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Comment: Re:A bit???? (Score 5, Insightful) 157

by tlhIngan (#48213993) Attached to: Austin Airport Tracks Cell Phones To Measure Security Line Wait

No, the privacy implications of this are downright creepy. Because the most unsettling thing is governments and corporations feel they have a right to this information.

And, it's not like you can opt out .. unless you simply don't fly.

And, then what does Cisco et al do with this information? Oh, right, sell it for profit.


Well, I fail to see how people taking note of information that you're basically shouting out loud to everyone around you can be considered creepy.

I mean, you phone is basically saying "Hi I'm John Smith the <48 bit MAC ID> and I'm looking for WiFi, anyone offering some?" over and over again.

So you're saying it's not right for someone to overhear it and write that down? "I just heard a John Smith out there".

You must be real fun at parties when people overhear your conversations.

Comment: Re:G+? (Score 1) 159

by tlhIngan (#48213909) Attached to: Ello Formally Promises To Remain Ad-Free, Raises $5.5M

Well, it must see some traffic ... I see a lot of users posting here on Slashdot which apparently authenticate as their Google+ users.

Using Google+ for authentication (really, just using your Google Account) is different from using your G+ account as a social network account.

You can use Facebook to log in to a lot of services as well, but that's not really "using" Facebook because you're not doing anything with what Facebook offers. You're just telling a website that you are who you say you are.

Hell, some sites even let you use Twitter to log in.

It's really a more fancy version of single-sign-on than anything. You could use your Google account (which is the same as a G+ account), Facebook, Twitter, etc as your online credentials.

Comment: Re:Dear Canada.... (Score 1) 519

by tlhIngan (#48204535) Attached to: Shooting At Canadian Parliament

I think today's the day Harper is about to ram his CSIS spying power bill through Parliament, as well. You know, the one that's increasing the ability of CSIS to spy domestically.

Even though the two soldiers who were run over were already well known. They already have the power being enacted (the ability to keep sources secret - a power they've actually never invoked, either),

Heck, one could argue it's to justify it all...

Comment: Re:backup for 911 (Score 1) 115

by tlhIngan (#48204239) Attached to: Software Glitch Caused 911 Outage For 11 Million People

It actually is as part of 911-NG (next generation) which is meant to better handle next-generation telephony systems as well. Right now cellphones and VoIP 911 is more of a hack than anything in the current system, while the next-gen system switches to a completely VoIP (over a private network) system with failover and tagging and all that.

So the next-gen system will allow 911 to be contacted in many ways, including texts and SMS, VoIP (both private and internet), POTS, cellphones and all sorts of other mechanisms. And support for metadata is better, so GPS location information is available to everything (right now positional information is a hack for cellphones and non-existent for VoIP which often relies on just sending the subscriber's address info).

And load balancing as well - a center can go down and its calls get switched transparently to another center to take the excess with all the information the local center had being displayed as well (it's metadata is forwarded with the call).

Of course, it's supposed to only be deployed in a few year's time because it's a massive overhaul - it's going from circuit switched (POTS primary) to a packet switched (POTS secondary, but compatible) network and all that.

Comment: Re:PowerPoint on a Server? (Score 1) 111

by tlhIngan (#48204055) Attached to: Windows 0-Day Exploited In Ongoing Attacks

Really? Who installs PowerPoint on the server? Cause you are gonna be all like, hold up let me unrack this server and connect a projector to it...right.

If your process involves generating Office, documents, it's generally the easiest way. The server automation tools for generation of Office documents are basically scripts and wrappers around.... Office. So if you want to generate some report that spits out an Excel file at the end, you can bet it was generated in Excel the first time around because the reporting tool actually called Excel to fill in the fields.

This can also apply to tools that email documents to users in the specified format - especially if it's to watermark a presentation or something.

Comment: Re:It would be interesting (Score 1) 121

by tlhIngan (#48203997) Attached to: Xerox Alto Source Code Released To Public

It would be fairly fast, but the graphics part was a bit overstated. The Alto didn't support overlapping windows (Wozniak, who did the overlapping windows implementation on MacOS, later found that out after he did (and patented) regions (and after his plane accident).).

