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Comment Re:It's heartbreaking that politicians don't do sh (Score 4, Insightful) 482

I don't have any evidence of Trump naming or implying any race at any time with any of his various immigration comments.

His focus has been on
- stopping _illegal_ immigration
- stopping the legal immigration of people that are at an increased risk of becoming terrorists
- reducing immigration that appears to have a negative effect on American jobs

There is a tremendous amount of racial confirmation bias about Trump, in part because that's what the left always resorts to, and because he hasn't adopted SJW phrases and talking points.

Contrastingly, there is historical evidence of him breaking _down_ racial and other bigotry barriers in his personal and business life.

Comment Re:It's heartbreaking that politicians don't do sh (Score 3, Insightful) 482

Perhaps Mrs. Clinton has observed that discussing any aspect of immigration in a negative way makes her more like Donald Trump -- a man whom she very often implies is pretty much the worst thing ever.

It's a bit interesting that when Mrs. Clinton talks negatively about immigration, she's described as empathetic for Americans.

Contrastingly, when Donald Trump talks about immigration, he's described as a racist.

I think people are wise to be suspicious of anyone running for public office. But, of Clinton, Johnson, and Trump, Trump is the only one that has ever said he wants to limit and reform immigration for the benefit of Americans who are seeking American jobs. He's also the one talking about punishing American companies who engage in behaviors that subvert American workers and jobs so replace them with foreign workers and jobs.

http://www.computerworld.com/a...

If you are upset with companies abusing immigration law to the detriment of American workers, and you wish someone would finally do something about it, Trump would seem like your candidate.

This election promises to be another "hold your nose" affair, but there do seem to be legitimate differences in what the candidates want to accomplish and how they want to do it.

Comment Re: Unsurprising (Score 1) 441

How does $2k USD strike you?

http://www.jetcatusa.com/rc-tu...

example in use:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

my post isn't really a new or novel idea:
http://www.interestingprojects...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

It occurred to me that you could adapt the airframe and application from cruise missile (the blog post), to ultra-low cost, man-deployable SAM.

A 350mph SAM isn't going to go very high, or chase down aircraft that have flown past. It won't work like a big expensive fixed SAM installation.

The current US application of airpower is flying low, slow, over and over, in repeatable patterns, because total air superiority is assumed.

And so if you watch US airpower fly over your burnt-out city, and then you see them turning to make another pass, you pull out your low-buck SAM, get it fired up, and, when the aircraft has heading back towards you, you fire at it, head on, from a field or building rooftop or whatever.

A 350mph object coming straight at an aircraft that is used to assuming air space dominance, and which is giving off no radar emissions, is going to catch at least a few super-power aircraft off guard and take them down.

This only needs to succeed once or twice. That will cause a significant change in the use of theater air-power..

Comment Re: Unsurprising (Score 1) 441

There has been very little air-to-air combat in a long time. The majority of combat has been developed super powers against 2nd or 3rd world states, or against entities that aren't even states at all.

The only fighter air power requirement is a few hours of work to make sure that there is total airspace superiority, and then every other attack/recon aircraft in the super-power's arsenal loiters over its targets unopposed.

The software & silicon revolution is going to throw a wrench in all of this very soon.

Suppose you are ISIS. You cannot build all the infrastructure to have an airbase with fighter jets and trained humans to operate and maintain them, etc, and even if you could, the super powers would just stroll by and put a crater in your runway.

So what you need is an assymetric response to air power.

In the Soviet/Afghan war, the US funneled stinger missiles and other man-launched AA and AT weapons to the jihadists, and they were able to cripple the Soviet war machine.

The folks in the middle east are already plenty good at making IEDs - they have the "warhead" part figured out.

What's to stop them from putting ArduoPlane brains inside of RC powered jets and putting IEDs on them, and then using optical seekers (e.g. no active emissions, so the big jets never know its coming), and then shooting down low flying aircraft of all types and configurations?

The per-unit cost for something like this would be under $10k per copy. The impact of shooting down just one super-powers aircraft would be tremendous. It would cause an operational re-think and might even change the balance of air-power in the theater.

The Superpowers are going to need to stop playing the manned-aircraft one-ups-man-ship game, and embrace low cost swarms.

For each ISIS fighter that launches a home-made SAM, the super-power will need to respond with a swarm of airbone hunter/killer drones... already nearby, on station.

I think battles between various super-powers competing 5th gen manned fighters are unlikely and will hopefully never happen. I desperately want to avoid a shooting war with Russia or China...

Comment Re:.NET 5 is just what we need. (Score 2) 160

I'd be interested in learning more about the compatibility problems you're having with real apps and .net framework versions.

