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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:so, basically they are saying... (Score 1) 203

So essentially, they have openly stated that because the practice is useful to the government ut should not be subjected to judiciary review, despite clear concerns from privacy advocates, and seemingly legitimate legal challenges to the validity of the practice?

Well, sort of. Or more like, don't arrest AT&T officials because they did what the President told them to do. Kind of the wrong spot to put them in. Sort of like Mom tells you to do something, and Dad tells you he'll ground you if you do. They shouldn't be in the middle between two branches of government.

This is a government issue, and a separation of powers issue. It's also a "vote for candidates who will end illegal wiretapping" issue. Of course, that was Obama, and he wasted no time completely flipping on that issue, so good luck.

Comment Re:Truth or dare... (Score 2) 617

There are those who try. One version of this scheme is abusive "naked short selling." Sell a huge volume of stock short which drives down the price, then cover a small fraction (taking a profit), and cancelling the other orders. You cancel most of the orders because otherwise covering them would increase the price in the same way that you drove it down in the first place. Doing this abusively without good faith that the short orders will be filled is supposed to violate SEC rules, but (as per Wiki) enforcement is alleged to be spotty.

Comment Re:IPs parallel the discoverable world (Score 1) 321

Which is why, if used correctly, it is *a* piece of evidence, not *the* piece of evidence. To go with the DNA analogy, which seems to have become the new 'car analogy' on slashdot: what if the lab messes up? Mistakes happen.

I saw a story once where some guy got busted for a fairly minor crime, but they collected his DNA and ran it. Bang, hit on a 30 year old cold case where someone had been killed in a cemetary, blood collected from a gravestone. Guy pleads his innocence. Turns out they got two hits from that gravestone, and the other hit was a guy who had been 4 years old when the crime was committed. Something's messed up, right? So it turns out the common denominator was that all three DNA samples were run by the same lab in the same week - the cold-case sample from the gravestone, the guy who got accused of the murder, *and* the 4 year old (who had since grown up) and was also arrested that week. Clearly all three samples were co-contaminated, right? Not according to the lab director, since they don't make mistakes. And the jury returned a guilty.

Point is, even DNA isn't foolproof. Neither is an IP. Both are helpful, neither is sufficient. But just like if your DNA shows up at a crime scene, if your IP is involved with copyright violation, you can expect to be making a lawyer's car payments, even if you're ultimately exonerated. Good reason to secure your networks.

Comment Re:"Wearing fur"? Seriously? (Score 1) 418

I mean damn PETA come on, this is why people start thinking you're just a bunch of nutjobs....

I can never decide if this is some sophisticated ploy to seem ridiculous while driving attention to an issue through use of hyperbole.....

...or whether they really are just nutjobs.

Either way, you know you've really accomplished something as an organization when you are completely immune to parody, because really, there's no room left.

Comment Re:In the US? Not so much... (Score 3, Informative) 632

Not that it's what he meant, but computer-floppy-computer was probably the most common disease vector back then. In the pre-internet era, anyway. Floppies-from-home were plague-bearers. At one point I think my school had some sort of quarantine.

So it's quite possible for a floppy virus to infect an entire lab, but I'll grant that Mr. Jock probably wasn't that savvy.

Comment Re:What? (Score 1) 236

I wouldn't say he is an asshole. I'd say he's someone who made some mistakes when he was younger, lost an absolute fucking fortune over it, and then did something unusual (for assholes) - he conducted a brutally honest self-assessment, used it to make himself better, and bared it for the world.

Sounds like somebody who grew the hell up to me.

Comment Where does it end? (Score 1) 292

Read up on rules on monopolies. If you have a dominant position in one area and use that to gain an advantage in other areas, that's when you are in trouble. If no such rules were in place, the natural evolution would be that one company crushing all the others. Be thankful that that this is happening. It's good for you in the end.

Fully agree. However, when does one thing (search) become two things (search, maps), in which the one is used to abuse the other? Based on the suggestions here, the only thing that Google can do is provide an interface for customers to choose absolutely everything. However, where do you draw the line? What if I want my searching based on a specific algorithm - have google leveraged their ad presentation infrasstructure into the algorithm development business? What if I want them to use a different ad server? What if I want them to use a competitor's font - are the typesetters being disadvantaged here?

What if we parametricize this - are they extending search into restaurant reviews - should Yelp sue? What about the whitepages - should phone information services sue? Etc, etc.

