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Comment Re:Does it affect functionality at all? (Score 1) 570

Most of us work in situations where data is either privileged from a business perspective or legally protected. Even if actual private data is not being collected, patterns and routines can steal lead to actionable leaks. In as much as we expect to remain competitive and work within the law, potentially this does effect functionality.

Comment Re:On the Morton-Thiokol test range (Score 1) 320

Not the original naysayer, but I can answer those questions. I'll do half so others can prove their own inside info.

1) Charlie Murphy, self-taught electronics genius, designed nearly all the DIDACS hardware that plugged into the NEFF. So mostly likely him, working with Mark Momcilovich on the software side.

2) Doug Sprout, because it was on the PDP and not on Leonard's SEL system - but I don't know which PDP, probably Ernest?

If you were there, you'll know who I am by my slashdot username. :)

Comment Nice Feynman reference (Score 1) 235

Idiot Xians believe the Bible is infallible in detail, when the majority merely believes that it is a powerful, meaningful book that can lead to insight regarding both moral behavior and the history of the Jewish people and the Judeo-Christian faiths.

Idiot Buddhists worship Buddha as a deity, and idiot Jains don't understand the nature of atheistic religion, and idiot Jews think that all Xians are alike in their beliefs, and idiot atheists think that atheism is fundamentally incompatible with all religion. Idiot agnostics don't know what "agnostic" means (but they still come out the least idiotic in the idiot sweepstakes).

If you want the minimum number of idiots around you, join a Unitarian Universalist church. But sadly you'll find that "minimum number" does not actually equate to "zero."

Comment Re:not very Apple-like to give your OS to all OEMs (Score 1) 180

The reason one uses iPhone is that you use the Apple stack of services. The reason one uses Android is that one uses the Google stack of services. Apple you pay for storage. Google scans your email to sell ads. Google has not updated the office application in years. On an iOS you have office applications from Apple, from MS, from several vendors. Not to mention a pretty good exchange client. You can buy music from anywhere to play on either device. If you are dumb enough to buy copy protected music, that is a personal problem. Video is still locked in, but again, if you buy video that is locked into a device, that again is a personal problem. There is no real reason, other than the preferred supplier of services, to choose one type of phone over the other. However, we do remember that the Nexus One was a failure and those who bought one were left in the lurch, which is one thing Google does. It really has not competency at end user support. In fact, most people don't buy an Android phone, they buy a Samsung, if they can afford one. In fact Apple and Samsung are the only firms making money off phones, and have 40% of the market. Most of the 60% of the market is buying an Android phone because it is free or nearly free, and don't really care who makes it because the don't have the money to pay for a phone or services. Which can work for Google because they are an advertising and marketing company, and the should be able to monetize end user data. Which is to say if they make a Nexus which is free, they could knock out most of the competition. But if they want to pay real money for a phone that is simply going to be used to mine my data, then they can go screw themselves.

Comment Re:On the Morton-Thiokol test range (Score 1) 320

As I remember it, Boisjoly and a couple other engineers told their management "if you launch lives will be lost." The Mormons (which is what we called corporate upper management after Morton Salt bought out Thiokol) called NASA and said "our engineers say you mustn't launch" to which the NASA boys replied "we know what we are doing, don't worry about it". The Mormons told the engineering staff "we talked to NASA, they say it's OK, they will launch". Boisjoly, believing that the Salt Boys (another nickname for corporate) hadn't conveyed the severity of the situation to NASA, then called NASA himself and said "if you launch lives will be lost". At which point NASA said "sure, sure, thanks for calling" and then immediately called the Salt Jockeys and said "You have a loose cannon and you need to tie it down immediately, shut this asshole up". Then they launched and killed seven astronauts, which ruined the President's speech celebrating the first teacher in space, but luckily Peggy Noonan was able to quickly plagiarize John Magee's poem High Flight to provide a new speech in response to the disaster.

Of course it was a long time ago, but that's how I remember it going down. I was working at the Elkton plant, so I wasn't directly involved with shuttle SRBs.

Comment Re:Tiny? (Score 2) 165

The tolerance on Legos are really good. I have done activities where kids have practice mechanical drawing by measuring and modeling Legos, and I could often could not measure a difference between block using a really good caliper. This tolerance is very believable. From what I can tell, a normal $5,000 3d printer has a resolution of 100 to 1000 times this. I would think that a 3d printer with a 50 micron resolution would provide acceptable parts, but that may be getting to $10k. I know there are some sub 1 micron printers, which is what is needed, but that is 100K. Legos are awesome, and I just am annoyed that they mostly come in pre packaged promotional units and 500 pieces to play with are not so common.

Comment Cameras are so, so tiny these days (Score 4, Insightful) 234

You cannot physically enforce security of code sources you are allowing people to see - unless you are going to have them work entirely naked, under constant physical observation, with full body cavity searches every time they enter or leave the workroom.

Hire someone trustworthy, pay them well, and have them work on-site. That is the path to success. Anything else is almost guaranteed to create the situation you're trying to avoid; paranoia breeds dissent and distrust breeds subterfuge.

Comment Depends on what you mean by bright (Score 1) 238

I did learn to program around 10 or 11, but i really needed a physical model until I was around 13, and did not do any independent programming until I was 14. The thing with math and programming is that it is algorithmic, and rules that are enforced must more loosely in life are enforced rather more precisely. This is difficult to get across to a kid who is still focused on testing boundaries rather than accepting limits. For example recently I had a kid tell me that the computer was broken because he could not set a password when in fact the problem was that he was testing limits and refusing to comply with the clearly stated password policy. He had not yet learned that computers are algorithmic. I think for most ten years old learning to do math and code is the goal. Just remember that doing math is not necessarily symbols manipulation and coding is not necessarily typing on a computer. This was a benefit of my education. Computer time was expensive enough that we had to have an algorithm before we coded. So buy toys where math happens. For instance a scale where equations are balanced. A robot where things have to be specified and calculated, where the right wheel is held still for a left turn.

Comment employees? (Score 1) 85

I know that this tracking and data analysis is only used to verify customer complaints, but I wonder why a complaint against a contract worker needs to be verified? If I am an employee, then there the firm that employs me not only has real costs associated with me but also has laws they need to comply with before terminating me. However, with a contract worker there are fewer costs and no laws preventing with termination. If we believe in the Uber model, driver should be terminated as quickly as possible so that the driving pool is as constantly good as possible. After all, one cited issue with the traditional cab industry is that it encourages bad drivers because incumbent practices protect bad drivers. That Uber now seems to think of drivers as employees to be protected shows a fast evolution to the cab model.

As an employee, there is strict time enforcement, there are rules on paperwork, and even behavior. As a contract worker, I was never micromanaged. No one every bugged my computer, or demanded detailed records. If I was not getting work done then the contract was terminated. It was that simple. If I am a contract worker being treated as an employee would not seem to be very fair and counterproductive.

Submission + - Dridex Banking Malware Adds a New Trick

itwbennett writes: The Dridex banking malware has proven to be resilient despite law enforcement action last year by the U.S. and U.K. that took down part of its network. And now it's got a new trick. IBM's X-Force researchers have found that the latest version of Dridex uses a technique known as DNS cache poisoning to direct victims asking for a legitimate banking website to a fake site. Dridex's operators have created clones of the websites of 13 U.K. banks, which are used in the attacks.

Submission + - Detailed Seafloor Gravity Map Brings the Earth's Surface Into Sharp Focus (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: Not so long ago the ocean floor was as unknown as the far side of the Moon. Now, an international team of scientists is using satellite data to chart the deep ocean by measuring the Earth's gravitational field. The result is a new, highly-detailed map that covers the three-quarters of the Earth's surface that lies underwater. The map is already providing new insights into global geology.

Submission + - U.S. Army Automated Airdrops Experimenting With Image Recognition Instead Of GPS (thestack.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. Army’s Joint Precision Airdrop System (JPADS) is trialling new technology which uses a satellite relay to guide unmanned drops more accurately to their target, by comparing what they see in descent to commercial satellite imagery of the terrain. Three thousand casualties occurred in Afghanistan in 2007 due to troops trying to retrieve dropped consignments which strayed into enemy territory or down the sides of mountains in rough terrain.

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