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Comment Re:Which is why you don't let this stuff connect.. (Score 1) 98

I don't think there is a hidden agenda with camp 1. Camp 1 says "we cannot secure your private shit phone and thus giving it access to the VPN etc is a stupid idea and we're not doing it."

Camp 1's hidden agenda is making life simple for them (e.g., IT security). When a gatekeeper's opened for opening a gate, they'll have no incentive to do what's actually best for the organization. It's not just IT, either. We all do it. Want to order some software? Legal and Supply Chain and IT will all conspire to make this a big fucking deal that takes two months to get done. (Shhh... don't tell them about the thousands of packages flitting into their network via nuget/npm/git/aptitude/docker/whatever. This is the real reason Open Source won the world of software reuse. Blow your deadline doing paperwork and politics, or `npm install foo` and keep programming?)

That's not to say I'm a fan of camp 2 and the BYOD movement; I was saying "hell yeah" reading your post, so I'm probably not the best person to put forth the camp 2 argument. It's just that dealing with risk is a very, very hard balancing game. When you ask the person in charge of managing risk, they'll always say "no"; when you ask the person in charge of getting results, they'll always say "yes". But the optimal solution... the one that best maximizes shareholder value while keeping it within their preferred level of risk tolerance... is going to vary case by case.

Comment Re:Seriously... (Score 1) 245

If what is on the test is not what you want the students to be learning, then the problem is with the design of that test

Most people that object to our current system of testing, have no interest in improving it, but rather prefer no accountability at all.

Oh hi there! Sorry Test 1.0 didn't work for you, but there's an easy fix... it's Test 2.0! It has everything you love about the original, but now with even more tests!! Buy it today! No, the conflicts with Teach 1.0.1 haven't been fixed, and if you're one of the folks who filed a bug report about it, you're probably just a louse who wants to play Solitaire 2000.

Comment Re:Seriously... (Score 4, Insightful) 245

The argument isn't against testing, it's against standardized testing, and over-reliance on testing.

I like the term high-stakes testing, because issuing a standardized test once a year is a fine to gain visibility into trends and patterns (and maybe figure out where extra help is needed), but once you start tying compensation and school budgets directly to the score, it's over. People are going to game the system.

Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 2) 216

Downsides: 1. you lose remote access (save for second-class stuff like VNC), 2. you need to port most software or use X emulation. Upsides: ... [crickets] ...

Performance, battery life, innovation.

(And if you haven't noticed, X remote access is already second-class to thinks like RDP and SPICE.)

Comment Rationalization vs Principle (Score 1) 628

This has immediately raised concerns. Today, if a Windows user finds that an update breaks something BLAH BLAH BLAH

Author immediately launches into rationalization, but the most important "concern" is that IT'S MY DAMN BOX and you can't modify it without my consent.

Now I agree that patching is a good thing, but you can default users into it without usurping their property rights. That Microsoft didn't deign to do so makes you wonder what other infringements are baked into their new OS.

(This goes for all modern game consoles as well... there seems to be this ridiculous notion that you want to turn these puppies on and watch a progress bar instead of, you know, play.)

Comment Re:Nukes a waste for Iran anyway (Score 1) 459

What possible use are nukes for Iran anyway?

Merely possessing nukes changes the power dynamics. You don't have to use them to alter how your neighbors, trading partners, and enemies perceive you. Even if you have no rational way to use them, you need only convince people that you're capable of behaving irrationality to gain leverage.

Take Israel... they've done some pretty crazy stuff, and they maintain deliberate ambiguity over whether they possess nukes or not. If you're Iran, it might be nice to have a back-pocket action there. Of course, they're probably also aware that they sit b/t Turkey (who hosts US nukes), Russia (their love/hate trading partner across the Caspian Sea), and Pakistan. And wouldn't it be nice to intervene diplomatically if things got heated b/t India and Pakistan, since fallout doesn't confine itself to national boundaries? And while Saudi Arabia doesn't have nukes, anything they can do to one-up them and gain more influence over the region is highly desirable.

Basically, nukes put you in a very exclusive club.

