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Comments

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NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

Ronin Developer Tell me again... (336 comments)

Why it's wrong that we don't require a mandatory 21 day quarantine for anyone travelling from these countries if we truly want to stop the virus from ever getting a hold?

Top it off - this guy went bowling while starting to show symptoms (thus, contagious). Who is going to replace and pay for EVERY bowling ball? What about decontamination of the facility? If I were the owner, I'd be pretty pissed off.

yesterday
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Apple 1 Sells At Auction For $905,000

Ronin Developer The Personal Computer (81 comments)

for the rest of us...one percenters!!!!!

2 days ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

Ronin Developer Re:Yawn (354 comments)

If you had watched the keynote, you would have seen this on the infographic that was displayed. The improvement in processing and, more specifically, the graphics processing is like the difference between light and day in mid-latitudes. Heck, my iPhone 5 can render things that my original iPad can't even load (probably, due to its limited 256MB RAM vs 1GB RAM of the iPhone 5).

But, yeah...12x over the original iPad doing what? That metric really didn't make sense...like saying my current desktop processor is 3K faster than my original 8088 in my IBM PC or 10K faster than the 6502. Funny thing...back then, they were considered blazingly fast. Software continues to grow more bloated and sophisticated to take advantage of the greater bandwidth and processing speeds. If not, my original iPad wouldn't crash when trying to load a javascript laden website. Today's development tools and languages encourage that behavior.

3 days ago
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Delivering Malicious Android Apps Hidden In Image Files

Ronin Developer Re:So you have to install an app... (113 comments)

Why was the parent post modded to -1? The fact is that they are correct - unless your iPhone is jailbroken. The sandbox prevents unsigned apps from being installed. And, apps that do get installed have limited access to the rest of the file system. At least that's the way it worked prior to iOS 8.

The walled garden is both a curse and a blessing - depends on how you look at it.

3 days ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

Ronin Developer Re: Apple Pay (354 comments)

I suggest you read up on the technology. You could take a look at Swipe as I think it's probably the closest pre-Apple Pay implementation to what Apple Pay is (Swipe, IS an Apple Pay provider, however). Banks are jumping onboard now that the technology appears secure. Apple claims another 500 banks have joined since last month.

Your card details are stored within a secure chip on the iPad. When you make a purchase, the card info hits the CC provider and a token is returned for THAT transaction. That is passed to the vendor who completes the charge and sends it to the CC processor. The CC Processor sends back a response to the vendor that transaction is completed and then a response is sent to the customer.

You can manually enter your CC info or take a picture of it using the iOS device. That image, is verified by the bank/CC company and then the information is loaded into the secure chip.

The beauty is that your CC info is only exchanged with the bank.

If your device is stolen, you can immediately render the CC info stored in it useless by logging into your iCloud account (I would assume, you have 2 factor authentication turned on - which I think Apple is now requiring).

I don't know how this compares to PayPal or Google Wallet as I don't use them. I do know that Apple has made it easy to add Apple Pay to apps and websites, and the user experience counts provided the security holds up. PayPal still looked a complex mess when I viewed the API last month.

about a week ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

Ronin Developer Re:Yawn (354 comments)

I have to assume you and the original poster didn't watch the keynote.

The main processor is 12x faster than the original iPad (which, I still own and use). Graphics are 140x faster with the new graphics processor.

However, what the original poster DIDN'T say is gain in 2x+ performance over last year's iPad Air and the drop in pricing for comparable versions. The demonstrated photo processing apps were seemless. They also didn't indicate whether the new devices have more RAM or not. 1 GB has worked well. But, there were rumors of 2 GB.

No NFC either. Apple Pay is for "internet" purchases and not POS.

Nothing stood out to me as a "gotta have" this time around. While the iMac Retina has been improved and the screen is amazing, my 2009 iMac still works great (thought, I might replace the HD with an SSD). My iPad still works but pisses me from time to time when trying to load a web page that requires too much memory. My next "upgrade", when and *if* I can afford it, will be for the new iPad Air 2 as the original is something I still use every day.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

Ronin Developer Re: talk to a lawyer (224 comments)

I agree. I had an offer in hand when I got THEIR IP policy. They wanted the ability to claim anything I thought of while in their employ and for two years after as THEIR IP. I listed the projects I was already working on. The offer died in legal after two weeks.

