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Comment: All your eggs in one basket. (Score 4, Insightful) 212

Wow. And how long do they think their magical key will remain secret? If a single key can open all the doors, finding that key will become more important and the resourced dedicated to discovering it will be increased. The secrets that are being protected are not only -- or even primarily -- the secrets of criminals. There are millions of bank accounts and private medical records along with political dissidents.

Every weakening of security aids not only law enforcements but criminals as well.

Comment: Re:If this thread is like all the others... (Score 2) 216

can you explain what about CS is different from maths, English, physics, chemistry, biology, foreign languages, history, wood working, underwater basket weaving etc etc?

It's all about the concept of a core subject. A core subject is a basic set of skills on which other skills are built. Math and English are core subjects because there's very little you can do in life without using them to some extent. Wood working and basket weaving are not because they are secondary skills which are built on core skills and you can get along fine without them. (Provided you're not trying to build a cabinet or make a basket.) You could argue that computer science qualifies provided you don't confuse it with learning to code. Virtually everyone will require some level of computer skill in order to make a living because that particular tool has become essential in modern life, but that does not necessarily require learning to write code.

Comment: And how many of these people will need to code? (Score 1) 216

A "core" subject has multiple levels and is the basis for other knowledge. Basic math is fundamental to many jobs; you can't be a plumber or an architect without it. Ditto for reading and writing. If you excel on one of these disciplines you may need advanced skills; like trigonometry in math or learning the difference between composing a novel or a newspaper article if you're a writer.

Programming doesn't qualify for the same sort of focus. You can operate a computer without programming it the same way you can drive a car without being a mechanic. Programming computers is more of an end than a means and many people, both now and in the foreseeable future, will be able to make a life without having to write a single line of code. Calling it a core subject will just create a loss of focus on what core subjects are all about.

Comment: Re:Advanced is good enough (Score 1) 220

by Jaywalk (#49422401) Attached to: How would you rate your programming skills?
I waffled on the same problem since I've been doing code professionally since 1981, but I can't do the kind of legerdemain that someone with deep knowledge of the system internals can pull off. Does that make me advanced? Expert?

Finally I settled on "Good enough to criticize everybody else." You don't have to know anything to criticize.

Comment: Re:It's a Disney movie. (Score 1) 53

by Jaywalk (#49388397) Attached to: Madman: Proximity To Black Hole "Not a Big Deal"
Disney can't make a movie without pasting on a happy ending. They even stuck a happy ending onto the Hunchback of Notre Dame. They got to the part where everyone is hopelessly falling into a black hole and they just couldn't help themselves. They stuck on a happy ending. It doesn't have to make sense, it's Disney.

Comment: The correct answer should be "none". (Score 5, Insightful) 279

by Jaywalk (#49380417) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With User Resignation From an IT Perspective?
There should already be backups in place and security safeguards to keep such an employee -- as much as possible -- from causing harm. Employees leave all the time, planned or unplanned, willingly or not. Certainly you want to make sure all their uncompleted tasks are turned over to someone else, but preparations should have already been in place in case health problems or personal issues cause a sudden departure.

Comment: The bank I work for would just love this. (Score 2) 385

by Jaywalk (#48857101) Attached to: FBI Seeks To Legally Hack You If You're Connected To TOR Or a VPN

The specific rule the FBI is targeting outlines the terms for obtaining a search warrant. It's called Federal Rule 41(b), and the requested change would allow law enforcement to obtain a warrant to search electronic data without providing any specific details as long as the target computer location has been hidden through a technical tool like Tor or a virtual private network.

Everything my employer does is via a VPN. This little change would be carte blanche for virtually all corporate communications within the United States. Even the company's internal networks would be laid bare if they're remotely accessible. The opportunities for abuse are staggering.

Comment: For one mile? (Score 5, Interesting) 784

by Jaywalk (#48828525) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone
A mile? That's still 1760 yards right? Geez, my walk to grade school was longer than that. The local grade school here in Massachusetts doesn't require the school to provide bus service if the kid lives within two miles of the school. Maybe Maryland should come up here and arrest the school board.

Comment: Define "retire". (Score 2) 341

by Jaywalk (#46780163) Attached to: I expect to retire ...
I'm defining it as when I have enough saved up that I don't need the income from working. Whether I actually stop working or not is another matter. After my dad "retired" he was an associate professor, headed up two startups and participated in SCORE. Eventually his health made him slow down, but he made the decision based on what he wanted to do, not on his bank balance.

A bit of advice to you young folks from one of the old farts: do the math. The "rule of 72" is that dividing 72 by your interest will tell you how many years (roughly) it will take to double your money. At 10% it doubles every seven years, at 7% it doubles every 10. Tossing even small amounts into a 401k now will give you a lot more cash at the end than throwing in a lot more later in life.

Comment: All part of "No Child Left Behind". (Score 2) 529

by Jaywalk (#46504983) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child
This is inevitable under the No Child Left Behind Act. The law states that all children have to meet a single standard. The intended consequence is to raise the abilities of the less able and the disadvantaged. The actual result is that the gifted and average, who meet the standard easily, are considered "done" and ignored after that point. All the resources go into raising the abilities of the less able; sometimes an impossible task.

The end result is that the actual potential of most children is what gets "left behind".

Comment: Candyland? My kid is hooked on Skylanders. (Score 1) 270

by Jaywalk (#46353619) Attached to: How much time do you spend gaming compared to 10 years ago?
Every weekend he gets another one of those plastic figures and spends the week leveling it up. And he doesn't understand why dad always want to play Trigger Happy. Truth is, I just don't have the time to learn all the tricky moves and the psychotic shooter is easy to play.

Comment: There's a reason for that. (Score 1) 683

by Jaywalk (#46076435) Attached to: VC Likens Google Bus Backlash To Nazi Rampage

“As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.” There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress.

There is a purpose behind declaring an argument over once the Nazis are mentioned. The assumption is that if a speaker resorts to comparing his opponents to the Nazis then he has run out of good arguments and is hoping for a visceral response that will therefore cause him to win the point.

I've got all the money I'll ever need if I die by 4 o'clock. -- Henny Youngman

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