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Comment Re:Will anyone learn? (Score 1) 153

This. Even if it's just the Streisand effect of one.

I honestly don't understand what whoever decided to send the e-mails was expecting.

TBH, while I feel sorry for this employee on a personal level if they are indeed begging for their job and they're trying to make ends meet and this is the only job they can get that supports them adequately, whoever decided to send these e-mails really needs to use their head. If the poster feels they're benevolently warning unsuspecting people away from buying a poor quality product, that person is going to take those e-mails as confirmation that their negative review is impacting the company's ability to sell its product -- i.e. they have succeeded. If you want to convince that person to take their review down, why not maybe try some other tactic that would actually work?

Comment Re:Nope, nope, nope. NOPE! (Score 1) 331

Well, the scope of an On Error Goto Label handler is a single procedure/function. So for instance, to do the equivalent of what would be a top level unhandled exception logger in a language with exceptions that bubble (pretty typical in well-behaved software with resources to spare) you end up copy-pasting an error handler into every single procedure.

Comment Nope, nope, nope. NOPE! (Score 1) 331

I'm starting to remember the godawful jump label based error handling.

That would be better left sealed off in whatever depths it is currently in.

I can understand if there are organizations around who still have VB6 projects they are trying to preserve their investment in and would like the tools to be maintained going forward, but I think this request is more coming from people who are nostalgic for the visual IDE with its shallow learning curve and relatively comprehensive coverage of the widget set for the platform, and for those people what you really want is a better IDE for a different programming language.

Comment Re:We're told to do this (Score 2) 512

Having someone make a report of this nature is a 100% predictable consequence of telling every American it's important for them to be on the lookout for we're-not-sure-what. Even in the absence of bigotry, there is still going to be a certain amount of noise in the system due to ignorance and straight up hallucinations. Maybe the leaders who proposed "see something say something" understood the consequences, but it hardly matters now; at this point all business owners can do is to get better at eliciting enough detail from the reporters and quickly confirming that it isn't anything to worry about.

Comment Re:It's been a while since I was a CS student. (Score 3, Informative) 173

Although there are a lot of CS-level concepts you can teach someone that relate to security, when it comes to "IT security jobs" and the practical security issues that you're going to deal with in them, there is very little connection.

The analogy that I often use is: Would you expect a physicist to be able to fix your car? I like to think not. Or would a news outlet fall into a similar trap of publishing claims from some company looking for free a marketing opportunity that universities have a responsibility to teach their graduates auto repair?

At the very least I would expect a news outlet to catch on that "cybersecurity" is not a term that is actually used by many people that deal with the security of software and computer networks.

Comment Re:wait, what? (Score 1) 96

Exactly this. Pushing the boundaries of acceptable conduct on a platform to get background access for longer and ultimately deliver more information home is what Facebook's apps do. At the end of the day if you're a hardware company, and your bundled management/utility software has worn out its welcome (I'm thinking of you e.g. ASUS, Logitech), if I can still use your hardware fully with standard drivers, you will still get my business.

Comment Free life advice: Take your lemons & make lemo (Score 1) 225

A company has done something dumb to you. Would you rather:
1) complain to the press so everyone knows that the company makes mistakes
2) refrain from talking to the press and then negotiate a large $ settlement with which to fix the actual problem

You are the CEO of a company that did something dumb, should you:
1) comment to the press that this is not an extraordinary situation because you have a process in place to respond to this kind of request in due course, so that people will be impressed with how well you carry out your duties as an industrial robot
2) make a nice statement about how this has never happened before; you work with people like this every day whose problems you are helping to solve, and it's terrible that you have created a problem instead of solving one, but you are working with your insurer to try to get the people a settlement that will fully compensate them for their loss, so that people will be impressed with how great it is that 1 out of 1 companies they know in ${your_industry} are run by such an awesome person

Comment Re:More information required (Score 2) 556

To be clear, if you want to pass a law because you're Shocked! that people are allowed to do a thing, then you're passing the law for its intrinsic value, and it's kind of an end in itself. Great.

If not, the goal could be as simple as "if we pass this law, every once in a while some potential terrorist that law enforcement is monitoring is going to screw up and buy a phone, give real id, and then say something about their plans, and we can put them in jail and prevent them". That's great too. If so, somebody should say that.

Comment More information required (Score 4, Interesting) 556

Draft text
https://www.govtrack.us/congre...

If you want to pass a law for its instrumental value, then you need make a case that it's actually going to work.

If this law works as intended, what would success look like? Maybe one of these things:
- Actually intercepting terrorists' communications before an attack?
- Actually intercepting terrorists' communications during an attack?
- Making it so terrorists can only communicate by ways other than cell phone during a terrorist attack?
- Making it so we can easily identify terrorists who used a cell phone during a terrorist attack after the attack is done?
Or something else I haven't thought of?

Are we already achieving any of those things by other means in some cases? If so, when aren't we, and would the law help us with that?

As background for figuring out if we will achieve our goal(s), let's get some more info about the world.
Currently terrorists purchase prepaid phones without ID and use them before and during terrorist attacks. If the proposed law was in effect, what would they do instead?
- Would they still be able to acquire a cellphone from a retailer without actually identifying themselves?
- Also, are there any other ways that a terrorist could obtain cellphones without identifying themselves?
If you want people to think up ideas about that you've probably come to the right place.
* Giving fake info to an online retailer
* Giving another person's info to an online retailer
* Paying an unrelated third party (e.g. a homeless person) to buy a phone and give it to them
* Stealing phones

Supposing that none of that worked and the terrorists lost access to anonymous phones, and they changed their practices, would they change them in a way that would achieve the goal?

Comment Re:Logic? (Score 1) 908

Actually, belay that... Lockhart argues for elegance as aesthetics and even rants against schematic arguments. I'm not sure that anyone cares about the point this guy is trying to make.

Comment Re:Logic? (Score 1) 908

I feel Mr. Lockhart's pain here, but this piece has little explanatory value because he goes on for so long without simply stating what the problem is.

There are some fields that are not aesthetic in any way but where where the work is very creative. These are fields that are technical, but where the work is not just a matter of working out obvious consequences of the premises -- fields where you need inventiveness and lateral thinking because you need to be able to come up with solutions that no one has thought of before.

Some education systems basically split students into aesthetic and technical paths, and then, confusing aesthetics with creativity, direct all the students who show signs of creativity down the aesthetic path, train the aesthetic students that math (or anything rigorous) is not worth their trouble to learn, and train the technical students that using unconventional, creative approaches to solving problems is risky and should be avoided. These education systems might accomplish many good things, but one thing they don't accomplish is producing people who are going to publish the next major groundbreaking proof, build revolutionary new algorithms, etc.

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