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Comment Suing over other people's criminal actions? (Score 0) 55

A class action lawsuit that is suing the developer for making a device that is vulnerable to the criminal actions of a third party? Does that mean we can get a class action lawsuit going for all bicycle manufacturers over the number of their bikes that are stolen? How about door manufacturers for all the people that break into houses?

Good luck with that.

Comment Re:Bullying? (Score 5, Insightful) 153

No. We are nowhere near hard AI. We are nowhere near soft AI. We have expert systems, which are basically just a large database with a sort of dichotomous key on when to select different outcomes, that will likely be able to interact with natural language soon. This isn't even close to AI. Robots are a huge buzzword today, as is AI. You have every no name researcher out there trying to get noticed by inventing moral dilemmas involving AI then proposing solutions, which makes uninformed people start to think, oh, AI is right around the corner. It's not. We are a century away from hard AI, if ever.

So no, you cannot bully a robot. You cannot hurt a robot. You can damage someone's property, and that is all.

I wish Slashdot would stop with the whole AI story thing, but given the buzz and their need to incite dialog, it's easy to see why this is becoming more prevalent. I just feel kind of sad, though. This place used to be a real nerd hangout, by and for those who were technically enlightened, and most real nerds know better than to think real AI is upon us. This place has become more of a Big Bang Theory, nerdism for the masses, kind of spot. Sad.

Comment What it does and why it's (partially) useful (Score 5, Insightful) 130

There is some confusion as to what this is actually doing.
Most filesystems have use special structures to store the name and location of your files on the drive. Directories, cluster bitmaps, etc etc. The reason why it's difficult at best to recover files from a hard drive when parts of the filesystem have been damaged is that it's difficult to identify where on your hard drive the files are. Besides the special filesystem directories, no where else stores information on what is stored where. If you lose the directory it's hard to tell one file's data from another on your hard drive.

That is where SBX comes in. What it does is make sure that every physical sector that stores data for a particular file is labelled with a number that identifies that file, and a sequence number so you can reconstruct what order that piece is in the original file. Really, for the amount of overhead, something like that should be embedded into every filesystem. Basically a distributed backup of all the filesystem metadata.

Some people are criticizing this that is solves non problems. I disagree. While it isn't the solution to global warming, it is both simple and clever (and will thus suffer from a lot of people who will disparage it out of a "well anyone could have thought of that" attitude). It won't save you from a full hardware crash. It won't save you from physically bad sectors in that file. What it will save you from is accidental deletion and from loss of the filesystem's metadata structures. How often does this happen? Twice to me from failures of a whole-disc-encryption system driver.

I wouldn't use this for every file, but for critical ones, sure. Why not. The problem is, where it is most useful, for very volatile files that change a lot (databases etc) between backups, is where it can't really be used until/unless different applications start supporting it. So it unfortunately has limited use in the places where it would really help the most. Like I said above, this sort of thing really needs to get rolled into a filesystem. The amount of overhead it costs is meaningless in today's storage environment.

Comment Imagine this... (Score 3, Insightful) 224

Well, how about imagine this scenario. Let's say Apple's recyclers are allowed to recycle components. NAND flash chips from all sorts of devices are collected - how long before some very embarrassing, sensitive, or even damaging information thought deleted from someone's phone is recovered from one of those chips?

While I am no fan of Apple nor their business practices, their current recycling method represents the best they can do while taking the precautions they need to take to ensure safety. They can't allow any chips out, or else once that door is opened it's only a matter of time before the wrong chips get out. Shredding the devices and putting policies in place to ensure they are /all/ shredded represents the best they can hope for.

And yes, before a phone is turned in it /should/ be wiped of anything sensitive, but do /you/ know how to ensure every bit of data is cleaned off your phone at the flash level?

Comment Owning data (Score 1) 58

This is why I won't use any app where I don't own the data. It doesn't matter where the software lives or runs, as soon as it phones home with my data then I don't control anything.

I can't say it strongly enough, or often enough... say no to anyone else controlling your data. It is not a matter of if, but when that party decided to do something with it that impacts you negatively. Whether that's something to do with the data itself, or simply leveraging the fact that their servers are required to compel you to to do what they want (stop using an app, switch apps, upgrade, etc).

Comment In this case, yes (Score 1) 317

No, I'm saying that the comment "code ownership is so 1960's", which was obviously meant as a "get with the times grandpa" statement was improper. Good project management practices are timeless, and development strategies and disciplines from the past are not necessarily improperly applied to current projects. A certain amount of centralized command and control is necessary. Where that is applied depends on the technical and cultural aspects of a project. In projects with a strong central scope and well defined design, projects that have good change acceptance procedures and where developers are professional a more distributed and loose change creation process can be applied, a la Git. In projects where there is not a strong central change acceptance process and where the scope definition and design are loose, a much more rigid change creation process must be adhered to, like change management systems from the past (CVS, VSS). Like applying Gantt charts and other staging tools to the change scheduling process. Like anything except the "stick a bunch of developers together with a bunch of code together in a blender and set it to frappe" process that is being applied now.

