* Posts by JLV

468 posts • joined 4 Mar 2013

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Will rising CO2 damage the world's oceans? NOT SO MUCH – new boffinry

JLV
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Re: "rapid changes in an environment"

"are not rapid at all on a human timescale"

But extremely swift on a geological and evolutionary timescale, wouldn't you say?

"won't start to be evident to the average person until hundreds or thousands of years from now."

Oh, really? As I am typing this my usual clear West Coast coastal air is strongly reminiscent of a Beijing smog fest. After pretty much zero snow this winter we've had an unusually dry, clear and hot June. Lots of broken temperature records. Now we have about 50 ongoing forest fires within a 200 mile radius, an air quality warning with about a 3/4 mile visibility when I woke up and ots of sub 2.5 micron particles, precisely the crap that's associated with extra pulmonary diseases.

Add to this, what 1000-2000 deaths each in Pakistan and India due to heat waves in the last month, a pretty extreme drought in California and the Australian brush fire deaths of a few years back.

No, none of this is evidence of global warming causation. But those problems are clearly caused by increased local temperatures.

If global warming turns out to be real, and not the laughable hoax you think it is, we can expect more of these kinds of events, precisely because temperatures are trending up. And, again, it is worrying to see this development so early on. By any metric, even well-intentioned and effective climate change mitigation will take a long time to slow down CO2 increases and yet we seem to be observing some impacts already. That on the basis of 600-800 million historically heavy polluters in North America, Europe and Japan. To which we are adding hundreds of millions of newly-polluting Chinese.

Again, wanna bet that this will not cause any problems?

BTW what are you going on about "denialist"? Did I use the word?

I am all for funding for scientists who could disprove the A in AGW. Too much at stake to be censoring science. Science depends on contrarians to advance. And, granted, a lot of our current reactions have been laughably stupid: ethanol biofuels, German nuclear abolition and coal increase, GMO scare-mongering...

But that's not quite the same as being impressed by your arguments. Or giving the small minority of anti-AGW scientists the same weight in public policy and debate on the basis of "balance". At least, not until they've presented credible evidence that increased CO2 is not going to be a problem after all.

Science is not a democratic process where 2+2=5 if enough voters say it is. Give critical scientists funding sure, but keep a neutral assessment of the facts and evidence, unclouded by personal preference of how you would prefer it to be. If 20 data points say global warming is real, don't claim that a contradictory 21st disproves the preceding 20.

That's called cherry picking and that's precisely why I lack respect for your opinion. Disprove them all and sink AGW and I will be very grateful - this global warming stuff is a ghastly inconvenience.

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JLV
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Meh

"one of the basic engines"

Good news, in this case, but the operational word is "one".

Are you a betting man that all essential cycles will not be disrupted? That's the problem with this global warming bit. We don't know exactly where we are headed.

https://xkcd.com/1379/

It doesn't mean that I like greens a lot. I don't, and I would probably prefer to have a beer with Lewis than with Naomi Klein or her ilk. But rapid changes in an environment are cause for worry.

At least one other engine looks shaky: we are having large die offs of oysters in Vancouver Island. The current suspect is CO2-caused acidification of the seawater which complicates shell formation. This is not news, as a theoretical risk, but actually seeing the first possible signs of it, fairly early on in the current climate change cycle, is worrying.

Ocean ecosystems have a lot of unexpected couplings.The kill off of all the sea otters here led to increased sea urchin populations who ate up a whole of kelp which shelter fish. End result was less kelp and less fish.

Who'd have thought removing one fish-eating predator would let to loss of fish stocks? No one, until it happened.

So, good to know about plancton surviving, but let's not assume we'll dodge all bullets.

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German gets 4 years in clink for $14 MILLION global ATM fraud

JLV
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In a US court 4 yrs is a slap on the wrist. 4 yrs for at least $14m? Hardly a deterrent and ironic in a country where shoplifting a pizza can get you life courtesy of 3 strike laws.

All for reduced incarceration for minor crimes, but large scale white collar crime is too lucrative for such leniency. Risk vs reward and all that.

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Kobo Glo HD vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Which one's best?

JLV
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Re: my killer app

Not sure about the Kobo, got it for my daughter.

But the basic Kindle does has white on black, black on white and sepia. Fonts can be dialed up or down and the adjustable backlight level also helps a lot if your eyes are tired. Depending on the situation, I find myself varying the settings quite a bit to suit.

Also, backlit e-readers a la Kobo/Kindle are much, much, less disruptive to my sleep than a tablet or a PC.

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German army fights underground Nazi war machine hidden in Kiel pensioner's cellar

JLV
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On the other hand I dunno if I'd be so happy to have a neighbor with a torpedo. Unless, of course the explosives had all been removed by a bomb squad.

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JLV
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Re: Pity it wasn't a French tank

IIRC an Archer wasn't so much a tank destroyer as a motorized anti tank gun with escape capability. Ambush, shoot, scutter away. And, repeat.

