Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:I'm making a note here (Score 3, Interesting) 88

I like that analogy a lot. There's a careful balance between inculcating into my children that hard work, study, etc. is necessary, but also letting them know that it's not a guarantee. You also need some luck, but less of it, the harder you work. Hopefully it means that they won't feel betrayed in areas where they "do all the right things" but don't get the appropriate reward.

Or as I've told them:

Most of my success has depended on luck, but it's amazing how the harder I worked at something, the luckier I was.

Comment Re:What's the big problem? (Score 1) 675

Actually a fair number of the older PINPads take a crazily long time to generate ARQCs and validate ARPCs. I suspect whoever was supplying the HSM equivalents for the PINPads decided to go green and power them with an easily-tired gerbil rather than electricity.

Sure Chip + Sig will reduce card cloning, which is *by far* the biggest problem *at the moment*.

My worry is that once since crime migrates, and the fraudsters have got a lot of very smart engineers and programmers working for them now, once card cloning isn't a big business, will they migrate to something that isn't protected by Chip + Sig and we'll have this heartache all over again.

Certainly not helped by the fact that Visa and M/C are pushing merchants to do away with ARPCs and now they're even proposing to not include the amount in the ARQC data so they can do pre-insertion. Talk about reducing chip to the minimal possible security!

Comment Re:What's the big problem? (Score 1) 675

The choice is up to each individual card issuer (and they could vary this among card batches).

But indeed, almost all credit cards are chip and sig in the US. I'll admit the first time I encountered this, I failed the test cases I was running as obviously a major screw-up. Thought my boss was having me on when he told me that seriously most US issuers were going chip + sig.

Still, in the end, it prevents card cloning, which is where the losses were beginning to become industry threatening. (The US had no real intention of switching a few years ago - I guess they didn't realize they were going to become the magnet for card fraudsters for the entire world.)

Comment Re:Nope (Score 3, Insightful) 675

Even at the weakest level, EMV adds one important security factor. You can't simply skim a chip card and make a new working chip card.

Without PIN, chip cards won't prevent the card from being individually stolen and used, but that's not where the industrial level losses were occurring. It had reached the point of being a major business for organized crime, and this will put a serious crimp in it. (When I was more involved in bank security a few years ago, you could find franchising skimmer opportunities on YouTube that were renewed every few minutes as they got taken down.)

As well, as one wealthy hold-out to chip, the US was attracting the attention of the world's high tech criminals. Since crime migrates to the weakest link, you don't want to be the slowest deer in the herd, which the US was rapidly becoming. (The US punitive legal system had kept the US from being a favored target when other countries had left their doors unlocked, but once there weren't any other wealthy countries with low hanging fruit, cyber crime was going exponential.

There'll be other forms of crime (crime migrates to different types of crime as well), but few that worked so well on the an industrial scale.

Comment Re: Why is it troubling? (Score 1) 499

If we're gearing education towards the top 10%, then sure, emphasize creativity because they probably have the culture, and more importantly, parents who can backstop their "finding their career".

But if we're talking about everyone else, we're looking at those who need to get a job fresh out of school - the sort of service jobs whose primary requirement is mastery of a limited skill set (that does require training and a willingness to learn) and the conscientiousness required to show up and do an adequate job every day, no matter how you are feeling. You need the conscientiousness that allows you to serve customers respectfully and cheerfully no matter how you personally feel.

As we plunge into the great equalization, where Western salaries drop and world income's rise to meet at ~$10K, I don't think we'll have the time and/or money to support a lot of creativity. Our future (and the future of mankind in general) will look rather like China for a generation or two before we finally see a truly global increase in incomes.

(Unless the robots come - in that case, we all starve.)

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 499

So, I'm wondering if you've tried going to your boss and asking for more money?

I'd be very careful about offering that advice. There's an arm-load of studies showing that women are penalized far more heavily (by both men and women) for being perceived as selfish. And for many, many teams, demanding your due *is* construed as selfish. The team has limited resources, and by demanding more, you are prioritizing yourself over the team.

Far too often I've seen "She's a jerk." "Well, he's even more of a jerk." "Well, yes, but she should know better"

Men get away with it more easily because we're assumed to be selfish jerks. Women are expected to understand that difficulties that team faces and prioritize the team's needs over their own.

It's yet one more way that women *cannot* behave the same way as a man without paying a significant penalty. It's not just that they prefer to play by different rules, it's that they are also penalized when they don't.

Comment Re: Why is it troubling? (Score 1) 499

Boys will do better in school, and girls will develop more skills which help them succeed in a modern workforce.

Are you so certain? I'd say that almost every aspect of modern society rewards conscientiousness over creativity and we're moving ever faster in that direction. Sure, we love the one in 10,000,000 who can exercise their freedom and creativity to create something unusual (although even that era draws to a close as the wild west of the Internet disappears). However, we crush everyone else that claims creativity in anything but the personal domain.

