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Comment Re:How are Linux users affected by this? (Score 1) 180

I actually did a little research on this, and assuming Flash and Adobe Reader vulnerabilities allow code to be executed like in Windows, there is a possibility of setting up a keylogger or bot. Of course, as long as the exploited app isn't running with root permissions (which would only happen if you were logged in as root), it could only infect one user profile and it would be trivial to remove (it would only be able to run on login or X session start by say, putting itself in ~/.profile, ~/.kde/autostart or ~/.config/autostart), but if you don't notice what's going on, a keylogger or bot could run quite happily in the background.

Of course it could also attempt to repeatedly ask for root permissions using gksudo/kdesu prompts until you put your password in. A smart user would switch to a terminal, kill the offending process, and hunt it down like a dog, but Granny on her Ubuntu machine might just enter her password to make the prompt go away, and then you'll have a real problem on your hands.

Comment Re:"Supreme courts" (Score 1) 194

Judges can think rationally and apply the letter of the law. Jurists, without that to keep them in check, can say "that's immoral, 5 year prison sentence" even if it's not technically illegal. A precise legal framework is needed because you can conform to one, but you can't conform to someone's morality which you don't even know of until the trial.

Comment Re:Tell it to the plastic clown (Score 2, Insightful) 837

It sounds like you aren't working for the Help Desk. I've talked to people from the Help Desk and guess what, they actually are hourly workers with poor benefits that usually get treated like crap. They aren't even considered part of IT, more of a three-level set of gatekeepers that handle scripted issue resolution so the real IT team can focus on the real problems.

In reading the responses in this thread so far, I wonder if the OP is asking the wrong question.
Perhaps a better question would have been :

I've been working in the Help Desk for ${duration} and a recent change by management (instituting a new dress code for help desk workers, but not for the rest of IT) reminded me why I spent four years in a university learning software engineering - to be a software engineer. How do I go about making the transition from the help desk into the development and implementation teams at my company?

In the past year, I've done the following to make myself more attractive as a software developer / IT sysadmin :
[ ] Learned the proprietary API developed in-house by our software development team
[ ] Learned to program in the following languages
[ ] Configured my own computer at home with the following operating systems (heavily used within our organization)
[ ] Configured my own server at home with the following packages (heavily used within our organization)
[ ] Installed the latest version of the following databases on my home server and became familiar with troubleshooting it
[ ] Got certified with the following Sun / Microsoft / IBM certs :

If the OP hasn't done any of the above (or anything on par), above and beyond the daily call of ticket fixes from the help desk, and at review time points to his fantastic stats from merely doing his help desk duties - time per ticket, tickets per day, overall 'customer satisfaction' score - then your interpretation of management's 'uniform' suggestion is probably an appropriate reflection of how management actually perceives the Help Desk (hint : at my last company they were referred to as the 'Helpless Desk'.)

Comment Re:Compression? (Score 1) 175

Ya. A universal truth with new perceptually compressed formats seems to be that the more quality you want in a given size, the most you pay for it in terms of power needed to compress and decompress the data. You get trickier with the math and it gets you more for less, but at the cost of calculations.

In fact, you find that some seemingly "inferior" compressions were invented for just that reason. DV is a good example. It came around in 1995 for use in digital video cameras. However, when you look at it by the numbers, it is inferior to MPEG-1, which was already out (came out in 1992) and to MPEG-2 which was nearly finalized. Why then would you want a new standard if it was worse? Well because while it may have offered lower compression, it offered two very important advantages:

1) Better recompressing. DV handles multiple uncompress recompress cycles much better than MPEG in terms of degradation.

2) Simpler hardware implementation. DV is extremely simple to encode and decode, and as such requires little in the way of processing electronics to make it happen.

The second one was really important. Back in the 90s, a hardware MPEG encoder was a rather pricey unit, the kind of thing that you wouldn't be able to put in a low priced camera. So instead a format was invented that used more bandwidth for a given picture, but didn't take as much processing power.

So I know full well you can do HD video in less bandwidth than DVD. I've done it myself. I also know you pay the price in terms of computation time. Takes an amazing amount of power to encode, and not a trivial amount to decode.

Also the whole "only looks good in motion" thing? Ya that would be a recipe for disaster. Games spend plenty of time in low motion. In addition to areas to the screen that have less motion (like status displays) there are plenty of times where a player looks at one thing. In terms of strategy games this happens all the time, but even in FPSes. You are guarding something so you look at one place, etc. If the image goes to shit when that happens, well people are not going to be happy.

I'm afraid games are just brutally difficult when it comes to compression.

Comment Re:Professionalism (Score 1) 837

I worked for a software house of 10 people. We wore what the hell we wanted unless we were facing clients, then we wore what the hell the client needed to see in order to believe we were professionals. Once the client "knew" us, we wore what the hell we wanted. We grew, we merged with a company of equivalent size to make about 200 people. We kept our "dress code". The merged company exploded in size, technology group represented less than 10% of the 10,000 staff globally a big group of that 10% wore some company branded hooey we stayed with what the hell we wanted. Someone tried to introduce the idea that we should conform to a uniform policy.

