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Comment: Re: 1 thing (Score 1) 465

One of the golden rules of negotiation is..the first party to give a solid number is the loser.

That's common folk wisdom but every piece of evidence I've found on this suggests that the opposite effect is dominant due to anchoring (

Various studies have shown that anchoring is very difficult to avoid. For example, in one study students were given anchors that were obviously wrong. They were asked whether Mahatma Gandhi died before or after age 9, or before or after age 140. Clearly neither of these anchors can be correct, but the two groups still guessed significantly differently (average age of 50 vs. average age of 67).
Thus, despite being expressly aware of the anchoring effect, participants were still unable to avoid it.[7] A later study found that even when offered monetary incentives, people are unable to effectively adjust from an anchor.[8]

You need to do the background research, figure out what an actually reasonable range is, then make the first offer ever-so-slightly unreasonable on the upside. Just making that offer will shift their perception of what reasonable is.

As others have noted, this is easier when you have a great alternative.

Comment: So, what's the plan? (Score 2) 60

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49814547) Attached to: Intel To Buy Altera For $16.7 Billion
Given that FPGAs are big, slow, and hot compared to equivalent logic built as a fixed function chip(but with the obvious benefit of not being fixed function), Altera FPGAs manufactured on the fanciest processes available seem like a fairly obvious product of the acquisition.

Any bets on what other purposes they have in mind? FPGAs with one or more QPI links built in, for fast interconnect with Xeons? Xeons with FPGAs on die? Intel NICs with substantially greater packet-mangling capabilities, at full wire speed, thanks to reconfigurable logic?

Merely producing FPGAs on a nice process is logical; but could also be done just by selling them fab services. They presumably have a plan that goes beyond that.

Comment: Re:Douch move for sure on SF (Score 4, Insightful) 344

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49813897) Attached to: SourceForge and GIMP [Updated]

Aren't we all smart enough to turn off the adware during install? I even know some old people who turn off "add-ons" that they don't need.

Well, given that adware 'offers' still get injected into installers, I'm going to use my incredible mental thinking skills to hypothesize "no, we aren't".

Aside from that, even if you don't get hit by the adware, having to defang an installer just to use a program leaves the indistinguishable taste of pure sleaze in your mouth for the rest of the process(looking at you, Oracle and the toolbar...)

Sourceforge is dragging the GIMP project's name through the mud by bundling this shit, even if they don't hit anyone. That alone is more than enough to be displeased by.

Comment: Re:Time for the BIOS to be EEPROM again? (Score 1) 77

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49813669) Attached to: Macs Vulnerable To Userland Injected EFI Rootkits
Given that laptops(especially Apple's) are an increasingly heroic enterprise to open; 'internal jumper' probably isn't happening; but you might be able to get away with some other 'physical presence verification' mechanism that exploits buttons that the system already possesses(similar to the way that Chromebooks killed physical dev-mode switches, because OEMs didn't like the added cost, so now it's some multi-key combo during boot).

Not as good as a true hardware write protect(in theory, a suitably capable attack might be able to emulate USB HID or ACPI button events); but much more likely to actually happen than anything that requires cracking the case or increasing the BoM.

Comment: Re:Will anyone exploit it? (Score 4, Insightful) 77

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49813651) Attached to: Macs Vulnerable To Userland Injected EFI Rootkits
If I'm just harvesting nodes for my botnet, macs are pretty lousy targets, no more capable than PCs and substantially more obscure.

If I'm attacking systems for the data on them, or to MiTM/trojan/keylog the users of the systems; grab banking credentials and the like; mac users are a conveniently self-selected group of people atypically worth harvesting. Sure, there are a bunch of underemployed baristas with degrees in Individuality using the macbook pro that mommy and daddy bought them to watch movies in their dorm room; but as a whole, thanks to the higher prices, users of OSX devices skew upmarket pretty substantially(iOS devices have some of the same effect; but much less, since at least an iPhone 5c or the like is probably available as the 'free'-with-usurious-contract model on most telcos).

