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Comment: Visual C# fits most bills (Score 1) 630

by mistapotta (#48858183) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

I've used Visual C#/GTK# (using SharpDevelop's IDE or MonoDevelop) for the past eight years as an introductory CS language at my high school. I feel the forms allow students to create a quick GUI program while still having the well-defined variables and object-oriented principles that will make them successful in AP Java or C++ whathaveyew. Our HS sequence for programming goes Visual C# to Java to C++ (for data structures)

Comment: Put your money where your mouth is. (Score 1) 247

by mistapotta (#48429219) Attached to: Does Being First Still Matter In America?

If it was really important to solve the problem, TPTB would adequately fun the institutions it has issues with, rather than just calling them before a hearing and pillorying them in the public eye.

If Congress really wanted to increase computational ability, they would apportion more money to NOAA earmarked for that purpose.

It's easier to get mad and shake your fist than write a check.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile, the Linux community ... (Score 1) 860

by mistapotta (#46409201) Attached to: Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

Actually, yes.

My mother turned sixty. A couple of years ago, after being called upon to fix a virus issue on XP for the nth time, I installed Ubuntu on her system. I used XPGnome scripts to make it look like windows XP, installed chrome and put an IE icon on the desktop linking to it, installed OpenOffice, set the default to save to .doc/.xls/.ppt, and put Word/Excel/PowerPoint icons on the desktop, and wrote a script to run in the background about once a month sudo apt-get update && upgrade. I have the root password for it, and can remote ssh to deal with technical issues, and she's none the wiser.

Comment: Re:It's not the same (Score 5, Insightful) 290

by mistapotta (#46238081) Attached to: Massive Storm Buries US East Coast In Snow and Ice

This. When the ground temps hover around 40F, the snow melts quite easily. Then the air temps get in the 20's and water refreezes on the road. The ice is much more dangerous than the snow. That's why we close schools, businesses, etc.

And it's not the dusting that we get annually. We can handle that. It's when we get 2-3 inches of precipitation that forms ice on our roads that makes it dangerous. We don't drive with bags of kitty litter in our trunks, or just whip out our chains when it gets dangerous. So we shut down. If its orchestrated well, it's a fun holiday we can all laugh about afterwards (See "The Snow" from San Antonio, 1985. If it's not orchestrated well, well...

We can all complain how people in other regions can't handle unconventional weather - Hurricanes in New York (don't build where it floods), 100F+ temps in the Midwest (install air conditioners), Snow in the deep south (buy more snowplows, chains, salt, sand, etc.) Yes, there are solutions that make the situations tenable. No, the capital investment for an event that happens every xx years isn't worth the financial losses from shutting down the city for the time it takes to deal with the situation.

Comment: Re:Privacy is based on trust (Score 1) 223

by mistapotta (#44798527) Attached to: Epic: A Privacy-Focused Web Browser

I didn't say it was easy. Good privacy is hard. Creating your own robust software is hard. So the options are to become a neo-luddite, or some open-source fascist. Or accept what is out there, for all the benefits and penalties that are out there. It _is_ a matter of trust.

What I did say was if one doesn't like their options, they need to do something about it. Contribute to an open source project. Call out the worst offenders publicly. Support those that do it right.

I'm sorry you saw this as a personal attack on you and your browser.

Comment: Privacy is based on trust (Score 1) 223

by mistapotta (#44775073) Attached to: Epic: A Privacy-Focused Web Browser
You either trust Google with your data, and use their services, or you don't. Same with Facebook, et. al. If you're using this browser, you're trusting this company that they're doing what they say. Maybe you'll peruse the OS code, maybe not. But it's still who and how much you trust. Ultimately, if you want better privacy than what's out there, you need to roll your own browser. Find an open-source project you like, put the features you want in it, take the features you don't want out of it, and go on your merry way.

Comment: "Beta" means something different to Google. (Score 3, Insightful) 221

by mistapotta (#43238671) Attached to: Google Keep Labelled "Delete"
As I remind my students, "Beta" to Google means they haven't figured out how to profit on it. If they can find a way to profit on it, it then becomes one of their many appliances. If they can't, it gets killed. Clearly, Google didn't have a way to profit on Reader, as they couldn't on Wave, as they couldn't on Health. If they can find a way to profit from Keep, it'll keep. Otherwise it'll be gone like the rest.

Are we running light with overbyte?