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Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 269

by bluefoxlucid (#49387979) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With User Resignation From an IT Perspective?

It's common practice to stand up a Microsoft Windows 2013 server as a Certificate Authority, and put the CA key on all computers by Group Policy. Then you intercept every SSL connection and replace the certificate with an internal one, of which the IDS has the private key. The routers and such also use the same private key. The proxy server (transparent or otherwise) handshakes with the remote server using the correct certificate, decrypting and re-encrypting all traffic as it flows through.

Comment: Re:Investment Tax Credit (Score 1) 203

Good. Once it's gone, maybe we'll all be rich enough to buy solar panels.

A solar panel tax break just raises the damand by, say, $500 of government incentive, plus persuasive incentive margin. That is to say: a $1500 installation that gets a consumer-reaching $500 rebate becomes a $2000 installation, in theory; in reality, the consumer sees a chance to obtain a discount on a $2000 installation, and manufacturers can profit more by raising that installation cost to $2100 because fewer than 20% of customers are turned off by that extra $100. Thus the consumer needs $600 more in his pocket, and comes out $100 poorer in the end.

These numbers are, of course, illustrative of a concept in market demand economics dealing with subsidies on the consumption end. The reality is more complex. For example, as you have pointed out, the imminent revocation of the ITC is driving up demand as people grab for the perceived free money; this means prices can go even higher, people can be even more disadvantaged by the government rebate, but they will still have more incentive to buy than in a non-credit market where the total cost to themselves is lower because there is no perceived monetary benefit in such a market.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 220

by bluefoxlucid (#49385373) Attached to: Why You Should Choose Boring Technology

The main point is not to jump into new things in your industry. When I grabbed for MongoDB, it wasn't MongoDB 0.2 alpha or 1.0 or whatnot; it was MongoDB 2.2, a relatively mature product. At the time, it was new to the industry: a lot of articles on Slashdot and so forth were jabbering about these new "NoSQL" databases and "Document stores" and whatnot, and arguing their merits and shortcomings. The article proscribes that MongoDB would be something that cost me an "Innovation Token" if I were to grab it right then.

My point is that I did just that: I saw MySQL wasn't working, at all, for our projects, and that MongoDB fit some of our needs much better. Our software design and code became orders of magnitude more manageable and efficient. After that, we rewrote the MySQL calls as ORM, while using MongoDB via direct query--we quickly integrated and profited from two new technologies, reducing our risk and streamlining our business.

We did exactly the opposite of what the article says, and gained great benefits in opposition to what the article claims. By identifying and selecting the correct tools, be they old or new, we opened the path to innovation, allowing ourselves to carry out new strategies and develop new ideas quickly and effectively.

Comment: Re:Christian Theocracy (Score 1) 1121

The only hate in this discussion is held by people who don't want to treat others as normal human beings because their religion teaches them to despise others for being who they were born.

But you can twist it in to some sort of attack on "the right" if you wish - it only serves to make you look rather foolish and encouraging the very hate you pretend to not like.

So then you're in favor of skinheads and Westboro Baptist-style nutjobs forcing LGBT and ethnic owned bakeries to provide cakes with Nazi/KKK/skinhead themed cakes.

Be very careful what you wish for. A law forcing people to participate in, enable, and/or advocate for things they are fundamentally opposed to have historically demonstrated a nasty habit of being turned around and used against the very people who thought they were a great idea.

You're a special kind of stupid. The kind that enables tyranny.


Comment: Re:Christian Theocracy (Score 1) 1121

Your examples need to be equivalent and the same thing: hate speech is not protected speech last time I checked.

"Hate speech" is a completely arbitrary, subjective, politically-driven, and constantly-changing standard, meaning it is no standard at all.

As I said above, bake them a cake, sure. But, to *force* a person under threat of deadly force to include symbols/symbolism, slogans, etc which convey support for or against any religious, ideological, political, or ethical subject/topic/party/etc to which they are fundamentally opposed is WRONG.

No matter the motive, it is wrong.

The next time there's some Bill or Proposition seeking to restrict rights of a protected class like LGBTs before a legislative body over which there is much contention, would it be OK for some anti-LGBT group to force an LGBT baker to provide them a cake with the graphic symbol being used to self-identify by that group? Like a swastika, maybe?

Sorry, you cannot force free people to participate in and/or advocate for things they fundamentally oppose. That's one of the reasons people came to colonize America, to escape exactly such tyranny by the churches and the monarchies of the Old World.

Only an ideological Luddite would want to turn history back and destroy basic pillars of individual liberty and freedom that so many have died for.



Google Unveils the Chromebit: an HDMI Chromebook Dongle 50

Posted by Soulskill
from the still-waiting-on-hardware-called-chromedome dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Today Google unveiled a new device: the Chromebit. It's a small compute stick that contains the Rockchip 3288 processor, 2GB RAM, and 16GB of storage — much like a low-end Chromebook. It connects to a TV or monitor through an HDMI port. (It also has a USB port for power and plugging in peripherals.) Google says the Chromebit is their solution for turning any display into a computer, and it will cost under $100. Google also announced a couple of new Chromebooks as well. Haier and Hisense models will cost $150, and an ASUS model with a rotating display will cost $250.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 3, Insightful) 269

Yes, and there are also key close-out tasks to cap off open projects to deliver to the next guy, or to transfer knowledge and move off responsibilities gracefully. Cutting off is a great strategy where the user is not unique, and a devastating one where he is training his replacement or in charge of things that rarely require attention; most often, it's somewhere in-between, and some careful decisions are required.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 4, Insightful) 269

Malware isn't as targeted as an individual, although I've seen financial records damaged and personal e-mails disseminated by malware. My stint at various companies, contractors, government positions, and private sector jobs has given me a lot of exposure to shit that goes wrong. Even when I had little technical power, I slowly identified ways to leverage the small access I needed, and to gain higher access; access control is idyllic, and information often leaks around a lot due to the need for certain things to be available.

