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Comments

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Microsoft Releases Replacement Patch With Two Known Bugs

phantomfive Re:Oh microsoft (118 comments)

There is no accountability.

That's not important. Really.

2 hours ago
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Software Error Caused Soyuz/Galileo Failure

phantomfive Re:Testing is not verification. (147 comments)

Bridges aren't designed and tested by "trial & error"--if they were then half of them would fall down within a few weeks. Neither are buildings or pacemakers or computer chips.

Should we also assume that rockets are programmed with the same careful methods you (conveniently) omitted?

Rockets are known to never fail, after all.

5 hours ago
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Software Error Caused Soyuz/Galileo Failure

phantomfive Re:"Programmers" shouldn't write critical software (147 comments)

but they already have a far better safety record than the average human driver.

I want you to realize that the only source we have for this is Google. It's not from a scientific journal, or an independent research team, or an auditor, it is from the same people who want you to eventually buy their product.

Furthermore, I want you to realize that the Google team is very careful in what information they reveal. All the information they present is shaped in a way that makes them look good, and to increase demand for the car. Now, maybe they've built the perfect driverless car, and it somehow got off the ground running with a near-perfect driver record, but the information they've given us isn't enough to determine that.

5 hours ago
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Microsoft Releases Replacement Patch With Two Known Bugs

phantomfive Re:Oh microsoft (118 comments)

I've written enterprise software, used by large banks and other corporations. Our software was so bad, I couldn't understand how it would help anyone, I'm sure the people who used it were slowed down by the process.

Finally I realized they did get one thing from it: accountability. If you've never been there, it's hard to understand how corporations are shaped by SOX compliance, and general accounting problems. If a $2000 purchase disappears at a startup, it's a minor problem. But at a large company, accountants will be looking for weeks to find what happened to it.

Those are the kinds of issues large companies deal with, and removing the accountability of the decision making process (of figuring out what software to use) and giving it to Microsoft is a real service for them. This is the same reason people use RedHat, even though RedHat gives their software away for free. It is one of those things that makes no sense to you until you've worked in that kind of environment.

6 hours ago
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Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

phantomfive Re:Biased (200 comments)

It's perfectly possible to mathematically model, 100% correctly, a universe where the sun revolves around the earth.

yesterday
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Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

phantomfive Re:Biased (200 comments)

Does the sun go around the earth or does the earth go around the sun?

That's a tough question.

yesterday
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Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

phantomfive Re:Could have fooled me (200 comments)

No kidding. One of the scariest quotes of the article: "42 per cent of Canadians are able to read and understand newspaper stories detailing scientific findings."

The scary part is Canada is ahead of everyone else on that stat. Newspaper stories are not exactly deep in scientific detail and hard-to-understand words.

yesterday
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Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

phantomfive Re:Angry mob vs Professional victim. (1169 comments)

>liar and an attention seeker aka "every human being ever"

You just don't hear about the humans who aren't attention seekers, because......they aren't seeking attention. I think this is somewhat obvious?

yesterday
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Research Shows RISC vs. CISC Doesn't Matter

phantomfive Re:Final nail in the Itanium coffin (154 comments)

As the years have gone by, the x86 decode overhead has been dwarfed by the overhead of other units like functional units, reorder buffers, branch prediction, caches etc. The years have been kind to x86, making the x86 overhead appear like noise in performance. Just an extra stage in an already long pipeline.

And all that long pipeline takes power to run (recently this argument comes up in discussions of mobile devices more than in the server room, because battery life is hugely important, and ARM in the serverroom is still a joke). ARM chips sometimes don't even have cache, let alone reorder buffers, and branch prediction. When you remove all that stuff, the ISA becomes more important in terms of power consumption.

Of course, as someone else pointed out, they were comparing 90nm chips to 32nm and 45nm. Why that is a problem will be left as an exercise for the reader.

yesterday
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How Red Hat Can Recapture Developer Interest

phantomfive Re:Mission Critical ... Red Hat... LOL.. (231 comments)

I started on RedHat, because it was the major distro at the time. Then because of the controversial RHEL/Fedora split, I switched to Slackware. The RHEL/Fedora split was a non-issue, but once I tried Slackware, I realized it was so much better, I never went back to Redhat.

My friend went to Gentoo around the same time. He never wanted to go back to Redhat either, for similar reasons.

2 days ago
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Project Zero Exploits 'Unexploitable' Glibc Bug

phantomfive Re:effort, priority and severity. (97 comments)

I know how to engineer complex things. I looked at the eventual fix, and it should have been done long ago.

