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Comment: This is good - think OS X Gatekeeper (Score 2) 189

by mccalli (#49527595) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Device Guard For Windows 10
This sounds a lot like Gatekeeper on the Mac, which works really well. It allows the user several levels of trust - "trust store apps only", "trust store apps plus recognised developers" (certificate signed), "allow everything".

I have mine set to "store apps plus recognised developers" and ask for the rest. If I run something else, I can right click and select Open..., it asks me if I'm sure and I say yes. This is a five second operation which gives me control over my options, whilst preventing unknown apps from running without my knowledge and explicit say so. This Windows one sounds pretty much the same, with the addition of your classic enterprise lock down features - it it's a corporately-owned machine, then yes the corporate should get say over what's running on it.

Imagine the kind of download-happy, click-on-everything user that we've all seen around. They would download cunningly-disguised-malware.exe and try to run it, and the OS would simply prevent them. Now true if they had admin rights they could go into preferences, set to allow everything etc. but it's all more effort and a quick realisation that something's unusual here.

Nope, I regard this as a good move. It already exists in OS X and works well - putting a similar system into Windows seems like a good idea to me.

Comment: p-value research is misleading almost always (Score 5, Interesting) 208

by SteveWoz (#49495363) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

I studied and tutored experimental design and this use of inferential statistics. I even came up with a formula for 1/5 the calculator keystrokes when learning to calculate the p-value manually. Take the standard deviation and mean for each group, then calculate the standard deviation of these means (how different the groups are) divided by the mean of these standard deviations (how wide the groups of data are) and multiply by the square root of n (sample size for each group). But that's off the point. We had 5 papers in our class for psychology majors (I almost graduated in that instead of engineering) that discussed why controlled experiments (using the p-value) should not be published. In each case my knee-jerk reaction was that they didn't like math or didn't understand math and just wanted to 'suppose' answers. But each article attacked the math abuse, by proficient academics at universities who did this sort of research. I came around too. The math is established for random environments but the scientists control every bit of the environment, not to get better results but to detect thing so tiny that they really don't matter. The math lets them misuse the word 'significant' as though there is a strong connection between cause and effect. Yet every environmental restriction (same living arrangements, same diets, same genetic strain of rats, etc) invalidates the result. It's called intrinsic validity (finding it in the experiment) vs. extrinsic validity (applying in real life). You can also find things that are weaker (by the square root of n) by using larger groups. A study can be set up in a way so as to likely find 'something' tiny and get the research prestige, but another study can be set up with different controls that turn out an opposite result. And none apply to real life like reading the results of an entire population living normal lives. You have to study and think quite a while, as I did (even walking the streets around Berkeley to find books on the subject up to 40 years prior) to see that the words "99 percentage significance level" means not a strong effect but more likely one that is so tiny, maybe a part in a million, that you'd never see it in real life.

Comment: Would like it if I could pick the product (Score 1) 187

by mccalli (#49389973) Attached to: Amazon Moves "Buy Now" Into the Physical World, With the Dash Button
It seems to be limited to certain products. If I could pick the product myself, I'd like this. For instance I always forget to order water softener salt until it's too late for instance - would be nice to just stick this on the water so I can press as I'm loading the last of the salt in. As far as problems go it's true that world poverty is probably the greater issue facing humanity, but it's equally true that this is a nice bit of fluff that if works as advertised could well be handy.

Comment: Re:apples real problem is utility. (Score 1) 55

by mccalli (#49377573) Attached to: Apple Extends Its Trade-In Program
You understand that the release of the latest iPhone generations produced the highest rate switchers away from Android and over to the iPhone, right?

I don't mind the debate - I've had an iPhone since the 3GS but was and am seriously looking at switching away for various reasons. The debate should be based on fact though, and the facts are that Apple doesn't have a dearth of people moving off other platforms and over to its own.

Comment: Re:Hardly anyone says, "I don't use Google+" (Score 1) 146

by DigitalSorceress (#49167507) Attached to: Google+ Divided Into Photos and Streams, With New Boss

Add me as a "me too" - I wanted to just use this name as it's my "Nome de net"... but I ended up making a completely fake account with a 'real sounding name" just so I could use Hangout with some co-workers as our informal "virtual office"

Yeah, I could use my real name, but I wanted to keep any activity strictly not-directly-officially-tied to me or my employer... they've got a social media policy which I just would rather avoid by using a pseudonym.

Comment: Historical hang-up from an MS hire (Score 5, Interesting) 65

by mccalli (#49078613) Attached to: BBC Radio Drops WMA For MPEG-DASH
Missing from most of the articles on this, including the ones on their web site, is that they used to employ a senior Microsoft media guy who, unsurprisingly, set about converting everything to Microsoft Media formats - Ashley Highfield. Here's a 2007 article with a section of the controversy

BBC used to have one of the more progressive approaches to media with early mp3 streams, Dirac codec research...it then just stopped. Nice to see them get back towards the rest of the world - next step, please go HTML 5 video on the site as well and then we can avoid Flash.

Comment: Absolutely not (Score 3, Insightful) 33

by mccalli (#48819533) Attached to: First Crowdsourced, Open Data Address List Launches In the UK
I already opted out of this via the Electoral Register, I do not want some random startup faffing about with it. They have not got a single convincing reason for doing this. Have a look:

"Open Addresses UK Director Jeni Tennison states that addresses are an essential part of a national infrastructure. “They connect us to wider society and help us to access services. Everyone needs to be able to use addresses freely, which means they need to be open.”

No, not everyone does need to be able to use my address freely. In fact, they are explicitely restricted from doing so by various laws. My address is used and disclosed at a point of my choosing.

"On a more serious note, Wells explains that address data links together the digital world with the virtual, and by connecting these two worlds, better services can be given to everybody. When combined with and linked to other open data sets, allowing startup companies and developers access to this data will encourage the development of new goods and services, the organization states. When combined with and linked to other open data sets, allowing startup companies and developers access to this data will encourage the development of new goods and services, the organization states."

'Better' by who's definition? Startup companies - who on earth said I wanted to help them out?

Wells says that Google Maps could also use the open address data to improve the quality of their services. The open data can also inform devices to perform tasks with the data collected. Wells further explains that they keep the quality of the data high by using existing open, clean data sets that can help corroborate new data coming in.

Why should my life be lived in order to 'help out' the multi-billion dollar corporation that is Google? I already use as few of their services as possible. 'Inform devices' - which devices, and who says I want them to be informed?

The idea has no use cases put forward which benefit me, which allow for my consent, and in fact I believe an amount of this form of collection could actually be covered by Crown copyright laws as it is essentially duplicating the Electoral Roll.

Not with fourteen barge poles tied together would I touch this.

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 1) 331

by mccalli (#48793133) Attached to: Would You Rent Out Your Unused Drive Space?
Crashplan, amongst others, implements a backup scheme as you describe. I use it - some friends allocate drive space to me, and I allocate drive space for them. We back up remotely to each other's systems via Crashplan, and do so for free. The resultant backujps are encrypted, so they can't see my files and I can't see theirs.

Works well - I've used it a couple of times for actual recovery of files, and it worked both times.

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein

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