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Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr Released

Jody Bruchon Re:Code names (172 comments)

Someone please mod this up to +5 Funny. I lol'd.

2 days ago
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Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

Jody Bruchon Re:WTF?? (790 comments)

I don't understand how ANYTHING should constitute wiretapping when there is no wire to tap.

3 days ago
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52 Million Photos In FBI's Face Recognition Database By Next Year

Jody Bruchon Re:Falsely accused (108 comments)

People also don't seem to remember that background checks don't catch high-risk people, particularly the ones that have never been caught or are risky due to behavior and attitude rather than past actions. They deny jobs to people who have strong incentives to walk the straight and narrow path while giving management a false sense of security about the big red unknowns. They way they are used assumes past transgressions (even if only a single one exists) are a guaranteed predictor of future actions, which would only be true if humans never, ever changed and learned and grew.

The thief with a squeaky clean record is a bigger danger than the guy with one trial for larceny; "squeaky" looks like he's a model employee, while "tainted" faces much harsher punishment if convicted of another crime plus the destruction of the rebuilt life he's working on, which is hard enough because even renting a house in the middle of nowhere tends to require "background checks" that ultimately deny him basic needs such as housing. Inability to rebuild a stable life opens the door to commission of crime, in many cases just to survive. Sadly, America has a punishment and revenge fetish, and until that changes there will be nothing done to solve these problems.

3 days ago
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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

Jody Bruchon Re:Please automate accounting more! (416 comments)

Looking for links to the Sage 50 (formerly Peachtree) SDK turned up this link with a few different leads. Agree with what you've said about the focus on a ridiculous upgrade treadmill. One of my clients continues to use QB Pro 2000 to this day.

3 days ago
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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

Jody Bruchon Re:Please automate accounting more! (416 comments)

I'm interested in this and would like to hear more about it. G+ link in title.

4 days ago
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Jody Bruchon Re:Pocket change (630 comments)

*dodge* Oh shit, I almost got hit by facts! Whew. (seriously though, great perspective illustration.)

4 days ago
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Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi

Jody Bruchon Re:old tech (165 comments)

Fast Hack'Em was a truly awesome program (well, technically it was a suite of programs). I almost forgot about it; it's really been a while.

4 days ago
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First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

Jody Bruchon Re:Useless (184 comments)

Parking lights are surprisingly bright too. Someone I know hit a deer that took out both headlights on a back country road, but the parking lights were still working. They drove home just fine on hazard blinkers.

5 days ago
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The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

Jody Bruchon Re:I'm disapointed in people (689 comments)

The problem comes when UI becomes UX. It's not about the discoverability, consistency, and relative ease of use anymore, it's all about bullshit like "minimalist design" (which is the absolute opposite of how a program that has hundreds of possible functions should be set up) and "ease of use" where the person designing the stuff thinks "ease" comes from hiding all the controls, lowering contrast between UI elements, throwing out menu bars, requiring complex "gestures" to perform simple tasks, and shrinking or eliminating hints that allow discovery of the now-hidden functionality

This is what happens when catering to the lowest common denominator and trying to make a name for yourself by rewriting what has worked fantastically for decades become acceptable and common in society. UX "design" is the Common Core Math of UI design. When I see GNOME 3, I see "subtraction sentences."

5 days ago
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The Case For a Safer Smartphone

Jody Bruchon Re:Fix: Hardware keyboards + no laws against texti (184 comments)

"Your solution is personalized to your experience, and all of your conclusions are based on your knowledge and behavior."

Uh, no kidding. Do you expect me to produce peer-reviewed studies or something? Do you think that my experience is invalid? Do you expect me to conduct extensive research before posting a Slashdot comment? Am I supposed to be able to know everyone else's sum total of life experience and relative skill levels before I'm allowed to post some thoughts to encourage more constructive feedback than "hurr durr fucking idiots should stop texting and driving"?

What's your solution to the problem? Remember that since you've implied that "conclusions based on personal experience, knowledge, and behavior" are automatically insufficient, you'll need to present a much more significant chunk of information to back it up than your own personal experience, knowledge, and behavior.

