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Comment Re:Imagine that.... (Score 3, Insightful) 477

Where does it say he was incompetent? It says he was fired because he kept bothering other employees with his ideas.

I know it violates /. tradition and may even be deemed "cheating," but there's at least one link in every /. post leading to a direct source article, which YOU CAN ACTUALLY READ ALL BY YOURSELF! In this case the referenced article links to another more detailed and specific AP article that details the bozo's workplace failure.

It is worth noting that for support staff (in this case a "computer specialist" on the Cassini project) not being a nuisance to co-workers is a critical and fundamental job skill. So is maintaining the respect & trust of the people doing the core work of the organization. JPL was correct in providing evidence of Coppedge's bad attitude and workplace evangelism as part of the argument that he was cut for perfectly sound reasons. Working well with others is a perfectly legitimate job requirement and failing to do so is a competence issue in many jobs.

Comment Re:And they'll still buy the next iPhone (Score 1) 466

Most of their customers will grumble about it, and guess what? They'll still buy the next iPhone. Apple's marketing really helps them here.

Most??? You use that word, but I don't think it means what you think it means...

The key aid here from Apple's marketing is that Apple knows who their customers are. The "loss" of the Transit info isn't very meaningful for Apple's customers and frankly it is worse than useless in Google Maps for many people now. For example, Google has incomplete and inaccurate info for the SMART bus system that serves (for a loose definition of "serve") the Detroit suburbs. Are they better in other places? I can't possibly know but I wouldn't ever trust that feature given that I know it to be routinely wrong. Do iOS users actually get anything useful from Google's Transit misfeature? I can't know the answer to that but you can be sure Apple has at least a partial answer and has some grasp on how well such a feature can actually be implemented. My guess is that Transit is a feature that would not be capable enough for enough iOS users to be worth doing. If most iOS users even notice losing transit info as a Maps feature I'd be surprised.

As TFA notes, it is very likely if not certain that Google will be offering their Maps app for iOS 6 independently, or maybe rolling the functions into their existing Earth app. How many people will grumble and for how long? I don't know with any certainty, but I'd be surprised if it is "most" by the standard definition.

Comment Re:Prior Art? (Score 1) 98

If the Twin Peaks patent is on GPL-violating code,

Thank you for playing, we have some nice parting gifts for you...

A patent is not "on" a specific piece of code, but rather on a method of doing something useful. Specific code is covered by copyright. GPL is a copyright license, not a patent license.

Comment Re:Arrrrrg (Score 1) 87

I may have this wrong, but isn't this exploit only possible if you have Java enabled in your browser, which you only need to run Java applets?

Or Java Web Start, which is basically downloaded (rather than embedded) applets

When was the last time you saw a Java applet?

The last time I needed to work in a single-user interactive shell on the console on one of our servers. It's been a few weeks, but when I need it, I NEED IT. The access mechanism that actually works is a dynamically generated JWS applet with embedded temporary auth tokens. A rather slick way to do safe working console access compared to some of the broadly dysfunctional and/or unsafe approaches I've seen.

Disable it. I'm surprised it's still enabled by default (I think it's actually disabled in Chrome).

I don't believe that any current browser+OS combination has Java installed and enabled by default. Chrome is slightly special, apparently because it is a 32-bit app and it takes some manual effort on a 64-bit OS to get a 32-bit plugin. For modern MacOS, there simply is no 32-bit plugin and so no Java for Chrome no matter what.

Comment Security questions are designed to weaken security (Score 2) 408

They are de facto alternative shared secrets used for authentication, so that instead of there being just one password that will open an account there are more. Because the answers are mostly things we don't think of as particularly secret and many systems use the same sets of questions, the result is what everyone knows is bad practice: a weak password used in many places.

The right fix for the "security question" mess is not better questions or trick answers, it is to eliminate the process that demands them. A human-mediated password reset process is always going to be subject to social engineering and if the humans mediating that process are low-skill CS reps whose work is only deemed to be worth the prevailing call center wages in Chennai or Manila, the social engineering is likely to be unchallenging. If you must offer a way for a user to recover an account for which they've forgotten the password, it should not be vulnerable to attack via research or pleading.

Comment Correct link to cited Vixie post (Score 5, Informative) 163

As has become all too common the /. summary is linked to a negative-added-value article at the totally worthless IBT.

Paul's actual post is at CircleID: http://www.circleid.com/posts/20120327_dns_changer/ and is over 3 months old. Not news. As is normal for Paul it is well written and smart but if you've been following DNSChanger, you've read this already.

Youtube

Submission + - Google's Artificial Brain is learning about cats ... from YouTube (lifehacker.com)

NemesisEnforcer writes: "Google has apparently been working on one of the largest neural networks ever produced in their X Laboratory. The software has been given access to the Internet to freely learn, and it has decided to move in a strange direction. Apparently funny cat videos on YouTube are a great primary source of zoological information.

John Connor, use the kittens!"

China

Submission + - NSA Director Says Cybercrime is 'Greatest Transfer of Wealth in History' (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: The general in charge of the National Security Agency on Monday said the lack of national cybersecurity leglislation is costing us big and amounting to what he believes is "the greatest transfer of wealth in history."

U.S. Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander urged politicians to stop stalling on approving a much-needed cybersecurity law — of which various versions currently are circulating in Congress. At the same time, he implored private companies to better cooperate with government agencies, many of whom remain mum because of privacy concerns.

"We can do the protection of civil liberties and privacy and cybersecurity as a nation. Not only that we can, but I believe it's something that we must do," Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 622

Yes, and its universal availability is a result of the low bar it presents to amateurs. Anyone selling very cheap hosting has to sell a lot of it to a lot of people who aren't going to be interested in anything hard.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 2) 622

Why contribute to a project that has such a solid record of recklessly incompetent leadership? Why work to prop up an ecosystem that has developed into a vast toxic swamp?

The advantages of PHP have always been reducible to the fact that it is relatively easy for non-programmers to understand. It's accessible for people who don't have a mindset for or interest in computer science. That's not inherently a bad thing, but it is risky. As with VB before it, it is true that any crazy idiot can code in PHP, so many of them do. The choices made over the years by many in the PHP community (led from the top) to keep it an easy, accessible, and forgiving platform in order to grow rather than improve the community have had predictable results. The debacle of the recent release bungles and the ongoing failure to either obviate Suhosin for 5.4.x or make it work is demonstrative evidence that the guiding spirit of the PHP universe is still one of reckless incompetence.

Comment Re:So much for that idea... (Score 2) 99

My Japanese is worthless, but I'm not a large multi-national industrial conglomerate with operations in Japan worth millions of dollars per year that would justify my time and/or money to actually learn Japanese or hire someone who can write a press release in Japanese fluently. If I had a need to issue press releases in Japanese, I'd at least have a native speaker read them to make sure my machine translator hadn't messed up.

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