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Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated

Len What about books? (406 comments)

Why were books, magazines and newspapers never banned before? They're just as much of a distraction (at least, they used to be until smartphones took over). Heck, they give away magazines in every seat pocket.

about 2 months ago

The 69 Words GM Employees Can Never Say

Len Bagel (373 comments)

"There seems to be a bagel with the ignition switch that we should look into."

The emails and memos will still get written, and it's not like anyone will be fooled by the obtuse circumlocutions.

about 7 months ago

A Mathematical Proof Too Long To Check

Len Not the first such proof, by a long shot (189 comments)

There are other theorems with computer-assisted proofs that are too complex to verify by hand, going back decades. The four colour map theorem and the classification of finite simple groups are two examples.

about 10 months ago

Are Plastic Bag Bans Making People Sick?

Len I blame "Gossip Girl" (533 comments)

According to the data in the paper, the increase in illness started about the same time that Gossip Girl premiered. Clearly that TV show made people sick.

My conclusion makes exactly as much scientific sense as theirs. In other words, their "science" is bullshit.

about 2 years ago

We The People Petition Signature Requirement Bumped To 100,000

Len Why did they bother? (337 comments)

They haven't been replying to all the petitions that met the requirements, so why do they need to raise the requirements?

about 2 years ago

Dutch Gov't Offers Guidance For Responsible Disclosure Practices

Len Re:Disclosure only with consent? (37 comments)

What's not to like? How about a government agency enforcing a company's decision to conceal and not fix vulnerabilities? As far as I can see, there's no requirement that a company must agree to disclose at all; and white-hats who don't follow the guidelines are not offered any legal protection.

We've seen time and again what happens when "responsible disclosure" is abused to allow security holes to go unfixed and exploited. This is big step backwards.

about 2 years ago

Weebots: Driveable Robots For Babies Who Need Them

Len Re:For babies who need them (72 comments)

My thought was "EVERY baby needs a driveable robot!"

more than 2 years ago

Polish Researcher: Oracle Knew For Months About Java Zero-Day

Len Re:As a former Oracle dev (367 comments)

If that's the way they work, they should not be selling mission-critical software that is exposed to the internet.

more than 2 years ago

Michael Bay To Remake TMNT As Aliens

Len "Fans need to chill" (481 comments)

> Responding to criticism, Bay thoughtfully explained that fans need to "chill."

Fans need to ignore Michael Bay and his movies entirely. I've never seen one of Bay's movies, he has never "ruined" anything for me, and I am perfectly content.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Companies That Force Employees To Join Social Networks?

Len It's the same as email (364 comments)

I wouldn't join with the same profile that I used personally.

Exactly. My work email address is different from my personal one, and likewise for social networks. The profile set up by my employer is used for work purposes only - it's got nothing to do with my personal life.

more than 2 years ago

The Mathematics of Lawn Mowing

Len Heuristic Algorithm (514 comments)

Examination of the example in the article suggests a heuristic algorithm that should provide near-optimal solutions and is suitable for real-time execution on neural wetware.

1. Start by mowing around the outside border.
2. Proceed going around, from the outside in.
3. When you reach a strip <= 3 mowers wide, clear it with short back-and-forths.

Proof of an upper bound on excess mowing vis-a-vis the optimal solution is left as an exercise for the reader.

more than 3 years ago

Places With the Most Wikipedia Articles

Len No, Poland (37 comments)

If I click "Random Article" a few times, it'll soon come up with a village in Poland - a lot more often than France.

more than 3 years ago

Machining a TI-89 Out of Aluminum

Len Now he's in trouble (148 comments)

TI's lawyers will be after him for DMCA violation because he's bypassed their physical copyright protection mechanism.

more than 4 years ago

Facebook User Satisfaction Is 'Abysmal'

Len Re:Sense of entitlement much? (289 comments)

Facebook has repeatedly changed their policies to publish various data that they had said was private or friends-only. But hey, no problem, they didn't charge money when they screwed people over so it's OK!

Uh, no, it's not OK.

more than 4 years ago

1,400 Megapixel Pan-STARRS Telescope Comes Online

Len Not "any" threats (54 comments)

The article says Pan-STARRS can "identify any potential threats to Earth", but it can only find asteroids and comets that are about to hit us. They don't claim to be able to spot other threats, such as:

  • Dalek invasion fleet
  • Berserker machines
  • Chain reaction of supernovae
  • Radiation front from the collapse of the galactic core
  • Borg attack from the future
  • Galaxy-wide iPhone recall

Stupid gadget blogs, over-hyping stuff as usual.

more than 4 years ago

Study Claims Cellphones Implicated In Bee Loss

Len How many explanations does this make? (542 comments)

How many different explanations have we heard for colony collapse disorder so far? Five? Six? Is there any particular reason I should believe this one more than the others?

more than 4 years ago

Newly-Found Windows Bug Affects All Versions Since NT

Len Not "Newly-Found" (393 comments)

Microsoft was informed about this vulnerability on 12-Jun-2009, and they confirmed receipt of my report on 22-Jun-2009. Regrettably, no official patch is currently available. As an effective and easy to deploy workaround is available, I have concluded that it is in the best interest of users to go ahead with the publication of this document without an official patch.

from Tavis Ormandy's disclosure

So the bug was found six months ago, but Microsoft only decided it was serious enough to fix after it was publicized. Seems like another case of "responsible disclosure" being used to cover up a vulnerability, instead of fixing it (or publishing a workaround) before the bad guys find out about it.

more than 4 years ago


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