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Comment: Delaware (Score 1) 1255

by ggendel (#44737947) Attached to: Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

For most of us in the US, a significant portion of the local public school budget comes from property taxes. I was asking a realtor in DE how they deal with public schools with such a low property tax basis. The answer wasn't surprising... The majority of the populace sends their children to private schools for their elementary education but still go to the public high schools. They feel the major advantage is that the private schools compete (and therefor excel) at educating and that citizens do not pay continuously high taxes after all their children have left the school system. They still feel that their public elementary schools give a decent education because they are smaller and more manageable (thus less costly). I don't know whether this is the prevailing feeling in DE, but it seemed appropriate for this thread.

Comment: This sounds like a bad setup to me (Score 1) 190

by ggendel (#44723233) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Speeding Up Personal Anti-Spam Filters?

If you require using sophisticated procmail filters on your personal account then it seems like your setup is wrong from the get-go. Your incoming mail server should be taking the brunt of the work and using a progressive and efficient filtering before any filtering by content.

I use a spamdyke based front end that has a whole arsenal of whilte, black, and gray filtering of emails using RBLs RBLHS, reverse lookups, etc. It also can do header "pattern" filtering as well, but I currently don't use that feature. This blocks almost all spam quickly and efficiently. The last stage is to run it through spamassassin for those things that are in the gray (not a simple reject/accept, but a cumulative scoring) area. Worst case mail delays are on the order of few seconds through the whole chain. Spamassassin only gets a small number of incoming emails to work on. The stragglers usually come via accounts at yahoo, live, etc.

The nice thing about spamdyke and other systems like it is that it does it's job very fast. For example, the blacklists and whitelists in spamdyke can be setup as directory tree structure so it is a very quick lookup to determine whether to accept or reject the specified domain or ip address.

I also use systems like honeypots and hunter-seekers. The latter looks at what is graylisted or accepted by spamdyke and does http checks on the domain to see if it should be blacklisted. It also may decide to do tests in ip address neighbors to see if more should be blacklisted.

Like all systems, you must be proactive at identifying mail that shouldn't have been rejected. It is a rare situation, but there are a few companies with badly configured mail servers (like no reverse dns entries). However, after many years of operation my whitelist contains only a handful of domains. The automated blacklist process sends me email when it adds a domain, just in case.

Comment: zfs snapshots (Score 1) 572

by ggendel (#43366951) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Protecting Home Computers From Guests?

If you're running with zfs, just take a snapshot of the file system before handing over the system. When they're done, roll back to your snapshot. Both take seconds to perform. There may be other filesystems that can do this, but this is the one I'm familiar with and it works extremely well and doesn't require any virtual machine layer.

Comment: Re:You don't (Score 1) 683

by ggendel (#42473775) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can I Explain To a Coworker That He Writes Bad Code?

I worked with an absolutely brilliant man that came out of the FORTRAN era. Two character variable names, large functions, no comments, etc. He carried this style through our transition to PL/I and then C. No one could understand his code until they understood his system, which was pretty strict. The second character identified the purpose of the variable, X was a loop counter, and so on. I supported his code after he left the company and once I got the hang of it it was actually easy to figure out where to find what you wanted.

Personally, I would never have adopted his system, but it did work for him and he banged out code quickly with minimal bugs.

Comment: Re:13 comments says it all (Score 1) 17

by ggendel (#42449283) Attached to: Open webOS Adopts Apache Cordova for Hardware Access


(Typed on a touchpad running android marvelously)

Spoken like a person that's never used a Pre 3 which I used to beat the Microsoft challenge. The only issue has been stalled development. OpenWebOS is the last hope for this work so I hope they make it a good one. Supporting existing devices is a step in the right direction. Oh, I've got 4 Pre phones in the household, plus three touchpads all hombrew patched with LunaCE and overclocked kernels. Both my and my wife's Touchpad hasn't needed a reboot in over 6 months of daily use. We tried Android and Jelly Bean comes close, but it still is clumsy compared to WebOS (especially on phones). The latest threaded email app from OpenWebOS is a nice piece of software. WebOs needs a serious refresh on the browser (ala Isis) to make it competitive again.

The main reason that there are so few comments is that HP has raised hopes and subsequently dashed them in the 11th hour so many times that the community has adopted a "show me when it becomes real" attitude.

Comment: Seems like a bad implementation to me (Score 2) 98

by ggendel (#40768579) Attached to: Reverse-Engineered Irises Fool Eye-Scanners

I worked on early iris recognition software and we had already worked through this scenario way back then. If the scanner was worth it's salt, it would be doing what we did years ago...

1) Verify that the eye reacts to changing light conditions... Pupils should contract or dilate when required.
2) Verify that the eye isn't flat (i.e. a picture). Proper specularity orientation from changing light sources (we used infrared) to identify the curvature.
3) Glowing pupil under infrared, dark with different lighting.

I'm sure there were a number of other things we did, but it has been awhile. Bottom line is that we only used a representative frame from a video sequence for the iris coding; we used the sequence to verify that what we had was not a picture, a contact lens imprinted with an iris pattern, even a live person (not a corpse).

