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Microsoft's Missed Opportunities: Memo From 1997

edelbrp Re:What a fatuous, nebulous piece of crap??? (161 comments)

Apple could have killed them ages ago, by allowing their OS to be licensed on any processor, and include a state machine rom with each licenced copy, said state machine being a soldered un-crackable dongle, so that Apple gets ~~$100 per copy - they would slay Microsoft.
As it is Apple clings to their walled garden = dumb, but Apple = richer than me, so what do I know?

I think you forgot about the Mac clone era. Unfortunately, the third party clones were horrible. At the time, discontinuing the licensing of Mac clones was the right thing to do. All they did was tarnish Apple's image.

about two weeks ago
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Supreme Court Rejects Appeal By Google Over Street View Data Collection

edelbrp Re:Everyone on the underhanded snooping bandwagon? (113 comments)

It depends on the interpretation of "inadvertently", perhaps. There were a group of engineers who designed the system to capture data and that group later tried to "shop" the data to other groups within Google, including the Search group, but they didn't think it would add value. This was covered ad-naseum in the European press for almost 5 years now.

From the BBC in 2010:

Google said the problem dated back to 2006 when "an engineer working on an experimental wi-fi project wrote a piece of code that sampled all categories of publicly broadcast wi-fi data".

That code was included in the software the Street View cars used [...]

John Simpson, from the Consumer Watchdog, told the BBC: "The problem is [Google] have a bunch of engineers who push the envelope and gather as much information as they can and don't think about the ramifications of that."

This wasn't an oopsy, of some off the shelf stuff that was doing things they didn't know about. This was, at best, engineers at Google overstepping their bounds without oversight. Google is still responsible for what happened even if the left hand didn't know what the right was doing at the time.

about a month ago
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CES: Laser Headlights Edge Closer To Real-World Highways

edelbrp Re:meme (295 comments)

I heard you wanted a laser on your shark so we sharked your laser with a shark so you could laser it.

about 7 months ago
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Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Pass 10% Market Share, Windows XP Falls Below 30%

edelbrp Re:Windows XP still at 28.98% (470 comments)

Oh the pain people have for those who won't upgrade. Give me a break. As long as it works, why not let it function? Is it because of the security boogy-man? NSA? What's the rub?

about 7 months ago
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There's Kanye West-Themed Crypto-Currency On the Way

edelbrp Re:Yo Bitcoin (237 comments)

It wouldn't surprise me if there was a touch of ego involved. History repeats its self for a reason.

about 7 months ago
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Reuters: RSA Weakened Encryption For $10M From NSA

edelbrp Re:They didn't know! (464 comments)

I'm guessing it went something like this:

NSA: "Nice products you have! We'd like to license $10m of it please for our own use, but could you make this algorithm the default in the configs? It would save us a lot of headaches in our configurations and it's the best algorithm to use!"

RSA sales people: "OK! Sounds like you know what's best and your money is always good, of course!"

about 7 months ago
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Reuters: RSA Weakened Encryption For $10M From NSA

edelbrp Re:They didn't know! (464 comments)

A different era. They might have actually thought the NSA were honestly helping. Back then the NSA was probably perceived as being as much about hardening encryption as breaking it.

about 7 months ago
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Bitcoin Exchange Value Halves After Chinese Ban

edelbrp Re:Question for financial gurus (475 comments)

Yes, there's nothing magical about it. All you'd need to do is find somebody who trusts you to pay them back and you effectively make a bet with them. They don't even need to own any Bitcoins themselves. For example, I might agree to give you today's value of 5 bitcoins but you'd need to pay that back to me within, say, 6 months and when you do so you have to pay what the value of bitcoin is at the time. Depending on how savvy and how much the other person trusts you, they may want you to put up some amount of cash in an escrow so you can't flake on them and run with the money without finishing the deal.

about 7 months ago
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Bitcoin Token Maker Suspends Operation After Hearing From Federal Gov't

edelbrp Currency Boundaries are Dangerous (258 comments)

The government doesn't care when you trade bitcoins amongst yourselves, but if you *exchange* them either way for government currency, there are problems. In this case, you can trade USD for Bitcoins, and that's a big red flag.

about 8 months ago
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UK Retailer Mistakenly Sends PS Vitas, Threatens Legal Action To Get Them Back

edelbrp Can the company claim a loss? (617 comments)

Recovering the merchandise aside, can the company claim this as a loss for tax/insurance purposes?

about 8 months ago
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Most Drivers Would Hand Keys Over To Computer If It Meant Lower Insurance Rates

edelbrp I'm 100% sure I'd... (449 comments)

...get car sick.

