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Comment Re:Describes mediocre and bad engineers well (Score 1) 469

And make sure business has signed off on their own stupidity. That way, when the unlikely happens and your company actually gets attacked by somebody both competent and destructive (a lot rarer than either competent or destructive but not both), you can always point to the document trail.

Sure, in many cases accepting a risk is sensible, but what I have seen in the last few years goes way beyond stupid.

Comment Re:Describes mediocre and bad engineers well (Score 1) 469

You seem to have zero real-world project experience. The type of project requirement you want is basically more expensive to create than doing the project as it needs to be a full detail-spec and you need to do it without knowing exactly what is possible. That is why you never encounter these kinds of project requirements in the real world. In the real world it is always a judgment call, and the quality of that call depends on the skills, insights and experience of the one making that call.

It is project management 101 that your approach leads to certain failure because the project has unattainable goals even before implementation starts. My SW Engineering professor has a nice example of this: Some (probably military, he did not say) control syste, that had spec that would have allowed to measure without a judgment component. Unfortunately, it was about 1.5m of shelf-space of formal specification. Possibly costs a few 10 millions to create and was completely useless.

Comment Re:Describes mediocre and bad engineers well (Score 1) 469

I think you are fundamentally wrong. Or you only work in low-insight environments. Meeting a target or project requirement is a judgment call, and that is not at all a black/white thing. Use of absolute metrics is usually a sign of incompetence. (Not that that is not widespread, but so is incompetence....)


What Is the Future of the Television? ( 201

An anonymous reader writes: Benedict Evans has an interesting post about where television hardware is headed. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the tech industry made a huge push to invade the living room, trying to make the internet mesh with traditional TV broadcasts. As we all know, their efforts failed. Now, we periodically see new waves of devices to attach to the TV, but none have been particularly ambitious. The most successful devices of the recent wave, like the Chromecast and Apple TV, are simply turning the TV into a dumb screen for streamed content. Meanwhile, consumption of all types of video content is growing on smaller screens — tablets, phones, etc. Even game consoles are starting to see their market eroded by boxes like the Steam Link, which acts as a pipe for a game being played elsewhere on a PC. It raises an intriguing question: where is the television headed? What uses and functions does one giant screen serve that can't be cleverly redistributed to smaller screens? Evans concludes, "The web's open, permissionless innovation beat the closed, top-down visions of interactive TV and the information superhighway."

Comment Describes mediocre and bad engineers well (Score 4, Insightful) 469

A lot of not very good engineers like these absolute answers and like things to be black or white. I run into them frequently. The worst is probably the IT security field, where things are often viewed as secure or not, with nothing in between. That is an epic fail in the real world, of course.

Good engineers are not like that at all, they understand things like risk management, redundancy, real-world aspects, human factors and cost. But they are a minority, unfortunately.

Comment The CA secret cert is also present (Score 2) 89

According to, just marked "non-exportable" (sorry, no English link):

Person that reported this initially:

Apparently being non-exportable is no protection whatsoever, and people are already offering the CA cert for download, which then lets everybody sign for this CA.

It is hard to display more fundamental incompetence with regards to certificate handling.


Dell Accused of Installing 'Superfish-Like' Rogue Certificates On Laptops ( 89

Mickeycaskill writes: Dell has been accused of pre-installing rogue self-signing root certificate authentications on its laptops. A number of users discovered the 'eDellRoot' certificate on their machines and say it leaves their machines, and any others with the certificate, open to attack. "Anyone possessing the private key which is on my computer is capable of minting certificates for any site, for any purpose and the computer will programmatically and falsely conclude the issued certificate to be valid," said Joe Nord, a Citrix product manager who found the certificate on his laptop. It is unclear whether it is Dell or a third party installing the certificate, but the episode is similar to the 'Superfish' incident in which Lenovo was found to have installed malware to inject ads onto users' computers.

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.