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Comment Re:And what's the problem here? (Score 1) 826

I'm not sure why Slashdot is so afraid of this. You don't have a right to be anonymous to your employer. You don't have a right to avoid taxes.

Your government and your employer do not have the right to treat their citizens and employees as criminals.

You just got the right to healthcare, but do you really want that going to illegal immigrants?

Everyone in this country is an illegal immigrant. You or your ancestors, either willingly or by force, came here from somewhere else. In fact the so-called Native Americans are neither. They came here from somewhere else long ago. No one is from here; you simply are here.

We already drive around with standardized (yet customizable non-materially) license plates on our cars. You already need proof of government permission and proof somebody's going to pay if you hit something to drive a car.

Following your logic, you don't have a right to a non-materially customizable license plate, whatever the hell that is, on your car. In fact, you don't have a right to a car.

You aren't supposed to be able to get on a plane anonymously...

Again, that is not an excuse to treat everyone as a criminal.

Let's not think of the things we'd be able to get away with with a fake id... and start thinking how we can make sure somebody else can't fake their ID for our mutual protection.

Your last comment is a total and complete non sequitur, so I'll just say this. This is totally unnecessary. We already have driver's licenses, Social Security cards, passports and birth certificates. We already have more than enough means of identification, and the government has more than enough information on us to do its job. If having a national ID card offered some obvious benefit to us, the ones who would be required to have it, I might feel different about it. As it is, there is none.

Comment It depends (Score 1) 460

If your serial console is 5 meters (16.4 feet) away, or less, USB is fine. 5 meters is the stated maximum cable length for USB. Any longer, and you'll have timing issues. RS232 has a stated maximum cable length of 50 feet at 19200 bps. As another commenter stated, 9600 bps would be quite fast enough, so you can go up to 500 feet. Just make sure you use good cables that effectively shield out both external and internal noise.

For longer distances or noise concerns, like in a manufacturing plant, you can use fiberoptic cable with converters on either end. RS232-to-fiber converters have been around for years, and USB-to-fiber converters are available, too.

As an aside, years ago we upgraded our servers from ones that only had a serial console terminal to ones that had both serial and ethernet based ones. I had no problem going to the ethernet ones, but my boss at the time got nervous. She made me hook up one of the console terminals from our old servers to the new ones. Unfortunately, we had already removed the desk we used in the server room for the console terminals to make room for other servers. I had to put it on one of those movable computer desks and I never could find a good spot for it. Eventually, I went from ops to development, so it became someone else's problem.

Comment Questions (Score 3, Interesting) 427

Civil rights issues aside, there are other questions about this "proposal".
  • What authority would be responsible for issuing these licenses?
  • What are the criteria one would have to pass when obtaining a license?
  • Assuming one would have to pay a fee for the license (nothing is free in this world), how much would one have to pay?
  • What exactly would the monies collected in license fees be used for?
  • What authority would be responsible for policing and enforcement of being licensed?
  • What would be the benefit to the licensee? What would we get in return that we don't already have now?
  • How will the information being collected from licensees be safeguarded from abuse by those within and without the licensing authority?
  • If I'm traveling to another country, would the license be valid there, or would I need to obtain yet another license from that country?
  • What about businesses that allow Internet access to their employees? Would the individual license be valid at work, or would the company have to obtain its own license?
  • Would government agencies also be required to obtain licenses?

Those are only the few questions I could come up with in ten minutes time. There are certainly many more beyond these. I would like to hear Mr. Mundie's answers to these questions along with the complete plan for putting this into place. I'll wait.

Comment You want comments? Docs? Allow time for it. (Score 1) 580

It always amazes me that management requires fully commented code and complete documentation, but they don't allow the time necessary to create it. You have to allow at least double the amount of time that you would give for coding because you are effectively writing the program twice. When time gets short, the first thing to go is the documentation. Your users don't give an unwashed rats ass about how well the code is commented. They care about whether or not it does what they want. Therefore, it's entirely up to management to allow for time in the project for documentation and commenting code.

Comment Re:elegant != clever (Score 1) 477


I've read too many comments where people deride 'cleverness' as if they don't want their programmers to think and the ones that can and do are bad programmers. It all seems like overcompensation by the PHBs for the glut of programmers that came in during the DotCom era out of Community College or a Programming for Dummies book. Programmers became a commodity, and the level of ability, knowledge and expertise dropped accordingly. Managers dealt with it by making this the norm and making it a crime to be a smart programmer.

Up-to-date documentation and well-commented code is good. Code clarity is also good. That is not in dispute, but that has always been the case. This is all about accommodating the off-the-shelf programmer at the expense of the ones with experience and know-how.

Comment Re:Office Space re-enactment (Score 1) 970

I was thinking more along the lines of a Wood Chipper. Turn it on, toss it in and watch the little pieces fly through the air.

Personally, I haven't had to print anything in months, so my printer's almost never powered up. Fortunately, it's a laser printer. If it was an inkjet, I'd get maybe a couple of uses out of it before letting it idle and the cartridges dry up.

Comment Don't think you're safe if you run OSX or Linux (Score 1) 202

Thanks to products like VMware, Virtual Box and Boot Camp, Mac and Linux users can be just as vulnerable as Windows users to viruses, bots and malware. Even though it's in its own virtual environment, if you have something like FUSE running within it to make your host filesystems available, anything infecting the guest OS can access files on the host. Make sure the VM software runs as a non-privileged user to mitigate these problems.

If you're on an IT managed PC at work, where you're not allowed to install software, get a thumb drive, go to PortableApps.com, download Firefox Portable Edition or Google Chrome Portable, install it (not in the Windows Installer sense) to your thumb drive and use it for web browsing on the Internet. Only use IE for web browsing on your corporate intranet or if you really, really, really, really, really have to for a site on the Internet that you trust.

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In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle