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Comment Fix the Date, Phone and Reservation ID (Score 1) 187

Haven't tried United recently, but websites where they ask you for a US phone number and then complain that you entered dashes, spaces, etc. really piss me off. A US phone number is 10 digit. If you ignore everything that isn't a digit and end up with 10 digits (or it starts with a 1 and you have eleven) then it's a freaking phone number.

Credit card numbers ditto.

Reservation number. If the first character is a space (as it often is after a copy/paste from e-mail) then ignore it and take the rest of the characters and see if they match the format you defined.

The date is a little trickier but not much.

If the people you hired to program the site can't manage these simple basics, there's really not much hope that the site is secure.

Comment Re:News? (Score 1) 425

I chose music because most people can relate at some level, but I think that the logic is true for just about any human endeavour. You could teach any kid to skateboard, but not every one could reach the Tony Hawk level. I don't think that just anyone could reach Zhihao Chen's level in Dota or chess grand master level.

Just as anyone can participate adequately in any of those activities, not every programming task requires extreme talent. However, if you do have a task that requires someone from the top end of the bell curve, I don't think that any amount of training will move someone from the bottom end to the top (or most of the middle to the top).

Comment Re:News? (Score 5, Interesting) 425

I would agree with this in the same way I would agree that anyone can learn to play a musical instrument. However, I still think it take an innate talent as well a (lot of) training to become an orchestral soloist.

Not to overwork the metaphor, but there are also people who would work in menial jobs so that they could program at night if it weren't for the fact you can make a living programming - the same people who have jobs coding and write software, say for open source projects, on weekends.

The real problem is weeding out the people who have no interest but still try to make a living writing code. I can only assume that those people write some of the websites out there, such as the ones that insist you enter credit card numbers without spaces or other punctuation. It's a 16 digit number, you can ignore anything that isn't a digit and feed it through the payment service to see if it's valid.

Comment Should all car drivers be able to ride a horse? (Score 1) 362

Should all car drivers be accomplished horse riders? Well yes obviously! You never know when your car will break down, run out of gas, etc. and you'll need to hitch up a horse to get you home.

I think that it's pretty clear that within a few 10s of years the car with a driver will be the anomaly. The economic advantage in large areas of transportation (trucking, taxis, deliver, etc. etc.) are so huge that the technology will be adopted, and the transition to home vehicles is inevitable because the cost is minimal and the advantages great.

These discussions will look really stupid, probably before mid-century.

Submission + - Vintage Nasa photographs for sale->

Art Challenor writes: Vintage Nasa photographs for sale

A collection of vintage photographs by Nasa's pioneering astronauts goes under the hammer at Bloomsbury Auctions in London on 26 February 2015.

It includes images not published before, some taken on the surface of the Moon during the early days of space exploration.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:The big picture (Score 1) 211

Since these insurance companies wouldn't insure millions of people at a reasonable price until the government forced the issue it eludes me how this is "crony capitalism". It's not as if the insurance companies were lobbying in favor of insuring poor people.

Actually, the insurance companies wrote much of the bill and are estatic about insuring anyone, especially when the government is paying them. Effective compeitition (a pubic option) or allowing medicaid to negotiate drug prices with the drug companies might have helped with cost control, but those were both nix'd extremely early in the process.

Comment Re:thanks (Score 1) 211

Yes, but in fact Obamacare was mostly written by the drug and insurance companies, who both win big on the deal. The party of limited regulation threw in the clause that prohibits the operation of the free market by preventing medicaid from negotiating prices with drug companies. So the drug companies get to price their drugs as they please. The "rational" for this is that they need this money for R&D (how many times have you heard this?) whereas in fact they are going back to their shareholders and explaining how they are keeping their R&D costs under control and making big, fat profit (off sick people).

Comment May also show wider adoption... (Score 4, Insightful) 130

Despite 2015 not being the year of Linux on the Desktop, it IS the year of Linux in just about every embedded device, board and SOC on the market. This means that there are more developers being paid to work on Linux, presumably including the Linux kernel.

The summary is full of percentages. 11.8% seems to be about 19% less than 14.6% but that just serves to obfuscate. I'm not willing to dig into the "fill-in-the-form-to-read" article, but would assume that the total number of paid developers has increased accounting for the change in percentages.

Comment Re:Why not websites? (Score 2) 140

Yes, most things may not. Many things do. For example, I go and visit a small town only about an hour away from where I live. For much of the trip there and while in town I have either no data connection or one that measures at best in the 10s of KBs. How exactly am I going to play my music/audio books, in those areas if not with a native app? Pretty sure a website is going to be very much help.

The phrase "I live in the US" would have been a fine substitute for your example. Even if it's not true, it makes it much clearer. You can use that phrase and "crappy broadband" more or less interchangably.

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 823

Citation? Ask any of the residents of high lattitude and they'll explain that, in summer (or winter), they have daylight - real daylight - until they go to sleep, at which point they frequently use thick curtains to block the light.

If your idea had any credibility these lattitutes would be uninhabitable, or at best inhabited by serverely sleep disturbed people.

Ideally, the bulbs would start warm first thing in the morning, switch to cool gradually over the next half hour and then transition back to warm in the evening.

Ideally, bulbs would produce exactly the same spectrum as sunlight from the time you flick the switch "on" until you switch it "off". CFLs come close. LEDs have a little more of a challenge and tend towards the blue, unless they are attempting historical reconstruction in which case they tend to be yellow.

Your good nature will bring you unbounded happiness.