AT guns were good at first contact but would not do well against sustained infantry or artillery attacks once they were spotted and were stuck on location. The Archer was meant to avoid that. No idea how well that weird idea worked out but AT guns were pretty much gone by the 60s.

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Microsoft: Stop using Microsoft Silverlight. (Everyone else has)

JLV
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Happy

Good boy, MS, good boy

Now, if our favorite broadcasters would just dump Flash video as well...

Looking at you, BBC, CBC. Especially daft when you see 'install Flash' on a mobile that doesn't support Flash %-((

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Crowdfunded beg-a-thon to bail out Greece raises 0.003% of target

JLV
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Re: Ignorance of the issue

>>You're complainign that the bonds' risk was priced incorreclty, but it clearly wasn't.

IIRC correctly, before this all blew up, circa 2007-2008, Germany's bonds were at 3.5%. Greek bonds were at 4%. So, you take the small borrowings of a generally solvent, big, fairly dynamic exporting country with a large economy which had been getting more competitive recently. Then you compare it to country which does not export much, has already borrowed huge amounts of money, is not, to say the least, at all dynamic and well run. And you price that at an extra 0.5%?

Now, I know what you are saying. EU ended up covering. But that is not the whole story. When Argentina defaulted, a lot of banks had been lining up loaning them more money because they had forgotten that Argentina is default-prone. Sovereign-country bond risk is generally priced low, but historical stats do not fully support that risk assessment, only medium-range amnesia about past defaults coupled with short-term greed.

You are saying that they were priced correctly because they knew the EU would pick up the pieces. But look at things like the Madoff affair, CDO risks leading up to 2008 mortage crashes, the Iceland banks. These show that banks often operate on rosy assessments and against basic economic wisdom even when there is no obvious exit strategy. So, no, someone is not exercising due diligence.

And then, if is bad enough, then the taxpayer steps in. Which they kinda have to, by the way, bank runs are disastrous.

What we need is a mechanism where there is a clear and direct line of responsibility in case the problem gets bad enough that taxpayer bailouts are needed. At that point, the top, decision-making, level of the banking executives of the bank in question need to lose their job for incompetence. There needs to be special legal clauses that cancel their golden parachutes and significant government contingency funds to combat any defensive legal action. Furthermore, we already have mechanism where convicted criminals cannot work in the financial industry. Those need to be adjusted so that those executives are also barred for life.

And what about the bank that was getting US federal bailouts and then turning around and paying big bonuses? Bailouts should mean an automatic cutoff of the bonus spigots for folks over a certain pay threshold.

I do not dispute the need for banks. And I don't have a huge chip on my shoulders about bankers. Honest mistakes can be made and it is not the government's job to nanny everything. But in almost any private sector industries, failure is less cause for systemic concern and is more limited in scope. And has generally resulted in more heads rolling. I mean, you'd have to look at things like HP buying Autonomy for $10B to see something as stupid as 4% Greek bonds or Madoff and I am sure a lot of those guys have been tarred and feathered, kinda.

These may not be the exact regulations that are needed and I am sure there are impracticalities.

But, if we don't introduce an element of personal risk, skin in the game, to making very bad banking decisions at scale, we will just be doing the same thing again in a few years for a different crisis. This isn't from a desire for revenge, just my perception that bankers, who are very smart guys, need to be incentivized to pay way more attention when they commit their companies to strategic directions that can result in ruin.

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JLV
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Paris Hilton

Re: Ignorance of the issue

> The banks all got their money back, rather proving that they didn't make a mistake here.

You are 110% correct.

I was naively thinking of a world in which bankers performed their essential function correctly, were remunerated handsomely, but reasonably, and were held accountable for their business decisions. As in "get fired, like everyone else does, when you screw up badly enough".

You know, banking being a regular business, not tails-I-win, heads-taxpayer-loses.

Sorry, gotta go. My unicorn is calling from the garden.

p.s. Not sure that the EU will do whatever it takes in this case. In years of following international news, I can't remember seeing diplomats and politicians of nations that are not at war be so publicly acrimonious towards each other. Oddly refreshing but that level of distrust will make it hard to reach a deal, regardless of the merit, or not, of aiming for one. Not to mention that Tsipras has worked his electorate into a frenzy and they are now in the loop as well.

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JLV
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Re: Ignorance of the issue

>Don't blame either the Germans of the Greeks, blame the loonies than lumped them in the same box.

Blame the loonies that loaned them money at (nearly) the same rate for years. Bankers were so lazy in chasing extra returns that they didn't properly rank risk. The bailouts to date have had the results from transferring risks from banks to EU governments, and ultimately taxpayers.

The Greeks have suffered hugely but still haven't nearly gotten their heads out their asses. 67 retirement age by 2020? We've had that in Canada for years now and we don't have demographics that require it nearly as much. Shows what sufficiently stupid voters, essentially electing governments that spend beyond their means through up and down economic cycles, have too many public servants, tolerate corruption and promise mathematically unsustainable benefits, will achieve. France, with 30+ years of not balancing one single budget, might wanna think about that.

