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Comment Re:Pittsburgh is losing its identity (Score 1) 126

I get it. That's a part of why I typically try to negotiate non-standard start times when I take a position. Starting work at 09:30 makes for a much more relaxed commute both to and from work.

If/When telecommuting become the norm, most of my problems will be behind me because I'll be able to live and work far enough outside of the city that none of their decisions will have any impact upon me.

LK

Comment And now maybe we'll know why ... (Score 5, Interesting) 110

And now maybee we'll know why it's been so hard for Open Source developers to get information on writing their own against-the-metal drivers for telephony radios and startup modules (BIOS, EFI/UEFI, etc.)

It has long been suspected that was not just proprietary info-walling, but to reduce chances of discovery of backdoors and persistent threats imposed in the name of spying.

Submission + - SPAM: Quicken Bill Pay is No Longer Safe to Use 1

Bruce Perens writes: I don't usually make security calls, but when a company makes egregious and really clueless security mistakes, it's often the case that the only way to attract their attention and get the issue fixed is to publicize it. This one is with Quicken Bill Pay, a product of Metavante (not Intuit). It's from personal observation rather than an expert witness case, and the company has been unresponsive through their customer support channel.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:So? (Score 1) 114

It definitely is. Gedit has been cited already, but what pissed me off more is gnome-terminal: the double click selection behaviour cannot be configured in the GUI any more. You need a CLI command reminiscent of registry manipulations on Windows. Insanity for a terminal. The definition of a tool used by power users...

Comment Re:Use a liberal definition of planet (Score 3, Interesting) 150

I actually really like this idea:
Define a Star as a body that has achieved a nuclear fusion reaction.
Define a Planet as a body that has enough mass to be spherical that orbits a star.
Define a Planetoid as a body that has enough mass to be spherical that does not orbit a star.
Define a Moon as a body that has enough mass to be spherical that orbits a planet.
Define an Asteroid as a body that does not have enough mass to be spherical that orbits a star.
Define a Natural Satellite (here's to you, potato shaped Phobos) as a body that does not have enough mass to be spherical that orbits a planet. Maybe call it a Moonoid?


Define Pluto and Charon as a binary planet; since they appear to orbit each other (and binary stars are already defined).
If this means Sedna and a few other bodies become planets -- fine. But at least the definitions are easy.

Comment Relatives from out of town. (Score 1) 158

I had a cousin and her family come to town from Maryland and when it was time for them to go home, I tried to give them directions to the Turnpike. It was literally take the next four right turns and then drive about 6 miles, you'll see the signs.

She was like Nope, I'm GPSing it. The GPS gives her valid directions but they were longer and more complicated.

I was amused but she got home safely.

LK

Comment Re:Liability (Score 1) 495

Whomever performed the modification, if that modification is the cause of the incident.

It's not like we're discovering new issues here.

In 1968, if you took your Buick to your neighborhood fix-it guy and he used sub-standard wheel bearings and they caused the wheel to fall off and kill someone, Mr. Fix-it would be liable.

Really, this isn't rocket science just because the story includes the word "firmware".

LK

Comment Abandoning Time-Worn Processes Leads to Atrophy (Score 5, Insightful) 158

Scientists determined that those people who made use of machine washing rather than hand washing had diminished hand strength and neurological motor communication necessary for fine motor control. Seamstresses who bought thread rather than using the spinning jenny were similarly impaired. But worst off were teamsters who used the internal combustion trucks rather than teams of horses and used forklifts and other mechanical devices rather than loading their vehicles by hand. Their overall body strength was much reduced.

Comment Pity, since I can't accept the EULA (Score 1) 144

Google's Chrome browser, on the other hand, remained unhackable during the contest.

Unfortunately for me, I can't accept Chrome's EULA.

It incorporates Adobe's, which (if I recall correctly from my AT&T Android-based smartphone) has several clauses I can't abide - including a never-compete, don't block updates, don't work on circumvention tools, we can change the license without notice, ...

I don't intend to do anything that might come back to limit my future software work or employability. Clicking through such a license (even if every bit of it is struck down by the courts - which I'm not holding my breath expecting), especially on a device that "phones home" in a way that is easily identified with my true name, is an invitation for an all-versus-one gladiatorial match with two multibillion-dollar corporations' legal departments.

Comment GitHub is in California (Score 1) 75

I struggle a bit to understand why this isn't a bigger issue. ... I wonder why some politician hasn't attempted to differentiate themselves by even mentioning the stifling effect on innovation [company-owns-all-your-inventions] policies impose.

Because it's already been adressed, long ago.

GitHub is in San Francisco, which is in California and governed by California labor law.

California labor law says that (paraphrasing from memory):
  - As a compelling state interest
  - overriding anything in the employee agreement
  - if an employee invents something
  - while not on company time or using company resources
  - and that invention is not in the company's current or immediately foreseeable business
  - then the invention belongs to the employee
  - (and the employment agreement must include a copy of this information as an appendix.)

(IMHO that law is THE reason for the explosive growth and innovation in Silicon Valley and why other states have been unable to clone it. Invent something that your current company won't use, get together with a couple friends, maybe get some "angel funding", rent the office across the street, and go into business with your new shiny thing. So companies bud off new companies like yeast. And innovators collect where they can become the inventor, the "couple of friends", or the early hires, creating a pool of the necessary talent to convert inventions into companies when they happen.)

What GitHub has apparently done is say to the employees:
"For the purposes of us claiming your IP, your lunch time and breaks are your time, even on company property, and your use of our computers and disk storage for things like compiles, storing code, and web research in aid of your project, does not count as 'using company resources'."

In other states, and other companies even within CA, that might be a big deal. For a company in CA, whose whole business model is providing archives for other people's software projects - and giving it away free to small groups, while charging large groups (or small groups that grow into large groups), it's not a big deal, and right IN their business model.

Comment Instinctively, I have avoided opiates. (Score 1) 181

I have always felt that pain killers should be used sparingly and that one should only take the minimum level necessary to make the pain tolerable.

For me, it wasn't about avoiding addiction. I don't like the feeling of having my mind feel cloudy.

When I had my wisdom teeth removed, the doctor gave me a prescription for Lortab. I declined to fill it. I said that if Tylenol or Aleve made it tolerable, that's what I would use. Even though I had already made my decision, when a friend offered to buy them from me, I was even more certain that I made the right choice.

LK

Comment Re:Pittsburgh is losing its identity (Score 1) 126

You don't know anything about the city, and probably weren't born there.

I was born out of state but I have been here in Pittsburgh since I was an infant, more than 40 years.

I bike year round in Pittsburgh, with studded tires for use in the winter.

I'm sure that you and the three other people who will face sub-zero temperatures on their bikes appreciate it but those lanes would be more useful with cars in them.

The chairs at Market Square were removed due to issues with loitering and drug use

I believe that those excuses were pretexts.

How does removing amenities make "more room" anyway?

By providing more space for outdoor dining areas for the restaurants. When (not if) they expand, that seating will be private property that can be limited to paying customers.

Gentrification of the Hill District is a strange thing

It's not just the Hill District. It's Homewood and East Liberty too. 10-15 years ago, it was Lawrenceville. I suspect that the Hazelwood/Glenwood area will be next.

The drug problems are real, but they were real in the 1980's too, it's just white people didn't notice except when they saw them on Hill Street Blues.

Nice try but it's not going to work here. I'm not white. I lived in the Duquesne projects back in the 1970s. I was harassed by cops during the drug wars in the 1990s. There is a black middle class in the region and most of us moved to the suburbs to escape the problems of the city. Now the city is sending those problems our way.

LK

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