It's not the features that you stare at with no idea what they do that cause a problem. As you say, a quick look at the manual can help to sort that out (though it does add to the overall cognitive load). It's all the potentially subtle things that you don't even realise are features and so never look up and don't realise that, contrary to first inspection, the code is actually doing something subtly different to what you expect.
Math is all about being precise, logical.. Communicating exactly one concept at a time. Natural languages do neither.
Except math is almost never actually done that way in practice. Euclid was wonderful, but almost all modern math does not work that strictly (and Euclid really should have been more careful with the parallel postulate -- there's "more than one thing at a time" involved there). Yes, proofs are careful and detailed, but so is, say, technical writing in English. Except for a few cases (check out metamath.org, or Homotopy Type Theory) almost no-one actually pedantically lays out all the formal steps introducing "only one concept at a time".
Not every programmer deals with these [mathematical] questions regularly (which is why I donâ(TM)t think math is necessary to be a programmer), but if you want to be a great programmer you had better bet youâ(TM)ll need it.
I don't think you need math even to be a great programmer. I do think a lot of great programmers are people who think in mathematical terms and thus benefit from mathematics. But I also believe you can be a great programmer and not be the sort of person who thinks in those terms. I expect the latter is harder, but then I'm a mathematician so I'm more than read to accept that I have some bias in this topic.
Math IS sequencing. So is using recipes. That is how math works.
Math is a language. Just because you can frame things in that language doesn't mean that that language is necessary. Recipes are often in English. English is sequencing (words are a serial stream after all). That doesn't mean English is necessary for programming (there seem to many competent non-english speaking programmers as far as I can tell).
Disclaimer: I am a professional research mathematician; I do understand math just fine.
College education wastes countless hours teaching academic stuff that a great majority of programmers will not use on the job, while neglecting critical skills that could be immediately useful in a large
Of course there was a time when college education was supposed to be education and not just vocational training.
I think part of the problem is that "programming" is itself so diverse.
The other part of the problem is that math is so diverse. There's calculus and engineering math with all kinds of techniques for solving this or that PDE; there's set theoretic foundations; there's graph theory and design theory and combinatorics and a slew of other discrete math topics; there's topology and metric spaces and various abstractions for continuity; there's linear algebra and all the finer points of matrices and matrix decompositions and tensors and on into Hilbert spaces and other infinite dimensional things; there's category theory and stacks and topos theory and other esoterica of abstraction. On and on, and all very different and I can't even pretend to have anything but cursory knowledge of most of them
Calculus is perhaps not the best measure however. Depending on where you go in the programming field calculus is likely less useful than some decent depth of knowledge in graph theory, abstract algebra, category theory, or combinatorics and optimization. I imagine a number of people would chime in with statistics, but to do statistics right you need calculus (which is an example of one of the directions where calculus can be useful for programming).
Of course the reality is that you don't need any of those subjects. Those subjects can, however, be very useful to you as a programmer. So yes you can certainly be a programmer, and even a very successful and productive one without any knowledge of calculus, or graph theory say. On the other hand, there may well be times when graph theory, or calculus, or statistics could prove very useful. what it comes down to is whether you are inclined to think that way -- and if so it can be a benefit; if not it won't be the way you think about the problem anyway.
I've gotten a lot of mileage out of Python for cleaning and pre-processing CSV and JSON datasets, using the obviously named "csv" and "json" modules.
You may want to look into pandas as a middle ground. It's great for sucking in tabular or csv data and then applying statistical analysis tools to it. It has a native "dataframe" object which is similar to database tables, and has efficient merge, join, and groupby semantics. If you have a ton of data then a database and SQL is the right answer, but for a decent range of use cases in between pandas is extremely powerful and effective.
Because Ruby is my preference and I am more familiar with it, I can tell you that it is in continuous development, and bytecode-compiled versions are available (JRuby, which uses the JVM, and others). I do not know about Python in this respect because I haven't used it nearly as much.
Python has the default implementation CPython which compiles python to an interpreted bytecode; there's also Jython which compiles to JVM, and IronPython which compiles Microsoft's CLR. There's also Cython (which requires extra annotations) which compiles to C and thence to machine code, and numba which does compilation to LLVM. Finally there's Pypy which is a python JIT compiler/interpreter written in a restricted subset of Python.
The question is, can this be done on the OS level, or does it have to happen on the driver level? If it can be done at the OS level, easy peasy, just modify the code to establish tower connections to include this check. If it has to happen on a driver level, it gets trickier. Most phones use proprietary binary drivers for their cell radios, so they couldn't be readily modified. However, it may be possible to load an intermediate driver, which in turn loads the proprietary driver. If it could be determined which driver calls involved connecting to a new tower, you could just pass through everything else, and only pass through calls to the tower connect function if they passed your database lookup. Trickier, but doable. Because really, you want to avoid connecting to these things at all. Nice though it is to see you're being attacked, it's better to stop the attack before it starts.
Do you live in the area? I do. The cabs here can suck. A cab in the middle of summer that smells of old smoke, with no AC, in 95F and 10% humidity in the middle of summer is a not good thing.
That said, there are some amazing cabs too - but it's a guessing game. I've been (illegally) kicked out of cabs because my destination was too far or too "dangerous". Cabs get very picky during peak hours on who they pick up and in what neighborhoods they pick up in. Only this year do DC cabs take credit cards reliably, and only because of much-hated and delayed regulation changes based on Uber entering the game.
Do I think Uber/Lyft/etc. need to join in to regulations? Sure. That's a good direction. But sorry D/M/V cab industry, maybe you should have upped your game a long time ago. I have much respect for a good cabbie, but not much for the industry.