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Oracle Deflects Blame For Troubled Oregon Health Care Site

Tony Isaac Re:It's Not Really Oracle (157 comments)

Well, Oracle WAS dumb enough to take on the project in the first place!

2 days ago
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Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

Tony Isaac Re:I think you're working from a few false assumpt (234 comments)

If software were a closed system, you might be able to argue that the number of bugs is finite. But it's not.

For example, if you know what you are doing, you can write code that is immune from SQL injection attacks...today. But SQL will change, and it is possible that in the future, SQL will add a feature, or experience a change, that will introduce a bug into your software that will make it once again possible to inject SQL, using an entirely new approach.

Given the complexity of the interactions between various systems within the computer, and the software being designed, there really IS an infinite potential for bugs.

2 days ago
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Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

Tony Isaac Nobel Prize is a measurement??? (292 comments)

The author argues that it's taking longer for physicists to receive Nobel Prizes. Maybe it's the Nobel Prize process that's slowing down! Maybe the Nobel Prize committee no longer knows what they are looking for! Maybe the Nobel Prize committee is hamstrung by political correctness. Whatever the reason, how does the length of time it takes to award a Nobel Prize, have anything to do with the actual progress of science???

about two weeks ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Tony Isaac Re:Don't despair. (351 comments)

Scary diseases aren't limited to undiscovered tribes. We have flesh-eating bacteria in the U.S. If you are looking for the sky to fall, you don't have to go to South America. In other words, you might be right, but even if we stayed away from these tribes, we wouldn't necessarily be safer.

about two weeks ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Tony Isaac Re:So? (351 comments)

How about a third option: alive and part of modern society! It is not an either-or proposition. The thing to do here is figure out what is killing them, and find solutions!

about two weeks ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

Tony Isaac Re:unfiltered information will make people THINK! (1037 comments)

Unfiltered information might make people think, but it certainly doesn't make them smarter. If you have done Google searches for things like conspiracies, alternative medicine, paranormal phenomena, etc., you will find that there is a lot of absolute idiocy out there on that unfiltered Internet.

When it comes to God, only one of the two groups is right: those who believe in God, or those who don't. Neither side seems to me to be doing a lot of THINKING these days, but a whole lot more accusing and finger-pointing.

about two weeks ago
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TCP/IP Might Have Been Secure From the Start If Not For the NSA

Tony Isaac Security wasn't even on the radar (149 comments)

The people who invented TCP/IP weren't even thinking about security. The network they imagined was one that went between a few buildings on the same campus. Nobody dreamed of the need for security at that point, any more than Alexander Graham Bell was thinking about voice security when he invented the telephone.

about two weeks ago
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Illustrating the Socioeconomic Divide With iOS and Android

Tony Isaac Re:i literally have 50+ iphones (161 comments)

It probably says that you waste a lot of money!

about two weeks ago
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New US Atomic Clock Goes Live

Tony Isaac Re:How, exactly, do we know? (127 comments)

It is, actually, possible to measure such things.

Consider GPS, which relies on the accuracy of atomic clocks in orbit. Each GPS satellite has its own independent clock, which must be accurate to within about 40 billionths of a second, over the life of the satellite. http://gpsinformation.net/main... If the accuracy of one of the satellites' clocks is greater than that threshold, your GPS unit will incorrectly report your location. The accuracy of GPS coordinates is one way to calculate the accuracy of the atomic clocks in orbit. Multiply the error rate (in billionths of a second) times the life of the clock, and you can arrive at a number of years it will take for the clock to be 1 second off.

Similar types of calculations can be done with these new, faster clocks. No, it's not necessary to wait 300 million years to see if the clock is one second off. That number is simply an extrapolation.

about two weeks ago
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Vint Cerf: CS Programs Must Change To Adapt To Internet of Things

Tony Isaac So universities should teach marketing hype? (163 comments)

The "Internet of Things" is, I think, driven mainly by manufacturers who want people to have an excuse to buy their new thing, which everybody already has, and works fine. Maybe universities should be teaching smartwatch programming too!

