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Is the DEA Lying About iMessage Security?

GizmoToy Re: Key in cloud != Key accessible by Apple (195 comments)

You're correct. We know they have the ability, but they've never done it. They're not stupid. They know people are watching and that doing so will create a huge uproar. It would have to be something that's a serious threat to either Apple or their customers before they'd pull the trigger on it. Something they can hold up and say "We took extraordinary measures to protect our customers from this very serious threat," rather than something that would end up in the news like "Apple unilaterally removes purchased content from customer devices." The latter would be trigger at least a couple news cycles of Apple bashing, and fodder for competitors for months/years to come. Remember the uproar when Amazon did this with eBooks on the Kindle? They talked about that in the news for *weeks*.

1 year,9 days
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Too Perfect a Mirror

GizmoToy Re:A thousand times. (Unless online mirrors roll b (192 comments)

I don't know, I think I'd respectfully disagree. Those are all backups. If you have an online mirror and a fire destroys your primary data source or it's stolen, you can restore from the online mirror. This, having at least one fully copy of the data and being able to restore it after a loss, is the very definition of a backup.

The problem is that mirrors are not very good backups, and are prone to having the same problems as the original. Using a mirror as a backup is perfectly reasonable. Using a mirror as your only backup is foolish.

1 year,22 days
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Ask Slashdot: Mac To Linux Return Flow?

GizmoToy Re:iOSification? (965 comments)

You miss the point. Regardless of your personal preference, removing color removes ease-of-use. Studies have shown that people find and interpret colored symbols significantly faster than all gray.

Perhaps, though given that many of the colored icons were either white or blue, I'm not sure how big of a deal that really is. They were already pretty uniform in color.

One gesture that was removed in Lion (and not the only one) was three-finger scroll to top and bottom. Try to find it now.

Three finger scroll to top and bottom has never done anything for me, so I looked into it. From what I can tell it was never a feature of the OS, but it was a shortcut built into Firefox. And you can get it back by setting the "scroll between pages" setting to "2 or three fingers". Firefox will then work as it did before. When they added gestures to the OS, it included support for three-finger gestures. Firefox could no longer assume it had that gesture all to itself, so it was disabled.

Given the gesture was never something supported by Apple, it's kind of hard to blame them for "removing" it. While this doesn't affect your argument, you could use BetterTouchTool to make the gestures do whatever you want across all apps, including three finger scroll to top/bottom.

" The iOS changes that most people are upset about can all be easily disabled via Preferences (scrollbars, Gatekeeper) or sit unused (Launchpad)."

I wasn't referring to changes that "most people are upset about". I was referring to changes that violate human interface principles.

Well you were upset about the scrollbars, which are easily defeated, and a gesture that never existed in the OS, so... basically your argument boils down to lack of color in the finder. Again, not exactly a great rebuttal of the situation being overblown.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Mac To Linux Return Flow?

GizmoToy Re:iOSification? (965 comments)

You can easily disable the new scrollbar behavior. I think the monochrome sidebar icons were a huge improvement, the old ones were too busy. Mail has a visual status indicator right in the sidebar unless you've specifically gone out of your way to turn it off (it's on by default). I'm not aware of any gestures being removed, though you didn't mention any specifically. They actually added a bunch of gestures in Mountain Lion that were useful. The iOS changes that most people are upset about can all be easily disabled via Preferences (scrollbars, Gatekeeper) or sit unused (Launchpad).

I'm not one to comment on what other people like. Use what you like. However, it's easy to see even from your examples why people say the issue is overblown.

about a year ago
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Ohio Judge Rules Speed Cameras Are a Scam

GizmoToy Re:Not true. (984 comments)

Like when you make a legal right turn on red, and stop again to make sure it's clear...

What part of "don't stop across or past the line" is so hard to understand? If you're not sure it's clear then don't pull out in the first place. That's the whole point of the lines - so you stop a safe distance back, and when you start moving the people behind you can reasonably expect you to keep moving.

Actually, most states that allow right turns on red require you to initially stop behind the white line. The law then allows you to pull over the line and stop again in order to see into the intersection and determine if it's safe to turn. When it's safe, you may proceed with your turn. Red light cameras even check for this behavior.

It sounds like you should stop expecting that once people start moving that they will continue to do so.

about a year ago
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Ohio Judge Rules Speed Cameras Are a Scam

GizmoToy Re:Not true. (984 comments)

If someone rear-ends you, then that's their fault. 100% of the time.

This may have held true at some point, but it doesn't any more, and the most common exception is in cases of panic braking. The most common case of this is when the lead car slams on the brakes as soon as a light changes yellow instead of proceeding safely through the intersection. In many states, Ohio included, you're required by law to proceed through a yellow light if stopping would create an unsafe condition for the car behind you. The lead car is also commonly found at fault in cases where they slam on the brakes to shake a tailgater, instigating an accident (the trailing car is cited for tailgating).

