Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

Sneftel Re:Constantly surprised at the reactions (561 comments)

My company (and others as well) don't go out and hire the best candidate for a job, we hire every candidate that meets our requirements, regardless of race.

Except that, assuming that you are the average software developer (so FFS don't anecdote me, bro), Apple:
* Pays better than you
* Offers better benefits than you
* Is better known than you
* Has a larger and more effective recruitment program than you

Apple is not hurting for applicants. They're probably hurting for "qualified applicants", but that's a tautology: The definition of a "qualified applicant" is an applicant that you're willing to hire, given the talent pool available to you. All of us want our geniuses to be a little bit geniuser.

The result is, the context in which Apple/Google/Microsoft/Facebook/etc. hire is *very* different from the context in which Bweezbo.me hires. They have all the qualified applicants they want, and are limited by headcount. And that's exactly the situation where they can decide to stop indulging the unconscious (but well-demonstrated) bias of their hiring managers.

about 3 months ago
top

Cracking Atlanta Subway's Poorly-Encrypted RFID Smart Cards Is a Breeze, Part II

Sneftel Low-hanging fruit (170 comments)

The indictment claims that the ring called their organization the "Underground Railroad."

Srsly, guys, try harder.

about 5 months ago
top

Was Turing Test Legitimately Beaten, Or Just Cleverly Tricked?

Sneftel Re:Stupidly tricked, not clever (309 comments)

So if there were an AI system which genuinely had the intellect and communication capabilities of a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy (conversing in English), you would not consider it intelligent?

about 5 months ago
top

Unlock Your Android Phone With Open Source Wearable NFC

Sneftel Re:Unlocking a phone.... (81 comments)

No, most phones don't have locks on them. They wouldn't be much use, as phones are intended neither to hold valuable objects, nor to be secured to a particular location.

about 6 months ago
top

Inside the Stolen Smartphone Black Market In London

Sneftel Re:Changing IMEI is illegal (109 comments)

That's a significant problem, I agree. You could program the same IMEI onto all the mainboard chips and make them inoperable unless the IMEIs all match, but the screen and touchscreen are still expensive and useful to salvage. It's not a panacea. But it would precipitously drop the street price of a stolen iPhone, and that would make theft less lucrative. Every bit counts.

about 7 months ago
top

Inside the Stolen Smartphone Black Market In London

Sneftel Re:Changing IMEI is illegal (109 comments)

The fuse bits would be on the radio chip, the IC that actually does the cellular stuff, so patching and soldering would be useless. Fuse bits are set in a manner similar to flash memory -- via commands to the chip. The only significant difference is that once set, they can't be changed.

Microcontrollers already use fuse bits. Your average less-than-a-dollar PIC microcontroller includes several fuse bits to do things like make it impossible to reprogram. It's well-known technology, and just as cost-effective as the current system. It just doesn't allow for IMEI modification, and it's starting to look like allowing IMEI modification is a win for the manufacturers.

about 7 months ago
top

Inside the Stolen Smartphone Black Market In London

Sneftel Re:Changing IMEI is illegal (109 comments)

Storing the IMEI in PROM instead of EEPROM would have no effect on production costs. Fuse bits are, if anything, cheaper than their rewritable equivalent (though IMEIs are what, 64 bits, so honestly it wouldn't make a cent of difference).

about 7 months ago
top

Inside the Stolen Smartphone Black Market In London

Sneftel Re:Changing IMEI is illegal (109 comments)

It would be trivial for manufacturers to make the IMEI absolutely unchangeable using fuse bits. The fact that they have not suggests that they see widespread phone theft as an overall benefit for them, which makes sense -- it drives sales of new phones among those able to afford them.

Enforcement of those laws would help, but enforcement of such things is always expensive and imperfect. Simpler and more effective to mandate that manufacturers make IMEIs absolutely unchangeable.

about 7 months ago
top

Xbox One Reputation System Penalizes Gamers Who Behave Badly

Sneftel Re:OMG FAG LOL (183 comments)

They're not basing the reputation system on reports of cheating, though. As you pointed out, it's difficult, and hopelessly subjective, to tell the difference between a really good player and a cheater, so expert oversight is necessary to interpret those flags. (The good news is, automated analytics are getting remarkably good at telling the difference. It's an arms race, of course, but not as lopsided as it once was.) Rather, this system is for tagging griefers.

about 8 months ago
top

Megatons To Megawatts Program Comes To a Close

Sneftel Re:Nuclear dangers... (125 comments)

If that were the case, then yes, you could argue that the use of aluminum is dangerous. A decrease in the use of aluminium would result in a decrease in deaths.

