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Comment Re:Yes.... (Score 2) 381

Yes but. I used to declare variables overly large as a kludge to help out when error-trapping was consuming too much time and I knew that the compiler wasn't good with overflows. So I'd do input error checking up to the point where it started to take too much time, then declare a variable larger than reasonable input would be, and then attempt to trap and reject input at a length between reasonable input values and the declared variable size. Declaring a variable just larger than the input buffer was one specific way to address attempts to force overflows through buffer overruns. Yes it was a horrible kludge and can't survive any sort of dedicated attack, but it served to deter casual probes looking for exploitable boundary condition errors.

Of course the better answer is to not use an OS and compiler that sucks so bad that the basic io buffers and basic overflows are exploitable, but sometimes you gotta use what you have.

Comment Just another way to vandalize stuff (Score 4, Insightful) 243

This is just another way to vandalize stuff. I owned a far cheaper version of this 30 years ago. Its called a baseball bat. Before that, I had a tack-hammer. My ancestors had a version too, but they called it a "brick". Even earlier versions were called "rocks".

If we're lucky, cities will start passing ordinances to make mere possession of these a crime, since there is no legal purpose for these.

Comment Lenovo T-series thinkpads (Score 5, Insightful) 315

The Lenovo T-series thinkpad laptops have always been good for me. The matte black non-slip exterior is a bit of a fashion statement all by itself and I guess some people won't like that, but the build quality is great.

Plus, you can field-strip it and replace literally any part of the laptop anytime anywhere using only one techie screwdriver. My thinkpads have lasted over 7 years each, and 2 of the 3 I owned were repaired in extremely austere environments (temporary plywood building in the middle of Iraq for one of them).

Lenovo spent a couple years building these with only super craptastic LCD panels, but now I think their entire lineup has an available IPS panel, and many offer optional touchscreen.

The ability to replace/upgrade/repair every part including increasing RAM and SSD size a few years after buying is a HUGE bonus that I think outweighs the stylistic differences.

Comment Re:Why do you need more than 16GB? (Score 1) 319

Because I keep my computers longer than one hardware and OS product cycle. I've had to upgrade the RAM on every single computer I've ever owned, long before I retired the computer from use. 16GB was great a couple of years ago, and it may even be "enough" right now. A couple years from now... probably not so much. Macbook pro isn't priced as a disposable or throwaway device. If I want to put up with buying a new computer every year, I'll get a $500 refurb and throw it out / replace it annually, for the same long-term cost of a macbook.

Comment Re:Absolute nonsense (Score 2) 338

You get what you pay for... Remember the 2 airlines that had IT meltdowns? Cost them what, 1-2 weeks of revenue because they went cheap on their IT backend?

Plus... "Train the cheap overseas guy we're hiring so we can lay you off" is plenty grounds to skip the notice period most employers want before someone quits. Hostile work environment ought to cover any need to justify immediately quitting.

Comment Quit instead of train overseas replacement (Score 2) 338

I'd quit immediately if I was told to train replacements before I got fired. Why knot the rope thats gonna be used to hang me? I don't understand why anyone puts up with that kind of crap. Passive resistance until you find another job, then quit asap before you do anything to help them get rid of you.

This is what unions are supposed to be for, things like ensuring that work rules and contracts do not permit forcing employees to train overseas replacements before getting laid off. Non-union employees need to stand up for themselves and not let themselves get abused like this. It would only take one or two instances of an entire IT department quitting en-masse to make the point that making employees train their overseas outsourced replacements is a non-starter. Get a couple CEOs fired rather dramatically when their outsourcing idea results in the company taking a multi-million dollar hit when an entire department quits before they get laid off.

Comment Re:Cannot charge while using headphones (Score 1) 551

You must also have the courage to buy all new equipment to work with your new phone. Car doesn't have the right connector? Buy a new car to go with your courageous new iphone that doesn't work with anything else!

Didn't IBM try this with the PCjr, back in the day? Someone might want to fwd some of those old ads to Apple since they've forgotten that someone tried this already and failed miserably.

Comment How to pronounce "courage" (Score 1) 551

Apple calls it courage, I call it pathetic stupidity.

