits. Does this then mean I can expect Windows 8 in about 2050?

Comment: Re:Whats the issue Apple have with Flash? (Score 2, Interesting) 154

by cppmonkey (#29655693) Attached to: Flash CS5 Will Export iPhone Apps
Just because Flash is single threaded and thus can only choke one core of a dual core machine at a time doesn't mean it can't bring a 2.8 Ghz machine to it's knees. Just try watching one hulu movie in Safari in one window and load some particularly crappy flash game in firefox. Your machine is now unusable.

Adobe treats mac users as second class citizens thus treating many of their power users like dirt. If you think like Steve Jobs, this is an insult to Apple since they went and did want industry members like Adobe have long demanded of them and built a better OS than Windows (much better) and built really solid hardware, the iPod Touch/iPhone anyways, and then been plagued with monopolists like Adobe/Microsoft shutting them out. If history is a lesson, (think iWork) Apple will soon deliver a native version of Inkscape and dump resources into Pixelmator, and start bundling them with Final Cut studio and new iMacs (well a trial version in Pixelmator's case). Apple somewhat reasonably demands more, Adobe and Microsoft refuse to/can't deliver so Apple just raises the bar... this is capitalism at its best; even if the Google Voice fiasco is capitalism at its worst.

Comment: What's important is the reading (Score 1) 1021

by cppmonkey (#29651263) Attached to: What Belongs In a High School Sci-Fi/Fantasy Lit Class?
I want to plug Neal Stephenson's Zodiac, Diamond Age and Snow Crash, Asimov's Foundation, Cory Doctrow's Little Brother and Anda's Game but I'll curb my pitch. I think rather than just titles you need to get them reading and keep them reading the rest will happen with just a few well timed questions. Choose a few core books from the list on this page and give them the rest of the list as choices for books to read unguided. Make sure they get a mix of novels and short stories (hint my senior level high school history class involved reading at least one short story a week multiple documents and about six novels in the course of the year). You also want to get them to compare science fiction to non fiction. Have them read Thomas Paine and then reread one of the libertarian authors. Finally remember to have fun with it. Science fiction is as much about enjoying what you read as it is politics, envisioning the future man's place in the universe etc.

"Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed." -- Robin, The Boy Wonder

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