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Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

obarel Re:Listen to Sales - as hard as it may be (158 comments)

I guess you only buy bug-free software, then.

But seriously, isn't it better to see what's wrong and ask how the worse-looking risks are mitigated?
I guess the answer is about the general business culture, i.e. whether you're more likely to lose your job when the shit hits the fan if you say "I made an information-based decision and unfortunately the risk materialised" than if you say "I know nuffin'... they said there were no bugs".

Personally I'd get rid of a buyer who gave me the second answer, but I that's just me.

2 days ago
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Why Google Is Pushing For a Web Free of SHA-1

obarel Re:First movers nothing. (108 comments)

There's no point in acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years so you've had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaints and its far too late to start making a fuss about it now.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

obarel Re:What a stupid question (167 comments)

I have a really important question about a piece of string.

about 1 month ago
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The XBMC Project Will Now Be Called Kodi

obarel Re:This naming trend has to stop (188 comments)

Absolutely! That's why Google named their programming language "Go". They clearly know a thing or two about name searching.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Open Hardware/Software-Based Security Token?

obarel Re:Google Authenticator for software tokens (113 comments)

Funny how the link is a Google link. Even when you try to avoid Google, you still have to do it through Google.

about 2 months ago
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Goldman Sachs Demands Google Unsend One of Its E-mails

obarel Re:Reputational Damage (346 comments)

Come on, can't you just let someone be condescending without replying with a perfectly reasonable explanation?
He gets to feel superior, you get to mumble something about idiots and reading comprehension, it's a win-win in my book.

about 3 months ago
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OpenPandora Design Files Released

obarel Re:Why Non-commercial? (65 comments)

But you can't play 8-bit crap from 1984 on a Nntendo DS. Definitely worth the extra $400.

(Don't get me wrong, I was the right age in 1984 to really enjoy that crap. But it's 2014 now and I'm older and wiser).

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Run a Copy-Cat Installation At Home?

obarel Re:Next job? (308 comments)

Symmetric?

about 9 months ago
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Desktop Browser of Choice in 2013?

obarel Re:telnet (381 comments)

Real nerds use HTTPS.

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Request Someone To Send Me a Public Key?

obarel Re: This is why encryption isn't popular (399 comments)

Whether or not you want to trust a card given by the government is one thing.

But if the government actively encourages people to encrypt stuff then there is greater awareness of privacy and encryption. It means that more people understand the concept of private/public keys and are more likely to generate their own keys and use them. They're also no afraid of encryption as a concept (and a question such as "how do I ask for their public key without sounding like a geek" doesn't exist). I think that's a positive thing.

Other countries actively discourage privacy - yes, you can encrypt stuff, but if you don't give us the password then you'll end up in jail and we don't have to prove a thing. And why teach the masses to encrypt? It's so much easier listening to communication in the clear, and we can even perpetuate the notion that if you encrypt your files or communication then you're clearly hiding something and you're probably a dangerous criminal/terrorist/paedophile, because normal people don't use encryption.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Moving From Contract Developers To Hiring One In-House?

obarel Re: Have u thought about.. (524 comments)

I'm wondering about the mainframe comment: does it mean that bug-free software was only ever written for mainframes? Because I'm absolutely 100% convinced that not all the software that runs on mainframes is bug-free, having worked on mainframes. Even IBM COBOL compilers had (have?) bugs, and they must have been tested by thousands of businesses.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Moving From Contract Developers To Hiring One In-House?

obarel Re: Have u thought about.. (524 comments)

The reason is that for software to be perfect it has to be either proven or checked against every possible input.

The first may be possible in some cases, but is very time consuming for anything other than trivial exercises (and almost no one is willing to pay for that).
The second is simply impossible and some "representative subset" must be used for testing. This means that the once-in-a-lifetime case could be missed.

The car analogy doesn't work here.

about a year ago
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Dropcam CEO's Beef With Brogramming and Free Dinners

obarel Re:But...Agile teaches us... (400 comments)

So what happens now with last minute customer requirement changes? I'm really trying to understand this (and hopefully learn from this).
If you have to push them in anyway, then you're still working to crazy deadlines.
And if you don't have to push them in, couldn't you have said "no" before moving to Agile? How did moving to Agile change your relationship with the customer?

about a year and a half ago
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Dropcam CEO's Beef With Brogramming and Free Dinners

obarel Re:But...Agile teaches us... (400 comments)

That's one possibility. Another is that whatever is supposed to be The One True Agile (tm) requires certain pre-conditions that aren't always met.

I could say "don't blame the single-pass waterfall process - if it failed for you, then you're doing it wrong". In some (rare) cases, single-pass waterfall is exactly right - a single programmer implementing a rigid specification (for example writing an H.264 decoder). But that's a pre-condition. It won't always fail and it won't always work, just like "Agile" or any other "methodology".

The truth is that there's no silver bullet. Every set of guidelines also includes a set of conditions (implicit or explicit). For example, most software development processes assume that the programmers involved are not all back-stabbing psychos. But even that's not always the case. Blaming reality for the failure of a process is the wrong way around.

about a year and a half ago
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Dropcam CEO's Beef With Brogramming and Free Dinners

obarel Re:But...Agile teaches us... (400 comments)

The one consistent thing about Agile: "you're doing it wrong". I have never seen a different answer to any complaint about Agile.

about a year and a half ago
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LinkedIn Invites Gone Wild: How To Keep Close With Exes and Strangers

obarel Re:People are using the address book feature (164 comments)

I'm pretty sure you're right.

I hardly pay attention to most of what I read online, especially when I'm on LinkedIn (I'm trying not to look at adverts, so I miss the content as well).

I found myself once entering my LinkedIn password into some "password" input box, which, as I wasn't paying much attention, I thought was LinkedIn's "your session has expired". However, it rejected the password, which made me look again. I was entering my password into the "we've got your email address, now just give us the password" box. As I have different passwords for different things, no problem. But I'm sure that some people use the same password for everything, and suddenly LinkedIn sends an email to every contact on their gmail account.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Are the E-Ink Dashboards?

obarel Re:Led (242 comments)

Yes, I vaguely remember a time when "screensaver" wasn't an official synonym for "a zombie-making, disk encrypting, key logging trojan".

about a year and a half ago
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How Do You Detect Cheating In Chess? Watch the Computer

obarel Re:Simply put.. (328 comments)

What does it even mean? NP is the class of problems that can be decided using a non-deterministic Turing machine in polynomial time.
"Polynomial time" refers to the class of algorithms that run in O(n^c) where c is a constant.
The "n" in O(n^c) refers to the size of the input. Big-O notation is only meaningful when talking about asymptotic behaviour (as n approaches infinity).

But chess is a given, specific problem, where n=8 (let's say), and there is no asymptotic behaviour anywhere. N is always the same - it's a specific problem, with a specific input size. So talking about NP in relation to chess is simply meaningless. It's only relevant to chess on an NxN board, but who plays THAT? (and more importantly, how many computer programs play NxN chess? What are the rules? How many bishops are there on the NxN board?)

about a year and a half ago
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Why Do Entrepreneurs Innovate Better Than Managers?

obarel Re:Obvious (134 comments)

It's easier to answer "why didn't you do <the right thing>?" than "why did you do <the wrong thing>?". In most cases, "we didn't have enough information at the time" is good enough for the former, whereas it takes a lot more effort to explain the latter.

An entrepreneur only has to answer "where's my money?" (if s/he's playing with someone else's money), but doesn't have to justify each and every decision.

about a year and a half ago

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