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Comment: Re:Not useless (Score 3, Insightful) 192

by geogob (#48608501) Attached to: NASA's $349 Million Empty Tower

I don't know why you sigh me, but I doubt you have any idea how it is to turn your back on a already started multi-hundred million dollar contact. It's not as walking back in to the car dealer and saying "sorry, I changed my mind on the sports car... I need a mini van instead". Penalties are often so high it is cheaper to do exactly what they did (build and save for future needs) than cancel the project. And before you sigh at the concept of penalties and go all "omg tax payer money", the companies involved must invest a lot of time, money and energy to build something like this. More importantly, a company has to reject other project to bring such a major work to end. A project cancellation of this order without warranty and protection would most likely ruin even a stable and established company.

Comment: Not useless (Score 5, Interesting) 192

by geogob (#48608253) Attached to: NASA's $349 Million Empty Tower

I hate it when people qualify infrastructure as useless. Especially infrastructure destine for research and development. Even if the foreseen use is deprecated, it doesn't mean it's useless. A test stand can always become of use, even if it's not for the originally planed engine. If they are wise about it, they could even rent the infrastructure to third parties such as Space-X.

Stopping the construction in the middle after 100% of the costs were already incurred, and then destroying the structure for even additional costs would have been a real idiot move.

Comment: Re:Not impressed (Score 1) 157

by geogob (#48599097) Attached to: How Identifiable Are You On the Web?

Your understanding of their last statement is mistaken. The 1 over 11099 has nothing to do with the above statistics. It only says that of the 11099 browser tested, there are only 1 with the union of the above elements. How big a set is, is irrelevant when considering its union with one or multiple other sets.

However, what the statistics do tell you is which of those parameters is more or less common with the ensemble. Eliminating a rarely occurring parameter could move you to a more common set intersection, making you thus less traceable. But deducing the union probability from the set statistics is not trivial, if possible at all without further constraints.

But I am wondering if 11099 trials can be considered significant in this case. There are looking at 6 or more parameters which have countless possible values.

Comment: Re:Why is the signing useful (Score 3, Informative) 80

by geogob (#48563695) Attached to: New Destover Malware Signed By Stolen Sony Certificate

The aim of signing is to ensure users that the software their install is authentic (and assumed to be safe). Most users will blindly thrust non-signed software and drivers... almost no user will suspect a signed package. That already something.

Furthermore, it also adds a bit to the drama of the whole story. For the hackers it's a bit like sitting on the throne with the crown on their head after having killed the king. The obviously like to humiliate their pray, and to that effect compromising their certificates in this way is wonderfully effective.

Comment: Re:I've hired people with misdemeanors before (Score 2) 717

by geogob (#48542773) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

Why wouldn't he? Giving a decent work to a past felon shouldn't be a question at all. I'd even say that not giving him a job because of its past is a strict contradiction to the justice and rehabilitation process.

Giving him a job is not just good for him, its also good for society. And he might even be good at it!

Comment: Re:Error: They did not use LaTeX (Score 1) 170

by geogob (#48366803) Attached to: What Happens When Nobody Proofreads an Academic Paper

Inline comments are awkward in latex. It's one of the biggest flaw of tex IMO. A commenting method that comments out everything to the next line break will inherently break the text flow in the source file. This make production difficult and authors often fall back to non-commented notes in-line -- with the consequences seen here.

This also the reason I will never to text iterations with co-authors (especially in the later production phases) on the tex files, but always and only with pdf files.

Comment: Re:Error: They did not use LaTeX (Score 1) 170

by geogob (#48366791) Attached to: What Happens When Nobody Proofreads an Academic Paper

The nature of the file format (binary/text-based, open/closed/proprietary) has nothing at all to do with the quality of the commenting system. For example, the commenting system associated with docx or pdf are excellent. Latex commenting system fails lamentably... its actually not a system at all.

And I am not a fan of Microsoft nor of Adobe and I do most of my work (unless forced to by project specifications) with Latex.

Comment: Financial gains over safety (Score 1) 398

by geogob (#48195003) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

Anyone considering the use of speed cameras for anything else than safety in high-risk areas is doing something wrong in my opinion. Just as much is it wrong to review their use by any other criterion.

In this case, both the review (based on financial gains) and the expectation of revenue show me that they are doing all this for the wrong reason. And I find that really sad. How wrong can that morally be, to install speed camera based on expected revenue... that's quite a low. I'd rather have a totally uneconomical speed camera in a high-risk zone like a school zone than where its going to be economical.

There is of course another side to this. It's quite possible that those who planned the installation of the cameras did it with the right idea in mind, but had to prepare those analysis for the twisted and lost management minds. Than it shows us another interesting thing... Either they totally overestimated the speeding issue, or they underestimated the dissuasive effect of those cameras (which means they work actually pretty well... assuming they are correctly placed).

Comment: Good times... (Score 4, Insightful) 239

by geogob (#48194775) Attached to: Facebook To DEA: Stop Using Phony Profiles To Nab Criminals

Facebook teaching ethics and rules to the DEA. That's a good one.
Good luck with that anyway, Facebook! If there is any response at all from the DEA side, it will most likely a strong judicial mumbo jumbo meaning "STFU, or... " along a unilateral NDA (you know, because of "or ...")

Maybe the best way to proceed if they do not comply would be to automatically put in parenthesis beside the account name a warning (This account may have been tempered with by authorities).

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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