I'd say that it's pretty clear that modern commercial society (i.e. the one that stops us from starving) simply rewards the natural abilities that most women have in the same way that ancient societies rewarded pure physical strength. It seems to me that if that is what modern society needs, then that's what the schools should be training for.

It seems cruel to train children to expect the freedoms that, if exercised, will lead to their financial destruction.

Comment Re:Bullshit, was Re:Not surprising (Score 3, Interesting) 499

The one difference I have found is that male engineers are much more likely to overestimate their competence than female engineers.

I'll say that was perhaps the biggest change getting used to a mixed office - remembering that the women (in general) underestimated (or perhaps merely underplayed) their technical competence and the men (in general) overestimated theirs. (Not usually catastrophically, I like to think of it as "optimism" :-))

Well that and if you didn't make room in a conversation, you weren't going to get the women (who were often technically superior) contributing. Sadly it took weeks for me to realize that the women weren't willing to talk over the men to make their points... Restructuring the meetings from a technically oriented free-for-all solved the problem nicely.

Comment Re: The knee-jerk reactions are illuminating and (Score 1) 499

God forbid we should put the work first or anything...

And God forbid that we actually look at the all the options for what makes a successful company or workplace.

Let me put it another way. You'd probably fail an interview for a successful company in China or Japan. Why? Because what constitutes the best employee has radically different qualities from what constitute your strengths here. Not only that, but if you were masked so that they thought you were Chinese or Japanese, your evaluation would be even lower, not because they privileged white people, but because they were judging you entirely on the basis of a cultural paradigm to which you did not belong.

Does that mean you would have nothing to offer a Chinese or Japanese company? Of course not. Your strengths are strengths. But it does mean that they would have to be flexible enough to understand that your strengths differ from the metrics they normally use. And companies that had that flexibility would gain from that.

I suspect the problem is rather more that you would be distinctly uncomfortable *really* putting work first and making the effort to allow the company to take advantage of a wide ranging, non-uniform set of strengths, many of which you'd barely recognize as relevant. Far easier to claim "this is the way that we've always done it - in fact this is the *only* way to do it" and persuade yourself that it's actually in the best interests of the company.

Comment Re: The knee-jerk reactions are illuminating and f (Score 3, Interesting) 499

And it didn't occur to you that men enjoy the privilege of competing in a culture designed specifically to showcase the strengths that geek-oriented men have?

As soon as you feel that there is an objective function to rate something on a one dimensional axis, you've already baked in a set of cultural assumptions about how things must be approached. Not only that, but there's a decent chance that you aren't even aware of what you've done.

I'm a pretty hard-core geek, but at least I realize that *my* favorite company culture is massively exclusionary of most of the planet, and more to the point, there are many, many ways to be be just as effective a company that don't incorporate my culture at all.

Massive lack of awareness != uncomfortable truth.

Comment Re:x64 considered harmful? (Score 1) 359

Do you find VS CPU-bound in any meaningful way? I've always found it was I/O that cost.

As for converting it to 64-bit, I would be *massively* surprised if updating the code didn't involve messing with hundreds, if not thousands of components, many of which haven't been touched in decades. There are amazing amounts of legacy in there that are absolutely essential to some customer somewhere, and *that* is where I figure you could spend man-decades of development, reduce stability and get almost nothing in return except that satisfaction of knowing you no longer need a copy of, say, Watcom C to do a full code recompile.

Maybe VS is all beautifully clean and can be recompiled at will on the latest compiler, but I suspect reality is ugly.

Comment Re:Metered connection (Score 2) 224

You know, if you're going to castigate, you *need* to read the story to avoid sounding... uncharitable.

The laptop was donated. They have $0 hardware budget and $0 software budget. Their expectation (obviously mistaken) is that like other infrastructure, it should not change radically without direct user intervention or an act of God.

Your insistence that people be knowledgeable about all the tools they use is, let's say, optimistic. And your inability to comprehend that these people might have more important things to do than become computer experts is... well it's interesting. Unless, of course, you *are* an expert is all of the infrastructure that you interact with on a daily basis, in which case you're just too awesome for us mere humans.

Comment Re:x64 considered harmful? (Score 1) 359

Moving to 64-bit will massively reduce stability for years (given the thousands of pieces of 32-bit code they'll need to be working with for generations). Unless going to 64-bit gives me some big feature win that I don't know about, I'll vastly prefer that MS put the resources that it invests into VS into something that will *increase* stability.

I am certain that there are a few folk who would benefit from this so much it would make up for the 32-64 bit hash that VS would turn into for a release or two, but I'm not among them, and I'm not willing to sacrifice my working environment *and* the developments that are foregone so the development can concentrate on 64 bit.

And honestly, I suspect that for many, 64-bit is a checkmark feature, and is translated in their head to "fewer crashes" when in all likelihood the opposite it is true for quite some time.

Of course, if there are some features that 64-bit code would benefit (and I'm running a million lines of code on a 120 project solution with VS not breaking a sweat), I would be genuinely interested to find out what they are.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Take that, you hostile sons-of-bitches!" -- James Coburn, in the finale of _The_President's_Analyst_