I find the requirement for "uniforms" for non customer facing resources to be offensive. I have enough trouble with the idea of "uniforms" for people that do face customers. What I understand is that some customers come at things with a view to what a professional looks like and in order to make the connection you have to conform until you can prove that your suit isnot what makes you worth paying to do your job.

I probably would have walked from my job over this issue because it really sits at the heart of my relationship with my employer. My expertise, commitment and professionalism are measured in what I do and not the clothes I wear. If my boss thinks otherwise then he or she is a tool. If I cannot persuade them or their boss of this issue then the company is not worth working for. Period.

We all have to make compromises and by the time this issue came up for me I was senior enought that I could have pulled weight and just ignored it but I was holding out for all the guys in our group who didn't have that ability. I cannot overstate how much this kind of thing shits me. I don't know about your Helldesk folk but the ones I work with fall into two categories, the good who treat most problems like puzzles and do what has to be done to solve them, for them I would go into bat to get 'em the right to wear what the hell they like. The others, you know the kind I mean, I wouldn't piss on if they were on fire and I have bollocked them and their managers over their work, I would be happy if their uniform was a grey smock and a dunces hat, just so we know what to expect...

If you cannot leave your job then suck it up and wait until you can because this kind of thing is a baaaad deal.

Comment Re:Assuming Facts Not In Evidence (Score 1) 870

Problem is, they lost most of their military assets on the planet because they made a bad decision, and everything has to be shipped in from five light-years away. Whatever they may have really needed, they didn't have it at that point and they had no way of ordering it (remember that it takes four years for the message to get to Earth, and then another six or seven for the ship with the stuff you ordered to arrive).

Uh, I don't recall seeing any mention of any of this in the movie. I was talking about the movie, not about a screenplay, or the director's blog, or whatever...

Sure, if the corporation were under those kinds of constraints, they should have given a lot more careful thought to their tactics.

they might have considered less profitable, more diplomatic solutions,

Well, they apparently were having trouble with diplomacy, but without an effective military solution they probably should have just lived with whatever they could get for the decade it would take for a government-run solution to come along. You don't pretend you're a superpower when you aren't one.

Note that I'm purely arguing the practicality of the situation and not its ethics. Ethically I think that both parties are in the wrong. The miners are willing to resort to brutal violence at any cost to displace an indigenous tribe. The tribe possesses something that is vitally important to somebody else and they aren't willing to even talk about sharing it peacefully even though it isn't of any use to them and the corporation is trying to offer compensation. Neither position is morally justified.

Supposedly there will be two more movies.

Obviously there is some larger story that some people seem to be reading. I was commenting purely on the movie and its contents as it was proposed. It wouldn't shock me if the guy who came up with the original story did a better job covering these sorts of bases than th director/producers did...

Comment Re:Say goodbye to your lunchbreak (Score 1) 837

Taping a bullseye to your back on a battlefield shouldn't be a problem at all actually.

If it's a problem, it's either because you're screwing up so badly that your own guys want to kill you, or you're a coward and you're retreating, presenting the enemy with something nice to aim at. Either way, problem solved. ;)

Comment Re:I guess you could call it a ... (Score 4, Interesting) 438

GM and so many other corporations are having problems because they have focused on maximizing short-term profit as the absolute top priority, and either forgotten their product, or sacrificed the product (with blind cost-cutting) in the name of profit.

They have completely forgotten that producing products and services that people want to have is the way to generate profit in the long term.

I'm not a fanboi, but Apple is a great example of a company that started with the right idea, lost their way in the '90s and found it again in the '00s.

Comment Re:EtherPad makes Google Wave look even worse (Score 1) 126

Yeah, I was just thinking that too. They're sort of like the machines in the Matrix. Google lives off of the energy generated by people who live in the Googtrix.

I don't know whether I should take the red pill or the blue pill. I really don't know which would be better. The this version of the Googtrix doesn't seem so bad to me. I worry about what things will be like when the leadership is turned over to someone more Ballmer-like.

Comment Re:I read this as (Score 1) 572

Yeah, I know. I'm just cranky today. There is a lot I like about the iPhone. I like that it's got an iPod, the GPS and Maps have saved me a lot of time and aggravation. I get good call quality. I can actually view some web traffic cameras when I walk out to my car after work. These are the things that made me choose the iPhone over other options when I got it, and they're still good today.

It's just that while the iPhone is a really great device, it is just not a really great phone. And it makes me cranky.

Comment Re:I read this as (Score 2, Insightful) 572

Yes, geeks are supposed to be knowledgable and have a penchant for solving perceived problems through creative methods:

Is spending $300 to update my 1yo phone to get voice dialing that already works on my 4yo razr "creative" or "stupid?"

Jailbreaking an iPhone may be considered creative to some. To me, needing to jailbreak an iPhone to get basic functionality is flawed, not creative. Really, are people still patting themselves on the back for jailbreaking?

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