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TCP/IP Might Have Been Secure From the Start If Not For the NSA

Alan Shutko Misleading headline (149 comments)

It's true, that had the NSA chosen to share that info, we could have had better security. On the other hand, the NSA were the ones that developed it, so if not for the NSA, it would not have existed to use.

about two weeks ago

An SSD for Your Current Computer May Save the Cost of a New One (Video)

Alan Shutko Re:or just get a hybrid drive (353 comments)

You probably mean 32GB of flash, not MB.

about two weeks ago

Why Are There More Old Songs On iTunes Than Old eBooks?

Alan Shutko Re:Word processing?! (77 comments)

It only needs to be encoded into TEI if you want to digitally archive the original edition. For instance, you want to be able to mark up an original and identify original and regularized spelling of a word.

If you just want to be able to reissue an Ellery Queen novel in ePub, you don't need TEI at all, and could have someone just retype the scans or hand-correct (off shored, usually).

about a month ago

Is the New "Common Core SAT" Bill Gates' Doing?

Alan Shutko BTDT (273 comments)

Doing things differently in every state is the way things have been done since the dawn of public education.

about a month ago

How Mobile Apps Are Reinventing the Worst of the Software Industry

Alan Shutko Not very different from the web (333 comments)

Of the complaints, most of them apply to the web as well.

  • Millions of pointless apps/websites: yep
  • Fragmentation into parallel and incompatible app worlds: No, web does have an advantage here
  • Paying for apps became a race to the bottom: Yep
  • When apps are free, you're the product: Yep
  • The app user experience is wildly inconsistent: On Web, the experience for a single site is consistent across different browsers, but there's hardly any consistency between apps. On a mobile platform, usually there is more consistency between different apps.

The reason that mobile apps have been so popular is that in many ways they offer a better experience to websites. If Jeff wants more people to use the web instead, he should be learning from the successes of mobile apps and applying them to his websites. StackExchange has great content, but problematic UI, and it's got a really bad UI on mobile web. I'd love a more capable app version.

about 2 months ago

HealthCare.gov Can't Handle Appeals of Errors

Alan Shutko Re:Coders (208 comments)

Accenture has a well-deserved reputation on a great many projects for decades of being only slightly better than stale toast at their projects.

about 2 months ago

Edward Snowden Says NSA Engages In Industrial Espionage

Alan Shutko Re:Outside the range? (212 comments)

Well that depends, if you got a situation where America is artificially taking work away from other nations by simply stealing their knowledge, product designs and so forth then that might mean those nations become less stable and more likely to want to hurt America when they find out the only reason they're poor and unemployed is because America stole from them.

What have we done to China so far?

Developing countries are known for bootstrapping themselves by stealing IP from more developed nations. (The US did it when it was a developing nation: look at the history of textiles.) China has been doing it to the US for years, and our response has not been WWIII, but rather to work on gradually improving IP protections.

about 3 months ago

Sex Offender Gets New Hearing After Hearing Officer Rants Against Arial Font

Alan Shutko Re:Oooh No. Most of /. is Arial font (312 comments)

Almost every font in use has fixed-width digits, including Arial. There are fonts out there designed mostly for display work that only have proportional digits, or as part of larger family which has options for both. But in general, unless you try very hard, all those numerical columns will line up.

about 5 months ago

How To Lose $172,222 a Second For 45 Minutes

Alan Shutko Re:Garden Variety Upgrade SNAFU (327 comments)

There were a number of errors made here.

  1. They failed to deploy to one of eight servers
  2. They failed to automate the deployment to the servers such that it would be impossible to deploy to all servers without knowing.
  3. They didn't have a step between code deployment and production activation where they could validate all 8 servers. For instance, in our company, we deploy the prod code to the prod servers but leave them in a "stage" environment, where the production load balancer doesn't hit those instances. Once we've validated, we then switch the load balancers to point to the correct instance.
  4. They failed to quickly back out a change when they realized it was having problems. In fact, they backed out the part on seven servers but not the flag that was being sent to the servers, which made things worse.
  5. They failed to have a risk-mitigation backstop in place which would have prevented these orders from being submitted once they hit a certain amount, and which was required by SEC Rule 15c3-5(c)(1)(i).