We know that there are ocassionally compat issues because we have large customers we work with to try and mitigate them.

There are already mechanisms built into .net for rebinding apps to use specific framework and assembly versions, e.g. the .exe.config file that you can modify without access to the application's source code.

In general, .NET 2.0 and .NET 4.0 are the two separate runtimes that you would currently need to have installed. .NET 3.5 is the newest iteration of the .net 2.0 runtime, and .NET 4.6.x is the newest iteration of the 4.0 runtime.

If you're trying to install an app and it says "i need .net 4", and you don't have .net 4 yet, I think that's working as intended. If updates to .net are breaking your apps, that's something we'd like to know about and help with.

If you have problems of the latter sort - .net updates are breaking your apps, feel free to contact me at this address and I'll see about putting you in touch with someone who can help.

Comment Re:I think the most ironic part is that... (Score 2) 43

I'm not in any way involved with this specific program, but I do work on VisualStudio.

It's pretty common for all kinds of software projects to take bug reports - even very detailed and thorough ones - from people who ultimately don't end up fixing the bug.

The interesting thing about finding a security bug - especially with the constraints described here - a working exploit and a white paper - it's pretty unambiguous that you've found one. You either have or you haven't.

Now, how to actually fix that bug might be a lot more nuanced.

This statement isn't made to in any way imply that a researcher who could find such a bug _couldn't_ also fix it.

Rather, some bug fixes may be preferable to others, from Microsoft's point of view. And so, my impression is - we're not looking for patches that we'd end up re-writing. We're looking for the really nasty bugs, and then we'll go off and come up with fixes that satisfy the big pile of requirements that we have [for example, performance impact]

A valid observation would be, "if these were really open source projects, anyone in the community would be able to run the same regression and performance tests that Microsoft would run, and thus be able to make perfectly valid fixes themselves"

Well, to a point. Long long ago, I found an IDE driver bug in OpenBSD and submitted a fix for it. The fix was substantially re-written by the maintainer, and, ultimately the whole subsystem was replaced in the next version anyhow.

My fix met the functional requirements, so near as I can tell. But there are things like coding style, or maybe even the personal preferences by the project maintainer(s), that can still impact how a particular patch gets rejected or modified prior to being committed.

Furthermore, I think we would hate for there to be a vuln out there that somebody knows about, but is sitting on until they can come up with a fix that they like.

So, yes, I think we really just want the vulnerability reports, well substantiated and with demonstrated exploits. Finding those things is still very much a niche skill.

Fixing them, once they are understood, and balancing those fixes with the other requirements in the system, is more bread-and-butter Microsoft engineer stuff.

fwiw, I've been at Microsoft 15 years, much of it in VisualStudio. Before that, I worked only with UNIX systems, and I've stayed up to date as a hobby.

The way we are trying to engage with Apple, Linux, and F/OSS in general is completely unlike anything we did up until just the last year or so. People I've worked with for years are suddenly diving headlong into Linux development. Arguments that I tried to make a decade ago are now being made by other people.

It's a really interesting time at the company.

Comment Re:No real place for it (Score 1) 311

I'm always on the hunt for ideal archival formats for digital media.

The ideal archival format has a few properties, ranging from most theoretical to most practical:

- a completely unencumbered specification and a completely unencumbered implementation
- a highly portable, f/oss reference implementation
- excellent quality vs. usability (e.g. lossless quality, but small to store and fast to decode)
- support in popular general purpose computing environments
- supported in popular dedicated hardware devices

FLAC gets the first few of those, but not the last one -- plenty of dedicated hardware audio players don't deal with FLAC.

Because of this, I use MP3 for audio - which theoretically gives up the first few points, but as a practical matter, those points are irrelevant, and MP3 completely dominates the industry on the last few points.

If Vorbis or FLAC or any of the things that get the first few points correct had ubiqoutous device support, I might be willing to re-rip everything into those formats for a great blend of long-term archival and easy-to-consume on any device convenience. But nothing is like that for audio.

Similarly, if I thought there was going to be a fantastic lossless image format that did everything well and was going to be massively supported and was completely unencumbered, i'd want to move everything over to it. I'd want my future digital cameras to start shooting it. I'd want my whole tool stream and whole life to just be about that format.

Comment Re:Undergrad only? (Score 4, Informative) 264

All of the numbers in this article are very believable.

I have a BS degree from the University of Nebraska. And not the prestigious Raikes school, but the normal old pre-Raikes degree program.

After a summer internship, I got an offer from McDonnel Douglas for 48k.

My offer from Microsoft was more like the 60k figure. I took that one, because it didn't involve living in St. Louis.

