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Comment: Don't rely on users at all (Score 1) 951

by thadmiller (#31316956) Attached to: How Do You Get Users To Read Error Messages?

If you can manage it, don't rely on users at all.

This won't work for everyone, but as a medium sized company with its internal software being a web-service, we have the system email errors to ourselves (developers). Perhaps it's a waste of bandwidth and my mailbox, but the benefits outweigh the cost - dramatically.

Doing this, you have the error message within your grasps, and rarely have to rely on users to tell you what they did wrong. It also gives use the ability to quickly recognize any bugs that make it into the system. Of course it's not 100% foolproof, but it has REALLY helped us, since you absolutely cannot count on the user to do the right thing, read the right thing, or pay attention to anything.

Comment: Re:He's not really "on call" (Score 2, Insightful) 735

by thadmiller (#30274850) Attached to: Should You Be Paid For Being On Call?

If the guy FTA agreed to "whatever" to not be unemployed, then he needs to live with the consequences, force a contract renewal, or look for a new job.

That said, I don't think you can equate what he's doing to a plumber, lawn mowing guy, electrician, mechanic, etc. Inferring from his comments, Dazed and Confused is working 40 hrs/week and getting paid for it, but then he's on call 24/7 without any type of reimbursement (not only no pay for being "on call", but also no compensation for work performed "after hours"). If you paid your auto-mechanic for 40 hours of work, do you expect him to be at your beck and call, no matter the day or time, and expect service without further payment? If someone manages to convince any of these "use you when I need you" people to work on this basis, they are one hell of a salesman.

Comment: Zero blame on the woman? (Score 0, Troll) 645

by thadmiller (#30193596) Attached to: Facebook Photos Lead To Cancellation of Quebec Woman's Insurance

I am not defending the money-grubbing insurance company(ies) or the way health insurance works in North America, but what about the responsibilities of this woman and/or her doctor(s)?

According to the article, she's been on long term disability for a year and a half. This isn't a case of a person working, while the insurance company refuses to pay medical bills. No, this woman has been on long term disability (by it's very definition meaning you are not able to perform your job) - and while she takes off work for 18 months from IBM (a large enough company that should have plenty of options for limited functionality), she's going to parties, going on vacation, etc, etc, and continuing to collect a (pay)check.

I am not a lawyer, I am not a doctor, I don't know this person, I don't work for IBM, I don't have any affiliation with any health insurance company (other than being a "customer" myself), but the woman has already talked to a lawyer, and the amount of press she's already getting worries me that there will be a large settlement and lengthy legal proceedings, and guess where that money comes from... other insurance payers and taxpayers.

And this woman's defense is that she doesn't know how the insurance company accessed her photos that she posted on the Internet... come on.

Comment: Re:Linkstation Pro Duo (Score 3, Interesting) 697

by thadmiller (#29866021) Attached to: Low-Power Home Linux Server?

I'd like to second the Buffalo Linkstation solution. The LS-XHL model has a 1.2 GHz ARM CPU, 256MB RAM, and the 1 TB model is available from NewEgg for around $220 (they also make a 1.5 TB and 2 TB). I did have to take the drive out and hook it up to a desktop running Ubuntu for part of the install, but I didn't need to solder anything. I have Debian Lenny running on the NAS with AMP, Samba, OpenSSH, Webmin, and TorrentFlux for normal operation. I also have LXDE accessed via TightVNC with various desktop apps (aMule, gtk-gnutella, etc).

End result is a $220 box, with a 1 TB drive, using approximately 15-watts that sits quietly on a shelf, and does everything I want.

+ - Comcast's war on infected PCs (or all customers)->

Submitted by thadmiller
thadmiller (1435871) writes "

Comcast is launching a trial on Thursday of a new automated service that will warn broadband customers of possible virus infections, if the computers are behaving as if they have been compromised by malware.

For instance, a significant overnight spike in traffic being sent from a particular Internet Protocol address could signal that a computer is infected with a virus taking control of the system and using it to send spam as part of a botnet.

Pick your ride — we have the Comcast haters bandwagon — and on the other side, the spam haters bandwagon."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Um, Duh! (Score 0) 404

by thadmiller (#29610855) Attached to: Americans Don't Want Targeted Ads

You are probably in the same boat as 99% of the population - ads suck, ads are annoying, ads are intrusive, etc, etc. And 99.9% of the remaining population is probably not interested in the ad even if they're not annoyed. But the remaining 0.001% is a $190 billion industry in the US alone. To quote an above post, marketers just don't give a rat's ass.

Comment: Re:The reasons for SSL (Score 1) 432

by thadmiller (#28838615) Attached to: Security Certificate Warnings Don't Work

>Somehow, I doubt that would make you happy.

Actually that would make me happy. In cases where a self-signed cert would be used, I wouldn't give a crap what the users think... I'm simply wanting to send a piece of information without it being open to a 13-year old learning how to use Wireshark.

But today's browsers are throwing out the perception that no encryption is fine (the only time you even get a warning, is when you go from an encrypted page to an unencrypted page), a purchased certificate is "locked", but anything in between looks like someone is hacking into your computer.

Comment: Re:The reasons for SSL (Score 2, Insightful) 432

by thadmiller (#28835671) Attached to: Security Certificate Warnings Don't Work
Yes, what you say is true; however, the fact remains that even a self signed cert encrypted site is more secure than a site with all data sent clear text. Call it minimally more, if you want, but no encryption is less secure than self-signed encryption, but all browsers scream, yell, and throw a fit. And as the parent alluded to, we're not all programming bank web sites.

Comment: Re:The "understood" security risks (Score 1) 531

by thadmiller (#28186213) Attached to: Internet Explorer 6 Will Not Die
As a designer/developer, I completely agree with this post; you must be proactive while you have the chance. Parent states...

nobody will admit that it's a disaster and a $1 million+ mistake

We all know it can be quite painful updating old code or code that was written by people who shouldn't even be using a computer, but how many millions of $ will be lost when IE6 is not an option? And now your company is not painfully upgrading, it's down.

If you have a procedure with 10 parameters, you probably missed some.

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