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In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

ripvlan Re:a riveting diplomatic exchange no doubt.. (394 comments)

Now - over at HuffPo they report Castro is still alive. /. vs HuffPo? You be the judge.

Either that or it is the greatest secret ever! :-P

Gosh - this whole thing was a "major fire" back years ago. I haven't heard boo since ~2008.

yesterday
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New AP Course, "Computer Science Principles," Aims To Make CS More Accessible

ripvlan Re:Confused. (205 comments)

Generally I would agree with you. Forking the education system seem extreme. Hopefully it is just social/cultural problem.

In the meantime, until we know different, I believe these targeted efforts could help jump start and make repair for previous sins. Obviously whatever we've been doing has caused a large gap - so we can't keep doing the same old same old.

Is the cause of the gap between men/women the same we see between classes and races? We know (or believe) that everyone is capable of achieving their personal goals - however this isn't reflected in the statistics. And I don't believe that those successful minorities (general use) are somehow Exceptional for their gender/race/class. We like to believe in the USA that anyone with a plan can breakout beyond their environment and rise to any level of their choosing.

The Republicans would say you need motivation and Dems would say you need nurturing.

yesterday
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Sony Demands Press Destroy Leaked Documents

ripvlan Re:First amendment? (249 comments)

Thanks - but what is the difference? I don't know.

If somebody broke into an office and photocopied the files in a drawer - then handed them out on the street....what is the legal implications? Sure - the first person who took a copy might not know the origin. But as more people get wind of the situation at some point people know what they have and maybe even go seeking those copies.

But I really don't know law and would like to understand this at a cursory level.

yesterday
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Telepresence Store Staffed Remotely Using Robots

ripvlan Okay - that's cool! (52 comments)

Talk about eat your own dog food.

Now if only I could think up a reason to own such a device - and get it past budget approval (aka wife) -- I'd be all in.

2 days ago
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Sony Demands Press Destroy Leaked Documents

ripvlan Re:First amendment? (249 comments)

Where does Possession of Stolen Property enter the picture? The data, such as internal private emails, all stolen should have some kind of protection. Sure - probably not much because the cat is out of the bag.

The question I ask - if somebody has stolen something are you allowed to participate? "sorry - I found the store window broken and the cash drawer open...so I counted the money because it was in plain sight. And rifled through the secret employee documents while I was in there."

3 days ago
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Google Hopes To One Day Replace Gmail With Inbox

ripvlan Re:Who's their test group? (239 comments)

I'm not sure where they got the idea - but who understand what drives innovators.

I've been using Inbox for awhile and at first I liked it - it solved many of the problems that I have with email in general. I use the Tabs feature in GMail which hides email I probably don't want to read. This cut down the number of times my phone said "you've got mail" -- I can batch read/delete promotions.

Great I thought! Inbox does this better?! After a week of kicking it around the block I started to like it less and less. I'm still 100% eat-the-dog-food on my phone.

Sure it has it little bugs which I can overlook. It is the concepts that I'm evaluating.

First - I'm never sure I've read all of my email. The categories sort in different places depending upon the most recent email behind door #1. If I delete an email - then the whole category slides down and sorts based upon the next most recent email.

Second - Archive vs Delete. They assume that every email you read you'll want again later. Or everything you archive you'll never look at again (kind of the SMS approach - who reads SMS a week later?!) It is easier Done a message - but takes 2 taps to delete. For me - I either want to refer to the email again, or Never see it. "Hi - here are the directions to get to X" - I might need those again. "Here's a discount offer that must be used today" It's like that pile on my desk - either something I might want to read next month - or toss it in the trash. Inbox only has 1 mode of operation --- place it on that pile on the desk.

Third - it is a task based UI design. Most operations require 2 taps to get anything done. The basics are all single taps. But the next most used features are at least 2. Open Tasklist - Pick Task. ActionList -> Action. I've seen UI designs like this before and they become tedious to use in the long run.

Everytime I open Gmail I notice emails that I have forgotten to do something with. For whatever reason I have overlooked them in Inbox. Something just isn't right. Maybe I'm using it wrong. Someone emails me a question - I can't get to it now... Snooze it? Sounded like a great feature. Out of sight out of mind. GMail - it just lingers on my list. Inbox - it can stay hidden behind door #3 such that I forget about it. I can't deal with this Now..maybe later...but Snooze forces Later...and later is defined as "when I have free time."

The zero inbox sounded great. The problem is - my inbox is more a todo list and somethings are never really done. I tag things and then archive them - family photos, cool new toolkits to take a look at etc. A collection of crap all organized and packed away.

I've given them feedback. I go back to GMail to feel relaxed and make sure all of my email is read.

about two weeks ago
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A Mismatch Between Wikimedia's Pledge Drive and Its Cash On Hand?

ripvlan Re:Well (274 comments)

yeah but.... that's where the [smart] people are. Sure they could move to the corn fields of the mid-west. It isn't simply cost-of-living - it's finding a place with enough people who have the necessary skillsets. There may be smart people everywhere, but in a small area there may not be enough of them.

about two weeks ago
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Polyphonic Overtone Singing Explained Visually With Spectrograms

ripvlan Re:How do you do it? (51 comments)

Yes - well... if you prayed to learn how to perform this kind of singing...then consider your prayer answered !!

