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Comment Re:If there was a criteria for safe unlocking (Score 1) 59 59

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 Re:Yes it is what we need (Score 1) 253 253

Completely agree. You don't have to be able to bang out an OS, but man, if everybody just knew how to grep through some files or automatically run an SQL query, dump the results into an Excel file and email it to somebody, the world would be a better place.


Ask Slashdot: Everyone Building Software -- Is This the Future We Need? 253 253

An anonymous reader writes: I recently stumbled upon Apple's headline for version 2 of its Swift programming language: "Now everyone can build amazing apps." My question: is this what we really need? Tech giants (not just Apple, but Microsoft, Facebook, and more) are encouraging kids and adults to become developers, adding to an already-troubled IT landscape. While many software engineering positions are focused only on a business's internal concerns, many others can dramatically affect other people's lives. People write software for the cars we drive; our finances are in the hands of software, and even the medical industry is replete with new software these days. Poor code here can legitimately mess up somebody's life. Compare this to other high-influence professions: can you become surgeon just because you bought a state-of-art turbo laser knife? Of course not. Back to Swift: the app ecosystem is already chaotic, without solid quality control and responsibility from most developers. If you want simple to-do app, you'll get never-ending list of software artifacts that will drain your battery, eat memory, freeze the OS and disappoint you in every possible way. So, should we really be focusing on quantity, rather than quality?

Comment Re:meh (Score 1) 105 105

What do you mean "locked to a single platform". I admit that I haven't tried it, but they give away the source code to VS 2015.

I don't think having access to the source code to VS 2015 is going to allow anyone to compile VS for any non-Windows platform. Not unless you have a few million man-hours available for porting and redesign (since much of the functionality present in VS wouldn't even make sense outside of Windows)

Comment Re:Most people won't care (Score 1) 102 102

Oh, you're absolutely right. I'm definitely not saying it would be impossible to hide a backdoor in an open core design. Absolutely could. Same thing with FOSS...just see the Underhanded C Competition.

But today you could have (and probably do have...) explicit backdoors in silicon, besides debugging interfaces, and you'd never know. With an open core design, you'd have to hide it.

Comment Re:Just in time to phase it out (Score 2) 90 90

That's OK, the troll has probably already filed for patents on using some other encryption algorithm they didn't invent with some other communications protocol they didn't invent, that was originally designed to be able to use the algorithm in the way they claim they invented.

Comment Re:Unregulated speech, must stop at all costs! (Score 1) 292 292

They can if they believe that performer will incite violence, which I believe was their reasoning here as the performer is from one of the gangs involved in the violence. The concert was a fund raiser for a kid killed in the getaway after another gang shot one of Keef's gang members.

I don't think that's unreasonable.

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:Most people won't care (Score 1) 102 102

I disagree. Saying "people couldn't understand the hardware" is the same as people saying "open source software is irrelevant because you can't understand the software."

Some people can. I have an electrical engineering degree and specialized in computer architecture in grad school. I could understand it. And just like anything's not that hard when you know what you're looking at.

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay