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Comment: Re:This initiative is futile (Score 1) 49

by presidenteloco (#47789545) Attached to: IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design

I'd say security failure is partly due to incentive alignment failure for developers.

Bad security design is a problem that's going to bite, but usually a little later, after version 1 is out the door and everyone's paid.

Not meeting the pretty much arbitrary and insanely optimistic delivery schedule is going to bite developers right now.

Corners will be cut, even if some of the developers know what SHOULD be done.

In general, almost every architectural aspect of software, including security, (well-factoredness, maintainabilty, scalability, extensiblity, low-coupling, you name it) is hidden, except to a few experts who aren't usually those in decision-making roles. That's why so much software delivered is a Potemkin village.

Comment: Re:Fire the Architects (Score 1) 49

by presidenteloco (#47789531) Attached to: IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design

I don't know about you, but I'd say that someone who is creating architecture, is, oh, I don't know, an architect.
Who cares about the title. "Chief codemonkey with a clue" will do just fine.
There seems to be some mythology out there about software architects who don't come from coding.
Sort of like MBA managers.
Never seen one of those. If they're not still coding, they don't love the craft enough to be good architects.

To me, it's just someone who can model a complex system in different cross-cutting aspects, can understand big-picture and long-term concerns with the goals and evolution of the software, know and use many appropriate tried and true patterns, and pragmatically marry that with project realities.

Comment: Re:Fire the Architects (Score 3, Insightful) 49

by presidenteloco (#47786705) Attached to: IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design

I suspect that most programmers who don't see the need for software architecture work within the confines of already heavily architected frameworks, platforms, and network stacks.

Thus their comments are akin to saying "I don't think we need an architect to help us rearrange the furniture and paint on the walls".

Comment: The Koch brothers don't use public roads (Score 1) 525

because there are too many marxists on them who will run you down and kill you (and also it's just the principle of the thing. Have you ever noticed that stop signs and stop lights are RED?

They use private helicopters almost exclusively, and as an extra defense of their property rights, they never let their pilot inform the marxist totalitarian air traffic controllers about where they will be flying next.

Comment: Rating system (Score 1) 112

by presidenteloco (#47750865) Attached to: Is Dong Nguyen Trolling Gamers With "Swing Copters"?

Wouldn't the rating system help hide the cheap knock-offs, or is the sad fact that people can't tell the difference?

Maybe the rating system should be like rottentomatoes, where there is the "audience rating" and "somehow accredited professional critics ratings", and the app's position in the store searches/listings could be a weighted sum of both of those, and the app store user could adjust their weighting toward more audience score or more critics score. (Before you patent that obvious concept, consider this post prior art)

Comment: Re:Link to Policy and University Clarification (Score 1) 129

Prohibited: "political activities, including organizing or participating in any political meeting, rally, demonstration, soliciting contributions or votes, distributing material, surveying or polling for information connected to a political campaign, completing political surveys or polling information"

Let's face it, this is fascist bullshit.

Screams to be ignored, and, of course subverted by surreptitiously using the accounts of university administrators to send out the political information.

And of course, there's always the good old pasting notices on lampposts and walls. Back in the day, we used a subversive communication system called a "phone tree" for organizing protest rallies.

Comment: It's combinatorics (Score 4, Insightful) 185

Human (and similar) bodies work by the continuing controlled boil of of n-billion chain-reactions among n-billion complex molecules. These reactions, though unbelievably complex, have been channelled into very narrow auto-catalytic reaction pathways by evolution. As well as the reactions that do happen in successful organism continuance, there are a vast combinatoric possible range of alternate, and ultimately counter-productive reaction chains that could take place with the same molecule combinations that are present. Luckily, almost all of these destructive alternative reaction chains are energetically infeasible, again, because evolution produces more and more precisely regulated catalyzed reaction chains, equivalent to fine-grained control of living structure formation and process, including metabolism, cell reproduction, and programmed cell death.

However, the combinatoric possibilities for alternate reactions, and alternate metastable structure and process formations, are huge, due to both the number of redundant instances of each type of structure and each type of (chemical) process, and the complexity of the number of different interacting structures and (chemical) processes.

Again luckily, most alternative structure and process that arises is self-lethal. Self-continuing reaction chains (in any given chemical/structural/thermodynamic context) are exceedingly rare, relative to the number of alternatives that might start out.

