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Comment: Re:track record (Score 2) 290

by sootman (#48936973) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

Thanks for the perfect setup for this old joke...

On a four-engine plane over the Atlantic the pilot announces on the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've just lost an engine, but there's nothing to worry about. This plane flies perfectly well on three engines. It just reduces you speed a little so we'll be about a half-hour late."

A few minutes later, another announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, we've lost another engine. We'll still make it, but that'll slow us down a little more. We'll be about an hour late."

Soon there's yet another message: "We've just lost power on a third engine. I think we'll be OK, but plan on being two hours late."

One of the passengers turns to his neighbor and says, "I hope the fourth one doesn't quit. We'll be up here all day."

Comment: Wow (Score 5, Interesting) 308

And yet somehow we survived with these 10,000 people with connections to subversive organizations roaming freely in our midst. Amazing.

Dear ALL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES: *THIS* is why we don't want you to have infinite surveillance. Because those 10,000 people you had files on did EXACTLY NOTHING. You want to wiretap someone, go get some ACTUAL FUCKING EVIDENCE. Not just "he read this book and knows this guy and likes to encrypt his files."

Comment: Re:why the fuck (Score 1) 101

by sootman (#48876887) Attached to: Google Plans Major Play In Wireless Partnering With Sprint and T-Mobile

... the distant third and fourth place competitors in a four-horse market.

1 - Verizon Wireless - 125.3M subscribers
2 - AT&T Mobility - 118.7M subscribers
3 - Sprint Corporation - 54.8M subscribers
4 - T-Mobile US - 52.9M subscribers

The upper two are about 2x larger than the smaller two. Significant, but I wouldn't call it "distant". Distant to me would be something like a 10x difference. The market is about 1/3, 1/3, 1/6, 1/6.

Comment: Wow (Score 4, Insightful) 388

by sootman (#48804385) Attached to: UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

68% of primary and secondary teachers are concerned that their pupils have a better understanding of computing than they do. Moreover, the pupils reinforced this finding with 47% claiming that their teachers need more training...

Polls are great, but just imagine what it would be like if we lived in a world where there was actually a way to measure who knows what...

Comment: Re:Free? Where is the money coming from? (Score 2) 703

by sootman (#48771689) Attached to: Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College

The big difference is college isn't legally required. The only students who will go are those who want to go, and colleges won't be inclined to let kids slip through with a D-minus-minus just to get them through the system. The reason people graduate HS practically illiterate is because you can't force someone to learn. Make it optional, and require passing grades to stay in, and the problem is solved. If you don't pass, you don't get to go. If you fail, you're disqualified from the free program. (I would imagine. Didn't actually RTFA.)

This won't single-handedly solve all the problems this country faces with regard to education, but I think it's a great idea.

Comment: My kid does magic tricks... (Score 1) 135

by sootman (#48771037) Attached to: First OSX Bootkit Revealed

... that involve me turning around for up to 30 seconds. It's cute. The lesson here is, if you let your machine out of your sight for a while, don't be surprised if it comes back rooted. Isn't rule #1 of computer security always "If you don't have physical security, you don't have security"?

What exactly is the vector here? Give someone a thunderbolt hard drive and hope they plug it in and hope they run a firmware update while the drive is connected? Oh no, this could affect potentially dozens of people per decade! Outside of very targeted attacks, who will get hit by this? And if you think you are targeted, the solution is simple: don't have anything but the power cord plugged in when updating firmware. (Which is how you are supposed to do it anyway.)

This isn't exactly a drive-by download.

I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. -- H.L. Mencken