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Comment My first computer, and introduction to programming (Score 2) 178

This computer has a lot of fond memories for me. Having grown up very poor, we couldn't afford something like this. My uncle gave us his old one so my mother could do word processing from home. I used it to play games all the time until the floppy drive died. After that, the only thing I could do on it was load up the BASIC cartridge. If I wanted to do anything on the computer, I'd have to program it first, and the moment the computer turned off lose it forever. I would get the computer magazines that had BASIC code all ready to enter in, just so I could play a game. Of course, the code always contained errors, so I learned how to code by fixing them. I was 10 at the time.

Now, I'm in my mid thirties, and shockingly a programmer. I didn't go to college, and barely graduated high school. To this day, I thank that computer for all the success I achieved in life. I'm wholly unemployable otherwise. People say that computer was a dud, but I'll always remember it fondly.

Besides, how cool is it that a computer in the 80s had a wireless (albeit IR) keyboard?

Comment True Harm (Score 1) 768

Hypothetical: You are an activist, and the government wants to silence you. They create an investigation into anything, and the investigators demand the password to an account you haven't used in years. You tell them you don't remember the password, and that becomes enough to convict you.

Taken to the extreme, anyone can be put into prison for any reason, we all have something we don't remember and refusal to disclose would be a criminal offence. Do you remember every password to every account you had? Even if there are other avenues to get the information (your example, they could brute force hack, albeit at great expense), simply not providing the evidence is enough to convict someone.

Clearly, you are not nor ever have been a civil libertarian, or you think civil libertarianism is about legalizing pot. It is about the rights of an individual being absolute up until the point that it affects the rights of others.

Comment Re:*crickets chirping* (Score 1) 288

Our cellular service deserves a damning indictment. I keep a SIM card for when I travel to Sweden, and all I have to do is drop $15 and I get plenty of credit for making phone calls, texts, and even get unlimited internet. They have a maximum charge of something like $1 a day for internet and after that it is free. All of this with no contract, so the SIM stays dormant in my wallet until my next trip. Competition doesn't always provide the best service.

Comment Why would you need to guess the 4 digit code? (Score 2) 105

At least a decade ago you didn't have it, and I doubt it has changed. All you need is to change your caller id to that of the phone (easy to do), then the voicemail system doesn't ask for your password. It is why you can always check your voicemail from your own phone without entering the password.

Submission + - Coding Under the Influence? 2

theodp writes: I've tried coding drunk,' writes Alex Muir in Code Sober, Get Things Done Drunk. 'It was a disaster — even a couple of beers had me really struggling to produce anything worthwhile. I decided coding was like driving — you need all your faculties to work.' But back in the heyday of three-martini-lunches, coding under the influence at work — at least occasionally — was the rule, not the exception that it is today in big corporations. However, a CUI while working on personal projects is still no crime — have you found that downing a few beers or other libations while programming helps or hinders you?
Data Storage

Submission + - Hard drive prices going up 150% in less than two m ( 1

zyzko writes: "The Register reports that hard drive prices (lowest average unit prices) have rocketed 151% from October 1 to November 14th. The worst days have seen over 5% daily price increases. The reason for this is attributed to floods in Thailand but there are concerns of artificial price fixing and suspicion that retailers or members of supply channel are taking advantage of the situation."

Comment First time? (Score 2, Informative) 269

Scientists have captured antimatter before. I recall an interview with a physicist (I believe Colbert Report) who mentioned they had antimatter captured before. Doing a quick Google search, I found references to captured antimatter going back to 2002:

Comment Re:Sign me up! (Score 1) 839

I agree, I'd be one of those volunteers. I have minimal emotional connection to Earth, and would relish the adventurous opportunities that would await. I would never be accepted though, since I would also demand a painless suicide pill to be used at my own discretion if things turned out poorly. And no, stepping outside to the horrible death that would await from the martian atmosphere is not acceptable.

Submission + - Former physicist investigates May 6 flash crash (

Gnaget writes: Gregg Berman, a former particle physicist with 16 years of experience on Wall Street, is working for the Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) to lead a team of more than 20 investigators to find out what caused the flash crash. Over the past several months, the investigators have gathered and analyzed large amounts of data and interviewed hundreds of companies, and now plan to publish a report of their findings within the next two weeks. Although Berman isn't revealing details about the results, in an article in The New York Times he says that he found no evidence of a deliberate attempt to manipulate the markets. Instead, the investigators have identified a specific series of events that led up to the crash.

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