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Comment: Simple as playing with blocks (Score 1) 315

by eyepeepackets (#49443855) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce a 7-Year-Old To Programming?

Make learning programming fundamentals a blocks toy. Kid can stack program blocks a certain way, the physical block pattern gets scanned into the computer, turned into code. Point is to make it an interesting hands-on toy which makes the obvious connection between what the kid does with the toy and what happens on the computer. Once the kid makes the connection to building with pieces, they'll want to go directly to building on the computer, by-passing the simple to use but less powerful blocks.

Comment: Humane Methods and Definitions (Score 5, Insightful) 1081

by eyepeepackets (#49258353) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century

The guillotine was originally adopted by the French as an evolved and humane method for taking a human life and, considering what we've seen with alternative methods this past century, I have to agree: It's fast, relatively painless (quite possibly completely painless when one considers the shock reaction of the body,) somewhat messy, but has great symbolic and even theatrical value. Granted, the upper classes world-wide hate this device with a fearful passion, but that is actually part of its value.

Comment: Robust versus Secure (Score 4, Insightful) 131

by eyepeepackets (#49057615) Attached to: Bank Hackers Steal Millions Via Malware

The internet was designed to be amazingly robust, able to successfully get a message through a nuked-out infrastructure -- point A to point Z via any number of non-predetermined intermediate points. It was not designed to be secure because such security wasn't deemed necessary to the completion of the mission of getting a message to point Z from point A regardless the damage inbetween the two points.

What security it does have has been bolted on after-the-fact much like bolting a wind spoiler onto a Volkswagen Beetle. and with pretty much the same comical effect. "Secure" internet will require some serious redesign at the various hardware and sofware levels before it can be secure.

An interesting question is whether or not it can be both very robust and very secure at the same time?

My point being that the warnings about the above were made loud and clear in the mid-1990s when the internet was "discovered" by the citizenry and the commercial interests and yet everyone yelled "Full speed ahead!" and so here we are.

Comment: Re:Yellowstone hotspot/McDonalds/Impact Crater (Score 3, Interesting) 65

by eyepeepackets (#48350109) Attached to: Nevada Earthquake Swarm Increases Chance of Larger Quake

Glad to see someone else made the connection between this location and the Yellowstone hotspot. In terms of geologic time, this entire area is really "hot" and prone to large events of various types. Having a concentrated earthquake swarm in this area is worrying, especially since I live in Boise....

I was living in Portland during the whole Mt. St. Helens cycle in the late '70s/early '80s and the only adult nightmares I've ever had involve geologic events: It's hard to fully appreciate such things until you've experienced them.

Comment: Freedom of Choice in the U.S.A. (Score 1) 338

by eyepeepackets (#47725651) Attached to: FCC Warned Not To Take Actions a Republican-Led FCC Would Dislike

So, where is the freedom? Where is the choice? I can choose between Corporate Person A or Corporate Person B but not a Citizen Cooperative (government)? I thought these Corporate Person types loved Freedom and Choice. These Corporate Personages are crooks who lie like the politicians they buy -- and their products generally suck.

Comment: Re:Microsoft naming practices (Score 1) 426

Yes, a good point about the exploits-as-we-type attribute of Microsoft's blackbox software.

Historically, IE earned the name "Internet Exploder" because during its early days, it would not only crash, but crash and take the file system down with it, requiring a complete reinstall/rebuild of the system. I was slow moving from the Atari ST world onto PCs for my home system and when I did, the new PC came with Windows '95 with Internet Explorer built in to the OS. In the first thirty days of owning this system, IE crashed and trashed three times, after which I went down to Powell's Books in Portland and bought a copy of SAM's Slackware Linux -- and never looked back.

Make sure your code does nothing gracefully.