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Comment: bullshit (Score 1) 211

by Tom (#49352371) Attached to: Generate Memorizable Passphrases That Even the NSA Can't Guess

This is total bullshit, and dangerous at that.

Firstly, a lot of software out there still has password length limits, sometimes silently discarding additional characters. You will still need ordinary passwords now and then.

Secondly, no normal human will type a five, six or more words passphrase every time they want to unlock their screen. They will do it for three days while they're hyped on how secure they are now, and then it'll become something they hate, and then they'll change it back to "123".

Thirdly, this is a bit more tricky, the real world security of almost every password scheme I've come across in 15 years of IT security experience is several orders of magnitude lower than the mathematical assumption. Because we consistently forget to take the human factor into account. Maybe some extreme nerds will actually follow this guideline, more normal people will discard words they can't remember for words they can, change things "a little" for convenience, and generally sabotage the whole system without even realizing it. It's the same as with passwords, all over again. Yes, on paper, a password has on the order of 10^16 possible combinations. But in reality, taking into account how people actually choose passwords (even ignoring the whole "password" and "123456" problem!) the actual diversity is more on the order of 10^9. Same here. You think using dice removes the human factor. omg do you underestimate humans!

Comment: yes, they are (Score 1) 147

by Tom (#49348935) Attached to: Many Password Strength Meters Are Downright Weak, Researchers Say

In fact, they're ridiculous. I've given a couple presentations on password strength, and password meters are to password strength what the TSA is for air travel security - a better-than-nothing baseline approach that is mostly for show.

The problem is that we have nothing better to offer at this time, even though most security experts agree that passwords are a solution whose time is over.

Comment: ethics (Score 2) 155

by Tom (#49348881) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

For example when faced with the decision to crash into a pedestrian or another vehicle carrying a family, it would be a challenge for a self-driving car to follow the same moral reasoning a human would in the situation

Or maybe it would follow better moral reasoning. Ours is not perfect, it's just whatever evolution came up with that gave us the best species survival rates. That doesn't mean it's really the most ethical solution.
For example, in a post-feminist society, let's assume for arguments sake that gender discrimination has been overcome, wouldn't we also do away with "women and children first" - which is a suitable survival approach in a species fighting for survival in the african prairie, but hardly for the dominant species that already is overpopulated.

Comment: Re:Animal House (Score 4, Insightful) 759

by Tom (#49318303) Attached to: A Software Project Full of "Male Anatomy" Jokes Causes Controversy

There is no right to create a hostile working environment for women.

You are right. There's no reason to make boob-grabbing a sport at work, or install under-table cameras and post the up-skirt shots in the Intranet. There's no reason to announce publicly the menstruation periods of every girl in the office, or enforce a dresscode that ignores female anatomy. Definitely sex should not be a condition for promotion, and meetings should not start with blowjob requests, made in order of beauty to the attending women. Likewise, putting a single toilet for women into the basement while having men toilets everywhere.

Oh wait, you were talking about a software joke project on some random Internet site that nobody is forced to visit or even know about? Yeah, that definitely is the dictionary case for "hostile working environment".

the entire back office being papered over with pinups

That's absolutely the same as a random Internet site that nobody... why am I wasting my time here, a monkey would see the difference.

Comment: cry baby (Score 1) 759

by Tom (#49318261) Attached to: A Software Project Full of "Male Anatomy" Jokes Causes Controversy

Let's live in a perfectly politically correct world where our jokes, every sentence we speak and every message we write is controlled by the thought police.

And I say that as someone who was bullied at school. But here's the point: There's harassment, which has a victim and there's jokes about a class the size of half the worlds population and either you are incredibly insecure or unbelievably egomaniac to consider yourself the individual target.

Every real woman I've met in my life laughs about jokes that ridicule women in general the same way that I laugh about jokes where guys in general are the target. These jokes are funny exactly because they contain a piece of truth.

Everything, taken to extremes, is evil. That includes feminism, no-harassment policies and political correctness. No, wait. That last one is evil from the start.

Comment: Re:simple opinion (Score 1) 319

by Tom (#49304685) Attached to: Why I Choose PostgreSQL Over MySQL/MariaDB

Firstly, the general feeling that Postgres is engineered and designed and not cobbled together.

Secondly, support for non-trivial SQL is just a lot better. For a forum or simple application, MySQL is fine by language, but if you get into the more tricky SQL, it will fail you much sooner.