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Simple Backups To a Neighbor?

edelbrp Physical Mailbox? (285 comments)

What about keeping a drive/Time Capsule in a locking mailbox at the curb? Of course, power might be an issue, but maybe slip a 12V line up into the box from the yard lighting to power it, or even some solar cell set up although you don't want to attract too much attention that something electronic is happening in there. If nothing else, it could be a convenient place to swap or grab backups as needed that is relatively 'off site'.

about 9 months ago
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20-Somethings Think It's OK To Text and Answer Calls In Business Meetings

edelbrp Re:Thinking what's appropriate vs. Doing (453 comments)

Exactly. When you ask the 20 somethings if it was appropriate, they would probably say 'sure'. Ask the exec and he'll probably say, 'no, unless there are special circumstances... like mine'.

about 9 months ago
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20-Somethings Think It's OK To Text and Answer Calls In Business Meetings

edelbrp Thinking what's appropriate vs. Doing (453 comments)

I found the opposite to be true. The older demographic (who tended to be higher up) were the ones who took more frivolous calls during meetings. The 20 somethings usually left their phones at their desk. I suppose the younger people questioned might say they think that it is OK for the older folks to do that while if you ask the older folks they would agree that it isn't appropriate but they do it anyways.

I think that can be all well and good for a 'study' except for the last flip comment at the end: "And if you’re an older worker annoyed at what you believe to be rude behavior, just remember, it’s not you – it’s them!" The researchers clearly don't know how to interpret their own data objectively. The study was asking what people thought would be appropriate, not what they actually do!

about 9 months ago
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IE 11 Breaks Rendering For Google Products, and Outlook Too

edelbrp Re:Hmm... (231 comments)

Can we finally get a Mod total score above 5 yet on /.? This one would go to 11!

about 9 months ago
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D-Wave Quantum Computing Solution Raises More Questions

edelbrp Re:Just do it. (143 comments)

They have. We're still waiting for the classical computers to finish to compare answers. Should just take a few eons. Then we'll know it works.

about 9 months ago
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D-Wave Quantum Computing Solution Raises More Questions

edelbrp Re:entangled entanglement (143 comments)

You can do what Alain Aspect did which was to show that statistically a system can show the repeatable statistical measurements (using Bell's Theorem) that indicate that entanglement is happening. Then let the system/computer do it's thing with some confidence that entanglement is in play.

about 9 months ago
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DNA Sequence Withheld From New Botulism Paper

edelbrp The nut of the question is (182 comments)

How is this different than a software vulnerability and security through obscurity, etc.?

I think to begin with, most software vulnerabilities aren't exploited to cause immediate death of (most likely) innocents. There's also no 'fix' for this (e.g. no software update to everybody's genome, but maybe a vaccine can be developed).

Similar to some other horrible chem/bio/nuke weapon formulas, yes, it should be properly redacted.

about 9 months ago
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How To Develop Unmaintainable Software

edelbrp Re:Documentation is overrated (211 comments)

I think you can also document in a way that is also up to date. For example, do you document the who/what/when/why for version commits? Sure. Do you put in-line comments in the code, e.g. "We need to revise the code below at some point to account for ABC"? I hope so. Do you have a stash of reference scripts/how-tos so you don't have to reinvent how to do semi-routine complex actions, like deployment? What about an active system to keep track of to-dos, priorities and who they are assigned to, what happened, how they were accomplished? Even email history can be effective documentation.

Otherwise, I would agree that documentation in the form of a bulk document which is probably already flawed at 1.0 and easily outdated is mostly a waste of time. (Past the mental exercise of the person writing it, perhaps.)

about 9 months ago

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