Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Given a choice ... (Score 1) 177

by rwa2 (#48944477) Attached to: Mathematicians Uncomfortable With Ties To NSA, But Not Pulling Back

Eh, we used to live in the DC metro area and went to those parties. Government employees are government employees, and friendly people. Even the ones in the military.

Also, at least half of the people who work at the NSA are the whitehats, responsible for really boring things like system hardening guides

Frankly I'm glad they're there doing their thing, and hopefully keeping an eye on some of the blackhats they have running around on their TS/SCI projects.

Comment: Re:Does It Matter? (Score 5, Insightful) 269

by rwa2 (#48940767) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

For basic workstation stuff it's fine.

It's also pretty heavily used for development and test of server deploys. A lot of DevOps types are trying to use VirtualBox to build disposable test clusters for their applications, and has been the default and one of the best supported engines for vagrant.

Unfortunately, a lot of app footprints are starting to rely on deploying other "appliance VMs" in your VM (yo dawg), and VirtualBox is still straggling behind the others on implementing some form of nested VM capability. So it's kinda getting to a point of having a large and growing number of server apps that you won't be able to use VirtualBox to set up a local development and test environment for things that involve, say, using a Stackato PAAS, or a FEO appliance, or an Apigee API gateway appliance, etc. to pick a bunch of essential pieces from recent memory. At least not without a lot of work to host those VMs directly on VirtualBox and not looking or working at all like they would when they hit production.

+ - How Is VirtualBox Doing?->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Phoronix notes how it has been a long time since last hearing of any major innovations or improvements to VirtualBox, the virtual machine software managed by Oracle. This comes while VMware is improving its products on all platforms, and KVM, Xen, Virt-Manager, and related Linux virtualization technologies continue to advance as well. Is there any hope left for a revitalized VirtualBox? It has been said that there is only four paid developers left on the VirtualBox team at the company, which is not enough manpower to significantly advance such a complex piece of software. The v4.3 series has been receiving some maintenance updates during the last two years, but that's about it."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Classroom Management (Score 1) 1

Ugh, I've done similar things and was horrible at it, but my wife is a genius at education and a PHd and would say you need to establish good classroom management. This has little to do with the actual educational content, but about all about delivery and the way you carry yourself in a Command & Control role. Unfortunately, this is not something that's taught, but the very basics of it go something like:

1. Make every student feel like you love them and want them to do well. So no playing "favorites" or slipping into antagonistic relationships, particularly with the class clowns and gang leaders who would undermine your authority and turn the rest of their peers against you.

2. Establish yourself as the authority with a clear set of behavior rules immediately. Ideally, you get the students to enforce the rules themselves. But if you just "make them up" as you go along by pointing out improper behavior as it occurs. they're going to be continually feeling out and pushing the boundaries.

Sounds exciting though, best of luck!

+ - Computers are evil in early education-> 2

Submitted by nbauman
nbauman (624611) writes "Middle school students who got computers did worse in school. They wasted their time on games, social media, and entertainment (just like adults), according to Susan Pinker in the New York Times. Computers only help when they're used by good, trained teachers. Infants who interact with parents do better in school. Screen time reduces interaction with parents.

In the early 2000s, economists tracked the academic progress of nearly one million disadvantaged middle-school students against the dates they were given networked computers. They assessed math and reading skills for 5 years.

“Students who gain access to a home computer between the 5th and 8th grades tend to witness a persistent decline in reading and math scores,” they wrote. The Internet was also linked to lower grades in younger children.

Weaker students (boys, African-Americans) were affected more than others. When their computers arrived, their reading scores fell off a cliff.

Technology has a role in education — but only when it’s perfectly suited to the task, and only when it's deployed as a tool by a terrific, highly trained teacher."

Link to Original Source

+ - New Snowden Revelation: GCHQ/NSA 'Manipulate, Deceive And Destroy Reputations'

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Extracted from the recent Snowden cache, Glenn Greenwald at NBC News has posted a GCHQ presentation demonstrating how the NSA incubated a covert "dirty tricks" group known as JTRIG — the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group. The purpose of JTRIG is to infiltrate groups online and destroys people's reputations — going far beyond terrorist threats to national security.

Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.

NSA and GCHQ were self-described "signals intelligence" agencies, supposedly merely understanding and decoding signals, without taking offensive action. The Snowden docs have now revealed that the mandate of these organizations swings to the offensive, and they actively employ tactics which destroy people's lives to meet their own agendas.

Is this really a power you want to trust — a secretive government agency without any accountable oversight?"

+ - Microsoft Launches Outlook For Android And iOS 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft today launched Outlook for Android and iOS. The former is available (in preview) for download now on Google Play and the latter will arrive on Apple's App Store later today. The pitch is simple: Outlook will let you manage your work and personal email on your phone and tablet as efficiently as you do on your computer. The app also offers calendar features, attachment integration (with OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and iCloud), along with customizable swipes and actions so you can tailor it to how you specifically use email."

Comment: Re:track record (Score 2) 291

by rwa2 (#48934927) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

Also, Airbus refused to submit a proposal for this when approached several years ago (while there was no bidding process, basic proposals were requested from both Airbus and Boeing) because they knew it was a no contest decision.

Does the contest have to come from Airbus though? The last big scandal for the KC-135 tanker replacement came from Northrup Grumman, who wanted to buy Airbus jets and refit them for for aerial refueling here in the US.

