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Half Life of a Tech Worker: 15 Years

negatonium Re:This was figured out long ago (473 comments)

I've got news for you. Most people's politics is a thing of convenience otherwise our election results would mirror the membership in our political parties and elections would never hinge on "independent voters".

more than 2 years ago

Half Life of a Tech Worker: 15 Years

negatonium This was figured out long ago (473 comments)

Life gets tough for older workers. How is this news? I might be against the ./ "by your own boot-straps" group-think but it makes you reconsider why things like unions, unemployment insurance, pensions and other such were invented in the first place. It's all well and good to be a laissez faire libertarian when the "future is bright". I've been there. But it's quite another thing when life, health and age inject reality into the situation.

more than 2 years ago

Doctor Who To Become Hollywood Feature Film

negatonium No Worries. (357 comments)

No worries. If he makes a mess of it we can always go back and kill his grandfather..... What was that? Is that you Adric?

more than 2 years ago

Doctor Who To Become Hollywood Feature Film

negatonium I totally agree (357 comments)

Doctor Who has passed into the realm of Modern Mythology now. Just like Dracula, Superman, and Star Trek has now become part of our "mythology". These characters and stories may take a rest from time to time but there will always be someone to come along and retell/re-imagine/re-work them. Doctor Who is just too fertile a ground for good stories to leave too long. Heck, we are still getting milage from Sinbad, Hercules, and Atlantis! The theatrical Who movies of the '60s didn't kill a much younger series... no worries here.

more than 2 years ago

Solaris 11 Released

negatonium What's that? (224 comments)

Solaris? Wasn't that a lame sci-fi movie with George Clooney? It's a Unix-based OS from Oracle you say? Humm, never heard of it....

more than 2 years ago

Bionic Body Parts For the Disabled

negatonium Memo (25 comments)


TO: Director OSI
CC: Dr Rudy Wells

Due to the ever increasing price of healthcare, the cost of the "Bionic Man" project is expected to exceed our projected amount.
Congress has refused to extend our budget
Please inform Colonel Austin that he will now instead be fitted with a bionic big toe and a pair of sunglasses

more than 3 years ago

Low Quality Alloy Cause of Shuttle Main Tank Issue

negatonium Re:I guess I'm an optimist... (118 comments)

Makes you wonder if NASA was on to something in the '70s when they didn't fly the last 3 end of the run Saturn V models.

more than 3 years ago

NASA Announces Discovery of 30-Year-Old Black Hole

negatonium Old News (195 comments)

Not to be pedantic but if the star is 50 million light years away then the "new" black hole is really 50,000,030 years old. Not exactly "news".

more than 3 years ago

iPhone Jailbreak Modified Into CC Sniffing Malware

negatonium Sick and tired of these "blackhats" (120 comments)

I'm getting sick and tired of these "blackhat" conferences and their endless phallus measuring contests.

I really am all for free speech but these folks have potentially dangerous information and need to act _responsibly_ with it. Many of us here realized that the web based jailbreak could be refactored into a driveby exploit but we didn't do it -- much less do it and brag about it. This "revelation" doesn't in any way enlighten the community. It's only a "mine is bigger" statement for the self aggrandizing "haxor".

This kind of Dangerous Knowledge is nothing new. What if John (Captain Crunch) Daper had had a conference for phone-freakers and released press statements? No different. If these folks want to have what they think of as "security" conferences then protect the content shared there with an NDA and strict fines for breaking it.

These folks think of themselves as "experts" but they are really nothing more than juvenile delinquents -- regardless of their ages.

more than 3 years ago

Simple Virus For Teaching?

negatonium Safer approach (366 comments)

This might be a bit safer way to go: Antivirus software is sometimes tricked with false positives. I don't know what virus scanner you have on your lab machines but you can do a web search and find legitimate, harmless software that will trigger a false alert for whatever you have. Download one of those and use that to demonstrate to your students.

I assume since you say its a 101 class that by "remove by hand" you mean by using an anti-virus program and not hacking the registry. If so, then a harmless program will work as well as a true virus/worm.

I use McAfee and it alerts on a CD eject task bar tool I once had. It thinks it is a trojan joke program (I guess to make you think your CD drive is busted). That would make a fine demonstration and a good example of don't blindly download every "cool" program you see on the 'net.

more than 3 years ago

Microsoft Rumored To Buy Second Life

negatonium See what happens! (223 comments)

See this is what happens when you tell some guys with billions of dollars to "go get a life"..... I know it sounds like a crazy scheme but then they laughed at Microsoft Bob too... Uh, wait....

more than 3 years ago

Supreme Court May Tune In To Music Download Case

negatonium Re:FYI: The relevant section of copyright law (339 comments)

Stop it! You're giving them ideas! Courts have in the past ruled that as few as three notes are copyrightable. Throw in some Hollywood math and we could well see one inadvertently whistled tune worth more in damages than the entire GNP of the combined western hemisphere.

more than 3 years ago

HDCP Master Key Is Legitimate; Blu-ray Is Cracked

negatonium Re:Weve seen that argument before (1066 comments)

Since copyright is instant and automatic the amount of "work" required to produce it has no bearing at all -- a 4 line limerick gets as much protection as a 20 volume encyclopedia. Besides the US courts long ago rejected the "sweat of the brow" argument. The distinction between a recipe and a program is completely arbitrary and has more to do with the fact that recipes predate copyright law while software came after. Suppose I made a very advanced "fry-bot" (like McDonalds uses) that could peel the potatoes, slice them, season them, deep fry them for exactly the right amount of time, and then serve them in little cups. Would the program driving all this activity deserve a copyright? But really haven't I just taken a recipe and turned it into a computer program? If I write a recipe in C++ notation does it suddenly become copyrightable? This is just another rehash of the "on the internet" trope that is so often pilloried here. Copyright law is still in the 18th century while the culture is not.

about 4 years ago

Russian ASCII Art Animated Cat From 1968

negatonium ASCII? (125 comments)

Since ASCII stands for "American" Standard Code for Information Interchange I think the Soviets who created this might be offended.

more than 4 years ago

Company Trains the Autistic To Test Software

negatonium How far does this go? (419 comments)

And the deaf might be good at watching surveillance camera video... And those height-challenged might be good in tight spaces.... And those uterus-enabled might be.... well you get the picture. I guess we all "sell" what we are good at but those doing the buying should be careful of enabling exploitation.

more than 4 years ago

AT&T Moves Closer To Usage-Based Fees For Data

negatonium Re:Time Machine (441 comments)

If you subscribe to cable or satellite TV then you are paying to be advertised to. Every minute there is a commercial on your screen is a minute of service you are paying for that someone else is using for his gain.

more than 4 years ago

Martian Methane May Be Created By Lifeforms

negatonium Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (297 comments)

Here's an interview with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, where he concludes that Life is the most likely and simplest explanation for all the methane on Mars. Surprising to hear a very mainstream scientist say so and so openly.

more than 4 years ago

The Perl 6 Advent Calendar

negatonium Coming of the (perl) Messiah (160 comments)

Waiting for Perl 6 seems a lot like waiting for the Messiah to arrive. And even when (if) it happens there'll be some people saying "Nope. Not the right one... Keep looking...."

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Pushes For Single Global Patent System

negatonium One world government (495 comments)

No joke, I see the the inevitable end of all this is that the world will be dragged kicking and screaming to an eventual worldwide government. Nobody is going to like it. The masses will fear loosing their voice but will accept it because it will be the only way to have a chance at reining in these huge multi-national behemoths. The corporations will fear being out muscled by an entity even larger than they but will acquiesce because, as in this story, they will see it as the only way to keep from bleeding from a thousand cuts.

about 5 years ago



Trust in your sys admins

negatonium negatonium writes  |  more than 5 years ago

negatonium (1103503) writes "I work at an institution employing about 10,000 people. Recently our IT security team have begun proposing that all system administrators and tech support help would need to be fingerprinted before being allowed to change user passwords on systems that they tend. Have any of you heard of such a requirement before? I cannot fathom how this would actually make the users' data safer but this is also the same team that tried to make all IT folks sign a document accepting full personal liability in the event of a data breach and to agree to compensate the institution for any loss resulting from a data breach on the IT person's watch. Are these guys coming from another planet or has IT become that CYA in recent years?"


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