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Comment Re:Free machines for third-world nations! (Score 1) 65 65

I think he said after the war

Even after the war they wanted to keep it a secret - just because the hostilities ended didn't mean they had no more use for the advantage decryption gave them. Even if occupied Germany wasn't a real threat anymore, why would the Allies (or at least UK and USA) want the world to know what their capabilities are in terms of decryption?

Comment Re:None. Go meta. (Score 1) 336 336

How does one demonstrate knowing how to program during an interview process if one doesn't know at least a fair amount about the language and its basic methodology?

Candidate should be able to answer any questions in pseudo code. You are right that each language has its own intricacies, and e.g. perfect code in C is terrible code in C++, but C++ is not specific enough that general programming principles don't apply.

Reading a book about the language over the weekend before the interview won't make an experienced programmer out of you, but you will know what the language is about and you will have a good overview of most features of the language.

Besides, in my experience at least, candidates who have a lot of experience in the language that's used don't gain as many points as the ones who know ins and outs and best practices for libraries and frameworks which are used in the organization.

Comment Re:Wait. Ssergorp lurking here. (Score 1) 34 34

Before Uber: person needs a ride. So they get a car that's available. It has "Taxi" written on it, and stands in line waiting at the kerb, or can be waved down. Person gets a ride, and pays in cash.

In Belgrade, Serbia, I can phone a taxi and request a ride. I tell them where I am, and they give me a pretty exact estimate and the number of the cab that's going to pick me up so I can identify legitimacy of the car I am entering. I can also specify smoking/non-smoking vehicle, or I can request a vehicle with an extra-large trunk because I have a lot of luggage. When I am done, I can pay with cash, and some drivers now accept credit cards (in many cities around the world - taxis take credit card regularly).

I honestly don't have a problem paying with cash - I usually keep enough for a ride in my wallet, and the couple of times that I didn't - I asked the driver to stop by an ATM so I can withdraw some.

Uber would simply be a competitor to our regular taxi drivers - it wouldn't offer much otherwise (and it would never fly - as our taxi drivers are well organized and won't let competition in that easily). To me, it's much easier to just pick up a phone and speed-dial my favorite taxi dispatching service, than to install an app, learn how to use it, and then invoke it anytime I need a cab.

Comment Re:Bastards ... (Score 4, Informative) 327 327

It looks optional. I just updated and on directory tiles you get options: "Enhanced", "Classic" and "Blank". I don't see a difference between Enhanced and Classic but I am going to guess that Classic is ad free.

Anyway, why be so negative about this? People at Mozilla provide a great browser and if that means you get to see some ads (that you can disable) every once in a while, what's the big deal? If they were injecting ads into pages you load, I would object, but seeing them on an otherwise empty page is as intrusive as default search engines they give you. Both things are perfectly fine.

Comment Re:Contacting BBC, via VPN (Score 5, Insightful) 363 363

This is the problematic part from TFA: the BBC Worldwide indicates that ISPs should be obliged to monitor their customers' activities.

If anything, ISP's should be regulated never to monitor their customers activities - I really think ISP looking into what I am transferring should be illegal. Just like a phone company should never listen to my conversations, ISP should never look into my data.

Comment Re:Next wave of phishing? (Score 1) 149 149

What software (or library) is programmed to recognize that two chars look the same and therefore allows them based on the appearance rather than their encoding?

I am not aware of any. My "solution" to this problem is to allow only unambiguous characters to be used. I really mostly have to deal with only about 60 characters in total which I allow people use for unique fields, so it's manageable.

Comment Re:Next wave of phishing? (Score 2) 149 149

That kind of phishing already exists, even more sophisticated: a bug that a lot of software contains is not distinguishing between same looking characters in different alphabets. E.g. you can sign up on many forum/bbs platforms as Administrator if your leading A is cyrillic A instead of latin A. Both look the same but have different html entity codes and are different unicode chracatres, which is true for most vowels and many consonants (e.g. cyrillic B and latin B, C and C, E and E...). Or, for more fun, look at this (single) character which looks exactly as "lj".

Those of us with customers who use two alphabets constantly have known about this problem for a long time and we've seen phishing on all different kinds of platforms using this strategy.

IDN (internationalized domain names) solves this problem in domain names with policy: you can't register a domain which looks exactly like some other domain except for that change in character. Still though, you can register both casino.it and casinò.it and that's where the real phishing potential is. I think, at least most native English speakers, would probably be fooled easier by a domain such as paypal-customer-division.com than paypàl.com.

Comment When will this stop being news? (Score 1) 207 207

The owner of trademark has to "protect" it or they will lose the exclusive right to use it. It's described here. Lawyers have to send C&D letters and sue for infringement because that's what the law says they have to do in order to keep the right to use their trademark.

IkeaHackers does use IKEA's logo and it really can be mistaken for IKEA's trademark, so the lawyers had to act. It was routine, and it wasn't some evil corporate guy who just wanted to make that blogger's life miserable.

Comment Re:"Down with fat-shaming!" (Score 3, Insightful) 329 329

When I was visiting my parents once, after getting out of shower all wet and with a towel on, I got an epic line from my father: "Go back to the bathroom, put on some clothes, and lose 10 kilos, before you enter the living room".

