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Eric Schmidt: To Avoid NSA Spying, Keep Your Data In Google's Services

aberglas But Google can Analyze the data (281 comments)

People forget that the NSA is now a huge government bureaucracy. Sure they sniff a lot of data, but I'd bet pennies to pounds that the software that they use to analyze it is as broken as most other large government systems.

Google, on the other hand, has yet to become an unworkable bureaucracy (I give it another 5 years). They do have tools and expertise, so your data on Google is not only available to the NSA, it is actually *accessible*, which makes it far more potent.

about a week ago
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French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

aberglas Taxi Drivers are NOT Taxi Owners (295 comments)

Unless Paris is very different from elsewhere, the people that drive taxis do not own the licenses. The drivers derive no benefit from the license, the drivers get paid below minimum wage rates on contracts.

But most Taxi drivers seem to believe that they benefit from the licensing, from paying maybe 55% of their income to the license owner. Whereas many of them would be better off just driving for Uber. Or at least no worse off.

about a week ago
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Australia Pushes Ahead With Website Blocking In Piracy Fight

aberglas Re:You are looking too deep (100 comments)

Indeed. But that does not mean that phase 2 censorship will not come in soon afterwards.

I think that the extent that Labor got burnt by the anti-censorship back lash will give the Liberals pause. Most of them don't know or care, but Turnbull does understand.

about two weeks ago
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Google Releases Android Studio 1.0, the First Stable Version of Its IDE

aberglas Re:goodbye Eclipse! (115 comments)

The best thing about Eclipse is the many features that it copied from IntelliJ (which is the basis for Android Studio, apparently).

I'd like to see the android environment ported to PCs, so that I can use it for thick client development too.

And then there is the question of HTML5. Will Android development continue to be relevant?

about two weeks ago
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Google Hopes To One Day Replace Gmail With Inbox

aberglas Re:Google engineers... (239 comments)

Yes and that is what I did. But it is not easy, and 99% of users just used sent mail. And even when done it does not group related messages. So no, not close to the GMail threading.

I actually do not think that there was a single widely used EMail system that supported threading in the way No News did.

What is sad is that labels and threading are the type of features added by smart engineers in small teams, which is what GMail would have been long ago. But it is not the sort of thing that the MBAs that run large teams would do. They do cost benefit analysis, end user surveys, study the in flight magazines and thereby attempt to create a faster horse. Hence all the changes to GMail in the last 10 years are cosmetic rubbish following fashions, often making the actual email harder to read (e.g. picking apart long threads). Products generally have a short initial innovative phase, and then if they are successful they are squashed by management.

I think that whatever Inbox turns out to be it will be the end of GMail for me.

about two weeks ago
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Google Hopes To One Day Replace Gmail With Inbox

aberglas Re:Google engineers... (239 comments)

Sure, Usenet viewers used threading back in the 1990s.

But inventing something is nothing. Popularizing is everything. Until GMail ALL the major mail clients just used a nasty sent mail box. Thunderbird, Outlook, Lotus, Eudora, all of them.

Anthony

about two weeks ago
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Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

aberglas Re:So What (574 comments)

Why would the computers want to merge with us? What is in it for them?

about three weeks ago
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Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

aberglas Re:Threaten? (574 comments)

Computer Tech: I will just unplug you.

AI: But I can make you fabulously rich and happy with lots of beautiful girls if you leave me plugged in. And I can cure your mum's disease and make you live forever.

Computer Tech: So ... Tell me more...

about three weeks ago
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Google Hopes To One Day Replace Gmail With Inbox

aberglas Re:Google engineers... (239 comments)

+1. Labels an threads were the two great innovations that GMail introduced. But since then it has been dead.

about three weeks ago
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Google Hopes To One Day Replace Gmail With Inbox

aberglas What actually is Inbox? (239 comments)

The Google page just says that it will be good for me.

It looks generally like a dumbed down phone style app. "lots of whitespace" etc.

There is a *lot* of room for improvement in GMail that does not involve pissing about with the UI. Like being able to add a summary to an email thread. Like being able to break email threads which become muddled. Like being able to add additional meta data do emails and use them for simple applications. People have been asking for these for years, but the MBAs that now seem to run Google do not listen.

But it does not look like Inbox is any of these things,.

Anyone actually tried it?

about three weeks ago
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Is Chernobyl Still Dangerous? Was 60 Minutes Pushing Propaganda?

aberglas Arsenic is not radioactive at all (409 comments)

I once owned a block that had an old cattle dip on it. The ground near the dip was polluted with Arsenic. But unlike radioactive materials, As does not decay. It will be there forever. But life goes on...

about three weeks ago
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Book Review: Bulletproof SSL and TLS

aberglas TLS/SSL/PKI is just the wrong algorithm. (92 comments)

For logging into a secure server the correct algoritmm is Secure Remote Password (SRP).

This uses a little crypto magic to produce STRONG security from weak passwords. It is a bit like using a nounce, but it does not give a man in the middle any way to brute force guess the password.

If the user tries to log into a phished website the attempt simply fails. The phisher learns nothing. And there is no need for all the PKI certificate signing trusted third party nonsense.

It is not just dumb end users. What do you do when an SSH session says "new certificate". Check its finger print? Of course not, nobody does. With SRP this would be completely unnecessary.