With all the contempt that is their due, it remains true that any tinhorn country out there, a la Argentina, would have its debt reduced because they couldn't pay. Simple as that. Greece has had the farce that everyone pretends to believe that their stupidity can be fixed and that the stupidity of their lenders does not deserve haircuts.

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UH OH: Windows 10 will share your Wi-Fi key with your friends' friends

JLV
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Facepalm

Re: If you can't be a good example..

shades of circa 2000...

'Yes, our users need VBA auto-run for incoming Outlook messages' scripts. Not having it would be a major loss of functionality".

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Microsoft's magic hurts: Nadella signals 'tough choices' on the way

JLV
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reminds me of visiting an MS store near SF

You know how in Apple-land, the hipster salespeople are outnumbered by the salivating fanbois? And how it is sometimes difficult to get any attention?

In MS-land, there was no buzz whatsoever, the sales staff significantly outnumbered the few bored browsers and they were all over us trying to be helpful. We left with a free SIM card which I was vaguely thought of putting into my Z10 and activating. Their phones were also incredibly cheap, some around $50 unlocked IIRC.

Overall, didn't get the impression that they are getting any respect and I felt sorry for the salespeople. Kinda.

Keep in mind - whatever MS's flaws, the world is not going to benefit from an Android/Apple duopoly.

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Microsoft's curious Sway comes to iPad and iPhone

JLV
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Re: Oh the silly names. My eyes! My eyes!

Jammer = "too bad"

And the following may enlighten you re a certain photo sharing apps, from the root "fikken", I believe. Applies to German as well.

echo Flicker | sed s/i/u/ | sed s/l//

echo Flick | sed s/i/u/ | sed s/l//

Sorry, slow Friday ;-)

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Yahoo! displaces Ask in Oracle's Java update crapware parade

JLV
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Re: Who the hell uses Java nowadays?

Well, alright, I dislike Java just as much as the other guy. And I wanted HD DVD to win as well (mostly because I am not a fan of Sony).

But hating on a physical disk system because its players can run a Java subsystem? The whole thing being totally, blissfully, hidden from the end user*, especially as there are probably tons of DRM-related reasons why you can't muck around in the player anyway?

Seems like you might as well hate Java because the sky is blue. Which is fine, your choice, but still...

* though... I wonder if the teething problems of early-generation Blu-Ray players, where all sorts of disks would not play because your firmware did not support version X.Y.Z of BD spec were not Java-caused. In which case, I retract all of the above snarkiness and agree fully with you. Kind of settled now, but I originally bought a PS3 just for BD playback because it had a good reputation about keeping up with the moving BD spec targets which was not the case for many 2007-vintage players.

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Buh bye fakers? Amazon tweaks customer product reviews system

JLV
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Re: Why would a reseller police positive reviews?

That's a fair question and I'll try to address it from the profit motive.

Because Amazon has reached such high volumes. They are the top dog in online retailing so they have the furthest to fall.

Because online retailing is all about trust and tolerating obvious leeches is a reputational risk.

Because Amazon has a huge stock market valuation and even higher P/E ratio. That P/E is justified by the belief that Amazon can extend into more offerings. Few new Amazon ventures will be safe from a perception of sleaze tolerance.

Amazon has been hit in the press before, from the perspective of how easy it is to conduct transactions to buy reviews. And they are taking the review brokers to court. But in this case, Amazon came off as the aggrieved party. They couldn't exactly know exactly what was fake and I will be the first to say that the risk of nuking real reviews by mistake is a good defense for not just going medieval on anything that smells like a rat (like the guy further down who says he disregards anything above or below a 3).

However, with obvious, repeatedly reported upon, fakers that are still operational, Amazon is a lot more visibly in the know. The products in case are, objectively, scams. The reviewers are all shills and visibly so. Customers have complained about it, been acknowledged, posted about it and you still see the scammers. And Amazon's own cross-referencing system makes it easy to follow the sleaze. If you go to the "Customers Also Bought Items By" on the author's page, you can see the other vendors that are using this pool of the same reviewers and drilling into those products brings up the same disgruntled 1 star reviewers asking why this is allowed to go on.

This is not in need of some fancy undercover investigation on Fiverr.com. Out of a court of law's burden of proof, this is damning evidence of neglect by Amazon.

To put it differently, if, like your question is asking, the neglect is due to a profit motive, rather than say legal uncertainties about how to proceed, then this is a bit like Lenovo's recent problems. How much money are they making from low volume, but obvious scammers, versus how much do they have at risk if it blows up in their face?

Benefit to risk ratio seems overwhelmingly to favor at least getting to plausible deniability, which means shutting down obviously cheating vendors. Purely from a tooth and claw capitalist point of view, not altruism in the least bit.