Comment Re:If thou gaze long into an abyss .. (Score 1) 27

You asked for proof and I pointed out that we don't have the visibility necessary for proof. I then appealed to wisdom vis-a-vis human nature to establish concern. (Which was directed at first world countries in general, not NZ in particular, though granted I didn't spell that out. Hey, maybe the Kiwis have their act together... that's great if so! I'd love to be wrong.) The drumbeat of incremental power grabs is very telling though, at least to those of us who've seen a bit of history. But feel free to close your eyes and pretend you aren't boiling...

Comment Re:If thou gaze long into an abyss .. (Score 4, Insightful) 27

I note that the NSW Police was a user of Finn Fisher - but in that case also I've seen no evidence they misused it.

Of course you haven't... until the Hacking Team breach, you didn't know they were using it at all, am I right? With no transparency comes no accountability.

Human nature is predictable. If you want to give me primae facia evidence that they aren't abusing it, then show me the warrants they've obtained for the use of the product. Show me the disclosure reports. Show me the convictions for those individuals who inevitably misused it (in exchange for a bribe or to spy on their girlfriend, for instance). Saying that nobody misused it whatsoever is like Russia claiming they don't have any handicap or gay people... just simply ridiculous.

Western governments--those very countries which first embraced and first reaped the benefits of following sound democratic principles (limited government, human rights, due process, separation of powers, etc.)--are sliding into totalitarianism. I don't know how to fix it, but one thing we can all do is not be naive about human nature.

Comment Re:Algorithm (Score 1) 233

at some point in the chain there is a rule that says "favour males"

Not necessarily. As phayes was saying, it could be the sheer plurality of rules that target females that crowd out the executive ads. It's perfectly possible that the targeting preferences for those ads are completely free of rules that target gender. Heck, they could even be targeted at females and still be getting drowned out by the "shop here" and "be a good mom"-type ads.

Furthermore, it's unclear from the abstract (1) whether the experimenters constructed a search history that does not itself have a gender bias [similar to how Pandora can make a pretty good inference of your gender based on what music you listen to], (2) whether they collected information on low- and modest-paying job ads for comparison [this could help validate or rule out the effect phayes mentioned], and (3) whether or not they've done similar experiments with race as a variable [comparing white men to black men might be a better clue as to whether job advertisers are including protected classes in their targeting].

All this focus on workplace discrimination (which does exist, granted) ignores the true cause of the gender imbalance in "prestige" jobs: differing interests and priorities based on upbringing, social pressures, and (I'm going to get modded down for saying this...) sex-attributed psychological persuasions (towards risk-taking, child-rearing, nesting, whatever). If you want more equal gender representation in the workplace, you need to reach girls (and boys--because men are excluded from many jobs where they could make a positive impact on society) at an earlier age. (The danger with this approach is that you might be directly fighting organized religion at this point, the institutions of which strongly push traditional gender roles.)

Comment Re:At least he included warrants (Score 5, Insightful) 260

Ha ha, did you think he meant warrants? No, no, no... just like every other effort to chip away at freedom and privacy, it comes dressed in the noblest of promises. But once the necessary powers are secured, the promises can be gradually (if not immediately) infringed upon.

Comment Re: No (Score 4, Insightful) 487

How often do your friends immediately email the Wi-Fi password you just gave them to their entire contact list? The correct answer (unless you have really shitty friends) is never. Now all of your friends will do this by default, unless they are technically literate enough to disable the option. (And even if your friends are literate enough, your roommate/boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse's friends won't be.) It's very aggravating that Microsoft has chosen to so promiscuously share the secrets its users have entrusted to the OS. A Wi-Fi password that might have previously been shared with a handful of friends is now automatically spread to a network of hundreds, and exposed to possible interception by enterprise, underground, and state-sponsored hackers. One really has to question the legality of this feature, unless the wording is very clear and the user opts-in every time.

Comment Re:What is the point? (Score 1) 141

What do we get from sending a meat robot to mars, other than the sort of daredevil glory?

You're point is well-taken: robotic missions make a lot more sense than manned ones.

However, I'd like to point out that glory is worth something too. It can inspire a generation of individuals to invest themselves in STEM, for instance. It can encourage people to look to the future, instead of staying mired in the past (and aren't a lot of us guilty of that?). Glory can re-frame how we see ourselves, our species, our capabilities and priorities. Symbolic acts have tremendous potency, and history can swing upon such fulcrums.

1 Mole = 25 Cagey Bees