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Comment: Re:Not likely. (Score 3, Interesting) 133

by Opportunist (#49753861) Attached to: Video Games: Gateway To a Programming Career?

Good analysis. I think the main problem of today is that there is no need for being a "hacker" anymore.

The ancients here will remember how it was vital for them to be "hardware hackers". Because a computer, that was something IBM built, that filled storage rooms and that NASA could afford. If you wanted one, you built your own. Out of necessity. It was either impossible to get one, or at the very least impossible to afford one.

Fast forward to the 70s and 80s, when computers became more or less portable little things you would plug into a TV. We didn't have to solder our own boards together anymore, but programs was a different matter. We had to know quite a bit about programming, even if we weren't into it, for some of the more important tasks were only possible if you at least understood what's going on inside your machine. Not to mention that nearly all of them came with some kind of "user port", where the user could plug in ... hell, nearly anything.

90s and 2000 brought the internet, along with having to learn a bit about TCP/IP if you wanted to actually get anywhere. Let's face it, Windows was not really too keen on letting you connect to the internet without jumping through more hoops than should be necessary, and trumpet was to us far more than just an instrument.

What these eras have in common was that you had to learn something to get somewhere. In the stone age of computing, you actually had to learn how to build such a machine. And I'm not talking about "putting a CPU without accident into its socket". Later you had to understand the machine's language and had to be able to program, at least a bit, if you wanted to get anything. The early years of the internet meant for you to learn a thing or two about networking if you wanted to succeed.

Today, we transcended it all. Nothing is necessary anymore. NO knowledge, no information, for everything there is a "wizard". Our kids aren't learning anything anymore, and I could hardly blame them. Would I have learned how to build a computer if I didn't have to? Unlikely.

We're also at the point where anything big can only be done with a LOT of manpower behind it, and everything small can be bought for a few cents from China. There simply is no reason anymore for anyone to learn anything about the machines he uses. Unless, of course, he'd be interested in it.

Comment: Re:Anyone surprised? (Score 1) 64

It depends on their business plan. If they sell high speed internet connections, chances are that they do want people who use them, too. Because I sure as hell don't need 100mbit simply because, well, I don't download movies where I need a few gig a pop. So I don't need (and hence don't pay for) a huge pipe.

On the other hand, if their customers notice that they must not download movies anymore, well, what do they need the fat pipes for? Right. Nothing. So the logical consequence would be to step down to a smaller package. A cheaper package. Generating less revenue for the provider. And since providers planned for the customers they have, that would leave them with a LOT of unused bandwidth that can't be sold.

So depending on how desperate your ISP is to sell bandwidth, it may actually be in his best interest to tell his customers "Hey, don't worry, relax, keep downloading!"

Comment: Re:Anyone surprised? (Score 1) 64

Depends on your definition of siding.

They need to send out the notice. It's in the law. They need not participate in the usual FUD of the content industry that only costs them money but doesn't generate any, while offering advice to the paying customer not only satisfies the customer but also keeps him interested in the high priced premium service. Because, well, what does the average person need a 100mbit link for if he can't leech movies?

Comment: If anyone wants to hear this in better quality... (Score 1) 70

by Opportunist (#49751831) Attached to: Musical Organ Created From 49 Floppy Disk Drives


I tried to find different people doing it. Funny enough, the three songs played (Toccata and Fuge, He's a pirate and "the Tetris theme" (seriously, when will /. support Cyrillic characters?) were done by pretty much anyone doing floppy music.

Yes, it's not interactive. But please, it's not like they invented the genre of floppy music, there's a ton of videos out there of people making music using floppies. With far better results.

Hint: The key is to make both directions sound equal. I'm still working on that. The interactive part (i.e. playing it with a piano) is actually surprisingly easy to do.

Comment: Re:Yes & the sheer amount of existing code/fra (Score 4, Interesting) 396

by AuMatar (#49745507) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read

Totally disagree. If I see

for(int i: items) {

I know exactly what it does. Anyone who has done any programming in any language can guess what it does. Its simple, easy to read, and if you want can be pulled into a function. Your haskell and Python implementations are unreadable and requires the user to think about each line. They're inferior to straight forward programming by orders of magnitude and should never be used.

Comment: Dear US law makers (Score 2) 124

by Opportunist (#49744363) Attached to: US Proposes Tighter Export Rules For Computer Security Tools

Your jurisdiction, unlike the traffic of the internet, is limited to your own country. And the countries you control. Which is a lot, I give you that, but by no stretch whatsoever it's all.

Also: Money trumps laws. Twice so if corporations are involved. If $evil_bastard_country wants to throw money at whoever sells them $supersecret_technology, corporations will not obey your law, they will race against each other to find the loophole. Which usually ends in the tech involved being developed abroad by those suspicious foreigners and then sold to the $evil_bastard_country.

The net effect for the US of such a ban is a loss of jobs, loss of knowledge and most of all valuable IT security information in the hands of whatever foreign country was smart enough not to be as stupid as you are, putting shackles on your own ITSEC industry.

The Universe is populated by stable things. -- Richard Dawkins