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Comment: Booth Babes never made sense at RSA (Score 1) 254

by billstewart (#49351139) Attached to: RSA Conference Bans "Booth Babes"

They were a really clear indicator that the occasional companies that hired them seriously didn't understand their audience, and hadn't brought anybody who knew anything technical to their booth, probably not even any marketing people who understood the product, so you could pretty much skip them, because they were pretty much always useless as well as unprofessional.

On the other hand, you can totally bribe us with chocolate or especially coffee, and we might sit through your silly magician act for a raffle ticket for an iThing as long as there was technical content at your booth, and we'll pick up blinky tchotchkes with your logo on them. The woman I'd rather talk to at your booth is the one who developed the cool product, or can explain it well.

When my company's been at trade shows in the area, about half their staff are booth-running professionals, rather than product-related, from the people who set the thing up and make sure all the marketing content is there to the people who herd customers in, figure out what they're interested in (even if it's just at the buzzword level), bring them over to the right part of the booth or find the right person if they need to, scan your contact info, get the speakers on and off the stage, etc., and about half are either main-office or local people who know something about whatever we're trying to sell. They seem to do a good job on the mechanics of it (I've occasionally ended up as local booth staff), and they're seriously good at respecting the audience.

+ - Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements...For Warehouse Workers

Submitted by Rick Zeman
Rick Zeman (15628) writes "Amazon, perhaps historically only second to NewEgg in the IT nerdling's online shopping heart, not only has treated their warehouse workers to appalling working condtions, but they're also making them sign a non-compete agreement for the privilege. Excerpt from the agreement:
During employment and for 18 months after the Separation Date, Employee will not, directly or indirectly, whether on Employee’s own behalf or on behalf of any other entity (for example, as an employee, agent, partner, or consultant), engage in or support the development, manufacture, marketing, or sale of any product or service that competes or is intended to compete with any product or service sold, offered, or otherwise provided by Amazon (or intended to be sold, offered, or otherwise provided by Amazon in the future)...."

Comment: Re:Not really needed (Score 1) 28

by Waffle Iron (#49349923) Attached to: MIT Debuts Integer Overflow Debugger

If his garbage causes you take take a different flow of execution, however, that provides him a way to reach bugs in the little-used parts of your code.

The different flow of execution triggered by an overflow trap should almost always be a simple call to "abort()". At this point, your program has already failed and should be stopped.

I disagree with your premise. Garbage input values should be checked and rejected in software before the overflow ever occurs. The hardware overflow check should be a last resort to enforce this at every instruction step, and in the worst case it converts privilege exploits into less serious DOS attacks.

Allowing "garbage output" as you propose just creates more opportunities for attacks when that output gets consumed somewhere.

Comment: Re:Not really needed (Score 1) 28

by Ichijo (#49349303) Attached to: MIT Debuts Integer Overflow Debugger
C assumes you will choose an integer size that won't overflow in your application. If you don't, that's a bug, even if C provided the run-time ability to detect overflows. So making a run-time error the default behavior when it causes a measurable performance hit on most platforms (excluding MIPS and Alpha) doesn't really make sense in a low-level language like C.

Comment: Re:Keyword "apparently" (Score 1) 102

by TuringTest (#49346339) Attached to: The One Thousand Genes You Could Live Without

60% of the DNA is _definitely_ junk, as they consist of known repeated elements (LINEs, SINEs and others) and defunct genes. This is not an 'absence of evidence', we know exactly how this DNA has happened.

How do we know that those repetitions are not needed to accelerate (by parallel processing) some important process which, with a single expression, would otherwise be too slow to survive?

We don't fully understand how the phenotype is developed from the genotype, and it very well might depend on statistical properties of gene appearances in the genome, and not just their presence or absence. Is there something in biology science that could discard such possibility?

+ - A drastic drop in complaints after San Diego outfitted its PD with body cameras

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Surprise, surprise! Immediately after San Diego outfitted its police force with 600 body camera the number of complaints plunged.

The report, which took one full year into account, found that complaints against police have fallen 40.5 percent and use of “personal body” force by officers has been reduced by 46.5 percent. Use of pepper spray has decreased by 30.5 percent.

Two benefits can be seen immediately. First, the police are being harassed less from false complaints. Second, and more important, the police are finding ways to settle most disputes without the use of force, which means they are abusing their authority less.

These statistics do confirm what many on both the right and the left have begun to believe in recent years, that the police have been almost certainly using force against citizens inappropriately too often. In San Diego at least the cameras are serving to stem this misuse of authority."

"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite." -- Bertrand Russell, _Sceptical_Essays_, 1928

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