More fortunately, the viable chains of structure and process have become so sophisticated due to evolution that they actively work to destroy many altered forms. (The immune system.)

However, again, given the vast combinatoric opportunities for even just slightly alternative structure and process to begin as a slight error in a routine living structure and process, not every alternative is non-viable, and not every alternative can be overcome by the immune system.

Some alternative auto-catalyzing structures/processes, starting as minor variants of normal structures/processes, can be viable in their own right, and form a simpler-than-their-host-organism replicating system within the host organism's body, and using its material and energy, and, it must be said, using many of the host body's still perfectly functional structures/structure types/ and processes (e.g. blood vessel recruitment by tumours.)

In summary, viable life as any single type of organism is a matter of a self-reinforcing chain/cycle of viable structure formation and chemical process/reaction continuation within and with that structure. There are virtually unlimited kinds of minor variations in structure or process that could accidentally occur in such a complex physical/chemical/thermodynamic context.Most of those alternatives are self-lethal (not programmed chemically and structurally to continue to reproduce and grow their alternative form). Many other alternatives that might be successful at alternate-form growth and reproduction are killed off by a healthy immune system.
But some forms get through.
The biggest predictor of cancer formation is lifespan. As an organism ages, a) There have simply been more opportunities for structure/process accidental variation experiment within the body, and b) Probably the regulation of process by the body itself becomes weaker as subsystems reduce from their early-life capability levels, due no doubt to a whole range of entropic breakdown of the uniformity of structure and process.

Organism bodies (and their vast self-supporting network of constraining structures and autocatalytic reactions) have a design-life (by evolution, not a designer), and that design life is "enough to reproduce, and care for the offspring if applicable to the species".

A tough story to hear, but that's the story of life and cancer. It is not a hopeless story. Both immune function improvement and novel artificial interventions stand good chances of beating back these alternative lifeforms within us in particular cases. In general though, it is just part of our life process.


Comment: Re:Database? (Score 2) 371

by presidenteloco (#47716625) Attached to: Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

Most, but not all, actual engineers were trained in general engineering, and in a specialty that was not software or computer science.

Most specialists tend to have a blind spot to the complexities, subtleties, lay of the landscape in other areas than their specialty (thinking that the problems over there are trivial and not worth much effort or expertise.) Come to think about it, this is very similar to bad managers' perceptions of software people or engineers and their work.

I recently worked on a multi-disciplinary project, and without fail, the power engineers thought the controls engineers' work (and need for testing) was trivial, and vice versa, and the mechanicals didn't understand any of the fuss over there at all, and all of them just furrowed their eyebrows quizzically at any mention of software development, testing, or communications networking protocol or security issues.

Get the properly trained people to work on each aspect of your system, and only get the ones that are wise enough to recognize that the other specialty's work is probably as deep, complex, important, and fraught as theirs is.


Comment: Re: politicizing (Score 0) 409

The worst thing that has happened is that the republicans put partisan political games ahead of working to solve verified global crises.

A politician trying to show leadership and drive the necessary change is a great thing to happen.

I'm waiting for the criminal charges to be drawn up for obstruction of (climate) justice.

Comment: Natural gas plants do not reduce GHGs (Score 2) 409

Or not appreciably so, even compared to coal. That they do so is a myth being promoted for short-term economic gain.

A major problem with natural gas infrastructure is the leakage of methane (unburned) in the extraction and transport process. If that leakage rate reaches 3%, natural gas energy is about equivalent to coal on greenhouse gas effects on the atmosphere.

So increased natural gas energy is not an effective solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing the global warming process.

Comment: Full costs are unlikely accounted for (Score 2) 409

Decommissioning a nuclear plant site (not counting proper long-term fuel-waste disposal) has estimated costs of $7 Billion per nuclear plant.

My experience with engineering projects tells me that "double it and add 30 (%)" ;=) is a good heuristic for determining how much it will really cost, since everything is usually low-balled to win contracts. So we could guess $15 billion per plant.

No one has really implemented a proper long-term high-grade nuclear waste storage facility yet, so capital and ongoing costs for that are unknown.

Comment: Re:And other costs (Score 1) 409

If you are seriously comparing the environmental impacts of producing wind turbines and solar panels to the environmental impact of our current scale of fossil fuel extraction and consumption, you need to learn how to think quantitatively, not to mention qualitatively.

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.