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Target Confirms Point-of-Sale Malware Was Used In Attack

m6ack Re:Quick fix for the POS POS machines ... (250 comments)

... why not

- Install them on their own VLAN in stores - Deny the VLAN internet access

An insider (private "security" or janitor) could yet attach an infection device to the private network (which is a likely infection vector in any case). The only "simple" solution leveraging XP that I can envision is one where each and every POS is physically isolated from the network via a very locked down BSD or Linux machine (Pi's?).

about 6 months ago

Telegraph Contributor Says Coding Is For Exceptionally Dull Weirdos

m6ack "Dull Wierdo Jobs" are the valuable ones (453 comments)

The thing is, dear author... The ability to automate one's work by computer (scripting, coding, etc.) is now truly an absolute essential if one is to compete in any valuable job today. In the work that I do in device testing. Where we used to do a lot of hands-on work in measuring "stuff" on our devices, now we automate that work. There is also a cascading effect... Such automation gives us reams of data that again must now have some automated method of culling it for more in-depth analysis.

If a person is truly computer illiterate, I don't recommend hiring them at my place of business any more. Additionally, there are people from outside our country that are prepped for this work and will take and "do jobs that natives won’t do" (tilting hat -- slightly askew -- to Dubya). The jobs of the future -- especially the valuable ones -- require computer literacy.

about 8 months ago

Digital Revolution Will Kill Jobs, Inflame Social Unrest, Says Gartner

m6ack The fundamentals are changing (754 comments)

The basic problem I see is that the fundamentals of business AND of societal expectations upon business are changing, and we must adapt to that change.

Thing #1 - Yes, we are now on the verge of comoditizing the tools for the production of goods and for the automation of that process as well. Think of 3-D printing, of web frameworks, of robotics, of the commoditization that open source brings us -- these are making and will make a small team capable of doing great things with little investment and quickly.

Thing #2 - Government intrusion into the healthcare system is pushing hard on companies to be ultralean and is also forcing the majority of the workforce that is not part of the core into a 29 hour work week -- both of these are caused by ultra-lean companies need to avoid having to "deal with" the government mandated healthcare system.

So... this will be the new structure... and we have to be ready for it. The requirements for working in an ultra-lean company in the US are going to be much different than working in a traditional company... It is going to require higher education, more technical higher education, and multi-disciplinary people. It is also going to require programmming skills for every single member of the core (non-temp) team.

But, if you think about it a moment... instead of dwelling on the chance of the unrest of an "unprepared" society -- if society prepares itself and embraces the change... this is such an exciting a time in history. Never in the history of the world has there been more opportunity to be successful and for so few to touch so many lives. People are empowered as never before to produce an individual contribution to society. There is more to the world than brick and morter, and more freedom accessible than ever before for those willing to sieze on the opportunities at hand.

Let's teach our generation to cast off the old unproductive model and embrace the new and more fullfilling model of the future.

about 10 months ago

Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

m6ack Re:Link broken? (1191 comments)

Yes, gl4ss I'm of the same opinion... that the best design was the simple original... The more this moves away from simple and toward candy, big graphics and open sidebars, the more time I will spend at

about 10 months ago

Middle-Click Paste? Not For Long

m6ack I "rely" on this feature (729 comments)

Using the select buffer (as opposed to copy buffer) and middle-click paste is and has been a feature of all Unix/Linux windowing implementations... and one that I _rely_ on... Especially when it comes to working in a terminal. When I click inside a windows VM, it's one of the things I always miss. If it is removed, it's one of the first extensions that I would find a way to get... Sure, take it out of core (for the neophytes), but it needs to be an extension at least for us old guys that could actually participate in your dev process via at least giving you more coherant bug reports (and maybe even fixes) than "my window doesn't work right." Gnome should be very careful to stop "ticking off" developers, but to think of them first at least -- even if it is through creating extensions for each feature they remove.

about 10 months ago

"Ballooning" Spiders Use Electrostatic Forces To Generate Lift

m6ack Space elevators (213 comments)

I wonder if the same concept could be used to help relieve stress on the cables of space elevators? How much charge would it take to offset the weight of some amount of cable and can solve a measure of the strain problem?

about 10 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Video Streaming For the Elderly?

m6ack iPad -- Nufsed (165 comments)

If you are interested in no fuss, get your elderly parent an iPad. They will love it with Netflix streaming because they can make it as close to their eyes as necessary for them, and they -- and they can get a good quality pair of headphones (with inductive coupling to the hearing aid, possibly) to make it eaisier for them to hear. And yes, the ipad app has captioning.

