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Comment: So are you trying to say... (Score 1) 717

by pem (#48543389) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?
that the other political party in the US doesn't really believe in forgiveness?

Whether you believe in punishment by the state or by a higher being, whether you believe in the death penalty for chewing gum, or don't believe in it for murder -- it doesn't make sense to not kill somebody, to let him out of jail, and then to make it impossible for him to earn a decent living.

Comment: Development effort not considered (Score 4, Insightful) 217

by pem (#48316863) Attached to: The Effect of Programming Language On Software Quality
They discuss prior studies that looked at development effort, but hand-waved away the fact that dynamic languages take less development effort.

This may well be because their study cannot discern the amount of programmer effort per check-in, but it is a fatal flaw. Open development methods mean that a lot of dirty laundry gets checked into repositories. If dynamic languages have more bugs per check-in, but require significantly less work per check-in, then measuring bugs per check-in without measuring effort per check-in is meaningless, and that's before you even get to the functionality provided by the checked-in code.

Comment: Re:This was no AP. (Score 1) 339

by pem (#48250683) Attached to: LAX To London Flight Delayed Over "Al-Quida" Wi-Fi Name

That seems an awfully low threshold for disrupting air traffic, since wireless access points can be had for just a few dollars these days.


If our threshold for fear has become so low that some kid's not-so-funny practical joke can now result in several hours of delays to long distance transportation,


Don't scare the horses.

Seriously. Even before 9/11, any joking about a bomb in an airport would be problematic. You can't expect everybody in a position of power to be intelligent, so don't frighten the ones at the airport.

Now, you can argue it shouldn't be that way, and you may well be right. That's just like arguing you ought to be able to walk anywhere in Chicago any time of the day or night. True, but immaterial to reality.

Comment: Re:What snapchat claimed to do was a form of DRM (Score 1) 90

by pem (#48121175) Attached to: Snapchat Says Users Were Victimized By Their Use of Third-Party Apps
If a bank were to make a claim that their credit card is perfectly secure, they would be claiming that you can actually use it as you expect, and even if you buy something at a bad merchant, or a merchant that has been hacked, you are protected.

Even though they disclaimed it in the fine print, Snapchat's entire premise was that you could send you pictures to people, and they could only see them once, for a little bit.

The analogy about the cash is off-point -- the entire reason people use credit cards instead of cash is security; same as the reason they use snapchat instead of email.

The difference between the bank and snapchat is this: with the bank, although they didn't promise and you didn't expect perfect security, they will make you whole financially by refund money taken due to fraud, while snapchat is completely the opposite -- they effectively promised better security than they delivered, and none of their users will be made whole.

Comment: Re:What snapchat claimed to do was a form of DRM (Score 2) 90

by pem (#48116439) Attached to: Snapchat Says Users Were Victimized By Their Use of Third-Party Apps

I'm not sure if this has always been the case, or was added later, but for a very long time now, at least the Play Store's description has included:

Yeah but that's like the really fast voice at the end of the drug commercial talking about death.

So nobody should have been under the illusion that it was, in fact, impossible to save these images even if they lived a sheltered life and never imagined the analog loophole.

Snapchat's entire premise when it started out was that things were transient. Everybody told the founders it was a stupid idea, because, well, it's a stupid idea. But the people saying it was a stupid idea were making those statements based on impossibility, that the concept was akin to founding a company that would rent out genies that could give out wishes to people.

Obviously, the founders have the last laugh, because one way to make a lot of money is to rely on a gullible public and ignore the laws of reality. They aren't the first, and won't be the last, to make fortunes based on snake oil.

Comment: Re:What snapchat claimed to do was a form of DRM (Score 1) 90

by pem (#48116401) Attached to: Snapchat Says Users Were Victimized By Their Use of Third-Party Apps

No, it's like a bank telling you that it's not their fault when you make a check out to "cash" and someone other then who you intend cashes it.

I don't think that analogy is right at all; OTOH, I think I can improve mine a bit: it's like the bank telling you to use their credit card for all your transactions because it's safer than any other banks' credit card (never mind cash), but then disclaiming all liability when there is a hack that makes that not true.

Comment: What snapchat claimed to do was a form of DRM (Score 1) 90

by pem (#48115743) Attached to: Snapchat Says Users Were Victimized By Their Use of Third-Party Apps
And we know that can't work. Snapchat's wasn't even any good, anyway.

