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Comment: Re:Pft (Score 2) 537

by tlhIngan (#47513285) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Which is nothing but a blight on software development. I mean, why is it that a bunch of supposedly well educated, knowledgeable people are so anti-social enough that they cannot raise their level of communication above an adolescent?

I develop software, and about the most immature it gets is the sparingly placed curse (the f-bomb is even more rare). No one's calling in death threats, or trying to intimidate others. Emails, forums, etc., are all kept at a high level of professionalism, yet are still casual communications with developers sharing ideas, hints, and providing help. Don't know perl? Well, here's a perl script you can use, how it works so you can try implementing it in your favorite language.

Those sort of messages on forums get deleted and banned purely as the entire audience is adult enough to be able to communicate clearly without resorting to childish attacks.

Hell, I would expect it if gamers were mostly teenagers, but the average gamer is in the mid 30s and the age has been rising steadily. Or is there something about video games that can turn an adult into a blubbering 12 year old with maturity to match?

Comment: Re:110 or 240v (Score 5, Informative) 188

by tlhIngan (#47511245) Attached to: Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

Except it requires more wires. 220/240V split phase requires 3 wires.

3-phase generally requires 4.

And unless you really need 3-phase, split phase is easier to deal with - with 3-phase you need to monitor all three phases to ensure they are working (failure of one phase is a common failure mode that requires immediate shutdown of the other two phases lest any dangerous currents develop).

Though, one thing I don't get about this challenge - they're using they want 2kVA output, but then demanding 50W/in^3 with a max size of 40in^3, meaning you have to provide 2000W.

And 2000W can mean providing way more than 2000VA. (The reason we use VA for inverters instead of watts is VA captures virtual power. 2000VA requires just as much power handling components (transformers, transistors, etc) as supplying 2000W at a 1.0PF (i.e., all resistive). Even if you have a really bad power factor and your real power draw is only 1000W - the hardware has to be able to instanteously supply the current and voltage for 2000W at periods in the cycle. The virtual power is virtual, because it's "given back" during another part of the cycle, but that means all the equipment has to handle it.

A lot of electric companies will have a power factor surcharge because of it - if your power factor can't be corrected to within limits, they charge more because they have to install bigger equipment.

The only real saving grace is that the input voltage is 450VDC, so you're really just doing a buck converter.

Comment: Re:Slashvertisement? (Score 1) 83

by tlhIngan (#47511143) Attached to: Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

Not what this guy is saying is wrong, but there are other unaddressed issues. They cover issues like "power savings", but not the much more important issue of buying an unknown piece of hardware from an unknown vendor, without a warranty. Aside from that, sometimes there are issues of physical constraints-- like I have limited space, limited ventilation, and one UPS to supply power. Do I want to buy 5 servers, or one powerful one? ...

And sometimes, buying "new" is more about getting a known quantity with support, rather than wagering on a crap-shoot.

And that is the main reason why people buy new. To get the support contract because they know if the equipment goes down, they can start losing money fast. Sure they can do redundancy and stuff, and they often do, but they generally want both units to be under service contracts so when one fails and the other one is handling the load, the failed one is getting prompt service to minimize the likelihood of complete stoppage should the other fail.

I've seen perfectly functional equipment force-upgraded because the company making them stopped supporting it. Essential equipment like filers and such? They actually see end of complete support 6 months ahead and plan on migration way before the contract expires for good so they can revert to hardware still under support.

Running old servers is perfectly fine, especially for home use where the user can benefit from the low cost of what was very expensive equipment a few years ago. But until those companies are willing to provide support in case of failure that's better than "here's a spare, fix it yourself", well, there are very valid reasons to go with new. Even if new is barely an upgrade from the old.

Comment: Re:Rounding differences (Score 2) 176

by tlhIngan (#47508247) Attached to: A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

Maybe it should. Providing an API and saying "it kinda work like this, most of the time, your mileage may vary" doesn't sound very good.

That already exists already - many formats specify practically subpixel accurate designs. E.g., PDF.

The thing is, HTML was never designed that way - it's a content-plus-format standard that says the content is marked up, and to provide some hints as to how to display it as the creator intended. But the user is free to override such choices as they see fit in case they don't have certain fonts, have display limitations, etc.

It's why ebooks generally use a limited form of HTML internally, and why most ebook readers display PDFs crappily. The reader wants to reformat the text to fit its screen better, but PDF isn't designed for that - it's design so one document can be displayed identically wherever you view it regardless of if the use has a font, has a 300/600/900/100 dpi printer, prints on A4 or Letter, etc.

Comment: Re:Money (Score 1) 519

by tlhIngan (#47508185) Attached to: Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Someone who will cheat for $6 can rationalize it by saying "everybody does this; it's only $6". In fact, the lower the amount, the less anyone would feel like they did something amoral. Which is exactly the opposite of what you implied.

