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Comment Re:Curly braces = good. Indents = bad. (Score 1) 133

Indentation is the strongest indicator of block structure to the people reading and writing the code,

Not entirely. Indentation tells you were the block is, but it doesn't tell you where the block ends. That's implied by seeing more stuff in the outer block. I spend plenty of time in non curly brace languages, but I find that the lack of an explicit end of block market in Python makes it harder for me to read. I can't scan the code visually nearly as early as I can in other languages. The form of the end maker, whether it's }, end, fi, esac or whatever doesn't really matter. I find that technically redundant visual cue very helpful.

Comment Re:Change the funding cycles (Score 1) 67

You're not quite on the mark there. PhD students are indeed learning how to become research scientists, and the way they practice and prove they have learned is by doing original research. A thesis has to have original research in it or it's not a thesis. In almost all cases that is published somewhere peer reviewed as well.

Comment Re:Peer Review (Score 1) 67

Well, I'll start by ignoring your idiotic glib comment at the beginning.

The government research labs have or had a great reputation. Naturally, though not enough people were getting rich, so the government decided to privatise the easy, potentially lucrative management part without exposing the pressure entities to the risk that the research might not yield anything useful.

That didn't help of course.

But that aside, apart from taking ill informed digs at academia (government researchers are peers to academics and take part in peer review as well), you haven't actually proposed anything that will make a difference. If you want to give money to better people, you have to have some way of making it. Currently that method is subject to gaming, but no one knows of a better one.

Comment Re:Look a bit higher (Score 1) 85

Well, the law disagrees with you. It doesn't, however, work like people here think it does. There isn't a line in the sky saying "this far, no farther". It depends on the nature and intent of the intrusion.

For example I've flown in a helicopter belonging to the Florida Keys Mosquito Control district. Those spray jockeys' job is to lay down pesticide on hard to reach places, particularly the first place a mosquito might light after crossing between islands which is likely to be a line of mangroves or bushes. They're accustomed to flying *low*. En route between Stock Island and Marathon Key we flew so low over peoples' houses I could certainly have told what magazines they left out by the pool -- if we hadn't been going over 100 mph. It's just normal business for those guys, and they're not targeting those homeowners in any way. But if we'd hovered over his house to ogle his teenage daughter, that would be an intrusion, apart from the epic noise.

This isn't really different from privacy law in general: context and intent matter. If someone is standing behind you at the ATM, that's not necessarily breach of privacy; but if they are doing it to look over your shoulder that's different. If your neighbor looks at the back of your house, it's normal. If he sits in his tree trying to peer through your back windows, it's not.

One of the landmark cases in privacy was Nader v.General Motors Corp. where GM retaliated against Nader for writing unkind things about its cars by hiring private investigators to dig up dirt and intimidate Nader. One of the things they did to intimidate him was to follow him around all day, often openly following him a few feet behind as he went about his business so he'd know he was being constantly watched. The court ruled this was an invasion of privacy. Sure the PIs had a right to be in the places they went, but they didn't have a right to be there doing what they were doing.

Comment Re:Not sure you have a lot of options? (Score 1) 99

Then you're doing it wrong. You need to either, 1) slipsteam your install media with all the patches and do your build(s) that way, or 2) disconnect the network, install from SP1 media, reboot, then install the "Convenience Update" (KB3125574) (AKA SP2, released in April), reboot again, then connect it up and let it get the remaining post-April updates. Both approaches are far from perfect, and still have the odd glitch, but they are a lot more efficient than letting an new SP1 install try to patch itself.

Still not even remotely close to the efficiency of Linux's approach of an integrated download of any updated packages during the install, then a single reboot though...

Comment Re:Can we get something like windows 10.01 10.02 (Score 2) 99

What is effectively Windows 7 SP2 is called the Convenience Rollup instead, probably because it avoids complications about extending support dates if a new Service Pack is released, and it's found as KB3125574. See my first post to this discussion for more about how to use it, including installing it without waiting an eternity for Windows Update to get its act together.

