Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment non-engineers fail at engineering systems (Score 1) 192

Software people normally educated in engineering, and the systems they build fail. Does that mean that engineering a software system isn't engineering, or that non-engineers failed to engineer it properly?

Novels, movies, hairstyles, etc are not systems subject to unyielding laws which must be accounted for, or the project fails. Physical systems, such as buildings, and software systems such as databases ARE subject to unbreakable laws which will cause or prevent failure.

Engineering is about applying a set of known rules which govern the behavior of systems to a specific design. You can calculate the shear load on a bridge member, based on a specific amount of vehicle traffic, and know exactly how thick your steel must be. That's engineering. You can calculate what the IO load will be on a specific storage unit, based on a specific amount of web traffic, and know exactly how wide your RAID must be. That's also engineering.

The two problems above are extremely similar, and there is a very similar process for determining the optimal engineered solution in both cases.

Most programmers don't use proper engineering methods, and most programmers don't produce reliable designs. That's because they aren't using properly engineering methods, not because proper engineering methods don't apply.

By the way, you're distinction about physical objects vs. conceptual systems is, in a word, wrong. The reason the Obamacare sites can't take the load has everything to do with the radial velocity of a rotating mass known as a "hard drive". The drive spins at 10,000 RPM. The system tries to read opposite sides of the drive 40,000 times per second. Engineering fail.

Comment "hawkguy is at nycc" vs. their lies. abused access (Score 4, Interesting) 150

In the few cases an app has posted on my social media accounts, it's been a benign (and true) message like "raymorris is at NY Comic Con". That's what a respectable organization might do and what I'd expect from a company that wants to keep my business.

On the other hand, what they did is misleading and they are assholes for doing it. Just because I give someone access to something doesn't excuse them for abusing that access. One of my employees has access to the company checkbook. If she abuses that access she could go to jail.

Comment so in other words "no", you have nothing? open sou (Score 1) 101

So in other words, no you have no reasonable way to prevent someone from breaking into your house, or even making it difficult to do so. You could just admit you were wrong instead of acting more and more of an asshole with each post.

Your interesting signature references beautiful open source code. Do you know how we get beautiful open source code? I post something on my github, Tim points out how it could be improved. I make those improvements, "admittingx" that my original code had flaws. Then Mary comes along and points out more imperfections. I admit it still wasn't perfect and make the changes. Then it goes to the integrators for a repeat. That's how we end up with beautiful code, by admitting that our first thought wasn't quite right. Hell even Microsoft admits they were wrong with Windows 8. Are you as intellectually honest as Microsoft?

I am curious about your sig. What do you have going there? Tim Hunt produces some code that's beautiful in it's perfection, but you may be looking for beauty in terms of being concise and as simple as possible. There's an implementation of strcpy that's beautiful in that way, something along the lines of:

while (dest++ = src++);

Comment not anything reasonable, got something? (Score 1) 101

Can you? You could cover your $10,000 house with $100,000 of concrete. It'd no longer be your house, though, since you couldn't get inside. Not a bad way to handle high level nuclear waste, though.

You could set up a shotgun booby trap and you'd probably end up in prison or dead.

Armed guards 24 / 7? Two guards at $20 / hour is $50,000 / year to protect $10,000 of property, and STILL it only costs the bad guy a few bucks to shoot them.

It's normally going to cost the owner more to completely protect the property than it costs to break that protection, simply because it's easier to break things to build things. There's a law to that effect in quantum physics or something. It doesn't make sense to spend more protecting it than it's worth, therefore the cost to steal it won't be more than it's worth.

However, you CAN make it harder to steal your stuff than to steal the neighbor's stuff. You're not preventing the theft, just persuading the bad guy to steal from your neighbor.

I suppose in the naive view you could say that the death penalty for petty theft would make it more costly than it's worth. However, that's a naive calculation because it would have huge costs to the defender. When your son steals a candy bar he's dead, so that's not really an option.

