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Comment Re:Vendor's processes not relevant (Score 1) 73

When vendors say they need more time, they're asking me to leave my systems vulnerable without telling me they're vulnerable. Sorry, but no. Not, that is, unless they're willing to shoulder 100% of all the costs resulting from that vulnerability being exploited.

The bit that you're ignoring is that by telling you about the vulnerability they're also telling all the black hats about it. So while your systems are vulnerable either way, the choice is between you and all the hackers knowing or you and most of the hackers not knowing. Whether this increases or decreases your actual exposure depends on who is interested in attacking you and whether or not they already have this exploit.

While you may be capable of implementing countermeasures to limit your vulnerability until a patch is published, that doesn't mean everyone is. On balance, is it better to hold exploits close until fixes are available? There are valid arguments on both sides, but on balance I tend to side with keeping things quiet for a bit while the vendors get a fix out.

Comment Bah (Score 1) 376

I have no patience with people who take it upon themselves to tell other people what they should be choosing to do with their lives and their businesses. If someone wants to write silly phone apps and there are enough people willing to shell out their own hard-earned money to buy them, then the existence of the customer base is enough justification for the existence of the apps. Apparently enough people find enough value in them to make them profitable. If not, well, then the "best and brightest" will go find something that more people do find valuable.

This argument about the "underclass" is particularly silly, because a large percentage of the American "underclass" has smartphones and buys the apps! Essentially, this guy isn't just telling the "best and brightest" what they should be doing with their time, he's also telling the "underclass" what they shouldn't be doing with their money. That sort of condescension is elitism of the worst order, because it allows elitists to feel they aren't being elitist, but rather "serving" the underprivileged -- who are clearly too stupid to make their own decisions.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 167


There are examples of unconstitutional behavior by the executive prior to FDR, certainly, but the pattern of consistent behavior started with him, and the two cases you cite are not such examples. The Federal Reserve may or may not be a good idea, but there's nothing in the constitution prohibiting it, and the Supreme Court decided (unanimously and properly) in 1819 that the federal government has the constitutional authority to establish a banking system. And there was nothing unconstitutional about either the excise taxes that prompted the Whiskey Rebellion or the manner in which Washington put it down.

Comment Re:Disbar, impeach, and imprison that shyster. (Score 1) 167

It's particularly interesting to look at this when the 4th amendment is understood in its proper historical context.

The fourth amendment doesn't say that warrants are required for searches, it says that (a) citizens should not be subject to unreasonable searches and (b) warrants may not be issued except on probable cause, issued by a judge, etc.

When James Madison wrote that he and those around him didn't view warrants as a good thing, they viewed them with suspicion, as a way that people could legally but abusively bypass the restriction on unreasonable searches, so Madison put requirements on warrants to discourage their use. The expectation of the day was that most searches would be done without warrants, and that it would be up to the jury to decide if they were unreasonable -- and that the jury would take a very skeptical view.

The thing about these letters, as well as FISA warrants, warrantless wiretaps, and all of the other abuses of recent years, is that they're sidestepping both protections against unreasonable search. They're not obeying the requirements of warrants, but they're also not allowed to be questioned by juries. Assuming, of course, that the government chooses to even bother with juries, rather than just declaring the targets enemy combatants and shipping them off to Gitmo without a trial. Or just executing them.

This stuff really is terrifying. We need to get our government under control.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 167

They've been bypassing the Constitution for almost 12 years now, when and how they see fit.

12 years? Try 75. Take a look at the New Deal provisions which were being struck down left and right until FDR threatened to pack the court with as many justices as necessary to get the majority he wanted.

It's been nearly all downhill from there. There were isolated cases of executives ignoring the Constitution before (and getting away with it), but it wasn't until the 1930s that it really became systemic.

Comment Re:Great bonus... have fun collecting (Score 1) 189

They then sent me half the advertised bonus... four months after I was supposed to get it... and withheld over half of it in taxes AND deducted my 401K percentage contribution from it (oh sorry that was an error by finance we can cut you a new check on 60 days).

Well, the rest of it is crap, as is giving you half the bonus, but the taxes are just reality and it's hard to see why the company would intentionally misdirect the cash to your 401K. It's not like they get any benefit from doing that.

My experience at IBM was that I got paid promptly and in full -- though taxes took a big bite, much of which I got back on my tax return. I expect the same would be true of my current employer (Google), but I haven't yet managed to get a referral hired.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 443

They're not the victims. We are.

The point is that they're saying they're the ones who have been victimized by the evil "thieves" of their property. And it's an important point... while it's clearly a bad idea to allow one person/organization to act as judge, jury and executioner -- those roles are separated for very good reasons -- it's utterly ludicrous to allow the victim (or supposed victim), the entity with a personal interest and even a revenge motive, to play any of those roles.

Comment Re:Sergei's latest science fair project (Score 1) 125

If he wanted to solve the power issues, he'd be probably better off working on Thorium reactors than wind generation, given that one of the Diablo Canyon reactors puts out more energy than if all the windmills in California were simultaneously operating at 100% capacity, but for all I know he's building one somewhere, or there are anti-nuclear regulatory issues standing in the way.

Or maybe he's bought into the anti-nuclear hype. Sergei's a bright guy but smart people can have blinders like anyone else. Still, having more solutions is better, so if Google X can make this into a viable wind power approach, I think it's great. Though I hope someone does the research on next generation reactors and fuels, because we'll need that, too.

Comment Re:Makes perfect sense (Score 3, Interesting) 125

Of course, it could be that Google simply feels these citizens represent a huge market for targeted advertisements for tablet PCs and Lexus vehicles.

Or it could be that Google believes that everyone in the world should have access to information, with all of the benefits it brings, and is looking for ways to make that possible, in sustainable, self-funding ways.

Nah, couldn't be. We all know corporations are utterly incapable of doing anything beneficial for humanity.

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In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982