Actually - I started looking at his whole channel and found his random "man on the streets" of Japan to be quite entertaining. I haven't been back to Japan for over 10 years so I found it interesting and fun to watch. I remember buying hot sake in a can - press a button and it would begin heating. They have such cool soda machines over there. YouTube surfing at its best.

Back to work.

about a month ago
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As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

ripvlan Re:TFA is a crappy piece of socialist propaganda (496 comments)

well actually - women are paid less to do the same job as men. Why not hire more women? Not as many women apply for these jobs.

Why? This is where the debate begins. Nature, nurture, environment? An article I read recently on the subject is that women don't want to work in a heavily sexist "man" environment - especially around men who say "there isn't a problem, just need more qualified women, if they existed they'd work here! but they are off pursuing other jobs that interest them"

Another article suggested that it was nurture - they weren't encouraged to follow the same educational tracks. The argument used here is to look at school funding for sports - big money is in boys basketball and football (and hockey up here)...but try to divide that spending up and boost/equalize girls sports is usually stopped. Why? 'cause girls don't play those sports, or don't do it well so nobody wants to watch. However if spending was made available maybe they'd have more opportunity and get good at it...leading to us wanting to watch.

Subsidizing bus fare is seen as a way to make it easier for some people to come to work. Getting qualified people to the office is good for Amazon. Locally IBM has a van that drives across the state. Low income people can't (don't want to) afford the gas to drive to work. However they life so far outside the city area that their cost of living is lower - and they are every bit qualified to do the job. IBM can't find people within 15 miles willing to take the low paying jobs due to cost of living.... so they pay for the shuttle van. Win-win - folks with lower cost of living look at these jobs as good-paying, IBM has qualified folks willing to work at "reasonable" rates. It was good business to get into the transportation business.

As for the article in question in this thread post - it is very opinionated and not scientific at all "as I go around town I see the ratio of men to women as..." Really - all of his conclusions are based upon what he sees out the window? How very...uninformed this article is.

Look - its an opinion piece - and you're welcome to yours as well. Try to do better than the original author.

about a month ago
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Polyphonic Overtone Singing Explained Visually With Spectrograms

ripvlan Re:How do you do it? (51 comments)

This is the second video from her that I've seen. I really liked this one because she explained what she was doing. The first was just her singing and I didn't "get it."

Look in the suggested links on YouTube - you'll see one from "Yuichi Tuba" who goes into the basics. He talks about where to put your tongue, how to shape it, and how to practice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Something fun to go home and try. Better than teaching the kid how to make farting noises under his arm.

about a month ago
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Coding Bootcamps Presented As "College Alternative"

ripvlan Trade School for Web Devs? (226 comments)

Is writing a web page just simply a "Trade?" You go and mentor with a master and get a job as a junior web page coder. As technology advances it's level of entry should drop.

If you remember during the last bubble that bunches of non-IT folks started calling themselves Web Designers (and still do) - they were simply setting up web pages and helping to "code" content, pretty much graphic designers who learned HTML. They weren't exactly building the infrastructure that we would leave to Software Developers.

We have this discussion a lot. A team just needs a bunch of beginner coders and a senior person to play architect - and you'll have a product. I'd argue you'll have healthcare.gov - but that's a discussion for a different thread... I think. Oh why not have it here...!

about a month ago
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Government Data Requests To Facebook Up By 24%

ripvlan Re:Digital Landlord? (42 comments)

I read that too with some surprise. I don't agree with your definition of landlord and tenants - that payment must exchanged from the customer. First - define who the customer is. A Landlord simply owns the property, who then rents or leases it - in this case the advertisers pay your rent. Although another way to look at it is like a grocery store where the advertisers pay for shelf space and "we" the public browse for content? Stores don't stock the food - the advertisers do. The shelves are rented - so that you the customer can enter for free and make purchases.

As for the physical premises comment. We may use the term "the cloud" - but the cloud is a physical thing for which FB does indeed own. More interesting is "where" the cloud is and whether such data is available to US warrants.

This thing, the cloud, is new and I think maybe this is yet another case of technology moving faster than law can.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

ripvlan Split the difference (613 comments)

Why not meet in the middle - 30 minutes permanently.

Does 30 minutes really make a difference?

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Aging and Orphan Open Source Projects?

ripvlan Re:Don't "fork" it. Don't put it on github. Delete (155 comments)

I thought the same thing. If the number of users is dwindling - then hosting it on "github" is for posterity only. Maybe somebody in the future will be able to use the code and do something "new and improved."

It seems that the power of capitalism is what plays here. If nobody uses it - then put it out to pasture. Hanging the code out in public may help a future generation in an unknown way. Maybe it will have a revival. Who knows.

Think of all the books that have gone unread (or lost) because of old age. Either the language is unknown today or there are just too many modern books to read. Some research scientist will look it over in "20" more years and write about the golden nuggets found in that old project.

about 2 months ago
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Mixing Agile With Waterfall For Code Quality

ripvlan Re:Agile is the answer to everything (133 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.

about 2 months ago
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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.

about 2 months ago
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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.

about 2 months ago
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Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

ripvlan Re:Oh great (549 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 2 months ago
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Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

ripvlan Re:Oh great (549 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 2 months ago
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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 2 months ago

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