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Comment Re:Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proo (Score 1) 248

Hopefully the cold fusion debacle (and others, that is just the most prominent in my mind) has taught us something about the value of scientifically reproducing phenomena.

Cold fusion is a scam. It'll never work. I, however, have been off the grid for over 30 years with my perpetual motion machine. I tried to get it patented but Big Oil stole the technology from me and buried the patent so they could make money selling black gold. Cold fusion and batteries are useless when you have perpetual motion!

Comment Re:What I'm missing.... (Score 1) 15

...is if they have a stolen iPhone how do they know whom to text to try and phish the credentials? If the phone's locked it's not like they have access to the owner's information, nor to the MEI. What am I missing?

If you do a factory reset of the device it'll try and force you to log into the iCloud account that has locked the device before you activate it. It's been a while since I've done this, but if I remember correctly, I think it actually puts up the email address and just asks for the password.

Comment Re:Idiocy (Score 1) 158

It actually does make sense. iPhones only have one SIM card. I travel a lot and need extra mobiles and extra SIM cards all the time. Also data exchange of Apple devices simply sucks, either you need a cloud or iTunes, how ever there is a third party tool, iExplorer, that is wonderful. So: for the extension of the iPhone you need obviously an OS, and Android is the first coming to mind. The idea might look strange on the first glance, but I'm sure there is a market. Especially if there was an iPhone 4/5 version, too.

The problem is that you need to pony up some $$ to join the MFI program in order to get access to the lightning port. I do not believe that Apple is going to support this at all and if they don't give you access to the program, you're screwed. Sure you could buy some MFI controller chips that fell off the back of a truck, but you won't ever be an approved product.

Comment Re:As an old (63) guy.. (Score 3, Interesting) 207

How can you create software without Ruby, The Cloud and 37 half-baked frameworks?

Joking aside, C/C++ with a good understanding of hardware and operating systems is where older engineers shine. In fact, I'd say it's one of the few areas of software development where the term "engineer" is actually warranted. Anyone can lay 1000 layers of cruft onto a fast processor, cross their fingers and hope it works. Far fewer people can work close to the hardware, with limited resources, and take it from "it boots without emitting smoke" to "here is the API to our product". I think we are already at the point where the younger engineers are doing the boring, trendy work and the older guys are doing the fun, hard work. It's easy to find a job if you can do the latter. You don't even need to learn a new buzzword every week!

Also, please get off of my lawn.

Seriously. I write drivers that other developers at my company use to create products. They have to deal with UIs and all this other boring crap. It's not always easy to do a good UI, but it's literally just looking at someone's frameworks and emulating what you see. The real fun is manipulating the hardware. The crazy thing is that a lot of these fresh college grads don't even know how to do the work. I was at the tail end of people learning low level manipulation of data. Even people with recent computer engineering degrees don't understand a lot of bit manipulation tricks. It absolutely boggles my mind.

Comment Re:Why isn't Social Security working? (Score 1) 207

"This problem has been well known since the Reagan Administration, but politicians found it easy to kick the can down the road." Not coincidentally, during Reagan's first year in office, the IRS ruled that 401(k)s could be funded through payroll deductions. Also during his first term, the Tax Reform Act of 1984 ensured that if a company offered 401(k)s, they were available to all employees. Rather than "kicking it down the road," they created an incentive for people to take control of their destiny away from the government. By 1990, shortly after Reagan left office, almost 20 million people had 401(k) accounts. Today, they hold $4.8 trillion in assets. The real problem is not congress, but the common attitude of "I want it all, and I want it now" ingrained in our entitlement society, and the failure of individuals to save for the future. Sure, congress can be blamed for robbing Peter to pay Paul with SS funds, but it was only ever intended to be a supplement to retirement.

By the time I hit federal retirement age I will have contributed to social security for over 51 years. My employer and I will have contributed over $15,000 a year toward my social security for approximately 41 years by the time I hit retirement age. That's over $615,000 contributed into the system. You better be damn sure that I want my social security money out. I'm not planning to depend on social security, but I am planning on my social security to be used almost entirely for fun things - vacations, electronics to fiddle with, a nice early bird special dinner, whatever. If they're going to take my money for over 3/5 of my life for my 'social welfare' then they had better start giving it back to me! I do want it all.

Comment Re:Sigh. (Score 5, Interesting) 202

I'm still not convinced on EC cryptography, which was brought along with the help of the NSA choosing certain curves

There's nothing wrong with ECC. It has significant advantages over RSA, especially on low-power devices. There is a remote possibility that the NIST curves are weak in some way known to the NSA and not to the rest of the world, but if you're concerned about that you can simply choose different curves. Edd25519 is a particularly good choice (though Edwards curves work a little differently, so it's not a drop-in replacement for the NIST curves).

One should also note that when DES was being rolled out the NSA had specifically requested some tweaks be made to the algorithm that people were very skeptical of. Everyone thought the NSA was trying to do something sneaky then, too. It turned out that a known attack vector was discovered in the early 1970s and was not known to the public until the early 1990s. Whether or not the NSA is helping or hurting is something for the history books. There is no way for us to know at this point in time.

