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Comment: Re:Don't shop there (Score 1) 112

by jtara (#48686361) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Companies With Poor SSL Practices?

Actually, checking DNS records isn't the first thing I do, but I do if I am suspicious.

First thing is a simple Google search:

        "XYZ scam"

Where "XYZ" is the company I am researching.

As well, I will trust Amazon and Ebay resellers with a good reputation.

If I have to deal with some unknown company, I will usually check them out to some degree. I've never been burned in terms of paying for a product that I didn't get, or getting something other than what I'd expected, getting a non-working product (that isn't quickly remedied) etc. but then I am a big chicken - I usually only order things from big online retailers with years of good reputation - Amazon (you can seldom beat their price, at least not by much), NewEgg, PC/Mac Connection, Grangier, etc.

What I have had happen on multiple occasions is that the company doesn't not actually have the product to ship. I don't know why this is so prevalent, maybe it is just some drop-ship operation, and they don't keep their records in order, no longer have a relationship, never did actually sell the product (for what purpose the product listing?) etc. To avoid wasting my time, I find it's best to avoid companies that hide from me. Funny how that works out...

Comment: Don't shop there (Score 3, Insightful) 112

by jtara (#48685347) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Companies With Poor SSL Practices?

Pretty simple: don't shop there.

You ignored multiple red flags, yet you are surprised when they email you your password? (Which, of course, as others have pointed-out, has nothing to do with SSL.)

Any one of these looses any company my business:

- Expired, non-matching, self-signed, localhost, example.com, etc. etc. SSL certificate
- Domain proxy registration (companies should not have "privacy")
- Hide contact information
- mailed me my password
- doesn't offer payment choices, only one payment type

Comment: Google is not an ISP - it's Cox (Score 4, Interesting) 176

by jtara (#48586497) Attached to: Hollywood's Secret War With Google

There's no secret here. Perhaps some old memos used codewords, though.

Pretty sure it is Cox, which has refused to go along with draconian measures that are not required by law.

We have Cox service here in San Diego (at least parts). It's one reason I will not live north of Interstate 8, which is Comcast territory. The difference is night and day.

Comcast pulls all this anti-consumer BS and under-delivers on services.

Cox doesn't put up with it and goes to bat for their customers on privacy. They also over-deliver on services. (I have always got higher than advertised Internet speeds. I currently get 120mbit/sec down/20mbps up on a 100/10 plan, and they just doubled the bandwidth from 50/5 to 100/10.)

Both Comcast and Cox are expensive. You can't have everything.

Comment: Quarantine them! (Score 1) 1051

by jtara (#48584655) Attached to: Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

Anybody should be able to avoid vaccination on a philosophical exemption.

And then society should proactively quarantine them in order to protect society.

You have a right to not vaccinate. You do not have a right to endanger everybody else by doing so.

Australia would be a good place. I hear they have some abandoned prison facilities. (They might need some modern updates...) And a government that envies the U.S.'s high incarceration rate. This should give the politicians something to do, rather than further restricting the rights of Australians.

Comment: It's not a bug, it's a feature! (Score 1) 68

by jtara (#48584379) Attached to: Computer Error Grounds Flights In the UK

the problem was caused by a computer glitch that co-ordinates the flights

It's great to see for once that a glitch has been doing something worth-while, rather than just causing problems.

It's unfortunate, then, that this glitch has fallen-back to the errant ways of most glitches, which typically just cause trouble, without doing something useful.

I'm not sure it is time for a 12-step program for glitches, though, because I think most glitches do not want to change.

Comment: What a great reason to fork a project.... (Score 1) 254

by jtara (#48533627) Attached to: Node.js Forked By Top Contributors


Can't we all just get along?

Now, let's focus on more serious issues. I've dealt with my share of this. I was almost fired from Sony San Diego Studio for my clicky keyboard. Let's make sure all projects permit the use of clicky keyboards, or FORK IT!

You know what, though - I decided it wasn't worth it - I just put up with a crappy Microsoft keyboard.

Comment: Domain-Specfic is a more compelling case... (Score 5, Informative) 161

by jtara (#48533515) Attached to: Why Apple, Google, and FB Have Their Own Programming Languages

These all strike me as iffy use cases. What is more compelling is creating a language for some more-specific need. These are generally referred-to as Domain Specific Languages, or DSLs (not to be confused with trying to push high-speed internet over a twisted pair...)

I designed one and implemented a compiler and interpreter for it in the early 1980's. It's not all that hard. I had had one compiler construction course in college. I used classic tools Yacc/Lex/Prep and wrote it in C.

The language is (was? haven't followed) called VSL, or Variation Simulation Language.

The problem was this: in the early 80's auto companies were experimenting with variation simulation. It's simulating the build of complex mechanical assemblies so that the effects of dimensional variations can be analyzed. The technique was developed at Willow Run Labs during WWII, as part of the solution to the awful-quality airplanes they were building for the war. They gathered experts to fix the problem, and they used this technique. At the time, it was done by a room full of woman working Friden mechanical calculators...

