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Comment Re:Obligatory "why" post (Score 1) 68 68

Corection, kerberos & nfs difference between client and server generally should not be more than 5 seconds, so above should be +/-2.5 second.

That's a protocol design bug.

Specifically, there's actually no reason that protocol traffic wouldn't include a "this is my idea of the current time" in the requests and responses so that delta times could be locally calculated from the packet contents on the receiving end. This would work, no problem, for a protocol like NFS.

Kerberos is more of an issue, but since all parties have to trust the ticket granting system as the trusted third party -- so you might a well trust their timestamp as well, since you've already established a trust chain dependency on the third party. You mode the protocol to send the timestamp within the security association, and you are golden (regardless of whether you are running an adjusted or monotonic clock).

This is how DCE RPC handles byte order: receiver translates to local byte order -- if the byte order is different. If it's not, then there's no need for translation, and it saves CPU on both ends of the connection. Receiver translates to a delta time from which the timestamps are derived, and timesync is no longer a problem.

Comment Re:Great - except for one thing (Score 1) 125 125

The business side is why the company exists. When they add feature creep etc, it's generally because they don't really know what the customer wants and are trying to see what lands.

In my experience, this tends to happen when marketing gets involved in the design process, and starts asking for previous_product++. One of the reasons Steve Jobs was so effective is that he understood the technical side of things well enough to help make design decisions.

They tend to not even really understand how to tell if a time estimate is BS or not.

The best way to get good at estimating is doing a couple of fixed price contracts that end up working out to you making less than minimum wage. Then you either get good at estimating, or you go out of business.

All managers who've worked with people who are bad at estimating automatically apply a scaling factor, which usually depends on the person making the estimate, and then you scale it for the real estimate, because people are frequently bad at estimating. In general, there are two types of people (substitute gender, if you wish to): Mr. Right, and Mr. Right Now. Both of these can be valuable to a company, but generally, if you want to scale to a large number of customers without huge built-in costs, your prototype is done by Mr. Right Now to get to funding, and then your released product is done by Mr. Right.

Comment Re:Cycle of life (Score 1) 125 125

All things are born, grow up, grow old and die, corporate citizens are not excluded from entropy.

The oldest continuously running company is Kongo Gumi; it was founded in the year 578. Not dead yet.

FWIW, there are 5,586 companies older than 200 years. Like the Stiftskeller St. Peter restaurant in Austria, which was founded in the year 803, or Sean's Bar, an Irish Pub, founded in the year 900. Even the U.S. has gotten into the act; Shirley Plantation is a farm founded in Virginia in 1613. A surprising percentage of them are alcohol related, although there are also a lot of hotels, confectioners, and other businesses.

Comment Re:Is he in the right? (Score 2) 1132 1132

Gizmodo had an article a while back on this topic.

Is It OK to Shoot Down Your Neighbor's Drone?

Basically, under the law, the drone is the same as a full-fledged aircraft. Now, the other side of the equation is that you only own ~100 feet above your property. If it was flying higher, then it is legal.

If it was lower, then it's a different story. In any event, the most prudent course is to call the cops - anything else would just be an overkill, and even if you were in the right, it's just a pain.

You could probably still be subjected to civil suits and what not.

Comment Re:If there was a criteria for safe unlocking (Score 2) 82 82

As a pilot, I cannot agree more. Some of the cockpit controls out there are downright obnoxious, especially for rotary wing.

I have a friend who is a Harrier jet pilot, and I have heard some horror stories on landing those on aircraft carriers.

Usually, we are told what *not* to do, and so unless explicitly forbidden (e.g., do not do X before this time), we will assume it will be alright. This is clearly an engineering and a documentation/training failure.

It's easy to blame the pilot, but if anything, he's a tragic victim of poor design.

Comment Blame the users: here's why (Score 2) 120 120

As usual, I prefer to blame the victims (us).

On a desktop personal computer, it would never occur to you to think "Oh, I just assume I'll get software maintenance from my ISP," and if anyone ever actually said that then you would point your finger at them and laugh and their over-the-top stupidity.

But change the form factor of the personal computer to handheld and suddenly we don't do the pointing and laughing. On the very face of it, it's JUST AS STUPID. So WTF?

