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Comment Re:I use them quite a lot (Score 3, Insightful) 194

The story says the engineers found it was used rarely, citing that as the reason for removal.

However, doing something rarely does not mean it is used never, nor does it mean removal is appropriate.

I rarely use a fire extinguisher, yet I keep one in my kitchen and my vehicle. I rarely use my window shutters, but I'm absolutely glad the house has them as they can save a fortune during a storm. I rarely print documents, but I still maintain a printer.

Just because it is rarely used does not mean it isn't useful, nor does it mean it should be removed.

Comment Re:Stealth Layoff (Score 2) 289

The alternative offered? To "quit" his job and lose severance and other benefits. Why he (and them) complied? Because he's near retirement age and doing anything else would be end-of-life economic suicide.

That's an involuntary termination, not quitting. When companies try it generally it is a legal quagmire. If it is even slightly questionable companies will generally offer a huge settlement package rather than risk a drawn-out lawsuit fighting in the courts; and since they're leaving the state the drawn-out lawsuit would be in a state they no longer are local to, further increasing cost.

I'm curious, did you talk with a lawyer before accepting the deal?

Comment The article suggests "and", not "or". (Score 1) 110

Yes, some of them are hurt, many will be reduced, a few will be eliminated. But at the same time, it enables many more new markets, it creates new avenues for culture to grow, it opens options that have never existed.

The article talks about death of newspapers (probably because they are the New York Times) and it is obvious the selling of printed paper articles has plummeted, yet more people than ever before are reading news stories. The article talks of the fall of independent bookstores, yet there are new bastions online that help people discover, trade, and publish their writings. The article talks about music, and how the music industry has been fighting change with all they've got, yet new genres continue to appear and new talent has been popping up everywhere for years.

Any gardener can tell you: a good pruning stimulates rapid growth. It is certainly painful for those who were pruned, those whose business models need to be modified or have become completely invalidated, but the end result of the change is generally something better than before. Collectively as humanity we can create quite a lot.

Comment Re:Data protection (Score 1) 67

Not sure if this will apply, but could they not plead the fifth amendment on this warrant.

That isn't the protection of the 5th. The relevant parts of the 5th are protections against self incrimination and due process requirements.

Warrants usually don't (but very rarely do) have something to do with self-incrimination. They are a demand to seize an item for evidence purposes. Even so, US courts have treated this type of data as business records which can be obtained through several methods. They aren't trying to incriminate Google, they are trying to incriminate someone who uses Google. The due process issue doesn't apply because they DID follow due process. They got testimony of the probable location and contents of the data, they signed a statement of probable cause, they got a warrant specifying the exact items to be seized and searched, that's due process.

The fundamental problem is one of jurisdiction on the Internet. It is an open problem.


On the one side, companies should not be able to move data to another country in order to avoid law enforcement actions. If that were allowed, every major company on the globe would open a data center in that location and preserve all copies of documents in that haven. There (arguably) needs to be some reasonable way for law enforcement to access data stored remotely so criminals cannot merely hide their crimes by storing documents in a server located abroad. Governments must be able to enforce their own laws, which means some access to information.

On the other side, governments should not be able to violate rights of other nations with impunity, including digital privacy rights. If that were allowed, companies could leverage the most oppressive nations and the most aggressive nations to compel discovery of their most secret documents. There needs to be ways for people to legally ensure their privacy and protections granted by their own governments, and individuals have rights to be secure from interference.

Like most things in law, it is a tricky balance of between rights, benefits, and interests. In criminal cases society has a security interest in getting the criminal caught, but that interest competes with the interest of security for individuals to be safe from intrusion. There is also the balance of one nation's sovereignty and another nation's sovereignty, the one wanting access and the other wanting protections. There is also the issue of an individual's rights to secure their property how and where they please, versus storing their property in a way that violate's society's rights to security by identifying criminals. None have an easy answer.

Comment Re:They won't come into my building (Score 2) 73

It just happens because the competency to make something else happen simply isn't there.

I'm curious, what is "something else" when it comes to the most basic problem: the cost of property.

The value of property has ALWAYS gone up near hubs and nice areas. If there was a medieval castle or city walls offering protections and nice things, people flock to it driving up prices. More wealthy people displace less wealthy people, and soon enough all the poorest people are living outside the city walls.