One idea I had been working on showed up in the App Store one month after I discussed it with them. The developer was a former employee of the company.
My idea was unique. It had value. And, someone with more resources was able to capitalize on my idea before I could.

I had no recourse as the system wasn't yet patent pending and the developee no longer worked for the company. I found out via his profile on LinkedIn and he was offshore.

My advise, if you have IP, protect it. If they want you and your patented ideas, make the licensing part of the agreement. You decide what is fair market value

While I don't partucilarly like sw parents, you are entitled to protect what you invent. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

about two weeks ago
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The Subtle Developer Exodus From the Mac App Store

Ronin Developer Re:Forgot the biggest one: Money (229 comments)

You still need to shell out $100 month for either an iOS or OSX developer's membership if you actually plan to deploy your developed software in either the App Store or the Mac App Store.. Still, that's a pretty small price to pay to have your app certified and made readily available to potential consumers of your app.

Where the difficulty comes from and costs go up is in figuring out how to differentiate your app from all the others (or, just to get noticed). And, you have to worry about knock-offs deciding to charge $0.99 against your $4.99 or even $49.99 product.

You actually have to have real business, marketing and sales plans - which implies knowing to run a small business - to survive after the initial app store "gold rushes". This demands a level of commitment above and beyond what most "coders" have in order to actually eek out a living or more - it's why they are called entrepreneurs or business owners.

about two weeks ago
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Snowden's Tough Advice For Guarding Privacy

Ronin Developer Re: No Google (210 comments)

The hack you posted is not an exploit of the phone - it was a hack against one of the services provided by iCloud. The phone, itself, was not compromised.

There was a report of spyware that could be installed on an iPhone - it required a jailbreak to install. It could not be done OTA and without physical access to the device.

Replacing a ROM chip is both a software and hardware modification. It is not stock, is it? So, out of the box, which platform is more secure at this time?

Now, once you modify the device as you have indicated, it's possible to make the Android more secure. But, as a stock device, it still lags, doesn't it?

And, you are right...you can't insert a custom ROM in an iOS device - best you can do is jailbreak - something I would never do because of the inherent risks.

Why do I refer to you as a "Fandroid"? You attacked the original poster's arguments where they stated that all but one of the items they listed were iPhone only. You said the features were available on Android as well. They aren't without custom, hardware and software modifications as you noted. You ignored their original point and called them a "fanbois". I called you on it.

about two weeks ago
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Snowden's Tough Advice For Guarding Privacy

Ronin Developer Re: No Google (210 comments)

Exactly how does that custom ROM get installed??? Does it require modification of a device? Hardware modifications are not stock, are they? Are these devices readily available from a major supplier or must they be custom ordered?

There has been no reported successful hack of iOS devices to install malware where the device wasn't jailbroken. If you know otherwise, please provide relevant links? This can not be said of Android.

Now, what happens on the backend is open to interpretation and subject to debate.

You called the other poster a fanboi. He might be, but you are clearly a FAndroid with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove.

about two weeks ago
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Outsourced Tech Jobs Are Increasingly Being Automated

Ronin Developer Wonder how it feels... (236 comments)

for the offshore workers who displaced American workers to know that their value is now being measured by whether it can now be done by a TI-84 calculator or a resurrected TRS-80 if a human is still required in some capacity. They will now know how it feels to have to compete for jobs managing their automated overlords for even less meager earnings than before.

And, one has to wonder how far the shockwave will go. Will engineering and middle-management type jobs now be offshored (something that, historically, has not worked well) further compounding the problem in the company's home country or will a job "firewall" protect those jobs while driving the economies of the offshore workforce into the dumper? Or, will it encourage the need for the countries with the offshore workforce to adjust and create strong, viable companies that directly complete with their former overseas employers?

I foresee that we will see companies opening new offices overseas to directly compete with local companies as a result of the new global economy that this level of automation will usher in.