Snapchat's response was "they captured images by violating the TOS".

That's like a bank telling you it's not their fault if you lost money because the bank robber violated their posted TOS.

Comment: Re:Don't over generalize (Score 1) 728

by pem (#48114717) Attached to: Why the Trolls Will Always Win

I was pointing out the hypocrisy of saying that the trolls win simply because you take some measures to avoid them.

You didn't point that out. You used a poor analogy. Because most people would consider burning a Koran on TV to be trolling itself, rather than a normal, everyday thing that people do until they are themselves trolled.

I didn't start with the extreme IF/THEN logic.

Umm, yes, you did. The trolls are looking to cause a behavior change, so yes, they have "won" if they cause it. You didn't refute that. Instead, you gave a very poor, extreme "Because you are so concerned about getting beheaded by some crazy person that you wouldn't dare burn a silly book." when nobody who is not themselves trolling wants to publicly burn such a book.

The other party in this discussion said if I change my behavior in any way to avoid the trolls it has a chilling effect and the trolls win. that's just bullshit.

It's not bullshit if your original behavior wasn't something that a normal human being would not consider incendiary. It probably is bullshit if your normal behavior is to burn books on TV for the lulz.

Next issue. This is boring.

Yeah, I get it. You've had your say. And so have I.

Comment: Re:Don't over generalize (Score 1) 728

by pem (#48111505) Attached to: Why the Trolls Will Always Win

... and you "do your best to avoid being a target", they've won.

Really? Then burn a Koran on national TV right now...

Oh wait... then the extremist muslims have won. Because you are so concerned about getting beheaded by some crazy person that you wouldn't dare burn a silly book.

Judging from the rest of your comment, you probably didn't mean this, but this makes it look like, from your viewpoint, the only alternative to "doing your best to not be a target" is "doing your best to be a target."

It is all about how you say things and where you say them. Take any dumb position you like and it won't automatically get a response from the trolls.

To some extent you're right. If you're rambling over in the corner and nobody notices you, you're good. But if you have something useful to say and a forum where you can get noticed, you will definitely be noticed by people who don't like what you say, and if they happen to be trolls, they will troll you.

Comment: Re:Makes Sense (Score 1) 225

by pem (#48063231) Attached to: Google Threatened With $100M Lawsuit Over Nude Celebrity Photos

Jesus Christ, did you read what you just wrote?

Why, yes, yes, I did.

Google Search exists to help people find what they're looking for,

There's your problem, right there. Google exists to make money. They do this by doing a good enough job to make most people use them first for search. If you think that google exists to make your job as a website administrator easier, then you've got a huge sense of misplaced entitlement.

and you're saying it's our job to tell Google how to help people find our site?

There seems to be a bit of projection going on here -- you're getting on my case for not reading what I wrote, then turning around and claiming I wrote things that I didn't.

But even though I never wrote that, if it's your job to help your customers find your site, and a lot of your customers are miffed (and complaining, and defecting and/or wasting your time) because they can't find you through google, then (assuming 2+2 still equals 4) yes, of course, it behooves you to spend a bit of time to understand google's crawler well enough to make sure that google dumps your customers on the page you'd like to see them on.

For example, if it were my site, the very first thing I would do is check to make sure that I didn't have a misconfigured robots.txt anywhere in the search path. Then I would figure out what, if anything, google is actually serving from that site (using the site: option in the search), and then I would google (yes, the devil!) for SEO techniques for my exact situation. Finally, if I figured out that google really did have difficulty reconciling two different email web pages for the same domain, then I would probably chalk it up to competence, rather than incompetence -- on a web host, figuring out the primary webmail portal and always directing to that could probably cut down on a lot of phishing attacks -- and then either unify the webmail portals, or put a link from one to the other, or separate the domains, or anything else that was required to prove to google that my second webportal wasn't just a phishing site.

But since you're entitled to google doing all your shit for you even though you're not paying them to babysit your customers, you probably can't be bothered to do any of that stuff.

If people want to find our web mail portal they can come to the website we print on their damn bill, or they can call and ask us how to get to it.

That's a perfectly lovely attitude, and I wish you and your company all the success in life you both deserve.

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984