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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

david.emery At a Polish Passport Office (626 comments)

Hurghada - odprawa paszportowa:
-Nationality?
--Russian
-Occupation?
--No, just visiting.

(from a friend in Poland.)

8 hours ago
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Researchers Hack Gmail With 92 Percent Success Rate

david.emery "But we didn't test it on other platforms" (87 comments)

So I call "bullshit" on those claims. It shouldn't be that hard to test on iOS, and if you can find a Windows Phone, it should be easy to test there, too.

about a week ago
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The Billion-Dollar Website

david.emery Re: Technical People (194 comments)

I don't know if anyone associated with this project adopted anything they called "agile" or not. What I was saying was that I have zero confidence in "agile" as I've seen it either defined or applied, for products that are (a) large, (b) complex and/or (c) have substantial infrastructure (versus user-facing) functionality. This project had at least (a) large, and probably (c) substantial infrastructure requirements (that might have been solvable by judicious selection of the right commercial products.)

It should be a feature that a waterfall project could be seen to fail early, but for the PM whose career is built on continuing the project past his tenure, there's no advantage to her/him to fail quickly.

about two weeks ago
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The Billion-Dollar Website

david.emery Re:F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (194 comments)

...Witness the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, an aircraft nobody needs, trying to fill too many roles, and was supposed to save our armed services money by having one plane replace many planes...

I'm not defending the F-35 (I'm a huge A-10 fan, and 2 F-35s would fund the whole A-10 fleet), but your comment here is self-contradictory. Either we don't need it, OR it's trying to fill too many missions (that do need to be done.)

I think it's the latter, and that's not just requirements creep, but a different phenomenon that is something like "requirements conbinatorics", where too many requirements get loaded onto a system (health care or weapon) and the result is either (a) not buildable as a violation of math or physics or (b) massively complex and therefore massively expensive.

It's a combination of no discipline on the part of the users/managers who develop the specifications or needs statement, and the problem that the number of major system starts (whether DoD or commercial) is limited, so each user/stakeholder needs to get -His/Her Requirement- in place on this system, because they won't have a chance for another 10 years to get that requirement into their/their user's hands.

dave

about two weeks ago
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The Billion-Dollar Website

david.emery Re:Technical People (194 comments)

PLEASE Mod Parent up! I've been working on large government funded systems (defense and commercial) for 35+ years, and in my view programs are screwed from the beginning by overly-aggressive schedules for the up-front work. When the incomplete/absent requirements/architecture/design results in coding, or more often test and integration delays, they'll find more money and time. By then, it's too late.

Back when we had explicit waterfall milestones (requirements review, preliminary design review, etc), we could tell at PDR a program would fail as a result of incomplete or even incorrect requirements & architecture.

Unfortunately, the adoption of "Agile" in these organizations has reinforced the culture of "We don't need no stinking requirements! We can draw an architecture on a whiteboard in an afternoon", resulting in systems where you really can't say anything intelligent about how long it will take to complete them, because you have no fscking idea what "complete" actually is.

And this -should not be a revelation-, at least to anyone who has read "Mythical Man-Month," which will be 40 years old next year. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Thank God I'm getting ready to retire.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

david.emery Re:User docs, or developer/maintainer docs? (199 comments)

How often do you need to do that? As an "end user" when things work correctly, I'd assert it's infrequently.

But when trying to debug a problem, I agree this is frustrating, and the worst of all is "You are unable to log in at this time. A system error has occurred." and even if you know how to bring up the Console (/Applications/Utilities/Console.app) to look at the error logs, they're not particularly helpful.

So I'll put some words into your mouth and say, "It's important to have documentation available to support troubleshooting or 'power users', but the goal should be that 95% of the time you shouldn't need to RTFM to use the system." Agree?

And access to documentation is separable from existence of documentation. Most of the time, when I'm connected, using a search engine to find this kind of information doesn't bother me. But when disconnected (e.g. sitting on an airplane), not having the information local can be very frustrating.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

david.emery User docs, or developer/maintainer docs? (199 comments)

From a user doc perspective, Apple Mac OS X is a great example of what you can do with a minimum of user documentation, but with very mature and fully enforced user interface guidelines. In fairness, someone new to the platform does need some hand-holding, either training (including over-the-shoulder help from a family member :-) or a good book (I'm partial to the Pogue "Missing Manual" series.)

From a developer doc perspective, if you expect to maintain the software, some amount of documentation, that should capture (1) interfaces; (2) design intent; (3) full build/reconstruction directions (including configuration data, etc) is essential. And "Agile" that ignores these documentation/sustainment issues is just an excuse for write-only coding.

about two weeks ago
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Quiet Cooling With a Copper Foam Heatsink

david.emery How is this better than the Mac Pro? (171 comments)

Would anyone here doubt that a Mac Pro is a 'high end machine,' or that the posted specs for system noise don't make that "quiet?

One difference is obvious, you can go see, listen to, and buy a Mac Pro right now.

about a month ago
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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

david.emery Re:Where were you when the Eagle landed? (211 comments)

My 1st grade teacher lived close to the school. She marched her entire class to her house, where we watched John Glenn on the TV in her living room.

about a month ago
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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

david.emery Where were you when the Eagle landed? (211 comments)

This is one of those events where you remember where you were when "The Eagle has Landed" and "One Small Step..." For me, it was a gas station in Jackson Center, PA for the landing (we were driving home from our summer place.)

about a month ago
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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

david.emery Also those sliding "give us your email' boxes (418 comments)

I've noticed a really annoying trend, where you're on a site for a 10-20 seconds reading their content, when this (presumably JavaScript) box pops in front of the content soliciting for your email address. This is really annoying, since it totally breaks the concentration on what you're reading. Since this apparently done with JavaScript provided by the hosting site, pop-up window blockers and cross-script blockers don't prevent it.

So here's a hint for web designers: THIS IS F***KING ANNOYING! STOP IT!

Thank you.

about a month ago
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Apple and IBM Announce Partnership To Bring iOS + Cloud Services To Enterprises

david.emery Re:PowerPC (126 comments)

There seems to be a significant number of people here who believe if a device isn't either very complex, or doesn't require or at least allow you to tear it apart and rebuild it, it is somehow "unworthy." For a lot of the rest of us, these are tools we use to do useful things, and the utility of the tool is in part based on how easy it is to use.

If that makes us "hipsters," I guess I'll have to grow a ponytail.

about a month and a half ago
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Apple and IBM Announce Partnership To Bring iOS + Cloud Services To Enterprises

david.emery Re:PowerPC (126 comments)

There are a Heluva lot of "hipsters" in the world running iDevices, and the great majority of them are very happy doing so.

Your attitude may vary.

about a month and a half ago
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Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman

david.emery In other news, DC Comics announced (590 comments)

The renaming of its famous comic book and TV character, "Wonder Person."

Chris Hemsworth and Lynda Carter are reportedly in talks to assume the other's iconic role. No word yet if they're planning to share costumes.

about a month and a half ago
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US Supreme Court Invalidates Patent For Being Software Patent

david.emery Re:Florian Mueller's take (220 comments)

As long as you understand where he's coming from, and that he's been paid as a lawyer to advocate in the past for clients, his stuff is worth reading. His arguments may be biased towards a specific perspective, but they are well-reasoned and documented in support of his position. That's a lot better than the normal bovine effluent you read from tech reporters or (other...) paid shills.

Even PJ would pick-and-choose references to support a position, that's what "making an argument" is all about.

That being said, Mueller's recent writings on Apple abandoned a lot of the balance they had in years past. I don't know if he lost patience with Apple's positions on the Samsung trials, or if his change was motivated by something less transparent.

about 2 months ago
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OpenSSL: the New Face of Technology Monoculture

david.emery Re:Heartbleed was very shallow, fixed as soon as i (113 comments)

I have a couple problems with the implication that "short time to find/fix" is so acceptable.

1. Some amount of damage was done (and no one really knows for sure) through this bug. A fix was identified rapidly after the bug was -discovered-, but that's a long time after the bug was -introduced-.

2. For some systems, particularly those like SCADA systems where we really have deep information assurance concerns, patching software is not easy! Not everything can use "grab the patched source, rebuild and reinstall" or even "download the patch and install" repairs.

Thus the emphasis Has To Be on preventing these kinds of problems, then defending against them. Fixing them after the system is deployed is by far the weakest strategy. (Thus I salute with a full hand the initiative announced today, and discussed on a related SlashDot thread: http://news.slashdot.org/story... )

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Target's internal security team warned management

david.emery david.emery writes  |  about 6 months ago

david.emery (127135) writes "According to this story, Target's own IA/computer security raised concerns months before the attack: http://www.theverge.com/2014/2... Quoting a story in the Wall Street Journal.)
But management allegedly "brushed them off."

This begs a more general question for the Slashdot community? How many have identified vulnerabilities in your company's/client's systems, only to be "brushed off?" And if the company took no action, did they ultimately suffer a breach?"
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Samsung's comparison of Galaxy S to iPhone

david.emery david.emery writes  |  about 2 years ago

david.emery writes "In a document from the ongoing Samsung/Apple trial, provided in both English translation and Korean original, Samsung engineers provided a detailed comparison of user interface features in their phone against the iPhone. In almost all cases, the recommendation was to adopt the iPhone's approach.

Among other observations, this shows how much work goes into defining the Apple iPhone user experience."

