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Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X

sgtrock Wrong on two counts (174 comments)

The beta was released in 1989. 25 years ago.

Which makes a perfect farce of the notion that many eyes make all bugs shallow.

1) We don't know when the bug was introduced, although it's clear that it was quite some time ago.

2) I defy you to name any version of any reasonably complex software that is guaranteed to be free of exploitable bugs. It's been shown by people much smarter than me that it's mathmatically impossible to do so. (Just one example thread discussing the problem.)

The difference is that with OSS, they all will eventually get found and fixed. The same can't be said of closed source software.

about 2 months ago
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No RIF'd Employees Need Apply For Microsoft External Staff Jobs For 6 Months

sgtrock Revisionist history. (282 comments)

Nokia had some issues but was still profitable as Tomi Ahonen clearly documents in this long post. tl;dr? A couple of short quotes and links to graphs:

This is how bad it was under previous CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. Nokia had seen revenues decline from its peak in 2008. Nokia had seen profits decline severely from its peak also in 2008. Nokia had reported its first quarterly loss (although the full year was still profitable) - that loss was driven by Nokia's troubled Networking division, not its handsets units which were both highly profitable. ...

So to be clear, Nokia had reported one QUARTER of a loss, but in annual terms, Nokia was a profitable company. Its big revenue growth had turned into decline but that decline was actually halted around the time the Nokia Board decided to seek a replacement to Kallasvuo, and Nokia revenues had returned to growth by the time Elop joined Nokia.

Let me repeat. Nokia did NOT have a problem in its handsets business. Its issues were in its Networking business line.

Now the graphs:

Nokia profits by business line Note: Elop took over Sept. 21, 2010.

Which company had the strongest handset business?

Which company saw their handset business tank and when?

Smartphone marketshare

about 4 months ago
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UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights

sgtrock Re:No (261 comments)

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Yep, those damn plutocrats sure did their best that the rest of us would never have a leg up. /sarcasm

I suggest that you take some time to read the Federalist Papers. I think you'll discover things aren't quite as black and white as you believe.

about 4 months ago
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French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

sgtrock Re:Freedom of Expression... (424 comments)

Not necessarily, or if it does, it'll take a very long time. Remember, the US states' cultures were all mostly from Britain, and everyone spoke English with a few exceptions (like the Pennsylvania Dutch). Early on, there were settlements by the French, Dutch, Spanish, etc, but the British settlers pushed everyone out (the French only survived in Quebec, which isn't part of the US).

Wow, this is sooo wrong. Just about the only commonality that the U.S. population started out with was that we are all, every single one (including American Indians and Eskimos), immigrants from somewhere else. The U.S. has seen waves of immigration from all over the world.

As a personal example, I'll cite my great-grandfather. He helped settle Chisholm, a small town in northern Minnesota in the first decade of the last century. He was a Serbian peasant whose family had spent about 250 years in Croatia but still considered themselves Serb, not Croatian. Still used the Cyrillic alphabet attended the Serbian Orthodox services at somebody's house rather than attend the local Catholic church. Then he gets to the U.S. and everything changed for him.

His new neighbors were Welsh, Italian, Jewish, Slovenian, Russian, German, Norwegian, Finnish, and FSM knows what else. All of those families were founded by peasants right off the boat who had come to work in the iron mines or in the logging industry.

The Welsh were coal miners who got jobs as mine foremen because they were typically the only ones underground who spoke English, which in turn meant that they were the only ones who could talk to the mine management. The rest just showed up at the mine for their shift and got by with a lot of hand waving.

Eventually, they all learned English, took night classes to earn their citizenships, made sure their kids were brought up speaking English, and generally became members of the American culture. But every last one of those families is still fiercely proud of their own distinct heritage and celebrates their differences as well as our shared commonalities.

In the past several decades, Minnesota has seen large influxes of Hmong, Vietnamese, Somali, Afghani, and a couple of other refugee groups. We've even got Mexicans who have chosen to settle here instead of following the crops. Those families have all followed similar paths. We've got a huge Cinco de Mayo celebration in the state capital every year.

(As an aside, why on earth are so many people from the tropics so happy to move to the nation's icebox? :-D)

(As another aside, the far right's screaming about illegal immigration is one of the dumber things that I've ever seen in my life. After all, compared to the Indians and Eskimos we're all newbies.)

The point to remember is that America has never really been a melting pot. We're more of a stew, where each new immigrant population adds its own distinctive flavor.