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JLV
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"Ruby Programming Professional Made Easy 2nd Edition: Expert Ruby Programming Language Success in a Day for any Computer User (Ruby, HTML, C Programming, ... C++. C, C++ Programming, Computer Program) "

Sam Key - author

Mouthful, eh? Gotta get all those keywords in.

Basically, this guy (and others) are gaming the review system. Put a lot of fake lipstick on your pig and watch the suckers bite because they are buying a 4.5 star, 60+ review jewel (they are "legit" reviews, confirmed purchase and all that).

The first chapter is reasonably well-written. That's after all what will be in the sample download. Past that, it stops abruptly. In this case, book didn't even cover IF THEN logic in Ruby.

Amazon knows this is a scam and does nothing. I don't expect or want them to police the fake reviews. I want them to ban the author entirely, he's just a clever 21st century snake oil salesman. If vendors were punished for using fake reviews, then it would stop pretty quickly (albeit perhaps with new games of spiking fake reviews onto your competitors to get them banned).

This whole Amazon initiative smells like a whitewash exercise to my cynical self.

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JLV
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Re: BS, there is no will at Amazon, tech won't help.

Sorry, that link leads back here :(

Google

Sam Keys amazon.com

instead. Eye opening.

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JLV
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Black Helicopters

BS, there is no will at Amazon, tech won't help.

Amazon has lots of good tech to analyze posting history already. For example, they started un-counting reviewers who too-frequently up-vote, or downvote, the same other reviewers years ago. To avoid fanboi effects.

But they have a serious problem with dodgy merchandise reviews and they are doing very little to correct it. 6 months ago, I would have said "sure there are fake reviews, but it's hard to spot reliably". After all, it will be pretty difficult to know if a review was brokered somewhere, right?

Then I bought a book by this guy which totally blew my mind on fraud. The patterns are right there, in Amazon's review system and blindingly obvious. And Amazon does nada.

Sam Keys, he of 52 "programming in a day" books since... Sept 2014. Including, I kid you not "C++ In a Day" and "Android Programming in a Day".

http://www.amazon.com/Sam-Key/e/B00QUBQWQ4/ref=la_B00QUBQWQ4_pg_5?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_82%3AB00QUBQWQ4&page=5&sort=date-desc-rank&ie=UTF8&qid=1434904593

Pattern is always the same:

- book comes out. gets 30-40 reviews in a day or two, right after publication. All 5 star reviews "gosh I am starting to program, this book was a big help".

- 30-50 page book, about $3 typically. Low enough for you to walk away. Contents are amazingly shamefully lightweight - things like no sample app on an Android book.

- If you look at the "customers also purchased" link you will see those reviewers typically have reviewed 4-5 other books by Sam.

- Those reviewers have odd posting patterns (often in the dietary supplement field too). They will nearly always post 5 stars ratings, except for the odd 1 star (slag a competitor for pay?). They won't post for months but then they'll do 3-5 reviews in a day.

- Some time later real reviews start coming. "All those upvotes must be fake. Didn't even have a sample program/conditional logic/example". So now the book has 95% 5 stars, 5% of 1 star reviews, nothing in between.

But here's the clincher. I, and other reviewers, have contacted Amazon customer support about Mr Keys and notified them of this abuse. They did get back to me, told me they would investigate but could not comment and ... left things just as they were.

So, bullshit on the idea that Amazon needs smarter algos to flag what they know already but don't want to clean up. Either because it ends up making them money or because their legal dept have told them it would constitute refusal of sale to the publisher and could not stand up in court.

I still buy from Amazon, but they've definitely lost my trust. I noticed this pattern for this publisher, sure, but once you are aware of it, you notice how pervasive it is. His reviewers, and others just like them, are touching many, many products and those are only the really obvious cases. And I really can't forgive Amazon for knowingly looking the other way.

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Apple CORED: Boffins reveal password-killer 0-days for iOS and OS X

JLV
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Unhappy

we've been here before

Once again, Apple is caught with its pants down despite being based on a BSD OS. As a customer (most certainly not a fanboi), I find this very concerning.

A vulnerability that allows peeking into a password manager? Can't get much worse than that, can we?

They are after all a $700B+ company. Surely, locking down their systems entirely, and not pulling a "geez, hard to fix it, man", like they have been doing with rootpipe. Or doing a mid-90s Microsoft and claiming that integration and ease of use trumps security. For example, let me disable Keychain, at least for certain apps until this is fixed.

Start with the premise that anything that involves authentication or authorization, and does not come from the BSD core needs to reviewed with the most extreme paranoia. Well, the BSD core too, but that's been out there longer.

That would be worth a $1B or 2, surely. Lots of tasty bounties for example.

Rather than splurging $3B on a maker of flashy headphones with questionable acoustics.

Awww, what do I know? Just a dumb user.

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Apple to tailor Swift into fully open-source language – for Linux, too

JLV
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Happy

thoughts on Swift as a general language?

(good news, always nice to see more language options available, though most peter out quickly enough.)

