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Comment: Interesting Response (Score 2) 10

by Roger W Moore (#49357855) Attached to: Hoax-Detecting Software Spots Fake Papers
arXiv is not peer reviewed. What I found interesting though was the response of the publisher: write a program to detect fake papers. Even the most simplistic peer review - i.e. reading the paper - would immediately catch these papers. If they need to write a program to catch fake papers then their peer review model is essentially worthless and frankly a journal that poor is no better, and liekly worse, than arXiv: at least arXiv doesn't pretend to have peer review.

Comment: Re:Compactness and Readability (Score 1) 164

by Kjella (#49357573) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

Well in this case I'd say there's Google and Wikipedia, use them. The source code is not the right place to teach someone about what CRC32 is or when, where or why you might want to use it. It's almost as bad as comments that try to teach you the programming language you're in. If you're implementing something that's not in an RFC or standard of some sort, I'd agree with you.

Comment: Re:MY data in AMAZON's cloud ?? (Score 1) 110

by frank_adrian314159 (#49357295) Attached to: Amazon Announces Unlimited Cloud Storage Plans

No, you make the move if:

r_cl r_l and
C_clo C_l

Where r_l/r_cl = risk of catastrophic loss on local config/cloud config, similar for the costs.

You can calculate the cost of keeping production and migration systems running for a migration and shakedown period, as well as the risk/cost benefit of continuing the migration or shutting it down at any point. As such, one can estimate these costs and there are some points in the mathematical domain where it makes sense to migrate.

However, I believe that we would strenuously disagree about the risk of a cloud system vs. a locally controlled system. Here's one way to think about it, though...

I'd think that the cost of a contract on your system (should anyone choose to make one thereupon) would be considerably short of $100K. On Amazon's entire system? Millions. Refute that notion of risk estimation.

Comment: Re:Are you telling me...? (Score 1) 360

by frank_adrian314159 (#49356825) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

It would have been much easier and cost effective to just take the first management position and work into retirement at the hospital or bank or retail corp or manufacturer or any of the other places I worked at in the past in IT.

Ha... ha.... ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.... Oh excuse me. That was droll. As if any of the folks who moved up had any more job security than you. No, you don't get that sort of security until you hit the point where you can pre-negotiate a golden ticket on the way out. And that sure as hell isn't first-level management.

I did as you proposed. I was an individual contributor who moved up into management and, honestly, only after I'd taken fifteen years moving up the IC ranks to the highest levels my company had and did some serious soul searching about my ability to do the job, having seen both good and bad managers in my career. The result? After fifteen years I still often got paid less than some of the higher-level technical folks I managed and the final layoff came regardless.

In any case, promulgating the notion that being a manager somehow insulates you from idiots higher up the chain really isn't fair. In most orgs, first level managers are seen as about on par with managers of a local Pizza Hut and have similar job security. One who likes working with the technical folk and so stays at this level finds this out eventually. It's up or out even there. I wanted to stay out of the always political shark fight higher up, so I learned enough about it to play at my level, I enjoyed working in my various jobs with a lot of great technical folks, but I got laid off the same as the rest of my teams. In fact, in my last FTE position, I and another "senior" manager were shown the door while our teams stayed on.

I'm now a contractor/consultant after my final layoff and, though I make a bit less than I did when I was an FTE and have even less job security, I choose how much I work and I work on things that are interesting to me with people I generally like. On the whole, it's a better life.

Comment: Cumbered (Score 1) 164

by fyngyrz (#49356529) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

And this is why closed source combined with black-box development is so much safer than open source. Sigh.

I really don't mind -- actually, I think I'd be kind of of flattered -- if people were able to look at my code, go "hey, I can use that" and then proceed to use it. And in fact, I've written a fair bit of code I think would fall into that vein. I think I could write something book-length in the line of "cool coding stuff" and quite a few programmers would find it quite useful. I've been doing this since the early 70's. I write signal processing, and image processing (but I repeat myself, sorta) and AI code, with a strong background in embedded and special-purpose systems, a bunch more.

But because a lawyer might look at my code, and use it to screw me, and through me, my family and employees quite harshly?

Bang. Closed source. The opposite of furthering progress by virtue of passing along what I've learned. I give away some of my work product such as this, but you will never see my source code because of the legal environment.