It's going to be interesting.

about two weeks ago
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Outsourced Tech Jobs Are Increasingly Being Automated

Ronin Developer Re:grow your own (236 comments)

Can we just grow and insert more humans into the power grid?

about two weeks ago
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Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records

Ronin Developer Re:Health Data Exchange Format? (240 comments)

I would mod you up. Unfortunately, the directproject.org site and wiki aren't exactly well organized. I may take another stab at trying to read it later today.

No, doctors don't care what a SOAP note looks like. Nor should they care - that's the EHR/EMR provider's responsibility. But, the LE / Public Safety sector was able to figure it out how to represent all the various entities (and, trust me, there are LOTS). It really should be all that hard to figure out how to represent patients, addresses, phone number, vitals, progress notes, medications, procedures, insurance providers, etc. Then, those entities are combined in manners that make sense to accomplish specific goals.

In the NIEM world, not every provider gave the same information when they exchanged with others and not every system could handle all the various NIEM object. However, the data they did exchange( incidents, persons, subject, ,charge, arrests, vehicle info, etc) were in a common format that could be interpreted by NIEM compliant systems.

A bigger issue, since Congress won't allow for a national medical ID, is how to ensure that the correct information is exchanged, how to safely store it and how to protect it against unauthorized access and fraudulent usage.

about three weeks ago
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New OS X Backdoor Malware Roping Macs Into Botnet

Ronin Developer To the hecklers... (172 comments)

There is a common believe that Macs don't get viruses or could, possible, be susceptible to malware. This week, we have seen several issues that first threaten the *nix community (which, OSX is built upon). The first was the bash bug. The second is a worm that is capable of infecting a Mac system. A few months ago, we had Heartbleed that again, was cross platform.

Yes...the Bash Bug - affects *nix machines including Macs. That means the Linux user is just as exposed. It does mean, in this particular instance, that Windows users get a break.

The Mac, link linux, has proven relatively immune to computer viruses. How many people do you know run anti-virus and/or anti-malware software on the linux desktops or servers? Exactly. The Mac is built on top of an *nix core, but is far more usable by the average user. However, when the built in safeguards are disabled, it's possible to install malware. And, it's very possible that the attack vector is an exploit of the bash bug. We don't know the method or attack vector used to infect those machines (in either of the two articles on Dr. Web). Likely, users downloaded and installed an unsigned OSX application which, unlike having to jailbreak your phone, is easy to do. That unsigned app carried and installed the worm. I say" likely", because we just don't know enough yet.

For those who aren't aware, Apple has a app store for OSX apps in addition to the iOS app store. Like it's counterpart, apps are checked by Apple and are digitally signed. A developer must belong to the Macintosh Developer network to sign their apps and have them sold through the app store. You always have the option to install apps from other sources, but they are unchecked and unsigned. And, you take your chances, just as on other platforms, if you download and install unknown code.

Apple has taken a beating these past couple of weeks on multiple fronts. The Apple haters are in full force. But, in this case, we don't know how the malware/worm was installed. So, is it fair to bust Apple's chops over it without knowing the root cause?

about three weeks ago
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Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

Ronin Developer Clipper Chip Anyone? (575 comments)

Who remembers the failed Clipper chip pushed during the Clinton administration and advocated by VP Gore?

Who remembers why it failed?

Those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it....even if they have to force it down our throats.

about three weeks ago
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Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records

Ronin Developer Health Data Exchange Format? (240 comments)

I have read a fair number of the comments posted here. And, the prevailing consensus is that there really isn't a standard when it comes to sharing health data and medical records between EMR systems.

Somebody mentioned HIPAA EDI in a previous post - those standards, however, are for passing information between entities for claims and not medical records. Why are the records themselves not specified in a publicly published format?

When I worked in the public safety software business, we were involved in many data sharing initiatives across the country. Many states had established their own platforms (Ohio and Wisconsin were pretty far along). But, on the federal level, they introduced GJXDM followed by the more comprehensive NIEM (National Information Exchange Model). The states moved towards this standard. While fairly big and deep, it make it fairly easy for NIEM compliant system to share data with one another. And, while the states built their own "free" records management systems, LE wanted their preferred vendors and the platforms with all the bells and whistles to support NIEM. So, we did.