Today city centers get more costly and soon only the most wealthy can live in the valuable core. Poor people are displaced, and people start cries of "gentrification". Nice areas have people invest more time and effort and money into making the areas nice, property values go up, and the consequences follow. On the flip side, poor areas where people cannot invest time and effort and money into making the areas nice, it quickly degenerates, so property values go down.

In all the cases, the land value goes up and the cost of things on that land go up. The natural consequences are that people who cannot afford it are displaced. People who used to own the land can take their profits, but if they're buying new property they have a steep barrier. For the areas where property values go down, people who have less are able to go there, so you quickly get slums. Since they don't have time/money/effort to bring the slums up to a nice high quality, they remain low value.

So far there are no good alternatives to make something else happen as you put it. There have been a few attempts at things like rent-controlled apartments or city-run projects, but they are doomed to fail because the fundamental problem of property value. Subsidizing a few people in high-cost places won't bring back poor people. Fixing one or two buildings in an poor neighborhood can sometimes improve property values enough to turn it around, but usually cities won't make that big of an investment.

Comment Re:We've known this for years (Score 2) 352

If it serves exactly nobody, why the hell do we keep it?

TODAY it serves very few people. Electricity is cheap and plentiful in the modern world, and modern lighting means we can do tasks requiring bright light at any hour of the day.

WHEN IT WAS INTRODUCED, much of the world relied on lamps and candles for light. Standardized time zones were still fairly new (introduced 1883) which caused people on the western end of time zones to have later lighting. In the 1880s and 1890s a few large cities used arc lights to replace gas lights, but these were high power (often 10K volts per loop) and were therefore expensive. Outside of cities with municipal lighting systems, electric lights were fairly rare. It wasn't until the 1930s that the US got electricity to most places, and light bulbs followed as electricity spread. So back then, shifting the clocks meant families spent less money on oil and candles in the morning.

For two specific examples, with DST Boston (on the eastern side of the time zone) daylight starts at 6:00 AM in April, peaks about 5:00 in June, and is back to 6:00 AM in September. Without DST it wouldn't be daylight hours until 7:00 or 6:00 at those times. However, in Indianapolis (on the western side of the time zone) daylight starts at 7:00 in April the earliest at 6:15 on those same months under DST, instead of 8:00 in the spring and fall or 7:15 in the summer.

Back in the era of expensive oil and candles, collectively across society DST saved quite a lot. It made sense financially for people who worked in the mornings. These days it makes less sense thanks to modern lighting costs.

Comment Re:Sized to 10 ton 2013 meteor via magnetic launch (Score 1) 642

Going on with that logic, there are dangers right now that are far bigger yet we do nothing about.

Anyone who can drive a large vehicle is a risk. They can drive through pedestrian plazas. They can be crashed into buildings. They can be loaded up with explosives and used for violence. Even so, people are allowed to drive cars, trucks, and delivery vehicles through cities.

I don't think any rational person would deny a risk exists: any nation or company who can send stuff up to space can also have stuff crash back to earth. This applies just as much to military ICBMs as it does to satellite launches as it does to SpaceX rockets. If a person or group is able to launch equipment to colonize the moon then yes, they would also have the capacity to destroy earthly cities.

But short of international treaties and each nation's own domestic policies, there isn't much that can be done about it. There are risks to life, there are even risks of death and injury in my daily commute, but I'm not changing plans because of those risks. If someone were to hack into the international space station's guidance computers and cause it to crash land on Washington DC or the Kremlin or Tokyo's imperial palace, a US law is not going to prevent that.

Comment Re:US Military Contingency... (Score 1) 642

But that doesn't change the fact that it's possible

That was my initial thought as well. Many things are possible, but I only react to things that are major risks.

Yes, it is possible that *ANY* group capable of space flight is also capable of dropping stuff on anywhere on the planet. That includes nearly all world governments and also some corporations like SpaceX.

Military groups have been using rockets for centuries; China and Mongolia were using them against each other eight centuries ago. ICBMs have been available since the 1940s. At least four countries have them ready to launch to anywhere on the globe. It is possible they could be fired at any moment.

