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Comment: Re:If you want to earn big bucks... (Score 1) 269

by Alioth (#47564605) Attached to: Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

Unfortunately I've not had more time than enough to just dabble in Erlang and the related OTP, but it struck me that you could do a lot of things very elegantly with Erlang. In particular the very light weight share nothing threading model, years ago at university we used Jackson Structured Design where everything was designed as if it had its own process all to itself (no matter how trivial), and it seems that in Erlang you can actually implement it that way rather than flattening the design out.

Comment: Re:um yea... (Score 1) 360

by Alioth (#47564437) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

I have a credit card but I don't pay a 7% or 30% fee on anything. The card is paid off in full each month. It costs me nothing but at the same time gets me buyer protection, I don't have to carry as much cash (so if I get robbed, less is lost and I can cancel the card). If someone gets hold of my credit card number and CVV, they can't drain my bank account with it and leave me with nothing to buy this week's food (and I get fraud protection and can dispute the charge).

Credit cards are stupid if you don't pay them off in full, then they become very expensive. But paid off in full they have benefits that paying in cash does not.

Comment: Re:So! The game is rigged! (Score 1) 360

by Alioth (#47564421) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

The thing is the way it works with mortgages in Europe (at least the bit I'm from) is my bank didn't look at my credit history because it turns out I don't have one.

They looked at my income and expenditure and the deposit I was putting down on the house, and decided whether the amount I had to pay would be affordable, and that was it. (The good thing is I got a standard variable rate mortgage, and with interest rates so low I'm paying something like 0.75% interest at the moment)

Comment: PCI-DSS (Score 5, Insightful) 217

As an organisation accredited to be following PCI-DSS, we would be crucified if the PCI auditor found us holding the PAN (the long number on the front of your credit card, PAN = primary account number) in plain text. Surely the airlines/booking agents should not be passing the PAN to anyone else if they are following PCI-DSS (which is mandatory if you want to accept card payments)?

Comment: Re:I disagree (Score 2) 241

by Alioth (#47487919) Attached to: Math, Programming, and Language Learning

You might not be terrible at math. I thought I was terrible at math (I'm also a software developer). I also thought I was only good at discrete mathematics (which was a course I took during my university degree, heavily related to programming and CS). Furthermore I thought I was terrible at learning human languages, after having had 7 years of compulsory French at school and not being able to form a coherent sentence in French.

It turned out I was wrong on two counts:

A while back I started learning Spanish. The way I was being taught now was in a fun and easy way. I was also self motivated. In six months after starting, I could actually use some of it and knew more Spanish than I did French from 7 years of French lessons. 14 months after starting I was giving a technical talk in Spain (with an admittedly terrible accent and many grammar errors). Later today I'm off to Spain to help organise RetroEuskal with a bunch of Spanish friends. I started learning Spanish in my mid-30s, not as a kid. I learned it far faster than I would have as a child.

More recently I realised I needed better mathematics skills to be able to do more complex things in my electronics hobby, so I took an algebra course on Coursera. At school I had pretty much flat out failed algebra. In fact I was put into the lower maths set with all the thick kids (where you could only score a C at most in the GCSE, the exam we take at age 16) because both myself and my teachers were convinced that I was bad at the subject. But doing algebra in a course that was interactive, fun and gave instant results - I passed that with a distinction. I then did a pre-calculus course, and passed that with a distinction. I then did Jim Fowler's (Ohio State University) calculus 1 course on Coursera and passed that with a distinction too.

So it turns out that I was wrong about myself. In reality I was not bad at maths nor human languages. Now I admit I will probably never be a mathematician or linguist, but I can now do two things I never thought I ever would be able to. The reason I never succeeded at these things at school was because they were taught in a very boring and overly complex manner, and I was also pathologically lazy and didn't pay enough attention. The reason I succeeded now is due to having more motivation to do it and being exposed to teaching methods that inspire, and that aren't just hours of boredom.

Furthermore, while I don't usually use calculus or algebra in my day job, I have found that learning these things has improved the way I approach a problem.

Comment: Re:IBM (Score 1) 383

by Alioth (#47474769) Attached to: Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

None of the stuff he lists is particularly time expensive.

Cooking? It's fun anyway, and there's no need to cook a five star gourmet meal every meal. Most days just simple, good tasting food - 5 or 10 minutes prep and cooking time.

Car? Even an old car doesn't need that much time spent on it. I've just finished with my nearly 20 year old Audi, I spent about an hour or two PER YEAR on maintenance.

Not buying shit? This actually gives you MORE time not less since you're not driving to and from a shop and browsing for stuff you probably don't actually need.

Old programmers never die, they just become managers.

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