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Comment Well In Their Defence (Score 1) 21

To be fair to them, there really aren't that many companies that want to do business with the US government and all the companies that do are probably equally as incompetent. So whether you hire this incompetent company to manage what should be some of the most secure assets in the country or another incompetent company, the outcome will most likely still be the same. It's not like there are any sort of... "laws," dictating their security, quality control or processes. Well, I guess there are, but it seems like the most profitable thing to do is ignore them and hope you don't get caught.

Comment The fastest, most bang-for-buck fixes (Score 1) 196

Go through your text, and everywhere where it says "password" change it to say "passphrase."

The password-setting step, where you have the user initialize their password, should also say "don't re-use the same passphrase that you use somewhere else." Just say it. (If users want to ignore it, fine. You can't help people who don't want to be helped.)

This doesn't fix all the problems, but it fixes the most, in the smallest amount of time/effort. One of your interns can do all this in a single morning.


After that, make sure you're hashing, but use something already invented for this job rather than trying to figure it out yourself. (This might not be a job for an intern, though I bet it could, at some places.)

Congratulations, your site is now better than the other 99.9%. We'll revisit and update these decisions in a century or two, when you're considered to be better than only about 90%.

Comment It's a bad idea anyway (Score 4, Insightful) 39

Let's all hope that this ends up not happening. It'd be an extremely minor improvement which only prevents any serious improvement from ever happening.

If the government is going to use force here, then it should be that any interstate commerce in TV must use standards. Why demand a free-as-in-beer app when you can just demand free-as-in-speech specs? That would get us all plenty of free-as-in-beer apps anyway, except that you get as many are needed, until everyone agrees it's competitive enough. Don't like Company X's TV player? Try Company Y's, or this one on githib, or write your own. A week after specs are published, you're going to have way better stuff available than any app Comcast is ever going to make for your Roku, which will be the next thing for you to be constantly bitching about (assuming you're still using the Roku when the app comes out).

If you're not going to force the use of standards, then don't bother using force at all. Why go to so much trouble just to do it wrong? You're setting us up so that when we tire of this next failure, the cable companies will be able to say "but we did what you want! It's not fair to make us change again!"

Protocols and interoperability are what have value. Stop stressing implementations so much. Doing things is fucking trivial, compared to figuring out what to do and being allowed to do it. Freedom gets you diversity, which gets you performance. Does anyone really still pretend to not know this?

Comment Re:USPS (Score 1) 237

What's UPS going to charge you for a letter? $10?

Let's suppose we lived in that world. It's 2036, and sending a letter costs $10. Are you better off than you were in 1996 (when it cost 32 cents), or worse off?

We might be better off. Sure, it costs thirty times as much, but you might be having to do it less than a thirtieth as often. I'll admit my memory is foggy, but I'm pretty sure that every damn month I was having to mail multiple bill payments. That crap is over, and we're all happier for it, aren't we? Nowdays, I'm snailmailing infrequently enough that I don't even know if it's something I do twice a year, or once every two years, or what. It's getting hard to measure, but one thing's for sure: it ain't much.

$10 for a letter would be ok, if you almost never had to use it. And aren't we heading that way? Isn't nearly every instance (I'm trying to be open to there being some exceptions, though I'm actually drawing a blank right now) where you can't use email, a situation where you view the requirement as being a consequence of someone else's fuckup, incompetence, anachronism, etc? (e.g. this AC's idea that "my financial records where I need physical copies for tax audit purposes" is a feature of snailmail, rather than a defect in government's information-provenance-verification procedures.)

I'm not even necessarily advocating the death of USPS. Maybe they'll "rightsize" to fit the country's communications needs, such that they are the ones charging $10 to deliver a letter. It wouldn't be so bad, if overall, we still end up spending less.

Comment Re: Curly braces = good. Indents = bad. (Score 1) 173

Whereas I, who (amusingly enough, perhaps) have been a copy editor, had no trouble at all reading your post. But I also have little trouble reading text in a mirror, or letters that are upside-down. That seems to hint that this may be a cognitive thing, and for some people significant whitespace works and for some people it just doesn't and it won't, and the endless arguing about it might be pointless.

Submission + - (Not Quite) Open Source Hardware? 1

Ichijo writes: One hardware project that calls itself "open source" doesn't want to make its hardware design source files publicly available because doing so would, in their words, "make it very trivial for e.g Chinese companies to start producing cheap clones... we’d be getting support requests for hardware we had no idea of the quality of." This answer was in response to a request by a user who wants to use the design in his own projects.

Have any other open source hardware projects run into support issues from people owning cheap "clones"? Have clones been produced even without the hardware design source files?

Submission + - Print-on-demand bone could quickly mend major injuries (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: If you shatter a bone in the future, a 3D printer and some special ink could be your best medicine. Researchers have created what they call “hyperelastic bone” that can be manufactured on demand and works almost as well as the real thing, at least in monkeys and rats. Though not ready to be implanted in humans, bioengineers are optimistic that the material could be a much-needed leap forward in quickly mending injuries ranging from bones wracked by cancer to broken skulls.

Comment Re:So Where Was the Board? (Score 5, Insightful) 124

Well, for starters, LinkedIn only leaked data for around 6 million accounts. Yahoo leaked data for half a billion accounts. Also, considering that people use Yahoo for their personal email and to track their finances, the data on Yahoo was potentially much more sensitive than anything on LinkedIn.

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