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Comment Re:Non-Event. Just silly... (Score 3, Informative) 292

I lived on my street, in the next to last house built, with no option for cable at all. DSL sure, but there was no cable on my side, and no plans to build it.

I called, I chatted, I mail-bombed the board and executives with a copy/paste chat session which went so horribly wrong I would not have bought the company's services if it had been available the next day.

I saw a cable truck on my side of the street, 4 years after the last house was built. Nothing but satellite dishes on this side. I got DSL, which was re-branded AT&T two months in, and I was furious, but I trusted satellite less.

I got the $20/no naked DSL for 4 years, and finally upgraded to a faster speed. The cable co can go fuck themselves, which is exactly what they have been doing. They didn't call me to let me know it was available - they sent the same flier they have been sending for 4 years, when it has not been available.

I gave the co. my phone number, a very pleasant woman called me after my mail-bomb and apologized that they didn't have service here, and sorry that the representative took 30 minutes to not figure that out. So they have me as a lead. A simple call and some negotiation on price as someone who raised awareness of failures in their process, and I'd be a happy customer.

Still on DSL. Cable co can't be bothered with me, apparently. Or with informing customers that a cable has been laid and service is available.

Doing nothing for their non-customers, and would-be customers, despite having it pointed out to them.

Zero incentive indeed, even after having put in the cost. Sending someone out to knock on my door would have given them years of continuous service upgrades. Guess they don't care.

Comment Re:It's truly the end (Score 1) 299

Because my IT job is going away? The janitors who have to clean up the waste created by the robots, or their consumers? Sanitation crews? Education?

How about the end of the McJob, and the replacement of it by people who go out and make jobs, like they used to before global conglomerates held the keys to being unable to afford your family?

You, and the people who up-modded you, need to read every comment above yours, and most of the ones below, and get back to me on this unemployment thing.

The last time we had major unemployment, it was because large companies decided not to hire people for financial reasons. Instead of hiring people who would be able to afford products, in the style of Henry Ford, they out-waited their competition to keep production prices low and margins slightly higher for the shareholder.

Before that, it was because we were between wars. And before that, it was because a major part of the food growing country was one giant dust bowl. So what exactly was your point?

Comment Re:High presure water (Score 1) 299

How am I supposed to know when I found the reference that you have chosen to believe?

Or to put it another way - if you can't be arsed to find a reference when you know what you are looking for, why would anyone else?

If you provide a reference, or at least a good pointer, I can decide if your citation is decent. If not, I assume it's like this:

1) Plant potatoes
2) Harvest potatoes
3) Have people think you mis-spelled potatoes
4) Peel them as well as you can
5) Slice them with lasers, which gives them the crusty bits
5) Soak them in oil until they surrender
6) Sit them under heat lamps until they aren't so soggy
7) Serve them to fat people

I've not worked in fast food, I have only the vaguest idea how anything is done behind the counter, except for mis-counting change.

Comment A critial reading of the quoted sections (Score 1) 227

To claim an underlying rationale is misconceived means nothing without the actual rationale. I have seen a lot of otherwise correct arguments made with misconceived rationale. So I see no problem with making the claim as you have quoted it.

The second bit is nitpicking on exactly which courts are being called out. Nonetheless, I think it is true to say, again without context, that this statement cannot be considered true: âoethe fact that links make access to that content straightforward does not change the reality that a link, by itself, is content neutral.â

Links are hardly content neutral as a blanket statement. A website with poor security, such as JavaScript which, when disabled, fails to protect the page - or a query string which permits access - can certainly be non-neutral.

The real argument here is specific to the definition of copyright in Irish law. If I link to your website, you own the copyright, and you are serving up the page. So you are the one making the copy - I am merely providing directions to people on how to request it. I quite obviously did not copy something without permission. So, on its face, a link to copyright material does not constitute infringement unless it is non-neutral (intending to bypass some security, for example).

The first argument is context dependent, and they left out the context. The second is inarguable except in certain contexts. The last is quite obviously incorrect as a generalization.

Comment Re:Matters of degree (Score 3, Interesting) 540

Completely wrong. The Nigerian scams ask people to take things on faith, and they are not religions. Numerous phishing and other social hack type activities ask for faith.

Scientology requires it. It you leave, you can't have contact with other members outside of the organization. If you show signs of wanting to leave, they do run-downs on you which are basically brainwashing. And if they can't brainwash you, they got cabinets full of dirt on you ready to share.

There are places in the world where religion, society, and law are all the same thing. This exists in only two places for Scientology - the HQ in Clearwater, and the floating fortress Sea Org.

Mormonism is nowhere near the Scientology end of the spectrum, because Scientology is not on the spectrum at all.

If you really learn about Scientology, and have a discussion with anyone educated in comparative religion, they will disagree that it qualifies as one.

Some religions are wacky, but this is the wacky without the actual religion part. Now, you can believe it is a religion, and take that on faith, but that doesn't make a new religion out of believing that Scientology is a religion.

Comment Re:simple (Score 1) 224

The question was what language to learn. Before working on FOSS code, you should choose a language.

Java does a decent job at teaching the kinds of things you might need to know, and it's applicable to web, desktop, and mobile platforms. Lots of people knock it - I hate it, even though I did adopt a Java FOSS app.

I would recommend C# 4, which is good for servers as well as desktop, and with a bit of help from Mono can work on Linux. A serious Fortune 500 job is probably going to involve C#, and getting used to Linq wouldn't hurt.

There are lots of FOSS apps written in C# because the basic MSVS compiler is free. Adapting some of the algorithms to use Linq would be a good exercise, unless they require specific speed enhancements. It is a lot easier to understand what the code does with Linq. Obviously I have spent a lot of time with Microsoft tech, but the jobs are everywhere so it's hard to avoid.

