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Comment: Which is why the latest round needs more oversight (Score 1) 14

by msobkow (#49166739) Attached to: Secret Memo Slams Canadian Police On Inaccurate ISP Request Records

This kind of abuse is why the latest round of "anti-terrorism" legislation from the Conservative jackboots who currently run our country needs more oversight. Having one person in charge of the oversight is just rife with the potential for sweeping issues under the rug and failure to detect problems.

I firmly believe that a committee of at least three politicians and one "specialist" should be overseeing all of these Canadian privacy-related issues, regardless of "national security" issues -- one from each of the major parties. (The only reason I don't say four is May is a whackjob and there are no other Green Party members of parliament -- that woman isn't qualified to oversee lunch.)

Comment: What's lacking is a plot and characters (Score 3, Insightful) 212

by msobkow (#49163029) Attached to: Spock and the Legacy of Star Trek

The Abrams movies are action movie fluff. Nothing more, nothing less. The characters are "Star Trek" in name only, and an insult to every single Star Trek series or movie that came before them.

The first of Abrams movies, I thought "Well, it's just a start. They've got to get their legs under them."

But when Kirk lost the Enterprise and then gained it back in less than 10 minutes in the second movie, I shut it off. I've never watched it. I refuse to watch such an insulting piece of drek that thinks someone is going to be given a trillion dollar starship just because they asked after having had it taken away for breaking the law.

I presume there is going to be another Abrams movie soon enough. I won't bother watching that, either.

Watching the Abrams movies is like watching the first three "Star Wars" movies after having seen the original trilogy. It's painful. It's insulting. It's degrading. And it feels like it's marketed to pre-teens, not people who think.

Comment: Re:Sounds a lot like what I saw last week (Score 1) 34

by msobkow (#49162459) Attached to: Pharming Attack Targets Home Router DNS Settings

Ah, yes, my ISP with over 25 years experience servicing hundreds of thousands of customers with over five million email addresses clearly doesn't know what they're doing.

It couldn't possibly be that the people behind the phishing attacks are custom-crafting the address chains in the fake "delivery failure" messages. Oh, no, it's clearly my ISP at fault because this is the only time this has happened in over 15 years of using them.

I sure hope you aren't responsible for securing anything more important than your home PC...

Comment: Re:Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More R (Score 1) 180

by msobkow (#49159773) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

That same conversation has been around since since the first saboteurs threw their shoes into the gears of factory equipment.

The answer has never changed: society will evolve to a communist one because it has no choice if it's to avoid mass revolts and warfare.

You have only to look to the inner cities of North America to see the unrest and riots that have already started over trigger-issues such as a citizen being shot by police. Those riots aren't just over the deaths; they're an expression of people's frustration with "the system."

Comment: Sounds a lot like what I saw last week (Score 4, Informative) 34

by msobkow (#49159023) Attached to: Pharming Attack Targets Home Router DNS Settings

At the beginning of last week, I saw a number of fake emails "returned" to my ISP email account. A day or two later, I received a phishing email requesting me to change my password for that email account.

Today, someone tried the same thing for my Microsoft account.

It's more creative than usual, but it is still just a phishing attack, and you can easily spot it by the fake URLs in the phishing emails.

Comment: Re:All the more reason (Score 4, Insightful) 184

by msobkow (#49155291) Attached to: Google Taking Over New TLDs

The new TLDs are a cash grab and nothing more. Not only for ICANN, but for every company that manages to buy up a gTLD.

Basically, the people buying up these gTLDs are hoping to cash in on companies wanting to register .searchterm domains. Which, in my books, is nonsense. I don't trust any of these new domains to be anything but spam traps and phishing expeditions. Given the options in search results, I would always go to the .com, .org, or .net address over a gTLD.

Comment: Pen/stylus tablets? (Score 1) 162

by msobkow (#49155237) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Whiteboard Substitutes For Distributed Teams?

I'd think using pen/stylus tablets to scribble diagrams and then emailing or messaging those amongst the team members would be about as good as you can get, unless you can find a software package that would let the people share a drawing space using individual tablets. I've long wanted to get one of the Samsung tablets just for that purpose.

Comment: What *is* their market? (Score 3, Insightful) 59

by msobkow (#49152793) Attached to: BlackPhone, In Wake of Gemalto Fallout, Receives $50 Million In Funding

Given that iOS and Android can and do encrypt user data now, and that web device communications encryption is largely a question of whether a site uses SSL/HTTPS, what is the distinguishing feature of these phones that would make them marketable?

To me it looks like pure marketing hype, not a real benefit compared to other devices now that they've started using encryption.

Comment: The black box is a trap (Score 1) 152

by msobkow (#49151699) Attached to: Invented-Here Syndrome

The problem with black-box programming is that it's a trap. Far more often than anyone cares to admit, the black box implements functionality in an unreliable or inefficient manner. When you're dealing with code that you wrote yourself, you can correct that behaviour of the "grey" box. But with a third-party black box, all you can do is file a bug report and hope that someone can not only replicate the problem, but that they'll give it high enough priority to fix it before you retire or your project is cancelled.

The worst culprit for black box problems are frameworks of all kinds. Some say you're not a "real programmer" until you've written your own framework. I firmly believe that's true, because what is a reusable code base on a large project except a custom framework?

The difference between a custom framework and an off-the-shelf one is that your custom framework is designed and coded with your project in mind, to service the bulk of your project's needs while maintaining enough flexibility to deal with the exceptional cases of your project. A third party black box framework is pretty much never designed that way. It was designed to serve the needs of someone else's conceptual or real project, then tweaked and adapted to serve needs it wasn't originally designed for, and finally unleashed on an unsuspecting world as "the next big thing."

A pox upon frameworks, I say. Design a solid object model, code to it, use it, and get over the fact that you're going to have to write some code.

At least if you wrote the code, you can fix it. Without worrying about whether some upstream integrator will deign to consider your "fix" worthy of integration to the mainstream code. Without having to wait for someone else to replicate, analyze, prioritize, schedule, implement, and test a fix for your problem.

Realistically, any half decent custom framework isn't going to be more than 10% of your total code base anyhow. "Framework" is just a fancy term for what was called for decades "application library."

Comment: Was it ever alive? (Score 1) 159

by msobkow (#49151621) Attached to: Can the Guitar Games Market Be Resurrected?

I knew a lot of people who had the controllers for those types of games over the years, which they'd either bought along with their consoles in bundles, or been given by relatives. But not once in my life did I ever see anyone actually play games like "Guitar Hero." Not once.

Yet I knew over a dozen people who had the controllers.

I wonder what percentage of those overpriced components sat gathering dust, never to be used after the novelty wore off in the first couple of weeks?

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.