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Comment: Re:Perl still works, and PHP is fine (Score 1) 536

Don't piss on Javascript. Sure, the standard library is terrible and poor cross compatibility makes it impossible to do anything interesting in a browser without shims, but

Maybe it's just me, but I find this hilarious. "but"...

I dread being handed someone else's Javascript code. It's nearly always faster for me to refactor it than to try and resolve a subtle bug.

From what I read here on Slashdot, I thank the gods that I don't do Perl. And many of the complaints I read about PHP are surely valid, but I like it and use it anyway, and so far I have not shot myself in the foot.

Comment: Hope and change... (Score 4, Insightful) 312

by fhic (#46678525) Attached to: Why No Executive Order To Stop NSA Metadata Collection?

Once again, this isn't it.

He's had several opportunities to do something about this. He keeps making weaselly attempts to talk about it like he's doing something without actually making any changes. It seems obvious to me that he wants this to continue, much like his equally weasel-ish approach to medical cannabis. And this way, he can blame it on a do-nothing Congress, thus giving his potential successor a talking point.

Comment: Re:Surveillance fatigue? (Score 2) 610

by fhic (#45139237) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations?

with a shitty attitude like that, you're damn right there's nothing you can do about it.

I'm curious... it's easy to malign my attitude, but what, specifically, do you recommend *I* do to solve this problem? What do you think *you* can you do to solve it? I am genuinely interested. Give me something to work with and I'll get behind it 110%. But I'm a pretty smart guy and I don't see a damn thing I can do.

I'm not willing to commit any crimes (other than perhaps some mild civil disobedience) to change things. (And that civil disobedience thing didn't work out well for me with the Occupy movement, but that's another story.) One very minor thing I can do is pollute their data, and I do that at every opportunity.

I hear a good many idiots talk about armed revolution. That's not an answer. I'm old now, but I've seen revolution up close with a rifle in my hand. It isn't pretty and it takes generations to come back from it and what you get back isn't any better, just different.

I am politically active, and I vote my conscience. But all too often I have to vote against someone truly awful rather than for someone who supports some of my views. And I know many people feel that way. I have been trying for two decades to get rid of my senior senator, who's bought and paid for, and I can't even seem to manage that.

In reading over some of your past Slashdot comments on this and other related issues, I don't see anything positive. So here's your chance. Give me something I can get behind and I'm game.

Comment: Surveillance fatigue? (Score 5, Insightful) 610

by fhic (#45138219) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations?
Not at all. I think we've just all come to the realization that there's not a damn thing we can do about it. The people who are supposed to be looking out for us are acting like petulant teenagers. The "hope and change" guy hasn't done anything but make the problem worse. The guys in charge of the whole thing just lie about it and nothing is done. What's the answer, other than ignore the new revelations?

Comment: Weasel words (Score 5, Insightful) 526

by fhic (#44711071) Attached to: Obama Admin Says It Won't Fight Looser Marijuana Laws, With Conditions
All of these "conditions" are arbitrary and open to whatever interpretation the feds feel like today. In the meantime, it's still being kept as a Schedule 1 drug. This administration has repeatedly and consistently said one thing and done another. You'll forgive me if I don't believe a word of this, which has no more weight than a touchy-feely press release.

Comment: PHBs in charge (Score 3, Interesting) 892

by fhic (#44578569) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When Is It OK To Not Give Notice?
The last time I left a job, I was going to a competitor and just assumed my current employer wanted me gone. (It was, and still is, their policy in that circumstance to walk the employee out and pay them for the last two weeks.) My boss made a big stink about me planning to leave immediately, brought HR in, and they told me I'd have to sit out the two weeks or I wouldn't get my accrued vacation time. (Which is illegal in my state, but never mind.) So I unpacked my box, and started a new project that afternoon. You know the punch line. My badge didn't work the next morning, security escorted me to my desk and watched gimlet-eyed as I loaded up my box again and they walked me out the door.
Networking

Misconfigured Open DNS Resolvers Key To Massive DDoS Attacks 179

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the check-your-sources dept.
msm1267 writes with an excerpt From Threat Post: "While the big traffic numbers and the spat between Spamhaus and illicit webhost Cyberbunker are grabbing big headlines, the underlying and percolating issue at play here has to do with the open DNS resolvers being used to DDoS the spam-fighters from Switzerland. Open resolvers do not authenticate a packet-sender's IP address before a DNS reply is sent back. Therefore, an attacker that is able to spoof a victim's IP address can have a DNS request bombard the victim with a 100-to-1 ratio of traffic coming back to them versus what was requested. DNS amplification attacks such as these have been used lately by hacktivists, extortionists and blacklisted webhosts to great success." Running an open DNS resolver isn't itself always a problem, but it looks like people are enabling neither source address verification nor rate limiting.

