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Comment: yes, they are (Score 1) 132

by Tom (#49348935) Attached to: Many Password Strength Meters Are Downright Weak, Researchers Say

In fact, they're ridiculous. I've given a couple presentations on password strength, and password meters are to password strength what the TSA is for air travel security - a better-than-nothing baseline approach that is mostly for show.

The problem is that we have nothing better to offer at this time, even though most security experts agree that passwords are a solution whose time is over.

Comment: ethics (Score 2) 118

by Tom (#49348881) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

For example when faced with the decision to crash into a pedestrian or another vehicle carrying a family, it would be a challenge for a self-driving car to follow the same moral reasoning a human would in the situation

Or maybe it would follow better moral reasoning. Ours is not perfect, it's just whatever evolution came up with that gave us the best species survival rates. That doesn't mean it's really the most ethical solution.
For example, in a post-feminist society, let's assume for arguments sake that gender discrimination has been overcome, wouldn't we also do away with "women and children first" - which is a suitable survival approach in a species fighting for survival in the african prairie, but hardly for the dominant species that already is overpopulated.

Comment: Re:Economics (Score 3, Informative) 126

by Shakrai (#49340141) Attached to: First Nuclear Power Plant Planned In Jordan

You can push for the design output, but only at the expense of maintenance, and there's a glowing lump in the Ukraine that demonstrates what happens then.

Chernobyl had nothing whatsoever to do with maintenance. It happened as the direct consequence of an ill conceived experiment, which deliberately bypassed safety protocols, with the added bonus that the experiment was moved at the last minute from the day-shift to the less experienced night-shift crew.

Comment: Re:Animal House (Score 4, Insightful) 757

by Tom (#49318303) Attached to: A Software Project Full of "Male Anatomy" Jokes Causes Controversy

There is no right to create a hostile working environment for women.

You are right. There's no reason to make boob-grabbing a sport at work, or install under-table cameras and post the up-skirt shots in the Intranet. There's no reason to announce publicly the menstruation periods of every girl in the office, or enforce a dresscode that ignores female anatomy. Definitely sex should not be a condition for promotion, and meetings should not start with blowjob requests, made in order of beauty to the attending women. Likewise, putting a single toilet for women into the basement while having men toilets everywhere.

Oh wait, you were talking about a software joke project on some random Internet site that nobody is forced to visit or even know about? Yeah, that definitely is the dictionary case for "hostile working environment".

the entire back office being papered over with pinups

That's absolutely the same as a random Internet site that nobody... why am I wasting my time here, a monkey would see the difference.

Comment: cry baby (Score 1) 757

by Tom (#49318261) Attached to: A Software Project Full of "Male Anatomy" Jokes Causes Controversy

Let's live in a perfectly politically correct world where our jokes, every sentence we speak and every message we write is controlled by the thought police.

And I say that as someone who was bullied at school. But here's the point: There's harassment, which has a victim and there's jokes about a class the size of half the worlds population and either you are incredibly insecure or unbelievably egomaniac to consider yourself the individual target.

Every real woman I've met in my life laughs about jokes that ridicule women in general the same way that I laugh about jokes where guys in general are the target. These jokes are funny exactly because they contain a piece of truth.

Everything, taken to extremes, is evil. That includes feminism, no-harassment policies and political correctness. No, wait. That last one is evil from the start.

Comment: Re:simple opinion (Score 1) 319

by Tom (#49304685) Attached to: Why I Choose PostgreSQL Over MySQL/MariaDB

Firstly, the general feeling that Postgres is engineered and designed and not cobbled together.

Secondly, support for non-trivial SQL is just a lot better. For a forum or simple application, MySQL is fine by language, but if you get into the more tricky SQL, it will fail you much sooner.

Thirdly, schemas, views, stored procedures the whole environment around the tables is so much more refined and powerful. Not that it's easy to say "MySQL cannot do this" - there's usually some hack or roundabout way in which it can do it, but in Postgres you don't need the hacks.

And it seems to me that it's so much clearer and better to do serials and foreign keys and all that. In MySQL it always felt to me like everything that's not trivial was added on, by someone else than the last feature. Postgres is just much more consistent in its approach.

Oh yes, and it does GIS. And blobs (properly). And UTF (properly). I just feel a lot more comfortable throwing everything at it and not thinking "will it handle it?" all the time.

Comment: simple opinion (Score 1) 319

by Tom (#49300321) Attached to: Why I Choose PostgreSQL Over MySQL/MariaDB

I've used MySQL for almost 20 years for different projects of mine. In my professional life, I've also used ADABAS, Oracle and this and that other.