Given the Alto was the inspiration for MacOS (and Apple did license the idea from Xerox by giving them stock), I wonder how many other things we thought the Alto had, but it really lacked.

Comment: Re:Shipping companies.... (Score 1) 129

by tlhIngan (#48203677) Attached to: The Future of Stamps

2) Easier to use for one off jobs, where you have one letter. 3) They envision ending/greatly reducing the physical stamp program. This will piss off the collectors a lot.

The reason for the stamp is because the post office cannot control entry points into the system - i.e., they have "mailboxes" to which users of the system can deposit pre-paid mail. The stamp is the pre-paid part of it.

To do so with FedEx or UPS, you either have equipment to generate the labels for you where you pay for it when you make the labels and the package enters their system (similar to how the post office sells franking machines to do the same thing). Or you go to a store and they take the money right there (like a post office).

The stamp is only there because of mailboxes which can currently not check to see if a valid fee is paid.

Considering if the post office wants to do this for one-offs, it's probably easier to just have them sell a barcoded printed stamp you affix and they can scan to determine if it's still valid or if it's been used. They can do this online and the user just prints out the barcode.

So what exactly does this do again? Other than cost more money to do?

Comment: Re:Why not just swim? (Score 2) 44

by tlhIngan (#48199459) Attached to: The Bogus Batoid Submarine is Wooden, not Yellow (Video)

With all the extra mass of the ship, is this really more efficient than just strapping on some flippers?

At this stage it just looks like a special-interest art project, or a sculpture you can sit in. Video of it being used in more than 1 metre of water would make this more interesting.

Wet subs aren't new, and they can be far more efficient because the shape can be much more hydrodynamic than the human body, thus eliminating excess energy expenditure. They can also be used to haul more tanks around, or rearrange your tank to be more streamlined.

Wet subs ain't new, even human powered ones. They've come in all configurations as well - from ones where the diver is just sitting out to ones with canopies. Usually they're for really small torpedo subs, but there are wet subs used by the military that are meant to carry 3-4 SEALs.

Comment: Re:Wonder what brand is best now... Intel? (Score 4, Interesting) 100

by tlhIngan (#48199407) Attached to: Samsung Acknowledges and Fixes Bug On 840 EVO SSDs

I'd rather go with stable than EXTREME, so I go with Intel. It might not be the fastest around, but we rarely hear about Intel SSD problems.

For SATA SSDs, there's no more extreme. All modern SSDs saturate a SATA-3 bus. If you wonder why they all benchmark at 540MB/sec reads and writes, that's why - SATA is the bottleneck, not the SSD.

PCIe SSDs are where the "extreme" ones go, and even the most conservative ones are pretty damn fast - the old MacBook Air's SSD clocks in at 750MB/sec read and write. I think the newer ones can hit 1GB/'sec now easy.

As for what to buy, well, Samsung, Intel and Toshiba are the general safe bets. Even with this bug, Samsung is still stable, just slow.

Intel's got a history of failure as well, but they seem to have gotten beyond it, and while they're not stunners, they generally are solid.

Toshiba's on the slower end of the scale, but Apple uses them, so they can't be TOO bad.

And yes, I say Apple, but you can see what Dell uses as well. The big OEMs that ship lots of units will generally pick ones that give the least warranty and support issues and thus are more conservative. Plus, recalls are expensive.

If you want to follow someone - pick Apple. Given the way news coverage is, if there's a problem with someone somewhere and their SSD in their Apple product, the whole world would know in a nanosecond. Someone as heavily scrutitinized as Apple (where even one failure in millions of computers sold would probably bring about SSD-gate) means if there is a real problem, you'd already know.

Comment: Re:All the movies had women in business (Score 0) 755

by tlhIngan (#48199329) Attached to: NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

Instead, I spend plenty of time in meetings, coordinating with fellow programmers, working through issues like their code sucks (and for some reason I can't figure out, they think my code sucks), strange emotional attachments they feel towards Visual Studio (even though it costs over $10000 for the full version). And that's only fellow programmers......figuring out what customers, management, vendors all want is another issue (and it's important).

