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Comment: PCI DSS (Score 1) 319

If you are going to be working with credit cards then read NOW and not later the PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry - Data Security Standard) standards and follow them, or the company could be liable to penalties from your financial institution. Firewalls are indeed mandatory, as is proper documentation, management and review of the firewall rules.

Download PCI-DSS v3.0 here: https://www.pcisecuritystandar...

Comment: Re:If you want to earn big bucks... (Score 1) 306

by Alioth (#47564605) Attached to: Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

Unfortunately I've not had more time than enough to just dabble in Erlang and the related OTP, but it struck me that you could do a lot of things very elegantly with Erlang. In particular the very light weight share nothing threading model, years ago at university we used Jackson Structured Design where everything was designed as if it had its own process all to itself (no matter how trivial), and it seems that in Erlang you can actually implement it that way rather than flattening the design out.

Comment: Re:um yea... (Score 1) 502

by Alioth (#47564437) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

I have a credit card but I don't pay a 7% or 30% fee on anything. The card is paid off in full each month. It costs me nothing but at the same time gets me buyer protection, I don't have to carry as much cash (so if I get robbed, less is lost and I can cancel the card). If someone gets hold of my credit card number and CVV, they can't drain my bank account with it and leave me with nothing to buy this week's food (and I get fraud protection and can dispute the charge).

Credit cards are stupid if you don't pay them off in full, then they become very expensive. But paid off in full they have benefits that paying in cash does not.

Comment: Re:So! The game is rigged! (Score 1) 502

by Alioth (#47564421) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

The thing is the way it works with mortgages in Europe (at least the bit I'm from) is my bank didn't look at my credit history because it turns out I don't have one.

They looked at my income and expenditure and the deposit I was putting down on the house, and decided whether the amount I had to pay would be affordable, and that was it. (The good thing is I got a standard variable rate mortgage, and with interest rates so low I'm paying something like 0.75% interest at the moment)

Comment: Re:How has slashdot come to this? (Score 1) 143

Utter crap. Codenomicon are very friendly to FLOSS and FLOSS developers. They're also great guys. They have been providing free test services to the Samba project for many years now, and have helped us fix many many bugs.

In case you hadn't noticed, the code they're reporting on here is closed source proprietary code...

+ - U.K. Cabinet Office Adopts ODF as Exclusive Standard for Sharable Documents->

Submitted by Andy Updegrove
Andy Updegrove (956488) writes "The U.K. Cabinet Office accomplished today what the Commonwealth of Massachusetts set out (unsuccessfully) to achieve ten years ago: it formally required compliance with the Open Document Format (ODF) by software to be purchased in the future across all government bodies. Compliance with any of the existing versions of OOXML, the competing document format championed by Microsoft, is neither required nor relevant. The announcement was made today by The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude. Henceforth, ODF compliance will be required for documents intended to be shared or subject to collaboration. PDF/A or HTML compliance will be required for viewable government documents. The decision follows a long process that invited, and received, very extensive public input – over 500 comments in all."
Link to Original Source

+ - UK to use Open Document Format for government documents->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "UK has decided to use ‘open standards’ for sharing and viewing government documents. The announcement was made by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude. One of the primary objectives of this move is to create a level playing field for suppliers of all sizes. The move must put some pressure on Google to offer full support for ODF in Chrome, Android and Google Docs."
Link to Original Source

Comment: PCI-DSS (Score 5, Insightful) 217

As an organisation accredited to be following PCI-DSS, we would be crucified if the PCI auditor found us holding the PAN (the long number on the front of your credit card, PAN = primary account number) in plain text. Surely the airlines/booking agents should not be passing the PAN to anyone else if they are following PCI-DSS (which is mandatory if you want to accept card payments)?

Comment: Re:I disagree (Score 2) 241

by Alioth (#47487919) Attached to: Math, Programming, and Language Learning

You might not be terrible at math. I thought I was terrible at math (I'm also a software developer). I also thought I was only good at discrete mathematics (which was a course I took during my university degree, heavily related to programming and CS). Furthermore I thought I was terrible at learning human languages, after having had 7 years of compulsory French at school and not being able to form a coherent sentence in French.

It turned out I was wrong on two counts:

A while back I started learning Spanish. The way I was being taught now was in a fun and easy way. I was also self motivated. In six months after starting, I could actually use some of it and knew more Spanish than I did French from 7 years of French lessons. 14 months after starting I was giving a technical talk in Spain (with an admittedly terrible accent and many grammar errors). Later today I'm off to Spain to help organise RetroEuskal with a bunch of Spanish friends. I started learning Spanish in my mid-30s, not as a kid. I learned it far faster than I would have as a child.

More recently I realised I needed better mathematics skills to be able to do more complex things in my electronics hobby, so I took an algebra course on Coursera. At school I had pretty much flat out failed algebra. In fact I was put into the lower maths set with all the thick kids (where you could only score a C at most in the GCSE, the exam we take at age 16) because both myself and my teachers were convinced that I was bad at the subject. But doing algebra in a course that was interactive, fun and gave instant results - I passed that with a distinction. I then did a pre-calculus course, and passed that with a distinction. I then did Jim Fowler's (Ohio State University) calculus 1 course on Coursera and passed that with a distinction too.

So it turns out that I was wrong about myself. In reality I was not bad at maths nor human languages. Now I admit I will probably never be a mathematician or linguist, but I can now do two things I never thought I ever would be able to. The reason I never succeeded at these things at school was because they were taught in a very boring and overly complex manner, and I was also pathologically lazy and didn't pay enough attention. The reason I succeeded now is due to having more motivation to do it and being exposed to teaching methods that inspire, and that aren't just hours of boredom.

Furthermore, while I don't usually use calculus or algebra in my day job, I have found that learning these things has improved the way I approach a problem.

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.