Outside of this arena, we have HR-XML (for use by Human resources and NOT free). But, if you want to play in that game, you join the group and write systems compliant with it. At least there IS a standard.

What is criminal, in my mind, is that health care systems do not have a standard for describing this information. Nor, do they have a secure infrastructure for passing EMR data even if they did. It should have explicitly detailed as a provision in the ACA (aka Obamacare) so that healthcare providers and insurance carriers to interoperate. EMR vendors and insurance carriers should be REQUIRED and their software certified to comply with data interchange standards (which, may need to be formulated).

EPIC is in a position to set the standard. But, they won't because it means other vendors can get in the pool. So, somebody with really deep pockets and altruistic mindset needs to fund the development of a public standard, set the certification standards, and make it happen.

about three weeks ago
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iOS Trojan Targets Hong Kong Protestors

Ronin Developer Re:iOS Attack Vector? (72 comments)

Yes, read the analysis offered in another poster's comments.

So, the question begging to be asked is whether jailbreaking phones in China by the owner is a common occurrence or if the phones are sold "pre-jailbroken" by a larger agency and able to download and install these hacks at will?

about three weeks ago
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iOS Trojan Targets Hong Kong Protestors

Ronin Developer iOS Attack Vector? (72 comments)

The Android attack vector is pretty clear. Oddly, they don't know how it spreads to iOS devices. If it's not spread as an malicious, sandboxed app, then how does it get on an iPhone?

How about:
a) Phone was jailbroken.
b) Phone had a modified iOS installed.
c) Some vulnerability exists in one of the built in apps that allows malicious software to be installed outside of the confines of the sandbox.

Given it's happening in China during the protests and with a large iOS device blackmarket, I'm betting on (b) followed by (a) with a very slight chance of (c) and that this malware won't be seen in the rest of world anytime soon.

about three weeks ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

Ronin Developer That's a lot of trips. (549 comments)

The number of trips to populate is likely to be somewhat smaller if you send men and women who can reproduce. Those offspring can reproduce (assuming there are both m/f offspring) after 18-20 years. And, of course, people will die of natural and unnatural causes. What will the average lifespan be? Average breeding span?

It would be an interesting equation to figure out as to how many trips it would actually take to make a genetically diverse community that also has other society needs met in order to function.

Still, it will be a massive undertaking to build a colony of that size without significant advances in propulsion technology paring the flight times from months to days or hours.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

Ronin Developer Re:Obj-C (316 comments)

I, too, would beg to differ. As someone who has used the language / IDE since Delphi 1.0, I have to think you are probably a Microsoft/VB fan.

I worked for several companies whose products were written in Delphi. One application was a leading records management system for law enforcement and comprised over 1 million lines of code. Another was a commodities trading application that used JNI to communicate with a large collection of Java files. Another managed slot machines at a very large casino and interfaced with the AS/400.

Today, at version Delphi XE7, the tool can still develop native Windows apps. But, it can also cross compile to produce native OSX, iOS and Android apps (via the NDK). The language has evolved as well. Granted, the verbose syntax of Pascal still exists. It should be said, however, that .Net and C# were created by Delphi's creator (Anders Heidelberg) after he defected away from Borland.

The tool ran into some hard times due to some shakeups at Borland. Borland became Inprise (yeah, stupid name). People screamed but the damage was done even though they chose to rename themselves again from Inprise back to Borland. Borland spun off it's application tools division to concentrate on application lifecycle management tools. The spin off became CodeGear and operated on a small budget. Eventually, Codegear was acquired by Embarcadero which has had it's share of issues. Today, Borland is a shell. Biggest issue with the sell to Embarcadero was the concentration of release a product that was buggy and at a high price. They locked people into a costy upgrade path. They learned and have fixed a lot of issues. But, the high cost forced many shops and developers away from the product. Microsoft became the standard.

