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Comment: Re:So close, so far (Score 1) 555

by nmb3000 (#48426715) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

We have come so far since feminism began, but then stuff like this still happens... How could anyone, in 2014, have thought this was acceptable?

I can't help but feel like this whole thing is getting horribly blown out of proportion, more than likely due to a SJW invasion (does it have some absurd hash tag yet?)

I haven't read the book, but based on TFA:

  • It looks like they decided to put Barbie in a design position with other people doing the actual computer programming. This is not unusual in the real world.
  • The roles of designers and developers are in some many polar opposites. Is it that hard to believe that the female brain might often be better at aesthetics, usability, gameplay, and what the target audience (which, based on "cute puppies and colored blocks", sounds predisposed towards younger girls) thinks would be fun? And perhaps the male brain is better at abstract logic and systems interaction? I'm not saying everyone falls into those buckets, just that it's common. And from what I've seen on the job, this is not unusual in the real world.
  • The two programmers Barbie enlists happen to be male. Since a large majority of software developers in the world are male (especially in school), this is not that unusual.
  • The side-story about the computer virus is absurd, but it just sounds like it was written by someone who doesn't know anything about computers or viruses, other than what they hear on the evening news ("A new lethal computer virus is sweeping the globe, deleting files and murdering kittens! Film at 11." The portrayal of computer maladies in fiction is pretty bad in general, so this is also not that unusual.
  • Finally, this is Barbie FFS. Anyone who buys into that franchise and expects cutting-edge challenge of social norms is just self-deluded (might explain the attraction to SJWs...).

All in all, it looks like a cutesy little story written by someone who knows almost nothing about computers, probably has no interest in computers themselves, and subconciously wrote the story around their personal experiences of (1) most computer geeks are male, (2) computer viruses are scary, and (3) "it's Barbie, so who's going to really give a damn?"

This kind of stuff just isn't worth the heartache and venom people are throwing at it. Take a breath, put it in perspective, and move on.

(Besides, what people should be up in arms over is the picture of Tux on the front cover! A virus taking over Linux? Inconceivable! :)

Comment: Re:No longer a day one purchase (Score 1) 473

by nmb3000 (#48411655) Attached to: Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

Yeah, as it turns out, "from time to time" means (in the dev's words): "At the moment it's whenever you need to conduct a server moderated transaction like trading." and "The servers handle more than just the data, they handle all the key processes for interaction in the game, so trading, mission generation and background simulation to name a few."

Oh hey, so it's exactly like every other MMO, including WoW. The client is basically a dumb terminal which renders graphics and plays sound, but as soon as you do something like sell to a vendor, or cast a spell or use an ability, a check is fired off to the server to make sure that your character is in a valid state to perform those actions, and then the result of the actions are sent back to the client for rendering. To do it any other way is just inviting people to cheat.

From what I can tell, their "single player" sounds more like the normal MMO, except that you can't see any other players even though their actions continue to have an effect on the game world. Seems like they're using baldfaced lies to do damage control.

Comment: Sad (Score 4, Insightful) 337

by nmb3000 (#48390303) Attached to: Philae's Batteries Have Drained; Comet Lander Sleeps

When you stop and think about the fact that the Rosetta project was launched over ten years ago (something I didn't realize until recently), it's hard not to feel sorry for the scientists and others on the project.

The statements the ESA is putting out have a positive spin on them (for multiple reasons, I'm sure), but at the end of the day this has got to be a pretty hard blow to the people personally invested in the project. After the effort required just to get it launched and a decade of waiting, it must be hard on them. Wish them the best of luck for a second chance when the comet nears the Sun.

Comment: Re:Can't wait for this! (Score 2) 327

by nmb3000 (#48357191) Attached to: Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

What is Firefox thinking? From the last paragraph in the article: "Firefox users should 'expect a lot more experimentation in advertising,' Mozilla Senior Engineering Manager Gavin Sharp told VentureBeat."

If you want to raise your blood pressure and really ruin your outlook of Firefox's future, go read some of Gavin Sharp's comments on various Bugzilla bugs. Seeing the justification for the removal of features and the addition of toxic features ruins my day every time I'm driving there to try and understand why something changed.

Gavin and the others like him that simply want to turn Firefox into Mini-Chrome are the biggest threat to Firefox today.

Comment: Re:Team Fortress (Score 2) 183

by nmb3000 (#48336747) Attached to: Blizzard Announces Overwatch, a First-Person Shooter

Looks like team fortress 2, albeit with less hats.

I kinda got a feel of TF2 + World of Warcraft, at least for gameplay and art direction. The energy/magic effects, armor style, and voice acting were very WoW while the combat, classes, cartoony cell-shading, and gameplay looked very much like TF2. There's a damned Gnome building a sentry gun FFS.

I'd guess it will be one of those games that's poorly received (or completely flops) because it's really just a conglomeration of ideas from previously successful games and most players will get a strong feel of "been there, done that." Whatever happens, hopefully they can avoid the horrible micro-monetization that's poisoned TF2 but knowing Activition-Blizzard that seems unlikely.

Comment: Re:Yawn (Score 4, Insightful) 94

by nmb3000 (#48120249) Attached to: How Poor Punctuation Can Break Windows

While this article did kinda make me roll my eyes, it's not quite as simple as that.