I use regular headphones/earbuds with my iphone all the time and have no intention to change that. I also am all set up to use my iphone playing music in my car using the headphone jack, and I use the same earbuds for my laptop and iphone when I travel to reduce gear clutter. Apple made a huge mistake with the new iphone this time, removing the headphone jack. I could buy a complete high-end android phone for the cost of the idiotic dongles and adapters Apple expects people to buy to use with the iphone as an alternative to buying new *everything else*. Does apple really expect me to buy some goofy dongle or a new car simply because my nice current car only has a headphone jack aux input? Pathetic stupidity.

Submission + - US Dept. of Ed: English, History, and Civics Teachers Good Enough for CS Class

theodp writes: In A New Chapter for Computer Science Education, the U.S. Department of Education explained earlier this month that the federal STEM Education Act of 2015 'provides an unprecedented opportunity to fully leverage federal resources' to address large gaps in students’ participation in Advanced Placement (AP) computer science classes based on gender and race. "In three states," lamented the DOE, "not a single female student took the AP computer science exam" (that only 8 boys took the AP CS exam in those same 3 states was apparently not a concern). And the DOE has good news for those hoping to tap Title I and II funds for CS, but don't have any computer science teachers. "A background in math or science isn’t necessarily a requirement to teach CS," explains the Dept. of Ed, "as disciplines like English, history and civics can also provide a solid foundation for teaching CS concepts." So, is "good enough for CS class" the new "good enough for government work"?

Submission + - Will 'Every Student Succeeds Act' Make White Boys Less Successful in CS/STEM?

theodp writes: On Thursday, President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act, a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind law. "This legislation," explained Microsoft, "will increase access to STEM and computer science learning nationwide and will advance some of the goals outlined in Microsoft’s National Talent Strategy." But some odd wordsmithery in the No Child Left Behind replacement suggests that it may not be all good news, at least if you're a K-12 White boy seeking out new CS/STEM enrichment opportunities afforded by ESSA. From page 176 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (pdf): "Each local educational agency, or consortium of such agencies, that receives an allocation under section 4105(a) shall use a portion of such funds to develop and implement programs and activities that support access to a well-rounded education and that...may include programs and activities, such as...programming and activities to improve instruction and student engagement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, including computer science, (referred to in this section as ‘STEM subjects’) such as-(i) increasing access for students through grade 12 who are members of groups underrepresented in such subject fields, such as female students, minority students, English learners, children with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students, to high quality courses." In its July analysis, the STEM Education Coalition, which counts Microsoft as a member, attributed the enrichment eligibility criteria clause to NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Last year, Gillibrand said, "Typically, in STEM fields, science, technology, engineering and math, it's typically white men. Very few women, very few minorities, very few from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. So we want to change that." So, mission accomplished?

Submission + - No Child Left Behind Replacement: More CS Opportunities for All But White Boys?

theodp writes: Microsoft is celebrating the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act, which President Obama signed into law Thursday. "This legislation," explains Microsoft VP/lobbyist Fred Humphries, "will increase access to STEM and computer science learning nationwide and will advance some of the goals outlined in Microsoft’s National Talent Strategy. And its passage comes at a unique time during Computer Science Education Week, which is intended to highlight the importance of computer science education" (during CsEdWeek 2014, Humphries looked on as President Obama 'learned to code'). But, what Microsoft doesn't mention is that the No Child Left Behind Act replacement may leave at least some groups of children behind when it comes to the new CS/STEM opportunities. From page 176 of the 391-page Every Student Succeeds Act (pdf): "Each local educational agency, or consortium of such agencies, that receives an allocation under section 4105(a) shall use a portion of such funds to develop and implement programs and activities that support access to a well-rounded education and that...may include programs and activities, such as...programming and activities to improve instruction and student engagement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, including computer science, (referred to in this section as ‘STEM subjects’) such as-(i) increasing access for students through grade 12 who are members of groups underrepresented in such subject fields, such as female students, minority students, English learners, children with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students, to high quality courses." And if that wordsmithery means you'll be seeing fewer White boys in CS, well that would seem to advance some of the goals outlined Thursday in Google's CS Education in Media Strategy!

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