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Comment: Re:Mac's don't get viruses. . . (Score 1) 153

by unimacs (#48031197) Attached to: Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X

I was making a reference to the recent Apple patch that disabled the phone on the iPhone.

This release contains improvements and bug fixes, including: Fixes an issue in iOS 8.0.1 that impacted cellular network connectivity and Touch ID on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

On their new flagship phones for iOS8. If Apple devs were really that thorough, I doubt that would have passed the first round of tests. On the other hand, I've noticed patches on RHEL take longer to release than Ubuntu which take longer than other Linux distros. But I'm not sure OSX is delayed due to rigorous testing.

Because no linux distro ever releases a patch with bugs... right? ;-)

Anyway. I said the process might have to be more rigorous. I didn't say it was flawless. And the whole 8.0.1 debacle only adds to my point. A patch can sometimes do more damage that what it's trying to fix. Better to take a couple extra days to get it right than to get it out as quickly as possible but screw it up.

Comment: Re:Mac's don't get viruses. . . (Score 1) 153

by unimacs (#48030959) Attached to: Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X

It could simply be that considering that considering their user base, Apple puts any patches through a much more rigorous testing than a linux distro typically does.

Yeah, I was really pissed when RHEL released a patch for a kernel bug last week and it disabled the phone app on my iPhone. *#$^ing RedHat.

Not exactly sure what you're trying to say but let me clarify my statement. Apple's users require more hand holding than RHEL users. I'm very serious when I say that Redhat's patch testing process may not be as rigorous as Apple's and I will add that because of the differences in user base, it doesn't have to be.

I wasn't slamming RedHat or linux at all if that's what you thought.

Comment: Re:Mac's don't get viruses. . . (Score 2) 153

by unimacs (#48030159) Attached to: Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X
Your first source sites a report from Trend Micro that barely mentions OS X. It shows a chart with the number of vulnerabilities by vendor but it doesn't make any effort to characterize the severity of the vulnerabilities or the likelihood of being affected by them.

Your second source is not a study or report at all but the opinion of a guy selling security software. I'm not saying his opinion isn't worth anything, only that he stands to gain by scaring OS X users into buying his software. And just as an aside, I wouldn't be surprised if more systems have been compromised in some way by anti-virus software than any single virus.

I'm sorry but I don't think comparing MS to RedHat is valid. They have a much different user base. The report you listed in your original post went as far as to say that MS was mostly patching client vulnerabilities (in browsers and such) that potentially affect huge numbers of systems many of which are operated by people who are less knowledgeable and more vulnerable to things like trojans. In those cases I agree you need to move quickly.

Something like Shellshock might potentially affect something like 2% of all Macs, (if not less) while a patch affects are large percentage of them. You'd better make sure you don't screw up something in that patch. The majority of Mac users are not like linux users who can easily recover from a bad patch.

Comment: Re:Mac's don't get viruses. . . (Score 1) 153

by unimacs (#48028221) Attached to: Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X
- Your study is 6 years old.
- RedHat was the only linux distro in the survey that I saw
- The nature of the vulnerabilities that Microsoft typically patched was quite a bit different from those in the other operating systems studied.

I really doubt it's a difference in attitude. It could simply be that considering that considering their user base, Apple puts any patches through a much more rigorous testing than a linux distro typically does. They may (correctly) conclude that a rushed patch could do more harm in less time than most of the vulnerabilities that are identified.

Comment: Re:They will never learn (Score 1) 103

by unimacs (#47982861) Attached to: Compromised To Serve Malware
What? People don't like to be called incompetent ? Who knew ? ;)

The chance of an average American being in a car accident in the next 5 years is 1 in 4. 37,000 people die each year in car accidents and over 2 million are injured. Yet most of us still drive even though a lot of us have alternatives. Having your site compromised is bad but for most of us it's a lot better than being dead. My point is that life is full of risks and trade offs.

Using a CDN like googleapis to host some of your content can improve the performance of your site, especially in terms of latency which is often a bigger concern on mobile networks than bandwidth.

One has to weigh the risks of using a CDN against the benefits. If you understand the risks and decided that it's worth it in your case, it many not be incompetent at all.

Comment: As an employer a PhD wouldn't appeal to me unless: (Score 0) 471

by unimacs (#47976157) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?
It was related to our line of work. Don't know if this will help or not but when I'm hiring these are some things that I look for:

1. Competence and aptitude.
2. Demonstrated ability to learn and adapt quickly
3. Level of excitement about working for us and interest in what we do
4. How likely it is that you will stick around for awhile
5. What new skills can you bring to the table
6. Will you be happy with the position (related to #3 and #4)

I don't particularly like the hiring process or the time it takes to get a new employee up to speed. Therefore retaining staff is important to me and that starts with hiring people who I think will enjoy working here for a few years at least. There are other PhDs employed here so I wouldn't rule one out necessarily but it would over qualify you for any position that I'd personally be hiring for.

Comment: No superhuman efforts to save his live after 75 (Score 1) 478

by unimacs (#47967803) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"
I agree with some of what he said and disagree with other parts. For example I think eating healthy and getting enough exercise will improve your quality of life into your 70s and beyond but I also see the point he is trying to make.

If you read the article you will see that he doesn't plan to die at age 75 and does recognize that he may well in fact have several years left of both enjoying his life and not being a burden to others. What he is saying that that after 75 if he is diagnosed with cancer for example, he won't try to beat it. That likely his best years are behind him anyway and fighting it would lengthen his life but to little benefit. He won't have a pacemaker put in and would avoid those kinds of major procedures in an effort to prolong his life.