You obviously are in a "software engineering" position, when you really want a "code monkey" position where you're just handed the task, you code it up and submit it.

Just get yourself demoted, you'll have to take a pay cut, but them's the breaks - once you start rising in rank, your need to interact with others increases. Why? So those below you don't!

And if you're in such a fortunate position, you have to realize that coding is one seriously annoying part of the job. Yes, I do all the meetings and all that, and I give most of the coding jobs to others underneath me. It's called delegating.

Hell, try it sometime - once you learn to delegate and trust people, you can do what I like - assign the crummy tasks you don't want to do to someone else :).

And yes, it's also meant I've had to give up many interesting tasks as well - all in the name of efficiency. I don't want to be the bottleneck, so I have to know to give up those tasks too.

Yes, I said coding was getting annoying - because the more fun part of the job ends up being the problem solving part. Seeing the problem, devising a solution that's not only implementable, but also minimizing risk, and then decomposing the solution into tasks that can be mapped to the appropriate programmer with the appropriate skill.

Heck, I even try to minimize the amount of code I have to write.

Comment: Re:Sounding another death knell for cable companie (Score 5, Informative) 126

by tlhIngan (#48196881) Attached to: Your Online TV Watching Can Now Be Tracked Across Devices

I don't mind analytics in general, but don't assume that they will help rescue your favorite show by proving that there is a big following. Managers will just slice and dice the analytics until it "proves" that the show doesn't have a big enough viewership to continue.

Even worse, it doesn't matter if 10,000,000 watch a show.

The Neilson numbers come in several forms. The ones you see daily are called "Live and Same Day" (L+SD), which counts views that watched the show live and within 24 hours of airing. Other numbers you can easily find are Live+3 days (L+3) and Live+7 (L+7).

But none of those numbers are actually used by anyone. That's why Neilson gives them out for free. No one's paying for that information, nor will they ever. And that's not where they make their money.

The real money is in the C3 number, or if you're CBS, you convinced advertisers to take C7 numbers. What are these? They're commercial ratings (for programming watched live to 3 days later). Basically you take the L3/L7 numbers, strip out the numbers while the program is showing, and you're left with just the numbers related to the advertising. And that's the number that makes Neilson money and the number stations pay money for. And yes, you skip ads on your DVR, which pull down those C3 numbers because it lowers the viewers for the advertising.

And that's because the largest source of income is advertising. Sure they get some through cable fees and Hulu and iTunes/Amazon/DVD etc. sales, but that's a tiny fraction of advertising.

CBS managed this season to convince advertisers to pay the C7 rate rather than C3, because well, it more accurately reflects today's lifestyle of people who record a show and watch it later in the week.

And that's all that matters. It doesn't matter if you can find 100,000,000 people to watch a show - if it's not reflected in those 100,000,000 people watching the ads.

It also brings up cord cutters who prefer to download their TV programming from torrents and such - as far as the industry is concerned, they don't care because those people don't add to advertising ratings.

Even under the new system - the new system just means that Neilson can more accurately measure their ratings, but if you're not watching the ads, it means jack squat to the producers.

So that super popular show people pirate? Guess what, the TV industry really doesn't care - you never were a "customer" and it doesn't matter if only 1M people watched it on TV while 100M people watched it off torrents - if those 1M people can't justify the ad rates and production costs, it's getting canned. The 100M other people? Too f'in bad - if it was that good, they should've watched it with ads.

If you ever wondered why worrying over TV piracy has subsided, that's one reason (who cares about pirates - they obviously don't care about their TV show), the other is they've found legal streaming to be even better. Because if they put a stream online to watch programming, they can make it such that you can't skip ads, and that's actually worth something - enough to pay for the effort of putting an online stream up. So you beat both DVR owners and appear as a hero for making a legal source available.

Bonus material - 2014-2015 TV season ad rates (30 second spot). This is what brings in the money.

