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Comment: Let him learn how to write his own game... (Score 2, Informative) 704

by Brian Edwards (#32381918) Attached to: How To Get a Game-Obsessed Teenager Into Coding?

Comment: Do Some Research!!! (Score 5, Informative) 296

by Brian Edwards (#32048076) Attached to: What Happened To Obama's Open Source Adviser?
You've got your facts wrong. Scott McNealy was never slated to become the Obama administration's Open Source Technology adviser. According to the articles you referenced, all he was going to do was write a paper:

Scott McNealy "revealed he has been asked to prepare a paper on the subject (open source technologies and products) for the new administration."

"According to BBC News, the Obama administration has asked Sun chairman McNealy for a position statement justifying the administration's use of open source software. The BBC wasn't clear on who specifically asked him, but McNealy's spokesperson, on a query by the Linux community, acknowledged that McNealy had been meeting over the last year with members of the administration's new technology initiative, which apparently led to this request."

I don't know if Scott ever got around to writing that paper. Searching the White House website for papers on Open Source, the only one I found was here:

Open Source Software and Cyber Defense
A White Paper provided to the National Security Council and Homeland Security Council as input to the White House Review of Communications and Information Infrastructure.
Bob Gourley, Chief Technology Officer, Crucial Point LLC

Comment: Research (Score 1) 255

by Brian Edwards (#31425788) Attached to: Best Resource For Identifying Legit Applications?
The best resource for discovering legitimate applications is in your own skull. The second-best is an internet search engine.

"Upon investigation I found something installed called 'PDF Suite.' Never having heard of it, I Googled it with 'malware' and other key words, but nothing turned up..."

Dig deeper. I googled "PDF Suite" and found, which claims to be "a leader in the "Online Software Selling" business reaching 5.4 million unique visitors per month (Google Analytics, January 2008)." I then checked to see who owned, and found it was owned by Interactive Brands of Montreal, Quebec. claims to be "a privately held corporation, it was formed by a team of experienced industry professionals who had a vision of creating the “ultimate” digital-market-dedicated affiliate programs."

Googling "" brought up this note:

"McAfee TrustedSource web reputation analysis found potential security risks with this site. Use with extreme caution."

Comment: Re:Whoa.. stop! (Score 1) 1021

by Brian Edwards (#29650487) Attached to: What Belongs In a High School Sci-Fi/Fantasy Lit Class?
I nominate two Heinlein stories that may be of interest to teens:

The Rolling Stones
"The Stones, a family of "Loonies" (residents of the Moon), buy a used spaceship (which by this time is less complicated than a car), overhaul it, and go sightseeing around the solar system."

And for the more advanced class, discuss the political layer of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
"...a 1966 science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, about a lunar colony's revolt against rule from Earth. The novel expresses and discusses libertarian ideals in a speculative context, yet portrays the need for a powerful governing computer to control many aspects of the society."

Comment: NIST Guidelines (Score 1) 260

by Brian Edwards (#29465679) Attached to: Security / Privacy Advice?
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a nonregulatory federal agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce, is putting final touches on a guide designed to help small businesses and organizations implement the fundamentals of an effective information security program. The NIST standards should also prove useful for the remote offices of larger companies, where IT staffs are often small or nonexistent and it's important that employees bear more responsibility for information security.

Comment: Re:Not quite Scopes level (Score 1) 1100

by Brian Edwards (#29202677) Attached to: Global Warming To Be Put On Trial?
Opponents of global warming have successfully framed it as a debate over weather (a local phenomenon) rather than climate (a global phenomenon). They point to a cold snap in Buffalo NY in January, and ask "what global warming?" They ignore evidence that the average temperature in Antarctica has been rising for decades, and that ice is melting faster than it's forming at both poles.

Comment: Wait Till Someone Sues the Church (Score 1) 1100

by Brian Edwards (#29202101) Attached to: Global Warming To Be Put On Trial?
It's probably only a matter of time before someone sues the church over the existence of God.

The goal of the chamber, which represents 3 million large and small businesses, is to fend off potential emissions regulations by undercutting the scientific consensus over climate change.

Using the same approach, atheists can sue the government to prove the existence of God, and use that to undermine "In God We Trust" on our currency, swearing oaths on the Bible, and the tax-free status of churches.

Comment: CK-12 Foundation (Score 1) 178

by Brian Edwards (#29117855) Attached to: Advice On Creating an Open Source Textbook?
CK-12 Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to reduce the cost of textbook materials for the K-12 market both in the U.S. and worldwide. Using an open-content, web-based collaborative model termed the "FlexBook," CK-12 intends to pioneer the generation and distribution of high quality educational content that will serve both as core text as well as provide an adaptive environment for learning.

Comment: Re:Ridiculous (Score 2, Interesting) 229

by Brian Edwards (#28651305) Attached to: Researcher Discovers ATM Hack, Gets Silenced
The vendor in question is likely Microsoft:

"The presentation focused on exploiting vulnerabilities in devices running the Windows CE operating system, including some ATMs. The decision to cancel was made to give the vendor concerned time to patch the problem, although the company was notified 8 months ago."

My guess is that Microsoft is not excited about fixing bugs in CE, and would rather just extend their "security through obscurity" strategy to include censoring researchers.

Comment: OpenSource Animal Shelter Manager (Score 1) 655

by Brian Edwards (#27476161) Attached to: How Do I Provide a Workstation To Last 15 Years?
Animal Shelter Manager is a free computer package, covered by the terms of the GNU General Public License. It is designed to take most (if not all) of the paperwork away from running an animal shelter/sanctuary. The system can also be used to manage a veterinary surgery or clinic.
It runs on any computer platform, utilizes other open source components and does not require a modern computer to run.

The use of money is all the advantage there is to having money. -- B. Franklin