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Chinese Hackers Infiltrate Firms Using Malware-Laden Handheld Scanners

stokessd it isn't XP, it's an ethics problem (93 comments)

If the summary is at all accurate, the manufacture built both the hardware and the software. So blaming the OS is silly. This is a case where any OS could be used, even a custom one, and they would add the spying functionality as they were building it. The real issue is buying hardware systems from unethical folks, no OS hardening in the world will help you when the manufacture controls it.

If China doesn't improve their stand on ethics, they will be relegated to building bath toys and partial systems where their leaks and theft aren't super critical. If they hope to join the rest of the developed world, they need to get their shit together.

about three weeks ago

Yahoo May Build Its Own YouTube

stokessd Re:if yahoo builds a youtube... (162 comments)

Sort of the premium segment like Apple does vs Android.

When I think premium, I think Yahoo. :D

about 4 months ago

Yahoo May Build Its Own YouTube

stokessd Re:ads (162 comments)

I'm actually OK with weeding out a crapload of user content. I don't need a 3 minute tutorial, with a 30 second intro, and 20 second outtro completely drenched in speed metal and cheesy effects to show me something that could have been typed out in three sentences of text.

I've had a free regular and, I've been told, very helpful website with no advertising (other than my own services) for many years now. There would still be useful content on the web without ads. There was when it was starting.

i'm just old, so get off my lawn.


about 4 months ago

Yahoo May Build Its Own YouTube

stokessd ads (162 comments)

They're seeking to take advantage of complaints from users who make videos for YouTube that they don't make enough money for their efforts.

Lets hope they put in even more ads. I really like the unskipable 30 second ads before some shitty 15 second video.

about 4 months ago

Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

stokessd Re:Apple? (409 comments)

I want to like pages, I really do. It used to have a great file saving format that embedded your text as xml and all your embedded graphics were saved in their original file form in the pages file "bundle". So 20 years from now, you could get all your figures and text out, and not be screwed because your program of choice isn't available anymore (I'm looking at you, framemaker).

Here are the fatal flaws of Pages:

1) no cross-referencing of figures, table etc. This makes auto- numbering impossible and table of figures, and tables of contents are all manual like I'm on an IBM selectric and it's 1976.

2) constant saving. I can't open up one document, fiddle with it, and close it. I want to save on my terms. If I want to open a doc, yank half of it out and put it somewhere, I don't necessarily want that change spooled to disk 100 times a second.

3) almost forgot: Absymal footnote, and end note handling. Non-existent is a better word for it.

It's like pages is meant only for letters to mom, and jr. high school english papers.

Don't get me started on Numbers, as someone who knows Excel inside and out, Numbers is baffling. And not in a "I don't know how to use it way", but in a more serious "Who would think this is the way people would want to work" way.

It's a good thing they are free, that's the appropriate value point.

(LaTeX user)

about 4 months ago

Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

stokessd Re:In other words . . . (409 comments)

It scales up to a certain point, then there is a brick wall of functionality, then you have to toss all your work and re-invent it in python, or matlab, etc. Excel is a handy tool, and arguably the best part of the office suite, but I've seen many times when people think they can do something in excel and can't make the model more complex and have to start over in a real programming environment.

"if you use excel well you're like a zen samaurai. you can defeat any problem with a few simple moves."

True, but only for fairly simple problems, or should I say, only for certain classes of problems.


about 4 months ago

Blowing Up a Pointless Job Interview

stokessd Re: Interview ending question (692 comments)

This happened to me a couple months ago. I was on a phone interview with Cree for a PhD level position and the interviewer was saying it was a night shift position and that this position expected a work level of 55-65 hours a week.

I almost said "we're done here". But I had jumped through so many hoops to get to this point that I was going to let this play out.

After a half hour of questions and answers he asked if I had any questions. My chance! I asked if he was willing to pay me at least 150% of my current salary plus cost of living differential. Because he is expecting me to work 60 hours a week. I also added that this assumes that it's a linear relationship (which it's not). He said, "that depends on how the interview goes". I said, "I guess we have the answer then".

An offer letter was not forthcoming.

about 6 months ago

Why Competing For Tenure Is Like Trying To Become a Drug Lord

stokessd Re: So... (168 comments)

That is very true. Advisor reputation flows out through his grad students. I'm known as one of "Mark's" students and that comes with significant baggage, both good and bad. In general his student have been very successful and when in certain circles that flowed back to him. Both in reputation and grant money. The grant money comes from people who know him or were his students and are working in the field and control research dollars that can flow to colleges.