I keep on meaning to check out Swift myself but haven't gotten around to it.

For those who have wrestled with it already, how is Swift's support for namespaces/module/package names? Had a talk with someone claiming it wasn't very good compared to C#'s. Saw some verbiage claiming both ways on SO, none the wiser for it. Can you differentiate moduleA.someclassname from moduleB.someclassname and use both those classes, easily?

And on a more general note, what are the design features that you disagree with? (besides Apple's parentage if that's not your thing)

Basically, I expect that, like for any software, any documentation will concentrate on Swift's virtues. Any be somewhat silent about its shortcomings.

Sometimes it is good to follow along while knowing which weak points to pay attention to rather than finding out dead ends later.

p.s. Could we have a less disturbing nicer pic of Taylor? They do exist. Still no need for an audio option on this article however ;-)

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Closet Queens, Quicksand and Book of Numbers

JLV
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Well, to be fair, there are many a book for which I would have benefited from reading such a scalding review. As in, not reading them. Life is short and one doesn't have to be a builder to observe that a roof is leaky.

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Google: Our self-driving cars would be tip-top if you meatheads didn’t crash into them

JLV
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Re: stealth cyclists

maybe he was a fan of Stephenson's protagonist in Zodiac - "if they can't see they can't hit you" school of thought.

I'd like to know how the google cars compare, statistically, to human drivers for same mileage & same conditions. And let's not forget statistical confidence, mostly wrt sample size.

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Bethesda all out for 'Fallout 4', fallout for global productivity foretold in countdown

JLV
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Happy

Re: Beyond Hope

Or watch Rambo I again ;-)

Bloodborne & Fallout 4. Bliss. That PS4 may yet come to pass.

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VirtualBox 5.0 beta four graduates to become first release candidate

JLV
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re. the easy answer

at the risk of surprising you, most of the tools I end up using on my Mac are pretty standard LAMP stack stuff, very little in the way of extra tools.

Macports put most of theml in, not very different from apt-get. You could use Homebrew if that's your thing.

- postgres, virtual box, vagrant, chef, python, git, firefox

My main interaction with the system is the bash shell and the editor and to tell you the truth, I barely notice the difference between a Ubuntu ssh session and being on the Mac.

I did splurge on a text editor, Sublime (also available on Linux), Affinity Designer ($40) - a vector drawing tool and ForkLift, to improve on OSX crappy file manager. And Kaleidoscope, a diff utility. Had I wanted, I probably could have stuck to open source tools for those as well - they can also be installed here and I have vim already.

True, when my trusty ol' 17" 2011 MBP needs to be retired I do not look forward to paying Apple's outrageous extra RAM costs and the like, seeing as everything is now soldered on permanently on their newer systems. Or downgrading to a 15" retina.

But otherwise it has been a good purchase, including the hardware holding up quite well despite some significant physical whacks given to it. At this level of hardware, I think the Apple overpricing is about 30% which is tolerable. Well-equipped Windows laptops, starting with 1920+/17" screens, are not cheap by any means.

So, no, your easy answer is not applicable to me. Not to begrudge you your choice of systems, of course ;-) But the assumption that a Mac is lacking in command line usefulness because has a pretty GUI, or because it's primarily marketed to hipsters is not always correct.

p.s. vagrant + virtualbox, now that's is a nice combo.

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It's FREE WINDOWS 10 time: 29 July is D-Day, yells Microsoft

JLV
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about the different Windows editions...

(I originally had a question about whether I could go 8.1 Pro to 10 Pro, because this article wasn't very clear about that aspect)

These guys have that info:

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-upgrade-to-windows-10-for-free-from-windows-7-or-windows-8-2015-6

I probably won't wait till day 364 to upgrade my laptop, but I won't rush into it either. Cautiously optimistic that they've learned from Windows 8 but others can take point.

p.s. what's with the wording around reserve your copy of Windows 10 bit? are they going to run out? Seems like a fairly transparent ploy to get everyone to upgrade ASAP, possibly quicker than caution warrants.

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Password reset sites expose crackable PeopleSoft creds

JLV
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Excellent work.

Some questions do come to mind. If by password recovery, you mean the user password recovery pages, does that mean we are talking about using PeopleSoft in stand-alone authentication mode, i.e. its own internal _User_ passwords?

Because it does make sense to hive off authentication to an LDAP server. And I am sure many sites do that. Now, that in no way excuses any of this, but is LDAP mode affected as well is what I'd like to know too.

As a dev with some admin skills on PS I have seen passwords imbedded in the app and wondered about the security implications thereof. Granted, lots of them seem to be somewhat single-purpose technical connection settings, but surely they are better locked down tightly anyways with no risk of privilege escalation somehow.

When you have lots of them used for different things in many moving parts with different technologies, chances are always that an overworked sysadmin doesn't catch, or isn't aware of, all of them. So a production system in which some types of passwords are still still set to the vanilla database? Not surprising at all. A checklist of things to lock down/reset would help.

