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Comment: Re:Didn't Gates suggest this a long while back (Score 2) 439

Didn't Bill Gates suggest this a long while back?

Yes, he did. About 10 years ago, IIRC. It was a stupid idea back then, and it still is now (even more so).

Back then, spam was mostly sent from hit-and-run accounts and open email relays. (So the spammers would be difficult to track down.)

Nowadays, they use botnets. Infected users would get charged for the spam flow. Some of them might not even notice the extra costs on their ISP bill.

Comment: Re:Can't Go Backwards (Score 1) 736

by ggeens (#42884429) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is It So Hard To Make An Accurate Progress Bar?

I've seen progress bars that go backwards, but it usually indicates reversal of something that is done previously.

I've seen that once. The progress bar went up halfway, zipped back to the start and then went up again (this time to the end). There was another guy watching along with me. We both said "What the F--- did just happen?" at the same time.

We were writing a DVD image. I had to make several other images, but this never happened again.

Comment: Re:Text messages? (Score 1) 217

by ggeens (#42750235) Attached to: How Many Text Messages Do You Send a Day?

I *can* recall my son saying he broke the 2000 messages/month included in his plan - it's an age thing, I guess ;)

My stepdaughter would probably break that limit as well. (She has a prepaid plan with unlimited text messages.)

Most of my text conversations are with her (a few times a week). She won't pick up her phone most of the time (also an age thing), but she will read text messages (and reply to them most of the time).

Comment: Re:Why not both? (Score 1) 354

by ggeens (#42272581) Attached to: ITU To Choose Emergency Line For Mobiles: 911, or 112?

I imagine it would be technically trivial to simply require that *both* numbers link to emergency services. It would be easy to do, and would make things a lot safer for visitors in either America or Europe who may only be familiar with one or the other.

AFAIK, phone switches already do that. I'm pretty sure I can dial 100 (emergency number for landlines over here) on my cell phone and ask to send an ambulance over. I think the old emergency number (900 - removed about 20 years ago) still works.

I wouldn't surprise me if 911 also works.

(Not tested - I prefer not to pay a fine for abusing those numbers.)

Comment: Re:In time (Score 1) 566

by ggeens (#40465725) Attached to: I reach my workplace, primarily/typically, by:

Oh no, you're a Dutch! They can't go 5 seconds without telling people how cool their folding bikes are.

Close: Belgian.

Yes, we know you have a bike that folds up. That does not make you cool, it makes you a jerk who needs 2 seats on the train while others stand.

Mine is a Brompton. It fits between or under the seats of the train. AFAIK, the only one that does.

Comment: Re:In time (Score 1) 566

by ggeens (#40422887) Attached to: I reach my workplace, primarily/typically, by:

75% train, 25% (folding) bike, total about 1 hour. So I selected public transport.

Biking time is mostly from home to the station. Alternatively, I could take the bus to the station, or my car. Bot take twice as long to get there.

I prefer trains over car rides: it gives me time to relax or work a bit on a personal project. The bike trip is about the only workout I get during the day.

Comment: Re:One.Word (Score 1) 342

by ggeens (#39552395) Attached to: 25 Years of IBM's OS/2

It's been a while since I've read anything about this, but my sense is that Cutler was quite upset with Ken Olsen who cut the project he was working on at the time.

AFAIK, this is correct.

Many have noted over the years that if you take the acronym VMS (an operating system that Cutler contributed to) and shift each letter plus one, you get WNT (Windows NT).

When asked about this, Dave Cutler supposedly said something to the effect of "it's about time somebody noticed". On the other hand, some other stories indicate that the "NT" name was used before Cutler joined the team.

Comment: Re:The UK tried this ahead of it's time... (Score 1) 463

by ggeens (#39441497) Attached to: Surviving the Cashless Cataclysm

Belgium has the Proton card. Also started in the 1990s. It has had some success, but it's in decline and will be phased out.

The chip is integrated into a regular debit card. It is also used to authorize ATM payments and online banking sessions. Most debit card terminals interface with the chip. The magnetic strip is no longer used.

They can (and do) track the balance of the Proton card: when I lost my card, I got a refund on my checking account.

Comment: Re:Cycles (Score 1) 630

by ggeens (#39350613) Attached to: Can Microsoft Afford To Lose With Windows 8?

I used to use NT back in the 3.1 and 3.5 days. It used to ship for i386, mips, ppc, and alpha systems. At version 4.0, mips and ppc were cut. I believe the alpha port survived until Windows 2000 (I had stopped paying attention by then).

IIRC, the Alpha port was canceled right before the Windows 2000 release.

Comment: Re:Java: Was write once run everywhere ever the ca (Score 1) 157

by ggeens (#38723646) Attached to: Oracle and the Java Ecosystem

Do you do that because as a developer you find Windows more productive for you?

In my experience, IDEs run roughly the same on Windows as on Linux. Not a lot of difference here.

The reasons for developing on Windows are mainly:

  • Giving each developer a PC/laptop is much cheaper than giving them a Sparc workstation.
  • Company email/documents are based on MS office software. If you develop on Windows, you only need a single machine.
  • For a web application, you still need to test on IE from time to time.

Comment: Re:Nothing wrong with PHPMyAdmin (Score 2) 152

by ggeens (#38303910) Attached to: Another Dutch CA Hacked

Why blame the tool? It's like blaming the web browser that the people used to access PHPMyAdmin to access the unsecured database.

AFAIK, PHPMyAdmin doesn't have its own security. The user/password is passed to the MySQL server. If they were able to create databases without a password, it would seem that MySQL was installed without a password for the mysql admin user. During installation, MySQL asks to set a root password. A long time ago, this was not the case.

This would seem that they had a very old MySQL setup and they never changed the password.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of code." -- an anonymous programmer