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Comment: My introduction to procedural languages (Score 3, Interesting) 463

by BenJeremy (#48899825) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Pascal was my first procedural language, after spending a year with BASIC on PET computers in the classroom (1982). We used TurboPascal on CP/M, and it allowed me to start writing serious software, as act as a gateway to C and later C++.

Today? I'd probably want to start a new student with C# or Java, but the concepts working with C and Pascal are more relevant to understanding the underlying mechanics of compiling code and coding "closer to the metal".

On the other hand, early BASIC was probably an easier transition to Assembler (who codes in that any more, though?).

Comment: Re:Not in my experience (Score 5, Informative) 465

by BenJeremy (#48889857) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

Non-intrusive... and ineffective. I just cleaned up my brother-in-law's machine and that was what he was using.

My preferred approach is to use Avira Free (installed with ninite.com), MalwareBytes, HiJackThis, and the no-ads hosts file from mvps.

Secondary, install Google Chrome with adblock and a good no-script type program (though I personally just use Ghostery with AdBlock)

If treating for malware, bleepingcomputer is the site to go to. Run RKill, followed by ComboFix, ADWCleaner, and TDSSKiller.

This takes care of 99% of the issues, assuming you don't HAVE to continually visit some obscure Russian porn sites.

Comment: Cardholder services (Score 5, Funny) 237

by BenJeremy (#48881931) Attached to: Dish Network Violated Do-Not-Call 57 Million Times

Argh. After they say they are calling in regards to my card ending in "...1234" I ask them to identify the bank, at which point they balk.

Likewise, when scammers call me up about my [insert model year] [insert make] [insert model] and how my warranty is up, I ask them to name my warranty company (I know the exact terms and the company, having dealt with them a few times already), to which they have no answer. The last one got angry and hung up after I lectured her on scamming people.

As far as I'm concerned, I fully support the use of our Predator Drone program to identify, locate, and destroy these call centers (who are most certainly not calling from anywhere in the US, let alone near the area code spoofed on my caller id)

Comment: Re:Wait, which part is he sorry about now? (Score 3, Interesting) 106

The later, obviously. And "I can think of no better way to describe our failure to drop support for the Dual_EC_DRBG algorithm as anything other than regrettable" What about "criminal"?

I think the proper word is "Treasonous"

In the DoD, the NSA-backed algorithms have been used without question, and in creating a backdoor'd generator, they've compromised our national security.

Comment: Interesting (Score 1) 164

by BenJeremy (#48812003) Attached to: Man Saves Wife's Sight By 3D Printing Her Tumor

I'm glad her tumor was not inside her eye.... I've lost most of the vision in my right eye after radiation treatment for a tumor inside the eye. My Ocular Oncologist did extensive drawings of my retina and the tumor. I'm not sure MRI technology could have mapped it out well enough to make a reliable model. I also had to deal with the fun of having an ultrasound probe run over the surface of my eye to get a better idea of the size of the tumor. That was 4 years ago, and luckily, the ocular melanoma had not metastasized.

It's amazing how fine, delicate, almost microscopic work can be done these days.

Comment: Re:This is why "biometric" authentication is usele (Score 1) 80

Well, actually they can change.... I'm pretty sure my right retina is considerably different today than it was before 2010, when I had radiation and laser treatment for a tumor. Likewise, people can burn their fingers, altering the fingerprints with scar tissue.

Certs are certainly the way to go. What is needed is a way to be able to carry them on you at all times (implant perhaps?), while being able to update it and offer up public information on demand. The downside of this is a loss of anonymity. We already have paranoid people who rant about RFID tracking using our money.

Comment: Re:Meaningless? (Score 4, Interesting) 173

by BenJeremy (#48618253) Attached to: Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

I don't know... I find it odd that the WD drives, at the 5400rpm speed, were able to write data faster than the 7200rpm Seagate drives. That seems counter-intuitive.

It's also nice to see all of the drives go through that sort of "punishment" without a single failure - out of the box. NewEgg reviews aren't terribly helpful, since most only leave reviews when they have issues, and only a few customers ever bother to leave good reviews unless they are overwhelmed by the quality of a product.

Comment: Re:Interesting, but ... (Score 1) 150

by BenJeremy (#48606225) Attached to: Want To Influence the World? Map Reveals the Best Languages To Speak

As the other person said, I'm not against cultures, just that it's a bad reason to isolate segments of humanity into ghettos of language.

Plenty of people commemorate their cultural heritage without demanding exclusive use of the language. They are separate things, but too easily confused by more short-sighted, prideful people (the Quebecois and French are a good example of this). I suspect this is more rooted in our hard-wired tendency toward xenophobia (i.e. fear of things 'unfamiliar').

As I also stated, they could choose Esperanto or Spanish... just pick something and stick with that as a language. It is rather ridiculous that software can get hung up on localization... it's a huge waste of resources, both in development, as well as in the bandwidth/storage used.

A great example are some of the latest games that came out, like Watch_Dogs, that ran 50GB just to localize all of the audio in the game for hundreds of languages. It's nice if you are Khazak, but the effort and resources are disproportional to whatever has been gained.

Lastly, I'll also add that 'Murica has had no problem exporting its culture through movies and games, even when they are dubbed in other languages. Clearly that has little to nothing to do with the heart of a culture.

Comment: Re:Interesting, but ... (Score 4, Interesting) 150

by BenJeremy (#48605951) Attached to: Want To Influence the World? Map Reveals the Best Languages To Speak

If the article about communicating with animals at a conversational level is published, the information will be translated into English.

Seriously, though, why do we still speak hundreds of languages? - I know... because culture! Culture is a lousy, empty, truly vapid reason. A large percentage of the human race's information is in English, a flawed, but serviceable (and malleable) trade language that served the British well for several centuries. As the study pointed out, English is, far and above all others, a global language.

It's a shame that it will likely be centuries before mankind figures out how to be more informationally efficient and come up with some sort of "basic" language. I'd even go along with Esperanto if the powers that be would just pick something and move the human race to it.

SCCS, the source motel! Programs check in and never check out! -- Ken Thompson

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