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Comment Re:The author has a certain level of understanding (Score 1) 210

the majority of respondents understanding that passwords should contain uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols

Yup. A password under 8-12 characters in length, consisting of a simple dictionary word (with simple digit substitution of a = 4, e = 3, i = !, random capitalization, etc) can be solved by a GPU in less than a second or two. Combine several non-related words together and you might have a fighting chance. Don't even get me started about how many friends and relatives don't use 2-factor auth.

Comment By Example (Score 3, Interesting) 515

The TRS-80 booted to a basic prompt if there was no cartridge inserted. My dad got a book with a few hundred programs printed out, and one of use entered them in by hand and ran them. Then I would make changes to the code to make it do other things as well. I learn mostly by trial and error. When we got an Apple ][ clone I got a copy of "1001 things to do with your Apple II" and I was off to the races.

I finally took some formal classes in college, but spent most of my time lamenting the need to listen to things I had already learned.

The thing is, I had this opportunity because my parents had the resources to get the computers, and I was encouraged by teachers and friend to continue to learn. It is pretty clear that the best programmers all started by forth grade, not high school or college. If only rich white kids can start that early and boy are more likely then girls to take up computers as a hobby the current demographic deficiencies in the industry are likely to continue.

Comment Re:How does it do in the winter? (Score 5, Informative) 430

This is bases on my x-country trip in my brother's Model S:

With the 4WD option this car is really superb in the snow. The computer can adjust torque on all four wheels completely independently, and the low center of gravity make both acceleration and breaking solid.

Where a Tesla will get you is in the reduced battery capacity. Tesla operates their batteries at 72 +/- 1 deg. F. and it will use power from the battery to maintain that temperature. At some point it gets cold enough that waste energy from motors and battery discharge is not enough to keep the battery at operating temperature and at that point there is a noticeable drop in range. Cold weather also extends charging time because the battery needs to be warmed up before charging.

The spookiest part (from my perspective) is that you could park the car with enough charge to get to the next super charger, have the battery cool off, and end up short of charge. In general a 110 outlet is not enough to charge the car (a full charge at 110 would take 25 hours), but we did plug the car into 110 overnight to keep the system warm. People with engine block heaters will know how this works.

The visibility was decent. A large front windscreen is both a blessing and a curse in rain/ slush. The lane-assist is not a smart option when visibility is poor.

Depending on how and where you drive the car, the biggest issue will be a strong desire to keep the car plugged in when stopped in the cold.

Comment Re:Never undstood this crap (Score 1) 246

The Unicode standard requires that several legacy encodings be round trip compatible -- that is OLD -> Unicode -> OLD' where OLD = OLD' for all OLD. These extra code points with identical glyphs are there to ensure that round trip encoding works. It is a legacy issue. The best solution I've seen from font designers is to mark the homoglyphs that are not the target of the font with a blocky bolded style so they stand out visually. For fonts that are truly translinguistic this is not an option however.

Comment Re:Class-Action time? (Score 2) 268

Is that so? In my medical practice, 99% of our prints are B&W. Prescriptions, referral letters, test requests and so forth. 3 years ago we switched from Samsung ML-4050 laser printers to Epson WF-7520 inkjets in 3 consultation rooms, simply because we could not source the Samsungs any more and needed printers same day.
Guess what - prints much faster (because most of our prints are 1-2 pages only, hence "finished first page" is what counts, and after using up the cartridges that came with the printers we only have been using generic cartridges that cost about 15% of an original Epson one we pay a fraction per page of what be paid with the Laser. So far no failures - just works and works and works. Quality is just fine. A lot less power consumption - when our power fails, the inkjet runs happily of the UPS. A lot less particle dust in the office. Would be happy to pay more for just the printer.

Comment Clarity on Apple's products (Score 1) 508

I actually logged into Slashdot again for the first time in years to post on Apple's products:

The iPad Pro is the Surface done right, and I say this as much as I admire the Surface. Apple has copied liberally from MS; stylus, side-by-side windowing, folding keyboard, and it's done well. The keyboard eliminates the need for a kickstand, the stylus is good enough for artists and the 12" display means you don't need a laptop anymore along with the windowing improvements. Sucks for those who bought a MacBook.

