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Comment Re:He Didn't Delve Into Specifics (Score 1) 211

Damn, I'm having a programmer PTSD moment here. I had to refactor an extensive set of code where the only named variables were "q" and "x". They didn't even have a consistent meaning across network boundaries. I had to methodically *break* every method and determine what the variables were *supposed to be* by the nature of the errors that it generated.

If variables had been sanely named, it would have been a 2-3 day project. It took me 2 months to break each piece and refactor it into something sane and readable.

This turd of code was brought to me by picking up after the old programmer left. He was also someone that lectured people to use revision control, but never did so himself. In fact, he decided it was sane to do all his coding in /var/tmp/ and simply never rebooting his machine. I hope he gets ass cancer.

Comment Horses and Barn Doors... (Score 4, Informative) 226

Too bad they didn't do that before I had to recieve this email this week:

November 14, 2012
TO: JPL Employees and Contractor Personnel
FROM: Charles Elachi
SUBJECT: NASA Laptop Security Breach
On Tuesday November 13, we were all notified that a NASA laptop and official NASA documents issued to a Headquarters employee were stolen. The laptop contained records of sensitive, personally identifiable information (PII) for a large number of NASA employees, contractors and others. NASA is assessing and investigating the incident and taking every possible action to mitigate therisk of harm and/or inconvenience to affected employees.
We at Caltech/JPL are extremely concerned about the potential implications of this incident to our employees and affiliates. We have been in contact with NASA Headquarters, and they advise us that they intend to mail letters beginning this week to affected or potentially affected individuals as they are identified. NASA has not provided us with thelist of individuals whowill be notified.
In the meantime, a good resource of protective measures is the Federal Trade Commission's website, Facts for Consumers, Identity Theft: What to Know, What to Do, at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/idtheft/idt01.shtm. The State of California also has information at www.privacy.ca.gov. Click on "Consumer Information Sheets" on the left-hand column and you will find several Consumer Information Sheets that may be helpful.
We call your attention to this portion of NASA's message:
"NASA has contracted with a data breach specialist, ID Experts, who will be sending letters to affected individuals, informing them that their sensitive PII was stored on the stolen laptop and they could be impacted by the breach. This notification also will provide them information on how to protect their identity using the fully managed services of ID Experts at no cost to the individual. These services will include a call center and website, credit and identity monitoring, recovery services in cases of identity compromise, an insurance reimbursement policy, educational materials, and access to fraud resolution representatives. If you receive a notification letter in the mail, follow the directions to activate your services as soon as possible.
All employees should be aware of any phone calls, emails, and other communications from individuals claiming to be from NASA or other official sources that ask for personal information or verification of it. NASA and ID Experts will not be contacting employees to ask for or confirm personal information. If you receive such a communication, please do not provide any personal information."
We will issue further relevant information as we learn more. We are committed to assisting our employees who may be impacted by this incident. If you have questions, please feel free to contact JPL Human Resources at x4-7506.

Comment Re:This is very odd... (Score 1) 146

Actually, the version of yourself in Reality Beta-Prime Offset 2009 Subset 2003 Interference Pattern DoD will be the beneficiary of progress of that memo. You'll still be in this lame timeline. But on the upside, there are no zombies with assault rifles (AKA "hunting packs") here.

Comment Re:Executive Summary (Score 1) 238

He didn't say anything about Linux, but I'll wager that if he put Ubuntu 9.04 on the netbooks, they would fly.
By the way, I'm running Ubuntu on a six-month-old 10.6" Acer Aspire One, with an Atom chip, and the performance is great.

Just curious, but if you're on Ubuntu 9.04 for your netbook, how can you claim the performace is great? 9.04 has abysmal support for Intel video chips, even going so far as to have the wrong video memory settings for most Intel chips. Also, 9.04's support for many Atheros wireless cards while present, tends to have slow performance with poor signal quality. In order to get 9.04 to perform "great," I had to hunt through the Ubuntu support forum for solutions to these issues (thankfully the Intel one was front-and-center in a giant sticky thread). I had to put xorg on the X Updates PPA, setup a script to launch after gdm (to fix the memory mapping), and have kernel backports installed. That's a lot of manual work to get a netbook to perform in 9.04 the way it did under 8.10.

Comment Re:In other news... (Score 1) 154

I know this is tongue-in-cheek, but it does highlight a big problem with people's ethical views on human clones. Most people have the attitude that somehow, clones of humans are magically non-people, without basic human rights. So many human cloning pipedreams have what amounts to slavery (or organ harvesting or other unsavory things) as their end-goal.

Comment Re:SSL on a USB keychain device? (Score 1) 120

If your appliance can handle having the SSL ops throttled to USB 2.0 bandwidth levels, then odds are, you don't need something like an F5. If your question is aimed more at doing this for a small operation, then it may be feasible. But in that situation, the server acting as a load-balancer probably has the cycles to spare to do it on one of its cores.

Comment Re:Common response (Score 1) 120

...my setup isn't designed to accommodate the load discussed in this article...

Color me surprised. If your solution can't play in the big leagues that an F5 is aiming at, then what are you bragging about?

An F5 isn't aimed at the problem you solved (at least not at that small a scale). It's intended for high-traffic, bandwidth-intensive applications and sites. Did you post to confirm the premise of the article? If so, I totally missed that, what with the way text often fails to convey tone.

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"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer