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Comment: Re:How about no (Score 3, Insightful) 139

Have it be as an Opt-In program then, where they send you a CD, containing a Live version of a modified Linux distro, putting it in your PC will make it boot to it and thus your viruses no longer matter, from there you can just connect to the voting site and enter your information.

A bootable CD, what is this, 2004? The average person today is likely to want to person any network-based task from a device that doesn't have an optical media drive, such as a tablet or laptop.

Comment: Re:Here is how to get in to coding: (Score 1) 167

by CRCulver (#47584305) Attached to: Getting Back To Coding

Build something. Find a problem and solve it. It doesn't matter what the problem is or how you solve it. Write a tic tac toe engine, or a photo slideshow generator, or a fart joke generator, or whatever you want to do. But you just have to do it.

I rather disagree. There are already applications out there to do those things. An important concept in software development is don't duplicate effort. After someone has taught themselves a programming language from a book or sat through a uni course, better to convince people to find an existing project on Github or whatever, fix open bugs or start working on a feature addition that the devs have put on their wish list.

Doing that teaches you how to craft patches and work with a team. Coding isn't generally a solitary thing any more, a person has to learn how to meet other people's expectations, writing code that the community around them can work with. Employers also seem to be more impressed with a portfolio of involvement in larger projects (which are by nature team efforts) than single-person itch-scratching.

Comment: Re:Oh boo hoo (Score 1) 98

by CRCulver (#47583855) Attached to: Hotel Chain Plans Phone-Based Check-in and Room Access

I'm in my 40s now but I spent most of my 20s working in dead end IT jobs and saving up until I could put down a deposit for a mortgage.

During the heyday of the American middle class, a man working in a factory (and the sole spouse working) could pay for a home within five years in cash. That you had to rely on a mortgage to own a home shows you came of age already during the decline that has only quickened with today's millennials. It wasn't always like this.

Comment: Re:Fucking anti-social Millennials (Score 2) 98

by CRCulver (#47583443) Attached to: Hotel Chain Plans Phone-Based Check-in and Room Access

Sure it takes the customer a longer time, but that's just more time for them to look at impulse buy and sell their children more candy at the checkout.

Are self-service checkouts surrounded by impulse-buying items in the US? I am very familiar with self-service checkouts in both Finland (S-Market) and Poland (Tesco), and there are no products next to the machines. There is a row of candy items that one might pass on the way to the self-service checkout, but the queue never gets long enough that one would be stuck next to this display long enough to really notice it.

And if it takes you a noticeably longer time to go through the self-service checkout than the human cashier, you might just be clueless at technology, which isn't something I'd expect on Slashdot. After a couple of purchases through these machines, what buttons to press and where to swipe one's card quickly becomes muscle memory.

Finally, I haven't seen a buggy self-service checkout for nearly 10 years now: kinks in the beginning were quickly worked out.

Comment: Re:Not just the passports (Score 1) 160

by CRCulver (#47578701) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded

At the time they were doing this ridiculous upgrade to the airport that must have cost millions - they were setting up all these silly little tables with ipads in the waiting areas. But somehow they couldn't manage to have enough immigration agents.

Airport infrastructure is typically managed by a consortium with private or state-level involvement. US customs officials are federal employees. The two parts of the airport have entirely different funding sources.

Comment: Re:So much unnecessary trouble (Score 2) 574

by CRCulver (#47548439) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

He controls the state police and the armed forces. There would have to be mutiny in the armed forces and that won't happen because they do not want to be shot by the state police.

People said Ceausescu had an iron grip on power, and look what happened in 1989: he got overthrown by some of his juniors in the state apparatus so they could rule in his place, and the army started taking orders from them instead of Ceausescu. Granted, the new Romanian leaders were able to seize power under the cover of a "popular" uprising, and such social unrest would be harder to foment in Russia, but history is just so full of examples of supposedly untouchable dictators whose downfall comes in the blink of an eye.

Comment: Re:So much unnecessary trouble (Score 5, Insightful) 574

by CRCulver (#47545231) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

With the UK and Scotland, no politician's life depends on the outcome. Whatever happens with the Scottish referendum, the people in office now expect to eventually depart from office and enter some cushy retirement position.

With Russia, Putin cannot afford to back down from a display of military might: it keeps his support among the masses high, and intimidates other post-Soviet states like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan which he hopes to bring into his Eurasian Union. If Putin were to back down and support a peaceful resolution whose outcome might not satisfy Russian nationalists, he could find himself out of power. It's not a matter of him being done in by the West like a Saddam or Milosevic; that claim of Western conspiracy against him is just played for the cameras. The fact is that he's got enough enemies within Russian elite circles, he's pissed too many people off, that if his hold on power weakens, he'll certainly end up imprisoned or dead.

Comment: Re:The Muslim world cares so much for the Palestin (Score 1) 511

While it is true that Israel is blocking one part of the border, the other side is being blocked by either Qatar or Egypt. All US allies in the region.

Qatar is quite a ways away from the Levant. I think you meant "Jordan".

And for what it's worth, Israel controls the border between the West Bank and Jordan.

Comment: Re:forever payments (Score 4, Informative) 26

by CRCulver (#47540129) Attached to: Apple Acquires "Pandora For Books" Booklamp For $15 Million

Considering that most of the e-books sold (at least from the companies that are or might be selling monthly subscriptions for a buffet style approach) contain DRM, you don't really own it even if you make a lump sum payment either.

Stripping DRM from an ebook is a trivial process. For mass-market ebooks like the sort you can get from Amazon, DRM removal is automated in Calibre when you import the book, as long as you've installed the relevant plugin. For scholarly works made available in PDF, cracking the antiquated Adobe Digital Editions DRM is also not especially difficult and, while I've never tried, can probably be automated as well because the inventory of pirate ebook sites grows so large by the day that I doubt it is being done by hand.

You can quibble about legalities, but with the current DRM being so half-ass, you can have a lasting collection of ebooks free of the seller's whim.

Comment: Re:People need to read comment threads (Score 1) 234

by CRCulver (#47504485) Attached to: Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

This statement just reeks of "noob".

I've followed ./ since 2001.

While trolling was greater, there was a larger diversity of troll posts, from "BSD is Dying" to the GNAA, from Last Measure to "Batman Touched My Junk". Now it's basically down to the two trolls I mentioned in my post above (there are also some mentally ill people who repeatedly post, but I prefer to consider them separately). I suppose that changes in Slashcode made it harder to crapflood, but I'd really like to see a return to the ingenuity of trolls of yore.

Comment: People need to read comment threads (Score 2) 234

by CRCulver (#47502217) Attached to: Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

It's a shame that this "Republican poster" gets so many replies when it is clear even to casual followers of Slashdot that he is a troll who posts the same thing ("Republicans hate X", "Republicans took away Y") in various thread on a daily basis.

For me, a real sign of the death of Slashdot is the predictability of the trolls. The Republican troll and the Space Nutter troll (who may be one and the same, though I've never counted), offer only this invariable single-issue shtick instead of making things wacky and unpredictable like classic trolls of yore.

Comment: Re:Time to get rid of Tor (Score 4, Insightful) 122

by CRCulver (#47495861) Attached to: Critroni Crypto Ransomware Seen Using Tor for Command and Control
It has also been an enabler for millions of people in Iran, Syria and Turkmenistan to frequent social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The considerable soft power that the West gains over the youth in these often hostile or hermetic states is worth the occasional use of the network for financial crimes.

After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the bench.