Users are not exercising their common sense. They simply aren't. You can make excuses for not using common sense and explain why we did this very obviously stupid thing, but don't pretend it's not happening. Every morning you're getting up and putting a "kick me" sign on your back. You know that you're doing it and you know what consequences will invariably flow from it.

"I don't have any other signs to put on my back! All the signs on the market say 'kick me!'"

"Just because I wear a 'kick me' sign that doesn't mean anyone really has license to kick me! They shouldn't be doing that to me!"

Ok, go on and say those things. You even have some valid points, and the things you're saying might even be technically correct. But that doesn't mean you don't sound stupid, because you don't have not getting kicked in your requirements! WTF, people?!

Stop thinking of handhelds as some weird special case where ALL your experiences with software maintenance magically don't apply! THAT'S STUPID! So yeah, I'm a victim-blamer. You know when you buy your PC from your ISP or from a manufacturer who has a history of preventing maintenance, what's going to happen. And when people pretend they don't know the invariable consequences of buying PCs from ISPs, the stupidity takes on a flavor of dishonesty. Mmmm, yum!

Comment Re:Unregulated speech, must stop at all costs! (Score 1) 298 298

For me, "performance," is where the act meets the audience as much as where the act is carried-out...

Well, then. We should all adopt your definition of the term. There's a reason art is subjective - as long as the consumer and the producer agree that it's a performance, it doesn't matter what you or the dictionary call it.

I see a lot of people getting very passionate when they're probably not terribly knowledgeable about the situation.

Evidently, that includes you.

I don't know what the man's warrants are for, though given the culture surrounding rap and hip-hop I'm guessing that they're not for the same kinds of things that Edward Snowden is wanted for.

His warrants are for missing child support payments. And btw, that's the whole idea behind free speech -- all speech, good, bad, and ugly, is worth protecting.

You are now conflating freedom with intent and quality, which is a slippery slope.

Comment Re:My experience dressing down at a business meeti (Score 2) 470 470

There is a difference, and I do sincerely hope you know it, between dirty, stained rags and informal attire. Believe it or not, it's possible to wash jeans and t-shirts so they not only look but also smell nice.

As for your picture, you might notice that this is from a very different time. That's like complaining about the fashion of the 70s and questioning the sexual preference of the guys.

I have to agree.

One of the "You Have Arrived" indicators for success for a technical person in Silicon Valley is not having to wash your T-Shirts unless you want to keep them, because you are getting, on average, a new T-Shirt every day or so. It's a lot less that way these days, but you could, if you are sought after technically, go an entire month without doing laundry, and wear one to two T-shirts a day, with little effort to solicit shirts.

I had an intern in a button-down collar, at Google, engage me in the following conversation:

Intern: "Who's the old guy in the T-shirt"
Me: "Vint Cerf"
Intern: "Is he the token really old guy? Why do they keep him around?"
Me: "He invents things. He's a Distinguished Engineer."
Intern: (not hearing the Caps) "Like what?"
Me: "The Internet."
Intern: "Yeah, but what on the internet?"
Me: "That's it. He invented the Internet."
Intern: "You're shitting me!"
Me: "Someone had to. Do you really need me to explain who Vint Cerf is? Because if that's true, I'm willing to do the job, but you should probably 'us' it."
Intern: "What's 'us it' mean?"
Me "Google it."

Frankly I expected defibrillators would be involved at that point, but he recovered.

He moved to machine learning after that, but I think the lesson improved him.

Comment Re:My big question now... (Score 2) 65 65

It will also reveal some bugs that were nicely hidden before, when the particular fixed allocation didn't cause any immediately visible issues.

Fuzzing is useless, if you can't reproduce the bug.

It's the same as saying "There's a bug in there *somewhere*, but I will be damned if I can tell you where!".

Eng: "You mean 'It's broke'?"

Test: "Yeah."

Eng: "Thank you very F'ing much!"

Test: "What are you typing?"

Eng: "I'm closing your bug as 'Can not reproduce'; there: done!"

Comment I say we rename it. (Score 1) 132 132

I say we rename it.

I vote for "The Ralph Wiggum Is Really A Genius He Just Has Not Been Educated Forcefully Enough Act".

Because, as we all know, everyone is educable; you're just not trying hard enough if they fail,because all failure is the fault of society, and no blame rests with the child.

"Virtual" means never knowing where your next byte is coming from.

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