Your suggestion regarding the rearview mirror is exactly the opposite of what any driving agency will tell you. You need to be aware of your surroundings, and that involves constantly checking your mirrors. Not staring at them, but checking them. I understand where you're coming from because staring in your mirror made you cause a major accident, but suggesting people never check their mirrors is just bad advice. If you're periodically checking your mirrors and know where the cars around you are, while you'll still need to check them you won't need to stare at them to be sure it's safe to change lanes.

about a year ago
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Ohio Judge Rules Speed Cameras Are a Scam

GizmoToy Re:Not true. (984 comments)

I don't know of any states that regulate the yellow light duration. Most areas set the yellow light duration based on the speed limit on the street. Some places that are a little more concerned with safety will set it based on the actual average speed of traffic on the road. Some places that are more concerned with revenue than safety will set up red light cameras and dramatically reduce the yellow light duration (usually to the 1s you mentioned, or less), actually causing more people to run the red light.

about a year ago
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Ohio Judge Rules Speed Cameras Are a Scam

GizmoToy Re:Not true. (984 comments)

In my opinion, the fact that you're using traffic signs designated for pedestrian use supports the statement that there is a problem. Green/Yellow/Red should be enough, but you've noticed that the yellow duration is sometimes not long enough and searched for other stimulus to help you tell when the light was going to change. Over time (or perhaps immediately if your area has crosswalks with countdown timers), you figured out that the crosswalk light has a correlation to the light changing. You're right, of course, but you shouldn't need to do that.

That said, 4.5 seconds is pretty long for a 40mph road. It was probably already lengthened specifically to combat people running the light coming down the hill. Typically 5.5 seconds is the upper bound on the yellow light duration. They may have also lengthened the clear duration in which no lights are green in order to prevent people from getting t-boned by people who can't stop in time.

In any case, he specifically mentioned the case that's the problem. Semi trucks coming down the hill can't stop in time. Bringing a loaded semi down from even 40mph takes a nice chunk of time, and if the light is at the bottom of the hill that distance is increased dramatically.

about a year ago
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Retail Copies of Office 2013 Are Tied To a Single Computer Forever

GizmoToy Re:What happens when the machine dies? (464 comments)

It's always provided when you buy your car. For the brands I've bought new (Honda, Mitsubishi, Ford) it's part of the delivery checklist they run through to make sure you know the radio code is in the paperwork they give you. They often separate it from the manual now because, obviously, you don't want your anti-theft code sitting with your manual in the glovebox. Other times it will be on a metal tag with your spare key.

In any case, I'm sure most people lose it or don't pay attention, so they have to do the dance LunaticTippy complains about. The equivalent situation in software is losing your license key, and good luck convincing Microsoft or anyone else to replace a lost license key.

about a year ago
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Making Sure Interviews Don't Turn Into Free Consulting

GizmoToy Re:Is This for Real? (232 comments)

The article's author is being unrealistic.

I recently interviewed with a new employer, and was assigned a "Homework Problem" between the phone and in-person interviews. My colleagues thought I was crazy for "working for free." I saw it as an opportunity to demonstrate my skills outside an interview.

In the end, I got a completely unbelievable job and got to see the interview from the other side. We've gotten a couple nasty responses since I've been there. The most memorable was a note attached to an invoice for a week's work, saying we could view his homework result after we paid the invoice. The homework is on the order of 2-4 hours of complexity, so his resume went right in the trash.

In reality, the homework problem has a couple basic but crucial concepts you need to understand for our work. If we benefitted from the candidate's homework output, we'd be bankrupt. It's basic stuff, but the number of candidates that can't grasp it is astonishing. Even then, it's no guarantee. We had one guy get to the in-person interview, only to be completely unable to describe what a function *was*, let alone how it worked.

In summary, some kind of practical question or task can be an excellent tool to figure out if someone knows what the hell they're doing, and it's an excellent way for those who do to prove it.

about a year ago
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What's In Steve Ballmer's Inbox?

GizmoToy Re:Seriously? (93 comments)

While there may have been others before him, I suspect this is gaining in popularity because it's now pretty well-known that Steve Jobs routinely replied to emails sent to his Apple email address (either personally, our through their executive support team). Complaining to steve@apple.com got your problem at least looked at by someone with some authority. Tim Cook has continued this, though to a somewhat lesser extent.

It's not terribly surprising that behavior is spilling over into other companies now.

about a year ago
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Apple Now Shipping Lightning To 30-Pin Adapters

GizmoToy Re:Lightning, not Maps, is the iPhone 5's big prob (173 comments)

I tend to agree. I was slightly upset when the new connector was announced, but I never honestly expected them to go with a standard connector. After using Lightning for a few weeks now, I will say that it's a fantastic connector. It's sturdy, small, and reversible. There's not much more I could ask for.

That said, as you have above, there's no excuse for not having adapters available at launch. I also wonder how much of this was driven by Apple seeing 5 for $1 30-pin to USB cables online and thinking "we need to stop people from making cheap crap that works with our devices."