Thirdly, schemas, views, stored procedures the whole environment around the tables is so much more refined and powerful. Not that it's easy to say "MySQL cannot do this" - there's usually some hack or roundabout way in which it can do it, but in Postgres you don't need the hacks.

And it seems to me that it's so much clearer and better to do serials and foreign keys and all that. In MySQL it always felt to me like everything that's not trivial was added on, by someone else than the last feature. Postgres is just much more consistent in its approach.

Oh yes, and it does GIS. And blobs (properly). And UTF (properly). I just feel a lot more comfortable throwing everything at it and not thinking "will it handle it?" all the time.

Comment: simple opinion (Score 1) 319

by Tom (#49300321) Attached to: Why I Choose PostgreSQL Over MySQL/MariaDB

I've used MySQL for almost 20 years for different projects of mine. In my professional life, I've also used ADABAS, Oracle and this and that other.

I was interested in Postgres some years ago but never went beyond reading one book. Then two years ago I decided to start a new project with Postgres from the start, because I wanted PostGIS.

I'm not looking back. Every future project I do will always use Postgres. Aside from the technical and functional and other rational arguments, the feeling you get is like graduating from BASIC to a real programming language.

Comment: Re:and what will happen to people automated out of (Score 1) 341

by Tom (#49300287) Attached to: Musk Says Drivers May Become Obsolete, Announces Juice-Saving Upgrades

the benefits of increased productivity per worker haven't been shared by the workers for 40 years.

This. In the 60s and 70s there was this shared vision of what creative and scientific progress mankind could make when freed from most of the boring busywork that many jobs are.

Then a non-conspiracy(*) decided "what if we just pocket all that profit instead and instead of being just very rich become super-filthy mega rich?"

(*) most cases where people see conspiracies actually are not, they are just cases where the interests of people or groups of people align so nicely that they don't even need to make a conspiracy to act as if they had.

Comment: Re:I'm one of those engineers... (Score 2) 341

by Tom (#49300251) Attached to: Musk Says Drivers May Become Obsolete, Announces Juice-Saving Upgrades

How many lines of code does it take to reliably and safely detect the lane markings of a road?

As you are from this area, I'm sure you already know what I'm about to say, but maybe you have an answer:

The goal is not 100% detection rate. The goal is a detection rate that is equal to or better than that of most human drivers. I've driven roads where the line markings were so difficult to see (maybe just in the particular conditions of that day) that it was more a matter of guessing than actual detection.

So what is the detection rate of human drivers? Probably much lower than intuition would make us think, because we are very good and fast and automated in using other cues as well, and in many cases don't actually look for the lane markings, we "know" from other input where they are supposed to be and basically just check now and then if they really are or something is wrong.

Yes, it's a hard problem, and the more we do in the field of computer vision the more we understand just how amazing human vision is, but it is also full of bugs and problems, so the target is not perfection.

Comment: Why no 6.6 KwH charging for the 2nd gen Volt? (Score 1) 229

I have read that the stock reply is that half the owners only use L1 charging; 120v. What about providing the option to the others who would prefer faster charging? Most pay chargers charge by time used which really makes the cost to charge a Volt not a good deal

Comment: Re:greedy liar (Score 1) 451

by Tom (#49291383) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

what happens to the taxi drivers

The same thing that happened to the ice cutters, coffee bean sorters, switch board operators and hundreds of other obsolete jobs.

I've never met a taxi driver who would qualify to go to engineering school or become a programmer or some such.

There are lots of jobs for people without higher education. When we reach the development level where everything that unqualified people can do is being done by robots, we can also give everyone a home and food and other shit for free.

So in your world where the sharing economy reigns supreme,

And I thought I just called the CEO of one of those "sharing economy" companies a greedy liar. I'm not a fan of this new buzzword, and frankly speaking half of it is scams. But if we're talking about cars, Lyft and Uber are not the future and I'm surprised people pump billions into them when their business will be obsolete in ten years. They really expect an ROI so quickly?

Comment: Re:Close but here is my take. (Score 1) 451

by Tom (#49291323) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

Because if a cabbie can't keep their taxi clean, what makes you think the average person will too?

Maybe that's a thing in your area? With a single exception, all the car-sharing cars I've used for the past few years have been fine and on the level of taxis except for a little more dirt on the floor (and only the floor).

more commodity like cars

Thanks to the used car market, the price of buying a car is not the problem. The cost and hassle of maintaining one is. If you don't need a car every day, it's simply not worth it.

You are false data.