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Comments

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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

ugen Re:Before and After (730 comments)

From what I understood so far, mobile payments will only work on devices equipped with fingerprint scanner. So, unless they badly break the design, it should not be possible for a 3rd party to pay with the device.

about two weeks ago
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Feds Say NSA "Bogeyman" Did Not Find Silk Road's Servers

ugen Re:Analyzing the FBI's Explanation of How They Loc (142 comments)

That'd be one useless network though. If your devices have no information worth stealing - than what are they doing?

That's the problem with anonymity (and security in general). To be perfect, it's got to have no value.

In a more practical case like this one, I fully expect that administrators of those servers made one small mistake (more likely simply could not check every possible bit of code for information it may leak) and that was their downfall.

about two weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

ugen Seat size is well defined (814 comments)

On most airlines size and pitch of seats is well defined and listed when you purchase tickets. I mostly fly United (not that I like them, they just go where I need to go) and seat size is clearly listed.
You can pay extra and get an "Economy Plus" seat that is promised to have extra leg room and may otherwise be more convenient.
Seats that do not recline are also clearly marked.

  That is to say - you pay airline for a very specific set of conditions, and it is airlines job to provide those (as limited as they might be).

People that need more knee space/seat space etc are able *now* to buy seats that fit to their specific size. What they cannot do is buy a cheapest ticket and then attempt to make up for lack of space by taking some of the space *I* paid for.

about two weeks ago
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Google Serves Old Search Page To Old Browsers

ugen Re:A solution to a problem (152 comments)

Yes, and that's precisely what I've been doing. Firefox + UAControl = score :)

I get to use normal-looking and convenient Google maps (instead of the recent monstrosity that shows up in Safari and other "current" browsers)
I can easily remove trackback links (because Google returns them in plain text to IE6 but goes to great lengths to obfuscate them for current browsers)
And otherwise Google looks clean and neat.

This is one feature of Google I happen to love :)

about two weeks ago
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UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys

ugen Re:Seems appropriate (353 comments)

This is UK, queen and all. I don't think 5th amendment applies there.

about 2 months ago
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On 4th of July:

ugen I hate fireworks (340 comments)

Fascination with big fires and loud booms is a bit primitive, isn't it?

about 2 months ago
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2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

ugen Re:Index it to inflation (619 comments)

Who not simply make it a percentage of gas price? Magically indexed. (Unless gas becomes cheaper, which will mean people will drive more and pay even more gas tax anyway)

about 2 months ago
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Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

ugen Re:Greater per car occupancy? (260 comments)

So what you are saying is that Uber is not even a ride "sharing" platform so much as an enabler for unlicensed car service business? I did not know that.

I have to admit that my opinion on Uber was, so far, essentially neutral. However, if what you are saying is true - I would be inclined to reconsider and think of them as a net-negative. If they are a taxi cab - they should register and operate as one, any instant online hailing and optimal vehicle routing sauce notwithstanding.

I will vote accordingly if/when this comes up in my locality.

about 3 months ago
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Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

ugen Greater per car occupancy? (260 comments)

I am not sure trying to pass Uber as an environmentally friendly solution will pass muster. Uber drivers operate essentially as unlicensed taxi cab drivers, rather than true "rideshare" or carpool services. They pick up new clients wherever requested and drive them to wherever client wants to go. These are trips that would not have happened otherwise. Since these services are, generally, cheaper than licensed taxi cabs (though, curiously, not by much in the area I just checked) - they may prompt people to call for and use an individual car, whereas otherwise the same riders might have chosen less convenient but cheaper public transportation.

about 3 months ago
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Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

ugen Re:Good bye source compatibility (636 comments)

That's not what cross-platform compatibility implies. Placement of specific elements and their view is a subject of "themes" and is readily customizable.
As a developer I care about underlying primitives - things like "windows", "buttons", "menus" or more generically "events", "inputs" etc. Once those underlying things can no longer be shared - you have to write a new product from scratch for every platform.

Think of something like Adobe Photoshop (I assume as a UX person you are using it?). It is possible to have a version for Windows, and one for Mac precisely because you have those common underlying primitives and APIs, even though they don't necessarily look the same in all respects.

If commonality of platforms is gone - even a company like Adobe will have really hard time building products for both platforms. That will eventually affect users too, since they will likely have to select different (and no longer compatible) products for each platform as well. For now that's not the case - but given where things go, it probably will be.

about 3 months ago
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Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

ugen Re:Windows Phone and RT do not require C# (636 comments)

Ok, so that's what I meant - it may be C++, but WinRT is not compatible with posix/libc-ish API (in fact, because of its event-based nature I don't see even an indirect mapping to the way things were done in the other ones). While it's nice to think Win32 is still alive, clearly it's on the way out and so is source compatibility.

about 3 months ago
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Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

ugen Re:Good bye source compatibility (636 comments)

Are you sure about the "metro"? Name is dead, but I was under impression that all new windows "apps" had to be written in C# against a new SDK that has neither binary nor source compatibility with Win32/posix/C/C++. I'd be glad to be wrong, but that's what I've seen so far.

