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Comment Microfocus Visual [Object] COBOL (Score 1) 75

Yes, Visual COBOL is a real thing:

According to MF, '...supports Cloud, mobile, .NET and JVM, and a wide range of the latest environments.", so go out there and build your next Web 11.0 (we're up to that by now, right?) app in COBOL*

* MF is not responsible for any resulting substance abuse or psychiatric issues you may experience

Comment ...except for the bits that don't. (Score 1) 127

Nice work, but it's pretty clear from the article that only the structural bits go together without fasteners (mostly). All of the interior finishes, doors, windows, etc. all clearly use conventional screws/nails. Not surprising, but not really the 'snap-together' house that the headline indicates, unless you plan to live in a bare structure open to the elements.

Comment Re:That's one way to do it (Score 1) 267

Yep - nailed it.

I'm shopping for a new laptop now for homework (elementary school), replacing a 2006 Dell D620 (C2D, 2GB RAM, upgraded to SSD). The only reason I'm replacing it is that it died. Otherwise, for what it did, it was still 'good enough'.

I'll grab another business-class laptop (yes, they are worth the premium IMHO), probably a factory refurb, and I bet that will be 'good enough' for schoolwork until the day it dies.

Comment Print it out (Score 1) 251

For anything that can be printed, print out a few copies on archival paper using an appropriate printer. Have photos professionally printed on Fuji Crystal Archive or better paper.

Unlike anything digital, we KNOW that paper will last several hundred years with only basic care.

Also, make more than one copy and store in more than one place.

Comment Re:Not a technical problem, probably no solution (Score 1) 168

I was with you up to here:

... a basic fleshlight app...

Now, I'm just want to remember to NEVER borrow your phone :)

OTOH, what you've described is basically what corporate IT security has been about for years. It can be effective, but it's a bitch to maintain is will generally be discarded or circumvented in the name of 'convenience' the first time there is a trade-off between security and a shiny new feature.

Comment Not a technical problem, probably no solution (Score 2) 168

My first thoughts, probably like many, were along the lines of "don't connect the TV to the Internet", but that is increasingly impractical as the article points out. Even more so, I can see why I might WANT my next smoke/CO detector, for example, to be connected and able to call the fire department if necessary. It might even be good if it had a mic/camera to allow the firemen to see/hear what is going on -- after all, if they take a look and see me standing there with a pole trying to jab the 'quiet' button and yelling 'false alarm!', they can avoid an expensive and time-wasting truck roll. Or, if they see smoke and people passed out on the floor, they can get it in gear KNOWING that there are lives on the line.

Basically, in short order we will (almost) all have bugged our own homes/cars/offices for perfectly good reasons. Or, if not for good reasons, than as a condition of our fire/casualty insurance policies.

Which means, unfortunately, that any technical fixes are attacking the wrong problem. What we need are behavioral/legislative fixes to make inappropriate access to these surveillance systems prohibited and punishable with real teeth. Punishments that breach the corporate veil, and are stricter in cases of official abuse than for 'ordinary hackers'. I wouldn't commence holding my breath for those laws, if I were you.

At any rate, go vote next week, and vote for 'less bad'. It's the best we can do.

Comment Re: You're doing it wrong. (Score 4, Insightful) 199

As an admin/IT manager, what I'd like to see is:

1. Meaningful, specific error/log messages when something goes wrong.
2. Accurate documentation of what those errors mean.

Most end-users won't read long or complicated documentation, business application in particular almost always require end-user training on how to use them --as implemented-- and --in accord with company practice/policy--, so generic docs are of limited value.

On the other hand, I sincerely miss the days when I could actually expect proper error codes and documentation thereof, and having that available would certainly influence a purchasing decision on my part.

Comment Re:Well insulated? That's debatable... (Score 2) 72

Once you intentionally circumvent the security of the 'walled garden', I don't think you get to complain about vulnerabilities anymore.

To go with the ever-popular car analogy:

If a guy with a screwdriver is able to start my unmodified car without the smart-key being present, that is a security flaw.

If I modify my car to bypass the 'smart-key is present' requirement to start it, I don't get to complain when my car is stolen by some guy with a screwdriver.

Comment Re:Stop doing CIDR! (Score 3, Interesting) 248

OK, I've done BGP before, and I've never heard of anything smaller than a /24 being globally advertised -- most common router configurations won't even accept anything smaller.

That said, how is any network of any size supposed to protect itself again ISP outages other than multihoming? It clutters the routing table, but there is no other solution.

In 1750 Issac Newton became discouraged when he fell up a flight of stairs.