In many parts of Europe (I can speak for the Balkans for sure), it's perfectly normal to comment on weight and friends and family. It's not said out of malice, it's with best intentions. And if anything, when everybody you know starts commenting on how fat you are getting, you start and think if it's time to go on a diet. It also usually means that you can get some support from family and friends if you need to change your lifestyle to lose weight, so it can work out good.

It's different with children though - they can be rough and tease/bully you for being fat. For some kids that can be an incentive to take up a sport, for some it will be nothing but trauma.

Comment Use your own VPS instead (Score 4, Informative) 259 259

1. Rent a cheap VPS
2. Tunnel connection through it (e.g. via a SOCKS proxy) or set up your own VPN
3. Keep the IP to yourself so you don't get flagged

That's how I get to watch BBC's premiers at the same time people in London do, and if I care about something in the US, I just switch to another VPS.

Comment Re:Lol wut (Score 1) 128 128

point being, nobody would have heard of this without this gimmick, so bravo for them for the gimmick. but let me ask you this, will you seek this song a year from now?

Honestly, it's not my cup of tea and alternative music generally takes some acquiring of taste before it can be enjoyed.

Still, I'm sure they'll find the audience, and they certainly get +100 geek points for this release.

Comment Re:Lol wut (Score 1) 128 128

De gustibus non est disputandum. I just heard about this band for the first time and I would categorize them as an "alternative electronic" band. I was first introduced to that kind of music during the mid nineties, just before the Internet came to my country, as it was swapped by artists on a BBS I frequented. I think it appealed to artistic geeks because they could create it with a heavy use of their favorite toy in their bedroom.

We even have a show dedicated to this kind of music on a national radio station, so it has its audience...

Comment Re:...news for nerds.. (Score 1) 405 405

Most every other sport has human interaction as a core element: US football/rugby has people crashing in to each other as a core element, baseball has a pitcher throwing a ball to a batter and the pitcher can directly affect the batters performance, in basketball you could be the best 3 point shooter on an empty court but you've got to get the ball past the defensive players trying to block it.

Except, of course, for track & field, swimming, skiing, ski jumps, kayaking, rowing, running, synchronized swimming, gymnastics, weightlifting, luge, skeleton, boblseigh, and pretty much any other sport which doesn't involve a ball or direct combat. Some you do regardless of other contestants, like weightlifting, some you do alongside others, like running a marathon, but no interaction is allowed. So, whatever you do in practice you should be allowed to repeat in competition.

Sports like football (real or American) and basketball may be good television, but they hardly constitute "most sports".

Comment Re:I wonder how much damage... (Score 5, Interesting) 285 285

For most users that I've known who were willing to try OpenOffice, Calc worked fine for them.

When they ask about why it looks different, I just tell them "oh, this is the newer version.", and they're fine.

You are describing my experience with home users, e.g. people who use Word to type out a school assignment or a project report and then print it.

People who do "serious" work with Office have real problems migrating. Excel formulas will not always successfully transfer to Calc, which means old spreadsheets can't be used and they can't be shared with people still using MS products.

Write and Word do have incompatibilities. E.g. one bug lingers around for years: when a header is saved in OpenOffice format and then saved as a Word document, it will appear on all pages and not only on the first page.

I never tried to open a MS Access database in OpenOffice Base, but Base does have stability and bug issues, at least on Mac (just yesterday I had problems with it crashing).

I won't even go into macros, templates, etc.

Switching from MS Office to OpenOffice / LibreOffice is not easy at all for power users. To put into geek terms: imagine switching from Apache to Lighttpd. For most things, it will be great. But, if you have some serious .htaccess magic going on or are relying on mods which exist only for Apache - well, you are out of luck and you are probably not going anywhere.

Fresh start with OO/LO, on the other hand, is a breeze :)

Comment Find a small company without HR department (Score 1) 133 133

I am in a South-Eastern European country and I don't have a degree in a related field, but I didn't have a hard time finding my first programming jobs.

Keep several things in mind:

1. Good developers are in demand. If Eastern Europe is anything like the Balkans in that regard, people are looking for competent programmers. At any particular job interview for a programmer most of the people who apply don't know anything about programming, have never used a relational database, etc. Use that to your advantage.
2. Small companies don't have HR departments to veto you just because you don't have a degree or enough years of work experience.
3. You have 6 months to beef up your resume. You can always invent free-lance work, as long as you have knowledge to back it up.
4. You can always find for-peanuts work on various "hire a freelancer" website. You will not earn good money there, nor will you get any enterprise application experience, but you will have an "Aha!" moment if you never programmed for money before. When you are developing as a hobby, you tend to adjust requirements to your knowledge and spare time, but when somebody else gives you requirements, you will quickly discover how to learn quickly and do things efficiently. That's what employers want from their programmers.
5. When negotiating a salary, keep in mind that the price you suggest will tell a lot to your employer about what you are worth. I know this may be a mistake, but when I was interviewing people for jobs, I took more seriously people who expected higher-than-indurstry-average salary than people who wanted to work for peanuts. If you come to me and ask for a salary that's half, or a third, of what I know most company in my city pay their developers, I will assume that you don't have much experience.

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. -- Poul Anderson