There were a lot of places that you could put in a control to prevent or limit the effect of these kinds of errors, and that's the lesson people need to learn. Yes, mistakes happen! But try to make it hard to make a mistake, easy to recover from a mistake, and really easy to NOTICE a mistake.

about 6 months ago

OS X 10.9 Mavericks Review

Alan Shutko Re:Nothing about colour accuracy? (222 comments)

All I can find is this in the Apple Dev Forums (login required). It seems that certain people in a workflow without a monitor color profile see differences without embedded profiles look differently. This does not appear to be a problem in a workflow where you regularly profile your monitor (and in fact, I don't see a problem).

So, if you depend on OS X for color accurate work, and if you are working exclusively with untagged images that are to be assumed to be sRGB, and if you have a monitor which does its own sRGB calibration and you're depending on the bits from the image being sent directly to the monitor without adjustment, then you might see problems. I don't know how big of a community that is.

about 6 months ago

Buried In the Healthcare.gov Source: "No Expectation of Privacy"

Alan Shutko Re:How do we get Congress to sign up? (365 comments)

Congress and federal employees have an employer-sponsored health plan just like millions of other Americans. The ACA is not intended to replace employer-sponsored plans. Why should Congress lose theirs when nobody else is?

about 6 months ago

HP CEO Meg Whitman To Employees: No More Telecommuting For You

Alan Shutko Re:Erm, ok. (477 comments)

Now imagine if telco 1 just terminated telecommuting and had everyone work at the nearest office. People still wouldn't be able to walk to someone's desk and confer, because Alice is in Tulsa and Bob is in Memphis, and they're working with a team of people in Secunderabad with a QA team in Manilla.

Banning telecommuting is a nice sound bite but collocating people and inspiring those conversations would take a huge disruption to the facilities and people.

about 6 months ago

The Ridiculous Tech Fees You're Still Paying

Alan Shutko Re:who is paying for it (318 comments)

We've got a Sheraton by one of our large branches. We have LOTS of people flying there every week. As a result, the company has negotiated with the Sheraton that they waive the wifi charge for all of us, automatically.

Capitalism works both ways.

about 6 months ago

OmniPage Maker Nuance Loses Patent Trial Over OCR Tech

Alan Shutko Re:I have heard of ABBYY, I have not heard of Nuan (56 comments)

Well, I do know Omnipage. It's been on the market for decades, and was acquired by Scansoft and then by Nuance, who are most well-known for their speech recognition technology.

The software used to be highly rated but fell in popularity over the years.

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Asynchronous RAID-1 Free Software Backup For Laptops?

Alan Shutko Re:Time Machine (227 comments)

Yes, something more recent than 2004.

What are you doing that means you need to keep OS 9 and machines older than 9 years running?

(FWIW, I don't think the OP has this problem, if he's got a laptop with a 1TB internal disk.)

about 9 months ago

After a User Dies, Apple Warns Against Counterfeit Chargers

Alan Shutko Re:Smart move (457 comments)


Both iPhones and Apples come with a little AC->USB charging brick and a cable. The difference with most Android phones is that the cable is a standard USB cable, not a 30-pin or lightning cable. But the brick is the dangerous part.

Ken Shirriff did a couple excellent tear downs last year comparing the build of the Apple charger vs a cheap knockoff.

You can have this exact same problem using a cheap knockoff with an Android phone so be careful!

about 9 months ago

Adobe's Creative Cloud Illustrates How the Cloud Costs You More

Alan Shutko Re:Pirate proposal (403 comments)

Assuming that the software exists on the vendor's server, suppose the following:

It does not, it runs locally.

about a year ago

Adobe's Creative Cloud Illustrates How the Cloud Costs You More

Alan Shutko Re:Bandwidth issues no? (403 comments)

It's a dropbox-style cloud, which means it's a folder on your local computer and it syncs to the cloud in the background.

Their Cloud files have useful understanding of the Adobe filetypes and can let you preview on the web, do annotations, turn on and off layers, and download in different formats. For example, I could put an Illustrator file up there and you could toggle layers then download as a png, jpg, AI or a PDF. Those are pretty decent, but the cloud files are definitely not the strong point of Adobe CC right now. Their mobile apps could sync to CC, but they've discontinued most of those except Ideas.

The strong points right now for the cloud piece of CC are the TypeKit account, the 5 basic Business Catalyst sites, and the Adobe Edge & Muse apps (which are only licensed through CC).

about a year ago

Adobe's Creative Cloud Illustrates How the Cloud Costs You More

Alan Shutko Re:Even at face value it's stupid (403 comments)

You were ahead of the curve! Considering CS3 was released in 2007.

about a year ago


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