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Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 252

True. They are not going to shut down their services or stop paying anyone because of this. They will simply not approve any of the tools for use until then. Which means they use the old stuff, or nothing at all, until the approvals are made. Since I doubt they plan on attempting to cancel the contract, this just means that NASA is fucked and HPE puts some project management monkeys on writing the paperwork. And the approvals will eventually come, whether or not the actual issues are fixed, just so that they can make use of some of what they paid for.

I hate to be jaded about the process, but that's pretty much what is going to happen. It's pretty shitty to have a rather complicated remediation process and then have it just be an exercise in meetings and paperwork while nothing has to change.

Comment Re:This application needs a game in it (Score 1) 192

I've never played Pokemon Go, but from what I know of it, you don't have to deal with 10% of the bullshit you have to deal with when actually trying to work to improve your neighborhood. The game sounds boring to me, and certainly is a fad, but for some people I imagine it is at least somewhat entertaining and allows them to put aside their problems for a little while. Neighborhood improvement is hard work that pays off in the end, but it isn't recreational in the slightest.

Comment Re:Censorship? (Score 1) 146

Stupidity is not required. Ignorance is more than sufficient. There are probably people out there with a 95 IQ who understand this issue better than some random mathematician with a 140 simply because the average intelligence person works as an IT janitor and deals with it every day, while the mathematician is working on some obscure problem requiring an esoteric proof and doesn't have any exposure to it.

Intelligence only gets you so far if you have no pertinent experience or knowledge to process with your planet sized brain.

Of course, yes, the public is generally marked by both average intelligence AND ignorance of most topics, which is a serious problem, and why big government tells them what to do, instead of vice versa. But what do you expect? No one is an expert on everything to a degree that they need to be in order to make hard decisions.

Comment Re: Basement View (Score 1) 120

The United States has never had a zero debt, nor is that even a particularly good idea, since the US debt is a good investment option and also stimulates the economy in a good way, as long as it is kept under control. Debt, in moderation, is good for a state to have.

What you mean is that Clinton did not have a budget deficit in some years. And that's a good thing for keeping your debt under control, but Clinton was also the primary Presidential beneficiary of being able to draw down after the Cold War. Bush or not, there was never going to be a situation where we would never be in another war again, so no matter which major party candidate was in office in 2001, we were going to be fighting at least one war and running up a bill for it after that date.

Comment Re: NSA is complicit in damaging US Companies (Score 1) 100

We *might* be safer potentially knowing all of the holes, but if those other countries are not also releasing their zero day exploits then the NSA loses all advantages to be gained from zero day exploits.

More to the point, given the fact that many vulnerabilities are not patched immediately, you're actually handing those exploits to the enemy at the same time you're handing them to everyone else for defensive purposes, and therefore you're helping the enemy more than you're helping to defend your people. The enemy will be able to act on your information release long before all vulnerable groups can set up defenses.

But bear in mind, the NSA does release some vulnerabilities and tools for the reasons you have suggested, but they are always going to reserve some weapons to themselves for their use, and also because those exploits are more dangerous in the wild.

Comment Re:Hackers stole a set of NSA cyberweapons (Score 1) 100

Yes, my problem with big government is the same as my problem with big business organizations. They're effectively equivalent.

Although I think Big Government is a bit more nefarious because it presents itself as being on the side of the People, and there are whole parties in the USA like the Democratic Party, who buy into how Big Government can solve all problems. The reality is that the advantage of elections over shareholders just redirects the inefficiency, but not even as much as you might think.

We've already noticed the following, although few really understand it. There is a bigger gulf between politicians in a big government scenario and their constituents than there is between the same politicians and those who head big corporations. Republicans usually take the rap of being buddy buddy with the 1%, but it is just as true for most Democrats as well. Ultimately, that's as much due to them basically doing the same job (ie. trying to run a huge bureaucracy) as it has anything to do with actual corruption.

If you want to not have your government be in substantial sympathy with big corporations, then you have to have your government not become a big corporation itself. The US government is a multinational, multi-product, conglomerate which operates with as much impunity as any big bank or pharmaceutical company and using nearly the same rules. The only difference is that they have a political layer which works to align voters into manageable blocs.

