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Comment: Re:Stop the idiocracy (Score 1) 306

by hey! (#47570891) Attached to: Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

It's urban black culture that disparages intellect.

I'd be interested in your source for this particular tidbit, particularly how it shows blacks are any worse than whites in this regard.

I went to high school with a lot of tough white guys from South Boston and Charlestown in Boston, back when Whitey Bulger was still a big deal in Southie. Let me tell you most of them didn't see intellect as their path into the middle class. A few did, but not many. I've also worked with PhD scientists who were black and came from urban black neighborhoods. You get a mix of attitudes everywhere, whether it's in a black ghetto or white ghetto or a middle-class white neighborhood, but usually being academically advanced doesn't make you popular unless you live in town with a big Jewish population.

Speaking of Whitey, his people used to spread the myth that he kept drugs off the street in Southie. In fact he was kicking the Italian mob out of Southie so he could have the drug trade all to himself. Whitey wasn't a hero, he was a parasite. So why did people believe the lie? Wishful thinking. The people who got education and became professionals moved out of the neighborhood, so the one example of guys who rose in life that you saw every day were the mob. And you had to hope they were good lads at heart, because they had the neighborhood by the balls.

There's often a "we're all in this together" thing going on in poor, downtrodden neighborhoods. Part of that is a resentment of anyone who acts like their above the rest, and that includes people who flaunt their education or sophistication. But that's because intellectual accomplishments don't seem to be within the reach of everybody. You don't get that attitude in cultures which believe in self-improvement.

So let's *not* talk race. Let's talk education and economic opportunity. If people have a way up, see that way, and believe they can do it, they will rise.

Comment: Re:performance (Score 1) 300

Connection tracking can be expensive. If you need that, it's going to cut into the performance of your server, so it can be beneficial to do that on a separate box.

Of course. But putting your servers behind a separate firewall isn't the same as putting them on the same network as the clients with *no* firewall.

In any case, we're talking about an in-store POS system with TWO clients. We're not talking about an Internet facing server that has to handle thousands of connections per hour. Even if the server had FIFTY client terminals the impact on performance would be nil.

Comment: Re:Such a Waste (Score 1) 142

by hey! (#47568341) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

Well, I think the first two films are a mixed bag. I rather liked getting meet Radagast, and to see what Gandalf was up to in Dol Guldur.

A screenplay adapted from a book has to stand on its own as well as live up to the book. Where the movies have fallen down is living up to the book. The consensus of my writer friends is that the screenwriting team (Walsh, Boyes, Jackson and del Tormo) doesn't trust Bilbo to carry the story, which deeply undercuts the themes of THE HOBBIT. Lack of respect for THE HOBBIT novel is pretty common among LotR fans. They often dismiss it as "just" a fairy-tale -- an attitude which would have disgusted Tolkien himself. It would have been better if writing this screenplay had been entrusted to someone who loved THE HOBBIT for itself, and understood it better.

Surprisingly, I thought the non-canonical character Tauriel was one of the best parts of the movies. Yes, she was there to give the story a so-called "strong female character", but that's a silly objection. Writers always put characters in stories for some reason; the question is whether they fit in and come to life. I think adding a strong non-canonical character is better than giving so much screentime to a weak but canonical one: Legolas. No disrespect to Orlando Bloom, but the writers dont' give him much to work with. The part could have been played by the CGI model they used in the action scenes.

One of the reasons I'm accepting of the whole Tauriel subplot is that it carries a deeply Tolkienian theme: the love between mortal and elvenkind. That was a profound part of Tolkien's personal mythology. On the gravestone he shares with his wife Edith, he added "Luthien" to her name and "Beren" to his. So I don't view weaving that theme into a dramatic treatment of the HOBBIT story as disrespectful to the author at all.

Comment: Re:as opposed to the other kind of corporation? (Score 1) 217

by hey! (#47567637) Attached to: Comcast Confessions

Here's the interesting thing, though. Let's agree that bottom-feeding is the natural ground state of a corporation; what that means is that nearly everybody is doing it, which means bottom-feeders on average don't make any more profit than you'd get investing in a mutual fund, but involve a lot more risk.

If you want to make *more* profit, you have to be about something *in addition to* profit. A great company has an identity which has value. This, by the way, is how Carly Fiorina ruined HP. She re-imagined HP as something more generic.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 163

Air gapping the sensitive information is one of those things that looks easy on paper but runs afoul of the fact that people don't like to work that way. It's inefficient. It's not like people have *two* jobs, one sensitive the other not. They have one job in which sensitive bits are intertwined with regular bits, so in practiced people tend to cheat and do *some* sensitive work on the non-sensitive network.

