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Sony To Release the Interview Online Today; Apple Won't Play Ball 211

Posted by samzenpus
from the watch-it-now dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The BBC reports: "Sony Pictures is to distribute its film The Interview online, after a cyber-attack and a row over its release. The film will be offered on a dedicated website — — as well as via Google and Microsoft services." Notably absent among the services to provide The Interview is Apple. The New York Times reports: "According to people briefed on the matter, Sony had in recent days asked the White House for help in lining up a single technology partner — Apple, which operates iTunes — but the tech company was not interested, at least not on a speedy time table. An Apple spokesman declined to comment. "

Comment: Re:Argument from authority (Score 1) 323

by jdavidb (#48659887) Attached to: Putting Time Out In Time Out: The Science of Discipline

My guess is they mean more sending your kid to sit in their room and supposedly think deep thoughts on whatever they did that led to being stuck in their room and how to act better next time.

Yeah, that never accomplished much for me. And I still had to learn to relax in the face of frustration when I was grown. If I had simply learned that before adulthood, I probably would have had 80% of what I needed to get by productively and healthily.

Comment: Re:Cry it out (Score 1) 323

by jdavidb (#48659849) Attached to: Putting Time Out In Time Out: The Science of Discipline

Here's where you'll say "NOTHING! They're all perfect Angles!"

I assume you meant "anglos"? Would it surprise you to learn that I'm raising them bilingually and interculturally?

This is me glaring at you incredulously ---**glares at you incredulously**

I think you could benefit from some form of relaxation therapy. It's not always necessary or helpful to vent against lifestyles that you disagree with.

Comment: Re:Good luck not doing that (Score 1) 290

by aardvarkjoe (#48653617) Attached to: Amazon "Suppresses" Book With Too Many Hyphens

Because Amazon does not publish information about that format, there is exactly one tool that is known to generate this format in a guaranteed forward-compatible way. That tool, kindlegen, was written by Amazon, and the licensing terms from 2.0 onwards (the first version to support nontrivial formatting) do not allow you to use it for creating content that is sold outside Amazon's store. So in order to distribute content elsewhere, you have to either...

Although I haven't used the tool myself, Amazon's description says that "KindleGen is a command line tool which enables publishers to work in an automated environment with a variety of source content including HTML, XHTML or EPUB." So unless there is something more to the licensing terms than you're suggesting, there shouldn't be any problem with creating your content in an open format, and then using KindleGen to generate the content for the Amazon store.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 2) 39

The plant's control systems may indeed be air gapped. However there are still access vectors. For instance some internet connected switch that sits on a dedicated SCADA network might be exploited and then use the private SCADA network (which isn't necessarily TCP/IP) to access the otherwise air gaped systems. Even exploiting non-critical or seemingly non-critical machines might affect the operation of secure isolated systems.

Then there's always the USB infection route. An unwitting user inserts a USB stick and you end up with a Stuxnet style infection. I'd much rather a nuclear power plant take a belt and suspenders approach to security rather than just assume an air gap is sufficient.

Comment: Re:Cry it out (Score 1) 323

by jdavidb (#48652867) Attached to: Putting Time Out In Time Out: The Science of Discipline

I have five young kids. There's no way to survive this as a parent if you don't let your kids cry themselves to sleep at times. There simply aren't enough parents and time to go around otherwise. Every child is different, but my five only cried for a long period for about 2 weeks or less. Then it generally reduced to about 30-90 seconds. Over the course of their first year of life, they learn to sleep, in stages. There are regressions associated with certain development stages, but so be it. My family size was average until the last 2-3 generations. Is is abundantly apparent that the reduction in family size provides the luxury of a lot more choices in parenting. That's a positive thing. But because there is so much variety to the human condition, it is illogical to suggest that 'crying it out' is new or terribly sub-optimal.

I have seven children. We almost never had to let a child cry themselves to sleep, but I do suspect that may have to do with our kids' individual wiring and that crying to sleep might be the best solution in other situations. Most of our infant sleep problems were resolved when we realized our kids were much hungrier than experts predicted and started feeding them a lot more! Giving the baby another bottle turned out to be the number one way to get our babies to fall asleep with less fuss. When they get a little older (around 3-4 years) there are occasional times when a temper tantrum goes right into sleep.

Comment: Argument from authority (Score 1) 323

by jdavidb (#48652765) Attached to: Putting Time Out In Time Out: The Science of Discipline

Say goodbye to timeouts. So long spanking and other ritualized whacks. And cry-it-out sleep routines? Mercifully, they too can be a thing of the past.

I applaud any attempt to bring neuroscience and other scientific insights to bear on childrearing, but I question the idea that somebody who is an expert in one of these sub-issues would also be an expert in the others. Sounds like we are committing the logical fallacy of assuming that because one person is an expert in one field they are an expert in all. Maybe these are all related, but it just seems to me that neuroscience is complex enough that an answer to one of these questions doesn't have a lot of bearing on the answer to others.

