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Comment Re: Next Phase (Score 1) 607

When someone is sitting on your chest and slamming the back of your head into the sidewalk, you can shoot him in any State, stand your ground or otherwise.

Not when that someone is defending themselves against your assault, no. You cannot attack someone and then claim self-defense. It was Trayvon Martin who had the legal and moral right to stand his ground that night; it's unfortunate that the bad guy was armed and got away with it.

Comment Re:fill in the blanks (Score 1) 133

Companies Are ______ With Fewer ______.

Put me down for "wasting time and money" and "people who know what they're talking about to catch mistakes early", please.

The best example of this I've seen so far was an exercise in futility developing a simple in-house process automation system, essentially a glorified database with a bit of e-mail integration and a pretty browser-based interface.

There were literally months of discussions among a team dominated by middle managers. Along the way, they spent approximately a mid-level developer's annual salary just on external consulting about using someone's workflow automation software, and IIRC that consultation eventually produced a single page of documentation that was basically an ugly diagram of a simple database schema. Finally, one of the few real developers on the team gave up in disgust and just built a basic version in about one day. Which the rest of the team then almost completely ignored, because these things need to be managed and showing initiative to solve the actual problems is a rookie mistake.

It's easy to see why these tools are attractive for companies that don't generally do software development or web development or whatever it might be, but a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Those of us who remember the joys of Microsoft Access databases and drag-and-drop "rapid application development" tools from the 90s have seen this all before. But now it's in the cloud, with convenient subscription-based pricing! There's a saying about those who don't learn from history...

Comment Re:AV only helps if you are bad (Score 1) 206

But those organizations [...] aren't adversaries.

Unfortunately, I don't think that's a safe assumption any more. For example, my businesses can't use Windows 10, because installing it on anything that touches client/customer data would immediately contravene assorted contractual and statutory obligations we have regarding confidentiality and data protection. Microsoft's policies regarding telemetry and forced updates appear to mean using their new software is literally impossible for us.

Whether or not their intention is to use data collected via telemetry for anything other than looking for ways to improve Windows, and whether or not they intend to collect any confidential or personal data via those tools, don't really matter. The facts are that technically they certainly could collect that data, their terms and privacy policy appear to allow them to, and even some of the biggest tech firms in the business have suffered both scope creep and serious security leaks in connection with data they've collected.

As I said before, security is mostly about risk management. For anyone working with sensitive data, using systems running Windows 10 or buying systems from laptop manufacturers that covertly preinstall insecure remote "support" functionality or phone-home reporting are way off the scale of acceptable risks in my professional opinion.

Comment Re:No news! (Score 1) 75

The political stuff is the worst. Every wingnut in your feed wants to spread their particular gospel. It's even worse than the blatantly religious stuff. The problem is probably what some people consider "news". Plus you've got idiots that start foaming at the mouth because they stumble onto something that feeds into their favorite narrative. It doesn't occur to them that it's an obvious satire site. It's sad, hilarious, and annoying all at once.

All memes are bullshit.

Someone may have a valid observation but they quickly run off the rails and jump the shark with extreme and absurd sh*t.

I could understand how a telepath might go nuts and would just want it all to shut off.

Comment Re: Weirdly specific statement (Score 1) 55

What is the limiting factor? Buildup of CO2?

People need a certain amount of oxygen for their metabolism, you need to carry that much. CO2 effects the blood pH: too little and the body is too alkaline, too much and it's too acidic. So, you need to maintain a precise amount of CO2 and remove the rest. The scrubbers in the space shuttle were able to regenerate the CO2-absorbent material after use, so there was use of power but material wasn't consumed.

Beyond this, you need to control temperature and humidity. The other requirements than atmosphere for crew survival are that you water, feed and shelter the crew, maintain orientation, and maintain a G-force envelope that doesn't injure the crew.

Comment Re:This reminds me of my visit to the "Fish Man" (Score 1) 127

My client was an ex-special forces commando. He was working a modest-paying state job in the Department of Agriculture (he was an old time farm boy) for "vacation money" but after 9/11 he disappeared for a couple of years. Nobody knew where he was, but when he came back he had full-bird colonel's pension. Even though he now had plenty of "vacation money", he went back to his old Ag job, I think just to feel like he had something productive to do. His real passion, however, was painting wildlife. I wouldn't say his stuff was terribly original, but it was technically impressive. If I handed you one of his bird paintings and told you it was an original Audubon you'd probably believe me unless you were an art expert. This was a down-to-earth guy with a surprisingly sensitive side, and if he wanted to kill you with his bare hands you wouldn't have a prayer.

I know this sounds like BS, but there's really nothing like the Deep South for bizarre and colorful characters. And oddballs have a way of flocking together, which probably means I should worry about knowing so many of them.

Comment Re:problems, lol (Score 2) 208

I write web services for remote clients to send information to. 50 msec includes the time to establish a TCP connection to the nginx frontend (written in C!), then to run a little bit of Python code to massage the request and either store it in a database (probably written in C, or maybe Java) or fetch data from one, then to return the results to the remote client. At a previous employer, my code did that about 80,000 times per second, averaged 24/7. At the shop before that, we load tested to 500,000 requests per second but it was only for a few minutes sustained at a time.

When was the last time you personally wrote code to handle 500Kops? Did you know that those durn whippersnappers at Google runs a big chunk of their stack on Python and that they'd laugh at our tiny it doesn't matter to the end user. If we could have reduced a 50ms transaction to 10ms by altering the speed of the light signals carrying our requests, we probably would have. But since we live in a universe with physics, the best we could possible hope for was to reduce the time spent in application code to 0.000ms and thereby drop the entire transaction time to 49ms.

Submission + - September 19th SpaceX Launch will be visible across California, Nevada. (

Bruce Perens writes: The nighttime launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 containing Iridium satellites at 9:49 PM PST Monday September 19th from Vandenberg AFB SLC-4 is likely to be visible across California and in some Nevada locations. Although Vandenberg has a landing pad for the Falcon under construction, this will probably be a drone-ship landing and some California observers might see two of the landing burns.

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