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Comment: Re:Open source was never safer (Score 1) 580

by indeterminator (#46764633) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

You do realize that encryption is security through obscurity ... right?

No, it's not. The major difference is, that with a proper cryptosystem, if someone discovers your key, you can just switch to a new key and you're as safe as you were (not considering collateral caused by key leak). With security through obscurity, the once the genie is out of the bottle, you won't make it safe without changes to the design of the system.

As someone said, the ignorance runs deep here.

Comment: Re:The tighter you clench your fist, Lord Vader... (Score 1) 273

"Seriously, if this is true..."

It's extremely unlikely this is true. Think about it...

He's a sysadmin at the NSA, which means he's supposed to be maintaining their servers -- not looking through classified materials. So if he were to report to his superiors about his concerns with any of these highly classified programs, he'd be admitting to looking at information he should never touch. If he did anyway, he would have been shit-canned immediately and investigated. So, it sounds like a complete pile of horseshit to me.

Either way, this kind of issues should roll uphill, not downhill. If the people in charge can let a Snowden slip, how many more have they let? How many more will they? Someone is trying to avoid their responsibility.

The fact that Snowden was able to get out with the info, suggests the thing is mismanaged. Why was he given access to all this super-classified information, and who's responsible? What was a contractor doing in a super-classified government organization anyway? What Snowden managed to prove, either from the leaked content, or from the fact that there was a leak, is that no one is watching the watchers.

It doesn't matter how you look at it, in the end, it's a complete management screw-up.

Comment: Re:Blaming the victims ?? (Score 2) 273

Here we go again, can't vote for them because they have no chance of winning.

You need to start voting for the third guy anyway, it's the only way to break the cycle. if no one votes the thirds guy, then no one thinks he has a chance. Enough people have to go first, and make it look possible.

The part where you're being played, is the part where they make you think that every election you fail to vote an established party, your country is DOOMED, forever. The best part is you keep falling for it every time.

The trick is not to have the new party to win (having a new party to assume total control is a bad idea), but to get them enough votes to scare the established parties to change how your voting works, so they get to keep a share of power relative to their share of votes, even if they would become the third party at the next election.

Comment: Re:"Unfair"? (Score 1) 362

by indeterminator (#46382711) Attached to: Google Funds San Francisco Bus Rides For Poor

The Google workers who live in SF still pay their taxes in SF, right? I bet they also use local services quite a bit. Property price increase should be welcome to those currently living there, it's much better for them, and the economy as a whole, than prices going down. I admit that I don't fully understand the dynamics of the situation (I don't live in the U.S.), but most places would welcome wealthy neighbors.

If a point-to-point service makes an area so much more desirable, then maybe it was under-valued in the first place. I can't imagine the place being a slum, and then suddenly all googlers want to move there, because free commute.

There is a bigger problem behind all this: unequal wealth and/or income distribution. Fighting a point-to-point private commuting service is not going to fix that.

Comment: Re:Long term will spell doom (Score 1) 313

by indeterminator (#46376723) Attached to: Should programming be a required curriculum in public schools?

Using Google?


I have came across many of using google type that can not write a single line of code without using google.

Yes, seriously. I spend a surprisingly lot of time googling stuff for others (I don't magically know everything, either, even though they seem to think that I do). If they knew how to do it themselves, they would save (a) their time (because I usually can't respond immediately), (b) my time.

Comment: Re:Long term will spell doom (Score 1) 313

by indeterminator (#46366435) Attached to: Should programming be a required curriculum in public schools?

[X] No - it'll do more harm than good

I'll have to agree with this. Programming should be only taught to people who have already managed to learn the basics by themselves, using whatever methods available to them. They are the ones that will benefit the most from being taught, having already proved that both motivation towards subject and required reasoning capability exist.

Nowadays, there are plenty of self-learning resources available on the internet, both the tools and documentation are available mostly for free. The remaining obstacles for kids today would be motivation, and time. And let's face it, no one actually learns to program by doing school exercises (because the trick is not knowing how to implement all those complicated algorithms, but knowing how to avoid having to solve the complications in the first place... KISS).

Instead, I would put "using Google" to the required curriculum. Based on my observations, a lot more people would benefit from that...

Comment: Re:As Frontalot says (Score 2) 631

by indeterminator (#46355001) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

forget hacking: what's to stop an exchange from just closing and keeping all the BTC?

Income from tx fees that they will lose when they're out of business? I'd say running an exchange seems quite profitable even without a scam.

And without the exchange you used to run (esp. when you're the last one), you'll have a hard time converting your stolen BTC into something you can use.

Comment: Re:Don't we see this all the time? (Score 1) 135

by indeterminator (#46231101) Attached to: More Bitcoin Exchanges Forced Out of Sync After Massive DDoS Attack

True, just like a great time to buy BTC was during that brief window yesterday when they were trading for 100$.

I happened to be watching BTC-e on monday when the $102 dip happened. It was a result of someone (or more likely, someone's misbehaving bot) dumping about 6k BTC on the market, at once. It was back over $500 in about a minute.

Those few who had set ridiculously low bids (expecting crash due to expected MtGox bad news) or bots that didn't have a failsafe to just stop when something crazy happens, probably made a good profit on that dump.

Comment: Re:It's called being an employee (Score 2) 716

Everyone and everything has an error rate. Software development is well known not to be a perfect process.

Building a wall (or a better analogy, designing the house the wall will be a part of) is no perfect process either.

I just recently thought about why software is so difficult, compared to physical engineering tasks. A big difference I found (aside from the obvious practicalities, such as lacking proper specification and resources) is lack of tolerance in how software is being built. When you're designing a supporting wall for a house, you calculate how much weight it needs to be able to carry. Then, you multiply that weight by a safety factor, adding tolerance. Similarly, when actually constructing the wall, the bricks don't need to be perfectly aligned, good enough is good enough, the final adjustment can be fixed with bit more or less mortar.

A lot of software is built with low tolerance. Part of it is cutting costs, part of it is just immaturity of the industry. There are already known good practises for increasing tolerance of software development process. Worried about buffer overflows? Use a language that makes them impossible. Data loss? Use a known good DB (and learn to use it) instead of inventing your own storage. Developers writing bad logic? Require proper testing and code reviews. All of the previous requested, but not happening? Bring in a competent project manager.

Then there's the whole other unique issue that software development faces, changing requirements. Construction workers will likely give you the finger, then go drink some beer and laugh about it, if you tell them that the garage they have built half-way actually needs to be a cathedral by the end of the month. In software, that's business as usual.

And then, every once in a while, walls collapse too. Sometimes they find someone who had not done his job properly, sometimes it's just written down as a sum of consequences.

Comment: "Reply to comment" (Score 1) 142

by indeterminator (#46215885) Attached to: Why the Internet of Things Is More 1876 Than 1995

I think the smart fridge thing is more interesting for inventory management at your local grocery store, than for an individual person. It would be worth a lot to them to be able to track when people are going to run out of specific items, so they can have the right amount of inventory at right time.

OTOH, almost every time I go grocery shopping, I buy something I wouldn't have needed yet, simply because I didn't remember if I had it or not and get one just in case. So being able to check your fridge contents while at the store might also be useful.

Btw. Before trying it, I thought the beta hate might be just nerd rage, but I'm starting to understand.

Live within your income, even if you have to borrow to do so. -- Josh Billings