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AWS Urges Devs To Scrub Secret Keys From GitHub

utnapistim Re:How effective is such an ... urging? (109 comments)

> Wouldn't the Streisand Effect in this context imply that more developers are going to be placing their AWS/API keys in plain view?
> I think you're more referring to the effect of full disclosure, where by making it public you end up not just notifying the potential victims (if they're even awake) but also a not statistically insignificant amount of script kiddies [...]

Yes, that's what I meant.

about 6 months ago

AWS Urges Devs To Scrub Secret Keys From GitHub

utnapistim How effective is such an ... urging? (109 comments)

If the problem is as widespread as TFA suggests, an article/post/urging by Amazon risks simply triggering the Streisand effect (I was tempted to do a search myself after reading the article).

Then again, I'm not sure what else they could have done.

about 6 months ago

NASA Wants To Go To Europa

utnapistim Re:There may well be life on Europa (216 comments)

> If they're expecting to find some trace of life in some trace of water vapour that may or may not have been ejected near where the probe lands in the few days before any DNA or proteins would be destroyed by the hard vacuum and radiation then I think its wishful thinking at best.

Even if any DNA in this water would break down, an analysis of the water vapor would refine our models (and could confirm or exclude the presence of complex organic compounds, within or underneath the ice).

> At worst a waste of multi billion dollars when it could be spent on other more fruitful missions.

Your argument is biased towards the worst scenario. (at worst, _every mission_ is "a waste of multi billion dollars when it could be spent on more fruitful missions").

> Another probe to Titan that could travel around and examine the lakes and atmosphere would be far more worth while.

Obviously, the people planning the mission budget of NASA have a different definition of worthwhile than you (otherwise they would allocate all the budget on another probe to Titan).

about 6 months ago

Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

utnapistim Re:Keep attacking the Glass users (921 comments)

> Keep attacking the Glass users [...] Then that way the product will fail and we get our decency back.

You are loosing more of your decency by attacking people than by someone next to you using Glass.

about 7 months ago

Japanese Firm Proposes Microwave-Linked Solar Plant On the Moon

utnapistim Good idea ... (330 comments)

It's a good idea, except:

- the cost of getting the original materials to the moon is ... astronomic.

- the cost of getting the dependencies for building on the moon is astronomic as well (workers or enough robots to build a 11000 km solar panel strip), unless we send a Von Neumann machine; if we do, I propose we make it out of Unobtanium so it'll last.

- the system would provide good clean energy for the whole planet, except when something goes horribly wrong; Then, the cost of the project would increase by the cost of getting a crew to fix the problem all the way up there (high risk, large cost, polluting rocket and so on), and human lives (as in "the microwave beam unfortunately hit near the receiving station; cancer risk in the area increased to 90% in 10 minutes").

about 7 months ago

Pirate Bay Founder Warg Being Held in Solitary Confinement

utnapistim Re:are you kidding? (192 comments)

> Hackers like this are able to launch missiles with just a pay phone.

Hackers like what?
The man was not a hacker, but a software developer: he co-created a website, and apparently the software used to run said website.

about 9 months ago

Astronomers Discover Largest Structure In the Universe

utnapistim Re:quasardilla supreme (143 comments)

No; Something the scientific community thought was well understood is still thought to be well understood. We just have some more data.

about 10 months ago

I'd rather be spied on by ...

utnapistim Re:Damn it (324 comments)

> [...] disparage the various countries listed, regardless of whether they're deserving or not.

Considering they are collecting data they have no (legal/moral) right to, your argument is similar to "I wash myself every six months, regardless of whether I need it or not".

about 10 months ago

SnapChat Turns Down $3 Billion Offer From Facebook

utnapistim Re:They're ALL on crack. (188 comments)

> When someone offers you $3B for a company with no revenues and a product that could be duplicated in a week, take the money and RUN.

You could duplicate the website in a week and nobody would care (just like I could make a social website "just like facebook" and nobody would care).

Facebook is not interested in snapchat, it's interested in _the marketshare of snapchat_. A good way to get that would be to get the strings behind snapchat and make sure they're the ones who pull on them. That's worth billions to them; a website/service you could duplicate in a week, is worth the salary of a team of programmers, for a week (and nothing more).

about 10 months ago

NSA Monitored Calls of 35 World Leaders

utnapistim and the reason they did it was (310 comments)

... because they could.

As opposed to all other intelligence/counter-intelligence agencies in the world, who do exactly the same thing, for exactly the same reason.

I think the reason they got "little reportable intelligence" is because when you are in a position like that (president of a country, foreign dignitary, etc) , you at the very least _assume_ your allies will try to listen to your conversations.