I also wonder if Apple had pushed up the date of the launch, perhaps to beat this Galaxy S III "Mini" we keep hearing rumored. There were stories of huge overtime mandates in China to make the launch, and it wouldn't be surprising if resources that could have been making cables and adapters were diverted to iPhone 5 assembly. Apple's stores here in the US don't have *any* accessories available for the iPhone 5s. That's a huge missed opportunity in terms of attached sales (adapters, cables, cases, etc.), and very uncharacteristic of Apple. To my mind, it has all the hallmarks of a product rushed to market.

about a year and a half ago
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Wozniak Praises 'Beautiful' Windows Phone

GizmoToy Re:Monumental failure. (362 comments)

Not only is possible and supported, it's also extremely common. I've worked on iOS game development in the past, and spent a lot of time discussing various cross-platform approaches in the community. Both iOS and Android allow for the possibility of coding your interfaces in their native language, which build on top of a C++ back-end.

Most cross-platform games and apps go this route because it allows a huge amount of code reuse between the platforms. The fact that it is so easy is the reason why you see so many cross-platform games, even from small development houses. Then you have ports of PC games like Grand Theft Auto, which draw heavily from their C++ roots with updated native interfaces. iOS in particular makes this absolutely brain-dead simple. Throw everything at Xcode, and let it sort out which compiler to use and how to link everything.

squiggleslash wants to convey that everyone writes in Objective C and Java so this isn't a big deal, but that's simply not the case. Using a C++ core is an extremely common approach to allow simultaneous iOS/Android development, especially among game developers.

about 2 years ago
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New Targeted Mac OS X Trojan Requires No User Interaction

GizmoToy Re:Missing from summary (322 comments)

The X has only been applicable since Mac OS has been on version 10. The X certainly wasn't part of the name when it was Mac OS 7, Mac OS 8, or Mac OS 9. Apple's been using Mac OS as the operating system name, followed by a version identifier, for over 15 years.

It does look like you're right in that Apple's not using the Mac part going forward, though, probably in preparation for further merging of iOS and OS X.

about 2 years ago
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New Targeted Mac OS X Trojan Requires No User Interaction

GizmoToy Re:Missing from summary (322 comments)

Well, to be fiar the claims were that they were immune to Windows viruses. "A Mac isn’t susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers." This is accurate.

However, I agree that the intent was to deceive customers that Mac OS was completely immune to viruses using some deliberate wordsmithing.

about 2 years ago
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New Targeted Mac OS X Trojan Requires No User Interaction

GizmoToy Re:Missing from summary (322 comments)

it hasn't been called Mac OS for a decade now
Apple Menu -> About this Mac...

Yup, that's what I thought. Mac OS X. Mac OS is the name, X is the major version number.

He was "up to speed" just fine.

about 2 years ago
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Astroturfing For Speed Cameras

GizmoToy Re:Cities need to cut out the middleman. (342 comments)

Of course, the problem is that there are numerous studies that show that traffic cameras do not "save lives," and go on to explain that the changes made to intersections to support them actually make those intersections more dangerous.

http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2010/03/08/red-light-cameras-pose-danger-safety-studies-find

Red light cameras decrease safety at the intersection primarily because they shorten the yellow light interval, and increasing the yellow light interval is what would actually make the intersection safer. The camera operators actually *require* a reduction of the yellow light interval, a situation definitively proven to case more accidents. States like Ohio have actually banned the use of red light cameras because of this. The operator's intentions are bad enough that if a city increases the yellow light interval to a safe level, the companies that own the red light cameras will actually remove them. They are a money grab and have nothing to do with safety or saving lives.

Speed cameras are a different matter, because depending upon the state, the highways they're installed on may have truly reasonable speed limits. There's still some abuse there, I'm sure, but not to the extent red light cameras are abused.

more than 2 years ago
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Doctors 'Cheating' On Board Certifications

GizmoToy Re:IT Certificate (238 comments)

That might have been true if there weren't such a thing as a residency. Residency is the true limiting factor in the amount of certified doctors in the workplace, not the board certification test. While there are a small percentage of doctors who go through residency and fail boards repeatedly, the majority pass without further incident... even without cheating.

On a slight tangent, what is a cause for concern is that doctors are retiring faster than they're being trained. With the Boomer population aging, we're heading for a major shortage. The number of residencies in the country is primarily set by Medicare (though there are some privately-funded spots), which could be an issue should one of the attempts to slash Medicare funding ever go through.

more than 2 years ago
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Career Advice: Don't Call Yourself a Programmer

GizmoToy Re:Words mean stuff. (422 comments)

What is annoying about the Engineering licensing in the states that do have it is that it's heavily biased towards Civil and Mechanical Engineers, to the point where it is nearly impossible to pursue as an Electrical or Computer Engineer. This is because of the requirement that you train under a certified mentor with the same degree after your Fundamentals of Engineering exam. This is an exam that specifically required all engineers to know the ins and outs of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, items useless to an EE. Since the certification is not very useful to EEs and CompEs, there are very few mentors to train under, making it extremely difficult to get certified.

So the result for an Electrical or Computer Engineer is that you spend somewhere between 4 and 10 years getting Engineering degrees (depending on whether you do graduate studies), only to find you can't actually call yourself an Engineer. If you went to an Engineering school, graduated with an Engineering degree, and work as an Engineer, it is ridiculous to not be able to call yourself an Engineer.

more than 2 years ago

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