Airing this out is a good thing. Just because ERP systems are not quite as widely used as consumer-facing tech or network tech doesn't mean that they don't need to be secure. Quite the opposite given their payload (imagine blackmailing a big corporation with a release of the everyone's pay for example).

I hope Oracle takes this in stride, displays some humility, plays nice, listens and... fixes.

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Celebrating 20 years of juicy Java. Just don’t mention Android

JLV
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Re: Java's only impact.

Upvoted (what's with the OP attributing Pattern necessity to the JVM???), but let's not jump to conclusions too quickly.

Language does matter. If you can, say return function pointers, then you may find whole categories of problems for which Strategy is overkill. Factories? Great, when needed.

Design Patterns holds a special place in my esteem. Reading GoF's book was the first time I truly got how OOP was supposed to work. Most of the other books I had read either started getting lost in deep OO theory without clear rationale for their approach or else immediately fixated on explaining inheritance one more time. First book that clearly got me to think in terms of composition instead.

But, and I believe it might even have been said in that book, do not implement a Pattern lightly. Well-done, it solves a problem. Done willy-nilly, just because everything looks like a nail complicated to your mighty hammer Patterns, it creates horribly messy and convoluted code.

Did some debugging on a failing enterprise SOA-style expense processing system. 1 expense report, with 1 expense line in it => 20 MB trace, 500+ function calls, dozens upon dozens of objects being instantiated. And many, many, Patterns of all stripes, factories foremost. Impossible to track what was going on. (I never did figure it out but ending up diff-ing a successful run log with a failed run log and caught the issue - failing external API call - that way instead).

It wasn't in Java, but OMG did it have Enterprise Java Programmer Here written all over it!

Code composition, which is a lot of what Patterns are about, is an extremely powerful technique. But there is a tension between very clever dynamic code and easily readable code. Stupid fixed procedural code may be dumb, but it can also be easier to read.

Read this guy's "hacker code" vs. "clever code" for example. Wasn't meant to be ironic. If you need the complexity, fine. If you don't, please think twice before reaching for that hammer. Maybe think it through with a unit test instead.

http://csis.pace.edu/~bergin/patterns/ppoop.html

Personally, my main beef with Java is not so much the language itself, as the perception that its culture is not one that values simplicity.

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Russia will fork Sailfish OS to shut out pesky Western spooks

JLV
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regardless of NSA crimes and misbehavior

Is anyone, especially people living in Russia, going to benefit from using a Putin-sanctioned OS?

This doesn't condone NSA & fives eyes spying in the least, but let's be real, this is like putting the big bad wolf in charge of the little lambs' nursery.

A pox on all their houses, NSA, FSB, Great FireWall of China. And I really would not think much of any OSS organization that in any way collaborated with this lot. Theo de Raadt had the right attitude when the told the US authorities to take a long walk off a short pier in piranha country some years back.

Now, as to a collaboration with more accountable and less aligned governments, such as India or Brazil, for example, yes, I think it would be a good idea not to put all our eggs in the US basket.

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Doom is BOOM! BOOM! BACK!

JLV
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Thumb Up

Re: This sums up the problem:

ah, yesssss a good dig at Call of Duty.

Took me about 2 hrs watching my health meter regenerate mysteriously, as long as I was patient, to realize that CoD would never equal the visceral paranoia that a Doom or Dark Souls game will engender. Nor the despair that you may not, this time, quite be able to beat the boss in the area where you keep on respawning with almost no ammo.

Ditto Assassin's Creed. And even Skyrim mostly did not measure up to Baldur's Gate in lethality.

Get those kids offa my lawn!

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Hacker 3D prints device that can crack a combo lock in 30 seconds

JLV
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>The exploit used was old when I was a kid

+1 for seems to be a judicious use of Anonymous Coward ;-)

and informative too.

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World of the strange: There will be NINE KINDS of Windows 10

JLV
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???

so... I bought a gaming laptop with Win 8.0 Home on it.

Which I upgraded (via MS's hard-to-find upgrade-for-windows, not at all like it belongs in the App Store anywhere...) to Win 8.0 Pro.

Then to 8.1 Pro via update.

Do I get a Win 10 Pro free as part of the throw Win 10 to the adoring masses? Or do I get a Win 10 Home free?

Not to mention (a pet peeve of mine) that, if I were to have a system failure, my Asus laptop would rebuild itself (one hopes) to Windows Home 8 from its system-recover partition. Because I won't have a Win 10 Pro install-capable media.

i.e. all these version certainly make sense, from a revenue point of view. I don't begrudge them, that's a commercial MS decision, take it or leave it.

But they also make it very confusing to track where exactly your particular situation is located in the grand MS master plan if you are an existing customer.

Linux and OSX are much clearer on getting from A to B, in general. And they also don't leave you much guess work on where to start if you are rebuilding a system from scratch after a failure.

MS needs to work on transparency, user rights (as in, what am I entitled to with my past purchase(s) ) and install-from-scratch capable media.