It's a cool world, not without problems and inefficiencies, but it would be hard to create a better one that would be stable long-term.


about 8 months ago

Why Competing For Tenure Is Like Trying To Become a Drug Lord

stokessd Re: Overstating their case (168 comments)

That's a real shame. What sort of "Art Studies" were you in? As a PhD in a hard science, I've found employment outside academia to be fairly plentiful.

The real problem that you bring up is that many higher education institutions don't provide guidance in probability of feeding yourself verses major chosen. This is a real shortcoming in a place that you are investing a HUGE amount of time and money into


about 8 months ago

MenuetOS, an OS Written Entirely In Assembly Language, Inches Towards 1.0

stokessd Re: Gotta ask ! (372 comments)

And security, who is going to write malware for that? Iran needs this controlling the centrifuges.

about 8 months ago

US Gov't Circulates Watch List of Buyers of Polygraph Training Materials

stokessd TPB... (303 comments)

"How to Sting The Polygraph" is not on The Pirate Bay yet, but there are several other titles along the same lines. And of course some porn with polygraph in the title, which I'm going to check out "for professional reasons only".


about 9 months ago

Microsoft Shows Off Its Vision For Gesture-Controlled PCs

stokessd Re: Add this to Cars (139 comments)

Maybe you plebs can't, but I've got steering wheel controls on my car. Problem solved

Plus car software and hardware is light years behind terrestrial software and nobody can get gestures reliable and useful there. There's no hope for cars.

about 10 months ago

The Case of the Orca That Killed Its Trainer

stokessd Re: "Killer whale" (395 comments)

" We don't have a crap load of fat. "

Please visit the Midwest, we have deep fried everything.

about a year ago

Slashdot Goes to the FIRST Robotics Competition (Video)

stokessd Re:Volunteer Judge reporting in! (41 comments)

I judged two years in a row at the local FIRST competition. I don't do it anymore because the awards are an "everybody is a winner" type of event. In the two years I judged, one or two teams were head and shoulders above the other teams, and deserved to clean up. But the judges agonized and spread out the awards to everybody. That does both the winners and losers a disservice and doesn't reflect how life really works. It was an interesting idea, but the lack of awards based on merit sort of soured it for me.


about a year ago

Fox News: US Solar Energy Investment Less Than Germany Because US Has Less Sun

stokessd Re:Oh give them a break (644 comments)

And by that very definition we our faith in the Obama administration should be exactly zero.

That's very true. But Romney/Ryan was a vote for the American Taliban. Both choices sucked. And both choices will continue to suck until moderates are allowed back into government.

about a year and a half ago

With 128GB, iPad Hits Surface Pro, Ultrabook Territory

stokessd Re:ridiculous! (501 comments)

Is it the same reason God invented ubiquitous, always on internet connections? Oh right, those don't exist. We're talking about portable devices here. Some of us actually go places and do things (like use Matlab) where *gasp* internet is not available.

This is offtopic but:

More importantly, god invented python (Guido == God in the rest of this post). Which kicks the everliving crap out of MATLAB for most computing tasks, and is free. As a MATLAB person, I've been doing a lot of coding in Python with pylab and numpy, and my life is significantly improved.

A gimped set of python toolboxes and a python environment is available for the iPad, but when I'm coding, I want a keyboard.


about a year and a half ago

Alan Cox Exits Intel, Linux Development

stokessd Re: He's done it before (214 comments)

My two corgis (corgwn) aprove.

about a year and a half ago

30 Years of the Apple Lisa and the Apple IIe

stokessd Re:if the apple //e is 30 years old (171 comments)

I can still hear the sound of the floppy drives. Man, that's music to these old and tired ears.

The IIe was my first computer I programmed for as well. But the Macintosh was much more magical in what it could do.


about a year and a half ago

Timothy Lord Discovers the Good Night Lamp at CES (Video)

stokessd !good (236 comments)

Just what I need to have a blissful night sleep is a lamp that is controlled by someone else. Next up, let's put control of the toilet flush lever in someone else's hands while I'm showering.

about a year and a half ago

How Google Glass Is Evolving As It Heads For Release To Developers

stokessd Re:One-Eyed folks? (140 comments)

It would suck to be cheated out of 3d movies...

As someone with binocular vision, I would also like to be cheated out of 3D movies. Please please never let me see that gimmicky crap ever again.

And the glasses can go suck it too...


about a year and a half ago


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