Link to Original Source
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"CdrTaco" on Internet immortality

david.emery david.emery writes  |  more than 2 years ago

david.emery writes "Rob Maida, founder of Slashdot.org and now working for the Washington Post, made it to the Op/Ed page of the Post with a piece on 'reblogging,' including some comments on the Slashdot.org community."
Link to Original Source
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Least stressful jobs: programmer, SW engineer

david.emery david.emery writes  |  more than 3 years ago

david.emery (127135) writes "Time's "NewsFeed" Blog claims that Computer Programmer and Software Engineer are among the 10 LEAST stressful jobs. Guess they've never had to debug someone else's code to meet an impossible management deadline...."
Link to Original Source
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Amtrak: 12 hours for 'computer upgrade'?

david.emery david.emery writes  |  more than 3 years ago

david.emery writes "Amtrak is warning its customers that its reservation and status system will go down at 03:00 Sunday morning "for an upgrade" and will be up by "early afternoon."

That's an Awfully Long Time for a mission-critical reservation to be down."

Link to Original Source
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AAPL - amateurs beat the pants off pro analysts

david.emery david.emery writes  |  more than 3 years ago

david.emery writes "Bottom Line: The pros suck at predicting Apple performance, particularly when it comes to Earnings per Share and Revenue, when compared to the amateur blogs that provide financial analysis of Apple."
Link to Original Source
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Microsoft, Toyota to collaborate on smart cars

david.emery david.emery writes  |  more than 3 years ago

david.emery writes ""Microsoft and Toyota on Wednesday announced a $12 million partnership through which the companies will create an advanced digital information and communication system for the Japanese automaker's cars." Apparently it also includes connections to Microsoft's Cloud ("Azure") servers."
Link to Original Source
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Another insider critique of Wikileaks

david.emery david.emery writes  |  more than 3 years ago

david.emery (127135) writes "WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange went from being "imaginative, energetic (and) brilliant" to a "paranoid, power-hungry, megalomaniac," a former colleague charges in a new book out Thursday. Further we read: Domscheit-Berg "damaged" WikiLeaks infrastructure and "stole material," WikiLeaks said Wednesday, and the website said it is taking legal action against him-- though Domscheit-Berg denied that. (I'm not clear on what it would mean to 'steal material' from something like WikiLeaks...)"
Link to Original Source
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Assange on risks of informants

david.emery david.emery writes  |  more than 3 years ago

david.emery (127135) writes "From the story: The title said he told international reporters: 'Well, they're informants so, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it.' The book continues: 'There was, for a moment, silence around the table.' The allegations were made in a new book published today by the Guardian timed to coincide with another title released by the New York Times. It also reveals that Assange was so worried that he was being followed by U.S. intelligence services that he disguised himself as a woman, it has been revealed."
Link to Original Source
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CNet Analysis on RIAA-Tenenbaum - appealbait?

david.emery david.emery writes  |  more than 4 years ago

david.emery (127135) writes "CNet's Greg Sandoval provides his analysis/spin on the Tenenbaum decision reducing statutory damages. Among other items, it claims the Tenenbaum decision will make negotiating settlements harder, and is likely to be appealed with an assertion that the judge exceeded her authority. As seems to be typical in these cases, the litigation can go on and on until one side drops out through exhaustion."
Link to Original Source
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Affidavit for 'lost' iPhone unsealed

david.emery david.emery writes  |  more than 4 years ago

david.emery (127135) writes "Wired.com has obtained and published a copy of the search warrant for Jason Chen. This details some pretty funky behavior on the part of Brian Hogan (iPhone finder), such as tossing flash cards into the bushes, dropping off computers at churches, and some snarky emails from Brian Lam to Steve Jobs. This adds more detail to what increasingly looks like anything but 'innocent behavior' in this case. Regardless of what you think about publishing photos of the iPhone, it's really hard to view this behavior as "someone trying to return a lost item.""
Link to Original Source
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Signatures for a zero-day webserver hack?

david.emery david.emery writes  |  more than 4 years ago

david.emery (127135) writes "I'm seeing the following in my server logs:

[Tue Feb 09 02:55:33 2010] [error] [client 96.244.84.154] Invalid method in request \x95\xba\xbc\x9f\xe3\xcd\xef\x959\xe1^@\x9fq\xa8

[Tue Feb 09 08:13:21 2010] [error] [client 24.211.249.162] Invalid method in request I\xfa\x9f\xf7FEq\xa14c\xd6\x82$\x89\x97z\xfbR<\xbb\xe0-\xb0\x7f=;z\xe3:\x0e\xc7\xd8\x92\x04\xc6C\xb9\xa5\xe0\xee\xc9\xfc\x84

Sure looks like some sort of "maliciously crafted" string to me. Anyone else seeing this? What is this targeted to?"

