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Comment: Re:Loose Lips Sinik Ships (Score 1) 174

by dgatwood (#47786137) Attached to: US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

The criteria themselves should not be secret. The details of what actions meet the criteria might be. Of course, once a person is dead, there's likely no reason to keep that person's details secret. So they should disclose the way that the guy who was fighting against us in Iraq got on the no-fly list. Wait, what? He wasn't on the list? Seriously? Then what the f*** good is it?

Comment: Re:Fascist scumbag tool. (Score 1) 599

by dgatwood (#47769627) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras gives the impression that the police officer has overreacted when they did.

FTFY. The fact of the matter is, if the last part of an interaction looks like you overreacted, you overreacted. It means you lost your head in a crisis, putting yourself and others in danger unnecessarily. That's simply not acceptable. Understandable, but not acceptable.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 507

by dgatwood (#47745885) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

My biggest problem with Qt is the same as my biggest problem with Java. It's okay for in-house test tools, but it should never be used for actual end-user apps. You'll invariably end up with an application that doesn't quite behave like a native app, doesn't perform as well as a native app, and can't take advantage of advanced features of each OS without losing portability. In short, cross-platform apps written in this way almost invariably take advantage of only the least-common-denominator functionality common to all OSes, resulting in an app that sucks equally everywhere.

There's only one right way to create a cross-platform application: by separating the core logic from the UI, and then hiring people who actually know how to write software for each target OS to designing a custom UI that conforms to the way that users on that particular platform expect an app to behave. Anything less will always be substandard on one platform at best, and on all platforms at worst.

Now you could write that core logic in Java if you really want to (though you'll run into portability problems if anybody ever asks for an iOS port), but chances are, you're better off writing it in C or C++. Either way, using Qt or Java for the UI is IMO invariably a mistake unless you're just writing an app to meet your own personal needs.

Comment: Re:Blast from the past (Score 4, Insightful) 87

by dgatwood (#47733347) Attached to: Researchers Hack Gmail With 92 Percent Success Rate

Then its using pre-calculated patterns of the shared memory usage (presumably allocation order, sizes allocated, NOT the actual memory contents etc) to guess what the user is doing in the other app. Then, when it detects a pattern that corresponds with "I'm about to log in" it pre-empts the app with its own phishing login screen skinned to look like the original. The user is -expecting- a login screen to popup, and one that looks right does... so they enter their credentials.

Really? Android allows one app to take control of the screen and become foreground without explicit user interaction? There's the security flaw right there. The shared memory stuff is noise by comparison.

Comment: Re:That's why slashdot is against tech immigration (Score 1) 441

by dgatwood (#47732487) Attached to: Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

Ugh. I'm so sick of all this nationalist bullshit. Why are we so afraid of the global economy? People should be free to move between different countries and seek employment at will. Ultimately, it's better for the world if we break down these artificial barriers.

Because when it comes to jobs, we don't even have a national economy. We have a local one. By the time you get into your 30s, most people have zero interest in packing up everything and moving to another state to get a job, much less another country. That barrier isn't artificial. It's ingrained in human nature.

When it becomes too easy for people to move to another place and take jobs, the inherent result is age discrimination. People who are younger and more mobile come in and take jobs that were needed by people who are less mobile, when the mobile people could just as easily have taken or created jobs closer to home.

It would be different if the world's wages were somewhat balanced, because then the number of young people leaving the U.S. for jobs would be balanced by the number of people entering. However, this is not the case. The U.S. pays higher wages to compensate for a higher cost of living. Therefore, those young people moving into the U.S. and taking jobs from older folks constitute a real burden. And at least in our lifetimes, there will never be balanced wages worldwide. There will always be some new third-world country to exploit for cheap labor. And workers in those countries will always benefit from coming to the U.S., where wages are higher. So tearing down those artificial barriers to labor entering the U.S. will always cause serious harm to workers in the U.S.

Worse, tearing down those barriers does nothing to improve the world on the average, at least for the foreseeable future. Because there will always be cheap labor pools to exploit, raising the standard of living in one country will only continue up until the point where they start demanding more money. At that point, they'll just bring the educational standards of another country up to the point where they can start exploiting it, and leave folks in the first country homeless and starving. The only true way to raise the quality of life around the world is to ensure that no one anywhere is willing to work for less than a living wage. This is, of course, hard to do.

If you want to see a demonstration of why a lack of barriers is a bad thing, you need only look at the Silicon Valley with respect to the United States as a whole. There are no barriers to moving to California from other states with lower cost of living and lower average salaries, so lots of young people move here to make more money. The result is that age discrimination is rampant, the cost of living has skyrocketed, and there aren't enough jobs to keep people from losing their homes. And now you're talking about making the problem worse by making the entire world flood to the Silicon Valley.

As far as I'm concerned, if a company wants to hire workers outside the U.S., they should create a division in another country and hire those employees locally. This has several benefits over H1Bs. First, it is less likely to result in a reduction in jobs in the U.S., because separate business units tend to work on separate projects, and have separate staffing needs. Second, it does not drive up the cost of living in the U.S. by artificially inflating demand for housing. Third, it puts a lot more money into the economies of those other countries, because those workers are spending money in businesses near their homes, rather than here. That makes it much more effective at driving up the standard of living in those other countries than bringing workers here would.