Comment: Re:Be competent? (Score 2) 119

by tlhIngan (#48196609) Attached to: Overwhelmed By Recall For Deadly Airbags

How about building your tech stack so that it can be scaled up/down on-demand? I'm using Rackspace and we have dedicated servers along with cloud servers. I can add or remove cloud servers as needed and also have the load balancers updated.

If you're just doing reads against a database, it's straightforward to add additional replicas (we use MongoDB with replica sets, don't have enough data for sharding yet). If you need to do any processing, then you should build a grid compute system where you can just add additional compute nodes. We're using RabbitMQ along with Celery. Granted, this strategy ignores issues like a saturated network, but our provider is responsible for dealing with that.

So they need to spend thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars for a situation that crops up ... virtually never? And you want to talk about "government waste"?

I mean, vehicle recalls are rare. Other than GM recalling a new line of cars every day this year it seems,

I mean yeah, they COULD spend their time and effort making a system that scales from a majority of 0 people looking for their car recall information to 5M people looking in a single day, wasting millions of dollars in service fees and development costs for something that "might happen".

Perhaps the government isn't wasting as much money as we thought if we use it so its infrastructure can scale up in the rare-to-never case that it needs to, right?

(Yes, the government wastes a bunch of money. But to then suggest it waste more?)

Comment: Re:Windows Phone Store payment (Score 3, Interesting) 113

by tlhIngan (#48196529) Attached to: Delivering Malicious Android Apps Hidden In Image Files

Google (like Apple), wants your credit card info for the play store

You can have an account without a credit card on both.

It's just a bit tricky, and it relies on the fact that if you try to make an account through "the front door" then yes, you need a credit card or other payment option.

But if you go through the "back door" it works just fine.

For iOS, what you do is you try to buy a FREE app. This will ask you to create an account, and will not ask for payment details (because the app is free). And now you have an account without an attached credit card.

Android is the same - just buy a free app.

Comment: Re:So you have to install an app... (Score 1) 113

by tlhIngan (#48196453) Attached to: Delivering Malicious Android Apps Hidden In Image Files

Not really. You cannot launch an app that's not signed in iOS to run on that specifically device, thereby all this process just wouldn't work in iOS for instance.

It also wouldn't work in OSX unless you deactivated the permissions to run only Mac Store apps (which many of the people do though).

OS X's default permission for GateKeeper is Mac App Store and Developer Signed Apps. It has never been Mac App Store only. The other option is well, "off" (any source).

And it'll always remain that way because people do buy apps elsewhere (there are categories of apps the MAS will not have, such as demos, drivers, utilities (that cannot be sandboxed), etc.)

So if your payload was signed, then yes, it'll run on OS X just fine. Though if it's particularly virulent, Apple will probably revoke the signing certificate, thus making the payload non-executable by default.

Though there is also another nuance to it - GateKeeper only works from untrusted sources - if you compile an application from source code, even though it's unsigned, it actually will NOT pop up a warning because it came from a trusted source (the compiler). Ditto apps installed from optical media. The untrusted source here would be the Internet.

So yeah, the trick will work on OS X. Though to be honest, it seems like a rather roundabout way to do things when the user will just double-click the file anyways.

The trick appears more like those videos and crap that try to get you to install "codec packs" which don't do anything other than install malware on your machine.

Comment: Re:In Japan (Score 1) 326

by tlhIngan (#48196343) Attached to: 3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

For example, if a gaijin resident is caught with light marijuana -> Jail time or deportation.

That's relatively minor compared to other countries in Asia, where importation of drugs is smuggling, and smugglers get the death penalty. No if, ands or buts. They find drugs on you, you're dead within the week. If you're lucky, the newspaper articles will read "Drug smuggler arrested and sentenced to death".

Oh yeah, and some of those countries neighbour unofficial drug producing countries as well.

Others are well, if you use a gun in commission of a crime, even if it wasn't fired, increases the penalties to 5 years in jail, if someone was killed, death penalty.

Oh yeah, it wasn't some Podunk backwoods country either - it was a modern metropolis.

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. - W. K. Clifford, British philosopher, circa 1876