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Mixing Agile With Waterfall For Code Quality

ripvlan Re:Agile is the answer to everything (132 comments)

Scaled Agile Framework or Unified Process?! Some people might call it Scrum-fall.

Working in a big org on a big product I can see why somebody would suggest mixing both. The problem is - taking the "good" things from both rather than the bad things.

For example, If you want telemetry data sent back to a repository (to track feature usage) - you might want the architecture of that figured out "up front" rather than retrofit. I say "you might." In Agile it might be an important spike to get closed up front. You have to think beyond code design and think about the whole business - when you have 200+ people working on code there are some things to take care of earlier rather than have them happen organically. Agile says that the architecture can morph and be refactored - true. But I've seen projects go into extra innings because the architecture needed to be refactored for a must-have feature. Why? Because the feature is structural across the tiers and the organic architecture didn't have this in mind.

Agile trainers would say that in Scrum you do more planning than waterfall. Waterfall you control the plan, in Agile you're always making a new one up. It is finding the time to breathe in Agile - you can't just have 200 people start coding next week. Esp if there are "big" architectural questions that haven't even made it to the drawing board - somehow you need to turn "hey - that's a good idea would should do it" into something that people can understand.

Best advice - define what "always shippable code" means to you. And do it. Every feature needs to track usage? Or be scalable? or be secure? or....? This is your Definition of Done for a story and your "control."

Of course not every good idea gets done. There's always next time.

4 days ago

The Guardian Reveals That Whisper App Tracks "Anonymous" Users

ripvlan Conspiracy of the NSA (180 comments)

Looks like the NSA has published an app to the appStore.

Who would have thought that such an innocuous "secret" app would be non-secret. The fools! The government will find you, and track you - there is no way around it. It's a conspiracy, man!.

And what better way than to appeal to one's vanity and build an app to let you complain. Social Engineering at its best.

4 days ago

As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

ripvlan Re:Data centers? (407 comments)

Yes, Thank you!!

I was looking for the /. angle - being all techie and what not. That was going to be my post today but you beat me to it.

Secure data centers. Lock'em up and throw away the key.

4 days ago

Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

ripvlan Re:Oh great (546 comments)

>> But I'm pretty sure that "gopher banana rim plunger" would be fairly immune to attack, although perhaps unpleasant to visualize.

Not anymore.

about a week ago

Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

ripvlan Re:Oh great (546 comments)

You are assuming the Dictionary is from Webster. It isn't in this case - it is a rainbow table containing all possible combinations of 7,8,9+ characters. Kind of the million monkey Shakespeare scenario - sooner or later they'll get to that combination. I remember a password cracker that used to put 2 & 3 word combinations from the Unix dictionary together to build up its guessing-dictionary.

Now - 7 words vs 7 letters, the dictionary is smaller for 7 letters and can be broken in "seconds." 7 Words (about 56 letters) - I don't think rainbow tables are that large yet.

A co-worker used to monitor the size of rainbow tables and always make sure his password was 1 character longer. That may have also been his versioning mechanism. "1" "11" "111" "1111" .... easy to remember and "harder" to guess. I knew another guy who used the password "za" - his reasoning: yeah lots of people might try "a" but who tries "z" ? and people might try all 1 character passwords and then move onto longer ones like length "8"... figuring they'd skip length "2" because only dumb people have length 1 - everyone else has at least 6 or 8. He was probably good at the Battle Ship game.

I use 2-factor with Google and have yet to receive a text message indicating that somebody has guessed my relatively short password. Living on the edge :-)


about a week ago

Ask Slashdot: Why can't Google block spam in gmail?

ripvlan Re:It's a lot of work to keep up with (2 comments)

I sent Google a "feedback" on this last year. The spam filter threshold seems to change - some months I have 1 or 2 messages, and the next 50-60. Of course during Christmas the number surges to 100's / week. I understand that the spammers are getting smarter. But I don't get this kind of email at work - and I don't even see it in the external filter. Although I don't sign up for as many online accounts using my corp email. Makes me wonder which forums are leaking my email address.

All of them are either "call me sometime", online pharma Grow your schlong guaranteed, or Buy Watches *Cheap*. And all 50 are the same email with varying number of * between the letters of the subject line. I just don't want these emails.

Sometimes mixed in between are what I'll call legit email, falsely-detected, legit sales offers or UCE. But it's hard to find when 95% is true junk. It would be helpful if the signal to noise ratio was a bit higher.

about a week ago

PETA Is Not Happy That Google Used a Camel To Get a Desert "StreetView"

ripvlan Re:What about the environment? (367 comments)

Yeah exactly! I feel PETA is saying, blah blah blah - use petrol and kill off the animals.

Wait - the "slow food" movement would say "go local."

I'm so confused. Is global warming coming or not?!

about a week ago

Startup's Open Source Device Promises Gamers "Surround Sound For Your Eyes"

ripvlan Re:Or you could just... (43 comments)

Yes but - seems that the color would be more immersive.