My step dad lived into his 80's and was a vibrant person up until the last couple months before his death. He had had heart trouble since his 40's. He was a gift to my kids and his other grand children even though he wasn't making major contributions to society. I'd argue that lots of people never do so I don't know that that is a good measuring stick anyway. On the other hand, my mother was very healthy until 70, injured her back and then rapidly declined. She spent most of the last 7 years of her life in bed and was really unable to take care of herself for the last 5.

Comment: Re:Let the conference organizers pay for you to at (Score 1) 182

by unimacs (#47965591) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?
You have to be in demand for this technique to work but it can happen. I was offered compensation for the first time this past year to run a workshop at an out of town conference. Not nearly enough to cover the costs of going but every bit helps. And if you're a speaker it does offer a bit of free advertising/prestige for your employer (if you don't suck). The downside for you and your employer is that there is prep time involved which can take away from your normal duties.

What I would recommend is to start out by attending and presenting at local user groups on your own time. You will learn a lot and hone your presentation skills.

Comment: Negotiate conferences during your next review (Score 2) 182

by unimacs (#47965487) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?
I don't know how your company deals with performance reviews and pay raises or bonuses but just like salary, bonuses, and vacation time you can negotiate for something beyond what's typically provided. And just like all of those things, it comes down to how much they want to keep you and how much money they can justify spending on you. Training could be an easy sell since the company stands to benefit.

You could say that you'd like to go to one national conference per year or every other year for the purposes of training and staying on top of industry trends. Or maybe rather than saying one conference, you'd like to them to be willing to spend a certain amount annually and anything beyond that would be on your dime.

The problem with traveling to many conferences is that they can be a very expensive way for a company to train employees vs an actual class or even setting aside a certain amount of time each week for employees to work on pet projects. I consider them something of a perk actually and if a company has cash flow issues, I would hope they'd be one of the first things to go.

If a company requires or clearly wants you to go to a conference or class, they should definitely pay. If you expect them to pay for training, they should have final say over which and how many conferences/classes you attend. There are grey areas of course. If I think a particular conference would be great for my career but doesn't have a particular application to my job, I'd not expect them to pay for that. If it's something I want for my career but also has some benefits to the company, then I would see if they'd pay, but would understand if they wouldn't and not leave the company if I were otherwise happy.

Comment: Re:I'm biased but ... (Score 1) 392

by unimacs (#47921557) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?
Are you sure these were people with actual computer science degrees and not graduates of some tech school or possibly software engineering (which is different from computer science)? If not it sounds like you've worked with some bad computer science grads.

I can't imagine anyone doing well in computer science without being very curious and willing to learn. It's been many years but to get my degree I did have a semester of technical writing on top of all english/lit courses I took in my first two years of college. I was required to give presentations and I also had a math class that was entirely about writing proofs. It was painful but forced you to be completely logical. I found it much harder than my English Comp classes that talked about logical fallacies and the like.

I agree that you can be very successful in a tech career without a CS degree but once in awhile you run into a situation where the CS grads will shine and those without will struggle. Often it has to do with wringing the most performance out of a system. I recently viewed a video about MongoDB internals that was immensely helpful. Those without a CS degree would have difficulty understanding most of it.

Comment: Re:Tricky proposition (Score 2) 64

by unimacs (#47914387) Attached to: Funding Tech For Government, Instead of Tech For Industry
I've worked in union environments and non-union ones. Let's just say the union environments don't have the market cornered on dysfunction. In fact, probably the most dysfunctional place I ever worked as a programmer would never happen under a union.

I suppose it depends on your perspective though. If you like 18 hour days and being considered basically being unemployable by the time your 50, a job as a corporate programmer is an ideal career choice.

Comment: Re:Safe deposit box (Score 1) 268

by unimacs (#47911553) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?
I did something similar for awhile but instead of a safe deposit box, I just left a drive at work. The only problem with this approach is that you have to remember to rotate the drives and any important content that's created between rotating the drives has the potential to be lost.

So now I have a mac mini (could be a PC or linux server though) that's hooked to our TV as a media server. It has a great big external drive that's used for time machine. Our laptop backs up to it as well. In addition I use CrashPlan to back things up to the cloud for offsite storage. You can schedule Crashplan to work when you want so it's not sucking up bandwidth that you might otherwise be using. You can also select what it backs up.

For me having something that runs automatically is much better than a process that depends on me to remember to do something.

Comment: Re:Batteries? Seriously? (Score 1) 491

by unimacs (#47869325) Attached to: To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars
I'm not telling anybody how to live, only telling people what's possible. If you live within 10 miles of work biking to work isn't really all that hard (winters excluded) assuming you don't have 1,000 feet of climbing to do and you have a reasonably safe route.


Average August high temp of 106 and humidity probably under 30% - Yeah, I could definitely do it and really most people could as long as they drink plenty of water and don't push it too hard. Think about it, you can walk outside right? Sure on a bike you might be putting in a little bit more effort but how much is really up to you, - plus you're generating a breeze. I've gone on 35 mile fast group rides in heat indexes higher than that. I'm sure that there are some days that it would be too dangerous just like riding in a thunderstorm or blizzard would be, but those days are the exception and not the rule.

"Pok pok pok, P'kok!" -- Superchicken