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Comment Re:Not the same (Score 1) 28

This is no worse than back in the 1960s when Ma Bell used to have its people listen in on all phone calls and write down the topics discussed on decks of index cards for each phone account. They then sold stacks of these cards to outfits like Montgomery Ward and S&H Green Stamps, which helped them to mail out coupon offers tailored for customers' interests. They only sent copies to J. Edgar Hoover when he said there was a good reason.

The U.S. Post office enhanced their revenues with a similar program steaming envelopes (note that stamps only cost a couple of cents back then, so it sure was effective at holding down prices). It was a win-win for everybody; what's the big deal?

Submission + - SPAM: Quicken Bill Pay is No Longer Safe to Use 1

Bruce Perens writes: I don't usually make security calls, but when a company makes egregious and really clueless security mistakes, it's often the case that the only way to attract their attention and get the issue fixed is to publicize it. This one is with Quicken Bill Pay, a product of Metavante (not Intuit). It's from personal observation rather than an expert witness case, and the company has been unresponsive through their customer support channel.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Stupid analogy (Score 1) 266

There has been A LOT of added functionality since Windows 3.1 days! Not just changes in the UI, but changes to security, API's, and so on. Windows, and for that matter other operating systems, are far more complex than they have ever been.

Possibly, but at least developers don't have to deal with the segmented memory model and other 16-bit limitations from Windows 3.1. Writing programs to run in the original 16-bit Windows API was one of the most byzantine things I have ever done.

Comment Abandoning Time-Worn Processes Leads to Atrophy (Score 5, Insightful) 158

Scientists determined that those people who made use of machine washing rather than hand washing had diminished hand strength and neurological motor communication necessary for fine motor control. Seamstresses who bought thread rather than using the spinning jenny were similarly impaired. But worst off were teamsters who used the internal combustion trucks rather than teams of horses and used forklifts and other mechanical devices rather than loading their vehicles by hand. Their overall body strength was much reduced.

Comment Re:Because they weren't written in just ten days (Score 1) 125

Java would only complain if you used integer literals that big, but such literals are usually unrealistic. Most often, problems like this happen because of results of calculations.

The fact is, Java would silently overflow computing an integer value of 99999999999999999999 unless you use BigIntegers or the equally awkward new APIs such as Math.addExact().

C# would also overflow unless you compiled with non-default settings.

JavaScript is actually superior in those cases because the floating point result would be approximately correct instead of way off like the integer results.

Comment Re:Because they weren't written in just ten days (Score 1) 125

That's a problem because, for example it means 9999999999999999 is equal to 10000000000000000. Floating point comes with all kinds of errors. You're actually not supposed to ever compare to floating point numbers for equality, you're supposed to check whether the difference between them is small.

To be fair, in most other languages, 99999999999999999999 == 7766279631452241919, or maybe even == 1661992959. No matter what language you're using, you have to be aware of when and how your results may overflow.

Also, if you do calculations using exact integer values as inputs, assuming you avoid overflow, you can directly compare floating point representations as long as you use operations that stay strictly in the integer subset (such as +, -, *, but not /).

Comment Re:Nothing to be too excited about (Score 1) 62

That's not an option. Unlike the park service, we can't put the genie back in the bottle and go back to the old ways, because nukes are already spread all over the world and they're not going away.

However, if there were no nukes, killing tens of millions every few decades would be preferable to introducing nukes and then eventually killing off most of the human race in a big holocaust every century or two., which is what's almost certainly going to eventually happen now.

Comment Re:Nothing to be too excited about (Score 1) 62

but now that we know it's propped up with the human equivalent of dead leaves and brush, can we really continue?

We may not continue that long if people like Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un stay true to their nature and start acting like kids playing with Zippo lighters.

My analogy is spot on. 70 years of fortunate luck (despite multiple very close calls) proves nothing.

Comment Re:Nothing to be too excited about (Score 1) 62

The 50 years of post WWII peace and stability in the world that these tests have blessed us with is well worth the 'poison' it generated, which has had minimal measurable impact on the world. In exchange, millions of lives have been saved that would have otherwise been lost in wars.

Relying on nuclear weapons to suppress human conflict is like when the National Park Service meticulously suppressed every forest fire.

Things went great for a while, until unburned fuel built up and got out of hand in a catastrophic conflagration that was far worse than what the sum of all the smaller fires would have been.

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