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Comment Re:That's the big problem... (Score 2) 70

The problem is the presumption that the data doesn't have a physical location when you are dealing with a cloud. You may not directly know where a given hunk of data is physically stored at, but such storage is still a requirement for current computing practices. It can be destroyed, confiscated, lost, or even simply scrambled where you have no control over what happens. It can also be copied and distributed to places which may not be in a place you want it at (like a competitor or somebody who intends to do you harm).

Keeping data in a cloud is fine for temporary stuff or for data that is of a transitory nature that might be discarded a day or two later. Also if the data is of a nature that if it is published on the front page of a newspaper or on Wikipedia, nobody would care.... you generally don't have a problem. If you really want to keep the data for any length of time... due to legal requirements or even something that is vital to the mission success of your company or organization, it is really idiotic to rely upon 3rd parties who don't have a vested interested in your success to be keeping that data.

Comment Re:Is this "Nunews"? (Score 1) 179

I'd say it is just as doomed as Nupedia too. Apparently this really surprised the Wikinews regulars as a sort of strike of lightning out of the dark and that their relationship with Jimmy Wales is dubious at best. Mr. Wales got zero input and feedback from the Wikinews regulars in terms of how to set up the site or how to effectively manage it. That sounds like a colossal waste of time and energy as well as basically shooting himself in the foot right out of the gate as those would likely be the largest experienced group of users who could make it work.

At the very least, Mr. Wales needs to mend some fences there and smooth over the feelings of the volunteers at Wikinews before they poison the effort for this "WikiTribute" effort completely. I've seen him run roughshod over other Wikimedia projects, and stuff like his random deletion of what he claimed to have been porn on the Wikimedia Commons really backfired in a miserable way and spilled a whole lot of bad blood too.

Comment Re:Nothing could go wrong here (Score 1) 179

The editing of news articles by volunteers in a manner like Wikipedia has already existed for a great many years. It is called Wikinews.

Of course Jimmy Wales already knew about that site and is obviously dismissive of the ability of that project's volunteers to objectively look at news information and to distinguish between actual news and fake news.

On a practical side, Wikinews is really quite effective in terms of what it does and also has an interesting set of stories that is quite a bit different than from other news sources. Definitely worth reading for its own sake. The drawback is mainly a lack of eyeballs and the fact that writing a news article is hard work.

Comment Re:Remarkable how much worse off we are today! (Score 5, Interesting) 66

The real cause of the decline of software and user interfaces in particular is actually the pressure to continually release new versions and propel the continual upgrade cycle. A fully mature, bug-free, usable piece of software that does everything its users want it to do flawlessly is a very unprofitable piece of software because people will buy it once and use it forever without ever upgrading it. The answer is to keep adding useless features and revise and clutter up the UI with more and more crap to create the illusion that people are making productivity leaps by plunking down money on new versions, when in reality they are simply treading water or even going backwards as it becomes more difficult to do simple tasks that were once trivial and impossible to figure out how to do new things due to the overwhelming number of baubles and options.

Comment Users don't report bugs (Score 3, Interesting) 313

That right there is a part of the problem. Software testers report bugs. Hints about potential bugs can come from end users, but end users are not software testers.

There is no substitute to a really good (professional.... and paid) software tester that and reliably reproduce bugs that need to be removed. If anything, they are far more valuable than even code monkeys writing thousands of lines of code per month (something also largely irrelevant for quality software). If anything, I would pay the software testing team before the coders if you need to use some volunteer labor like in an open source project.

End users can offer hints to a good software testing team as to what might be bugs, and end user reports should definitely be taken seriously since it is something that slipped past those testers as well. When the software testers are fired and/or it is presumed that unpaid volunteers are going to be doing that quality assurance process, especially for a commercial software product, you get what you pay for.

Comment Re:I use them quite a lot (Score 1) 266

Frankly, I was surprised when the "close tabs to the right" feature appeared in Firefox, Chrome AND Opera in essentially the same form. The guiding principle these browser designers follow is MAKE IT DIFFERENT JUST BECAUSE. Let's be honest here, none of them are really following a trial of features and time-testing them. It's just GUI fad after fad after fad. They're sh*tcanning the close tabs feature so they can proudly claim to be different again.

Comment That kind of pricing makes no sense. (Score 4, Interesting) 374

$500,000 invested wisely into a moderately aggressive portfolio at age 18 would make you extremely wealthy at retirement age. Why waste it on a college education that may or may not get you a job, and even if it does it will likely never earn you as much money as the original cost invested wisely?

Comment Illuminati Online "Hardened" Network Services (Score 4, Informative) 63

I'll just leave this here:

"Fun fact: you could telnet to from anywhere in the world, and log on as guest. Lynx, a text-only web browser, was configured as the shell, and you would then be presented with a sparse version of the web-based customer account tools found at This was so customers could reset their own password, update their address, set their PLAN file, etc.

IO forgot to disable browsing the filesystem (press g, period, enter). Also, IO never enforced uniform file and directory permissions or audited active accounts. As a result, through 2004, after IO was taken over by Prismnet (or later), you could roam around and directly view many customer's private files, email, and IO's sensitive system areas. You could also open the Lynx config to define a custom "editor" and thus actually edit files, or run executables. This was a direct back-door into everything! This continued a full two years after IOCOM "hardened" their network to sell network security services."

Comment Let's Encrypt works great, mostly... (Score 0) 151

This may be slightly off-topic, but I use free Let's Encrypt certificates for my httpS websites. Personally, I have never had problems with them, however some browsers and mobiles throw up the same OMG WARNING HAXXXORS screen that you get when using a self-signed cert. This has forced me to turn off server-forwarding rules I had in place to direct folks to the httpS site when they used the http URL.

The irony is that these ill-conceived browser warning messages are herding them to use the un-encrypted site, as supposedly being the "safe" one. Whether the cert is self-signed or LE, it's still ENCRYPTION. That's categorically safer! I know the warning is technically to prevent browsing to a site while being "man in the middle'd", but 9999 out of 10000 times, it's just a perfectly fine SS or LE cert. The browser warnings do nothing but scare people away from safer sites.

Comment Re:Practice Practice Practice (Score 1) 347


Also kinda said it above somewhere, but I think it's really important to set a standard early on. If you accept shitty work from them, they'll keep submitting shitty work (either because it's the path of least effort, or they just don't know it's shitty).

Do code reviews, enforce them, require their work to meet a certain level of quality (and kick it back when it doesn't), and most people people will rise to that standard. If you enforce that all public methods must have good comments, and consistently kick back code with no comments or shitty/ineffective comments, people will start habitually doing it right because they know they can't get away with doing it wrong.

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