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Comment: Re:Not so sure it's harmless (Score 3, Informative) 251

by mabu (#47760995) Attached to: TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

I got a call two days ago from these people. I strung them along until they gave me a web address to go to in order to download some software and run it on my computer. Then while they were expecting me to do that, I ran a WHOIS on the host and IP, found out who was hosting them (it turned out to be an American company) and I contacted their abuse team and reported the site as being fradulent. 24 hours later, their web site was shut down.

It also helps when you contact their abuse department, that you tell them you work for an antivirus company and you're going to add the IP address of the site to your blacklist. In many cases, there are hundreds if not thousands of web sites operating from the same IP. They will take quick action rather than have one bad customer cause 900 other customer sites to not be accessible.

Comment: Different ages of development (Score 5, Insightful) 120

by mabu (#47760885) Attached to: The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

I am not sure there's much advice us older programmers can give new developers because the industry is a lot different now.

In the old days we were often tasked with solving a problem, and we were more-often free to use whatever tools and technology were best, and we also thought of development environments as tools, which we could switch out if the application required something different. We also did all our own testing. I recently worked with a younger programmer on a project and it was miserable. He couldn't give me 20 lines of code that didn't have a bug in it, because he was dependent upon having some QA person test his work and an IDE that would hilight every mistake.

Nowadays there is so much abstraction going on in programming, people don't really seem like they're programming as much as they're using some sort of GUI development tool and plodding through innumerable amounts of API documentation and going on witch-hunts to try and figure out why something that's documented to work, doesn't actually work. I remember a big Oracle project I was on where my software wouldn't work properly and I couldn't figure out why. It took me several months of bitching on usenet to finally get a rep within Oracle contact me privately and tell me I wasn't crazy, they knew about the bug and just weren't acknowledging it. In the old days, there wasn't as much of that going on. Programming was simpler and less bureaucratic.

Comment: Re:Incredibly wise advice (Score 1) 120

by mabu (#47760811) Attached to: The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

I think the reason there's no job security in programming is because basically, nobody's really doing any "programming" these days.

Modern programmers know less about machines and languages than they do APIs and UIs. Everything is so object-oriented and encapsulated, and there are so many square pegs developers are asked to fit into round holes, they're not really designing stuff as much as working on an assembly line sticking various parts-pieces together with no real sense of oversight of the big picture.

+ - Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "For the past few months, Microsoft has been loudly and insistently banging a drum. All support and service for Windows XP and Office 2003 shuts down on April 8 — no more security updates, no more fixes. In early February, faced with a slight uptick in users on the decrepit operating system the month before, Microsoft hit on an idea: Why not recruit tech-savvy friends and family to tell old holdouts to get off XP? The response to this earnest effort was a torrent of abuse from Windows 8 users who aren't exactly thrilled with the operating system. Microsoft has come under serious fire for some significant missteps in this process, including a total lack of actual upgrade options. What Microsoft calls an upgrade involves completely wiping the PC and reinstalling a fresh OS copy on it — or ideally, buying a new device. Microsoft has misjudged how strong its relationship is with consumers and failed to acknowledge its own shortcomings. Not providing an upgrade utility is one example — but so is the general lack of attractive upgrade prices or even the most basic understanding of why users haven't upgraded. Microsoft's right to kill XP is unquestioned, but the company appears to have no insight into why its customers continue to use the OS. The fact that it only recently made a file migration tool available is evidence that Redmond hasn't actually investigated the problem."
Link to Original Source

+ - The DIY Engineer Who Built a Nuclear Reactor in His Basement->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "After living with a meth head who had a trigger finger itchier than an Appalachian mosquito bite, Doug gave his ex-housemate the boot and confiscated his weapons, thus paving the way for his new found love for gunsmithing. Being that Virginia is one of America's more gun-friendly states, Doug's new skills made him a popular guy in the neighborhood. And instead of hoarding his knowledge of firearms, Doug has since open sourced his gun and ammo making techniques on his well-trafficked engineering forum.

But Doug's most exciting creation is his guerilla-engineered nuclear fusion reactor. His pursuit of a limitless source of clean and self-sufficient energy takes place in what he calls his "den of creative chaos," which is essentially a cluttered workshop in the entrance of his home, directly underneath his bedroom.

Nuclear fusion, which produces energy by fusing atoms, rather than splitting them, has been a dream of physicists and clean energy fans for years. But while there have recently been major strides to in fusion generation, a full-time reactor that produces more energy than it takes in remains a long ways off."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Amazing technical incompetence (Score 1) 60

by mabu (#45202041) Attached to: Simple Bug Exposed Verizon Users' SMS Histories

This really is security 101. Actually it's not even security 101, it's programming 101. You always assume the information fed to you is potentially invalid and qualify it.

How in their right mind could anyone at Verizon not check to see if the account id was legit? This is not a simple oversight. This is gross incompetence, or else it was intentionally left this way.

Don't these companies do security audits?

Comment: Re:will machines be more common? (Score 1) 107

by mabu (#43632489) Attached to: Pinball: a Resurgence In Retro Gaming From an Unlikely Place

The form we know as "pinball" is uniquely American. Bagatelle games are different. Bagatelle is more like gambling and based on chance.

In 1947, when Gottlieb, a Chicago-based company, introduced the first pinball machine with flippers, Humpty Dumpty. Things changed. Thereafter all games soon became flipper-pinball-machines.

Comment: Re:will machines be more common? (Score 1) 107

by mabu (#43632481) Attached to: Pinball: a Resurgence In Retro Gaming From an Unlikely Place

>I'm glad you think you're informed, but you're wrong in this case.

Reality shows otherwise. If pinballs were popular they'd still be in every bar. There'd still be arcades all over the place. There isn't.

Yea, there are a few retro-arcades and "bar-cades" popping up now, but they're just pandering to a retro audience at a moment when they have disposable income. The same still holds true for the new manufacturers. They're not really breaking into new markets except tapping into an existing market. It may be appearing to grow, but that's because it really doesn't have anywhere else to go. Pinball all but disappeared 10 years ago.

Comment: Re:will machines be more common? (Score 4, Interesting) 107

by mabu (#43591385) Attached to: Pinball: a Resurgence In Retro Gaming From an Unlikely Place

Games now cost in excess of $6500. It's no longer profitable to operate them. They are much higher maintenance than video games and neither bring in the coin-op money they used to. It is unfortunate since pinball really is a uniquely American form, a great combination of technology + mechanical design + art + culture.

Image

Florida Man Sues WikiLeaks For Scaring Him 340

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-watch-the-news dept.
Stoobalou writes "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been accused of 'treason' by a Florida man seeking damages for distress caused by the site's revelations about the US government. From the article: 'David Pitchford, a Florida trailer park resident, names Assange and WikiLeaks as defendants in a personal injury suit filed with the Florida Southern District Court in Miami. In the complaint filed on 6th January, Pitchford alleges that Assange's negligence has caused "hypertension," "depression" and "living in fear of being stricken by another heart attack and/or stroke" as a result of living "in fear of being on the brink of another nuclear [sic] WAR."' Just for good measure, it also alleges that Assange and WikiLeaks are guilty of 'terorism [sic], espionage and treason.'"

Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?

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