If you are attempting a corporate/institutional intrusion, macs vary in value: they are way, way, less common, frequently absent entirely; but where they are present, their minority status often means very limited integration into the enterprise's legion of 'security' products, IDSes, and everything else that the Windows users complain is causing logins to take 30 minutes. This makes them handy 'beachhead' systems, especially if they are loaded up with Office, Adobe Malware Runtime, and similar stuff that may well have cross-platform or partially shared libraries of vulnerabilities; but much reduced vigilance on OSX clients.

Comment: Re:Still needs another vulnerability (Score 3, Interesting) 77

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49813579) Attached to: Macs Vulnerable To Userland Injected EFI Rootkits
Less of an issue among people/organizations who exclusively buy new, from manufacturer or authorized retailer; but (at least on the PC side, I don't deal much with mac procurement), refurbished off-lease units are an enormous market. Very, very, popular with organizations that can't afford to ride the latest-and-greatest. It's not glamorous (something like the Optiplex 780 is nothing to write home about; but if you need a few computer labs or a cube farm on a tight budget, the fact that you can get units with an adequate 3rd party warranty, no DOA, 4GB of RAM, and an adequately punchy CPU for ~$150, sometimes a little less, each, is pretty compelling.

"Previous owner" isn't a scary vulnerability for exploits that live at the OS level; all the refurb stuff typically gets wiped once by the refurb house during their testing process, and re-imaged when it reaches the customer; but it is damn scary for firmware-level exploits. Especially motherboard firmware(HDD firmware exploits are scary; but taking out the HDD and shredding it, then replacing it with another low-capacity-everything-is-on-the-network-anyway boot disk is at least cheap); which compromises the system at a scary-deep level, and also compromises the component that makes up most of the value of the computer.

Without a good OS-level vector, preferably with a nice internet infection capability, it isn't a good candidate for a pandemic; but if this sort of firmware fuckery makes the used market about as reliable as buying street drugs, it will have a major impact.

Comment: Re:Mental health workers? (Score 2) 329

There's a bunch of what you say that I agree with*, but then you start going to crazy-town with your talk of "crypto-communists". Especially right after you proclaim "welfare for life" as a solution for the displaced people, which is the very essence of "to each according to their needs".

* In particular, I see "fewer jobs" as an intrinsically good thing. Yes, we all understand that leads to a wealth distribution problem. There are multiple possible outcomes.

Comment: Re:Mental health workers? (Score 1) 329

He's clearly talking about evolutionary algorithms. There is a human involved, yes. But that's moving goalposts. Scribing for copying text was replaced in part by the printing press, then further impacted by photocopiers and later printers. Yes, a human still fed texts into scanners, or nowadays types "10" in the # of copies field of their word processing document, but you can hardly call that human a scribe.

Comment: Re: Simplistic (Score 1) 329

When it comes to 'software replacing teachers', we really haven't made many fundamental advances since Gutenberg(who at least substantially increased the percentage of the world's books that weren't produced by students taking lecture notes in class, which presumably meant that you at least had the option of reading the textbook and skipping the class). If you just need information, technology has done quite well, and continues to make improvements; but if you aren't ready to turn information into knowledge all by yourself, there isn't much on offer.

Comment: Re:Simplistic (Score 1) 329

There is a certain amount of irony; but it's those years of expensive and supply-limiting training that are precisely what make such an attractive target.

It's not an easy target; the computer system that ends up replacing your radiologist or your lawyer or whatever will likely have cost far, far, more to develop than the human it replaced did to raise and train(even if you count the human's recreational spending); but the computer's ability to do work will just keep increasing if you buy more silicon, while the human doesn't scale. If you could hire a single radiologist and make him more productive just by buying additional office chairs, you probably wouldn't bother with the robot.

Comment: Re:Mental health and substance abuse social worker (Score 1) 329

Mental health and substance abuse social work looks to be doubly golden. Because the takeover by machines will surely increase the number of unemployed people with mental health and substance abuse problems.

Depends on the political climate: if some bleeding heart is calling the shots, sure; but if it's tough-on-crime time, then the rapidly maturing world of combat robotics will be tapped to provide low-cost 'treatment' solutions to these populations.

If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.