Submission + - Brian Krebs is back online, with Google Cloud Hosting (krebsonsecurity.com)

Gumbercules!! writes: After the massive 600mbps DDOS on http://krebsonsecurity.com/ last week that forced Akamai to withdraw the (pro-bono) DDOS protection they offered the site, krebsonsecurity.com is now back online, hosted by Google.

Following Brian Krebs breaking an article on vDOS (https://developers.slashdot.org/story/16/09/08/2050238/israeli-ddos-provider-vdos-earned-600000-in-two-years), leading to the arrest of the two founders, his site was hit with a record breaking DDOS. It will certainly be an interesting test of Google's ability to provide DDOS protection to clients.

Comment Microsoft Update Catalog is my new hero (Score 5, Informative) 99

For general information, if you're installing a fresh Windows 7 now (starting from SP1, presumably) then it seems by far the fastest way to get a system reasonably well patched is to install the Convenience Rollup (KB3125574) and if necessary its prerequisite (KB3020369) from the Microsoft Update Catalog. That immediately brings you up to somewhere around April 2016 in terms of patch level, and you can download the required files quickly from the Catalog site and then install them locally using WUSA without waiting around for hours while Windows Update does whatever its current broken mess needs to do now. The most recent time I did this was just a few days ago, and after doing that it was then another couple of hours for Windows Update to find the rest and install the remaining security updates, but at least it could be done in an afternoon instead of leaving the new PC overnight and hoping it might have found something by the morning. Spybot Anti-Beacon or some similar tool can still turn off the various telemetry junk that you can't now individually because it's all bundled into the CR update.

Incidentally, for those who would prefer to keep security patching their existing Windows 7 systems but not get anything else, there are reportedly (direct from a Microsoft source) going to be monthly security-only bundles as well, but you'll have to get those from Microsoft Update Catalog manually as well, they won't be advertised or pushed out through Windows Update. So it looks like the new SOP is to turn off Windows Update entirely (as a bonus, you get back that CPU core that's been sitting at 100% running the svchost.exe process containing the Windows Update service for the last few months) and instead just go along and manually download the security bundle each month to install locally.

Of course, Microsoft Update Catalog requires Internet Explorer 6.0 or later and won't run with any of the other modern browsers, but I'll live with using IE to access it if it means I get security-patched but otherwise minimally screwed up Windows 7 machines for another 3 years.

Also, it's been confirmed that this policy will apply to all editions of Windows 7. It's not an Enterprise-only feature and doesn't require the use of WSUS etc. Let's hope they stick to their word on this one.

Comment Re:What's wrong with this? (Score 2) 148

Well, technically it is illegal for a private citizen to tamper with US foreign relations, and about the only way to do that effectively is to be a presidential candidate and open side negotiations with a foreign power in anticipation of your possible election (e.g. to continue doing something or taking a position against American interests until you are in power and will give them a better deal).

In that case this is both an issue for the FBI (for the criminal aspect) and the CIA (for the working against US interests aspect).

Over the years there have been charges of presidential candidates tampering with US foreign policy: Nixon in Vietnam; Reagan with Iran. In both cases the candidate succeeded. The evidence for Reagan's involvement with Iraq is circumstantial at best, which is what you'd expect because if Reagan had violated the Logan Act it would have been William Casey who orchestrated it. But there IS solid evidence that Nixon did try to ensure that the North Vietnamese didn't agree to any ceasefires with Johnson -- not only a violation of the Logan Act, but since we were at war with the North Vietnamese quite possibly a rare actual case of treason.

Submission + - Double KO! Capcom's Street Fighter V installs hidden rootkit on PCs (theregister.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: A fresh update for Capcom's Street Fighter V for PCs includes a knock-out move: a secret rootkit that gives any installed application kernel-level privileges.

This means any malicious software on the system can poke a dodgy driver installed by SFV to completely take over the Windows machine. Capcom claims it uses the driver to stop players from hacking the high-def beat 'em up to cheat. Unfortunately, the code is so badly designed, it opens up a full-blown local backdoor. Gamers realized something was a little off when the upgrade brought in a new driver and demanded operating-system-grade access to the computer before the game starts. A number of players say they couldn't even get the new version to work at all. A full-blown online meltdown ensued.

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