If she's looking for possible dangers they are everywhere. It is possible that any group capable of driving cars on the planet is also capable of crashing those cars through crowded pedestrian plazas, or load up a truck with explosives and explode it into a skyscraper, or drive it over one of the many large reservoirs and detonating it in an attempt to flood everything below it. It is possible that any person with objects that can be used can travel to places with other people and threaten their safety or their lives. It doesn't even need to be guns and bombs, a broken glass bottle can be a dangerous weapon against an individual.

The threat she describes is basically real, but it is remote and there is little a person could do. Compared to someone dropping stuff from space I've got a bigger risk of (and more I can do about) death by a heart attack and diabetes and cancer but I'm not doing anything about those, either. I've got a risk of dying in a car crash, yet I intend on continuing my daily commute.

Comment Re:Whats the fix? (Score 2) 53

Can a desktop computer do better? Has this all been fixed on most desktop OS?

The article is sparse on details, but yes it sounds like an issue with not validating the certificate. From reading it looks like the apps are just connecting and accepting whatever certificate is presented.

Assuming that's the case, the MitM takes place because the app doesn't verify the entire chain of trust back to the CA. The operation of going back through each link in the chain can take a (relatively) long time across a network, and can be quite slow on mobile networks. It may have been an intentional choice to make things faster, or an accident of not validating it.

Desktop computers and any other systems that implement the protocols can suffer from the same defect or design flaw, and it is quite likely that many desktop programs have the same issue.

Comment Re:Never give a number (Score 1) 435

While you are right about some aspects, you are dead wrong about others.

First, if I have a req for an engineer with a range of $160K-$190K, if you are making $220K I know it's unlikely that you will accept this job. If I'm really excited by you in an initial interview, I might find another position and talk with you about considering that one instead.

It is true that the person is unlikely to accept the job. But the rest of your reasoning is unsound. If you are so eager to hire within that price range, YOU should be making the price range public.

But you don't do that, because you know deep down that your job as a hiring manager is to negotiate the lowest wage you can. You can possibly offer a different job instead, but you didn't publish those wage ranges either, for exactly the same reason. If you mention the number first, you will lose your bidding war. People will just pick your highest number as the lowest you're willing to go.

If' I'm not really excited by you, I'll not pursue it as there's no reason to waste the team's time interviewing someone who is unlikely to take the position and/or will start out with low morale and will likely leave before your on-boarding costs have even been recovered.

That is exactly the reason YOU should reveal your salary range to the potential hire, not the other way around. No point applying to the job if you aren't going to pay well.

Personally I will usually get several job offers before accepting one. I have absolutely no problem telling the people they need to wait a few weeks for all the offers, and I'll negotiate while I wait. If I as an applicant am not really excited by you or your offer, I will have no problem wasting YOUR time. I will find various ways to explain why it is too early to state a wage.

One reason I give most often is "It depends on the entire package. A good benefits package can offset a lower wage, other times if there are risks or travel time that we discuss during the interview I will need a higher wage. It is too soon to discuss the details, and we must discuss the entire package and not just one number."

Second, the person who knows you best as an employee is likely your last employer. If they were paying you an unusually low (or high salary) taking into account the company as some are known to pay high while others pay high, they likely don't think you are very valuable (or think you are very valuable). This is an interesting hint to me.

Translation: If your last company was able to screw you over, you should let me know in advance so I can screw you over, too.

In all cases, if there's a reason that the applicant knows their last salary (and perhaps salary history) is problematic, they are free to explain early on (as in, "You may notice that my salary was very low at my last position. This is because I was working for my brother-in-law and trying to help keep his business afloat as a family favor.").

Not in all cases, no. Many people don't know what the best wages are because they are kept as secret as possible. The person may be completely ignorant that they were the lowest paid worker in their group.

As a hiring manager, I try to bring people in as high as I can without creating disparities among the group between engineers of similar skill and productivity. This is simply logical -- when raise time comes around, I get x% to spread around and I don't want to consume it bringing people "up to grade", I'd rather spend it rewarding people. It's usually much easier to get another $15K for a new hire (esp. when the position has been open for a while and the boss really wants it filled) than it is to get another $15K a year later to give the new hire a "grade adjustment" raise.