I was interested in Postgres some years ago but never went beyond reading one book. Then two years ago I decided to start a new project with Postgres from the start, because I wanted PostGIS.

I'm not looking back. Every future project I do will always use Postgres. Aside from the technical and functional and other rational arguments, the feeling you get is like graduating from BASIC to a real programming language.

Comment: Re:and what will happen to people automated out of (Score 1) 341

by Tom (#49300287) Attached to: Musk Says Drivers May Become Obsolete, Announces Juice-Saving Upgrades

the benefits of increased productivity per worker haven't been shared by the workers for 40 years.

This. In the 60s and 70s there was this shared vision of what creative and scientific progress mankind could make when freed from most of the boring busywork that many jobs are.

Then a non-conspiracy(*) decided "what if we just pocket all that profit instead and instead of being just very rich become super-filthy mega rich?"

(*) most cases where people see conspiracies actually are not, they are just cases where the interests of people or groups of people align so nicely that they don't even need to make a conspiracy to act as if they had.

Comment: Re:I'm one of those engineers... (Score 2) 341

by Tom (#49300251) Attached to: Musk Says Drivers May Become Obsolete, Announces Juice-Saving Upgrades

How many lines of code does it take to reliably and safely detect the lane markings of a road?

As you are from this area, I'm sure you already know what I'm about to say, but maybe you have an answer:

The goal is not 100% detection rate. The goal is a detection rate that is equal to or better than that of most human drivers. I've driven roads where the line markings were so difficult to see (maybe just in the particular conditions of that day) that it was more a matter of guessing than actual detection.

So what is the detection rate of human drivers? Probably much lower than intuition would make us think, because we are very good and fast and automated in using other cues as well, and in many cases don't actually look for the lane markings, we "know" from other input where they are supposed to be and basically just check now and then if they really are or something is wrong.

Yes, it's a hard problem, and the more we do in the field of computer vision the more we understand just how amazing human vision is, but it is also full of bugs and problems, so the target is not perfection.

Comment: Re:MySQL's Query Planner Still Sucks (Score 1) 319

by elp (#49299005) Attached to: Why I Choose PostgreSQL Over MySQL/MariaDB
And if you had read the manual and turned on the option to make it do those checks ( sql_mode='TRADITIONAL' ) It would have objected.

Blaming mysql because you can't RTFM makes you look like a beginner. If you had actually used a large range of databases professionally you would know that apart from CRUD operations every single database has its own quirks and there is no meaningful standard. Seriously, go read something like the SQL cookbook the variations are all over the place. I've also seen both PG and Mysql do some seriously dumb things with joins.

One of the things real engineers do is understand the tradeoffs between different options and choose the one that suits the particular application and environment at hand. Postgresql's unstoppable OCD has always made it a good choice for accounting type systems while mysql has always been good for blog style sites where the data is very dirty. PG 9.3 and 9.4 have finally got reasonable replication but prior to that it wasn't always the best choice if you needed replication.

That article was just click bait with large parts either wrong or irrelevant.

Comment: Re:greedy liar (Score 1) 451

by Tom (#49291383) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

what happens to the taxi drivers

The same thing that happened to the ice cutters, coffee bean sorters, switch board operators and hundreds of other obsolete jobs.

I've never met a taxi driver who would qualify to go to engineering school or become a programmer or some such.

There are lots of jobs for people without higher education. When we reach the development level where everything that unqualified people can do is being done by robots, we can also give everyone a home and food and other shit for free.

So in your world where the sharing economy reigns supreme,

And I thought I just called the CEO of one of those "sharing economy" companies a greedy liar. I'm not a fan of this new buzzword, and frankly speaking half of it is scams. But if we're talking about cars, Lyft and Uber are not the future and I'm surprised people pump billions into them when their business will be obsolete in ten years. They really expect an ROI so quickly?

Comment: Re:Close but here is my take. (Score 1) 451

by Tom (#49291323) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

Because if a cabbie can't keep their taxi clean, what makes you think the average person will too?

Maybe that's a thing in your area? With a single exception, all the car-sharing cars I've used for the past few years have been fine and on the level of taxis except for a little more dirt on the floor (and only the floor).

more commodity like cars

Thanks to the used car market, the price of buying a car is not the problem. The cost and hassle of maintaining one is. If you don't need a car every day, it's simply not worth it.

The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere, bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.