The year: 2000

So, 60k to start right out of college was a going rate for top-tier companies... fifteen years ago.

Some companies paid much more, and sometimes that was a company decision, and sometimes it was a reality of where the position was located. For instance, before I had even finished my degree, I was recruited for a position with a 99k starting salary. That firm, however, was in NYC. When you adjust for NYC cost of living, it's not such an eye-popping number.

Subsequent to these numbers from 15 years ago, I have been involved in lots of hiring at Microsoft in the years I've been here.

Starting salaries have adjusted upward significantly since I was hired.

If you can score an engineering position with a top software/services company like Microsoft, you will be paid exceptionally well. For someone fresh out of college, there is just an obscene amount of money on the table.

Different companies target different spots in the industry pay curve. Microsoft by no means targets the top of the salary scale, but neither do we target the bottom. At times, Microsoft has been seen as, to put it mildly, "pretty uncool". At times, there has been lots of startup money and equity available for top quality grads to go after.

In those time periods, Microsoft has to offer more money to continue to attract new talent.

If you want to work at a company where lots of people want to work (e.g. a games company, or SpaceX), those organizations don't have to compete as much with offer packages, since their brands have a high intrinsic draw.

While I don't know what a Netflix offer package is like, Netflix states that their policy is to pay very high wages - the wage they'd be willing to pay to keep someone excellent who wanted to leave.

Finally, it's important to consider the type of organization you're looking at joining. Do they do software/IT, or is that a cost of doing business for them? If a company is in the business of selling shoes, but has an unavoidable need for software engineers, they're going to treat software engineers as a cost of doing business.

If a company is in the business of building software, they're going to think differently about compensation and retention.

Finally, companies that aren't well established players in the software space can have difficulty making big offer packages. At times in my career, I've been frustrated and have looked elsewhere, and the smaller, less profitable companies I've spoken with are offering tens of thousands lower than what I was already making.... making the friction of leaving financially tremendous.

(my personal financial plan is to expect a 50% paycut when something happens to my MSFT employment)

In summary, I have no problem believing the numbers. Top quality CS people at top quality organizations are paid outrageously well.

However, I get that lots of people are expressing disbelief. Let's talk about why that may be. The survey data could be skewed by multiple factors:
- the locale of the person responding
- the self-selection bias of the person responding (e.g. are people happy with their comp more likely to fill out a survey?)
- the kind of organization the survey respondants work for...

If you surveyed internal apps developers at regional insurance offices, in the Midwest, you would get a different picture from a survey of facebook engineers...

Comment Re:They are trying to get off... (Score 1) 104

I cannot deny that much of what you've said about the mob is true. I didn't mean to say that the mob never did anything well, never provided benefits to neighborhoods or people, etc.

Everyone understands that the mob can "Get things done". And, what's ironic is that, IIRC, you and I have very different ideas about government, but we apparently agree that in some situations, the mob is more effective and occasionally preferable to local government.

That said, I think you are papering over the intimidation, violence, and property destruction done by the mob.

(I'm not papering over the intimidation, violence, and property destruction done by governments, fwiw)

Comment Re:They are trying to get off... (Score 4, Insightful) 104

Have you ever lived anywhere where there was a significant mob presence?

I haven't, and for good reason.

Your plan is a really great plan if you assume that the mob has absolutely no penetration whatsoever into the local police department.

I don't know why you'd assume such a stupid thing, though.

So here is how your suggestion really goes.

You walk into the local PD. On your way there, some kid recognized your face. He has instructions that say that if he sees a guy who looks like you walking into the police station, he calls a number and gets a bonus.

When you come home, something is different. Either your family is already dead, or, there's a note that makes it clear that your family is vulnerable and that you've fucked up - but there is still a chance to not get your family killed. Who knows what the knob is set at for the "first contact" - but there's a clear indication that you don't want to continue talking to the police.

Now, if someone inside that building is actually connected - and usually, somebody is - maybe they're the person who interviewed you. Maybe they're the person who looks at the signin/signout sheet at the station. Maybe they are somebody who files paperwork or types things up for other people.

Zillions of little people are needed to make the machine of government operate, and the mob targets precisely those people to be their eyes and ears. It uses combinations of carrots and sticks to keep them cooperating with mob goals, without letting them get too familiar with what those goals are or who is executing them.

Point is, if the mob has any power in your city, that includes eyes and ears within, or effectively within, the police department.

Part of the mob's effectiveness is that it destroys trust in the normal functioning institutinos of society. You never know for sure who is and isn't. It effectively isolate frightened individuals from the facets of society that might help or protect them. It always makes it seem like it's 1 person against the entire mob - it paints that same picture to lots of separate people.

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