So, in the early 80's there was some Fortran code written by a university professor that ran on a mainframe. I worked for a company that set out to commercialize it. My first task was to port it from the mainframe to IBM PC.

Two problems: Models were written in Fortran, and then linked against a library. Fortran is painful, for anything. It's especially painful for manipulating representations of 3D objects. And compiling and linking Fortran on a PC was slow! Half-hour builds! And that's just to find you had a syntax error and then rinse and repeat.

My boss wanted to build a "menu system" that engineers could design in. Keep in mind, we are talking 80's and this was just to be a scrolling text menu. Yes, there were graphics workstations, but this was a new untested product, and nobody was going to pop the $20,000 that they did for, say, finite element workstations. they wanted it to work on a PC so that we could more easily convince the auto companies to try it - make it an easier decision to give it a go.

He wrote up the menu system, and presented it to us in the conference room. He rolled-out a roll of paper the length of the conference table, and then it hung over both ends! I convinced him that the time for this approach had not yet come.... Sure, point and click on graphics - but he couldn't afford either the time or money for that development. But not that silly long-ass text menu!

The alternative was VSL. It was specifically-tailored to the task, it had "objects" of a sort - and by this I mean "3D objects". You could just pass a fender around in a function call, for example.

It didn't compile to machine code, but generated bytecode. I wrote an interpreter in Fortran, and so eliminated the costly link step. The Fortran program just read the bytecode into an array and interpreted it. Was it slow? No, it was fast as heck! That's because almost all the work was done in well-optimized library functions written in Fortran or even assembly in some cases. (I also talked my boss into hiring an actual mathematician who fixed our broken edge cases, and knew the right heuristics to speed things up.)

This made it much easier for engineers to create and use models. Now they wrote them in VSL, much more expressive to the task than Fortran. And in a minute they either knew they had a syntax error or were testing their model.

In a couple years, we went from a couple of pilot projects to like 50. Every auto company took it up. Boeing used to help re-engineer the FA-18. Today probably every car, airplane, and hard drive was analyzed using VSL. (Siemens wound-up with the product eventually, after a few acquisitions.) I don't know if VSA is still under the hood, or if it really has any practical use today: the models are now written using point/click/drag/popup stuff on drawings. What my boss new we had to eventually get to, but couldn't at the time.

Of the languages mentioned in the article, I suppose Go makes the most sense, because they had a specific need that wasn't well-covered by other languages. (I wonder what was thought wrong with Erlang, though?) But they are all languages with pretty broad use cases, and so it is less compelling than something more focused.

Comment: BILLER, not PAYER (Score 2) 25

by jtara (#48528857) Attached to: FTC: Online Billing Service Deceptively Collected Medical Records

It just seems to make sense to me that a payer of medical bills would collect information that would confirm the validity of the bills that they were paying. Sharing that aforesaid information is a totally different ball of wax though.

No. did you bother to read the very first paragraph?

An online service allowing consumers to pay their medical bills failed to adequately inform them that it would also try to collect highly detailed medical information |from their pharmacies, medical labs and insurance companies, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said.

They send out bills. Patients send them money. They send money to the doctor or hospital. They keep ledgers.

They don't need to know detailed medical information. They are acting as a billing agent for the doctor. They don't need to verify what the doctor did or what the patient had.

Comment: How is this specific to Selfie Sticks? (Score 2, Interesting) 111

by jtara (#48501055) Attached to: South Korea Bans Selfie-Stick Sales

How is this different from ANY unregistered/knockoff/Chinese copy Bluetooth device? Why suddenly the issue with "selfie sticks"?

What a pain, though, to have to register in each country. Why, I'm shocked, shocked, that FCC registration is not enough. ;)

(OK, SRSLY, assume EU has some common registration. But how do smaller countries deal with this? Are there other region-wide registrations other than EU?)

Or is it that Selfie Sticks are just so wildly popular that suddenly this has become some sort of problem? I'd assume that by next Christmas, this will be a non-issue, as South Koreans will all be hopping on 500mbit/sec pogo sticks.

Comment: Re:Eggs are a very healthy food (Score 1) 145

I agree.

But you can't put egg yolks in a jar and put it on a shelf for months without refrigeration.

Not without preservatives and/or by using some processed "egg product" instead of whole, fresh, egg yolks. You'll never catch Hellman's saying they use whole, fresh, egg yolks, because it's impossible to make their products with them.

Comment: Soy and Almond milk ISN'T, though. (Score 1) 145

| In contrast, I don't have the same issue with "soy milk" or "almond milk" not being some mammal's milk

I don't know why.

Soy "milk" and Almond "milk" aren't milk. At all. They aren't even milk substitutes.

They are marketing terms for some white gunk made from soy or almond that has nothing to do with milk. Not by source, not by nutritional content, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Some people enjoy this white gunk, some people think it's beneficial in some way, and some people who can't drink milk because of allergies or other adverse reactions see it as a godsend.

But it is not milk, which is a natural, minimally-processed product that comes from mammals. Soy or Almond "milk" is a product manufactured from natural ingrediants.

Mayonnaise, on the other hand, is a manufactured product. One might argue about it's composition.

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