Then you work for a company that doesn't really value its workers.

What do you tell them? "I'm sorry Joe, you did an amazing job this year and brought this company $5M in revenue, but I'm only allowed to give you a 2.4% raise. That's a $5000 raise so I'll suggest maybe you could use it for a vacation or something, although in reality it is less than COLA so it means you'll have to cut back on groceries and other expenses." Too many managers forget that even a full COLA raise is actually a slight pay cut year over year. If you really want to give workers a raise, first give them COLA and then give another several percent over the top.

For my location, regional COLA was about 4% last year, and about 5% this year when housing costs jumped nearly 10% year over year. That means anything under a 5% raise is a pay cut. A 6% raise is really a 1% raise, meaning anything under 8% is something to fight back against. For my company the rumors are already starting that the company is talking about a 4% increase nationally, and about 1/4 of the department is quietly asking for references and resume reviews because of it. When you start talking about being given x% from corporate that you need to shift between the workers, you need to consider if you are the person unwittingly hired to do the immoral dirty work yet having it framed in positive terms.

I can see in your post you are trying to do what is right, and that's good. But please realize there is so much more out there you could be doing but are not. You try not to create disparities yet also try to hire low, and don't like hiring people over the rate you have already established. You are also stuck in a company that follows the owner-friendly practice of limiting the money to reward people. The rewards are not based on the actual benefits to the company, but instead based on how much money the company deigns to give the workers. The flaw is not yours as a manager, but theirs as a corporate policy.

Comment Re:The User is responsible for open sourse softwar (Score 1) 114

So what you are saying is, al queda and ISIS have to simply open source their bomb making recipes and release it under GPL, then they will be free of liability. Right?

Nah, they don't even need to do that. Publishing is not a problem in most of the world. Even building and posessing them isn't a problem if you follow the law and basic safety rules. People and companies use explosives that could be used as bombs all the time.

If you're talking about publication only, The Anarchist Cookbook, first published back in 1971, describes how to make all kinds of bombs, explosives, and poisons, as well as assorted drugs like LSD. It is still in print, and pirated versions are available online. While it is banned in a few nations, in the US and several other countries it is protected under free speech rules.

Many groups use high explosives and bombs all the time. They just do it responsibly and follow the laws about keeping safe distances and notifying police, etc. Movie makers TV shows (like Mythbusters) build high explosives all the time. They generally need to take them to the bomb range and have supervised explosions, or have various permits in place. But even so, bomb-making recipes aren't a problem, neither is building high explosives when you follow the basic safety rules and laws.

Possessing a book about something dangerous typically isn't a crime in itself. Otherwise anyone who majors in chemistry or biology should be jailed. I saw a sign once saying: Welcome to Organic Chemistry where questions like 'where do you keep your chloroform?' are not suspicious. Not just chemistry and biology classes, but anybody learning about bomb disposal would need to study bombs, researchers in the industry need to write about the topics and share with other experts, and so on. Even fireworks manufacturers would be in serious trouble if they couldn't share documents or buy and sell explosive parts.

Comment Re:Explains some things (Score 1) 101

Apple internally working on a pot project explains ...

I thought it was bizarre that the article went there as the first option. Nicotine and marijuana. Vaping.

And then, almost as an afterthought: also vaporizers and nebulizers are used all over healthcare, beauty, aesthetics, and other industries.

<sarcasm> I agree with the article's view: they're ignoring the lucrative healthcare markets, the rich business markets, and all the scent-related companies that are looking for ways to expand their multi-billion dollar scent lines. Instead Apple is developing a product for potheads, that's truly where the money is.</sarcasm>

Comment Re:White space (Score 2) 489

Seriously, there is a limit to the width of a column of text that it's comfortable to read

On the PC if I manage to hit that limit -- and currently I'm not at that limit with a large widescreen monitor -- I can resize my window to something narrower.

I certainly won't hit that limit on my phone or tablet, and if I did, I could rotate to portrait mode.

Don't take away my choices. Just because one person happens to prefer a width doesn't mean everyone does. I hate the news sites that give you a fixed panel about five inches across. Measuring horizontally I've got about 25 inches on my screen, and if I want to spread the text across the whole thing, that is MY choice.

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