Why don't companies do this? Because they don't want to drive up living standards in other countries. They just want cheap labor from those countries. If they drive up living standards in those other countries, then workers from those countries would eventually start demanding higher salaries, and they'd have to go and find another country to exploit before too long.

In short, government's whole reason for existing is to protect the powerless from the powerful. Employers are relatively powerful compared with their employees, so government actions that limit the ways in which those companies can abuse employees are generally a good thing, whether that means protecting U.S. workers from losing their jobs to foreign workers or protecting foreign workers from the often abusive working conditions that they encounter as foreign workers working in the United States by forcing those companies to start divisions in other countries and hire the workers locally instead.

Comment: Re:This is a civil case (Score 1) 231

by dgatwood (#47718209) Attached to: $125,000 Settlement Given To Man Arrested for Photographing NYPD

Actually, that's not true. It is fairly rare, but at least at the state level (in many states), you have the right to petition the courts for a declaration of factual innocence. In such a proceeding, the burden of proof falls on the defendant—that is, you are presumed potentially guilty until proven innocent. However, if you succeed at doing so, the arrest record is expunged completely, as though you were never arrested or tried.

Comment: Re:precedent (Score 1) 231

by dgatwood (#47718175) Attached to: $125,000 Settlement Given To Man Arrested for Photographing NYPD

Rights: You know... your right to remain silent (unless told to "start talking", or forced to talk with torture), your right to attorney (after they get done with you), your right for a fair trial (unless charged with the espionage act, thrown into gitmo, or blown up by drone strike), etc. You have plenty of rights*. You live in the land of the free and home of the brave!

You forgot your right to a speedy trial, which guarantees that you'll get your day in court within a few years....

That's the right that I really want to see us get back. As far as I'm concerned, if the trial can't begin within 30 days, they should be required to let the person go, and the case should automatically be dismissed with prejudice. Such a policy would force the DAs to actually do their jobs and quit clogging the courts with penny ante crap like drug possession misdemeanors.

After all, it has been shown conclusively that the longer the delay between commission of a crime and actual punishment, the less effective the punishment is as a deterrent. Therefore, when you have districts with >3 year average time-to-trial, the entire system of law isn't really doing anything useful at that point. Abandoning 90% of those cases would therefore have little impact on the crime rate or the rate of recidivism.

Comment: Re:Big Data (Score 1) 181

by dgatwood (#47718131) Attached to: Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem

This. And this is precisely the sort of monopoly abuse that let to the breakup of Ma Bell. The ISPs are offering non-connectivity services, then deliberately degrading service to companies that compete with those services. Monopolies like ISPs should absolutely not be allowed to do this. A company should either be an ISP or a content provider. As soon as you allow any company to be both, it pretty much guarantees abuse. The bigger the company, the bigger the abuse.

Comment: Re:Frankly (Score 1) 146

by dgatwood (#47718075) Attached to: Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

I am shocked

Me, too. I'm shocked that the researchers didn't know this. I knew this, I suspect that you knew this, and anybody who has ever read even a single Slashdot article about these machines knows this. The security holes in these things are so obvious that you should be able to think of at least a couple of ways around them without even trying.

Next thing you know, atmospheric researchers will discover that the sky is, in fact, predominantly blue.

Comment: Re: Very subjective (Score 1) 381

by dgatwood (#47698807) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

Your logic is flawed a bit. You can't use the existence of speech as evidence that speech is not being restrained, because you can't know what things people decided not to post because of the policy.

The reality is that not all people have shame, so some people will be blatantly mean even with a real name policy. These people are mostly trolls. The people whose comments are most likely to go against the grain in an insightful way, by contrast, are mostly the ones who would be afraid to do so under their real names, because they actually have a verbal filter, and by consequence, a personal reputation to uphold.

For example, people who work for companies would be wary of posting anything critical of their employers for fear of reprisal. However, they are also the ones who would have the most insight into what's going on.

Anonymity is the only antidote to tyranny. Anyone who says otherwise is probably a supporter of tyranny.

Comment: Re:No, school should not be year-round. (Score 1) 421

by dgatwood (#47656625) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

Literature and history are great things to study if you want to teach literature or history. And to an extent, they prove that you were smart enough and serious enough about learning to go to college, which might make a difference in getting certain jobs. But otherwise, yeah, they're equivalent to underwater basket weaving. College may not be a trade school, per se, but most people treat it like one. If you don't come out of college with a marketable skill that can net you a job that you otherwise couldn't get, then you spent tens of thousands of dollars solely for the love of learning. A few people might be rich enough to afford that, but not many.

Either way, my core point is that having a college degree doesn't make you a professional. Working in a field that requires a college degree or other formal education makes you a professional. As such, people working in low-end service jobs don't qualify, whether they are doing so by choice, because of the lack of better jobs, or because they lack any marketable skills.

Pie are not square. Pie are round. Cornbread are square.