Comment: Oticon (Score 2) 183

by fhic (#41402521) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hearing Aids That Directly Connect To Smart Phones?

I wear an Oticon Chili SP9, which is a high power digital aid, programmable by the audiologist. There's a DAI (direct audio input) boot available, which I use with my low-end MP3 player. There's also a much more sophisticated set of devices called "Connectline" http://oticonusa.com/Oticon/Professionals/professional_products/ConnectLine.html based on a gadget that hangs around your neck or in your pocket. It adds Bluetooth connectivity (and limited control of the aid) from the gadget. It only works with certain Oticon aids using a protocol I haven't been able to decode.

The Connectline gadget seemed like a good idea at the time, and I willingly spent the (lot) of extra money, but I find I mostly use the wired DAI boot. The Bluetooth gadget is more of a pain than a help. The battery doesn't last very long (less than a workday) and has to be shut off to recharge, which it does via a mini-USB connector. And it only links to one or two Bluetooth devices at a time. Also, it interferes with the Bluetooth system in my car.

Comment: Re:Survey? (Score 1) 349

by fhic (#40168433) Attached to: IT Desktop Support To Be Wiped Out Thanks To Cloud Computing

"Hi, this is Bob in accounting, the Help Desk app looks like it's down."

"Hi Bob. Yup, its down. There is no ETR. I can't give you a ticket number because it's down."

And poof! We're back to scribbled notes on paper, and a really bad day for the poor folks on the Help Desk. And in the meantime, there are no tickets coming in, so the folks who can actually fix anything are clueless. Great plan.

Comment: Re:I'm really sick of this trend (Score 1) 165

by fhic (#37706748) Attached to: Facebook: the Law Says You Can't Have Your Data

Yes, need.

My local paper of record (the San Diego Union-Tribune) REQUIRES a valid Facebook account to comment on everything they publish online. Given that I'm not quite willing to forgo my right to comment publicly on what they publish, I need to have a Facebook account.

(I leave the idiocy of their decision for another comment.)

Comment: Re:Now all we need is... (Score 4, Informative) 315

by fhic (#37159008) Attached to: Sequencing the Weed Genome

People have been doing that for many years with the common hop vine (Humulus lupulus) which is also a member of the Cannabaceae family. Grafting hop vines onto a good Cannabis rootstock yields a scion with strobili that are visually indistinguishable from an ordinary hop flower. Unfortunately, the product is not very potent-- the best outcome is maybe 1.5-2% THC (and only trace amounts of other interesting compounds) which is terrible compared to the 10-20% THC that you can get from a well-managed C. sativa or C. indica flower. Also, the graft process is very finicky, the scion does not grow as well as an ungrafted vine, and your resulting plant is annual (like Cannabis) rather than perennial (like Humulus.) The hops you get are not terribly useful for beer-making, which is pretty much the only use for hops. (Some people like to make a sedative tea from hops, though I doubt that would be a good delivery method for the THC, since it's not water-soluble.) One other major "gotcha" is that the Cannabis plant matures much faster than hops, and the production density is hundreds of times better for Cannabis than Humulus.

Interestingly, there is some published scientific literature (see Crombie) that claims this grafting process does not work. However, I wonder, because Crombie talks about the hops "leaves" even though the only useful part of the plant is the flower (or properly, the "strobile.") The research I mention above has not been published, though the "1.5-2% THC" value I quoted has been measured by GC-MS. And, of course, there are just tons of anecdotal evidence from amateur gardeners that support either opinion.

I'll let someone else do the genetic research, but I think it may eventually be possible to engineer an algae that eats sunlight and poops THC. Wouldn't that be fun!

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