There's an insidious aspect in that because Google's product is free, every aspect of their operation can be seen as another 'free service' that is connected (illegally?) to their search operation. Is Maps another service or just another way of showing search results?

I could see a clean break with a service like Mail - that has little to do (from a user's standpoint) with their core search business, though on the biz side of course they're both part of the ad business. So if they're popping up GMail on top when you search for Hotmail (they don't, btw), that would be one thing. But simply presenting search results on a map, or showing a map of a locality that is searched for, calling that anti-trust is brainless.

Two other things: 1) Companies shouldn't have to guess what can be construed as anti-trust under very creative definitions, they should be given notice first. 2) There's a clear conflict of interest when the body that fines you gets to keep the loot.

Comment Brilliant Move by MS (Score 1) 290

Microsoft intends to turn DNT on by default for IE 10, and even if you don't go with Windows 8 you might get some updates for Win7, if not actually IE 10, that set DNT accordingly. Now a huge browser market, including most people people who don't know what DNT is, nor do they care, will have it disabled by default. This pits Microsoft against Google in a huge way.

Sort of relates to this internal Microsoft memo that was leaked.

Halloween Document XII.

Recorded by //REDACTED//, as dictated by Steve Ballmer, //REDACTED//, and //REDACTED//.

10/18/2011

Microsoft Engineer So there's this Do Not Track feature that will really help consumers. It prevents advertisers from following their every move online. It will be great for privacy. Can I have a $100,000 research budget for it?

Steve Ballmer Fuck that.

Corporate weasel whispers into Ballmer's ear

Steve Ballmer Oh, you mean this will completely fuck Google and Facebook? Why didn't you say so? You have your budget for $100,000,000

Engineer Actually, I only need...

Engineer's Manager That will be great Mr. Ballmer, thank you.

Cheers,

Eric

Comment Congrats (Score 1) 263

First off. Congrats to you and the larger slashdot community that we are asking such questions. Man have we come a long way in a decade or so.

Beyond that, I strongly echo EFF. Really important. Another that I've recently seen is A World in Motion which is supported by the society of automotive engineers among others. Great way to introduce engineering to school kids.

Beyond that - good luck, and thanks for making a difference.

Comment Criminally Insane (Score 2) 135

I'm a scientist with a CS minor and some experience doing SW engineering (probably badly) on small projects. Even *I* know you abstract the actual storage and provide some simple accessor/insertion functions to prevent people from actually touching the storage implementation. For a couple of reasons: 1) to prevent goofballs from creating pointer messes, and 2) so that, if you want to, you can completely rip out the actual storage implementation and replace it without breaking anyone's code. I'm sure there are also reasons 3) - Eleventy, but those two are pretty obvious. Not to mention which, it only adds maybe a couple hours (if you're diligent and paranoid) over the short term, and probably saves weeks over the long term.

Not to mention which, aren't there standard libraries to do this stuff? Did STL not exist back then?

Comment I'll ask the obvious... (Score 1) 487

What happens when Ken leaves? The company is well and truly fucked, right?

This is why even the smart guys have to play by the rules. The best ones know that they're good, but that not everybody else is, and this is a job and not a hobby. Frankly, what Ken needs is a manager with the balls to tame him, or fire him.

I'm also glad I'm not working with Synopsis if that's indicative of anything.

Comment Re:Guarantees (Score 1) 260

If the OP wants to remain in computer *programming*, he shouldn't get a PhD, period, as that's not what it's for. If he wants to move into actual *computer science* - which is completely different than programming - then he likely needs a PhD.

You're talking about completely different career paths. A CS PhD has a strong theoretical background. A program architect is a totally different track. It's like saying that someone shouldn't get a PhD in anthropology because it won't prepare him for is career as an accountant.

Comment Re:It used to be. Now it gets you this. (Score 1) 260

Sorry, but just because some crank claims it on a blog doesn't make it so. The postdoc 'thing' isn't a scam. Postdocs are a choice - namely, to get paid better than a grad student but still work in academia while still pretty fresh and inexperienced. I'd imagine that the postdocs responsibilities are much more academically oriented than the companies participating - and that the postdoc is also less experienced, in general, than the industrial representatives participating

If the candidate wants a 'real' job in CS or aerospace, those are most certainly available, and will pay more. But they will curtail the academic freedom that will be available at a university.

Slashdot Top Deals

If the aborigine drafted an IQ test, all of Western civilization would presumably flunk it. -- Stanley Garn

Working...