In this project (if it's actually a real project and not just another Slash-question carefully crafted to incite discourse), there is no viable command and control on the management end and there is none on the revision control end. Which leads to a project mired in anarchy as we see is the case. There are no tools that can help at this point. There is no substitute for a disciplined methodology. What was depicted in the question was completely unprofessional.

To answer your question, reverting to punch cards would be a step up for this project.

Comment Re:isn't this pretty straightforward? (Score 4, Insightful) 317

In the 1960's was when you wrote software by punching cards that someone else fed in and where it had to work the first time. Every time. That kind of discipline is sorely needed by the original question submitter.

The whole haphazard development model described in the question is absurd. First of all, what kind of single bug requires rifling through back end databases, business rules, web services and multiple front ends? That's not a bug in the software, that's a bug in the pre-design definitions phase. That is not a bug. Seriously... you can't just accept all the premises in the question without thought. That kind of change only happens when someone is is calling "the customer wants this feature changed" or "we misunderstood what the customer needed" a bug, which is wrong on its face.

Secondly, multiple people making changes of that scope simultaneously is just wrong, whatever the cause. Distributed revision control systems were made able to handle multiple simultaneous branches in order to break bottlenecks on people working on different areas of a common source file. They were designed to accommodate merges that had occasional and minor overlaps. What is described here is a completely inappropriate use of that kind of environment. So to answer the question directly, when asked what tools can help, the answer is no tools can help you. The process is wrong. You are far better off reverting to a revision control system that enforces a single checkout of a source file if this is what is going on. Better yet, correct your development strategy.

This can't be emphasized strongly or often enough. Code ownership is a good step forward in this scenario, but the only real fix for these problems is to completely refactor the way change is managed in this project. You wouldn't be wrong to Gantt chart these changes with their subsystem impacts so they can be scheduled on a non-interference basis. Better yet, if you are having to make multiple back-end through to UI changes, you need to go through a whole scope identification phase again.

Your change system is hopelessly broken. Fix that, then the correct use of existing tools to assist you will become readily apparent.

Comment Re:One semester (Score 1) 178

Concur. Starting classes at 11 will improve short-term learning, and complete the destruction (or, as I call it, the millenilization) of long term work ethic. As an employer, here is what I would suggest. I would suggest going to a university and finding out what courses in degree programs most suited to my business do have an 8am lecture. I would then go to that lecture three quarters of the way through that semester and immediately offer a job upon graduation to every person attending it. I wouldn't even care about their scores. Skills can be taught. Self-motivation can't be.

Comment Re:MS pushing more into older OS or Linux/Mac (Score 1) 238

It's not the subscription service they are looking for. They are looking for control. They can't automatically push updates to older versions of windows, they can with Windows 10. The method of forcing people to pay is really irrelevant. Whether it's in discreet quantized chunks or miking over time, that doesn't matter. What really matters is that they have the ability to do what they want to any computer they want. End of service? No problem, push an updated that requires you to upgrade or your OS shuts down. They can't do that with older versions of Windows. The attempts at forcing the upgrade to Windows 10 through the windows update system shows that it's control, not a different funding model, they are really after.

Here is my prediction for Windows 10 EOL. In a year or two's time, when the next version of Windows is out and (air quote) stable (end air quote), a fatal security flaw will be found in Windows 10. It will be so fundamental that it can't be fixed through a normal windows update. Microsoft, in order to save the world from all the people who irresponsibly won't upgrade to Windows 11 (and thus are placing the world at risk of massive botnets) will force an update out that disables internet access to all Windows 10 machines.

I highly encourage everyone to use Windows Update Mini Tool to take control back of your Windows 10 update process.

Comment Re:No Human Element? (Score 0) 81

It's not an AI. For an AI to be an AI it has to be I, and this isn't I any more than chess programs are.

The program won't know or care what the players gestures are. In the end it's about statistics, and cold hard statistics will always win over any efforts at "throwing your opponents off".

This doesn't impress me much. There will be a million things computer programs will do better than humans - it's been inevitable since the first chess program. There are no games of pure luck, and being able to calculate through every option to exhaustion will give a computer the advantage every time. Just like a hydraulic pump will always be able to exert more force than my bicep can. It's not much more impressive than that. However each time it happens it will be incorrectly touted as AI when really it's not much more than an expert system. It will generate loads of research money, and generate oohs and ahs from people who ought to know better.

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