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Microsoft's run Azure on Nano server since late 2013

JLV
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Re: Well, well

>Colour me surprised.

or blue.

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So what would the economic effect of leaving the EU be?

JLV
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So... color me a little slow, but are these two outcomes mutually very compatible?

Jane Average voter, in aggregate, votes to leave the EU.

The same Jane Average voter, in all her wisdom, then gives her government the green light* to negotiate a world-wide free trade agreement with everyone?

These are not independent decisions. Free trade is often considered, rightly or wrongly, that's besides the point, as a loss of sovereignty for a country's voters. Precisely the voters who, by this scenario, have opted for a British exit.

* either through another referendum or through general democratic support for that policy

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Ex-NSA security bod fanboi: Apple Macs are wide open to malware

JLV
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Re: what one hand giveth, the other taketh

What Apple does or does not do with regards to nation-state/unlimited resource bad guys and snoopy laws is best handled by changing laws to allow for a judicious de-fanging of the NSA, CSIS and equivalents.

I don't expect Apple to fix or make me immune to government-level abuse.

I think this is the point of the author of the article as well - harden it to a satisfactory level, not expecting miracles.

When Apple says it won't fix rootpipe on < Yosemite, "cuz it's hard", that's less than acceptable to me as an Apple customer (even if my 2011 Mac happens to support Yosemite, which is not true of everyone's).

When Apple initially blows off customers complaining of Mac Defender issues because, I dunno, it would clash with their squeaky clean hipster Starbucks image, then that sucks too.

When Mac Lion doesn't handle LDAP passwords securely...

You get the idea. Very smart people, lots of good technology to rely on to fix security, but the attitude is lacking.

But hey, if being an Apple customer means that you give them a free pass on security, then be my guest. I suppose that's the difference between a fanboi and a regular customer.

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JLV
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what one hand giveth, the other taketh

On one side, Apple has the benefit and cleverness of working from the BSD OS family. That means it should be pretty secure in its foundations.

On the other hand, the company seems to be somewhat relaxed about security considerations. There have generally been more holes found than massive exploitation of said holes, but that seems more related to general insistence of the bad guys to be going after poor ol' Windows users, rather than any innate security attention lavished by Apple.

As Windows keeps on losing market share and as Apple users indicate that they have spare $ to spend, how long will Apple's neglect work out in its favor? It took MS a long time to accumulate a strong reputation as a malware cesspit, but it's taken them even longer to shrug it off and that has cost them plenty.

Not to mention that MS can pretty much point at expectations that users should run an AV and then blame them if something slips through. Apple has left itself no such recourse by hinting at built-in immunity.

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Microsoft's secret weapon in browser wars: Mozilla's supercharged Asm.js

JLV
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Thumb Up

>I suppose JS' virtue is that it was never designed to have access to much of the local host's resources

You nailed it, upvoted. But this is such a key aspect of JS that it deserves more than grudging appraisal, IMHO.

And to extend this a bit, I hope, but do not expect, that MS has learned not to integrate Edge itself too tightly to the OS. A suitably hands-off and paranoid relationship is all for the best in this case. Firefox and Chrome manage, even on Windows and as a result also release for older Windows too.

p.s. is it just me or is the number of MS Windows articles under El Reg's software section a tad over the top these days?

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Boeing 787 software bug can shut down planes' generators IN FLIGHT

JLV
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Angel

Let he who has never sinned cast the first stone

>Both the programmer team and the test team should be ....

Yes, I think that is funny and witty as well. But I wouldn't want it actually happening.

I realize that this a critical system, don't get me wrong. But don't expect things from others that you would not expect from yourself.

They should review their procedures to avoid it happening again. The aviation industry's IT has a laudable quality record by the standards of our profession at large.

Excessive penalties in an industry will not attract the kind of people I want to entrust my life to when flying. Fire someone if incompetence and negligence were involved, otherwise just fix it and learn from it, don't play scapegoats.

A big thank you to the QA team for finding this.

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JLV
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Re: "in practice this one is no big deal."

Correct me if I am wrong in this but as far as I understand, airplanes are very safe because all the flight control software is written independently from specs in triplicate. Then all 3 control programs run concurrently with a majority poll deciding what happens if one program is in disagreement with the rest. So, in theory and pretty much in practice, you can ride out any one bug.

But... this was not on the flight control software, so there would have been no triple redundancy around. Granted, the likelihood is pretty low of this flaw coming into play, but you still have a critical component that is not triple redundant so finding such a flaw is scarier than flight control software proper, isn't it?

The fact that it wasn't likely to be a problem in this particular instance is not a reassurance to the QA and redundancy factors for secondary but critical programs.

On the other hand, the fact that they did find the bug during lab testing is a good sign.

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China tackles vital strippers-at-funeral problem

JLV
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Joke

>There's a nip in the air.

For the price, one one would have hoped for two.

