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Comment OpenSSL Valhalla Rampage blog (Score 4, Insightful) 69

Perhaps here is a good place to mention that you could learn more about real-world security auditing and code hardening by reading the LibreSSL developer's comment log here, billed as "Tearing apart OpenSSL, one arcane VMS hack at a time."

It's also one of the funniest developer-centric things I've ever read - no holds barred for these guys in their contempt of the code they're ripping to shreds. Win/win.

Comment 100s of train cars, every day (Score 5, Informative) 385

A vital detail that those outside the city (and many within it) don't know - and of course won't get from the inflammatory OMG! NANNY STATE! headline/summary - is that the City of Seattle doesn't have a local landfill. Hasn't for many years; there's no nearby space. Instead, all garbage is loaded onto train cars - hundreds of them a day - and sent by rail to a landfill in rural Oregon, about 250 miles away. That was the cheapest alternative for the city, even though it involves paying twice (once to transport it, and again to the landfill operator). But it's still expensive.
Given that it's in the best interest of the City _and_ its ratepayers to reduce the amount of landfillable waste (aka number of train cars) in favor of more economic alternatives; specifically, recycling and composting, both of which are able to be handled within a few dozen miles of the city, at much lower cost than the landfill trains. The alternative is to have even more and longer trains and higher rates for garbage for everyone.
Kind of the opposite of a nanny state; this is pure and simple economics. If the spectre of a few $1 fines for the few residents who can't be bothered to separate their greasy pizza boxes into another bin makes everyone's garbage rates lower, then I'm all for it.

Comment Re:Already mostly debunked... (Score 4, Informative) 315

More importantly, the above-referenced Times blog post points out that the gender imbalance in Seattle is nowhere near as bad as other cities that are tech hubs, like San Jose. Among the 50 largest metro areas in the US, Seattle apparently ranks at only 15th for predominance of males.

Noting, too: the original Reifman article makes the truly odd presumption that because Amazon's _current_ workforce is 75% male, that all new hires will necessarily follow this same 3-to-1 male-to-female gender ratio - something I very much doubt. A company growing as fast and expanding into new, diverse areas like Amazon is, is likely to see a greatly more gender-balanced workforce than it had in its early tech-dominated early days. Maybe the new hires will not be 1:1 male:female - but certainly not the 3:1 of the past.

Comment Already mostly debunked... (Score 5, Informative) 315

The Seattle Times has already debunked this, pointing out that the author(*) of that original article coflated two data sets that used completely different methodologies for the "number of single men" metric and so cannot be compared. Not that that will make any difference; I sense this will have the same life of its own as the "chances of a woman getting married after 40 are worse than that of her getting killed by a terrorist" meme that went around a decade or so ago, because it provides a convenient external explanation for a wholly internal failure.


(*) Said author of the original debunked article also has the same user name as the submitter here - such a coincidence! I also note his last Slashdot submission was the also-debunked "OMG! Skydiver catches meteor falling on camera!" thing that was proven false a few days later. The Force is not strong with this one, fellow Jedi...

Comment Re:Missed the point (Score 1) 224

Mod parent up. It's all about latency, kids.

I'm actually quite happy with my 12mbit down / 5mbit up DSL link - not just because the bandwidth is plenty for my needs, but because the latency is pretty good (a canonical "ping", which should always resolve to a nearby Google DNS server, is about 25ms) - and it's pretty consistent at any time of day or night. (Unlike a theoretically fatter cable pipes, how many of my neighbors are watching pr0n doesn't affect my own speed since the DSL line is single-user all the way back to the DSLAM...)

Latency is especially important to me because I still do a lot of character-based terminal sessions and getting that single byte echoed back fast is golden. Given the option, I'd probably take a halving of present latency over a doubling of present bandwidth. Though with Gig-level fiber, I assume I'd get both....


Comment Re:Mystery Material Is Probably Gallium (Score 4, Informative) 145

All good, except; gallium is hella expensive. And very very dense, therefore very heavy.
My money is on good old-fashioned paraffin wax, which (at least in the bulk candle variety that I bought in my hippie candle-making days) melts at exactly 140F.
Cheap and food-grade (it coats many candy items) and pretty light.

Comment Change is hard - and godawful software is harder (Score 2) 331

It's easy to opine on a topic you know little about with a bromide like, "change is hard for a lot of people". There, POOF! You've successfully dismissed anyone who has a complaint against the change - including those cogent technical reasons for thinking that Yahoo has in this case effed up royally and radically diminished the functionality of an old (but reliable and working) interface. Now they're all nearly put in some "change is hard" Luddite basket. Way to go, Captain. Rhetoric!


Tell you what. Let's go ahead and have you *moderate and run* (not just play with as an end user) a Yahoo group with 27,000 members in your spare time (as I do and have for many years). You get a week to do it with those "ancient" tools and interface, and then another week to do with with the badly broken, slow, ill-conceived, feature-poor, absurdly buggy new interface. After that week - if you can even get through it - come back and tell me that "Neo" is working just fine, thank you very much.

We won't even get started on your false dichotomy - that because some features might have been desired (eg inline attachments, which my users would never want or need) that it was necessary to completely revamp the entire interface and throw out about half the existing functionality to provide them.

Comment Re:WPA is in the wrong category there (Score 1) 438

Agreed. My network (which serves me and a couple of my neighbors) uses WPA2 with a decent passphrase, does not hide its SSID - but does have DHCP disabled. That's not so much for security (although, yea, it does present a tiny additional barrier) as for my easy tracking of rough bandwidth usage. Each neighbor has a /28 block assigned to them that they're told to pull their static IPs from (e.g.: "You and your family and guests should just use IP address numbers from the 16 possibilities through .79".) They all seem OK with doing that (though setting up Windows laptops to do static IPs but still also to be able to do DHCP in coffeeshops is an effing pain, even with Win 8. Macs are far simpler and more elegant in that respect). This way if one neighbor is massively overusing bandwidth, from the IP range I know whose door to knock on and ask them to have their teen stop watching so much pr0n.

I could accomplish the same thing by using DHCP but having a MAC tagger on the firewall, but then I'd need to keep track of all their devices and associated MAC addresses, which would be much more of a pain, and more invasive (since it would track usage back definitively to a single device rather than just the family "pool"). /tsg/

Comment Iron-y coincidence? (Score 4, Interesting) 87

One interesting feature of the table is the resulting position of iron(Fe) - it serves as the single, pivotal point that "links" the two halves of the table and spiral together.

And, of course, iron is at the bottom of the binding energy curve - it can't be fissioned or fusioned to provide net energy output.

My physics education is too far in the distant past to discern if these two things are just a coincidence - or significant feature resulting from the inherent structure of the table.

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