Furthermore, if regression tests are important (and they are), they need a suite of automated tests so those things aren't all being done manually.

Finally, it's not like the glibc team traditionally avoids breaking things.

2 days ago
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Project Zero Exploits 'Unexploitable' Glibc Bug

phantomfive Re: microsofties here is your chance to party (97 comments)

It's an oldschool attitude to not touch things, from back in the day where software was so flaky that chances were someone had already 'exploited' the bug to do something non-malicious.

Ah, that actually makes sense, good analysis.

. It's pretty obvious from the description what the bug is, so saying you aren't going to fix it is, as you say, pure laziness.

This sort of thing worries me about glibc, and the attitude that 'bugs are no big deal' is a dangerous one that is infecting software developers all over.

2 days ago
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Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

phantomfive Re:Illegal (181 comments)

If it happened to a Judge - it is a legal term.

lol let your mind go and imagine how many terms become legal terms by that definition. "She ______ on the Judges' _____ in his ____"

2 days ago
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Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

phantomfive Re:Illegal (181 comments)

As with many things, some regulations are good, and some are bad (if that idea gives you problems, then you need to reconsider your life).

With taxis, we can clearly see two kinds of regulation:
1) Regulations that make customers (and drivers) safer and less likely to be ripped off.
2) Regulations that are designed to limit competition.

Obviously, we want to keep the first type of regulation, because they achieve good results. We want to reduce the second type, because they drive prices up for everyone and reduce quality.

2 days ago
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Project Zero Exploits 'Unexploitable' Glibc Bug

phantomfive Re: microsofties here is your chance to party (97 comments)

The word you're looking for is 'skeptical', and then they went and fixed it when they were proven wrong. This is actually the opposite of arrogant.

They should have fixed the bug as soon as they realized it was there, and not waited until someone proved it was an especially bad bug.

2 days ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

phantomfive Re:Nope (507 comments)

'adb shell cat /proc/cpuinfo' will give you lots of info about the cpu, one of the features being listed there as JAVA

3 days ago
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Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

phantomfive Re:I'm really not buying it (128 comments)

For most species, childhood is all risk, no benefit (where benefit = breeding)

Unless the benefit is that the older generation can live longer, and gain more wisdom, before the younger kids become......teenagers.

That is, the race would benefit from the greater wisdom of older folks, not individuals.

3 days ago
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It's Dumb To Tell Kids They're Smart

phantomfive Re:Definition of Irony (243 comments)

the OP has a valid point too... schoolyard social stigma against "brainy" kids can cause them to hide their intelligence or not use it.

This is true, but my post was aimed at the OP, who still seems to be having trouble even though he is an adult.

3 days ago
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Ross Ulbricht Faces New Drug Charges

phantomfive Re:TOR (102 comments)

It's fine to support Obama, but to come up with that particular twisted viewpoint, a person would need to expect Obama to agree with him on everything.

Not only is the president still capable of vetoing bills, but it was passed with a bipartisan effort, and the administration has defended it in court.

3 days ago
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Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

phantomfive Re:Display server (807 comments)

As long as xterm & the web browser are running on Wayland, nobody will complain.

And X-forwarding.

X.org has became such a mess itself (compared to the old XFree86) so anything smaller, simpler, faster and 100% compatible is welcome.

Makes you feel good that the same people who messed up X.org are building Wayland, doesn't it?

3 days ago

Submissions

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Poll Finds San Francisco Voters Favor Tech Buses

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about 5 months ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "A recent poll to test SF opinions on the tech buses finds that most have a favorable view. 79% of those polled said that the tech industry has helped the city, and 67% said the shuttles should be able to use the MUNI stops.

Cynthia Crews from the League of Pissed-Off Voters disagreed, saying, " “[it was] paid for by tech companies""

Link to Original Source
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Why is US Broadband so Slow?

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about 6 months ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Verizon has said they will not be digging new lines any time soon. Time-Warner's cash flow goes towards paying down debt, not laying down fiber. AT&T is doing everything they can to slow deployment of Google fiber.
How can the situation be improved? Mainly by expediting right-of-way access, permits, and inspections, according to Andy Kessler. That is how Google was able to afford to lay down fiber in Austin, and how VTel was able to do it in Vermont (gigabit connections for $35 a month)."
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Why Whistleblowers Cannot Get a Fair Trial

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about 7 months ago

phantomfive (622387) writes ""Seven whistleblowers have been prosecuted under the Obama administration," writes Jesselyn Radack, a lawyer who advised two of them. She explains why they can't get a fair trial. In the Thomas Drake case, the administration retroactively marked documents as classified, saying, "he knew they should have been classified." In the Bradley Manning case, the jury wasn't allowed to see what information was leaked. The defendants, all who have been charged with espionage, have limited access to court documents. Most of these problems happen because the law was written to deal with traitorous spies, not whistleblowers."
Link to Original Source
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Congress Becomes Aware of Patent Trolls

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about a year ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Congressman Charles Schumer has written a piece decrying the evils of patent trolls. "Because of the high cost of patent litigation—the average litigation defense costs a small or midsize company $1.75 million—it is often marginally cheaper for a defendant to pay up front to make the case go away. The average settlement for the same group of companies is $1.33 million....Patent trolls cost U.S. companies $29 billion in 2011 alone."
His solution? Make it easier for low quality patents to be re-examined and rejected by the patent office."
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Google Maps Used to Find Tax Cheats

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about a year ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Some countries are worried about the privacy implications of Google Maps, but Lithuania is using them to find tax cheats. "Two recent cases netted $130,000 in taxes and penalties after investigators found houses photographed by Google that weren't on official maps....'We were very impressed,' said Modestas Kaseliauskas, head of the State Tax Authority. 'We realized that we could do more with less and in shorter time." The people of Lithuania don't seem to mind. "Authorities have been aided by the local populace. 'We received even more support than we expected,' said Mr. Kaseliauskas, the chief tax inspector.""
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Hacking the Android VM by Facebook

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about a year and a half ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Facebook's new Android App literally modifies the Dalvik VM runtime while it's running.
They found this necessary because the Dalvik machine has a hard-coded limit on the number of methods that can be loaded in a process at one time, so they used JNI to modify to increase this hard-coded limit at runtime.

Is this a horrible programming technique from Facebook, or is it a workaround for a poorly-designed runtime?"

Link to Original Source
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Former TSA Administrator Speaks

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 2 years ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Former TSA head Kip Hawley talks about the TSA: "it's simply no longer the case that killing a few people on board a plane could lead to a hijacking. Never again will a terrorist be able to breach the cockpit simply with a box cutter or a knife. The cockpit doors have been reinforced, and passengers, flight crews and air marshals would intervene.

I wanted to reduce the amount of time that officers spent searching for low-risk objects, but politics intervened at every turn. Lighters were untouchable, having been banned by an act of Congress. And despite the radically reduced risk that knives and box cutters presented in the post-9/11 world, allowing them back on board was considered too emotionally charged for the American public."

Link to Original Source
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Global Warming Scientist Slamdown

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 2 years ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Earlier 16 scientists said anthropogenic global warming is not something to worry about. This generated some rebuttals, "Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work."
Now the 16 are hitting back. "We urge readers not to depend on pompous academy pronouncements—on what we say....everyone should look at certain stubborn facts that don't fit the theory espoused in the Trenberth letter.""

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft Wants Your Information

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about 4 years ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "The company everyone loves to hate is after your private information, as the Wall Street Journal reports. The IE8 design team had planned on adding the best privacy features available, but the advertising executives wanted to track users. From the story, "In the end, the product planners lost a key part of the debate. The winners: executives who argued that giving automatic privacy to consumers would make it tougher for Microsoft to profit from selling online ads. Microsoft built its browser so that users must deliberately turn on privacy settings every time they start up the software.""
Link to Original Source
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GoDaddy Follows Google's Lead

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 4 years ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "GoDaddy has announced they will no longer register domain names in China, in response to new requirements that each registrant be photographed, and their business ID number be submitted. GoDaddy's representative said, "The intent of the procedures appeared, to us, to be based on a desire by the Chinese authorities to exercise increased control over the subject matter of domain name registrations by Chinese nationals." Is it possible that GoDaddy has any ethics at all?"
Link to Original Source
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Prize for Finding Unintended Acceleration Cause

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 4 years ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Edmunds Auto has offered a $1million prize to anyone who can find the cause of unintended acceleration. As Wikipedia covers, this is a problem that has plagued not only Toyota, but also Audi and other manufacturers. Consumer Reports has some suggestions all automakers can implement to solve this problem, including requiring breaks to be strong enough to stop the car even when the accelerator is floored."
Link to Original Source
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New Type of Cloud Discovered

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 4 years ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "In Iowa and Scotland there are reports of a type of cloud not yet recognized by the World Meteorological Foundation. It seems the cloud does not match any of the clouds in the International Cloud Atlas, and thus there is a campaign underway to have it included. Some have said the clouds look like armageddon has arrived. For me, writing clouds all these times makes me want to eat cotton candy."
Link to Original Source
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3 charges against Terry Childs dropped

