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Comment: Re:Hot Glue Guns (Score 1) 175

by Pharmboy (#48615937) Attached to: 3D Printer?

And they can't afford $500 for a phone or $800 on a game console but they still do. $1000 is within reach of enough people to be called "consumer grade". That doesn't mean everyone can afford it. Not everyone can even afford a computer, but we still consider them consumer goods.

Comment: Video cards? (Score 1) 179

by xtal (#48580549) Attached to: LG To Show Off New 55-Inch 8K Display at CES

Maybe this will drive some faster video cards.. I run 3 30" monitors (7680x1600); and while 2D and work productivity is no problem.. and, believe me, if you have the means I highly recommend picking them up - 3D surround gaming, even with SLI current-generation cards is a challenge.

What's even more impressive is how fast the 4K panels are dropping in price. Manufacturing FTW.

Comment: Re:Password protect your phone (Score 1) 105

by xtal (#48576333) Attached to: Canadian Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Warrantless Cellphone Searches

Actually, no.

If you have a proper password, the magic cables will not work on iOS. It doesn't take long to brute force a numeric 4 digit. It takes a lot longer if that gets complicated; of course, that's harder to use, too.

"I do not consent to any search of my vehicle or my person"

"Am I free to go or am I being detained?"

"I want to speak with an attorney"

Magic words. If police have probable cause they don't need to ask; use the magic words and it'll stay that way.

Comment: 42 years old here.. (Score 4, Interesting) 376

by Fished (#48490987) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: IT Career Path After 35?

And still technical. 100% technical. There have been a few cases where I felt like I was denied a job because I was too old ... "not a good fit with company culture" and that sort of thing... but as others have said, those companies just disqualified themselves.

The reality is that I'm a better programmer now than when I was 25. I havre a much better understanding of "craftsmanship" -- things like testing, documentation, making sure my code is not "brittle" -- even though my ability to devour new technologies has slacked a bit.

Comment: Great news for those of us with experience.. (Score 1) 226

by xtal (#48405849) Attached to: Coding Bootcamps Presented As "College Alternative"

I've gotten one hell of a return from my BSc. EE. Thankfully it's not being devalued, and as far as ROI goes, wow. Was it easy for me? F--k no. Things that are worthwhile rarely are easy.

Anyone who thinks these bootcamps are a substitute for theory training is a fool. They can make a great way to leverage that core knowledge, though. They're also great for churning out code monkeys. I don't want to be a monkey.

You know what's a substitute, though? -Free- books and training online on those academic topics. Marry that with a good, accredited lab work program and you're going to be onto something; I suspect, however, this will be targeted at a lower common denominator.

Democratizing forces will come to higher education as there's HUGE market inefficiencies there created by an artificial barrier. It's just a matter of time, or like I've said before, one of the Ivy league institutions to offer real credit in an online environment. Right now it's a big game of chicken to see who blinks first.

Comment: Genetic algorithms already there.. (Score 1) 77

by xtal (#48405779) Attached to: Magic Tricks Created Using Artificial Intelligence For the First Time

http://www.damninteresting.com...

There's some magic tricks outside of the basic programming for you. Paper is linked in there or easily searchable, and is quite interesting.

And yes, there might be reason to start to get concerned. Disruptive changes happen quickly. Eventually, we will be the ones disrupted..

Comment: Re:Cocoa futures (Score 1) 323

by Pharmboy (#48397525) Attached to: MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

That was my thinking. Maybe we have giant silos of cacao, and those are dwindling, although I lack the imagination to think this is literally true. The whole premise looks like a reason to raise prices and profits.

If the world is eating more chocolate, it means the world is getting richer. Not many in China would be eating chocolate regularly 20 years ago, Same could be said of other areas.

Regardless, the math doesn't add up, particularly the future estimations of us consuming a million tons more than we make. The only place you see that kind of math is typically in the Ministry of Truth.

Comment: Re:Paper? (Score 2) 148

by xtal (#48382589) Attached to: Internet Voting Hack Alters PDF Ballots In Transmission

Do you know how this works?

The box goes out in the open. Everyone can watch things go in.

The count is done with several people. Observers can watch. That's how it's done in Canada. Really.

The whole process, if fraud is a concern, can be watched end-to-end. There is no opportunity for "extra slips".

Paper works and is AFAIK the hardest to game and has the most oversight. I question those who are so quick to get rid of it.

Comment: Paper? (Score 4, Insightful) 148

by xtal (#48381453) Attached to: Internet Voting Hack Alters PDF Ballots In Transmission

Seriously?

Whats wrong with paper?

Lots of systems for automatically dealing with it. Unique and irrefutable record. Easy to recount. Don't like one machine? Design a better one to scan and count. People really pissed off? Count those SOBs one at a time in front of a crowd on a big-screen TV.

Ballot boxes are easily placed out in the open; they're easily observed and tracked by as many people as would like to. The entire way through the process.

Lots of very large, modern democracies just use paper. Including your neighbours up north. X marks the spot.

Crazy.

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