I used to administrate IDS systems and approve firewall requests. In this capacity, I had no ability to do any real damage: every system I interfaced with was handled by an agent, either to install my hardware, to set my network routes, to configure the firewalls, to route span traffic to me, or to shut off ports when I discovered dangerous behavior on the network. I could damage our IDS, but nothing else. By contrast, those administrators each had a massive amount of power: they could sniff network traffic, route it for man-in-the-middle attacks, leak any information they wanted; even I was able to regularly extract administrative network passwords from our traffic, since our IDS ran decryption through our internal certificates and showed me raw attack traffic. I couldn't see your personal gmail account, but I could see the plaintext of your ssh connection to a CISCO switch.

I do work in network security; most mundanes who dabble figure that security is this rock-hard wall of protection, or it's wrong. They often forget the definition of information security, which includes confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility; it is the accessibility that people most forget, demanding confidentiality and integrity while refusing to sacrifice either where accessibility is impacted unacceptably. In my example with the IDS, the IDS must decrypt traffic to search for attacks which may compromise confidentiality or integrity, yet it also reveals passwords to a small group of people who may themselves compromise confidentiality or integrity by using these passwords; this is why HMAC was invented, but it is not always available within a protocol suite.

Comment: Re:Broken thinking... (Score 0) 357

by bluefoxlucid (#49380227) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous

Oh, they can read and listen fine enough; but they don't always have social tact or good English grammar. Improving these things is incidental to employing good project management: it often happens when you take a direct approach to stakeholder communication and project planning, but it's not strictly a prerequisite. Even then, much of that only entails improving the clarity and completeness of communication; while there are structural and informational improvements, grammatical improvements don't necessarily come along.

Consider for a moment an e-mail that claims there are problems, that things aren't working, and that people want things too much. Such an e-mail can communicate the situation in all its completeness as I've just done, with little to no information on the specifics, with fragments of one thought jumbled with fragments of another as the text races back and forth between different issues. Such an e-mail would be much better if it first grouped together each part of the problem and relayed these groups sequentially, and second included a complete explanation for each part of the problem. Even then, the e-mail may be one giant paragraph, loads of run-on sentences, fragments of thoughts, and so forth.

As a project manager, you might learn to interpret this, and then produce a better-formed document to pass on to the other stakeholders; you'll continue to receive hackneyed garbage from your engineers, who still communicate like brain-damaged gradeschoolers, and just deal with it.

In the same way, these people may not deal elegantly at all with human beings; I myself am a very logical, fact-driven person, and have such a problem. In my case, I prefer to look at a problem and produce a solution; however, responding to problems often entails pointing out some painful, annoying things that people are still sore over, in the process highlighting all of their recent personal failures and generally shoving these things back in their faces while showing them how much better and more intelligent you are than they. I've found it more effective to separate out the case study and describe a solution, theoretical risks, and justification from the broad field of my work, allowing them to make the implications themselves and offering to provide the case studies if they need some specific concerns to raise to upper management. After rolling the ideas around and discussing them, the sting of failure is anesthetized, and they're far less hurt by the reminder now that they feel some control over the situation.

Of course, either approach I've described here is technically correct: I follow the same analytic process and deliver the same results regardless. I've learned to apply some consideration of complex human interactions when delivering those results, which is a whole different concern from my hard technical skills. I have said many times that there are no super brains: genius is technique, and I was born with the same capacity as everyone around me; this, too, is technique, and anyone can learn, as I have to only a small degree yet, to interact better with people just as well as they can learn grammar, computer programming, or quantum physics. As I've also come to understand lately, such skills are critical for success in the workplace.

Comment: Re:Way too many humanities majors (Score 2) 357

by bluefoxlucid (#49380129) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous

People with STEM degrees have lower unemployment, and higher salaries. To say there is a "glut" relative to humanities is silly.

People with STEM degrees tend to be more affluent, thus more articulate, than poor, inner-city negroes who nobody likes anyway. They can pass an interview at Burger King better than a fourth-generation-welfare black kid. If we fixed our school systems--if we adjusted schools in our poorest cities to attend to the needs of the poverty-stricken minorities they service--such individuals would grow up poor and without a college education, but articulate, sociable, and on the same footing as middle-class engineers when they walk into the local WalMart looking for a job.

They are indeed important skills. But they are not "humanities".

Speaking, writing, organizing your office memos, dealing skillfully with people. These are called soft skills, and are humanities. Humanities include linguistics, social sciences, communications studies, and even law. A lawyer goes to a specialized school and then apprentices for years in nearly a decade of study entirely in humanities; diplomats, politicians, and business executives make a critical study of humanities to learn to negotiate and to speak in public; teachers go to college to study humanities, learning how to interact with children and parents. These are all studies in humanities.

Nothing in progression can rest on its original plan. We may as well think of rocking a grown man in the cradle of an infant. -- Edmund Burke