Are you saying that it is possible to write new "Windows app-store-acceptable" apps using C/C++/posix/winsdk? That would be exciting news to me (honestly).

about 3 months ago
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Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

ugen Re:Good bye source compatibility (636 comments)

Qt does not (and cannot) support Windows "Metro" (or whatever the name is for the C#/event driven/non Win32 environment now)
By the same token it won't be able to support this new environment.

Qt, XWidgets and others like them rely on basic C compatibility and certain common UI themes and primitives to be able to build cross-platform libraries and applications. With proprietary, non-portable and non-overlapping languages vendors make sure that any development has to target their platform specifically.

Aside from that, if new development environment does not support linking against "old" binary libraries - developers also don't get the benefit of code reuse (since they won't be able to use existing libraries for things like image handling, graphics, sound, networking, you name it).

about 4 months ago
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Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

ugen Good bye source compatibility (636 comments)

Good bye source compatibility. We hardly knew ye.
First Windows, and now OSX. I am still maintaining applications that are built crossplatform (Windows/Mac/Linux, with unified GUI look) but it's getting harder every year and, by the looks of it, will be impossible soon.
Which means that an individual developer (like myself) or a smaller shop would have to choose one big player/OS vendor and stick with it. That increases risk and makes small players that much less viable (while, of course, helping the big ones consolidate user base and profit).
Funny how the world works.

about 4 months ago
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With the Surface Pro, Microsoft Is Trying To Recreate the PC Market

ugen Good luck with that. (379 comments)

What was that about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

about 4 months ago
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Hacker Holds Key To Free Flights

ugen Re:Picking a seat is easy (144 comments)

Which one? Knowing what passenger is in what seat? I dunno, airlines don't do much of anything if it costs extra. Remember the peanuts?

about 5 months ago
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Hacker Holds Key To Free Flights

ugen Picking a seat is easy (144 comments)

Seat maps are now available online realtime for most major airlines. So there is no need to guess - you can pick a right flight and an empty seat, do it right before the departure and it will likely remain empty.

On the other hand, my impression of gate check was that it checks boarding pass against database record of name/reservation/seat assignment. Certainly any other information maintained by gate agents is in the same remote database (such that any changes they perform at the gate become instantly visible online, for example standby and upgrade list status). So, no matter what the "local hack" is, it would only work if either:
- He can also hack remote passenger database (unlikely)
- Specific airline does not check passengers against the database and trusts properly constructed boarding pass (also unlikely, at least in US, as there needs to be positive match between passenger and loaded luggage that has to be performed based on that darn remote record).

There is also pesky passenger manifest with names, which again comes not from your boarding pass but from the remote system (though they need to reconcile with with reality).

Let's wait and see. Perhaps some of these conditions don't hold in Europe for whatever reason?

about 5 months ago
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Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

ugen Re:I'll invoke Godwin's law (824 comments)

I did not provide quality judgement. I merely suggested that there may be *some* beliefs that justify appropriate protest. Whether *this one* is such or not is not really the point.

about 6 months ago
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Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

ugen I'll invoke Godwin's law (824 comments)

What if that CEO just "gave some money years ago" to Nazis? Now as CEO he is promising to promote "inclusive policies" . Would Jewish people working for this company be justified in asking him to step down?

See, it *is* about the kind of belief that is being dealt with.

In any case, CEO has a right to his opinion and employees have a right to theirs. They are *asking* for him to step down. That's what free speech is for. They can ask, and he can do as he sees fit.

about 6 months ago
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NSA and GHCQ Employing Shills To Poison Web Forum Discourse

ugen Not just US (347 comments)

Russia is doing this sort of thing pretty extensively. On one of the national forums I happen to frequent we know who these people are - in fact, they are not really in hiding (though they never officially confirm or deny their identity). Human psychology works in curious ways, though - even though the perpetrators are well known, the rest of the community still gets into extensive discourse that includes these people and even allows them to steer discussion in whatever direction they need to. I have to give it to these guys - they are well prepared and master mass psychology quite well.

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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NASA awards "space taxi" contracts to both Boeing and SpaceX

ugen ugen writes  |  2 days ago

ugen (93902) writes "Contrary to the rumor posted on Slashdot earlier today, "NASA will partner with Boeing and SpaceX to build commercially owned and operated "space taxis" to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, ending U.S. dependence on Russia for rides, officials said on Tuesday... Boeing was awarded $4.2 billion to SpaceX's $2.6 billion. ""
Link to Original Source
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US arrests son of Russian MP in Maldives for hacking

ugen ugen writes  |  about 2 months ago

ugen (93902) writes "The son of a Russian lawmaker has been arrested by the U.S. on charges of selling credit card information he stole by hacking into the computers of American retailers.
Roman Seleznev, 30, was arrested overseas by the U.S. Secret Service on July 5 and was ordered detained today during a hearing in federal court in Guam, the Justice Department said in a statement."

Link to Original Source

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