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Comment: Good! (Score 3, Interesting) 113

by flightmaker (#47495095) Attached to: Domain Registry of America Suspended By ICANN

It's always nice to get at least one item of good news in a day. I guess this is it.

I've also had the snail mailed fake invoices from them, which I can only suppose is an illegal use of the whois database. I guess their strategy is to land these on the desks of overworked administrators who are more likely than me to rubber stamp them and pass them along for payment. Me? I always put them in the shredder.

Why did it take so long? I really don't know. Why is it not a permanent shut down? Don't know that either, but at least they're shut down for now.

Comment: Either..... (Score 1) 501

As another contributor suggested, build everything from reinforced concrete. That way, there's no lengths of timber for the violent winds to tear off and fling around as deadly missiles in the first place. Also, perhaps some wind tunnel research could help with tornado resistance.

Or, just build underground! Yes it initially costs more, but surely it's better to have property that you only need to build once rather than risk having it destroyed by weather. I bet the insurance would be damned cheap too compared to conventional building. Climate control is also going to be far easier and cheaper - anybody who's ever visited a show cave knows that the temperature stays almost constant throughout the year.

As for the person who suggested the tornado wall, there are special places for people who are this confused......

Comment: Re:I'm surprised (Score 2) 14

by flightmaker (#47254817) Attached to: Researchers Outline Spammers' Business Ecosystem

Me too, especially when the tossers keep sending six messages the same in one day. They totally loose all feasibility. There's always somebody there though who's stupid enough to click the link otherwise we wouldn't all be suffering.

We could probably put a good dent in illegal drug sales such as fake Viagra by randomly putting detection dogs in post delivery offices and prosecuting anybody caught ordering the crap.

Comment: Re:But what do you want to DO? (Score 1) 172

by flightmaker (#46937707) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Beginner To Intermediate Programming Projects?

You're asking the wrong question. Programming isn't an end in itself, it's a means to an end.

"But what do you want to DO?" THAT is the correct question, IMHO.

Followed up by the correct statement. Computers are there to quickly and accurately do the repetitive donkey-work that we humans don't have the time or patience to do. Programmers enable computers to do this tiresome work.

Since I last got made redundant from an engineering job I've busied myself on two little projects for myself, because I've always loved to code and get stuff to work that others would have no idea about, even though I got sick of doing it for others.

Project 1 - software that gets kicked off by cron on my server every night, to send me by email reminders to do stuff on time. Works really well, the way I want it to.

Project 2 - to take a (sometimes cleaned up by using gpsprune) GPX format track file from my Garmin and analyse it to determine the exact distance I've walked or cycled, altitude gained and lost, and estimate the calories I burned during the exercise. This one is also working well, but I'm not certain of some of the parameters I built into it so I'm trying to find somebody knowledgeable about exercise science who can advise me on this.

So, what I'm saying is, find something that you do in everyday life that does or could generate a significant quantity of data to crunch and raises in your mind a "what if" question. Or, as somebody else suggested, do something with an arduino that you're curious about. I've always thought it might be nice to build an accurate outdoor thermometer, possibly using four terminal measurement with a platinum sensor. This would involve the use of hardware timers and interrupt service routines to take readings at regular intervals, and perhaps operate a multiplexed LED display.

If you find something like this to work on, that interests you in the first place and will perform a useful function after completion, the motivation will be there and success more likely.

Comment: Stop using passwords (Score 0) 169

by flightmaker (#46817083) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can We Create a Culture of Secure Behavior?

It's high time we stopped using the term 'password'. Those in the know realise by now that a word or words is no good.

I'd like to suggest replacing the term with 'passcode'. For those who still use passwords, it might encourage them to cease and desist. Or maybe not, but it would surely be worth a try.

Comment: Re:For the ones arguing that M$ gave 10 Years Noti (Score 1) 367

by flightmaker (#46544293) Attached to: Linux May Succeed Windows XP As OS of Choice For ATMs

Wouldn't we have Microsoft's own incompetence with Windows Vista to thank for that?

No, just Microsoft's determination to exclude others from the computer market.

The other thing I just remembered, was that XP was already being shut down at the time. Retail copies were no longer available. The only way you could still buy XP was to have it pre-installed on a tiny portable that was incapable of running any other MS product.

Comment: Re:For the ones arguing that M$ gave 10 Years Noti (Score 1) 367

by flightmaker (#46544175) Attached to: Linux May Succeed Windows XP As OS of Choice For ATMs

I can remember the first of the small, low power netbook type computers coming on to the market - the EeePC type machines? And they all ran Linux because they couldn't run Vista.

So, if MS had terminated XP at that time they would have put themselves out of that market. Of course they were not prepared to do that at any cost, because it would have put Linux directly in the hands of consumers, so they extended XP and unfortunately Linux disappeared from all the netbook computers.

So, we have Linux to thank for the long support for XP, not charity on the part of MS.

The F-15 Eagle: If it's up, we'll shoot it down. If it's down, we'll blow it up. -- A McDonnel-Douglas ad from a few years ago