My Dad simply put a small lamp with a "10W" nightlight bulb behind his TV that turns on/off through the aux power port on the TV box. The room is pretty dark - even during the day. So this light actually makes it more comfortable to watch TV. I did something similar in my house too.

A simple light - that changes color. That goes to 10. That cool DIY in the link - goes to 11.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: How to deal with an unresponsive manufacturer who doesn't fix bugs

ripvlan Re:Buy elsewhere (4 comments)

A couple of choices (been on both ends of this)
  1) hold back on monthly subscription/service fees
  2) threaten to sue (need to have proof that it is costing you money - angle is violation of contract)
  3) Escalate within your management - let the CTO/CEOs talk to each other.

Yeah - maybe you recommended them and you've learned since then. Don't hide it because somebody will find out soon enough. Be proactive and get internal help figuring out how to solve the problem. Always be professional - you can let them know you are unlikely to buy again but don't needle them on this point. Get a few demos from competitors in the meantime.

If you paid for something and didn't receive it - you have an out. However, if this was some optional component that they were going to develop - then your learning is for next time - get the full demo. I think you are unlikely to get money back to cover your costs - unless it is big (take the CA govt vs Oracle).

As for talking to your management, make sure you can word the conversation in terms of a business case. Talk about how this is costing the business money (with numbers), how the business isn't able to achieve some growth (holding you back).

about two weeks ago

Studies Conclude Hands-Free-calling and Apple Siri Distract Drivers

ripvlan My Car integration is simple (208 comments)

Yes - I can understand this - it is exactly my experience. I'm not type A so I am capable of putting the phone down. Of course I find Siri is often less than useful. Yes it will make a call for me, or read/dictate my texts. But that's about it. It ain't no Google search (damit man, I have questions and need answers). I rarely make calls from my car - but when I do I ask Siri who usually responds.... "Sorry - I can't do that right now!" [grrrr]

I rented a newer car that had a touchscreen system for all adjustments. Temp, air ducts, radio. I spent more time with eyes on the screen than looking out the window. I really my physical round knobs in my car - just twist to an approximate position without looking. I thought we learned our lessons back in the 90' with stereos and push button volume controls - ooh those irked me (too loud...down down down down down down....). And Honda - that big knob in the center of the dash looks important and useful - like a big volume control or fan speed selector. But noooo - it's a friggen menu selector.

What do I do in my car? Listen to music. And this is where my car iPhone integration kit is handy - simple old school push buttons on the radio. These are integrated to playlists from my phone. Plain and simple. Button 1 is rock, 2 is softer, 3 podcasts, 4 kids, 5 surprise me. Or Pandora via a tap before I start driving. I've used newer ones in more modern cars that can itemize the choices via USB.

It all worked beautifully until...iOS8

about two weeks ago

Could Maroney Be Prosecuted For Her Own Hacked Pictures?

ripvlan Re:This law does not apply to famous people. (274 comments)

Sorry - but weren't these pictures stolen? Somebody entered "her house" and ran off with the photos.

Does it matter if she was underage or not? Is this not like possession of stolen property? Is this really copyright?!

They may have used the child-porn argument to expedite and raise the stakes. I don't think thats the real problem. Kids will be kids - different issue, and a problem that needs to be resolved (cultural change - more kids are having underaged "parties" etc).

I read an article over on the Register about this (I didn't know the backstory) and apparently wants to talk to the person who took the photos - saying it doesn't appear that she own copyright - the person who took the photos does.

Fine - you stole from that person (did you seek permission? did you get a release from the model? did you file with the California "over age 18" registry?) No - instead they were posted first and seek forgiveness later.

about three weeks ago

Marines Put Microsoft Kinect To Work For 3D Mapping

ripvlan These are cool... (37 comments)

The local museum has one of these - it uses a combo of XBox and that poly-sand stuff that sticks together. Kids can make mountains, rivers, and lakes with their hands. The kinect detects the depth and then the XBox animates the terrain.

Rather than having people stack sand - they need a bendable floor that changes shape. Kind of like those toys with 1000's of nails/pins in them that conform to the shape of an object. Place a solenoid on each one and raise/lower to the necessary shape - covered with a plain cloth. Then project onto it.

A new breed of holodeck?

about three weeks ago

How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

ripvlan Moderator points for today?! (795 comments)

I have been granted moderator points today - and I'm stuck on this article. Going through the comments here I don't know which ones meet the definition of Trolls, Flame, Insightful, or Funny. I could mark everything here as offtopic - or all of the above. Then again - maybe I should go back to the original article and mark it as Flamebait - at least that would better explain the flavor of the comments posted here.

An opinion posing as an actual conclusion. Halfway through I wondered if this was from a sister Onion site.

Maybe the summary should have said, "I found an Opinion piece about science...."

