1037 posts • joined Friday 13th June 2008 00:11 GMT
Storm in a teacup
We all know the NSA does not spy on American citizens. Its charter doesn't allow it.
Instead, they request foreign Intelligence Agencies to do the spying for them and pass back that information. Perfectly legit then.
NOTE: this is all based on the state of the IT industry in my neck of the wood. I cannot speak for the rest of the world.
I have been in the industry and here's my view (coloured, I'm sure, by the intervening years and too much alcohol every so often).
(1) Our intake was roughly 200 people in the first semester. A good 3rd were women. By second semester, we were down to 100 students with, maybe, 1/10th women. By second year, there were 20 students in a class, but the men/women ratio still held. From memory, these numbers and ratios seemed to be constant for the rest of the degree.
(2) There were two major institutions in town at the time (there are more now) - one taught you the under-the-hood of computer programming (how computers work, the whys and wherefores of stacks, etc..) as well as such wonderful headache-inducing stuff like formal QA proofs of algorithms ("Z" anyone?). The other institution taught you to program in Java (and a few other languages of the day). Needless to say, when we hit the workforce the percentage of employees from the second institution vastly outnumbered that of the first. Now though, as I have progressed up the ladder, the percentages seem to be reversed at my level. make of that what you will.
I'd like to sing the praises of my Alma Mater, but last time I went back for a refresh course I subscribed to what I *thought* was Introduction to "Programming In Java", fully expecting to be taught the ins-and-outs of Java. What I got was Introduction to Programming (In Java). I have added quotes and brackets to make my point - there were none in the course title. It was being offered as a Masters-level course and it was awful. How bad? The *lecturer* could not answer when asked why Java arrays started at 0 rather than 1 (hint: most people at the time Java was introduced programmed in C). <sigh>
(3) Essays. Oh <deity> by all means YES! You are going to have to write reports and interact with users and business people. LEARN TO COMMUNICATE! When I did my degree, one course each semester had to be picked from outside the Science stream. Made sense to me - it taught us to think beyond our programming tasks (I picked French one semester because, well, I was a native French speaker and the only thing they asked me was if I had done French in high-school). Mind you, I always though it was a damn shame nobody from outside the IT stream was forced to take even minimal computing classes... might have saved me from wanting to strangle many an Arts Major who couldn't operate a mouse without f-ing it up. (YES, you DO need all of these cables plugged in. NO, I don't CARE if they mess up the aesthetics of your desk.)
(4) Languages. I'd have to agree with the article. C, C++ are a good bet (more C than C++, but that's my opinion only). If you aren't doing C++, Java is a good substitute to introduce the concepts of OO programming. COBOL is nice if you want to work for the older banking firms, especially if combined with one or more of the others. But for <deity-of-choice>'s sake, unless you are planning on writing websites for the rest of your days, do *not* specialise in PHP, Python, et al. Learn them, by all means, but be aware that most places with n-tier architecture (quite a lot of medium-to-large businesses) do not use these languages beyond their web presences - the rest of the time, the back-end is written in so-called "legacy" languages.
I'd include dotNET in the languages to learn, but MS seems hell-bent on having you re-write your code in a different language every few years if you want it supported - compared to that, most C/C++ programs written back when I graduated can still compile *and run* on today's compilers/hardware... although some of the UI looks damn awful by now. ^_^
For comparison, the place I work at has a dotNET front-end on Windows, with C back-end and a large-scale SQL database running on a *NIX variant, as well as a web presence for smaller clients and Web Services for larger clients to use.
"...separating that gene from its surrounding genetic material is not an act of invention".
Absolutely true. The *method* by which you separate it might be, but not the DNA itself.
Ditto with the afore-mentioned test<->speech machine mentioned in a previous comment: the voice itself may not be patentable, but the method for generating it might be.
Spent a few years in Algeria in my youth (short version - paternal unit was doing work there). I still remember the first local word I learned: "makesh" (a.k.a. "we don't have any" or "we've run out". I remember it being used interchangeably).
Spelling and pronunciation may have been tainted by the years though. ^_^
Re: Alternative theory
Downvoted you because that's not what I Ain't Spartacus was saying. There was a scare a while ago where highly dangerous levels of melamine were found in milk supplies in China. These could kill babies who were fed it. So there is now a view that *all* milk in China is suspect and those Chinese citizens who can do so now hop across the border to buy their milk from Hong Kong supermarkets (and generally clear out the shelves when they do so). Those who clean out the shelves generally do so to resell the bottles back across the border at a profit. Hence the "capitalism at work" comment.