Even if the users are unrealistically conscientious about never doing anything sensitive on their non-secure PCs, this intertwining of sensitive with ordinary information means that you can probably deduce a lot from apparently innocuous data. Imagine you discover the following information from poking around on an engineer's "non-sensitive" computer:

(1) He is exchanging email with certain university researchers setting up face to face meetings.
(2) He has downloaded datasheets for several families of exotic electronic components.
(3) He has telephone appointments in his calendar with salesmen from Unobtanium Corp.
(4) His browsing history shows he's been reading up on certain mathematical topics on Wolfram Alpha.

Now put this all together and another expert in his field might be able to deduce a lot more than you'd expect than if you looked at any one of these factors. The interconnected nature of an engineer's work means that if you remove all the sensitive bits it leaves a hole of a characteristic shape.

Comment: Re:It Depends (Score 3, Insightful) 300

Until someone install something else on the network segment. Like a wireless access point. Or until malware takes over one of the trusted hosts.

Security vulnerabilities always involve violations of some assumptions you make, e.g. that anything coming from a certain set of hosts is benign, or that if a process on a server opens up an IP port it's *supposed* to do that. You want the security of a system to depend on as few assumptions as possible. If it does no harm in day to day operations and offers protection when your assumptions fail, why *not* run a software firewall?

Comment: It Depends (Score 4, Interesting) 300

I've set up networks where the server infrastructure itself is on its own segment, so there's no need for firewalls between the servers themselves, but the whole subnet is firewalled by a border router.

A lot depends on how tightly you can lock down a server. On my *nix boxes, I tend to only run daemons with listening ports to the extent absolutely necessary. I have a LAMP server that basically has ports 22, 80 and 443 open, and everything else either shut down or set to listen only on Do I really need to configure iptables?

Comment: Re:Not looking good (Score 1) 142

by IndustrialComplex (#47564881) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

I'd bet good money that it was Peter Jackson himself. In the LOTR his makeup guys knew he wanted that one 'John Wayne' Orc to be gruesome, and they actually tried to overshoot what Peter Jackson expected. Little did they know that Peter Jackson of "Dead Alive (Braindead)" fame was still alive inside Big Budget PJ. He approved it. Since then, you have seen the costumes for the grotesques go beyond the realms of good taste and into comically aweful. Just look at how the orc costumes changed from Fellowship to The Hobbit (before they went CGI), the Hobbit 'main-bad' orc costumes were so far over the top that they had to ditch them for CGI because they looked horrible with the higher framerate/quality cameras BBPJ was using. Personally I think the only reason people think the costumes were awesome was because the CGI was so bad.

Seriously, take a side by side look at LOTR-Lurtz and the Hobbit-Orc costumes and it's night and day.

Comment: Re:Such a Waste (Score 1) 142

by IndustrialComplex (#47564675) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

WTF? It's fantasy with wizards, elves and dragons, and you're talking about suspension of disbelief? If it's an Asimov or AC Clarke adaptation maybe we can start talking about believability, but a high fantasy like this one? Anything goes, except perhaps when it comes to absolute immortality. Apparently "immortal" characters or monsters tend to have some sort of weakness that allow them to get killed by a determined hero or villain.

Suspension of disbelief is a challenge and probably more important to maintain in a fantasy than general fiction. A story must maintain internal consistency with it's own tone and rules. If you tell me that a dragon can fly and breath fire, well then I'll believe you, say Elves exist and can make pineapple smoothies by snapping their fingers, and as long as you don't have one of your Elves die of starvation because he didn't remember about the smoothie trick, it will work. The magic wasn't a problem in the Hobbit, it was the tone. The movie constantly shifted between extreme slapstick humor, to somber memorials of beauty forever lost, back to grossout gags, sudden videogame action, and into gritty graphic violence. You can't do that and expect to keep the audience. You have to pick something and stick with it, otherwise we don't know what movie we are watching.

Comment: Re:Astrobiology (Score 2) 37

by MightyMartian (#47561641) Attached to: Enceladus's 101 Geysers Blast From Hidden Ocean

And what would you define something that didn't ingest, metabolize, excrete, reproduce and have some sort of system of heredity? Other chemical processes; like fire and crystallization, might hit some of these marks, but we don't call them living systems. So while the precise chemical processes, heck maybe even many of the chemical elements involved may be different (silicon-based life on Titan or something like that), I think at the end of the day if it going to be called life, it has to have the same basic features as terrestrial life.

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach