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Comment: pkexec?? (Score 1) 98

by putaro (#47764017) Attached to: Project Zero Exploits 'Unexploitable' Glibc Bug

Sorry, old Unix guy here. My first reaction was "What the F is pkexec and why is it running setuid?"

Yet another way to execute arbitrary privileged executables is yet another potential security hole. This dumb thing is apparently part of the "Free Desktop" but it's depended on by all kinds of stuff including the fricking RedHat power management. What's wrong with plain old sudo?

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 508

by putaro (#47744755) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

The question is, who is "you" and when does that checking happen? I don't do a lot of work in Python, Ruby, etc. and all of the programmers that I know who do are fairly young and working on fairly small projects so they don't have a good answer for refactoring.

If I change the arguments to a method in a statically type language any place where I forgot to change the call to that method will be exposed at compile time. As far as I've been able to learn so far, in most dynamically typed languages that check won't happen until runtime. The pat answer to that is "you should have unit tests that cover everything" - but getting complete code coverage is hard and for large projects, the test suite takes a non-trivial amount of time to run - usually much, much longer than compile time. So, you wind up with bugs at runtime. Or is there a better solution?

Comment: Problems getting merchants to accept it? (Score 4, Insightful) 78

by putaro (#47741399) Attached to: Major Delays, Revamped Beta For Credit-Card Consolidating Gadget Coin

Technically, I see how it works but why would a merchant accept this thing? It doesn't look like a credit card and it's missing all of the anti-fraud elements built into the physical cards. According to their FAQ, Coin is trying to substitute an image on your smart phone plus their gadget for your physical card but I don't see that any of the actual credit card issuers are actually endorsing this. As a merchant you might be in violation of your merchant agreement by accepting this thing.

Comment: Re:Why not just use hard drives and then store... (Score 1) 193

by putaro (#47741177) Attached to: Facebook Experimenting With Blu-ray As a Storage Medium

The Blu-ray disc needs to be mounted before it can be accessed. The ratio of robotic mechanisms to discs becomes important. If you need to mount ten discs, it takes ten times as long (if they're all using the same arm) whereas you could spin up ten hard drives simultaneously.

I've worked with large scale robotics since the late 80's. The performance of the arms has not increased significantly since then. When you're dealing with scientific datasets or backups it's not as much of a problem. In random access storage, though, it starts to be an issue.

Comment: Re:And how long does it take... (Score 1) 190

by putaro (#47728331) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

Also, as they proliferate, they're going to have to deal with vandalism. A gas station is a neatly concentrated resource with oversight, security and even they still get vandalized.

Don't whiz on the electric fence!

Things like pricing can always be messed with. I think the maintenance issue, as the network grows, will become challenging. We'll see, though.

Comment: Re:Enough of the Tesla circle jerk (Score 1) 190

by putaro (#47727007) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

And in 1900 the same arguments applied against gasoline cars and you could get food for your horse, have a stable to keep it in, find a blacksmith to put new shoes on your horse, etc. just about anywhere.

The technology for EVs is still pretty early and just starting to improve. Give it another 10 years and it will probably address most of your concerns.

Comment: Why would a paywall keep trolls out? (Score 1) 382

by putaro (#47694595) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

It might keep a few out but there are people who get their jollies out of trolling and the outrage that they create and might be willing to pay a few bucks for their hobby. It's been going on at least since Usenet (mid 80's).

I do enjoy small scale discussion on Facebook. I usually limit people who can post on my comments to friends of friends and that keeps the discussions more civil and usually more relevant. Perhaps the real problem is just that the number of people who can post a comment on many discussions is just too large. There is the risk of living in an echo chamber, though. Maybe a discussion site that creates groups with a representative sample of views, etc.

Comment: Re:Those aren't business decisions (Score 1) 371

by putaro (#47691363) Attached to: Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

They get an unlimited bonus structure so that there's no limit to how much they will sell. Sales people are greedy bastards and they will follow the money trail management creates, regardless of whether it is good or bad for the company. Structuring the sales compensation is very important - I've seen many instances where the salespeople are doing things that are not good for the company but maximize their payoffs.

Why do sales people wind up in charge? Because they sell everyone else on how wonderful they are. If you don't have a management team with some real knowledge of the business you will wind up with self-promoters running everything.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)