Oh, and also downvoted for mispelling "mere". ^_^
Re: hundreds of chest x-rays worth of radiation (Neoc)
@Irongut: "...avoid embarassing yourself further."
Says the commenter who apparently didn't read the post I was *replying* to but decided to flame me instead. JP19 mentions crashes, I was responding to that section of his (her?) comment.
Re: hundreds of chest x-rays worth of radiation
Generally, when a plane crashes the film is either (a) burnt in the fire; or (b) destroyed by the actual impact. Add to this the fact that unless they suspected the cause of the crash to be radiation poisoning of the pilot(s), the investigators would not bother looking at the film... which would then likely be thrown away anyway.
I can haz a name for them:
C.U.S. : Collider of Unusual Size.
(no extra points for naming the reference ^_^ ).
Hmmm... First of all, how about running on Windows7 (or even XP)?
Second - I couldn't see what configurations they used for the various browsers. Were they running with plugins? If so, which? Did they represent a standard home setup?
Inquiring minds want to-... ah, who cares - it's an MS propaganda piece. Never trust a paid-for piece that says the paid-for item is better than the others. I'll wait for independent testing, TYVM.
Disclosure: I am against any 'net filtering when not requested by an individual user, for *that* individual user.
Let me get this straight:
A non-USA company not residing in the USA is not producing results that USA companies like. So the USA companies sue this non-USA company in a USA court under USA laws?
Hmmm.... tell you what - how about a couple of lobbies outside of the USA, where there are strict gun-ownership laws, start suing the NRA, US gun manufacturers and USA.gov because there are websites in the US promoting "irresponsible gun ownership". How well do you think that'd go down in the US?
A pustulence... (from "pustule", of course)
<checking the date>
...not April 1?...
Did I miss something?
"...confidential conference for the great and the good to discuss world issues candidly and openly."
How can a *confidential* conference be *open*? I'll accept "candid", but "open"?
Beat me to it.
"offered publishers a means to raise their prices from the low figures they were forced to accept with web bookseller Amazon"
Begging your pardon, but aren't most books generally brought out by one publisher at a time (especially the so-called Best-Sellers)? If so, then the publisher would supposedly set *their* selling price at a level they were comfortable with... and shouldn't give a damn about whether the retailer then adds 1c or $100 to that price in order to re-sell it.
So I do not understand why the publishers were bitc... complaining about the price they were selling their books to Amazon.
Not that anybody would ever fake a profile picture to get on the site, of course.
There's nothing like a fair trial. And this is exactly what it is: nothing like a fair trial.
"That capability is built on ARM's TrustZone: a secure execution technology that allows hardware designers to temporarily shift the processor from running general-purpose software to a special ring-fenced area of trusted code that performs sensitive operations - this is software that may not even trust the OS running on the gadget"
I may have misunderstood... but from what I can gather this would also require one hell of a firmware upgrade if CODECs changed, since the only codecs in the "trusted code" section would be those approved of by the MPAA *at the time of manufacture*. Because, of course, if I can easily flash the "trusted" firmware, I can easily disable it.
So let me get this straight:
TELSTRA (or their sub-contractors) installed/upgraded the pits and tunnels. TELSTRA (or their sub-contractors) used Asbestos for said pits/tunnels and didn't bother telling anyone or recording it where it could be found. NBN comes along to do inspections of the structures before taking them over and finds said asbestos.
But somehow, in your world, this makes it NBN's fault? I'm no big fan of NBN myself, but this is ridiculous.
@factor. I downvoted you because you basically seem to have a bee in your bonnet about the NBN (fair enough) and started ranting apparently without having read the article. Here's a snippet:
"The incumbent carrier has responsibility for making sure that its pits and ducts have the space for the fibre and haven't collapsed over the years."
Re-read the article. The whole thing talks about how TELSTRA (said "incumbent carrier") and their subcontractors screwed the pooch by allowing this asbestos mess to happen. HOW it happened is bound to be wife with speculation and conspiracy rumours around the cooler. It is only now that the NBN is doing inspections before taking over the infrastructure that this and other (lack of) maintenance issues are surfacing.
