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Comment Pascal/Delphi (Score 1) 257

I still maintain a group of embedded semi-smart terminals that run OSes from MSDOS to current versions of Windows. The original program was written in Turbo Pascal 7 back in the early 90's, and some of the old ODS boxes are still in use.

The program has been updated over the years to run on Delphi and now XE2. Three or four different development environments, but they can all be convinced to run under Win 7/8 (I haven't tried Win 10 yet.) I see no reason to expect that they won't live on long after I am retired.

Comment Science is fine... (Score 3, Interesting) 320

... it's the media messing things up. The endless race to publish something, anything, leads to headlines like "XYZ is bad for you!" Then you read the actual study, and it turns out the "reporter" is talking about a minor study on a different topic that had a mere handful of study participants. Of course, no effort is made to actually interview the study authors, or "the authors did not respond to our request for an interview." I find that Gawker and HuffPo are among the worst offenders.

Comment The problem is... (Score 3, Informative) 158

... these local governments are still of the mindset that "industrial/technology" means factories, which means jobs. But as we all know, everybody that builds a datacenter wants as little staff as possible. A datacenter full of staff is seldom a good thing. When I walk past our datacenter on my way to work, if I even see the lights on or more than one car in the parking lot, I clench up, because I know it isn't going to be a good day when I get to my office on the other side of the campus.

Comment Online news (Score 3, Interesting) 167

I use Google News as my home page. It's constantly updated, the selection of news is pretty good, and they offer multiple links to each story. On the downside, there are occasionally articles that are paywalled or click-bait that makes it through the filter, but it is what it is. It's pretty good for a no-humans-involved system.

Comment MUMPS (Score 1) 387

Or M as it's known these days. It's a horrific mess of a language, but there's still a LOT of legacy code out there and it's nearly impossible to refactor M databases into anything more modern. No matter how much I try to move away from it, I keep getting pulled back in. But hey, it pays the mortgage!

Comment Re:Service in exchange for a free modem? (Score 1, Troll) 224

Do you know any cops? Any feds? (I'm speaking of USA-ians; other places might be different, but Comcast doesn't live there.) Subtlety is not their strong point. Arrest everybody and let the courts straighten it out is what they do.

Sure, they're going to get the person who used the credentials to log in. And the address where they logged in from. And then the scenario I just described happens.

Comment Re:Service in exchange for a free modem? (Score 2, Interesting) 224

Not mention the potential liability issues.

I can easily see the cops kicking in my door because somebody used the hotspot in my house to download kiddie porn or copyrighted files.

Does anyone really think the cops are going to differentiate between the public side and private side of the router? No, they're going to call (or subpoena) Comcast for the address where that router lives. My house.

Yeah, it'll probably get straightened out, eventually, after I get dragged away in handcuffs to the amusement of my neighbors, spend a weekend in jail, get branded in the media as a baby-raper, and get fired by my media-phobic employer. And in the meantime, I'm going to have to pay a lawyer, bail myself out, and put back together my ruined life. And Comcast will point to a sentence in their 20,000 line EULA or ToS that says it's not their problem.

And then if I have any money left, some scumbag lawyer will sue me civilly for conspiring with Comcast because I paid for the power for the router that the real kiddy porn collector used.

Not a chance.

Comment Re:Perl still works, and PHP is fine (Score 1) 536

Don't piss on Javascript. Sure, the standard library is terrible and poor cross compatibility makes it impossible to do anything interesting in a browser without shims, but

Maybe it's just me, but I find this hilarious. "but"...

I dread being handed someone else's Javascript code. It's nearly always faster for me to refactor it than to try and resolve a subtle bug.

From what I read here on Slashdot, I thank the gods that I don't do Perl. And many of the complaints I read about PHP are surely valid, but I like it and use it anyway, and so far I have not shot myself in the foot.

Comment Hope and change... (Score 4, Insightful) 312

Once again, this isn't it.

He's had several opportunities to do something about this. He keeps making weaselly attempts to talk about it like he's doing something without actually making any changes. It seems obvious to me that he wants this to continue, much like his equally weasel-ish approach to medical cannabis. And this way, he can blame it on a do-nothing Congress, thus giving his potential successor a talking point.

Comment Re:Surveillance fatigue? (Score 2) 610

with a shitty attitude like that, you're damn right there's nothing you can do about it.

I'm curious... it's easy to malign my attitude, but what, specifically, do you recommend *I* do to solve this problem? What do you think *you* can you do to solve it? I am genuinely interested. Give me something to work with and I'll get behind it 110%. But I'm a pretty smart guy and I don't see a damn thing I can do.

I'm not willing to commit any crimes (other than perhaps some mild civil disobedience) to change things. (And that civil disobedience thing didn't work out well for me with the Occupy movement, but that's another story.) One very minor thing I can do is pollute their data, and I do that at every opportunity.

I hear a good many idiots talk about armed revolution. That's not an answer. I'm old now, but I've seen revolution up close with a rifle in my hand. It isn't pretty and it takes generations to come back from it and what you get back isn't any better, just different.

I am politically active, and I vote my conscience. But all too often I have to vote against someone truly awful rather than for someone who supports some of my views. And I know many people feel that way. I have been trying for two decades to get rid of my senior senator, who's bought and paid for, and I can't even seem to manage that.

In reading over some of your past Slashdot comments on this and other related issues, I don't see anything positive. So here's your chance. Give me something I can get behind and I'm game.

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The fancy is indeed no other than a mode of memory emancipated from the order of space and time. -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge