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Comment "the cloud" (Score 4, Insightful) 389

The whole point of "the cloud" network computing, etc. Whatever we're calling it these days. Is that they want to keep charging us over and over for the same thing. They want us to rent everything from them. The computing platform, the phone, the device, the apps, as a result they can even own our data. Have fun with that if you want to a digital serf. You can opt not to use a lot of these gadgets, they're bad business models, and one can be a nerd without owning all those faddish gadgets.

Get off my lawn.

Comment Don't have one. (Score 1) 249

I gave it up. I realized that for the most part my life was better before I had a cell phone. So I got rid of the thing. Occasionally I miss it, far more often I am reminded of how great it is not to be constantly plugged into everything meaningless in life. Most of the people who ever lived, never had one.

Comment Re:gee, a sneaky way to get the average /.ers age (Score 1) 336

Without a doubt a great many /.ers have gotten more than on user ID over the years. The current population of /. is also likely so much larger than it was in say 94/95 that I wouldn't really expect to see much correlation between UID and actual user age, plus it's the internet so people lie like dogs when it comes to things like age. Further muddying up the data.

Comment California can't figure out how to pay employees? (Score 1) 738

Look, I'm old. For the /. crowd anyway. I still have the built in old people hatred of youth culture and constant cell phone use. Of course I'm a geek, so I'd trade a kidney for my unlimited smartphone, but hey that's not important here.
My employer gives me an unlimited cell phone. They pay for it, that's the deal. They can call me on it whenever they want. I can call Swaziland eleven times a day if I feel like doing so. That cost them X amount of dollars, both of us feel like I'm just getting paid X amount of dollars more every month. If my employer stops paying for my cell phone. It save them a few bucks, but over thousands of employees, it's absolutely no different than cutting pay by that much a month. It will cost them workers, reduce their ability to retain employees, it's a small cut in pay. Not really much of a story. Certainly not some big win for the taxpayers, more than likely not some big hit for the employees, but probably a stupid grandstanding play by the Governor.

I'm willing to bet that paying for these employees cell phones was seen as more valuable to the employees than it actually cost the state, therefore it was cheaper than paying however much more cash they would see as the same benefit, over time, and large enough numbers the quality of the workforce in question will decrease by the fifty-some dollars a month per person the state is saving. So basically the whole story is a big fat "yawn" hidden pay cut. Not your rights online, not a sea change, just dumb grandstanding by an aging dork.

Comment Re:Steve Case? (Score 1) 470

One of the really amusing things here. In most of the business world, I would assume being the next Steve Case would be an awesome thing. I don't know much he ended up with, but if he's rolling around on a pile of millions of dollars it's due to terribly money management, not lack of income. Also what has Facebook ever done for me? Do you know how many times I had to say thank you Steve Case for the free floppy disk? (Those things were not cheap, once upon a time.)

Comment Wait. (Score 1) 470

Are you trying to suggest that there's nothing at all special about the brilliant, almost groundbreaking, even better than Geo-Cities, or AOL, or powow uhm... It's like IRC on steroids!
So, what you're saying is there's nothing at all terribly innovative that Facebook is selling? That the only thing driving it's success is that finally, a generation or so into this, the "average" non-geeky consumer has come to understand a bit about the potential of the information age? And instead they all chose to play farmville and post ugly baby pictures?
Check. The thing that drives facebook is simply that "everyone and their grandmother" all decided to use it suddenly. That makes it briefly very useful. Sure they can extend that, or maintain it for a long time. But as soon as a better networking tool comes along. With no doubt an automagical way to import your profile information, photos and friends, all while winning five megabannanas for jungleville 3D. Then Facebook will be... Friendster/myspace/geocities/whatever other icon of forgotten internet community you'd like to bring up.

Comment Re:Did this happen in the USSR and nazi germany? (Score 1) 446

No. Those regimes were oppressive, evil, utterly without merit or redeeming features. However they were also run by people more competent than the TSA. See, our own version of the secret police is not only built to be without regard for you essential constitutional liberties. The agency is built to be so absolutely incompetent, without any potential useful benefit to society it can cause brain damage if you just try and understand how useless the entire apparatus is. The department of homeland security was seen commenting on the (Really really tiny.) 4.2 or so Earthquake in central Indiana the other day. Wait, go back, read that last sentence for comprehension. Done yet? Yes the Indiana Department of Homeland Security can officially comment on, and protect us from Earthquakes. So.. Why ask the USGS, or anyone who might have had some kinda clue about what's actually going on?

Comment Typing speed matters. To this degree. (Score 1) 545

There are some other posts that partially capture this thought. Really being able to type. Good keyboarding skills. This is nifty to have if you're a programmer, it's nifty to have if you're a writer, or have to create a lot of documentation, or various kinds of code. It isn't essential. It's not a measure of how good you are at any of those things. If you can achieve the accuracy you need, and you type fast enough that you don't find yourself taking shortcuts, using text-speak, giving all your variables names like S1 and A2 because you haven't the hand speed to call them something descriptive. Then it's not a big deal.
My coworker using some kind of bizarre sliding two hand eight-finger method two type that doesn't reliably use the same fingers to hit the same keys, and yet somehow she can type at very least faster than she can compose documentation or work instructions, and can even spell. (I Can't spell very well unless I can at least lay my hands on a desk and pretend to type the words.) I would expect anyone who is competent at any profession that requires spending a lot of time driving a keyboard to be at least a reasonably competent typist.

Comment Re:The difference engineering makes (Score 1, Insightful) 361

I think this attack just shows the difference that good engineering can make. Most worms out there are relatively unsophisticated, or are developed by people with limited means to pull off quick scams.

Stuxnet shows what a truly determined adversary can do. One who knows your internal processes. One who understands your industry-specific software - the stuff nobody outside the industry ever touches. One who has a large team of talented programmers, carefully designing and building the attack. One who has access to government resources - the ability to tap communications lines, inject traffic, etc. One who is funded strategically - they don't want to hold your business for ransom for $1M, they want your $100B company to collapse so that one they favor can take over, or whatever.

The software out there that runs on intranets around the world is some of the most insecure stuff you'll ever see. It rarely gets subjected to serious attack, and the vulnerabilities aren't evident to the average corporate IT guy who is just doing basic due-diligence. Your average PHB doesn't want to pay for testing that will actually uncover serious flaws - they want the system to look good to their customers and have the right bells and whistles - and pricetag.

We'll see more of these attacks in the future - count on it...

This, is why stuff that is important should NOT be connected to the internet. OR allowed to come into contact with jump drives or PCs or anything else that has been exposed to the internet. This is simple. This is stupid. This seems like an old guy railing about the dangers of new technology. This is absolutely true, and will continue to be true. Further examples will be provided by reality for the remainder of your lives. I will continue to be right. This advice will continue to be ignored because it is inconvienent or stupid or old fuddy duddy thinking whatever.

Comment DUMBASS IDEA, EYE NEED CAPSLOCK. (Score 5, Informative) 391

No, really, I use it frequently. Not just to post inane l33tspeak to the interwebs either. I mean I really do use the thing as part of my daily life. I deal with a few hundred part numbers, many of them are long numbers, sprinkled with letters in there.. My left hand hit the caps lock and my right hand jumps to the numpad and I'm pecking out E5-FU7-Z009A001 etc for a few lines... Natural, easy. The way the keyboard has been used for... Well decades, getting rid of the caps lock is even dumber than adding "windows" keys and whatever other crap we added to go from 101 to 10-Whatever we're at now. Key combinations are more suited for those extra functions.

Comment Re:WTF Metric units? (Score 1) 507

I just like to respond to metric trolls with the real point once in a while. Often missed in hilarious conversations about how F is more "natural" or C is more "sensible" or what's the difference if it's ten kilometers to work, or six miles. Is the fact that BILLIONS AND BILLIONS (really, I have two of everything, almost every day I work with prints or drawings calling out metric threads on an inch drawing, or metric parts made out of inch stock. for the love of God why this complication?) dollars worth of infrastructure, tooling and hardware was needlessly purchased/wasted/obsoleted by the incredibly idiotic half conversion to the metric system by the USA. Also anyone (troll coming) anyone who has ever contributed to society in a meaningful, practical way, as a carpenter or toolmaker, or construction worker understands that using inches, and their fractional components is dumboundingly more instinctive, makes the math easier to do in your head, makes it easier to sanity-check your results with... Say your finger, or your foot. Etc.

Comment Re:As a programmer (Score 1) 735

Thanks. You're a genius. Well, okay I don't know that but that's the perfect post I wanted to come here and write. The execution of idea in terms of computer code is no different than the execution of an idea in its physical form. Sure, the guys in the tool-room (Programmers) can screw it up and make it so it does NOT work, and does NOT make the company or individual money. But if the idea is bad, no amount of polish, perfection, brilliant hardware or software will make it go. A stupid, or worthless product won't get anywhere no matter how well made it is. Subaru anyone? (That's a joke, but they are really ugly, lame cars, made pretty well.) Programmers, electricians, toolmakers, designers, engineers. All of these people think the world revolves around them, and everyone else is an idiot. (I'm sure there are other examples, similar high value added, complex skill set professions without which the world wouldn't continue to operate.) That's all well and good, and it's fun to do when you're doing it, however it's not true. The people who make a business go forward are the people who conceive the idea, make the product, and get someone to buy the damn thing. See, it has to sell, everything else is irrelevant. Really.

Comment Re:Whatever. (Score 1) 469

We had an "extremist right wing" president who was completely beholden to the moneyed interests of oil, and the military industrial complex, we replaced him with a "radical left wing" president, and most of the core fundamental policies didn't change. These guys only come off as extreme because you're leaning on pop politics and mainstream news for your "facts." If anything this speaks more about you than anything else. Sure we see a slightly greater competency, and some of the people in charge can now count to 11 on their own, but in the end we're still killing random people around the world with remote controlled airplanes, bowing down to big oil and big money. Care to tell me where you think this competency is? I haven't seen any proof of it. So what wiki-leaks does is pretty much irrelevant.. Unless you're an informant who's been uncovered by this stunt. In that case you'll find them extremely relevant as you endure beatings and electric shock as you lay in a pool of your own piss.... But take heart! Your family might be lucky enough to not be treated to the same if the regime in question is light hearted about it. Otherwise they may already be laying in shallow graves in some back lot of a third world ghetto. But hey, you're a foreigner. We claim that we're on the side of WikiLeaks for bringing the tyranny of the US government to light. But we really don't give fuck all what happens to those who had the balls to take a stand against the kinds of things we claim we're horrified by. Instead we're happy to turn this into a political token where we can point to one side over another.... Irrelevant indeed. You fucking pig.

Okay. The only thing I'm going to argue with here is this. Bush supporters certainly portray Obama as an extremely liberal president. Obama supporters certainly portray Bush as being extremely conservative. Now, how is politics not a game defined by popular perception? Also, what exactly has changed? Are remote controlled airplanes still murdering people around the world? Civil liberties and fourth amendment rights still eroding? Did the world's shining beacon of hope and freedom stop torturing people? Did we quit killing, and detaining people who we can just randomly define as enemies of the people? Did the USA quit supporting EITHER Israel or Saudi Arabia? Do we spend billions protecting against "Islamic extremists" while supporting a government that is by any rational definition THE most extremist Islamic government in the world? At the same time pouring money, blood and treasure to support what is supposedly the antithesis of that regime? We're simultaneously supporting the chief antagonist to the Islamic world, and the source of most of the terror funding... Now, in real terms try to imagine just how freaking stupid that is.. Then come back and tell me American Politics is anything but bought and paid for. Sorry, I just don't see how there's a possible alternate explanation.

Comment Whatever. (Score 5, Insightful) 469

I think at this point we should just come to accept that we're governed by the dollar, for the dollar and with absolutely no concern for anything else. We had an "extremist right wing" president who was completely beholden to the moneyed interests of oil, and the military industrial complex, we replaced him with a "radical left wing" president, and most of the core fundamental policies didn't change. Sure we see a slightly greater competency, and some of the people in charge can now count to 11 on their own, but in the end we're still killing random people around the world with remote controlled airplanes, bowing down to big oil and big money. So what wiki-leaks does is pretty much irrelevant.. Much sound and fury signifying nothing. The outrage, the controversy, they're simply diversionary tactics, shiny objects to distract those few who are still paying attention. Ship sailed, game over. Democracy is as dead as the climate, sorry future generations. Some of us tried, or maybe not, until it was too late. Sorry either way.

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If Machiavelli were a hacker, he'd have worked for the CSSG. -- Phil Lapsley

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