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Comment: Re:Time to find better engineers (Score 1) 288

by dave562 (#49783829) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

They suffer from a condition called "being human". It causes occasional failures in an otherwise operational controller-human, some very small percentage of the time. Even the highest-quality controller-humans have a non-zero failure rate.

I am certain that every logical person understands and accepts the risk as you explained it.

The fallacy in the argument is that the presence of a camera is going to increase the incidences of failures.

At the core, if being held accountable makes someone perform poorly, they are in the wrong profession and should find another way to earn a living. There are plenty of jobs out there that do not involve a person's actions (or lack of actions) having the potential to detrimentally affect the lives of others.

As an example from the work place, an effective technique for encouraging someone to complete their tasks on time is to setup a regular meeting with them and their peers. Often times I have found that people who seem to always have excuses for why they need just a little bit more time to get something done, all of a sudden, as if by magic, become able to get things done on time if the only alternative is for them to admit to their peers, again, for the umpteenth time, that no... they still aren't done.

While a weekly meeting is not a direct parallel to always on video monitoring, the underlying purpose of providing accountability is the same.

While I have not worked on the rail roads, I do know someone who works for BNSF and he assures me that those engineers have an SOP for everything. Amtrak might not be quite as organized, but they probably have similar training materials. In situations like that, either the engineer is doing things by the book or they are not.

Comment: Time to find better engineers (Score 1) 288

by dave562 (#49777575) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

If the engineers' concentration is so fragile that they are going to be distracted by a camera, they are obviously not the right people to be operating complex machinery.

Maybe we should just replace them with automation and run the trains remotely. They could keep one engineer per train to engage the manual override in the event that someone hacks the control infrastructure and tries to do Bad Things(tm) to the trains.

Comment: Cracking Video Games = x86 Assembly (Score 2) 170

by dave562 (#49754331) Attached to: Video Games: Gateway To a Programming Career?

Wanting to crack copy protection and write trainers is what led to me learn x86 assesmbly, specifically 80386 assembly.

That understanding of assembly gave me a solid foundation for the rest of my career. Once you understand interupts and memory registers, you can grasp the basics of everything from applications, to networking to storage systems. Fundamentally they are all doing the same thing.... reading something from one memory register, modifying it with the contents of another memory register, and pushing the results to somewhere else.

Comment: Re:Automation and outsourcing (Score 1) 204

The game is setup for a very gradual progression if you just want to quest and explore the world. My wife plays the game just for questing, she hates raiding. The allure of the game for her is the expansive world and having a place to escape to for an hour or two. She never got into the playing for hours at a time and raiding all weekend style of game play. To me, it seems like a waste of time to level characters and never raid, but it keeps her entertained. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

Comment: Re:Copy Online Banking (Score 1) 258

by dave562 (#49691177) Attached to: Online Voting Should Be Verifiable -- But It's a Hard Problem

You just re-iterated what I said.

It seems like you are branching off onto tangents, or trying to solve different problems.

The point I am making is that verifying voter eligibility, recording votes and tallying votes can be done with a system like the financial system. I use the financial system as an example because it has physical locations (ATMs) that are analogous to a voting booth, and they have virtual locations (bank web sites) that are analogous with online voting. The plumbing is already there, and people trust it.

If a vote needs to be truly verified, it cannot be anonymous. If the validity of the vote is questioned, at some point, the person who cast the ballot has to stand up and affirm their choice. If they are not willing to do that, then the problem cannot be solved. The same is true with the current system. As long as people are unwilling to be held accountable for their choice of government, they will continue to get the government that cowards deserve.

I have no problem telling people how I voted and why I voted that way. One of the corner stones of democracy is open dialogue. What we have in America are a bunch of special interest groups using the government as a proxy to implement their need to control others. (See: gay marriage, abortion, the drug war and a whole laundry list of other wedge issues that all come down to one group of people trying to make it difficult for another group of people to do what they want to do.)

With regards to the subject of verifying online votes, the challenge is not just a challenge with online voting. The challenge is inherent in any anonymous system. A person cannot be both anonymous and also verifiable.

Comment: Re:Copy Online Banking (Score 1) 258

by dave562 (#49690795) Attached to: Online Voting Should Be Verifiable -- But It's a Hard Problem

Except there is a trail. Voters have to register. They have to present valid ID at the polling booth.

While the actual votes are 'secret' there is no secrecy around who is voting.

For the online system to work, all it has to do is confirm that the total number of votes tallied for any issue are equal to or less than the total number of voters.

The actual content of the vote (yes or no, for or against) does not need to be associated with a voter.

Comment: Copy Online Banking (Score 1) 258

by dave562 (#49690091) Attached to: Online Voting Should Be Verifiable -- But It's a Hard Problem

This problem has already been solved.

People already trust the financial system. Copy it.

Instead of creating a 'bank account', people would create a 'voter registration'.

Instead of processing debits and withdrawls, the system would process votes.

The solution is elegant because it is simple. By modeling it after the banking system, you inherit the implicit trust in that system. Anyone who challenges the system, has to challenge the global financial system. Who is going to stand up and say, "You can't trust your bank to accurately tally something as simple as vote!" ??? Doing so would open up a whole pandora's box of problems that nobody wants to deal with. "If they can't even tally a vote, can they really accurately track my account balance?" being among the most obvious.

Comment: Re:Wrong action, figures (Score 1) 85

by dave562 (#49682555) Attached to: SEC Charges ITT Educational Services With Fraud

Next we'll hear how ITT was an isolated example.

No we will not. ITT is not an isolated example. The amount of bad debt in the student loan market is almost as bad as the bad debt from the housing market crash.

Not surprisingly, Zero Hedge was out ahead of the pack on this topic. (Dated 2012)


Comment: Tai Chi (Score 1) 420

by dave562 (#49658757) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Moving To an Offshore-Proof Career?

It is not for everyone, but when I get tired of doing IT I am going to teach tai chi. I have been training for almost 15 years now and while I am not a master, I have some proficiency with it. Tai chi is good for health and the philosophy behind it is one of the better ways to live a life.

I am not too worried about my job leaving any time soon. Given the average competence of my co-workers and the lack of competence that I have seen from H1Bs, I know that my position is going to be stable for a while. The reality is that there are not that many people who understand IT environments from top to bottom (technically) and who can also work with the business side to transform their needs into working systems that are delivered and managed on budget.

Comment: Clutter Works Well (so far) (Score 1) 130

by dave562 (#49616509) Attached to: Microsoft Office 2016 Public Preview Released

My organization recently migrated to Office365, including Exchange / Outlook 365.

I was impressed with Outlook 365 OWA (outlook.office365.com). My initial thought was that having the entire infrastructure presented through a single portal is a recipe for disaster. Yet as soon as I type in the @company.com portion of my email address, it re-directs to our own authentication infrastructure (Ping in our case). None the less, I am sure that there are people working night and day trying to figure out how to MitM outlook.office365.com

Office 365 OWA and Outlook 2013 are nearly identical in terms of UI layout and functionality. For the average user, I think that they could do without the desktop client and most likely, not notice much if any loss of functionality.

Clutter is working well. I turned it on almost two weeks ago. So far it has done a great job of filtering out of all of the junk emails from the sales drones, while at the same time letting the important emails through. I have not missed any emails that I need to see.

Good day to avoid cops. Crawl to work.