As far as I'm concerned, if I wrote it without referring to "other" source code, then no one else has any claim on my work. I don't have any idea how to fix copyright and patent and still retain the supposed commercial motivation to create, but fact is, as it stands, it's completely fucktarded.

Pisses me off, it does. :/

Comment: Not being a metric ton of bit rot (Score 1) 164

by fyngyrz (#49356339) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

Fast; efficient; not bloated; not buggy; respectful of the user's privacy; hardened with regard to hacking if that's relevant; not encumbered by dependencies; adequately featured; well supported; well documented for the end user.

As far as I'm concerned, if you can't hit those 00001000 or 00001001 targets, you should be looking for different line of work.

Of course it is lovely if it's easily read code, well commented, well structured -- but if the former list is covered, I'll give the 00000011 latter a pass.

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 3, Insightful) 288

by ultranova (#49356307) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

It appears this German guy knew that, and was hiding his problems from his employer and the regulatory agencies that license his operation of giant passenger aircraft.

So what happens when you remove doctor patient confidentiality? The other depressed people will not see them and will still fly, only without having received psychiatric help or medication. That makes the risk larger, not smaller.

Comment: Re:Pilots must remain in control (Score 1) 288

by Kjella (#49356183) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

Or they could start making horribly bad decisions because they have no clue what to do when the computer glitches, like with Air France 447. I don't know the number of ways an airplane could break and probably neither does the pilots, they just drive the thing. I'm pretty sure the engineers at Airbus and Boeing can simulate a whole host of instruments failing or malfunctioning to add redundancy and determine which instruments are actually unreliable, probably far better than a pilot. If we increase engine power and our airspeed doesn't go up, are the engine control failing or the airspeed measurements? There's probably other instruments that can tell you the difference, but I wouldn't have much faith in the pilots figuring it out on the spot. Degraded autopilot mode might still be better than manual mode.

Comment: Re:Don't make it impossible, just make it hard (Score 1) 288

by Kjella (#49355957) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

The whole point of the cabin lock-out is that a terrorist can't threaten/torture the code out of a crew member and gain access to the cockpit. All you need to do is add a second terrorist to press the other switch and they now got access to the cockpit. That would be silly.

The right solution is always having two persons in the cockpit. That way one would have to assault and incapacitate/kill the other which is a pretty big psychological barrier compared to turning a few knobs and waiting for impact. Anyone in mortal danger will also put up a good fight and hopefully alert other crew, who may then try to unlock the door and divide the attacker's attention. Or with luck maybe the attacked person can manage to hit the unlock switch.

It's not a perfect system but you should also realize the current crash was probably not the fastest way to crash the plane. There's almost certainly a "you're malfunctioning, give me manual control" override on the flight controls and after that a pilot could send the plane nose down in a spin which would make it almost impossible for any other crew to reach the cockpit within a matter of seconds, be almost impossible to recover from and with impact in less than a minute from flight altitude. The Germanwings pilot crashed it slow because he had all the time in the world as long as he kept the captain locked out.

Comment: Re:Encrypt client side (Score 1) 110

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49355707) Attached to: Amazon Announces Unlimited Cloud Storage Plans
I'm sure that they've given considerable thought to subtly discouraging very heavy use, and looked at how different users actually tend to use online storage space, along with how much opportunity for additional profit there might be(eg. a 'photo storage' user might be a good candidate for being sold prints or something, while a 'generic files' user might not); and I imagine that lack of block level control helps. It would be interesting to know what the number-crunching looked like to arrive at those price points; though I'm sure that those data are not going to be public anytime soon.

However, I suspect that it's also there, at least in part, because this service is a relatively thin skin of consumer-friendly abstraction layer on top of S3, which is also object based. Amazon does have a block storage offering; but they only seem particularly interested in people using block storage 'devices' as disks on EC2 instances, rather than on farming them out over the web.

There is nothing stopping you from configuring the OS on an EC2 instance to function as a file server and getting remote access to block storage that way; but it doesn't seem to be the encouraged use case.

I don't know nearly enough about large-scale storage to say why they prefer object based storage over block based storage; but my understanding is that, even in the paid seats, object based storage is very much what they are offering, for anything externally accessed, with their block-based offering more or less there to allow you to configure the 'disks' in your EC2 'server' with a bit more granularity.

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