When they are more comfortable, they will download books and recipies, and love it because the paper won't take up much space in their home and they can enlarge the text to exactly what they want. They will be delighted when they figure out how best to do video chat with you (whether that might be Facetime or otherwise) for "free."

And for you, once her internet connection is up and running, the purchase will be a "painless" one for support... no need to configure the device for her, no need to "set the clock on the DVD player" or what have you... You will be free to have conversations about more important things for your life.

This is from a long time Linux geek whose 70+ year old mom is pleased as punch with her iPad. Even though I am a die-hard Linux guy & would rather have myself on the latest and greatest Linux-ish device -- her happiness & piece of mind is worth a lot to me. This makes her happy.

1 year,14 days

big.LITTLE: ARM's Strategy For Efficient Computing

m6ack It's not necessarily ARM's solution (73 comments)

Big/little is a lazy way out of the power problem... Because instead of investing in design and development and in fine grained power control in your processor, you make the design decision of, "Heck with this -- silicon is cheap!" and throw away a good chunk of silicon when the processor goes into a different power mode... You have no graceful scaling -- just a brute force throttle and a clunky interface for the Kernel.

So, not all ARM licensees have been convinced or seen the need to go to a big/little architecture because big/little has that big disadvantages of added complexity and wasted realestate (and cost) on the die. Unlike nVidea (Tegra) and Samsung (Exynos), Qualcomm has been able to thus far keep power under control in their Snapdragon designs without having to resort to a big/little and has thus been able to excel on the phone. So far, the Qualcomm strategy seems to be a winning one for phones in terms of both overall power savings and performance per miliwatt -- where on phones every extra hour of battery life is a cherished commodity. Such may not be true for tablets that can stand to have larger batteries and where performance at "some reasonable expectation" of battery life may be the more important.

1 year,19 days

Ask Slashdot: Most Secure Browser In an Age of Surveillance?

m6ack Re:You'll just call attention to yourself (391 comments)

Doing what you prescribe will do the very thing that you are trying to avoid - get you on the NSA's list of people who are probably not American and must be up to something really interesting.

I actually had a thought about this... What if several thousand of us started sending "strongly encrypted noise" to places known to be "snooped" by the NSA -- say, just 1TB per person _daily_? At the very least, it should use up wherehouse-loads loads of disk space very quickly with "garbage," and with this, the NSA's current tactic would be rendered inneffective...

about a year ago

What Features Does iOS 7 Need?

m6ack Re: iOS (262 comments)

What you want in the OS is to enable the most smooth and efficient access to your work. For now, that means getting to your apps & getting out of the way, and in the future sharing data between apps and between apps and the external world. Interface change that does not improve efficiency is not useful and will drive customers away.

about a year ago

What Features Does iOS 7 Need?

m6ack Re: simple (262 comments)

Interesting... Requirement to enable promiscuous printers... I wonder what the detection algorithm would look like... And the multiple attach printing algorithm might be interesting to.

about a year ago

What Features Does iOS 7 Need?

m6ack Improvements & flexibility (262 comments)

1) Need Siri to respond intelligently to time-based queries - "Show me nearby currently open hair salons"

2) Voice Translation in Siri - "English and Korean translation mode. You are so beautiful!"

3) Ability to replace default utilities - i.e. replace safari with Crome.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: With Grants Drying Up, How Is a Tech Non-Profit To Survive?

m6ack The government inteligencia... (178 comments)

Huh??? The idea of grants being served by the "inteligencia in government" -- honestly, it sickens me. What is the inteligence level of a typical person in civil service relative to the typical startup employee or entrepreneur? Oh help me please... I've worked for civil service in the past, and I know the real story.

Honestly, we all know that the "Inteligencia" in government cannot fight out their way out of a paper bag. So, how does it serve the public good for these designers of waste, these perfect jewels of the moric, and even criminaly graphic behaviour, to decide that even one charity deserves funding in the interest of society?

If a tech non-profit cannot sustain itself by garnering public support through donations for it's work in the public interest... dude... it doesn't deserve to survive.

about a year ago

Dao, a New Programming Language Supporting Advanced Features With Small Runtime

m6ack Re:There's a reason nobody talks about it (404 comments)

Perl is only as (un)readable as you make it; if you write readable Perl code, you won't have any problems reading and understanding it 6 months later.