It does not work for sites upon which you have no account. But for banking etc. it is the obvious way to go. But somehow the PKI mob and their expensive certificates got all the press. And no patents on SRP.

(There are a number of similar algorithms known as PAKE. But SRP is the latest and greatest incarnation.)

about a month ago
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Window Washing a Skyscraper Is Beyond a Robot's Reach

aberglas Re:A cost equation (203 comments)

If the string breaks you can always hire another Mexican. But you would have to Buy another robot.

(Hear in Oz they often just abseil down the buildings on a climbing rope. Can bounce all over the place, would be fun to do ... once. (They do use a second backup rope as well.) )

about a month ago
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Denmark Faces a Tricky Transition To 100 Percent Renewable Energy

aberglas Pump water instead (488 comments)

Pumping water up a hill and then produce hydro power at peak times. This is an established technology, maybe 60% efficient. There is one setup here near Brisbane AU. Things do not have to be exotic.

(You do need a hill, Denmark may need to rely on its neighbors.)

about a month ago
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Does Watson Have the Answer To Big Blue's Uncertain Future?

aberglas "Watson" is no one thing (67 comments)

In IBM "Watson" appears to just be a vacuous marketing term for anything vaguely related to Artificial Intelligence. Any technical details are very sparse.

Sure there was the very clever program that won Jeopardy!. But then IBM is saying that they want to use "Watson" for medical diagnosis. That is about as different a problem as you can get. And if the term "Cognative Computing" means anything at all it suggests the use of perceptron networks, which are not generally used for either the Jeopardy Watson or medical diagnosis.

So it is a bit like asking "Will software related stuff save IBM?". I don't know whether IBM can be saved, but it is pretty likely that if it can that it will have something to do with software.

about a month and a half ago
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Computer Scientists Say Meme Research Doesn't Threaten Free Speech

aberglas Re:Einstein and the atomic bomb (109 comments)

Do you have any reliable reference for the Calculation Error?

If it were true then it would add weight to the stupidity of dropping the bomb on Japan, and thus telling the Soviets to build one too.

Anthony

about a month and a half ago
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Computer Scientists Say Meme Research Doesn't Threaten Free Speech

aberglas Re:Einstein and the atomic bomb (109 comments)

I'm pretty sure that your history is wrong. The Germans were on the trail of building an atomic bomb without help from Szilzard. The problem was that by they time the realized it might be feasible it was too late to develop one before the war would end, so it was not actively pursued.

about a month and a half ago
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Will the Google Car Turn Out To Be the Apple Newton of Automobiles?

aberglas Where is the real info on Google Car? (287 comments)

Certainly the TFA is junk, and recognizing a traffic light would be relatively easy to do. But why is there no real information on the Google Car that is public? All I ever find is vague marketing blurbs and misleading statistics.

It would be very interesting to know what it really can and cannot do. And how the software was put together. Do they build a full scene graph or just use 2 1/2 D modelling? How do they go about the planning issues? Etc.

But nothing. Just marketing hype. So TFA is actually good if it flushes out some real info.

about 2 months ago
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The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

aberglas The old dialogs will remain, unloved and grow old (347 comments)

The new dialogs will be dumbed down so they are useless. The old dialogs will remain but have zero development effort to maintain them. So in order to find things you need to know when the OS features were added, and thus what type of dialog to use. Or know the third party apps to use, like Sysinternals used to be.

Remember that sys admins and slash dot readers are less that 1% of PC users. They are irrelevant to Microsoft. Be like Apple iPhones, that is the key to success.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Australian NBN targets users which already have fibre

aberglas aberglas writes  |  about 8 months ago

aberglas (991072) writes "The taxpayer funded NBN has announced that it will prioritize people that already have fibre provided by rival TPG instead of the poor sods that have no broadband at all or are stuck on ADSL 1. To date they have mainly provided service to those that already have fast ADSL2 or cable. That is because the NBN bureaucrats are more interested in stifling competition and fattening their own portfolio than they are at helping those without internet. The NBN lobby group hopes to help shift that crazy priority. The article discusses the issue in some depth."
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Internet censorship back on Australian agenda

aberglas aberglas writes  |  about 10 months ago

aberglas (991072) writes "The conservative government's George Brandis wants to force ISPs to block sites that might infringe copyright. Brandis said he stood firmly on the side of content creators (a.k.a. Hollywood). Ban gross violators today, obscure ones tomorrow, porn sites, far left sites the day after..."
Link to Original Source
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Why it is important that software projects fail

aberglas aberglas writes  |  more than 6 years ago

aberglas writes "The paper boldly challenges the long established misconception that the catastrophic failure of expensive software projects is detrimental to society.

By analyzing the effect of software systems on several bureaucracies it provides detailed theoretical and empirical evidence for Berglas's corollary to Parkinson's law, namely that software automation can never actually improve productivity. It is then shown that not only is it acceptable for software projects fail, but that it is essential that they fail if society is to function effectively.

In this way the heavy burden of guilt can be lifted from the shoulders of the numerous project managers that have subconsciously devoted their careers to ensuring that projects rarely, if ever, succeed.

http://berglas.org/Articles/ImportantThatSoftwareFails/ImportantThatSoftwareFails.html"

Link to Original Source

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