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Submission + - Best (and safe) Spyware

butabozuhi writes: A friend (really, it is) has observation of bad behavior on a spouse's cell phone. Serious, potentially illegal behavior. Already seeing defensive and uncharacteristic responses from spouse (denial, wiping home computer browser history). If possible, is there a 'spyware' that can be installed (have pswd access to the device) to look at emails and chat (possibly even browser history) that's not noticeable and won't install a secret backdoor? Don't want to suggest something that winds up compromising any mobile banking or...facebook accounts!! I figure Slashdot users would have great advice (and I realize this might generate lots of extraneous comments). Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Comment Find out what people are hearing (Score 1) 361

Not 'find out the gossip around you' (although that can be helpful to know) but find out if what you're communicating (verbal, written) is conveying what you hope it communicates. Sometimes we do/do not include details that the receiver needs. Sometimes our tone isn't what we intended. The only way to find out is to ask (and hopefully the open communication culture you indicate will provide you honest and helpful feedback). Perhaps you'll discover that you need to include a little more detail (or less!) or watch how you word ideas so they don't come across poorly. On the other hand, you may discover that all your peers and friends have no issues with your communication. At that point, sit down with your manager(s) and find out what they expect. As long as the mood is positive at your company, all this is good stuff. It's when company culture starts going south (or there is a bad manager) that this kind of self-improvement/discovery can turn nasty. Clear communication is critical for great relationships at work and home. Learning about yourself and how to better communicate is a great thing at any age.

Comment Opportunity to test new learning methods (Score 1) 364

Been following this for a few years - there's research going on to study "digital learning" (that's probably not the official academic term) versus old school pen/paper. Some studies suggest the physical act of writing helps us remember things (we have a general "page 5, top right corner I wrote..." that helps us recall) that we don't experience virtually. Things like eReaders don't have 'page numbers' like we used to so it's challenging to have additional memory cues. With the new students not ever having physical cues, I wonder if they simply adapt new learning mechanisms? That remains to be seen. You have an opportunity to learn about the new but should keep in mind that the paradigm in which you learned might make it difficult to transition to the "new" one.

Comment CAN-SPAM exception (Score 1) 151

I worked at a company, some years ago, when the "Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing" (CAN-SPAM Act) came out. It made spam 'illegal' (hard to enforce, though) but had a specific exception if the customer recently engaged or transacted with you. So, by receiving a good or service you've basically opt-ed in! Like most of the other posters I assume by providing an email I'll be spammed - so I use an email address specifically set up for that purpose.

Submission + - Safety in a backpack (

butabozuhi writes: I'm a paranoid parent and admit this is a little appealing to me, but this is taking things to an extreme! Probably good for anyone who has to walk to a parked car in a semi-remote location. The only question: if people don't respond to car alarms, will they respond to this?

Comment Ripple effect (Score 1) 214

Although Apache says it's one-time use passwords were a lifesaver, that would be to itself? As many people use the same password for multiple systems, isn't there a pretty large risk of this impacting many, many other systems. Perhaps these techies wouldn't use such practices, but I'm guessing it's common enough. How many 'admin passwords' are now in the hands of these criminals? The damage from this could be pretty severe but will we ever know this?

Comment IBM is simply following others (Score 1) 377

We are living in a culture where there is great talk of transparency (i.e. healthcare) and communication (i.e. facebook) but there is little really being done (or said). I'm not that old but I find myself 'yearning for the days' when people walked their walk and sat down face to face for some quality time with friends. Maybe I should start a facebook group...

Comment Financial Realities (Score 1) 1010

Magic is great if you have 'spare cash' lying around. With people concerned about getting the best 'bang for their buck' they'll look for a practical device that's cheaper. If Apple is only targeting luxury buyers I can't imagine their market penetration will be significant enough to impact netbooks.

Comment Downtime and Experience (Score 2, Insightful) 599

A related issue is the 'downtime' associated with some productive programmers. I have a really good, really experienced programmer that does work in 'cycles.' Super productive, head-down, jam until fixed/completed, then a period of 'less productive' research, a proclivity to chat, and some fooling around. Overall, more productive than most other programmers I've worked with plus high quality code. Outsiders (even 'IT outsiders' who don't understand programming) look and question this guy's productivity and wonder if he should be replaced with a less expensive option (i.e. 'hungry' newbie). Experience helps you see things the new guy won't and, in many cases, helps you be more productive instead of busy flailing around.

Submission + - China hack impact on browsers (

butabozuhi writes: McAfee has a sub-site dedicated to 'Aurora' and has some technical info on the alleged attack. Can anyone help decipher this for impact to those using Safari or Chrome on Windows? None? I'm sure this highlights the possibility of someone crafting an attack on the different browsers/platforms, but for someone who uses 'alternate' browsers but is not technical enough to understand how this attack worked — am I just being too paranoid?

Comment What about the benefits to Joe User? (Score 1) 135

There are probably great economies of scale for datacenters, but what about Joe User? The article wasn't clear if 'included in the manufacturing process' would include consumer level systems. Just thinking that cost savings for datacenters is great, but I'd be really interested if it helped out the regular consumer (not to mention what kind of operational issues might this bring up?).

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982