And the rationalization the other way is "why cheat, it's only $6". As in, it's not worth the effort to cheat just to have $6. Now, $10k, that might be worth cheating for.

Basically balancing risk and reward - people don't rob banks much these days because the risk is high (security, cameras, etc), while rewards are low (typically $2-5000 each heist). However, rob a store and the rewards can be just as much, but the risk is often lower (less witnesses, older/crappier camera, practically nonexistent security).

it's just like there are people who will drive across town to save $0.10 on gas, while others simply don't bother as the time/gas/effort of doing so outweighs savings. But if they're likely to drive across town to save a dime per unit, they'd practically jump over the opportunity to drive across town to save $5 off some item. (Even at $5, it's likely not worth it taking time/gas/effort into account).

Comment: Re:This is just a repeat (Score 1) 259

It's just the new strategy to right-size, right-shore and right-fit. In laymans terms, fire employees like crazy, and then complain that there are no qualified engineers available as they can't find any (because they can't rehire the ones they fired*) to fill the void, so more H1B visas are critically needed in the IT sector.

* Omitted from congressional declaration

Except they can be re-hired. It's simply Microsoft policy that says they can't be hired, and there's nothing that the employee does that prevent them from working with Microsoft prior to the 6 month cooling off period.

The policy affects the employees more (they can't work at Microsoft for 6 months), than it affects Microsoft (who is free to hire them prior to 6 months, all they need is to strike that policy away with a stroke of the pen).

I don't think Congress would be too happy to be told there is nobody around because their company policy prohibits it. After all, it's like saying you can't hire anyone because you don't hire anyone who wears glasses, and the only people applying for jobs are people who wear glasses.

It's a policy decision that really could hurt Microsoft in the end when Congress comes up and asks why they can't rehire some of those 18.000 people instead. If Microsoft answers that company policy prohibits re-hiring within 6 months of dismissal, they'd be laughed out of the capital.n Basically they'd be shooting themselves in the foot - you want people and your company policy prohibits it for a period of time? Either change policy, or wait because hey, that situation will resolve itself!

Comment: Re:Secure pairing is hard (Score 2) 131

by tlhIngan (#47503963) Attached to: The "Rickmote Controller" Can Hijack Any Google Chromecast

This is a general problem with devices that are "paired". How do you securely establish the initial connection, when neither side knows anything about the other?

The secure solutions involve some shared secret between the two devices. This requires a secure transmission path between the devices, such as typing in a generated key (like a WPA2 key) or physically carrying a crypto key carrier to each device (this is how serious cryptosystems work).

Semi-secure systems involve things like creating a short period of temporary vulnerability (as with Bluetooth pairing). There's a scheme for sharing between cellphones where you bump the phones together, and they both sense the deceleration at close to the same time.

Or, given the nature of the device as it's physical, it can be a sticker on the device itself. Or given that it has to be connected to a TV, the security pairing code can be displayed on the TV as well and the user enters that code in.

The nature of the Chromecast means there is a secure physical channel to allow such communications to take place.

Comment: Re: "the market" = biz managers (Score 1) 191

by tlhIngan (#47501101) Attached to: Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

Take the example of Firefly, amazing critical response, 9.2 imdb rating (#23 by user rating, #28 by number of votes, etc), an absolute fanatic fanbase that actually got the show to break Amazon's top 30 dvd sales list 196 weeks after release.

Average viewers? 4.7 million - 98th on the Nielsen list. Cancelled before the first season ended.

Meanwhile NCIS, one of the most predictable middle of the road bore fests gets 17 million average viewers 11 seasons, 2 spinoff series (5 seasons of NCIS:LA averaging 16.5 million viewers) all 3 are ongoing.

A bit apples and oranges, because Firefly was on Fox and NCIS on CBS. Firefly was forced on Fox (by Joss Whedon, who did Buffy) by tying the next season of Buffy with Firefly - if Fox wanted another season of ever-popular Buffy, they needed to take on Firefly.

It was doomed from the start - Fox execs basically did everything to kill it (the only obligation was to do barely enough to get Buffy).

NCIS, meanwhile, appeals to CBS viewers who skew old. Just because it gets 20+M viewers every week (30M combined) doesn't mean squat - the Neilson ratings on it aren't that high and other shows with smaller viewerships do often beat it. NCIS (and CBS in general, actually) tends to skew old, which means shows like NCIS don't actually get that high a rating (the ad price is midrange for a prime-time show), at least in the 18-49 market to which Neilson (and thus advertisers) care about. Ratings wise, it really means the "core audience" that they care about is about 1/3rd to 1/4th the number of viewers.