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about 5 years ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Terry Childs, who was arrested nearly a year ago for refusing to turn over the passwords to the San Francisco's FiberWAN network has been cleared for three of the four charges against him. The charges that were dropped referred to the attachment of modems to the network. The remaining charge is for refusing to turn over the password. The prosecutor has vowed to appeal, to have the charges reinstated. We have the original story, and the story where Childs tells his side, for those who want a refresher."
Link to Original Source
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Redhat now part of S&P 500

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 5 years ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Redhat has made it onto the S&P 500, an important measure of the stock market. It is replacing CIT, which is expected to go bankrupt after the government refused to bail them out. Redhat is the first Linux company to make it on to the S&P500. While this means little directly for the company, it is an indication of the importance Linux is taking on in the world."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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World Peace is Easy

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 4 years ago

World peace is an unusually simple problem: it's entirely a marketing problem. We don't even have to get people to buy anything, all we have to do is get them to want it. The marketing is the whole problem. Once everyone wants it, then the problem is solved because no one will fight anymore. It really is that easy.

In talking to people, I have observed three broad 'market segments' that need to be addressed, three types of people. Maybe there are more, but this is what I have found so far:

1) Those who think that humans are violent by nature, and thus war is inevitable. These are believers in the 'killer ape' theory or perhaps they've just seen too much violence in their lives. Fortunately men are not violent by nature, the 'killer ape' theory is discredited, and in any case we are capable of choosing our destinies.

2) The second group are those who would stop fighting, but the 'other guys' won't stop. These are most Americans. They didn't want to attack Afghanistan originally, but the Afghanis struck first, so what choice was there? These people happily would support peace if they saw it as a viable possibility. Fortunately, peace is viable because it is the most profitable solution, we just need to help the world see that. The more people start supporting peace, the more this group will become convinced that peace is possible.

3) The third group is the most difficult group, because they actually have something to gain from war. In this category was Slobodan Milosevic, who wanted to consolidate power in his country, or warriors on the edge of the Sahara who want to take others' land for their own cattle. Some people fight because it is exciting, they like the thrill. These people need to see that there is a better way, and that their children will want to live in peace, and sometimes compromise is worth it. Anyone who has loved has learned the value of compromise. These people can too.

Try to talk to everyone you can about world peace, because word of mouth is the best type of marketing.

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Religion is falsifiable

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 5 years ago

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1301347&cid=28687519

Religions are falsifiable (science is the un-falsifiable thing: it is a tool, not a proposition. How do you falsify a hammer? How do you falsify science?). Any decent religious system has ideas of the type, if you do X, then Y will happen. Let's investigate a bit, and see what some religions say:

Buddhism: if you follow the eight-fold path, your suffering will end. Extremely testable. If you follow the eight-fold path, and you are still suffering, then man, they led you astray.

Tantric yoga: do these exercises and meditations and eventually you will have a kundalini rising (enlightenment). So if you do them, and you don't have a kundalini rising, then you know tantra is worthless (either that or your teacher sucks).

The Bible: Those who believe shall be able to do miracles, such as drink poison and not get hurt, or heal the sick (Mark 16:17). So if you follow Christ and you can't do those things, then......yeah, you've just falsified it.

Daoism: 99% of the battle of daoism is figuring out what you are supposed to do. That is an ancient Chinese way of teaching.....but, if you ever do figure out what it is you're supposed to do, then you will be able to tap into the mysterious power of the Dao. If you figure out what you are supposed to do, and do it, and still can't tap into that power, then you've just falsified Daoism.

Mormonism: fast and pray oft, grow in humility, and you will be filled with joy and consolation. I really like Mormonism because it is even more scientific: it says all over the place things like, "if you have faith, God will give you anything that is good." It gives examples of people who became good enough that God gave them anything they asked for, and it says that you can do it too. It even directly gives an example of how to test these claims, and verify/falsify them. I like it because the more clear the promises, the more easily it is falsifiable.

See? If all you are saying is that some being out there exists who affects life on earth in some undetectable way, then yeah, it's pretty pointless. But any preacher who preaches that doesn't know his religion.

Also see:

http://interviews.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=39406&cid=4207448

http://interviews.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=39406&cid=4208176

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Programming Style

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 5 years ago

"I'd crawl over an acre of 'Visual This++' and 'Integrated Development That' to get to gcc, Emacs, and gdb. Thank you." (By Vance Petree, Virginia Power)

Amen.

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