I'm a father of seven, and I do a lot of work with my kids that could be called timeout, although I don't know if it fits anyone else's idea of what timeouts are. I make my children follow the same rule I was given for myself from a clinical psychologist: when you are angry or upset, don't say or do anything until you relax, because everything you are thinking of saying or doing is a bad idea. Over time you build up the habit of relaxing in the face of frustration, and when you do your brain stops putting so much energy into angry outbursts and starts putting it into actually solving your problem. Also you are a lot less likely to whack somebody that you want to be friends with for the rest of your life. I have a hard time believing that neuroscience would yield any results that say this is a bad idea for child rearing, but maybe they mean something different by "timeout."

+ - The Magic of Pallets

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Jacob Hodes writes in Cabinet Magazine that there are approximately two billion wooden shipping pallets in the holds of tractor-trailers in the United States transporting Honey Nut Cheerios and oysters and penicillin and just about any other product you can think of. According to Hodes the magic of pallets is the magic of abstraction. "Take any object you like, pile it onto a pallet, and it becomes, simply, a “unit load”—standardized, cubical, and ideally suited to being scooped up by the tines of a forklift. This allows your Cheerios and your oysters to be whisked through the supply chain with great efficiency; the gains are so impressive, in fact, that many experts consider the pallet to be the most important materials-handling innovation of the twentieth century." Although the technology was in place by the mid-1920s, pallets didn’t see widespread adoption until World War II, when the challenge of keeping eight million G.I.s supplied—“the most enormous single task of distribution ever accomplished anywhere,” according to one historian—gave new urgency to the science of materials handling. "The pallet really made it possible for us to fight a war on two fronts the way that we did." It would have been impossible to supply military forces in both the European and Pacific theaters if logistics operations had been limited to manual labor and hand-loading cargo.

To get a sense of the productivity gains that were achieved, consider the time it took to unload a boxcar before the advent of pallets. “According to an article in a 1931 railway trade magazine, three days were required to unload a boxcar containing 13,000 cases of unpalletized canned goods. When the same amount of goods was loaded into the boxcar on pallets or skids, the identical task took only four hours.” Pallets, of course, are merely one cog in the global machine for moving things and while shipping containers have had their due, the humble pallet is arguably "the single most important object in the global economy.""

Comment: Re:Case insensitive file systems were a bug (Score 1) 148

by aardvarkjoe (#48643703) Attached to: Critical Git Security Vulnerability Announced

Sorry - if the tools that we have for managing the labels that humans wish to place on their objects are lacking, we should fix the tools, not the labels. For example, I've named my dog "Crankshaft" - does that confuse mechanics? The only thing we humans have is the ability to manipulate symbols. I'd prefer to have no restrictions on the labels that I use, since they simply refer to objects.

It's a common problem in the programming field to make a virtue out of overgeneralization, even when it conflicts with other virtues, such as ease of use or security. What actual benefit do you get from allowing the inclusion of control characters in filenames? How does that benefit compare with the amount of pain and extra effort involved in dealing with those filenames?

The other thing is that "fixing the tools" is a complete non-starter. You're talking about "fixing" a large subset -- possibly even a majority -- of programs on Unix systems, in a way that will be incompatible with existing tools. The elegance of putting some minor restrictions on filenames into the filesystem is that it works with virtually all existing user-level software, with no changes to that software required.

Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 1) 716

by aardvarkjoe (#48635083) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

In other words, one group of "skeptics" has appointed themselves to be the gatekeepers of the definition of skepticism, and is now throwing a tantrum because there are other people using term that don't match the definition that this group came up with.

If this "Committee for Skeptical Inquiry" is worried that they'll be confused with the climate-change skeptics, then they need to come up with another term for themselves. Demanding that the English language change to suit their own preferences is stupid, and the only reason why it's getting any support here on Slashdot is because of the personal animosity that most of us have towards the climate-change skeptics.

And yes, I'm going to purposefully use the term "climate-change skeptics" from now on.

Comment: Re:Case insensitive file systems were a bug (Score 4, Insightful) 148

by aardvarkjoe (#48634383) Attached to: Critical Git Security Vulnerability Announced

A quick glance at that article seems more like a compelling case for teaching people how to write shell scripts properly.

If you read the article, you'll find that writing shell scripts to handle filenames containing every possible character "properly" is so difficult that virtually everyone gets it wrong. When something's been around for close to 40 years and still nobody can get it right, maybe it's time to admit that it's the tool that's broken.

Comment: Re:Case insensitive file systems were a bug (Score 4, Informative) 148

by aardvarkjoe (#48631415) Attached to: Critical Git Security Vulnerability Announced

Obviously every character except for the path separator and the string terminator should be valid. Why should the file system restrict what character encoding I want to use for my names other than restrictions that simply make implementation easier.

This article makes a pretty convincing case that we'd be better off with some restrictions on filenames. It's hard to argue the point that allowing certain characters in filenames causes more problems than it solves.

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.