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PICTURE-TASTIC: Microsoft woos devs to HoloLens virtuo-goggs

JLV
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Angel

immersive dev environments?

maybe it's just because I was raised on Neuromancer's consensual hallucination memes, but...

what about a system that allowed you to see & interact with multiple command lines, editors, sql prompts and browsers? kinda like a multi-monitor setup on steroids, with just glances left or right switching viewpoints? saw a bit of that for an Oculus demo with someone typing javascript that immediately got rendered in d3 or some other graphical representation.

I don't use IDEs much because I find each subject gets too little screenspace. and I also prefer to interact with specialized tools rather than a do-all IDE. iBut people who use IDEs also have the same challenge - maximizing awareness of multiple views into different system aspects.

Couldn't a properly implemented immersive system allow much better multi-viewpoint workflow, whether based on multiple programs or an enhanced super-IDE metaphor? or just unix desktops?

wouldn't that be the cat's pajamas? if it didn't cause undue eye strain.

heck, I'd settle for a browser that used this instead of tabs.

yeah, yeah, I know we'll be getting yet another 50000 photo-sharing and Candy Crush apps before anything like that comes our way, but we can only dream, no?

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Apple to devs: Watch out, don't make the Watch into a, well, a watch

JLV
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Re: Well, well, well, well...

>time for DoJ to act

Hyperbole much?

Because there are no other more pressing concerns for the American public.

Than protecting the God-given rights of a minority of affluent early adopters (of a device category of very debatable utility at this point) to choose their watch face on their freely-chosen fringe utility device. No, really, nothing better to do for the DoJ.

"Monopoly within their ecosystem". Do you even know what the definition of a monopoly is? Don't like Apple? Don't buy it. Or maybe you should be counsel for DoJ?

Seriously, Apple's pointless little control-freakery can be annoying at times. And it is here. But I find the whole notion of iTards being annoyed by their iWatches rather amusing in this instance.

And it's not like Apple users, of which I am one, albeit on more useful gear, don't expect that Apple will, pointlessly or not, hobble direct competition within their own ecosystem.

Those people... can always buy elsewhere. Or, wonder of wonders, actually hold off buying a one-day-battery watch that is not even properly waterproof.

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C++ Daddy Bjarne Stroustrup outlines directions for v17

JLV
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Re: Scribd

@Phil - upvote.

Ha, ha, you're better off than me - I've NoScript'ed scribd a long time ago, on the basis that it is unnecessarily obnoxious and intrusive even on a regular webpage. Hate that site.

Either you make your contents available publicly, or you do not. Either way is fine.

Putting it on scribd === FAIL

So this nice writeup appeared as a blank rectangle for me. Yeah, yeah, I could temp allow scribd.js on Noscript. But... it's scribd, that buzzard's not worth feeding.

</curmudgeon>

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Cash register maker used same password – 166816 – non-stop since 1990

JLV
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Joke

> nearest cucumber

mine's bigger

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KABOOM! Billionaire fingers dud valve in ROCKET WIBBLE PRANG BLAST

JLV
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Re: Hey Elon

it's only troll bait if you know you're being stupid ;) if you're not aware of that fact, you're not a troll, you're just stupid, which I think covers sciguybm perfectly.

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JLV
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>he has too much money

It's his money. He earned it.

As far I can see, he has managed to start up a quite successful private sector launch biz, that is lowering cost to orbit, by a lot.

Now he's managing to piggyback experiments to save even more money by salvaging the first stage, but on the back of his regular launches. Icing on the cake, so to speak. Failure? No big deal. Success? Potentially, big deal.

Risk taking? It's not just about risks, it's about payoffs as well. Our governments regularly take big risks with our money. The F35 comes to mind.

Now, I realize it is fashionable to bitch about people with $$$, but if there were more Bill & Melinda Gates foundations & more more Musks, we would be doing better for it. Even, if for any one of those, we get 50x Target Canada CEOs driving their their shareholders' business into the ground and getting massive bonuses along the way.

Rich man's toy? One wishes there were more like him.

p.s. my engineering suggestion? have a cat's cradle/spider web gantry of collapsible cables on the landing area and aim for it. make it so the rocket falls through it on landing but is kept upright afterwards.

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Woeful groans over Game of Thrones' spill on piracy sites

JLV
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Joke

Re: Spoilers

Eh, don't brag too much.

At the rate he's writing, pretty soon the TV will be the spoilers for the books.

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Google whacks CREEPY predictive search up to 11 in cheap Chrome OS beta

JLV
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Hey Google

(re screenshot)

how about your "uber-cool interactive financial charts" leaving 2005 behind and not requiring Flash to work anymore?

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Hotel Wi-Fi not only hideously expensive – it's horribly insecure

JLV
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>hiding in a cave

I suspect the existence of an unsecured rsync is news, yes...

If only due to level of stupidity it shows from the vendor.

And, I agree with another poster, hotels cater to other folks than just infosec geniuses like yourself. Their responsibility to their guests include having a reasonably secure environment.

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