The basic idea they're saying is that if a user can create a directory with an arbitrary name (which is normal for a file-server), and that later on an Admin runs a maintenance script which doesn't quote input correctly, arbitrary user commands can be executed with administrative permissions.

So user does:

D:\Users\b\bob123> md "Foo&evil_command"

Days, weeks, months later, an admin decides to run a cleanup/repoting batch file that was written in 1996:

D:\Users> C:\Scripts\cleanup.bat

If the script descends into the filesystem and somewhere in that script is the line: SET CurDir=%CD%, then the effective command SET CurDir=Foo&evil_command is executed.

The end result is that evil_command is invoked by the admin. If the admin is a domain admin and that command happened to be net localgroup "Domain Admins" domain\bob123 /domain, then bob has just been added to the Domain Admins group.

It's an absurdly tiny problem compared to the Bash shell exploit, but it is in fact a violation of security boundaries. Raymond's airtight hatchway stories are when no boundary has been crossed.

Comment: Re:As well they should. (Score 2) 243

by nmb3000 (#48085985) Attached to: 2014 Nobel Prize In Physics Awarded To the Inventors of the Blue LED

Any particular reason you linked back to this very article

He just messed up and made the link relative.

Green Light Drives Leaf Photosynthesis More Efficiently than Red Light in Strong White Light: Revisiting the Enigmatic Question of Why Leaves are Green

IANAB, but I think the crux of this article is on the phrase "in strong white light".

Because green light can penetrate further into the leaf than red or blue light, in strong white light,
any additional green light absorbed by the lower chloroplasts would increase leaf photosynthesis to a
greater extent than would additional red or blue light.

So perhaps green light is more effective outdoors, but in an environment only lit by artificial light, green light is probably not the most effective (unless maybe you use both a powerful white light AND a green light?).

Comment: Re:CloudFlare is a nightmare for anonymity (Score 2) 67

by nmb3000 (#48028363) Attached to: CloudFlare Announces Free SSL Support For All Customers

CloudFlare is a nightmare for anonymity

Not only anonymity, but privacy as well.

Try browsing around with your browser's Referer header disabled (or spoofed to be empty/google/etc). You'll run into sites that either (1) won't load at all, only showing a "CloudFlare security page" that totally blocks access, or (2) have content that won't load due to CloudFlare's default referrer blocking settings. I assume (2) is to prevent "hotlinking" (aka - "using the Web"), but it prevents scripts, styles, etc from loading. However the first behavior (blocking anyone without a Referer header) is complete bullshit.

Using NoScript on a CloudFlare site can also be a nightmare. They have their own absolutely batshit absurd scripting thing call Rocket Loader. The only impression I've gotten from it so far is that it makes script whitelisting difficult and user-scripts even worse.

I can appreciate the primary selling points of CloudFlare (CDN, DDoS protection), but they do a lot more to interfere with site web traffic. The default settings for a site are also probably too aggressive.

Comment: Re:No, no. Let's not go there. Please. (Score 4, Insightful) 937

by nmb3000 (#47899595) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or god. Nothing else.

Ideally, yes, but we all know that that's not all there is to it these days.

Only because theists have done everything in their power to change the common meaning of the word "atheist". It's so much easier to persecute someone if you can twist their stance into being the exact opposite of your own because this allows you to set up "us versus them" and "attack on our way of life" straw men.

It doesn't help that for many people (in English anyway), the phrase "I do not believe X" has come to be equal to "I believe against X". Declaration of a lack of a thing does not, in any way, declare that you hold to its antithesis. It's this crucial point that theists miss -- some due to ignorance, but most due to an explicit intent to mislead.

Of course, this applies to topics other than (a)theism, and is pretty much the standard MO of most conservative pundits. Why have a rational discussion when you can fabricate a one-sided fight instead?

Comment: Re:Hexidecimal (Score 1) 169

by nmb3000 (#47829087) Attached to: Steve Ballmer Authored the Windows 3.1 Ctrl-Alt-Del Screen

Did he also decide to produce the Hex output that is entirely useless and without merit? I understand that's for debugging purposes, but who decided that was a good idea to leave in for a consumer-level OS? Seriously.

Ah yes. Everyone should have to set up a second machine, connect it to the other via a serial cable (having remembered to enable serial port debugging on the host prior to the crash), and then fire up their kernel debugger just to get the bugcheck code.

Putting a numeric error code (which usually comes with the symbolic name as well) on a consumer-facing fatal error is absolutely the correct thing to do. Once you've reached the kernel panic failure point there's not much most consumers can do anyway, so providing some diagnostic information can't hurt anything. If you don't then you may as well just restart the machine and not bothering to show an error at all. That sure sounds friendly.

Comment: Honeypots (Score 1) 220

by nmb3000 (#47810115) Attached to: Interview: Ask Christopher "moot" Poole About 4chan and Social Media

A lot of interesting and infamous material ends up on 4chan, some of which might be illegal in certain jurisdictions for reasons ranging from copyright infringement to child pornography.

Have any of the 4chan staff/admins think they've found a real honeypot on the site created by a government or corporation with the intent to prosecute or harass 4chan users (or the site/owners itself)? If so, what actions did you take?

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer