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Comment: Is that unreasonable? (Score 2) 24

by phantomfive (#48229611) Attached to: High Speed Evolution

the height of an average American man would increase from about 5 foot 9 inches today to about 6 foot 4 inches within 20 generations — an increase that would make the average U.S. male the height of an NBA shooting guard,

Is that unreasonable? If there were evolutionary pressure (ie, short people kept being killed before reproducing), and tall people got multiple mates, I could see this change happening within twenty generations. Twenty generations is enough for two people to repopulate large countries, or even the entire earth if they have large families.

Comment: Re:Why so high? (Score 1) 194

by Kjella (#48229563) Attached to: Passwords: Too Much and Not Enough

You can do a lot tighter security with a three-level design unless you very deliberately design the sanity checking into the database logic. For example say you're designing a online bank client, it may in theory show every transaction of every account as every user may in theory be logged in at some point. But if you've logged in as user X and rooted the web server and can query any view or call any procedure that returns data from any other user than X then you have a huge security problem.

In theory I guess you can solve it through the login procedure giving you a session ID, that session ID is used as input to every procedure and everything is validated in SQL on the database server on every procedure before returning any data, but it sounds inconvenient. Not to mention you'd like a little more to happen than just not return data, you'd want some pretty big red lights to go off if user A starts querying on B's account numbers.

That and a lot more lockdown since you know exactly what requests the web server should be sending to the middleware server, you control both sides of the communication, you don't have to deal with all the formatting and navigation and whatnot and got a fairly limited core that you can do security review on. Sounds like good defense in depth to me.

Comment: Re:IBM no longer a tech company? (Score 1) 125

by Alomex (#48229157) Attached to: Ballmer Says Amazon Isn't a "Real Business"

It is easy to post growing sales if your profits are zero. The hard part is to have a growing business that actually makes money on each sales. Every time they seem to have gained traction on a market (like books) they seem to negate it by offering incentives such as Amazon prime. T

hey have yet to prove that they can sell products at operating costs+3% on an ongoing basis.

+ - Yosemite Wi-Fi Problems

Submitted by Capt.Albatross
Capt.Albatross (1301561) writes "Sophos' Naked Security blog is reporting that some users of Apple's OSX 10.10 (Yosemite) operating system are having problems with wi-fi: "Your network works fine for a while, typically between about 30 seconds and five minutes, and then fairly abruptly begins to suffer almost total traffic loss. The network shows up as active, and low-level packets such as PINGs can be sent and received as normal. But traffic such as UDP and TCP just doesn't get through."

Apple's own Support Community has much discussion, and some proposed workarounds, but no definite explanation or solution appears to have emerged yet."

Comment: Re:The ACLU is busy with real rights violations (Score 1) 127

by CanHasDIY (#48229005) Attached to: CHP Officers Steal, Forward Nude Pictures From Arrestee Smartphones

Like the time the ACLU fought for the KKK's right to protest on the courthouse steps? Or rather, are you making a snap judgement based on a preconceived notion you got not from your own research into the organization, but from some media outlet?

My guess, the latter.

Comment: Re: Did they make money on Surface? (Score 2) 97

No, that's not a correct statement. The indirect costs may not be specifically for a specific Surface unit, but the Surface division does have indirect costs that are specifically its own costs. This means that there are, indeed, indirect costs that are specifically Surface's. The Surface factory pays rent, taxes, electricity and utility. These are all indirect costs, and they are all specifically for Surface.

And parts of the general overhead should also reasonably be allocated to that line, if you run a Surface ad that should probably be specific indirect cost but if you have a stand at a conference promoting all your products then a fraction of that cost should probably be considered Surface marketing costs. All companies do some form of internal cost assignment that is more detailed than what the official accounting practices gives you but since they're easy to manipulate they won't show them to investors as you could easily be sued over giving a false impression of the profitability of one particular product or service.

What's worse when it comes to investment decisions is that even if the costs are properly allocated - a very big topic in itself, particular for example what costs employee time, equipment time, equipment wear, storage or use of consumables instead of direct expenses - is that cutting one product line won't necessarily cut the allocated costs. A textbook example is a chicken farm where you sell chickens breasts, legs and wings. Even if you find out the wings aren't profitable through the cost allocation, it's pretty hard to make chickens with no wings so dropping the product wouldn't actually cut the costs, just force a re-allocation.

Another fun part of this is the impact dropping some products or services can have on others, for example say you run a grocery store and find that selling milk is really making you no money all, in fact you're losing a bit. But if you tried to cut milk from the store, you'd find a lot of customers start shopping elsewhere. It's amazing how many companies have fallen into this trap by cutting auxiliary non-profitable products only to find they were necessary to make the profitable sales. Or in other areas like public transportation, if they cut the off-hour lines people buy a car and use that instead of the bus altogether.

It's not all bean counting 101, like in tech there actually are complex interrelations in business too. Most of it isn't rocket science but if you use too simplistic models it might fall flat on its face in reality. The GAAP figures they publish for the stock market are not made for detail, they're made for being correct and comparable which highly limit their depth because they don't want to give companies the degrees of freedom to manipulate the numbers. Trying to accurately say how a small product is really doing in a big company's books is actually very, very hard.

Comment: Slidebox Bob (Score 2) 38

by epine (#48228353) Attached to: Google Search Finally Adds Information About Video Games

Google didn't do this to make the gamers happy. They did it to make the non gamers happy, because video game culture is ladden with a rich and repurposed vocabulary that constantly shows up when people don't want to see video games in their search results.

They have to recognize games in order to remove games. Once they've gone that far, throwing up a positive infobox is Slidebox Bob.

Comment: Re: Packages can't be removed? (Score 3, Informative) 103

by Kjella (#48228171) Attached to: OwnCloud Dev Requests Removal From Ubuntu Repos Over Security Holes

The universe repository is not supported by Ubuntu. There are four sections:

Main - Officially supported software.
Restricted - Supported software that is not available under a completely free license.
Universe - Community maintained software, i.e. not officially supported software.
Multiverse - Software that is not free.

So someone in the "community" once made an ownCloud package, got it in universe and isn't maintaining it. Ubuntu is saying "that's not ours, you fix it" while the developers are saying "that's not ours, you fix it" and they're both making valid arguments. Ubuntu is saying the quality of the universe packages is what the community makes of it, if it's broken or vulnerable it stays that way until the community provides a fixed version. Otherwise they'd get overrun by lazy packagers who get it into the release repository then orphan it and ditch the maintenance responsibility on Ubuntu. If the developers won't jump through the hoops to fix it then it can't be that important to them.

The developers of course see it differently, they never asked for their software to be put in this repository. They never broke it, why should they fix it? Clearly they're a victim here. Still, just because you're a victim there might still be a process. If you send an angry mail to YouTube saying "Hey you bastards, stop sharing my video kthxbye" they might redirect you to say here's the report copyright violation form, fill this out and we'll process it and you go "Nuh uh, too much work and I already told you stop so stop already." you won't get far. And Ubuntu is legally in the clear here, if they want to keep shipping that package they can. It's a request, not a demand.

"It is easier to fight for principles than to live up to them." -- Alfred Adler

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