When I left that project, we were able to do iris recognition at a significant distance even if the subject was walking fast using high speed, high resolution video capture.


Torvalds Bemoans Size of RC7 For Linux Kernel 3.5 158

Posted by samzenpus
from the too-big dept.
alphadogg writes "A host of small modifications and a large number of system-on-a-chip and PowerPC fixes inflated the size of release candidate No. 7 for Version 3.5 of the Linux kernel, according to curator Linus Torvalds' RC7 announcement, made on Saturday. Torvalds wasn't happy with the extensive changes, most of which he said he received Friday and Saturday, saying 'not cool, guys' in the announcement. However, the occasionally combustible kernel curator didn't appear to view this as a major setback. 'Now, admittedly, most of this is pretty small. The loadavg calculation fix patch is pretty big, but quite a lot of that is added comments,' he wrote, referring to the subroutine that measures system workload."

Comment: Tom Swift Series (Score 1) 726

by ggendel (#40389791) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Science-Fiction/Fantasy For Kids?

I wonder if the old "Tom Swift" series is still around? I cut my teeth on those. I managed to see one of them again a couple decade or so ago and realized that most of the "Science" in the book was pure nonsense. But it was an easy read for a young age and did capture my imagination to start me off towards the Sciences.

Comment: Sounds like a repeat of WebOS (Score 1) 1027

by ggendel (#40327297) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's Your Beef With Windows Phone?

If you replaced MS with Palm, you would have the same story. Every review of WebOS was glowing but the phones just didn't sell. This story plays out so many times, I just chalk it up to people are sheep and run with the leader.

That said, MS needs to get their act together with their stores. The one that opened recently here has staff that are unhelpful, not knowledgeable about their or others products, and come off as downright rude. Now that they've been open for a month I see it mostly empty while the Apple store in the same mall is always packed.

I came to do the MS challenge with my Pre 3 and asked if, after I picked from one of their challenges, they would pick from one of mine they ganged up and edged me out of the store.

Comment: It can be great (Score 1) 480

by ggendel (#39412037) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are Your Tips For Working From Home?

I've had a long history of working from home and for the last 10 years, that's been my sole workplace. I co-founded a company on the West Coast but live on the East Coast.

The pros:
* Don't worry about weather and traffic.
* Can set your own routine that includes de-stress breaks. I made sure my office was comfortable and has a nice view out the window. I get a chance to watch the ground hogs, birds, and the occasional deer play in my backyard between my "in the zone" sessions. My day consists of getting up early, exercising (at home), giving the cat some attention and then working until lunch. I eat lunch at home with my wife, then it's back to work until a set time to end my day. Since I get up early, I can end early and spend quality time with the family.
* If there is a good distance between your boss and co-workers, it's easy to diffuse the occasional blowups. "Your absolutely right. I'll prevent this from happening again".

The cons:
* No matter what you do, kids and animals will not understand that you're working and need to concentrate. Fortunately my wife gets it.
* If the office is in a different time zone, expect interruptions during your own time. "I'm at a customer's site and I'm having a problem..."
* Social interaction. I had a brilliant co-worker that I could video chat whenever I wanted to bounce ideas off someone (and visa-verse). This worked great for 30 years until last year when he passed away. Now I make sure to schedule a couple of days a month to get together with friends that I worked with previously just to enjoy some technical interaction.

Side note:
I always have a lot of things on my todo list (100-200 at any time). I have my boss periodically go through my list and note the top ~10 issues that should get addressed first. When that list is almost exhausted, I have him go through the list again. This keeps both of us happy, focused, and productive.

Comment: I don't understand (Score 3, Interesting) 163

by ggendel (#39060057) Attached to: Why Open APIs Fall Far Short of Open Source

I work for a company that OEMs a product with a published API. They make quarterly updates, but here's the rub...

The updates continually update their back-end in non-backwards compatible ways. We end up running multi-cpu days of regression tests to find what's broke and then spend oodles of man-days tracking down what happened and figuring out workarounds each time we try to update. We're still using the API libraries that are many versions before the latest because of this.

At one point I couldn't figure out how to do something with their API,so I requested example code. They sent part of the source a real product that they market that does what I needed. I soon discovered that they don't use their own published interface, completely bypassing the API classes entierly to get to functionality I can't.

I'd take open source over this pain any day.

Comment: Posturing? (Score 1) 203

by ggendel (#39059835) Attached to: HP CEO Says Google-Motorola Deal Could Close-Source Android

[sarcasm]This kind of posturing is nothing new and it's wonderful to see how people can still post responses so rationally.[/sarcasm]

The open source plan put in place by HP is quite refreshing. They have a reasonable time frame to replace all the proprietary pieces with open source ones to get it all out there. They have embraced the homebrew community and made them part of the open-source direction and I wish them well.

Personally, I'm excited about the proposition. WebOS still comes in top in customer satisfaction polls, imagine that.

Last yeer I kudn't spel Engineer. Now I are won.