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+ - Now you can choose hotels by the quality of their wifi->

Submitted by spac
spac (125766) writes "When some of us book hotel rooms, our first thoughts aren’t about whether they have in-room coffee service, or if housekeeping will let have a few extra tiny bottles of shampoo. Instead, our eyes immediately scan for "Free WiFi" somewhere on the booking website. This site ranks and tests wifi connections at hotels all over the world — definitely worth checking out if you're a road warrior or simply don't want to spend 300$ on a fancy hotel room and discover that their wifi connection is backed by a 28.8 kbaud modem!"
Link to Original Source
Government

VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the at-least-he-was-wearing-pants dept.
theodp writes: Back in 2012, Computerworld blasted Vice President Joe Biden for his ignorance of the H-1B temporary work visa program. But Joe's got his H-1B story and he's sticking to it, characterizing the visa program earlier this month in a speech to the National Governors Association as "apprenticeships" of sorts that companies provide to foreign workers to expand the Information Technology industry only after proving there are no qualified Americans to fill the jobs. Biden said he also learned from his talks with tech's top CEOs that 200,000 of the jobs that companies provide each year to highly-skilled H-1B visa holders could in fact be done by Americans with no more than a two-year community college degree.
IOS

+ - New iOS app tricks users into proxying all web traffic for ads->

Submitted by spac
spac (125766) writes "AllthingsD has an interesting story about how a startup, Wajam requires users of their service to download a script that sets up a proxy to handle all network requests for the purpose of providing "Social Recommendations" within built-in apps. The privacy implications of using this profile script to users isn't clearly presented to users. Are we really to trust our data into the hands of a company founded by a man who comes from the world of browser toolbars? And for social search?!"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Part of this is because of US Export Restrictio (Score 3, Informative) 139

by spac (#39011991) Attached to: Southwest Airlines iPhone App Unencrypted, Vulnerable To Eavesdroppers

It seems that if you let the user transmit or receive encrypted data (even if it's just a login!) you need to get a license.

We use the built in iOS classes for HTTP requests that support SSL transparently. The US government still required us to register for export compliance. It's really senseless.

Comment: Part of this is because of US Export Restrictions (Score 5, Informative) 139

by spac (#39011465) Attached to: Southwest Airlines iPhone App Unencrypted, Vulnerable To Eavesdroppers

It's a pain in the behind to distribute apps with encryption code (even if all your app does is use SSL!) on the app store.

You need to go through hoops registering with the US government for an export license for every app you publish. When we built our software, we got hit with these requirements and had to go through a bunch of paperwork that really slowed us down and gave us a headache all because we communicate with only communicate with our web service via SSL.

It's ridiculous that there's no exemption for SSL usage on US export controls. It's just a pain in the ass for everyone in the process and you can't honestly claim that it prevents awfully dangerous tech from getting into the enemy's hands.

Comment: As an engineer turned MBA, I completely agree (Score 3, Informative) 487

by spac (#36711600) Attached to: Have American Businesses Been Stranded By the MBAs?

Reading this piece, I can comfortably say that the author is right on the money with regards to how a focus on being "data driven" is actually slowly running companies into the ground.

I started off my career writing really low level network stack drivers. I got pretty familiar with the windows kernel, became a star in my office and got put on an MBA track because I had demonstrated some aptitude with customers and sales. Fast forward a few years and I've got an MBA under my belt and work for what was formerly a very large provider of consumer SaaS that is now trying to win in what can be loosely described as the call center space.

My days are now spent trying to determine strategic initiatives on the basis of consumer behaviour as represented in a slew of really badly coded Cognos reports. This wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that analytics and data driven decision making is anything but in most companies. Data is used to validate a hypothesis instead of being explored to reveal patterns, associations and trends. Every executive asking a question about customer behviour is secretly asking for validation of their own theory on the business and wants to gloat about it come performance review time. Obviously, in this kind of operating model, data is bastardized to lead to really bad decisions.

I'm all for scientific approaches to management, however they need to be undertaken following a method that is in line with the scientific method to be labelled as such. When I leave this job (which is ridiculously well paying but completely unfulfilling compared to my career in engineering) and run off to create my startup, I will probably hire an MBA at some point. However, I won't hire them to be a bean counter.

What many companies fail to realize is that the key to having a great leader is equal focus on product and market. The MBA that I would hire would be chosen because they've demonstrated an ability to be highly technically proficient but decided to expand their horizons and take on "soft-problems" as well.

Comment: Radialpoint Security Suite (Powered by BitDefender (Score 1) 896

by spac (#31530982) Attached to: What Free Antivirus Do You Install On Windows?

Radialpoint actually provides a really good security suite (Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, Parental Control + loads of other features) for free through its "user community" program: http://radialpoint.net/home/

This is the same security software that ISPs like Verizon, Rogers, Bell Canada, Virgin, etc... charge their customers anywhere from 8$-12$ a month to use.They give away a limited number of copies for free in order to collect crash data and improve the product that's ultimately delivered to ISPs, kind of like a perpetual beta test. The software itself is powered by the latest BitDefender engine for real-time, on-demand and scheduled scanning. It also lets you use WebSense to do parental controls.

They even have a Mac version that's freely available through their site. Check it out!

Comment: I got one out on a date! (Score 4, Funny) 686

by spac (#24900629) Attached to: How Do You Deal With Telemarketers?

She wasn't really a telemarketer, she was polling for some municipal political party.

She had a nice voice and I was waiting for a ride to one of my buddy's concerts, so I decided to respond to the survey. After some jokes and lots of questions that most definitely weren't on the survey sheet, I got her to meet us at the tiny indy music club I was going to.

She came with friends, met my friends and the two of us ended up ditching everyone and roaming the streets of the "mile end" neighbourhood until we came upon this tiny urban playground and kissed till almost sun rise.

So basically, telemarketers aren't so bad after all. At least not in Canada :-)

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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