When I look at the history of Europe since about 1970, I see the same thing happening. It's slower because the national boundaries tend to contain each distinctive national flavor, but trust me. There is already far more commonality across Europe today than there was 40 years ago. It may be hard to see from the inside, but it's there.

about 4 months ago
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The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of Battlefield

sgtrock Speak for yourself (208 comments)

The last Battlefield game that I bought was BF 2. How about you?

about 5 months ago
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Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

sgtrock Re:I grew up in Atlanta... (723 comments)

While it may be counterintuitive, my experience has been that using engine braking is generally more forgiving than the traditional brakes. For me, it's a lot easier to manage the friction coefficient with the engine than the brakes because braking force tends to be much more binary in nature. When slippery conditions exist, you're either on the brake pedal or you're not (although ABS helps here).

In fact, one reason that I really like a manual transmission is that manipulating the clutch and engine RPMs in combination with the transmission goes a long way toward getting just the right balance to slow down without losing traction. Newer computerized automatic trannies and engines do the same thing. So far, though, I haven't found a combination in a mass produced vehicle that does a very good job of it. Maybe we'll see some additional improvement in this space in the future.

about 10 months ago
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Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

sgtrock Winter driving in the Twin Cities (723 comments)

I won't argue that most people in the Twin Cities with 4WD and AWD vehicles don't have a clue how to drive them. I've passed enough of them sitting forlornly in the ditch on Hwy 10 over the years! :-D

That said, though, we're not talking about the loose nuts behind the wheel but the inherent capabilities of the vehicles themselves. When I was living northeast of Elk River up near the Isanti-Anoka county line and commuting to the south side of St. Paul, I traded in the 2WD pickup for the 4WD and was glad that I did. The 4WD was MUCH better at handling deep snow, which in turn made using back roads as an alternative to jammed up freeways at least plausible. Engine braking with 4WD also made avoiding the idiots who were overdriving a lot easier. ;-)

We lived far enough out back then that about 1/3 of the drive home was well off the freeway, too. More than once I had to tackle the last 10 miles or so on unplowed county roads with up to a foot of snow on the road. I hated that stretch in my 2WD pickup. In those conditions the truck had a tendency to break traction even with 150 lbs of sand behind the rear wheels. BTW, I tried my wife's Saturn a couple of times but it wasn't much better as it was too low to the ground for the deep stuff.

Now that I'm living in Woodbury and commuting to Richfield, I no longer regard 4WD as a necessity. I never see more than the 4-6 inches of the white stuff that you mentioned. I sold off the 4WD pickup a couple of years ago and I'm driving a front wheel drive sedan. I still miss the extra traction of that old 4WD pickup, though.

My next vehicle is probably going to be a smaller SUV with a towing package. Something that I can get up to the lakes with, out in the woods hunting, and reasonable gas mileage. Now, if Tesla would simply build a 4WD vehicle with a decent range... Hey, a fella can dream, can't he? ;-)

about 10 months ago
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Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

sgtrock Re:I grew up in Atlanta... (723 comments)

Don't even get me started on how unnecessary 4 wheel drive is, you can do 6+ inches of snow in 2 wheel drive just fine

With you so far...

and 4 wheel drive does nothing to help you stop any faster

Aaand this old fallacy shows up.

Look, I grew up in northern Minnesota and I have commuted to work in the Twin Cities for nearly 30 years. My commute these days is about 25 miles one way and used to be about 50. Trust me, I know driving in bad conditions. :-)

I've driven rear wheel drive mini-pickups, front wheel drive sedans, all wheel drive mini-SUVs, and a couple of 1/2 ton pickups (one two wheel drive, one 4 wheel). The little all wheel drive SUVs and the 4x4 were by FAR the best vehicles in snow for both acceleration and stopping.

You don't rely on just the brakes, use the engine. Downshift!. The extra braking force applied through the second axle can make all the difference.*

Granted, it's easier to manage with a manual transmission and clutch than an automatic. However, even the cheapest automatic tranny has at least one low gear below Drive. Use it!

*Note: Most vehicles are sold with open differentials so a two wheel drive is really a one wheel drive in bad conditions while a 4WD is really a 2WD. However, the extra axle not only means twice the force applied, but the force is applied on two different parts of the road surface. This can make all the difference in some circumstances.

about 10 months ago
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Cameron's IP Advisor: Throw Persistent Copyright Infringers In Jail

sgtrock Re:Right idea, wrong amendment (263 comments)

Sigh. I'm on your side and you just don't know it. :-)

I suggest that you go back and re-read what you wrote initially, the 6th amendment, then go read Federalist Paper #84. The 9th and 10th amendments were added precisely to prevent the sort of misinterpretation that you were railing against in the first place. The courts had to rule the way that they did specifically because the 9th and 10 amendments were added. (Not that they haven't been trampled with every increasing frequency by judges who should know better.)

about 10 months ago
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Cameron's IP Advisor: Throw Persistent Copyright Infringers In Jail

sgtrock Right idea, wrong amendment (263 comments)

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Why does everyone forget these two?

about 9 months ago
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Losing Aaron

sgtrock Re:People in powerful places (199 comments)

First things first. Based upon what I've read elsewhere, it's still not clear that Aaron was guilty of ANY crime. A decent defense attorney might have been able to demonstrate that. Unfortunately, because Aaron couldn't afford decent counsel, the Federal prosecutor took the opportunity to just pile on lots of bogus charges to the few that were questionable to begin with in order to force him to take a plea deal.

Do the time? First you have to do the crime.

about a year ago
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Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

sgtrock Re:And I Will Stop Buying... (521 comments)

Depends on where you want to go or do. 4WD isn't a necessity, but it sure is handy for getting in and out of the woods on unmaintained logging trails. Besides the obvious recreational value, there are times when it comes in handy for working, too. A buddy of mine and I used to split hauling duty when we went in to cut firewood, for example. We could get a lot more out with my '97 4WD fully loaded plus towing a loaded trailer than we could with his 2WD Dodge with automatic transmission. I think we figured that we were getting 6-7 cords with my vehicle vs. 2-4 with his.

I'm a HUGE believer in manual transmissions. Sadly, I don't think anyone is selling a 1/2 ton pickup or SUV with one any longer. Don't know what I'll do when it comes time to go car shopping again. :-(

about a year ago
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Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

sgtrock Re:And I Will Stop Buying... (521 comments)

Let me guess: 2WD automatic transmission in the F150 and no weight behind the rear wheels, right? I'll grant you, one thing that Ford never got quite right was the gearing in their 2WD automatic truck trannies. Never enough torque when you needed it.

Also, let me ask. Did the Dakota come with a limited slip differential? The F150s that I owned didn't have one, although my dad's old 1970 Mustang did. Makes quite a difference in traction.

about a year ago
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Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

sgtrock Sorry, embarrassing typo (521 comments)

I normally don't reply to myself, but I saw this right after I posted:

(250cc? not sure any more)

That should read 250ci (cubic inch).

about a year ago
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Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

sgtrock Re:And I Will Stop Buying... (521 comments)

I know you're trolling because this is the second time that you posted this, but what the hell.

I live in Minnesota. I've never been a single manufacturer buyer. Over the past 30+ years my immediate family has owned Volkswagens, Toyotas, Mazdas, Saturns, Chevys, and yes, Fords. I've bought cars of all sizes as well as pickups.

To your complaints, the best vehicle that I ever owned in terms of both durability and its ability to avoid getting stuck in the snow was a 1997 F150 XLT 4x4 with the 4.6L V8 and standard 5 speed manual transmission (4 speed plus an overdrive gear). I only got the truck stuck so bad that I needed help getting out once when I dropped the front end into a really deep, narrow mud hole while 4 wheeling.

I drove that truck nearly 300,000 miles in 15 years. It never had an engine overhaul in all that time. I finally replaced the clutch at 275,000 miles and there was still some wear left on the clutch face. Rust didn't become an issue until right before I sold it.

I only sold the truck because we had two kids going off to college and needed to cut down on the number of vehicles sitting in the driveway. It was the oldest vehicle we had by about 6 years, sooo... There are times I still miss driving it, though.

The second most reliable vehicle that I owned was a 1987 F150 XLT 2 wheel drive with the big V6 (250cc? not sure any more) and manual 4 speed transmission (basically, a 3 speed with a low low "granny" gear for 1st). I drove that one for 10 years and well over 150,000 miles. Again, never had an overhaul or a new clutch. And again, rust was not an issue.

That one got stuck a little easier because of the lack of 4 wheel and the light ass end when it wasn't loaded. It was easy enough to compensate for, though. I just threw about 150 lbs behind each rear wheel well and didn't treat it as a 4x4. I can only recall getting stuck in it twice.

The first time was when my wife and I were out in the woods on an old, unmaintained logging trail. No big deal, really. She wanted a chance to drive it out there but didn't know how to read the ground. There was a wet patch where the road was really soggy and she drove into it instead of around it. :-) My fault for not realizing soon enough that she didn't see it.

