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Comment Re:Dilbert? Yes. The Office? No, WAY too long. (Score 1) 37

>> It's surprising how few novels are set in the workplace

LOTS of novels are written about the workplace. The critical point is that they don't get published.

Here's how it works: Some guy (they're almost always guys) goes to university, gets a BA in English, then goes off and gets a dull office job because he needs money to pay off his student loans, just like everybody else. Time goes by, and about ten years in he starts to grow unsatisfied with his situation and he thinks to himself, "Whatever happened to that novel I always said I was going to write?" And he vows to write a novel.

But what should the novel be about? Well, you know what they say: "Write what you know." And what does he know? Well, pretty much since he got out of college, he's been working at a boring, soul-numbing office job. He hates his coworkers and thinks they're all idiots. The boss is the worst of all. Great stuff, he thinks! He has piles of material to work with. And so he sets out to write his book about a guy working in an office.

The problem is A.) Unbeknownst to him, he is not the first person to have this idea;
B.) When you write a book where the main character is just some schlub in an office going around thinking he's superior to everybody else around him, that main character comes off like a dick;
C.) It turns out that the silly little situations that get you through your dreary days at the office are not really that amusing to anyone else -- or witty, or original, or insightful, etc.;
D.) It turns out that the office is not really a very fertile setting for fiction after all, and that the reason a lot of people who work office jobs bring books with them on the train in the morning is because they'd rather think about something else.

I am being dead serious about all of this. I've been told by literary agents that this type of book is probably the #2 submission received by fiction agents/editors from first-time authors, right after the thinly-veiled memoir of the author's college days disguised as a novel.

Like the latter book, the "novel about my suffering and toil at the office" is best seen as a practice run -- finish it if you must, but then immediately shelve it and start your second novel, which might be about something interesting.

Comment Re:Yea. Me Too. (Score 1) 135

The government is not one man, even in China. If it this did happen and was ever proven he would be forced out at the very least, if not prosecuted, even in China.

OK, now I think you're intentionally being thick.

Let's recap: You are the one suggesting that this was the work of one man, acting alone. I am the one telling you that this is virtually impossible, and an attack of this kind would never be done without official government sanction. So explain to me what your new argument is now, because you sure as hell sound like you're making my point for me.

I think you need to do some reading about China. My girlfriend is Chinese as it happens, so I have some interest in this subject.

I bow before the superior intellect, Khan.

It will be ignored until it can no longer be ignored (because incontrovertible proof is made public), at which point the powers that be will come down hard.

Yeah? And just when would that proof be made public. You mean the kind of "made public" like when the newspapers you attacked run stories about it and the entire world knows about it?

I am begging you ... begging you, now. THINK. Use your brain.

Comment Re:What a non-story (Score 1) 66

So they made a USB 3.0 flash drive that has a decent amount of space on it, priced it at a multiple more than the competition, and that's it? It doesn't even come with Windows 8, which is the purpose of buying this product. Great story brought to you by /., now advertising products that many will never, ever need (or want)!

The part they seem to have glossed over is that this is a secure USB key. Most of the storage is AES encrypted, with just a tiny unencrypted boot partition to handle the encryption.

Mind you, I saw this press release on Friday and it didn't sound particularly interesting to me, either.

Here's something interesting, though. Imation, which has been buying up various companies, including IronKey -- because apparently floppy disks aren't selling as well as they once did -- has managed to shed 88.5% of its share price since 2006.

Comment Re:Yea. Me Too. (Score 3) 135

A politician acting for themselves is not the same as the state deciding to sanction something. When a US politician goes to jail that doesn't mean that the government committed a crime or endorsed his behaviour.

OK, my guess was right. You really don't understand how things work in China. My recommendation is that you go to the library, grab back issues of some reputable news source (The Economist might be a good place to start) and read up on everything you can find about the last Chinese national election. Along the way you'll learn a lot about how free Chinese politicians are to act independently. (TL;DR - China ain't the US.)

Also, just think about what you're suggesting. This isn't some politician giving an order to have some hapless old man thrown in prison. That kind of thing happens all the time in China, and nobody ever hears about it. What you're saying, though, is that some lone politician, acting completely independently and on his own initiative, hired hackers to launch an attack on the two largest, most respected newspapers in the United States. Not even the largest companies -- the largest newspapers. Exactly how was this supposed rogue, lone wolf politician planning to cover up what he did?

Comment Re:Attack details? (Score 2) 135

This brand of cynicism is dull, and it creates its own form of self-fulfilling ignorance.

If nothing you see in the media is true and every journalist is a puppet of either advertisers or the government, then where do you get your news from, exactly?

There is only one possible answer, and that is: You make it up. You hear what people tell you, decide you're going to believe the opposite, and then you go around railing on the news for not saying what you believe.

In other words, you are a dolt.

Comment Re:Yea. Me Too. (Score 3) 135

You are assuming it was the Chinese government. So far I have not seen a shred of evidence to support that. There is some circumstantial evidence that the attacks may have originated from China, possibly.

It would actually make a lot more sense if it were hackers hired by the politician who has been the subject of these embarrassing stories.

OK, did I just read your whole comment to learn that you think there's not "a shred of evidence" that it was the government, but instead you believe it was hackers hired by the government? I think I can smell my brain dying.

