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Comment: Re:How effective is such an ... urging? (Score 1) 109

by utnapistim (#46562207) Attached to: AWS Urges Devs To Scrub Secret Keys From GitHub

> Wouldn't the Streisand Effect in this context imply that more developers are going to be placing their AWS/API keys in plain view?
> I think you're more referring to the effect of full disclosure, where by making it public you end up not just notifying the potential victims (if they're even awake) but also a not statistically insignificant amount of script kiddies [...]

Yes, that's what I meant.

Comment: Re:There may well be life on Europa (Score 2) 216

by utnapistim (#46417769) Attached to: NASA Wants To Go To Europa

> If they're expecting to find some trace of life in some trace of water vapour that may or may not have been ejected near where the probe lands in the few days before any DNA or proteins would be destroyed by the hard vacuum and radiation then I think its wishful thinking at best.

Even if any DNA in this water would break down, an analysis of the water vapor would refine our models (and could confirm or exclude the presence of complex organic compounds, within or underneath the ice).

> At worst a waste of multi billion dollars when it could be spent on other more fruitful missions.

Your argument is biased towards the worst scenario. (at worst, _every mission_ is "a waste of multi billion dollars when it could be spent on more fruitful missions").

> Another probe to Titan that could travel around and examine the lakes and atmosphere would be far more worth while.

Obviously, the people planning the mission budget of NASA have a different definition of worthwhile than you (otherwise they would allocate all the budget on another probe to Titan).

Comment: Good idea ... (Score 1) 330

by utnapistim (#46322211) Attached to: Japanese Firm Proposes Microwave-Linked Solar Plant On the Moon

It's a good idea, except:

- the cost of getting the original materials to the moon is ... astronomic.

- the cost of getting the dependencies for building on the moon is astronomic as well (workers or enough robots to build a 11000 km solar panel strip), unless we send a Von Neumann machine; if we do, I propose we make it out of Unobtanium so it'll last.

- the system would provide good clean energy for the whole planet, except when something goes horribly wrong; Then, the cost of the project would increase by the cost of getting a crew to fix the problem all the way up there (high risk, large cost, polluting rocket and so on), and human lives (as in "the microwave beam unfortunately hit near the receiving station; cancer risk in the area increased to 90% in 10 minutes").

Comment: Re:They're ALL on crack. (Score 1) 188

by utnapistim (#45421455) Attached to: SnapChat Turns Down $3 Billion Offer From Facebook

> When someone offers you $3B for a company with no revenues and a product that could be duplicated in a week, take the money and RUN.

You could duplicate the website in a week and nobody would care (just like I could make a social website "just like facebook" and nobody would care).

Facebook is not interested in snapchat, it's interested in _the marketshare of snapchat_. A good way to get that would be to get the strings behind snapchat and make sure they're the ones who pull on them. That's worth billions to them; a website/service you could duplicate in a week, is worth the salary of a team of programmers, for a week (and nothing more).

Comment: and the reason they did it was (Score 1) 310

by utnapistim (#45233815) Attached to: NSA Monitored Calls of 35 World Leaders

... because they could.

As opposed to all other intelligence/counter-intelligence agencies in the world, who do exactly the same thing, for exactly the same reason.

I think the reason they got "little reportable intelligence" is because when you are in a position like that (president of a country, foreign dignitary, etc) , you at the very least _assume_ your allies will try to listen to your conversations.

At this level "reportable intelligence" conversations are not carried over public/listed phone lines, but on non-public lines, where you can set up privacy and security checks, encryption and authentication protocols and so on (i.e. send a USB stick by a courrier you trust or something).

Comment: Things I found usefull (Score 1) 396

by utnapistim (#31200140) Attached to: What Knowledge Gaps Do Self-Taught Programmers Generally Have?

Here are some things I found usefull in university:

- study of algorithms (big-O notation with case studies on sorting algorithms); This one completely changed the way I view program efficiency

- formal languages / compiler theory (grammars and parsing have never been the same for me since). This is something you will look at when you write any low-level parsing/validation: XML, functional / expression editors and even program parameters parsing in some cases.

- language classes (this was not the actual name of the course and I don't remember what it was actually), but we went through query languages (SQL), unstructured languages (BASIC), procedural and functional (C, pascal), OOP (CPP, java) and declarative (prolog). Prolog was something that made me see differently how the language changes the way you think about programming.

All that said, the academical medium has never been accused of being very practical minded, and I learned at least as much in working in programming as I learned in university. Don't dismiss one in favor of the other as each will show you things the other simply doesn't.

Comment: Re:Removing IE (Score 1) 803

by utnapistim (#28714085) Attached to: Windows 7 Clean Install Only In Europe

> So how hard is it to just automatically add the uninstall to the upgrade process? Make it optional: after completing an upgrade, ask the user whether they'd like to remove IE or keep it.

I would say "pretty hard". Not harder than some other things they have to manage, but you are looking here at functionality that affects a complex operating system. Having the system without IE for a clean install is relatively easy: you have a stable configuration made, then install it and test it.

Having an old system (with who knows what running on it) upgraded, is pretty damn complicated (you have to change more than a Gb of files without breaking dependencies); when you add removing something from it that was critical to the OS in the previous version (if we are to believe MS that is), that should increase the risk of breaking stuff quite a lot.

From the "project management point of view", you're looking here at adding at least some man-days of testing for this feature to weed out bugs from this alone (out of the top of my hat I would say some month or two in man-days, with all that's involved in the upgrade process). A competent manager on a budget will probably try to avoid adding that feature if there is no distinct need for it.

I'm not saying it shouldn't be done, but saying "how hard can it be" might be an over-simplification.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.

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