Of course, that was a much larger project with more money at stake.

+ - Disk array with 99.999% availablity for 4 years, without maintenance-> 1

Submitted by (1140205) writes "As the prices of magnetic storage continue to decrease, the cost of replacing failed disks becomes increasingly dominated by the cost of the service call itself. We propose to eliminate these calls by building disk arrays that contain enough spare disks to operate without any human intervention during their whole lifetime. To evaluate the feasibility of this approach, we have simulated the behaviour of two-dimensional disk arrays with N parity disks and N(N – 1)/2 data disks under realistic failure and repair assumptions. Our conclusion is that having N(N + 1)/2 spare disks is more than enough to achieve a 99.999 percent probability of not losing data over four years. We observe that the same objectives cannot be reached with RAID level 6 organizations and would require RAID stripes that could tolerate triple disk failures."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Levels (Score 1) 210

by rwa2 (#48922165) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Great Software Developer?

Yeah, you probably have it right.

My description of a Software Architect was mostly tongue-in-cheek... at most of the places I've worked they were the ones that determined "high-level" things, like what expensive commercial middleware everyone was going to have to integrate with and spend all of their time coding around its deficiencies. Architects rarely touched actual code. Maybe they had a PHd or something but more often not, but they did get to make decisions that involved the movement of large amounts of capital budget (which of course is completely separate from the labor budgets required to cope with them).

My description of a Software Engineer might have been closer to what's nebulously referred to as a Systems Engineer (which is more of a glorified term for SysAdmin these days). Yours might be closer to what companies refer to as a Software Development Engineer, which is the job code most big software companies hire under nowadays.

But yeah, there's really no difference between any of these categories other than HR labels. And pay grades. And social structure. And job satisfaction garnered from different skillsets and abilities.

Comment: Re:Levels (Score 4, Interesting) 210

by rwa2 (#48919889) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Great Software Developer?

Yeah, there's probably a matrix of skills and abilities, depending on how much collaboration you need to do with customers / suppliers / other developers.

Great Coder: can make a computer do stuff. In code. No one else really cares how they do their thing. They just take a defined process and codify it to automate it or whatever.

Great Programmer: can write programs, presumably that other people have to use. Hopefully you still have this programmer around if you need to fix their program.

Great Software Developer: Now we're getting somewhere... they probably work together with other programmers as a team and start worrying about more of the stuff they learned in CS classes, like code reusability, refactoring, complexity, maybe some analysis of algorithms and pure math logic.

Great Software Engineer: Maybe less of the pure math and algorithms on how to do tricky things in code, but more of the practical stuff like defining code standards, test harnesses, and social aspects of code maintenance, like the discipline of setting up and maintaining the process through peer reviews, continuous integration, etc.

Great Software Architect: Solves problems before they occur by drawing pictures. But still gets blamed for all of the new problems anyway.

A lot of greatness involves managing complexity and making things as simple as possible for other people to understand and maintain. But no simpler.

Comment: Re:Lowest hanging fruit. (Score 1) 147

by rwa2 (#48918909) Attached to: New Google Fiber Cities Announced

But compared to Seattle? No. There's a reason people here in Seattle spend so much on dial-up. We long for the Internet. I pay almost $450 per month for the T1 to my house. The city granted a monopoly to Comcat for my neighborhood and will not allow competition but the city's rules also block Comcast from providing access so we're stuck with either dialup or paying for expensive typically business-only telco lines. Here in Seattle we care about Internet access. When I lived in Cary, NC, I had more than ten times as much bandwidth nearly ten years ago as compared to what I have in Seattle. It was also 1/8 the price. That shows NC doens't give a damn about the Internet. Here in Seattle we put our money where our mouth is. We are educated unlike those people that suck at the tit of cheap access. We pay our own way.

Damn... let me know when that changes. Here on the Eastside in Redmond we have 50/50Mbps FiOS from Frontier for $60/mo. or so. Back when I lived in DC, we had Verizon FiOS and it was pretty great, except I had to pay extra for the Business FiOS so they'd unblock HTTP(S)/SMTP on my home server (and get vaguely more helpful customer service). But none of that silliness is necessary at the Frontier Residential tier.

+ - Serious Network Function Vulnerability Found In Glibc 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A very serious security problem has been found and patched in the GNU C Library (Glibc). A heap-based buffer overflow was found in __nss_hostname_digits_dots() function, which is used by the gethostbyname() and gethostbyname2() function calls. A remote attacker able to make an application call to either of these functions could use this flaw to execute arbitrary code with the permissions of the user running the program. The vulnerability is easy to trigger as gethostbyname() can be called remotely for applications that do any kind of DNS resolving within the code. Qualys, who discovered the vulnerability (nicknamed "Ghost") during a code audit, wrote a mailing list entry with more details, including in-depth analysis and exploit vectors."

+ - Ask Slashdot: Best Personal Archive 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "What would be the best media to store a backup of important files in a lockbox?

like a lot of people we have a lot of important information on our computers, and have a lot of files that we don't want backed up in the cloud, but want to preserve. Everything from our personally ripped media, family pictures, important documents, etc..

We are considering BluRay, HDD, SSD but wanted to ask the Slashdot community what they would do."

I'd rather be led to hell than managed to heavan.