I don't have a problem with you not liking the NBN. I *do* have a problem with the FUDD you disseminate in the process.
Re: What's the problem?
...and if you have nothing to hid, you have nothing to fear...
...when they came for the <group x>, I said nothing for I was not an <x>...
You, sir, are why oppressive regimes are allowed to appear. Sure, it's all "for the public good" now - but once again there's no talk on who will oversea this filtering, how it gets implemented, what kind of safeguards, etc, etc, etc...
Wrong end of the stick
""Parents need to be confident that their children are not exposed to adult content when out and about in public places," Minister for Children and Families Edward Timpson, said."
So let me get this straight - instead of getting parents to do their jobs (educating their kids, looking after said kids, etc...) we are, once again, making the world "safe" so that the parents can blame The World when the kindlywonks actually access forbidden material.
Really? What's next - banning sharp corners on any object that kids might possibly be running past? Put up barriers around any and all rivers, lakes and fountains because said sprogs might wander into them? At which point do we finally say "STOP - it's YOUR kid. YOU look after it and don't blame the rest of us if you fail as a parent."
A downvote, but no reply. And yet, I am curious for an answer. It seems to me that the most vocal proponent of the you-must-take-in-refugees-regardless point of view seem to be mostly from countries that do not have such a high Refugee problem (and I'm not talking about people simply crossing a border without a passport, a la USA's Mexico problem).
But, as I said, it *seems* to be such - so I was trying to get a feel for the facts - does *your* country practice what you preach? Instead, I get an anonymous downvote. I guess that's an answer in itself.
I am an Australian, and thus would like to ask the following questions:
For all those of you non-Australians decrying Aus.Gov's handling of the Refugees... may I ask what *your* country's share of Refugee intake is? I'm specifically looking at you, USA.
Not for me - unless it has a built-in IR receiver, it is *not* a proper Home-Theater PC. It may be a decent Media PC, but not being able to use a stock-standard programmable remote which works on the rest of my Home Theatre stack (TV, Amp, Cable) removes it from the "Home Theatre" qualification.
It really annoys me that manufacturers keep on forgetting this little bit of functionality. And the classic offers of help such as "use a wireless keyboard", "use an app on your wi-fi enable phone", "use..." etc are not useful - why would I want to add *another* controller when my current home-built HTPC - which also functions as my DVD/Bluray/Free-to-Air device - recognises standard remotes? It'd be a step backwards in terms of streamlining.
Vulture South getting tired...
...and running out of idea? The only difference between the article's title and what is generally a funnier sub-title is the change from "Oz" to "Australian".
I want my funny sub-titles back!!
"many disgruntled users complaining of the way Facebook Home Facebookifies their phones"
Really? So if I buy (say) a Ford, I should complain loudly that it has the Ford logo prominent on it?
Next in the news, consumers complain that their water is too wet.
"...allege that senior Google execs have shut Microsoft out of key APIs..."
If true, it's a little childish of Google. Having said that: Oy, Microsoft - "Pot -> Kettle -> Black".
"and students were revolting"
Person 1: "The students are revolting?"
Person 2: "Students are always revolting. But this time they're rebelling too."
Re: The end is nigh
Considering that most of those talking about the evil of global warming seem to be donkeys, shouldn't that be "the end is neigh"?
Re: Boffinspeek galore
Serpentinised: The serpentine group describes a group of common rock-forming hydrous magnesium iron phyllosilicate minerals.
Ultramafic: Ultramafic (also referred to as ultrabasic) rocks are igneous and meta-igneous rocks with very low silica content (less than 45%), generally >18% MgO, high FeO, low potassium, and are composed of usually greater than 90% mafic minerals (dark colored, high magnesium and iron content). The Earth's mantle is composed of ultramafic rocks.
So basically; normal rocks with some specific mineral formations thrown in.
"power density of up to 49 kWatt-hours per kilo (depending on temperature), capacitance up to 142 Farads per gram, and able to support current density of 100 amps per gram"
That's nice to know (unit-error not withstanding). But it would have been nicer to give us a comparison with something commonly used like, say, a LiON battery?
Re: Google response not satisfactory.
Google response not satisfactory.
Whether the German Court is right or wring to try to impose this ruling (I am not a lawyer), Google's response smacks of stupidity.
We know they already massage the *results* of the searches ("safe search" is a prime example) and do it very quickly and fairly successfully. But apparently filtering the *criteria* is too difficult?