The Big Bang Theory is one of the highest rated shows on TV these days. And Firefly getting 4M viewers weekly would be considered quite good these days (well within the top rank, had Fox not decided to really just shit on the series as payback).

And the vast majority of people don't care about literature - they rather go for pulp fiction rather than say, Shakespeare or other literary figure. Because books, movies, TV shows, they can serve multiple roles. From enlightenment, contemplation, to just plain old entertainment and escapism.

So what if Transformers sells? (To be honest, the original TV series and movie weren't great to begin with - they were really half hour long ads and the movie was a way to force everyone to buy new toys). There's actually more depth in the remakes than the original.

Comment: Re:Apple has 'done nothing'??? (Score 4, Interesting) 138

by tlhIngan (#47485227) Attached to: Google To Stop Describing Games With In-App Purchases As 'Free'

The only one problem with this is there are a few good games where you can play it all for free and the in-apps are completely optional.

Sure, the vast majority of freemium games are crap and serve only to milk people of money, but there are some (Jetpack Joyride, say) where not paying is completely an option - you're really just doing a time-money tradeoff. Play it often and you can get everything, play it a little and pay up to get the thing quicker.

So it's not correct to say that game isn't free, either - it can be played completely for free.

Granted, I did say the vast majority of apps don't qualify for this, but there's still a few that can be played completely to completion without investing a single dime.

Then there are ones that offer in-apps that do stuff like remove ads - and that's it. Is it a free app, or a paid app? You can use the full thing either way, just one has ad content on it.

Comment: Re:SSN on POS? (Score 2) 68

I'm betting this POS machine was basically a full-blown PC hooked up to a cash drawer. It seems to be a popular setup with small businesses (I'm guessing actual cash registers cost a lot - and they're certainly not as versatile).

No, cash registers (the dumb kind) are fairly cheap things - a few hundred bucks tops.

The problem is, the dumb registers don't do more than record sales and all that.

The fancy PC based ones do tons more - they integrate with a backend inventory system to update real-time inventory counts, integrate with ticketing systems so customer orders can be entered in and it gets kicked out to the kitchen with no fuss (handy for restaurants - they key in the order at the front, and the kitchen gets it automatically), etc.

I'm guessing they also can handle time card and time tracking for the cashier currently logged in.

Auto parts stores also integrate into it a vendor inventory query system so they can place orders for parts with vendors right when the customer orders the product, and it'll keep track of customer details so when the part is scanned in, it can be linked back to who ordered it and all that.

And then there's the POS terminal that often is used to scan in parts that arrive - e.g., a bunch of new inventory comes in, anyone can go and scan it into the system and update the transit and on hand counts.

Comment: Re:Black box data streaming (Score 1) 503

by tlhIngan (#47483189) Attached to: Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

Why haven't all airplanes been upgraded so the black box data is streamed to satellites/ground stations? It's so dumb to have to search for a airplane to find the data, that should be the fallback plan. Hey FAA, you listening?

Politics.

Who do you want to send the data to? If you say use a US satellite network, the US will use it as leverage to get passenger data on all flights (like it already does for all flights that fly over its airspace, even those that don't stop in the US - and there's a not-so-niche market for planes that can fly AROUND the US - Canada to Mexico, for example).

Then who do you want to trust with the data? It streamed to a satellite network, and now it's gotta be stored somewhere. Store it on a US server and be subject through PATRIOT act requests on everything else? You know it's coming.

Satellite bandwidth is cheap, and we already have the technology to stream it. In fact, we have deployable black boxes - FDRs and CVRs that are mounted on the outside of the fuselage, so on impact, they detach from the aircraft. If the aircraft sinks, the recorders conveniently float (add in 408MHz locators with GPS making it easy to find). If it's on land, the recorders are separate from the wreckage so they're not subject to the potential data-destroying fire, water, heat, impact, or crush damage. Again, trackers make it easier to locate.

And it's been tested technology - the military almost exclusively uses it on all their planes (including fighter jets).

Comment: Re:Who controls the past controls the future... (Score 1) 64

by tlhIngan (#47477545) Attached to: Bing Implements Right To Be Forgotten

This is a big step towards re-writing history. It begins with ignoring it, or by actively hiding it. I give it 1 year before we hear of attempts by politicians to cover embarrasing stories that are relevant information to the public, or before corporations hide unpleasant past events such as oil spills (corporations are people too, these days). True, search engines aren't the sole gateways to information, but nowadays people assume that if something isn't found on the first search results page it's probably not important.

It happens already actually - off line.

The whole "right to be forgotten" is an implementation of the fact that over time, whatever happened people naturally forget about, and getting at those records is hard enough that the effort usually isn't worthwhile.

The Internet, though, is an ever-expanding pile of information, that stuff you did 10 years ago will haunt you for the rest of your life. It's so valuable a resource that industries that traditionally would've just let things slide because they happened so long abo the evidence is sketchy now has access to all the information that most people have long forgotten.

The right to be forgotten doesn't remove content, it just means that the link between the content and the specific search gets broken. There can still be searches that bring up the content (e.g., "BP" may not bring up the oil spill, but "oil spill 2010" can bring it up).

I suppose a common example would be employers who google every prospective employees, only to see that 10, 20, 30+ years ago they did something "bad" and declining to interview because of it. (Generally most content is undated, so determining how long ago something happened can be quite difficult).

Of course, there are also people who google their dates, etc.

And even before this ruling, brand management companies knew how to bury content - just because you did something horrible 3 years ago, doesn't mean you have it have it sit as the 4th link on Google. With a bit of SEO and other techniques, you can bury those past events farther down the line (remembering 90% of the people stop at the first page, and barely any reach the 3rd or 4th page of results, so if you get it page 15, it's buried, or forgotten).

Comment: Re:Missing information (Score 1) 31

by tlhIngan (#47476433) Attached to: Pushdo Trojan Infects 11,000 Systems In 24 Hours

Well it runs on Windows obviously. With the number of reported infections, the speed with which it happened, and the fact that it is a Trojan (meaning you need to trick the user into running it), it can only be Windows. There wouldn't be 11,000 Linux users tricked into running it in 24 hours even if it would run correctly on all their distros because we know Linux users are too smart to run Trojans. Hell, there probably weren't 11,000 Linux machines with users sitting in front of them to BE tricked into running it in that amount of time. With Macs - well every Mac user will tell you they don't get Trojans or viruses. That leaves Windows. Lots of doofuses to be tricked there.

Well, it's easy to trick users into running questionable binaries. I mean, all you need to do is call it a crack or keygen for an app, rename it a few million times to cover the popular apps, movies and other content, and you're done.

Hell, those "download helpers" that file lockers sometimes provide? Guess what!

And most malware these days are Trojans. It's a lot easier to trick a user than to try to find a vulnerability in the OS. Even Windows is far harder to break into. Hell, good malware is userspace nowadays to avoid running into UAC dialogs.

Comment: Re:Pairing? (Score 1) 236

by tlhIngan (#47476357) Attached to: Nearly 25 Years Ago, IBM Helped Save Macintosh

PowerPC was pushed by the AIM alliance: Apple, IBM, Motorola. The latter two developed and produced chips. Apple had some input. The goal was an ISA that made it easy to emulate both m68k and i386.

I don't think the ISA was a goal, because PowerPC was really just a subset of the POWER architecture that IBM currently had in their mainframes and servers.

In fact, after PowerPC was released, the minor changes to the ISA that were done were re-incorporated back into the POWER ISA to make POWER binary compatible with PowerPC. (This still continues to this day - the POWER architecture remains compatible with PowerPC).

The PPC601 was fairly... interesting. The interrupt controller was basically identical to the one IBM had and was programmed in the same way. Basically the AIM alliance was late and they cut corners on that part by simply lifting IBM's design and using that code. The 603 went with a redesigned interrupt controller.

Comment: Re:Bah (Score 2) 278

by tlhIngan (#47467089) Attached to: Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

The linked paper did mention password managers in passing, but dismissed them as being vulnerable to client-side malware which could compromise all your passwords. That assumption is true if you're running your password manager on a Windows system, I suppose, which is likely the only thing the "Redmond researchers" are even aware of. But if you keep your password manager on a separate device or run it under a secure sandbox in a secure OS, you're much better off than the paper implies.

Yeah, if you keep your passwords on an isolated system, great. But most people don't do that - they use client side systems, cloud syncing, etc., so that the password manager will auto-fill in the password for them.

Isolating your passwords to a secure device is fine and all, but it also removes a lot of the convenience of it because now you have this gadget you have to carry around, access, copy the password manually, etc.

Whereas a client side password manager you just visit the website, go to the manager, click a couple of times and it's autofilled. And many have the ability to grab passwords from the web form and save it so it's a lot less risk.

And people love to put it on a Dropbox or other cloud service so they can use their password manager anywhere and have it up to date.

So no, it's just moving the vulnerability to that one point. And it doesn't matter if you run Windows, Linux, OS X, BSD, whatever. They're all vulnerable.

Hell, iOS and Android are seeing copycat clones of popular password managers like 1Password and the like (nevermind the SEO creeps who make it so finding the official site harder by forcing their way up the Google ranks and sponsored ads hoping that you'd mistakenly click on the fake trojaned version they offer instead of the original).

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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