The new iPhone finally has a resolution that is usable in low light. Apple has always had very good cameras on its iPhones and this takes it one step further. It's still a mobile camera with a tiny sensor and a fixed lens, but those have gotten very good in recent years. Not yet quite as good as Samsung S6, Motorola X Style, LG G4 or Sony Z5, but Apple is not usually about choice. The force touch is a very useful addition, but will be mostly useful for 3rd party apps, gaming etc. However, since the Huawei Mate S has it as well, it's only a matter of time before it's standard on all mobile platforms.

The new Apple TV that now offers an SDK for developers is something that will be extremely useful. The Apple TV is already the best device for screen sharing in terms of quality. It even works well with Windows with 3rd party AirSquirrel. The devkit will enable developers to make even more useful presentation tools, which is where the Apple TV really shines. For home, there are many other options that are just as useful.

Of course you would still be locked into Apple's ecosystem, which is the main reason I avoid Apple's iOS products.

Comment I want some configuration at least (Score 1) 628

This sound like a generally beneficial idea, but I have two concerns.

The first is about system availability. At least in current versions of windows updates require non-trivial amounts of time and bandwidth. I now use my computer to stream live video regularly. I want to be able to tell windows that it is not allowed to take up bandwidth or try to reboot my computer in the middle of game 7 of the world series. In a similar vane, I can see some real outrage from users if they are in the middle of a video game and windows decides to steal focus to ask you if it can reboot. (Oh wouldn't it be great if windows could catch up with Linux where almost all the upgrades can be done without taking the system down)

The second is about breaking things. Several have mentioned applications breaking after updates; a concern, but one that at least in theory can be minimized by good testing. My concern is breaking users. Like many here I have older relatives who are not comfortable with the whole computer concept. Every time facebook changes the UI I get desperate e-mails asking where things went or what this new doohickey means. Changes in UI that may be small and obvious to digital natives are major impediments to less skilled users. My great fear is that I will constantly be fielding phone calls from Grandma asking where the button for her Mahjong game went this week.

To quote an awful movie, "with great power comes great responsibility." I will be one of the late adopters of Windows 10 as I wait to see if Microsoft can handle the responsibility it seeks to take on with this new direction.

Comment Re:Buying cars based on fuel price... ugh (Score 1) 622

The other fact is that pure gas cars are getting really good milage.
My Chevy Cruze is averaging over 33 mpg for me.

LOL. My 2002 Prius got 45 mpg (not to mention much, much lower emissions).

33 mpg is in the same class as "can't be bothered". If you want to crow, you need to get more than 50 mpg, son.

Comment Any solution is better then none at all (Score 4, Insightful) 89

The problem with security researchers is that they declare any usable technology as "completely insecure." and in a sense they are correct. Good security is hard and inconvenient. What we have right now is even worse. There is no privacy what so ever.

What e-mail needs for most people is an envelope. Enough encryption that the casual observer cannot read the message, and the malicious observer must make a targeted attack. I don't need to stop theNSA I just want to dissuade the PHB form reading over my virtual sholder. In the process the NSA will have to pic and choose who it targets. Yes, these e-mails will remain completely insecure, but there is a much higher cost to read the data, and there is a much higher risk of being discovered doing so.

Lets not let the perfect become the enemy of the good when it comes to security.

Comment Re:Is anyone surprised? (Score 1) 180

Robert Jordan's Wheel of time was just as good (better IMHO) and an equally complex ploy and still got a new installment every 2 years until Jordan's illness and death. Brandon Sanderson (who stands alone at the top of the epic fantasy prolific writer heap) finished the series writing one book a year for a plot-line he did not create, and still managed three other novels (not short ones either) in between.

I'm not saying I could do it myself, nor that writing a complex epic is easy, but I expect 90MPH with good movement from pro baseball pitchers and I expect a book every second year from pro epic fantasy writers. GRRM need to work on his game.

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