And while we're at it
..if you fear the on-board memory will be too small for you, fear not. Yes, Samsung (or Google, they keep pointing fingers at each other) somehow disabled App2SD support... but get yourself an SD card, partition some of it off and format that partition to EXT2 (or EXT4), and install Link2SD from Google Play (you may have to root your phone first, though). You are now once again able to move your large Apps to the partition on the SD card. Or you can use GL2SD to only move the Apps' data rather than the Apps themselves.
I do not understand why people keep on harping about how bad TouchWiz is. Don't get me wrong, I don't like it either, but it's so damn easy to replace I don't understand the big issue.
Go to Google Play, look up other Launchers and install them (my personal favourite is ADW). If you want to easily experiment until you settle on the Launcher you like, install Home Switcher while you're at it.
Hey presto - new GUI the easy way.
Now stop bitching about TouchWiz - it's bad, we know it, move on.
I think the man has no idea...
Yes, I am old enough to remember when PCs at my school were TRS-80s or equivalent. So yes, I am probably one of the "old farts" (I paraphrase) Mr Walker is talking about. I also think he has no idea what he is talking about.
The first rule of any rule is that you must fully understand it before you should be allowed to break it. And it applies to the previous sentence as well.
I used calculators at school. But we weren't allowed to use them until later in the academic cycle, *after* we had proved we understood arithmetic and could do calculations by hand if required.
I use Google and their ilk, with their computerised matching and searching, to do research on-line. But this is after having learnt to do it manually through publications, periodicals and encyclopaedias - learning to recognise and separate the dross from the nuggets.
I use spell-checkers on documents I generate on my computer - but they rarely find anything (I am not perfect) because I spent time actually learning to write (in fact, English is *not* my native tongue, so I had to do this twice). And spell-checkers aren't perfect - it annoys me when I see a sign or poster generated by a computer that *still* has errors of grammar (e.g. "site" instead of "sight", or vice versa, which your checker is unlikely to have picked up).
Automation is fantastic and a phenomenal time-saver. Don't confuse "ease of use" for "capability". When reading your job application I am less worried about your handwriting (although I still should be able to read it) than I am about this demonstration of your basic ability to put a sentence together without outside help.
Learn the rules. *Then* learn when to ignore them. But you cannot do the second properly without the first.
Your definition of a lunar eclipse would have us fry: [Earth -- Sun -- Moon] is not a viable state (not for long anyway).
I assume you mean the normal definition for a lunar eclipse, which is [Sun -- Earth -- Moon], while a solar eclipse is [Sun -- Moon -- Earth].
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner: throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Seriously.
You want to know why the politicians are getting hot and bothered about this? Up until now, they were sitting behind metal detectors and could p*ss off any number of people and feel safe knowing no-one could get a gun past the detectors and that someone-else was opening their mail.
All of a sudden, here comes a gun that needs to have metal *added* to make it "legal" (so that a detector will find it). Now all of these politicians realise that while the production of the gun *is* expensive, there is now a way for a nutjob to smuggle a gun close enough to shoot said politicians.
It has nothing to do with the public and the huge loopholes though which "normal" nutjobs can buy "normal" guns. It's now about politicians realising they can get shot.
Wonder how many pro-gun US politicians will suddenly find reasons to ban this puppy?
Bootnote: I don't condone the shooting of anyone - I just enjoy the irony of this situation.
If the Beeb *really* wanted to reach out to more Whovians, they would have opened up their store in Brisbane. SEQ has the biggest pop-culture... er... culture in Australia, based on convention attendance numbers.
Heck, we sustain two version of the Supanova pop-culture con within 100Km of each other (6 months apart, granted).
Re: Irony alert
So that'd make it "patent leather", right?
Coat, now, yes.
Re: It's pretty obvious...
The problem is not whether Dotcom is or isn't "a con artist and criminal" (nice presumption of guilt here - the trial hasn't even started). The problem is that under NZ Laws of the time the GCSB was not allowed to tap his communications *without a court order*. And this is the important bit: someone in the GCSB failed to do their job and did not check to see if they needed a court order.
So rather than slapping the GCSB on the wrist for being idiots and ensuring that next time the proper forms and paperwork will be filled and filed, the NZ Government is now changing the laws so that the morons who could not do their jobs in the first place will no longer need to get a court order in order to continue botching their job.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.