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Highly Advanced Backdoor Trojan Cased High-Profile Targets For Years

sphealey Re:Microsoft Windows only (141 comments)

There's now an entire generation of IS/IT managers, directors, and CIOs who not only prefer Microsoft technology but have an active dislike of anything related to Unix(tm) - including but not limited to Linux(tm). And along with dislike comes distrust and contempt. They firmly believe that Microsoft provides superior technology, tools, and usability, and that to choose other technology is not only to make a mistake but to expose themselves to professional risk.

You can disagree with them if you prefer (I tend to, myself). But people holding this set of technical preferences now makes up a substantial fraction - possibly a substantial majority - of technical decisionmakers in the US at least.

sPh

2 days ago
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A Mysterious Piece of Russian Space Junk Does Maneuvers

sphealey Re:Jeez, just come clean (146 comments)

Yeah, that's the scenario that affected every design choice on the Space Shuttle and led to the building of the Vandenburg shuttle pad. Many problems with it, including the one where it invites a strike by the grab-ee on the landing site leading directly to a Dr. Strangelove situation.

sPh

about three weeks ago
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A Mysterious Piece of Russian Space Junk Does Maneuvers

sphealey Re:Jeez, just come clean (146 comments)

I'm not sure why Ars Technica took their well-written article about the Soviet decision to build the Buran off-line, but IIRC that was essentially the logic the Soviets were following at the time. All their calculations told them the Space Shuttle was a loser, but the Americans were building one so surely they must know something we don't.... 20 billion rubles down the drain.

sPh

about three weeks ago
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Solving the Mystery of Declining Female CS Enrollment

sphealey Re:Boys are naturally curious... (608 comments)

Kinda weird how from 1942-1980 or thereabouts it was women who were considered better at programming "systems", and all of a sudden that natural attribute reversed.

sPh

about a month ago
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Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

sphealey Re:Bauhaus (370 comments)

As noted, Jane Jacob's famous _Death and Life of Great American Cities_ addressed the affect of Bauhaus and other modernist schools of architecture and urban planning on everyday human beings. William Whyte's _City_ touches on many of the same issues. Wolfe's _From Bauhaus to Our House_ was written for more of a general audience and shows clear signs of the Wolfe-ian obnoxiousness to follow but is nonetheless a biting critique of those design schools.

But there's a large amount of Bauhaus (and/or Chicago School) criticism out there; you may need to look a bit harder.

sPh

about a month ago
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Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

sphealey Re: I don't follow (370 comments)

I'm referring more to the general perception that sans serif fonts are "cleaner" and therefore easier to comprehend and read. If you track down the FAA study (ironically published from a manuscript typed on a typewriter IIRC) this is not the case. That matches my personal perception - sans serifs are fine for titling but serif fonts are almost always easier to comprehend - but goes against the conventional wisdom. As evidenced by the "cleaner" trope.

sPh

about a month ago
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Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

sphealey Bauhaus (370 comments)

Highly accomplished designers tend to fall in love with and become obsessed by Bauhaus style in its various cyclical incarnations. The remaining 99.999% of the human race finds Bauhaus objects and systems very pretty to look and impossible to use for more than a few days, as documented by Jane Jacobs, William White, Tom Wolf, and many others. The designers believe the rest of the critics are blind and the human race is just using their wonderful Bauhaus stuff wrong.

sPh

about a month ago
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Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

sphealey Re: I don't follow (370 comments)

- - - - - It's general knowledge in typography that Helvetica is the most legible typeface. - - - - -

That is very much convention wisdom, yes. There are surprisingly few scientifically designed studies on typeface legibility, but the ones I have been able to find (particularly the FAA-sponsored study in the early days of CRTs in the cockpit) have indicated that serif - NOT sans serif - fonts are easier to read, even at low resolution.

sPh

about a month ago
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Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

sphealey Re:Overstated or misrepresented? (403 comments)

Curious as to why the fuel economy readouts on a modern car would be inaccurate. The computer has fuel flow readings down to about .001 ml and precise wheel rotation readings 6/sec from the ABS system. Unless the owner puts tires of a non-standard diameter on the car what would cause the inaccuracy?