But yeah, you can write unreadable Perl code - but then again, is there any language in which you can't?

I for one am certain I can write unreadable code in Perl better than any other language I know... I am "fully enabled" -- encouragingly so -- in the language for the illegible to the limit that such is inevitable.

about a year ago

FAA On Travel Delays: Get Used To It

m6ack Re:The answer to government rationing is simple - (720 comments)

CanadianMacFan... Your answer really bothers me... because my Mother works in a private non-profit nursing home, and she has told me the rusult of Medicare in her work... You know, I'm _certain_ you know of the insanity in your Canadian system. I've lived in China as an Expat... I know how the socialized system is there... Are you TRULY arguing for a socialist system as being superior.... or are you saying that "you aint seen nothin' yet???"

about a year ago

FAA On Travel Delays: Get Used To It

m6ack Re:The answer to government rationing is simple - (720 comments)

This is is the message of what I am trying to get across, with -- granted -- much less eloquence:

That even "the goal" of a moral society is superior to the decadent bent and inevitable behaviour of socialism.

I have to add to this... I work on productizing cell phone chips. No government agency would work as hard as my org in producing a product (LTE) that is turning out to be so beneficial to so many people's lives. Nobody in government could have predicted the utility of being able to map where they needed to be interactively, or the tremendous utility of being able to query how to defibrilate their friend at the mall in the middle of a heart attack... let alone answer the question of the next evolution of Pikachu to their son.. from their phone, or from a "Siri" equivalent... Such "frivilous" innovation is actually discouraged by active government.

about a year ago

FAA On Travel Delays: Get Used To It

m6ack The answer to government rationing is simple - pri (720 comments)

Don't we realize that the same rationing that is going on in ATC is bound to occur in socialized healthcare? Don't we already realize the atmosphere in our socialized school system is failing to enable our children to compete with both those in other countries and with those educated in less well funded private schools? The solution to government control of the airports is the same as that for healthcare or schools - privatize and deregulate. Make the compulsory arm of society pull back to only doing as little as possible and let people be free to solve the problems that are consistently barriers for the socialist system. It's the right, thrifty and moral thing to do.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Block Noise In a Dorm?

m6ack Acoustic guitar (561 comments)

I've found that voice and interruptive sound can be quite bothersome, but if music is both interesting and acoustic it can have a positive affect... Just the right - balance. Go to & pick out some artists you find intreaguing - you can listen to most on YouTube to try them out. I think you'll be very happy with listening to some acoustic guitar with a nice set of headphones.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How To React To Coworker Who Says My Code Is Bad?

m6ack Maybe your code /does/ suck. (507 comments)

OK, granted the guy is green and full of himself... But perhaps a fresh perspective is not all that bad. We KNOW that a lot of the stuff we have worked on and inherited is absolute crap that is very difficult for average human beings to grasp. Here's a human being trying to come to grips with a wicked mass of old (and, granted, battle-tested) ideas.

You are also right that all of us tend to want to greet a problem by trying to bend it into our will so that no matter if the pin is trapezoidal, it will fit (darn it) into our circular world view. And this goes for the new guy as well... We are aware of it, but this new guy may not be aware of it. Explain to him htat he needs to learn to do this as well. Instead of strict adherance to a dogma, a set of programming patterns grows up around a problem space -- not the other way around. Try to help him see the problem and make sense of it first before he triest to tackle the crap with the "new hotness."

So... give they guy a challange. ell him the abovve, and also help him to understand that the code-base is NOT going to take on a revolutionary overhaul overnight. Tell him he can add his new ideas gradually if the new ideas do any of three things:

1) Reduce the LOC's in the program.
2) Measureably improve performance.
3) Measureably improve the code quality (via new introspection/tracing tools, unit testing or algorithmnic proof of correctness).

about a year and a half ago



Amazon Kindle License & TOU GPL Violation

m6ack m6ack writes  |  more than 2 years ago

m6ack (922653) writes "The Kindle License Agreement and Terms of Use clearly states under 3. Device and Software clearly denies many of its customers' basic rights per it's software, including right to distribution and right to create derivative works from it's Linux based Kindle device. Looks like a pretty blatant GPL violation to me. Have they already lost their license to distribute per the GPL?"


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