At this level "reportable intelligence" conversations are not carried over public/listed phone lines, but on non-public lines, where you can set up privacy and security checks, encryption and authentication protocols and so on (i.e. send a USB stick by a courrier you trust or something).

about a year ago

What Knowledge Gaps Do Self-Taught Programmers Generally Have?

utnapistim Things I found usefull (396 comments)

Here are some things I found usefull in university:

- study of algorithms (big-O notation with case studies on sorting algorithms); This one completely changed the way I view program efficiency

- formal languages / compiler theory (grammars and parsing have never been the same for me since). This is something you will look at when you write any low-level parsing/validation: XML, functional / expression editors and even program parameters parsing in some cases.

- language classes (this was not the actual name of the course and I don't remember what it was actually), but we went through query languages (SQL), unstructured languages (BASIC), procedural and functional (C, pascal), OOP (CPP, java) and declarative (prolog). Prolog was something that made me see differently how the language changes the way you think about programming.

All that said, the academical medium has never been accused of being very practical minded, and I learned at least as much in working in programming as I learned in university. Don't dismiss one in favor of the other as each will show you things the other simply doesn't.

more than 4 years ago

Windows 7 Clean Install Only In Europe

utnapistim Re:Removing IE (803 comments)

> So how hard is it to just automatically add the uninstall to the upgrade process? Make it optional: after completing an upgrade, ask the user whether they'd like to remove IE or keep it.

I would say "pretty hard". Not harder than some other things they have to manage, but you are looking here at functionality that affects a complex operating system. Having the system without IE for a clean install is relatively easy: you have a stable configuration made, then install it and test it.

Having an old system (with who knows what running on it) upgraded, is pretty damn complicated (you have to change more than a Gb of files without breaking dependencies); when you add removing something from it that was critical to the OS in the previous version (if we are to believe MS that is), that should increase the risk of breaking stuff quite a lot.

From the "project management point of view", you're looking here at adding at least some man-days of testing for this feature to weed out bugs from this alone (out of the top of my hat I would say some month or two in man-days, with all that's involved in the upgrade process). A competent manager on a budget will probably try to avoid adding that feature if there is no distinct need for it.

I'm not saying it shouldn't be done, but saying "how hard can it be" might be an over-simplification.

more than 5 years ago

Adblock Plus Maker Proposes Change To Help Sites

utnapistim Re:Hmm... (615 comments)

Other than the odd impulse purchase from J-List or ThinkGeek or something, who seriously buys anything they see in a banner ad? Almost nobody, that's who.

True. Unfortunately, almost nobody can be a significant number, for a large enough number of visitors.

more than 5 years ago

Google NativeClient Security Contest

utnapistim Re:Oops... (175 comments)

NEVER, EVER give slashdot a challenge you don't want fulfilled!

1. RTFA!
2. ???
3. I win! (profit)

more than 5 years ago

Obama's Proposed Space Weapon Ban

utnapistim Re:Childish (550 comments)

And yes, those weapons did end the war.

As far as I remember from what I read about WW2 (and I could be wrong in this), Japan was in peace talks either before or after the first atomic strike.
There is debate if the nuclear attacks were necessary, and there are some strong arguments that if the first may have been justifiable, the second definitely wasn't.

What the second attack changed, was that Japan accepted an unconditional surrender, instead of peace negotiations.

What do you base your affirmation on, when you say that those weapons ended the war?

more than 5 years ago

Why Your Pop-Up Blocker Doesn't Work Anymore

utnapistim Articles like this ... (653 comments)

... are like free endorsements for Firefox + adblock plus + NoScript + ... some other extensions.

The more they keep annoying users, the more popular the solution becomes.

more than 5 years ago

Could Fake Phishing Emails Help Fight Spam?

utnapistim Re:Dumbass idea, man (296 comments)

That's a good argument, but I think you oversimplify.

The intention behind it is to stop spam, and the results of responding to these emails will lead to the responders answer less in the future (at least in theory).

While I agree with the principle that "the same energy that creates a problem cannot be used to solve it", this is not the case here.

For a similar example, there are vaccines that use a dead/weakened virus to trigger an antiviral response from the body (and you could say that sending more viruses to eliminate viruses will not eliminate viruses).

more than 5 years ago

Carbon Dioxide and Water Found On Exoplanet

utnapistim Re:Proof? (151 comments)

But how can we be sure of that until someone goes there to check that it returned the correct results?

Consistency; As our ability to measure remotely grows, we can do more tests. If the results are inconsistent, we'll have to come up with new theories.

In other words, we can't be sure, but we can make reasonable assumptions.

more than 5 years ago

Steve Wozniak Predicts Death of the IPod

utnapistim Not blocking (573 comments)

I doubt the iPod will go out of market because of it's limitations.

All they have to do is see they loose market share and address the issues. I know it sounds easier than it is, but the marketing team that kept the ipod where it is for so long cannot be so incompetent as to not get over it.

Perhaps a better framing would have been "iPod as it is now is on it's way out".

That said, I got myself a Sansa e280 instead of iPod, especially due to the iPod's lock-in, so take my comments with a grain of salt.

more than 5 years ago


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