The second was on an iced up 90 degree curve. There was a school bus and about a dozen cars and pickups off the road on both sides. I was only a 1/2 mile from home after a long commute, so I tried to squeak through at about 5 miles an hour. I literally slid off the road on the inside of the turn. Trust me, nobody was getting through that corner that night without 4 wheel drive, studs (illegal here), and/or a lot of luck. ;-)

Both vehicles handled snow pretty well, although the 4x4 was obviously far better with really deep snow. I commuted over 50 miles every day for a long time through some pretty nasty Minnesota blizzards. Never had a problem getting home in snow.

Ice, OTOH, is not a pickup's friend. You have so much mass that if you break traction you're going skating. NEVER overdrive your vehicle.

about a year ago
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Officials Say HealthCare.gov Site Now Performing Well

sgtrock Gapminder (644 comments)

Gapminder's main site

Go ahead, check out the stats. By any measure, the US is NOT number one when it comes to health care and we spend a higher percentage of our GDP than everyone else for demonstrably poorer results.

about a year ago
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Desert Farming Experiment Yields Good Initial Results

sgtrock Re:Economics (178 comments)

"We" already are starving and overpopulated**.

"we" are not. In fact, only a small portion of the world now faces starvation, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.

The evidence so far strongly suggests that we now live in a "winner-take-all" world economy, where technological advances do not filter down and only serve to deepen the inequality both within a countries population and between countries.

Again, alarmist babble with little basis in fact. The truth is that the technological revolution of the last 200+ years has extended the average lifespan worldwide from around 30 in 1800 for most people to well over 70. Even the poorest people have seen average life expectancy go from 30 to about 60.

Is everyone where they need to be? No. But let's stop with the Chicken Little imatation, shall we, so we can concentrated on the remaining problems? This scientific research/engineering project is exploring one of those ways to extend benefits to exactly the groups that need it most. Why not just evaluate the feasibility of the project, both economic and environmental, on its own merits?

1 year,9 days
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How Big Data Is Destroying the US Healthcare System

sgtrock Close.... (507 comments)

Our elected representatives live in a fantasy world where their votes are now bought and paid for legally. We are no longer their concern. It's all about the money.

"First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women." -- Tony Montana

1 year,23 days
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How Kentucky Built the Country's Best ACA Exchange

sgtrock Re:Attn: Slashdot Socialists!! You Are Screwed. (333 comments)

Nevertheless, you get what you pay for and most Americans get healthcare which is higher-quality than that received by Europeans

That is simply not true. Life expectancy. Infant mortality. Deaths from burns. Drownings. Deaths from falls. Deaths from poison.

Pick any metric that you like and you'll see similar results. The reality is that the U.S. paying FAR more than virtually all other countries for health care and getting demonstrably poorer results than many, including most of Europe. (We're tied with the Marshall Islands with Tuvalu and Niue close behind. Everyone else spends far less than we do.)

Worse, if you set any of the graphs in motion it becomes blatantly clear that for the past several years, we have been spending ever more on health care and seeing next to no improvment. It's most blatantly obvious in the case of infant mortality but the same trend is clear for virtually all variables. Meanwhile, country after country following more 'socialist' models are seeing far better results from the dollars that they spend.

1 year,24 days
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US Government Shutdown Ends

sgtrock Yeah, let's not let FACTS get in the way of a good (999 comments)

rant.

Life expectancy vs. % of GDP spent on health care.

Life expectancy vs. Government share of total health spending.

Tell me again why government funded health care is a bad idea? We get less for our health care than every other developed nation and pay far, FAR more than anyone else does. We are clearly doing something wrong. Maybe we ought to take a look at what works for a change instead of getting our 'facts' from Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Security Firm Confirms FOSS Devs Fix Bugs Faster

sgtrock sgtrock writes  |  more than 4 years ago

sgtrock (191182) writes "This story was reported in several places yesterday. From Dark Reading:

Around 58 percent of the applications tested by application security testing service provider Veracode in the past year-and-a-half failed to achieve a successful rating in their first round of testing. "The degree of failure to meet acceptable standards on first submission is astounding — and this is coming from folks who care enough to submit their software to our [application security testing] services," says Roger Oberg, senior vice president of marketing for Veracode. "The implication here is that more than half of all applications are susceptible to the kinds of vulnerabilities we saw at Heartland, Google, DoD, and others — these were all application-layer attacks."

...

"The conventional wisdom is that open source is risky. But open source was no worse than commercial software upon first submission. That's encouraging," Oberg says. And it was the quickest to remediate any flaws: "It took about 30 days to remediate open-source software, and much longer for commercial and internal projects," he says.

"

Link to Original Source

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