I'm no admirer of Bernie Sanders, but you can see how that all played out very well. They had to deal with him, but ultimately most of his less extreme supporters all fell into line in the end. The Democratic party platform inched a few notches to the left to accommodate and co-opt the Bernie supporters and that's basically it. And of course, they're throwing around the whole "don't let Trump or the Republicans name a Supreme Court justice" too, as if that actually matters. Anyone who thinks that Trump would follow in lockstep with a normal Republican Supreme Court justice selection is not really paying attention. Trump isn't even playing ball to get elected. Who really thinks he'd actually kow tow to them if he actually got elected?

But that's how things work. Our big corporate government operates as you would expect while trying to convince us that it is our best friend against those who are its real friends.

Comment Re:What happened to hiring the most qualified? (Score 1) 414

Facebook is successful. What they are trying to do now is gain PR points and assuage their progressive conscience by paying out from their largesse to accommodate lesser skilled applicants. I assure you, if they did not have the success they had, this program would be a non-starter. Note that their concern comes out now after they have made it big. Before that, it would have received lip service at best while they hoovered up the best coders and techs that they could get.

This is the sort of pork barrel program that clogs the arteries of companies once they get big.

Comment Re:Can't hit what isn't there (Score 1) 414

It is probably more complex than that. Realistically, the differences may have some roots in sex based differences, but its mostly a cultural thing.

Of course, the question then becomes, if it is cultural, does that mean we actually have to change it? What is so superior about an IT career that a woman, for instance, would need to have that job? More money?

Any woman who actually likes CS or IT work and has consequently become good at it should have a reasonable shot at getting those jobs, and I support any law or program that removes barriers to a woman or minority person with appropriate skill levels from being hired due to irrational prejudice.

What I don't support is the idea that we have to change cultural preferences so that there is some sort of artificial parity of the sexes and proportional representation of groups. What we are effectively telling women is that, "you should not be happy unless you have an IT job". Well why do we get to tell women that?

I hear all about the benefits of diversity, but I keep coming up short on how that actually helps anyone when you have to force it. It's like saying that I have a team with skill X, Y, and Z, but I am missing out if I don't have a candidate of a different skin color even though their skill level is inferior. What benefit are they actually bringing my team with their diversity? An unskilled and underinformed viewpoint? I mean, if that's the case, why don't we insist on flat earthers being admitted to graduate astronomy programs?

Comment Re:Female CS Grads were only 18%.... (Score 1) 414

Actually 18% hiring would be too much. There isn't a guarantee of a job just because of the completion of a degree program. If you're hiring 100% of that group's grads, you are definitely taking C and D level players into your company. That shouldn't happen unless all groups have 100% hire rates due to demand outstripping supply.

Comment Re:More proof (Score 1) 414

There may be racism at play, but I don't think it can be solved in quotas at this level. The problem is that the pool of candidates is low to begin with.

While I note that percentage-wise the discrepancy between say, white and black hires is significant, in actual numbers, there are significantly more whites who graduate, but do not get jobs. There are more whites who don't get jobs than there are black candidates in total. To me, that means there is a bigger problem than a mere percentage gap. The fact is that even if 100% of black grads were hired (which is unrealistic), they'd still be a tiny part of the workforce, and they are clearly only a tiny part of the CS program to begin with.

In other words, while 2% out of 4.5% is a big discrepancy percentage-wise, the actual numbers we're talking about probably end up being a rounding error when it comes to the overall pool of candidates. It would not take much for there to be a 50% gap between your grads and hires when you only have 4.5% of the number of total graduates. There are separate factors that come into play by simply being a massive minority in any group to begin with that have nothing to do with racism.

Strictly speaking, racism is something that has ceased to be acceptable in most companies and that means that you won't find many people now actually saying that they don't want to hire minorities, but there are lingering issues with social and economic issues where blacks in general have to overcome the fact that they face economic disadvantage and other cultural and demographic disadvantages which have to be taken on. Without that, you start minority kids down a path which leads them away from a CS education and the tech workplace and no matter of high school or college quotas can turn that around because by that time, its too late, they're already a disproportionately small minority of those advanced programs.

I don't think that racism is going to ever go away. I think the best we can do is remain conscious of irrational prejudices. There is always going to be someone who is different that you are, and that will subtly and irrationally affect your view of them. What needs to happen is both legal enforcement of an actual level playing field, but also steps from within those communities to turn things around culturally. I don't think the disadvantage that was created by racism can be turned around from outside the community. Black culture was definitely pushed down a certain path by racism, but at this point it has so much internal momentum that it has to be tackled as much from within as from without.

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