Comment Re:Batteries from Nevada to Australia? (Score 1) 274

If the batteries will be made in Nevada, and shipped to Australia, I'm curious to know how they plan to transport them. It seems to me the most logical way would be by boat but could they get there quickly enough? If these are lithium ion batteries would it be possible to ship them by air given all the shipping restrictions that are placed on lithium ion batteries currently? If they go by boat how would they be packed to minimize the chance of a catastrophe en route?

You can airship lithium ion batteries as long as they're in a pressurized cargo space. But if something were to happen and one were to catch fire, the plane would not survive the resulting conflagration.

Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 553

Had to ask... I'm "mostly" white too- but I always get stopped. My fault though is being born overseas and having a foreign-looking name.

I have the most "basic bitch" whiteboy name in the world. So if they're stopping me due to my name, it's because its so common. I might as well be John Smith. I was also born in the US to a family that has been in the US for about as long as any white man could possibly have been here.

Comment Re:I tell them to basically fuck off (Score 1) 206

in more technical terms, on the rare occasions my ISP forwards me these sorts of bullshit grams...

My response is tell my isp that accusing me of a felony crime without proof is slander, and that multiple US Federal Courts have ruled that an IP address downloading something does NOT equal a particular person downloading something.

I close my response by telling the idiots that if the Hollywood shit for brains lawyer at the other end has any REAL proof of me committing a crime, he's welcome to notify the sheriff's office or local DA. And, if I hear further shitty threats and accusations of slander from Hollywood shit for brains lawyer, I'll file complaints with the appropriate state bars.

Interestingly enough, they don't seem to bother me anymore.

Since the accusation is in writing, it is actually libel and not slander. And since it's not a public accusation, your damages may be somewhat limited. If they throttle or block internet services due to this letter, then you'd have more recourse. Either way, I agree with you that the best option is to warn the ISP that such an accusation is not to be taken lightly and that they have no evidence that it was you personally. There's always the possibility that someone cracked your WPA password and is on your network without authorization. It's also possible that some ex-significant other is using your network to try and get you into trouble. Standard disclaimers apply, including IANAL.

Comment Re:Perhaps a better method... (Score 1) 1001

A great programmer does all three at the same time, without slowing down. You have admitted that you aren't a great programmer, that's fine. Most aren't. But you don't have to be a defensive prick about it.

I never claimed to be a superstar programmer. But I don't believe that you can write optimized code that is clean, and well documented without slowing down. You may use experience to know what things need to be optimized in advance but it takes careful planning to write perfectly optimized code 100% of the time. Careful planning is time consuming. The guys who have worked on software for NASA over the generations write a lot less code than people working on less critical projects. Anyone who knows proper design processes knows that kind of careful work is time consuming. It slows them down. Are you going to claim that all of the programmers at NASA are nothing like the superstars that you and your colleagues apparently are? I don't believe that I am the one being a prick.

Comment Re:Perhaps a better method... (Score 1) 1001

I know how to optimize code but I am not going to waste time pre-optimizing code that hasn't already demonstrated a performance problem.

So you are the reason that Windows 10 on a modern computer is slower than DOS on a 30 year old computer. So long as you are only looking at your small part of code, performance is irrelevant. I'd not hire you. I want someone who would consider efficiency with every task (as well as documentation and supportability, and all that). But ask someone in an interview direct questions where the applicant can guess what you want to hear, and you'll never get an honest answer.

So you want me to spend time working out the most efficient way to implement every single algorithm? Even an algorithm that only gets called once in a blue moon and runs for only a fraction of a second? Please. That's a waste of time. Do you have your guys go rewrite everything in assembler because you have one section of code that isn't performant? I worked on a problem once where a single library was causing the CPU usage to spike to 100% when the machine was at 1/4 of the load we expected it to handle. What did the manager decide to do? Rewrite that entire library in assembler. Two weeks after the assembly project was started, I spent an hour running the application through Vtune and found the exact bottleneck and fixed the performance problem in three hours. That included validating that the change I made did not cause any unforeseen problems (such as unexpected behavior or a security issue). The issue? A single function that was doing complex calculations thousands of times per second. Just optimizing that single function allowed the machine to handle twice the load we originally anticipated.

If that's the kind of person you are, I would not hire you! Write a clean and simple function. Make sure it behaves as it expects and the entire system integrates the way you want it to. Then you can focus on efficiency, if necessary.

The only kinds of pre-optimizations that are worth doing are those that you know certain operations are going to be expensive. I once worked on a project where I had to be able to do some basic geometry and trigonometry on the fly. The windows developers were calculating the sine and cosine of known angles every time they needed to perform a transformation. Obviously those kinds values never change and follow known patterns. I calculated the known angles and used constants and had far better performance with a single core PPC405 than our Windows team had with a Pentium Core 2 Duo.

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