Of course it might just be the Chinese equivalent of Anonymous.

Do you have any idea how things work in China? Just think for a minute: Great Firewall of China, ring any bells? Go find some bandwidth statistics and see how hard it is for the Chinese to get access to fast internet connections, compared to places like South Korea or Japan. And if there really were some underground internet hacker movement composed of individuals in China -- and there isn't -- why on Earth would they attack Western newspapers, which mostly tell the truth, and not their own newspapers, which never do?

Comment Re:MS Really Embracing OSS? (Score 1) 227

You're kind of ignoring the elephant in the room, which is that Apple didn't write MacOS X from the ground up.

An equally important elephant in the room is that Apple had been trying to write its own modern OS, with features like preemptive multitasking and memory protection, from the ground up, and it failed. Once Copland crashed and burned, Apple had wasted so much time that it had no choice but to acquire an OS -- or at least the foundations of an OS -- from some other source. NeXT ended up being it.

Comment Re:1st step. (Score 1) 227

What makes no sense to me is why they'd use *Git* which is almost hostile towards the Windows platform, and not embrace Mercurial which has always been friendly to Windows users, offers capabilities similar to Git, and is designed more for ease of use and data integrity.

According to Microsoft, they chose Git because A.) It's the most popular these days, so by targeting that they reach the largest installed base; and B.) Git has not worked well with/on Windows, and they would like to change that.

Comment Re:Couldn't we just charge them tuition? (Score 3, Insightful) 689

Frankly, I'd prefer if more foreign students went back to where they came from to improve their own communities. I am amazed by the percentage of medical doctors in the USA who immigrated from third world countries and now earn their livings soaking middle class Americans. I want my doctor to actually care about my health, not just his bottom line.

And why would an American-born doctor be more likely to do that than a foreign-born one? He's stuck working in the same broken healthcare system that funnels profits to insurance companies over doctors.

Comment Re:Nice media strategy (Score 1) 252

I'm curious; what if you as a writer for El Reg were to receive some of these documents - what would you do with them?

It's a good question and -- with the understanding that I don't speak for The Register or its management -- the answer is that it really depends. I don't know what kind of information they supposedly stole. TFA says the files were named after Supreme Court judges. That tells me nothing. The information, if verifiable, might count as proof that a hack actually took place, but if someone shows me the cell phone numbers and home addresses of all the Justices, that information wouldn't itself be news.

In a broader sense, though, let's suppose we were the recipient of some major, Wikileaks-style information dump. What would we do? All I can say is that:

A.) It's a topic that has definitely come up in the newsroom before, on numerous occasions.
B.) In some cases things can be a little dicey for us because, being a publication based in the UK, we are subject to UK libel laws, which are notoriously backwards and archaic.
C.) Similar things have happened. For example, there are a fair number of tech-savvy people on staff. So if a story comes up that somebody stole a couple of gigs' worth of emails and "released it," one of us just might be sharp enough to figure out that there must be a torrent of them out there somewhere, and go fetch them. Fine; now we're sitting on a big pile of data that was illicitly obtained from the source. Is the leak already the subject of an investigation? Or litigation? By law, are we now complicit in the original crime? Do we then mention that we have reviewed the documents and that they are of such-and-such nature? Or do we just use the download to verify, for our own satisfaction, that the leak is in fact legitimate? If we mention that we have the documents, where do we say we got them from? Who is our "source"? If a Julian Assange steps up and offers something and says "I released this," that's one thing, but if an anonymous script kiddie just puts something out there it's a little different.

So I guess in summary, all I can say is that it depends. It depends on how important the story is. It depends on who is offering the information. It depends on the nature of the information, e.g. does it involve individuals, governments, etc.? It depends on who might be damaged by the release of the information, and to what extent, as well as how much public benefit there might be in releasing it. The answer is always going to vary on a case-by-case basis -- but where the very tricky cases are concerned, we do have lawyers we can ask.

Comment Re:i know what i'm thinking is heavily biased but! (Score 1) 190

That's the point- they're all as bad as each other. Why should I distrust a Chinese product any more than an American one? Neither government has exactly got a rosy reputation for due process in cyberspace.

You've short circuited your thinking. The difference is that in China, a company is synonymous with the government, but in America, companies and the government are separate.

Do American companies collaborate with the government? Sure, sometimes. Do they comply with government laws that gag them from talking about what they're doing? Sure, sometimes. But if I hear the US government has been killing people with drones, and then I'm thinking about doing business with Instagram, I don't think to myself, "Wait -- was Instagram in on that whole drone murder thing?"

With Chinese companies, the gray area is much darker, because you simply cannot do business there without close ties to the government.

Comment Re:Not Bill Gates' Microsoft (Score 2) 339

Microsoft are doing it for the same reason I see Apple doing it - it makes business sense. Microsoft is no-longer able to steamroll standards through by becoming the de-facto standard.

But this was predicted, wasn't it?

What's that Gandhi said? "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

How many boxes has open source ticked off on that list?

Don't hate Microsoft. Just smile and nod. And if they become amazingly successful by using open source because "it makes business sense," and they play by the rules and they quit using dirty business tactics and they compete on merit and open source becomes an everyday part of their business ... congratulate them.

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