No. Universities should teach programming and technology basics. If corporations want to try to convince us all that we need an Internet-connected stapler, they aren't going to go looking for university graduates that have an IoT degree! They'll figure it out all on their own, with people who have ordinary computer science degrees, or even with people who don't have a comp sci degree.

about two weeks ago
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Jimmy Wales To 'Holistic Healers': Prove Your Claims the Old-Fashioned Way

Tony Isaac Re:Wales full response (517 comments)

While Chiropractic might have some positive effects, too often Chiropractors sell their services as a cure-all. My parent's childhood chiropractor wanted to be our primary care physician, claiming that Chiropractic could cure colds and other diseases. Chiropractic's founder, D. D. Palmer, claimed his technique cured deafness, even though there are no nerves related to hearing that pass through any part of the spinal column. So even if Chiropractic has some benefits, its practitioners certainly do claim that it can do far more than it actually does, a habit which damages any credibility it might otherwise gain.

http://www.sciencebasedmedicin...

about a month ago
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Measuring the Xbox One Against PCs With Titanfall

Tony Isaac It's not the hardware (377 comments)

If you've ever written software that is ported to multiple platforms, you know that the performance of the ported version can only match the original, if serious performance tuning is done. Performance of ported software is not a measure of the hardware, but of the effort put into making it work better.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Dumping License Fees For Windows Phone?

Tony Isaac Not cheap enough, or soon enough (125 comments)

Microsoft has always tried to position their phones and tablets as "premium" devices, selling for more than comparable competitors. That's really hard to do when you are the disruptor, trying to break into an established marketplace. Google played the game right, coming into a smartphone marketplace that was dominated by iPhone, as a lower cost option that was "just as good." Over time, Android earned the respect of the marketplace, and eventually they gained dominance.

Microsoft devices were, from the beginning, more expensive than comparable phones and tablets from other vendors. But they had no killer app, and a lot less apps to offer. So why should we all pay more for less?

If Microsoft is serious about making inroads into the mobile market, they are going to have to push bargain-basement devices, until they, like Google, can gain enough market share to get a foothold with pricier models.

about a month ago
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Dinosaurs Done In By... Dark Matter?

Tony Isaac UFOs (135 comments)

Dark matter is like the UFOs of astronomy. It's only called "dark" because they don't know what it is yet! UFOs are only "unidentified" until they identify the flying object. There's no reason to think that "dark matter" is something mysterious or alien, astronomers just can't see it...because it doesn't glow!

about a month and a half ago
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Facebook To Pay City $200K-a-Year For a Neighborhood Cop

Tony Isaac Re:This isn't as outrageous as it seems (235 comments)

Exactly. In suburban Houston, every subdivision has a contract with the sheriff's department in which the subdivision pays a monthly fee, and in exchange the sheriff's department guarantees that officers will spend a specified number of hours per week in that subdivision, patrolling. Without the contract in place, sheriffs would have no legal right to patrol the subdivisions, which are technically private property.

College campuses, very large businesses, stadiums, they all pay for on-duty police protection. The police department gets funded, and people are protected. How is that a bad thing?

about a month and a half ago
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Australian Company Claims Laser-Based Quantum Crypto is "Unbreakable" (Video)

Tony Isaac Commercial hype (84 comments)

The fact that they even claim it's unbreakable makes it obvious that the claim is just commercial hype.

Every new encryption technology is unbreakable at first. But with time, somebody always comes up with a way to defeat the system. Always.

Real researchers are always careful to qualify their claims. For example, they might say that "it is unbreakable by today's processors using known technologies."

about a month and a half ago
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Should programming be a required curriculum in public schools?

Tony Isaac Like art or science (313 comments)

Most students won't be scientists, but science is required, in part to help students understand the basics of how science works.
Most students won't be artists, nor can many of them succeed at being good artists, but many schools require at least some art or music, in part to help students have a basic understanding of this important part of our lives.
Most students won't become programmers, but they should at least understand the basics of how you tell computers to do things. This understanding will help them solve real-life problems in life, since we are already awash in a sea of computers.

Yes, some computer language instruction should be required, but there is no need for much more than a taste, except for students who choose to pursue a career related to programming or engineering.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Newsweek will go all-digital in 2013

Tony Isaac Tony Isaac writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Tony Isaac writes "Newsweek has announced that it will cease print publication at the end of the year, going all-digital. The new digital edition will still be based on a subscription model. Who will be next?"
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