Absolutely spot on.
I wrote a Calcudoku generator/solver a while ago (now in heavy use at http://www.calcudoku.org/ and spent a _lot_ of effort on the difficulty rating bits (and still know there is room for improvement).
One idea that isn't in there yet is to somehow incorporate the distance between the solving steps: if the next logical step is in a cell very near the previous one, you see it more quickly, hence the puzzle is easier.
I'm an older programmer (yes past 40, programming for about 30 years) and find no problems at all with finding work.
You'll bring more experience than the hipsters. Only issue with some companies is the higher rate/salary.
Ridiculous that once you're older you should be managing a group of 20-something programmers: do what you love, and if that's programming and not managing, stick with it.
Some of the lesser known high quality & useful software (so won't be listing emacs here):
- sox: commandline audio processing
- cdparanoia: CD ripper
- inkscape: SVG editor (ok pretty well known by now)
- xwrits: primitive but effective "RSI prevention" software
- valgrind: memory leak checker (and much more)
- xxdiff: great graphical diff
- testdisk: data recovery
The fact that there is a need for a book like this: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596517748.do
some stats for a Calcudoku number puzzle site with about 65000 visits/month:
Smaller interesting ones:
Amazon Silk 0.3%
Up and coming (?) Firefox OS has 0.5%
Not so up and coming (?) Windows Phone comes in at 0.2%
Don't take my word for it, though - look for yourself:
Better still, look here: Map Compare
(side by side comparison of OSM, Google Maps, Bing Maps, etc.)
Obscene and Tasteless - This category will block sites that offer advice on how to commit illegal or criminal activities, or to avoid detection.
The trick is to combine things that parents will obviously want
to block (in that category: "how to commit murder, build
bombs, " and "gruesome or even frightening content such as
shocking depictions of blood or wounds, or cruel animal
treatment.") with stuff that the MPAA/government etc. want to
block: "Sites with information about illegal manipulation of
electronic devices, hacking, fraud and illegal distribution of
software will be blocked along with
"Illegal manipulation of electronic devices, hacking" is nice and
broad as well, so plenty of sites to block.
Why is hacking "obscene and tasteless" anyway?
I've posted a (torrent of a) 6 month archive of tweets about bitcoin at bitcoinscope.com
To be precise, it's 50% of all tweets (every other tweet), so it can be used as a training set, with the other 50% to be used as a test set later (for your sentiment tracker / price predictor, etc.)
I'm surprised there isn't already a copy out there somewhere.
Freedom of Information request first?
Another example: I've been trying for months now
to get BT's (British Telecom's) "cease charge" refunded:
they charge you 30 pounds for closing a broadband account (!)
No luck so far
check out "The 10 Hardest Logic/Number Puzzles": we've tried to identify
the World's hardest puzzles in categories like Sudoku, Kakuro, and chess.
There are 9 on the page so far, so your suggestions are needed for the
10th entry. And what is it that makes these puzzles so difficult?"