Lastly, one could twist the question and bring in SPIRITUAL costs, saying that stealing, and getting away with it, costs the bad guy's soul. That might even be true, but it doesn't solve the question asked because you proposed that YOU can DO something to protect your house, not that spiritual laws already make it costly.

Comment ps you're saying Ferrari with alarm low hanging (Score 1) 101

BTW, you can hook and book a Ferrari with an alarm. It's worth more than it takes to steal, so by your definition. it's. low hanging fruit. I don't think that. means what you think it means.

I think low hanging fruit is comparative - the bad Guy won't. break into my house of my neighbor leaves his door wide open. If we ALL lock our doors, the thief will get a crow bar.

Posted via crappy old phone that inserts extra periods.

Comment having watched someone check door handles (Score 1) 101

I watched a thief check door handles once, looking for low hanging fruit. As I said, as long as he found plenty unlocked, the locked ones were safer. When four in a row were locked, he smashed a window. Locks didn't keep him out, not when either a lots of people used them or he saw something he wanted.

That thief is currently serving time for murder for hire.

Comment kick in door, load electronics (Score 1) 101

I'd bet $100 I could simply kick in your door and walk out with your stuff.

You COULD spend $10,000 on a security system to protect your $10,000 worth of stuff. That would be stupid, though, wouldn't it.

Let's say you did spend $10,000 on security. In that case , a burglar would want to spend $4 on a ski mask and maybe $13 on a post driver to knock the door in. Then smash the door in an QUICKLY grab $3,000 worth of electronics etc. You spent $10,000, the bad guy spent $17 to defeat it (and didn't wait around for the security company to first call you, then call the cops.)

I used to work as a locksmith. Now I secure computer systems for a living. I've yet to see one I couldn't break with ease. There ARE some strong security measures you can take with a computer, just like there are quality locks. Quality locks won't stop a large crowbar and no amount of computer security will stop a root kit.

Comment same answer as any political question (Score 1, Offtopic) 107

Given the overall percentage of libertarians (1%?) and the overall percentage of liberals (48%?), clearly it isn't anywhere near "all libertarians". This proves that:

The liberals are completely wrong.

That's the only conclusion that can be drawn by anyone who can follow simple logic. People who can follow simple logic knew that already, though.

I'm KIDDING you hyper-sensisitive liberal weenie who is furiously clicking the "reply" button. Sometimes liberals are right, even Obama. Obama was right when he said the lack of a federal budget was a sign of no leadership from the president. Obama was right when he said if the economy isn't back on track in early 2012 he shouldn't be re-elected. Obama was right when he said it would be irresponsible of him to run for president because a presidential candidate should "know what you're doing". Liberals are very often right.

Comment clear, but wrong (Score 2) 107

While there may be millions of possible reconstructions for a fuzzy, ill-defined image, the simplest (sparsest) version is probably the best fit."

Of the millions of possibilities, the sparsest is MOST likely. Perhaps it's twice as likely as any other possibility. That still means it's 99.999% likely to be wrong.

As for the MRI, that fuzzy part is probably noise that can be deleted, except when it's a tumor.

"

Comment anyone can kick your door in. I can pick it. (Score 1) 101

"Locks keep people out of my house". They don't keep bad guys out. Anyone can kick the door in. I can pick the lock, as can many other people. A lock is a REQUEST. a "do not disturb" sign.

How about much bigger locks, like a bank vault? Have you ever noticed that most banks keep their vault door a) open and b) well polished? Does that look like security, or security theatre? Notice that next to the thick steel door is a plaster wall.

It's fairly rare that you can increase security enough that something is more expensive to steal than it's worth. Sometimes, but rarely. What you CAN do is avoid being low-hanging fruit. If only I use encryption while everyone else uses plain text, I'm safer. I don't have to outrun the bear, so to speak. If everyone encrypts their data , the bag actors will download the hack tool to decrypt it.

Slashdot Top Deals

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -- James Michener, "Space"

Working...