You have contributed nothing to this discussion other than berating me and making a straw man argument about 16-year-olds, and I don't see how your post is in any way productive.

Not sure if trolling...or just lazy

about a week ago
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The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

Jody Bruchon systemd hard dependency (689 comments)

Fuck 'em. They made the desktop environment require the monstrosity that is systemd, so I don't care if they go away entirely. GNOME was decent in the 2 series, though still never managed to not be buggy; when they moved to 3, everything went downhill HARD. Terrible UI changes that almost no one wanted, and then forcing systemd as a required dependency.

You did it to yourselves. Go become irrelevant. Viva la Fluxbox!

about a week ago
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The Case For a Safer Smartphone

Jody Bruchon Fix: Hardware keyboards + no laws against texting (184 comments)

When I had a T-Mobile G1 phone with the lovely five-row hardware keyboard AND prior to "no texting and driving" laws going into place, I could cruise down a highway with low to moderate traffic, texting away for the entire ride, and still watch everything going on around me. I did this regularly. I could see every brake light and every erratic movement. I could also easily drop my phone and jerk the wheel if someone nearby got way too unstable. I'd hold the phone at the top of the wheel with both hands on the wheel and the phone at the same time, and my field of view included both the tiny phone screen and the massive windshield.

Hardware keyboards made this relatively safe, as I could type text very accurately without looking except to check periodically. No five-second distractions. On-screen keyboards ruined this; now I have to deal with an inaccurate touchscreen and pray that my auto-correction works properly (and that I didn't hit a letter that auto-corrected to the wrong word!) Texting while driving became a traffic ticket, on top of the demise of the hardware keyboard. Now I can't text at all; it's not safe because I'd have to hide it and on-screen keyboards are difficult to use without a great deal of focus.

People don't stop texting while driving when it's illegal. They get smart and do the texting well out of view of an officer, which means you have the long distraction of on-screen keyboards and looking far away from your driving environment to read and write combined. The perfect storm of texting while driving, and it's the drive for thin phones and banning texting while driving that caused it. Then cops do this shit which illustrates the utter ridiculousness of the situation. If you have to buy big pimpin' SUVs to catch people texting while driving, maybe you should consider whether you're attacking the root of the problem or just one of the symptoms.

You can't stop people from texting while driving, so my solution is as follows. Drivers would need to not text when in heavy traffic or poor weather, which I think is really stupid in the first place and should be common sense. Phones need to return to slide-out 4-5 row hardware keyboards which allow the typing to happen without requiring concentration on it. Texting while driving should be made legal as long as it happens in such a way that the driver's eyes are still within the general "windshield field of view" while doing it, which means hands would have to be on the wheel and peripheral vision would be doing its job.

This would be the safest combination. You will never stop people from texting while driving. Punishment is not a deterrent. No one thinks they're going to get in trouble for minor shit like this until they actually do; why not greatly reduce the risk involved instead of increasing it with laws that ban it? Then again, they still haven't understood this concept about marijuana and other currently illegal drugs, so I suppose we should expect no less.

about a week ago
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Linux 3.15 Will Suspend & Resume Much Faster

Jody Bruchon Re:Coupled with systemd and LinuxBios (117 comments)

Modern UEFI BIOS implementations, even when booted to CSM mode, tend to spend an extremely short amount of time doing work pre-boot. The BIOS slowness was mostly due to heaps of unnecessary memory tests and diagnostics anyway. Once those stop happening, there's not much time spent getting ready for booting at all. Windows 7 on my Windows 8-shipped laptop with an SSD comes up to a ready-to-go desktop in less than 10 seconds from power on. The BIOS speed obstacle is largely solved on new machines.

about a week ago
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Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

Jody Bruchon Re:Not malicious but not honest? (445 comments)

If SSL was tightly regulated, free SSL stacks wouldn't be provided anymore; also, government control over the encryption available to the public is always a bad thing.