sPh

about a month and a half ago
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Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

sphealey Re:Well DUH! (403 comments)

There's also the European preference for small high-revvers combined with the disdain for automatic transmissions. Yes, up through about 1990 a well-driven manual could provide better fuel economy. Today's computer-controlled automatics are more efficient than human shifters, and that's before any fancy radar-driven predictive shifting is brought into play.

sPh

Note that I am saying nothing about personal driving enjoyment preferences or ability to play boy racer, just fuel economy

about a month and a half ago
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Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

sphealey Re:metric you insensitive clod! (403 comments)

Up until just a few years ago, the ultimate measure of fuel economy in the UK was:

miles/liter/stone/cubic meter

So I wouldn't gripe about US ANSI units too much ;-)

sPh

Haven't been to the UK since road signs were officially changed to km, but I understand most UKians still think of distances in miles.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

sphealey Re:Listen to Sales - as hard as it may be (159 comments)

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

I think what sphealey was saying is that, if a vendor say "you don't want to see our 'dirty laundry'" or something like that, then that vendor is an immediate no-go.

It isn't about bug-free software, it is about making sure you avoid vendors that may try to deliberately hide/ignore bugs.

Spot-on AC.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

sphealey Re:They are just lazy (159 comments)

I had a software vendor once that had an odd bug in its telephone system: when a support person would put you on hold it would occasionally transfer you into conference with the technician's queue. You know what really, really angers a customer? Being told for the third time by second-level support that he is closing your case as "can't reproduce/no other customers reported/not a bug" and then being put into an impromptu conference call with two other customers waiting to speak to the 2nd level developer about the very same bug - each for more than the 1st time. Makes the user conference a bit uncomfortable for the support group as well.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

sphealey Re:Advertise it as a positive thing (159 comments)

ASK (of MANMAN fame - predecessor of 80% of the ERP products on the market today), Novell, and several of the large networking vendors of the 1990-2005 period were all organizations that openly published their bug lists to the world during their growth phases. It was the restriction of those lists that signaled to their customers and the market that it was time to be careful, not their original existence.

sPh

Yes, I know: I'm sure none of the above published 100% of their non-security bugs. But it was clear to any experienced manager of those technologies that a very large percentage were publicly acknowledged.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

sphealey Re:Sanitizing comments, trolls, first to market (159 comments)

- - - - - What about the trolls who will say "hey this has been filed for X years and still nobody fucking fixes it!?? FAIL!!" Who needs that kind of drama in a bug db. - - - - -

Not to sound all cluetrainy, but this isn't 1995 any more. There are plenty of open uncensored forums and mailing lists where your customers are discussing your product, especially its bugs, and which prospective customers are researching prior to making a decision. Is it better to have the bug acknowledged, perhaps with a brief explanation of why it won't be scheduled for a few more years and a workaround, or your better customers knifing you in the back on mailing lists?

sPh

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

sphealey Re:Listen to Sales - as hard as it may be (159 comments)

Whereas I have eliminated several ERP vendors from medium-dollar searches when they dropped the "dirty laundry" phrase. Clue: the software vendor's "dirty laundry" is my bug and has the potential to destroy my business.

about 2 months ago
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Apple Yanks iOS 8 Update

sphealey Re:Just don't update it that way. (203 comments)

Um.... the same editorial team also runs the Cult of Android site. Bit of self-depreciating humor there I think.

sPh

about 2 months ago
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Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Healthcare.gov Rollout

sphealey Good summary (392 comments)

Good summary by Ezra Klein, who has been tracking health care reform since at least 2008:

In conservative media, Obamacare is a disaster. In the real world, it’s working.

"On the whole, though, costs are lower than expected, enrollment is higher than expected, the number of insurers participating in the exchanges is increasing, and more states are joining the Medicaid expansion. Millions of people have insurance who didn't have it before. The law is working. But a lot of the people who are convinced Obamacare is a disaster will never know that, because the voices they trust will never tell them"

about 2 months ago

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