Have at it.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 8 a Pig?

ripvlan Re:Multiple devices, works great (504 comments)

I too haven't any major issues with iOS8 performance or interaction-wise (iPhone 5 & iPad 3). Yes - seems apps launched the first time after upgrading are taking longer to load (and one App even lost it's security activation key - asking me to reactivate my device with their website). Seems the upgrade is "big" and possibly many deleted their cached data. Performance seems to be fine for second+ launches and I'm slowly discovering the new features hidden around the system.

Most annoying thing so far - "this app is tracking your location in the background" - seems Apple is going to ask me this question for each of my 100 apps that use location. More annoying - there is no option for "Only when app is Running" - either On or Off... unless the app supports that new mode. I don't want the weather app tracking my every move in the background - I'm willing to wait for them to update my current weather location when I open the app.

And biggest bug found so far - handsfree integration with my car stereo seems to be broken. Playlists selected won't play (although the car shows the time counting up) - fast forwarding through songs causes samples of audio to play, but silence otherwise, and sometimes loops on the first 1 second (inconsistent repeatability of the problem). Forcing it to fast-forward for about 30 seconds finally made it play. Or picking a playlist from the iPhone works fine (which requires hands-on).

Smallest bug - Unlock screen was overlaid on top of "now-playing" Album art making it impossible to see the PIN keys. After unlocking it I haven't seen this happen since (took a screen shot to prove it happened).

For a major OS upgrade - it seems to be working fine. Battery life seems to be the same, all apps are working, and nothing crashing.

about a month ago

U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music'

ripvlan Re:Is Apple going downhill? (358 comments)

Arrr matey. The new phone is so large it need an external monitor to wear on your wrist.

Kind of like when the Mac got big and became two parts - an external monitor and the CPU case under the desk? Plus computers got hot, used lots of power, and.... gosh seems like history repeating itself in mobile form.

about a month ago

U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music'

ripvlan Re:Expert. (358 comments)

Well Shiver me-timbers - You might be on to something. Arrrr Matey this could be why the scurvy bought Beats and tried them-thar earpods.

Arrr next-gen DRM will be in the headset itself!!!!


about a month ago

Australian Police Arrest 15, Charge 2, For Alleged Islamic State Beheading Plot

ripvlan nihilists - In the Dust? (165 comments)

Human nature? Yes. People naturally tune out to the horrible and try to move on.

RadioLab had a nice piece on the topic called "In The Dust Of This Planet"

about a month ago

Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

ripvlan Re:Where are the links? (425 comments)

Artistic license or great Conspiracy? It is a sort of mixed message isn't it. The "from the side" images don't show this bezel protruding - along with an "artistic" shadow.

As for the other images - they all clearly show the camera bezel. This isn't like it's a great selling feature - meaning - is it material or just marketing?

Scroll down to the "Streamlined: inside and out" and "Elements of Design" and you'll clearly see the camera "protruding."

It's quite possible that the side view looked "strange" with a little hair-thin spec that was removed "for clarity." Kind of like cereal "enlarged to show texture" (or make you hungry) ?

Gosh - having a phone so large it requires an external monitor you wear on your wrist? Or a thin bezel sticking out from the back? Oh the horror.

about a month ago

Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

ripvlan Re:The protruding lens was a mistake (425 comments)

When I first read the headline I thought it had a huge bulge ala Lumia or that Android phone (name escapes me). This looks like a small ring bezel.

As for ugly design? I kind of welcome a small bump - I keep putting my finger over the lens (or very close to it causing a shadow) because I can't remember which corner the lens is in. Since it has a very wide angle view and rotates automatically - the way I hold it sometimes causes a shadow that I don't see until post editing (esp with video - I use two hands to stabilize the phone). I look like the Queen drinking tea with one pinky held out.

Having a small but obvious bump would provide me some tactile feedback. Personally I'd like a slight hour-glass shape so I could tell up from down when pulling from my pocket (I have black on black and don't use a case). My Palm Pre had a rubber backside and a thinner bottom - so it was easy to align in my hand without looking.

As for the ethics of making the models look thinner and prettier - that's a horse of a different color.

about a month ago

Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

ripvlan Starting to make sense (610 comments)

After seeing the keynote I went looking in my iPhone/iTunes for the album - expecting to see a "Free" where "Buy" usually appears (or Buy $0.00). I couldn't even find the album for a long time (still can't find it on my PC w/ iTunes). Next stop - Google, to discover that it was already on my phone. Sure enough - when browsing through my Artist list there was a new entry to U2, and all of the songs marked with the "download from cloud" icon.

From a user perspective it was confusing and expected to "buy it" (first) like any other album. Let's pretend I'm not a U2 fan. Sure I've purchased albums from other band and decided I didn't like it later - and simply deleted it. I now forever have this album in my list that Genius will try to mix and play from when at home on Wifi.

While I appreciate being able to discover "new" music - I'm not in control of it. I can't put it back on the shelf. Kind of ugly.

They assume everyone likes the same entertainment. Sure - U2 is probably more universally liked than the Juicy Bananas.

about a month ago


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