about a week ago
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Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

Jody Bruchon Re:Not malicious but not honest? (445 comments)

You're asking me to defend an analogy that is intentionally based on the flawed premises in its parent post; I don't see how that would be helpful.

about a week ago
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Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

Jody Bruchon Re:Not malicious but not honest? (445 comments)

OpenSSL is offered with no warranty, is completely free of charge, and numerous alternatives (free and proprietary) exist. The programmers are not responsible for what other people ultimately do with the source code they offer. There is no way to hold the OpenSSL programmers responsible for this. The person deploying the actual library into production use would be the one that is ultimately responsible.

about a week ago
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Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

Jody Bruchon Re:Not malicious but not honest? (445 comments)

Using your analogy, free software like OpenSSL would be under the "good samaritan" laws. If someone attempts to sew you up in the field to stop bleeding but the stitches fail and you bleed out and die anyway, that person wouldn't be held responsible for killing you since they were attempting to help you as best as they could and you'd have died otherwise. If you don't use a SSL stack, you have no encryption. OpenSSL programmers are good samaritans, but OpenSSL is not offered with any guarantee that it will be useful, you don't have to use it (there are many cipher suites), and since it's open, the user can audit it for themselves. One could argue, "why didn't the millions of users of the code audit the code before using it? When do we hold our hosting providers and banks responsible?"

A doctor performing surgery or an engineer designing a manufacturing machine (both at significant expense to the customer) are quite different from using something you got completely for free with full design schematics an upfront "there is no guarantee that this will work but we hope you find it useful" warning and that free thing leaking its contents for some reason.

about a week ago
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Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

Jody Bruchon Re:Not malicious but not honest? (445 comments)

In retrospect these bugs look so simple and stupid to casual observers, but programmers know that simplistic hindsight shoulda-woulda-coulda analysis such as "oh, it only needed a simple bounds check!" and "you should have removed that goto line while you were working on that code!" only shows a gross lack of understanding of what real-world programming is like. It's easy to forget a simple bounds check; hell, it's a miracle a programmer gets anything done at all with all of the variables and structs and malloc() calls and pointers that have to be memorized. I recently wrote the code for adding undo support for BusyBox vi, and I can tell you firsthand that what seems like a simple thing (store changes, undo them) is a complicated and frustrating process once you start in on it. Even after I made simple undo actions work, the challenges compounded when I added the "intermediate queuing" enhancement to lower the otherwise insane malloc() overhead and improve the overall behavior of my "simplest thing that could possibly work" code.

The process of dissolving a big problem into low-level steps as is required by C programming is mentally brutal. You can't just go "I want to save the text that was deleted and restore it when they hit the undo key." You have to translate that into variables, pointers, structs, mallocs, and glue logic. You have to take into account every corner case; how do you undo multiple lines of pasted text instead of single characters? How do you store undo information a paste-over operation, where you must keep a record of what was deleted but also record that it overwrites a (possibly different length) chunk of the text buffer? How do you store the undo data for find-and-replace operations? Now that you've managed to figure out ways to store all these different types of text editing operations for undoing, how do you actually undo each one? Where does all this stuff need to hook into the existing program, and how will you hook it in without breaking existing functionality?

It's so easy to forget trivially simple things when you're trying to flow your mind through that complex glue logic that makes the magic happen, especially when you make a change, it appears to work, and you have no way to test for the bug you created by accidental error or omission.

about a week ago

Submissions

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EPA makes most wood stoves illegal

Jody Bruchon Jody Bruchon writes  |  about 5 months ago

Jody Bruchon (3404363) writes "The Environment Protection Agency has lowered the amount of fine-particle matter per cubic meter that new wood stoves are allowed to release into the atmosphere by 20%. Most wood stoves in use today are of the type that is now illegal to manufacture or sell, and old stoves traded in for credit towards new ones must be scrapped out. This shouldn't be much of a surprise since more and more local governments are banning wood-burning stoves and fireplaces entirely, citing smog and air pollution concerns."

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