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Comment: Documentation Requirements (Score 2) 244

by hhawk (#49689829) Attached to: RTFM? How To Write a Manual Worth Reading

Based on the work I did in 1985 at Bell Labs as part of my assignment to create documentation requirements for the Acorn Network Control System -- Good documentation should have at least 4 parts. Each particular user persona would use the 4 parts in different ways. Part of the documentation would appeal to potential customers, novice users, intermediate users, users with limited but deep domain expertise, users who previously had fluency with the product but who lost that fluency due to lack of use.

#1 The first in additional to typical table of contents found in each manual there should be a documentation MAP, that combines all of the various documentation and training for a specific product into a visual map; typically this is done with a task orientation. Much like a web page site map, this will allow a potential readers with a wide range of user cases to find the right document or the correct chapter, section, and should include online training, videos, Etc.

#2 A quick reference guide which I think most users would be familiar with. This instruction is typically very linear, and walks at a high level users through the major steps for the most typical cases.

#3 A "cook book" best for coding applications but has broad application to most technologies. Each section of this manual details how to perform a particular task, in it's entirety; e.g., a recipe. Recipes should cover a range of users types (novice, intermediate, expert, or with specific previous domain expertise). A non-coding example would be: Recipe for setting up a mix minus recording using the Behringer Xenyx 1202fx mixer; the ingredients would include all cables, software, Etc. used in the recipe.

#4 A complete and full reference guide. Again typically found in manuals but often (today) the ONLY section of the manual. Each sub-section is a full and complete deep dive on each part, instruction, or option. This is typically used by experts. It can be used by those who are using the cookbook to look for recipe options and substitutions. It can also be used by potential customers to see if a particular use case is supported.

+ - Is Apple 18k Gold, really 18k?

Submitted by hhawk
hhawk writes: If it isn't traditional Gold Alloy is Apple's 18k gold watch really 18k? Are they starting 99.999 gold and making it 18k or are they using traditionally 18k gold and "diluting" it with ceramic particles?

Comment: Pick an easy solution (Score 4, Interesting) 343

by hhawk (#49073893) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Version Control For Non-Developers?

I would recommend Google docs, assuming there isn't any crazy formating involved.

#1) It is a single document so you don't have to worry about the naming of it..
#2) Google Docs has a built in ver. control, in that you can roll backwards to early version of the document, and you can see who is editing, changing etc. (assuming everyone has their own password).

It's low tech, easy to use, and the only education is to keep on using the same file name.

Comment: Josh is wrong (Score 2) 448

by hhawk (#48758333) Attached to: Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

Josh's article last year was wrong on a few levels. This article is wrong as well. What's important to understand is the price you pay depends upon "how many channels you buy, how frequently you buy, and when & where you watch, etc."

1st., you are overpaying why you buy local channels; they are free "over the air" but they are allowed to charge when a cable company transmits via their cable -- today a digital antenna works well for most and certainly anyone who is price sensitive.

2nd., we are just left with the cable TV shows and "Premium channels" -- and in this context Josh's article is right IF your family is large and/or you consume a lot of programs of different types a bundle that includes everything can be cost effective.

3rd., if we remove the cost of local TV and assume you just want to watch specific channels than Josh's calculations are certainly wrong. The question becomes when you want to watch a "new" channel or a show on an ad hoc basis -- should you subscribe to an entire bundle to get one network, or a whole network to get 1 or 2 shows?

4th., another reason Josh's calculations are clearly wrong is the time and place value of information; do you need to watch a show as a "first run" or can you wait until later and watching it on a web site like Netflix or Amazon Prime?

5th., If you limit your intake to specific networks or shows (through Google Play, Apple iTunes, NetFlix) you costs can be much lower ala carte.

Comment: If NK did it, explain this one.. (Score 2) 282

by hhawk (#48670615) Attached to: Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?

You are saying that NK has a lack of powerful computer skills.. do you actually have a factual basis for that? They send many students outside for training and education, and there are reports that they do indeed have a cyber war unit. They used to kidnap Japanese people for information, surely they could get their hands on some Pcs running linux.
  http://www.zdnet.com/article/n...

Comment: Re:The good news (Score 1) 700

by hhawk (#48221447) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Kester1964, you are being silly.. and I do like humor including your humor..

I am sure you think I'm being flippant with my "terroristic remark" but given that IANAL, my reading of the law says to me, that it is clear that FTDI is being terroristic. That may not have been the intent of the law.. but I believe it applies.

Let's start with 18 U.S. Code 2332b [cornell.edu] - (B) Acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries which states, "creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to any other person by destroying or damaging any structure, conveyance, or other real or personal property within the United States or by attempting or conspiring to destroy or damage any structure, conveyance, or other real or personal property within the United States;"

And the penalty --> "(E) for destroying or damaging any structure, conveyance, or other real or personal property, by imprisonment for not more than 25 years;"

Comment: Re:The good news (Score 1) 700

by hhawk (#48221391) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Dahamma,

I appreciate the very thoughtful response.. I understand (and agree) conceptually that the user is buying a counterfeit good(s); but in practical terms, in real terms the users isn't. They are buying a computer, or board, etc.; if they checked to see if it was legit (the chips within) it would appear to be legit (yes perhaps the definition of counterfeit).