I would stay away from scripting - even if you use C# with code-behind files, which is basically no different from scripting, you can still build the code into an assembly.

Comment Re:Question for NYCountryLawyer re illegal downloa (Score 1) 146

Downloading is illegal in the sense that a decision set a precedent which would have to be fought to be overturned. I don't remember the venue, but it covered a large part of the country.

It is impossible to find the link, because all of the news stories say "illegal downloading" when they mean "copyright violating uploading".

I'm not sure how that is backed - they are not making a copy. But I imagine it makes as much sense as "receiving stolen property". Ignorance means you can prosecuted, or bullied into revealing the supplier, and it is intended to dissuade demand. I don't think it would stand up to a legitimate fight, where the only accusation is downloading, which is why people go for the uploaders. And of course then the sound bites are about downloading, to muddy the waters.

The only pure uploaders would be people who post to Rapidshare, Megaupload, or similar sites (which may use other protocols than HTTP/FTP). They are easy to find if the files are searchably public, or posted on forums. Then the account holder can be singled out. Truly anonymous uploading is possible, but it is difficult to either pull off successfully, or in some cases find an audience.

Comment Re:Dear Mr. President (Score 1) 449

No. The propaganda is that continuous use of drugs can lead to a dead end. The presidents you mentioned, as far as anyone can tell, stopped using them. So you have built a straw man to tear down.

As for being hypocritical, they have to enforce the law. They cannot realistically take a position contrary to the laws they have to enforce.

Bring up Congress members all you want, because they control what's illegal. Or mention the FDA's response to re-scheduling controlled substances, while keeping in mind that the president does not control the FDA directly. There are lots of other ways to make your point, but you missed them all.

Comment Re:Some of these IE bugs are things of beauty. (Score 2) 149

Obvious issues are obvious because you are not thinking about simplifying the problem sufficiently to make it possible. Think about the complexity of an audio fingerprint to match a performer, song, and album, even with background noise and crappy microphone. But Shazam and Picard and others do it already.

Think about the patterns on a numeric keyboard - 9713 followed by 9856. They could show up as the same, due to differences in scale. But now you only need to try a few numeric passwords. There are 3 more. What about 4582? Maybe 6 combinations.

Extend this idea across the keyboard, where you have a better spatial distribution, and the only safe passwords would be purely horizontal or use only two rows of the keyboard. Anyone limiting themselves to two rows is almost certainly using the top two, for the ultimate compromise between brute-force and spatial attacks.

For the average password, you will have a 3-D space that can pattern match in the same way auto-correct for phones already works. A password with letter substitution that spans 3-4 rows of the keyboard is probably matchable with one try, knowing the language of the typer (from samples on the page, URL, or other clues available from JavaScript).

It's not a hard problem, and just reducing the password possibilities means greater chance of success. If you lock out 75% of the accounts, you have 25% success, and that's pretty good if you can infect more than 3 machines.

Comment Re:Waiting for JWST (Score 1) 60

I wouldn't say the upper reaches of its capabilities, because it is limited by the age of the universe and the speed of light. 13.3 out of an estimated 13.6 Billion is pretty damned capable, and it could possibly be more if they spend more than 100 hours on the same spot.

We have the hugely huge deep field visible light, and now a deep field in IR. Perhaps it would be good to point out the reason for enthusiasm, since IR seems better at seeing back in time, and JWST is tuned for IR. Aside from the larger mirror, of course.

Comment Re:Truly a 1st world problem (Score 1) 242

If there is an issue, simply ask at that point to turn them off.

Not all devices can simply be turned off. Do you want to circle around while waiting for some jackass who never reboots to click "shut down", see "Windows is configuring updates..." and just stare at each other?

I'm not saying your point has no merit, but I don't think you considered it thoroughly.

And, what does off mean? On my Kindle DX, with wireless disabled, it is inert while displaying a page due to e-ink. There is no difference between on and off, yet the stewardess insisted I turn it off. Fine, I'll just pretend I have a hand on the steering wheel and one on the stickshift while we're taking off. Your seat mate will give you all the room you want after pulling that one. Is my phone in airplane mode? Do I think it is but really just turned off the wifi?

So there was an actual problem, and you were actually circling until the problem was found. And you're okay with hoping you can find the right person in time to land?

Planes use fuel, which they carry with them, and takes more fuel to lift. They don't take off full, they only get what they need plus a bit for weather and a bit for emergencies. They can easily divert to a closer airport, or thanks to FDR choose a piece of highway. But if you're already at the airport, you're hoping to find the technologically illiterate fool who believes his device couldn't possibly be the problem. Exactly like your scenario.

Comment Re:The third option (Score 1) 536

In C# if you have no idea which exceptions to catch, you can always log or report the actual type, as in ex.GetType() and then do what you need to with that information. It is much more useful for me to run in debug mode, let the debugger stop on all thrown exceptions, and examine the type. You can either add that type to the types you catch, or fix the code so it doesn't happen.

Every catch block should have a generic Exception, which can do something with the specific exception type. If you know to look for specific ones, like timeout or network related ones, you have the option of adding those.

But I still don't understand the problem. If you want to know how to properly use a method, you should read the documentation. Go to msdn, type the class and method name, and at the bottom is a reasonable list of exceptions to expect. That isn't a waste of time.

If you write enough C#, you will learn which methods need specific handling for certain scenarios, and which ones halt all processing. "What's best to do" is always halt processing and clean up, unless you have a specific reason to take an alternate path, such as auto-retry.

Just one page at random, in case you haven't seen the exception list at the bottom of the page. Really simple to find.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms584311.aspx

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