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Comment Pointy-Haired Bosses Endanger Secure Development (Score 1) 148

The big issue I see in my daily work life is that management acts as if using a third-party solution, be it proprietary or open-source, means we will receive perfect code at the beginning and never have to update it. We lock versions early in the dev cycle, but if a new version comes out mid-development there is a general distrust of changing to the new one.

And then, when the inevitable critical issue is discovered after we have release, we have no efficient plan on how to update. At least GPL solves that; when users have a pure-GPL system, they can always recompile/relink everything themselves after the big patch. But if I statically link a proprietary license library into our proprietary product, we have to step in and rebuild to get the fix out there. And the lack of preparation for this process does endanger security.

The management teams I've worked with are typically better at estimating and preparing for critical field breaks in "our" code. But that's why they like third-party, and that assumption of "perfect" that makes the future look so much better. So the bigger issue is that managers endanger secure software development.

Comment Legally, yes, but airlines should prohibit. (Score 1) 164

There is no good reason for a federal ban on phone calls in flight, especially as there used to be "air phone" services that let you do that, albeit at absurd per-minutes rates. But then I would really love to fly any airline that prohibited the calls on their own, akin to "non-smoking" establishments before laws started to ban smoking in public. Airlines could even make segregated "quiet" cabins for those who don't want to hear random conversations. Given the current trend to micro-upgrades in airlines, it seems the airlines would quickly step in to give you back the quiet we all once had for a small fee, just like checked baggage, exit row seating, in-flight snacks, and even carry-on bags.

Comment Re:That's the funniest thing so far ..... (Score 4, Interesting) 284

And what about on the Democratic side? ... Their level of delusion seems a little worse than your average Trump voter.

Hammer, meet nail. It wasn't just the Trump side that was "misinformed" by Facebook; Clinton's supporters were equally in a bubble. "Fake" news did not impact only one side; it touched every single candidate. It was near propaganda levels, especially in the final week. Ad hominem was the normal response of the Clinton side; why rebut the argument when it's easier to attack the speaker. Straw man was the normal response of the Trump side; why respond to the actual argument when you can misrepresent it and have a slam-dunk rebuttal.

Maybe it's time for Facebook to realize that all their "algorithms" will be exploitable, and they should just go back to a perfect, unaltered timeline of everything a user is following. At least that way we can say it's the people choosing to be misinformed and not just a side-effect of an algorithmic choice.

Comment Re:Not entirely (Score 1) 347

I agree with this, but mostly because not all Computer Science programs are the same. I've interviewed a lot of people for development jobs (embedded systems and device drivers), and have been appalled by what passes as a Computer Science education from some schools. If anyone is in a program that makes them question it's value, then you might want to transfer to a school with a better Computer Science program!

Also, take advantage of internship and cooperative education opportunities while you're getting your degree. Putting your skills to use as you learn can help you refine your skills while you finish your degree.

Comment Apple-labeled is not Apple-manufactured (Score 1) 536

One could argue that in order to test such a product, they must have installed OS X, which requires them to "accept" this EULA which they promptly violated by installing on a PC.

But what if they bought a Mac Pro and then replaced the guts with other components? Is the resulting computer still Apple-labeled? What if they have an Apple logo sticker that they stick on the case? Is that Apple-labeled?


Submission + - Oil-eating microbes produce green energy

Roland Piquepaille writes: "It is estimated that oil sands — or bituminous sands — represent two thirds of the world's oil reserves. Still, it's expensive and difficult to extract oil from these sands. Even with today's crude oil prices, the industry is still looking for cheaper ways to produce energy from the so-called 'tar' sands. Now, according to the University of Calgary, an international team of researchers has found a way for using microbes to extract methane from oil sands. With its enormous reserves, Canada could become one of the major oil producer in the 21st century. Field tests of this new technology should start in 2009. Read more for additional details and references about how bacteria can generate energy from oil sands.."

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