You are implying that this only happens to people with "bad/cheap" brands.. ZD is reporting, "The chip is extremely common on a wide variety of devices and there is no way of knowing at this time which devices have cloned chips -- and the tainted supply chain could hit anyone."

I'm clearly saying that FTDI's wanton destruction of private and government property is terroristic in nature and that it will effect major users, home users, etc. Unlike many "debates" on the Internet, we will soon know which of us is right (or wrong) or in which ways we are right and wrong.. as I suspect the reporting on this will only continue to increase. We also also see if FTDI un-does their "silent" upgrade.

I'm also saying there isn't any valid legal reason for them to have taken this course of action; if they are taking action it should be with the makers of the devices; their upgrade could have been informational (for example). "Your computer contains counterfeit parts... Please contact us..." It's also not like this was a needed upgrade that by happenstance caused this problem.. it was deliberate, willful and served no urgent nor addressed any exigent circumstances.

Comment: Re:The good news (Score 1) 700

by hhawk (#48212433) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Dear Dahamma,

I really do appreciate your POV here.. but I think you are clearly mistaking several facts. In general you are implying that a end user knowingly bought a counterfeit item; this is far from the truth.

Let's start with 18 U.S. Code 2332b - (B) Acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries
which states, "creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to any other person by destroying or damaging any structure, conveyance, or other real or personal property within the United States or by attempting or conspiring to destroy or damage any structure, conveyance, or other real or personal property within the United States;"

And the penalty --> "(E) for destroying or damaging any structure, conveyance, or other real or personal property, by imprisonment for not more than 25 years;"

Now, with that out of the way, let's talk about your 'mythical user' who buys a counterfeit chip. The last time I bought a 'chip' for a computer was in 1987 for my IBM PC portable.. (not a board, not a device, but an actual 'chip').

#1) we are not talking about "a" user, but rather thousands if not millions or even 10's of millions of users
#2) the end user we are addressing here did NOT buy a chip.. they bought a device (computer, laptop, etc.)
#3) even if these millions of users had the knowledge to inspect the chips within the devices they are buying, a visual inspection would have indicated these are legitimate chips.
#4) this is in no way analogous to counterfeit currency - there are built in counter measures, there are tools for detecting them, and if you have homeowners insurance you may be covered for some or all of the loss (in the US).

The reason I feel this is terroristic is if you consider the following thought experiment. A group creates code that disables millions or 10's of millions of computers, computers used in banking, healthcare, traffic management, emergency management, law enforcement -- as well as general users like businesses and individuals with the potential direct economic loss (of the machine(s) in the 100's of millions of dollars, and the potential for additional loss, including loss of life, limb or other property potential worth even more --- would you call that a terroristic ad? I would.

Now hospitals hopefully don't do Windows upgrades live while a patient is in the room (and hopefully) ditto for the other types of uses -- but if a regularly scheduled update reduces the # of machines available, forcing additional triage -- ultimately some people may have delayed treatment, require transfer to other facilities -- its possible this could have negative impact on a number of people's healthcare delivery. We are talking about machines used before, during and post surgery for example.

The same issues could impact all the others; perhaps trivial to some but students could fail courses or have reduced grades because they were not able to complete assignments "on time, etc."
 

Comment: Not Comcast ;) (Score 1) 418

by hhawk (#47909257) Attached to: Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

Clearly it was someone from the NSA ;) just trying to help :) --- If you believe comcast..

"Comcast refuted the claims made in Deepdotweb, stating that they had launched an internal review into the discussions reported above:

Customers are free to use their Xfinity Internet service to visit any website or use it however they wish otherwise. Like virtually all ISPs, Comcast has an acceptable use policy or AUP that outlines appropriate and inappropriate uses of the service. Comcast doesn’t monitor users’ browser software or web surfing and has no program addressing the Tor browser. he anecdotal chat room evidence provided is not consistent with our agents’ messages and is not accurate. Per our own internal review, we have found no evidence that these conversations took place, nor do we employ a Security Assurance team member named Kelly. Tor’s own FAQs clearly state: 'File sharing (peer-to-peer/P2P) is widely unwanted on Tor' and 'BitTorrent is NOT anonymous' on Tor.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com..."

Comment: Next Gen is always bettewr (Score 1) 550

by hhawk (#47525209) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

The issue is that eye surgery is complex. The tech manages the complexity but on some level it weakens the lens, Etc.

A eye surgeon friend/relation suggested that the "next" version of the technology is always better.. and in the past once you had had the surgery you were precluded from the newest revision. That may have changed. His advice was not to get the surgery unless you need it medically or understand that you maybe limiting your ability to get the surgery later in your life when you might need it.

 

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.

Working...