XE7 is an amazing tool if you want to develop Windows, OSX, IOS and Android apps. Database support is fantastic (I have the Enterprise version). It has UML modelling and code generation capabilities. And, now it supports tethering between mobile apps and the desktop over WiFi and Bluetooth (including LE) among many other cool features.

Before you knock the tool and language, you should actually try to use it. The only downsides are still the price and the fact that you still need a Mac to compile for OSX and iOS. This is more a limitation of Apple requiring the apps to be signed and the XCode tools are needed for this purpose. And, it doesn't develop web apps. If you want to be in that market, you need to select another tool. They used to include the FreePascal compiler for its ARM support. They now have their own native ARM compiler.

They have a 30 day trial for download. They also have another product, called AppCode, that is very similar to Delphi/RadStudio. That product is offered on a monthly subscription basis vs outright purchase. Not sure of it's other limitations.

The 3rd Party ecosystem took a hit for a while with many of the vendors moving towards .Net during the shakeup at Borland and haven't returned. Some of those vendors also felt shafted by both Borland and Embarcadero when they decided to offer products in those 3rd parties spaces and cut them out of the deal. Recently, there has been a lot of new release of components (old and new) on sites such as Torry.net.

While I still code in other languages when necessary, I still prefer to code in Delphi for my personal work. Sadly, it's personal as few enterprise IT shops will consider it these days because of the shakeups.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC to Apple Pay Only

Ronin Developer Ronin Developer writes  |  about a month ago

Ronin Developer (67677) writes "From the article:
"At last week's Apple event, the company announced Apple Pay — a new mobile payments service that utilises NFC technology in conjunction with its Touch ID fingerprint scanner for secure payments that can be made from the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch.

Apple also announced a number of retailers that would accept Apple Pay for mobile payments at launch.

However, Cult of Mac reports that NFC will be locked to the Apple Pay platform, meaning the technology will not be available for other uses.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed the lock down of the technology, saying developers would be restricted from utilising its NFC chip functionality for at least a year. Apple declined to comment on whether NFC capability would remain off limits beyond that period."

So, it would appear, for at least a year, that Apple doesn't want competing mobile payment options to be available on the newly released iPhone 6 and 6+. While it's understandable that they want to promote their payment scheme and achieve a critical mass for Apple Pay, it's a strategy that may very well backfire as other other mobile payment vendors gain strength on competing platforms. Subway already has penned a deal with Softcard to accept their mobile payment exclusively. Will other retailers take a similar tact and lock out Apple users who can't use their newly minted iPhone 6's for mobile payments everywhere because of this decision?"

Link to Original Source
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Say Goodbye to that Unwanted U2 Album

Ronin Developer Ronin Developer writes  |  about a month ago

Ronin Developer (67677) writes "Apple has listened to the complaints of those who object to having received a pushed copy of U2's latest album as part of their recent campaign. While nobody has been charged for the download, some objected to having it show up in their purchases and, in some cases, pushed down to their devices.

While it is possible to remove the album from your iTunes library, it takes more steps than most would like to take. Apple has responded and released a tool to make it possible to remove the album from your iTunes library in a single step."

Link to Original Source
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Key Logging on iOS Devices

Ronin Developer Ronin Developer writes  |  about a year ago

Ronin Developer (67677) writes "iKeyMonitor popped up on freecode.com today. It provides key logging capabilities to users of jailbroken iOS devices.

This is a perfect reason NOT to jailbreak your phone and why the Apple walled garden provides a measure of security.

Now, question for you Android folks — Can you install a key logger on an Android device? Any special requirements to do so? If the answers are, respectively, "yes" and "no", it seems to provide a clear indication why Apple still dominates the Enterprise tablet market.

Thoughts?"

Link to Original Source
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Break-Even at the National Ignition Facility Achieved!!!!

Ronin Developer Ronin Developer writes  |  1 year,16 days

Ronin Developer (67677) writes "It is being reported that the NIF has achieved break-even with the fusion reactor — getting as much energy out (if not a little more) than they put in.

While a long way off from commercial fusion power generation, this is a significant milestone."

Link to Original Source

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