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Intego issues 'Year in Mac Security' malware repor

david.emery david.emery writes  |  more than 4 years ago

david.emery (127135) writes "MacOS and iPhones that haven't been jailbroken fare pretty well (although vulnerabilities exist, there's not been a lot of exploitation). Apple does come in for criticism for 'time to fix' known vulnerabilities. Jailbroken iPhones are a mess. The biggest risk to Macs are Trojan Horses, often from pirated software."
Link to Original Source
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Microsoft says there's a 'tax' to use Macs

david.emery david.emery writes  |  more than 5 years ago

david.emery writes "A CNet column by Matt Asay cites an interview between Microsoft's Brad Brooks and CNET's Ina Fried (http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-10064580-75.htmll). Asay points to the comments by Brooks to the effect that not using Microsoft products constitutes a 'tax' for alternatives. Here's a quote

There's going to be an application tax, which is if you want choice around applications, or if you want the same type of application experience on your Mac versus Windows, you're going to be purchasing a lot of software.

and Asay's analysis/commentary:

In other words, it's cheaper to continue paying the Microsoft tax, wherein companies give up any hope of future innovation or industry competition, than to try that dreaded, costly thing called "choice."

Particularly with things like Open Office, is there really a problem with alternatives to Microsoft? How much does choice really cost?"
Link to Original Source

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Yahoo DNS poisoned???

david.emery david.emery writes  |  about 6 years ago

david.emery writes "Yesterday I got a strange email bounce from groups.yahoo.com, and something didn't look right in the headers about where the message was going. nslookup on groups.yahoo.com yielded the following: ; > DiG 9.4.2-P1 > groups.yahoo.com a +multiline +nocomments +nocmd +noquestion +nostats +search ;; global options: printcmd groups.yahoo.com. 43 IN CNAME groups.yahoo3.akadns.net. groups.yahoo3.akadns.net. 68 IN A 209.73.164.118 akadns.net. 37394 IN NS use3.akadns.net. akadns.net. 37394 IN NS eur1.akadns.net. akadns.net. 37394 IN NS zd.akadns.org. akadns.net. 37394 IN NS usw2.akadns.net. akadns.net. 37394 IN NS zb.akadns.org. akadns.net. 37394 IN NS use4.akadns.net. akadns.net. 37394 IN NS za.akadns.org. akadns.net. 37394 IN NS asia9.akadns.net. akadns.net. 37394 IN NS zc.akadns.org. asia9.akadns.net. 33620 IN A 220.73.220.4 zb.akadns.org. 1087 IN A 12.183.125.5 zc.akadns.org. 608 IN A 124.211.40.4 zd.akadns.org. 1270 IN A 65.114.105.4 eur1.akadns.net. 32741 IN A 195.59.44.134 use3.akadns.net. 35723 IN A 204.2.178.133 use4.akadns.net. 29133 IN A 208.44.108.137

Today I did the same, and got something that looked a lot more correct: ; > DiG 9.4.2-P1 > groups.yahoo.com cname +multiline +nocomments +nocmd +noquestion +nostats +search ;; global options: printcmd groups.yahoo.com. 142 IN CNAME groups.yahoo3.akadns.net. yahoo.com. 66848 IN NS ns8.yahoo.com. yahoo.com. 66848 IN NS ns6.yahoo.com. yahoo.com. 66848 IN NS ns1.yahoo.com. yahoo.com. 66848 IN NS ns3.yahoo.com. yahoo.com. 66848 IN NS ns2.yahoo.com. yahoo.com. 66848 IN NS ns5.yahoo.com. yahoo.com. 66848 IN NS ns4.yahoo.com. ns5.yahoo.com. 154843 IN A 119.160.247.124 ns6.yahoo.com. 150553 IN A 202.43.223.170 ns8.yahoo.com. 62351 IN A 202.165.104.22 ns1.yahoo.com. 63924 IN A 66.218.71.63 ns2.yahoo.com. 63924 IN A 68.142.255.16 ns3.yahoo.com. 63864 IN A 217.12.4.104 ns4.yahoo.com. 63781 IN A 68.142.196.63

This wasn't just me. My ISP's sysadmin did nslookup yesterday and got the same weird results (akadns.net) last night. So, is this evidence of DNS poisoning? Did someone somehow get the wrong data into the larger DNS infrastructure? Enquiring minds want to know!... dave"
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Google to invest in Geothermal energy

david.emery david.emery writes  |  about 6 years ago

david.emery writes "CNN has a story about Google investing in geothermal energy: http://greenwombat.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2008/08/19/google-invests-in-drilling-for-geothermal-energy/ Could we see data megacenters relocating to geothermal areas? But aren't those geologically sensitive, e.g. prone to earthquakes? How hard would it be to engineer an earthquake-proof "data bunker"? The story mentions an effort to map geothermal resources in the US, could this be the start of a new energy land rush?"
Link to Original Source

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