Bauxite is strip-mined, though, which is pretty safe as far as the miners are concerned.

about 10 months ago
top

Code.org: More Money For CS Instructors Who Teach More Girls

Sneftel Re:Teaching programmer? (381 comments)

Bullshit, I self taught myself. I had no teacher and my parents were computer illiterate, and many of the greatest programmers I know followed the exact same pattern.

Wonderful! If, as you say, the greatest programmers are entirely self-made, purely because some god-given vocatio made them start BASICing up roguelikes, then applying incentives to teachers won't matter one way or another.

But if, on the other hand, this stuff isn't genetic but rather a matter of environment and upbringing, of a word of encouragement at the right time, of giving a seed of talent a place to grow.... well, but no. No, all you need is a computer and to be the chosen one.

about a year ago
top

Code.org: More Money For CS Instructors Who Teach More Girls

Sneftel Re:Teaching programmer? (381 comments)

You don't know a single competent programmer who just started programming just because they wanted to. They started programming because they had the opportunity to, and the support. And if manipulating teachers is effective in countering their (probably unconscious, but nevertheless well-researched and documented) bias towards offering opportunity and support towards mostly boys, then it's the right thing to do.

about a year ago
top

Printable Smart Labels Tell You When the Milk's Gone Bad

Sneftel TTIs (heh) (68 comments)

There are already time-temperature indicators, which are low-cost, (usually) non-electronic devices affixed to perishable products to check whether they've remained in the appropriate range, and how long they were out of that range. Those are what this new tech is competing with, not the temperature-sensitive LCD strips you see on aquariums.

about a year ago
top

JavaScript-Based OpenRISC Emulator Can Run Linux, GCC, Wayland

Sneftel Re:triple threat (89 comments)

Really, if the universe is Turing complete, I think that's strong evidence that the universe itself is a virtual machine.

about a year ago
top

JavaScript-Based OpenRISC Emulator Can Run Linux, GCC, Wayland

Sneftel triple threat (89 comments)

ScummVM

So it's a virtual machine running on a virtual machine running on a virtual machine. Nice.

about a year ago
top

Charlie Stross: Why Microsoft Word Must Die

Sneftel ugh (479 comments)

Yes, let's enumerate all the structural untidinesses of Word. Let's blame that application -- which held its own, against many, many competitors, not because of a megacorporation strong-arming it (remember, MS was not always a megacorp) but because it was good at doing what users wanted it to do -- for the inelegance of its data model. Let's compare it to SGML, which is so much nicer and easier and so much more elegant if you're a programmer and can appreciate that sort of elegance, and if you're not a programmer, well then for god's sake why are you touching a computer?

If you want SGML, you know where to download it.

about a year ago
top

RMS On Why Free Software Is More Important Now Than Ever Before

Sneftel Re:Traffic analysis; diverse double compiling (319 comments)

00 FF AA 55 and AA FF 55 00 are both serialized data, but are not the same. You are confusing the idea that data will exist on disk as a serial stream with the idea that two sets of data written to disk in parallel will somehow have the same order.

Erm. How do you think compilers work?

about a year ago
top

RMS On Why Free Software Is More Important Now Than Ever Before

Sneftel Re:Traffic analysis; diverse double compiling (319 comments)

Of course you can. Consider X and Y to be two compilers. X compiled by X will, of course, be different than X compiled by Y. But X compiled by (X compiled by X) should be identical to X compiled by (X compiled by Y).

about a year ago
top

3D Printers Shown To Emit Potentially Harmful Nanosized Particles

Sneftel Re:OK so what this means is... (180 comments)

I do that with all my scented candles.

about a year ago
top

Detroit's Emergency Dispatch System Fails

Sneftel Re:Should have turned to the HAMs! (191 comments)

I've heard about ham radio being used for emergency communications, but would it really have been helpful here? Do police officers' radios work on ham radio frequencies, or could thousands of ham radios actually be distributed to them in short order?

about a year ago

Submissions

Sneftel hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

Sneftel has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?