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Comment: Not Insecure (Score 4, Insightful) 113

by pavon (#47712509) Attached to: 51% of Computer Users Share Passwords

The purpose of security is to prevent unauthorized people from accessing the account. There are tons of accounts that are legitimately shared, and there is nothing wrong with sharing passwords in those situations, if the account doesn't have any technical mechanism to allow for multiple users/profiles on a single account. For example bank accounts, utilities, Netflix, Hulu, wireless router administration, all have been shared accounts with my wife (some have since added profiles, but not all).

Furthermore, even with accounts that we keep separate, like email, there are useful reasons to share the password, like when my wife is away from internet at work and wants me to print a boarding pass that was emailed to her. Sure I could snoop through her email, but I don't just like I could snoop through her purse or journal, but I don't.

Comment: Re:It's OPTIONAL! (Score 2) 229

by pavon (#47694749) Attached to: Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

I've seen several comments here saying "Well, I'm just CC'ing people who need to be kept in the loop!" Ok, I get that. If it's that important, why don't you just wait until they get back and give them a short briefing? If it's not that important, why did you bother sending it in the first place?

Becaused they asked me to CC them on such issues, and I don't feel like keeping a log of when everyone was gone and what happened that they might care about, so I can resend it when they get back. If it is something I care about I will talk to them when they get back. If it is something that they care about and know about then they can ask me. The problem is the stuff that they care about but don't know to ask about. Skimming an inbox full of CCs works well for that.

Comment: Re:Not all documentation is giant documents (Score 2) 198

by pavon (#47672247) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

Absolutely. There are many advantages to this approach:
* Users can get info they need more quickly as they are already in the correct context to get help on that feature, and don't have to search a document.
* Users are more likely to use integrated help than a huge user manual, saving you support time.
* It is easier to enforce a policy of updating documentation when you update code.

The only thing your separate documentation needs to cover are high-level concepts of the application, and common HOWTOs. If you must have a monolithic reference document, then use a system like docbook that generates HTML and PDF, and integrate HTML help into your application.

Of course this is assuming that these are GUI apps. Server apps or anything that needs configuration outside of a GUI must have full reference documentation.

Comment: Re:It wasn't his fault (Score 4, Informative) 127

by pavon (#47608599) Attached to: Senior RIKEN Scientist Involved In Stem Cell Scandal Commits Suicide

Sure, his name was on it as a co-author, but that sounds more like the result of office politics than actually believing what she was publishing. Even his employer seemed like they held him in high regard after the scandal broke.

It was a bit more than that. He recruited Obokata to RIKEN, was her mentor, and supervised her STAP work. As you said, there is not even the slightest hint that he was engaged in any misconduct, but the RIKEN investigation did find that Sasai and Wakayama carried “heavy responsibility” for what happened, and the incident opened questions about how closely co-authors and research advisers should oversee the work of their underlings.

Comment: Yes it is. (Score 2) 259

by pavon (#47607393) Attached to: The Man Who Invented the 26th Dimension

The scientific model is quite simply:
1) Develop testable hypothesis (aka theory)
2) Develop experiments/observations to test hypothesis
3) Perform experiment/observations
4) Repeat
Anyone who participates in any of these steps is performing science. It took a while to find practical tests of String theory given it's extreme generality, but several have been suggested and a few have even been performed, ranging from the scale of planetary motion to LHC data.

Comment: Re:But (Score 2) 110

The quickest numbers I could find say that at the scales of large power-plants, the generator is very efficient, but the turbine not so much, around 50%. This would put the system as a whole at around 40% efficency sunlight -> electricity. That's competitive with the best solar voltaic systems tested in the lab, and 50-100% better than practical systems on the market. Assuming their system really does scale up to power plant sizes, of course.

Comment: I don't see what you are saying (Score 4, Insightful) 37

by pavon (#47470545) Attached to: Two Big Dark Matter Experiments Gain US Support

We'll have more information about the gravity attributes and locations of dark matter,

Both of these experiments aim to detect collisions of dark matter particles with their respective detectors, and if found give an estimate of the particles energy. Neither are astronomical surveys that would tell us anything about the gravitational properties or distribution of dark matter.

Comment: Re:result of the lab/funding system (Score 4, Interesting) 123

by pavon (#47444997) Attached to: Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing

I would even argue that as long as the students who did most of the work have their name listed as first author, there is nothing wrong with this arrangement. I dropped out of my master's program after the first semester because I was being pushed to publish, but wasn't being plugged into any research existing programs. Every "unique" idea that I thought of turned out to have already been studied exhaustively back in the 70's or earlier. All the favorite students in the grad program were people who ignored this inconvientent fact and managed to get rehashed bullshit accepted into conferences.

Several years later I went back to school at a large state U that plugged me into the work they were doing, showed me what the state of the art was and where there were gaps that hadn't been researched in detail. Without building off the ideas of my advisor I would have never been able to do meaningfull research that progressed the state of the art, and would have had nothing worth publishing. He deserved to have his name on my papers.

Education

The Linux Foundation and edX Team Up for Intoduction to Linux Class 74

Posted by samzenpus
from the from-the-man-himself dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Linux Foundation has teamed up with MOOC provider edX to teach an introduction to Linux class. Quoting the course description: 'This course explores the various tools and techniques commonly used by Linux programmers, system administrators and end users to achieve their day-to-day work in a Linux environment. It is designed for experienced computer users who have limited or no previous exposure to Linux, whether they are working in an individual or Enterprise environment.' The course begins on August 1st. In addition to the free version of the course, a verified track is available for students who want a credential with more weight (for a nominal price)." Update: As many have pointed out Linus just did an intro for the class. Headline corrected accordingly.

Comment: Re:My thoughts. (Score 1) 84

by pavon (#46901701) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Communicate Security Alerts?

He recommended deploying an alternative browser, not replacing IE altogether. That way when IE has a bad vulnerability you notify everyone to temporarilly use the alternate on external sites, use group policy to disable vulnerable features, or even block it at the firewall depending on the severity. They can keep using IE internally during that time. Then when a patch comes out you deploy it and lift the restrictions. The next week when firefox has a zero-day, you do the same for it, and recommend people use IE for the time being. It is a very sensible way to allow the most productivity possible while staying secure.

If they really need to use Active X on externall websites during a vulnerability, you can whitelist those sites in Group Policy if needed, but honestly I would just consider the downtime a cost of doing business with outdated insecure technology in most cases. Cleaning up a bad worm/virus that spread through the entire campus could be much more expensive.

Comment: Re:They're not going to get better results... (Score 1) 110

by pavon (#46888349) Attached to: SpaceX Looking For Help With "Landing" Video

Agreed. I've done this in the past and starting as close to the original analog telemetry stream as possible is essential. Even if the noise is so bad that analog filtering doesn't recover any new data in the preD, simply knowing where there is missing data and exactly how much can help tremendously in reconstructing the data. Their raw mpeg files don't provide any of that information.

Comment: Re:Paper Forms (Score 1) 386

by pavon (#46757313) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

Same here. I tried TurboTax one year and it didn't save me any money, didn't really save me any time, and had annoying DRM. You have to research what you can deduct on your own anyway in advance anyway so you can preserve documentation throughout the year, and that is the time consuming part. So paying money just to have software fill out and submit the form doesn't seem worth it for me.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers

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