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Comment Re:Fortran (Score 1) 325

My father showed me basic when I wanted to use the computer as a calculator (basic arithmetic). I discovered programming.

He then saw talent in me and bought me a Turbo Pascal book (in my mother tongue... English would not have worked at that age) and a copy of Turbo Pascal (I presume from work, but... I don't know where exactly he got it from).

... and that's how he awoke my interest in computers and ultimately the profession I would choose.

Thanks dad...


Slashdot Asks: What Was Your First Programming Language? ( 325

This question was inspired by news that Stanford's computer science professor Eric Roberts will try JavaScript instead of Java in a new version of the college's introductory computer programming course. The Stanford Daily reports: When Roberts came to Stanford in 1990, CS106A was still taught in Pascal, a programming language he described as not "clean." The department adopted the C language in 1992. When Java came out in 1995, the computer science faculty was excited to transition to the new language. Roberts wrote the textbooks, worked with other faculty members to restructure the course and assignments and introduced Java at Stanford in 2002... "Java had stabilized," Roberts said. "It was clear that many universities were going in that direction. It's 2017 now, and Java is showing its age." According to Roberts, Java was intended early on as "the language of the Internet". But now, more than a decade after the transition to Java, Javascript has taken its place as a web language.
In 2014 Python and Java were the two most commonly-taught languages at America's top universities, according to an analysis published by the Communications of the ACM. And Java still remains the most-commonly taught language in a university setting, according to a poll by the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education. In a spreadsheet compiling the results, "Python appears 60 times, C++ 54 times, Java 84 times, and JavaScript 28 times," writes a computing professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, adding "if Java is dying (or "showing its age"...) it's going out as the reigning champ."

I'm guessing Slashdot's readers have their own opinions about this, so share your educational experiences in the comments. What was your first programming language?

Comment Re:The implant requires physical access ... (Score 1) 92

I'm more concerned when the smartTV can be remotely turned into a listening device.

Since this trove was taken it's been shown that most of these devices phone home over plain HTTP, they don't authenticate TLS, or they don't validate payload signatures (and usually more than one of these). And the software that uses those resources doesn't do any error checking.

I'll gladly bet five bucks that simple interception, SSID spoofing, and in-line splicing are all being used for remote exploitation by now either with these or similar devices.

Comment Re:IMAP & SMTP (Score 2) 67

That is because you assume that "Apps" are the same as "Applications" or "Programs". That isn't really the case: "Apps" come from the mobile space and are usually touch optimized dumbed down versions. Often they are just fronts for web applications, instead of full native applications. Applications or programs like Thunderbird are not "Apps", they stand on their own and talk SMTP and IMAP and are compatible with all servers that speak these open protocols. That is inherently superior than proprietary "Apps" that do not talk open protocols.

Comment Re: If he gets busted... (Score 5, Insightful) 80

If users have their devices bricked, they may simply buy another vulnerable IoT device to replace it, perhaps from the same manufacturer.

Are you suggesting there are people who will keep buying the same type of e.g. WiFi lightbulbs that work for a couple hours and then stop working, without returning them?

A return usually costs more than the profit on a device; it's an economically valid feedback mechanism assuming that kind of person isn't actually common. It seems unlikely to me that it is the typical behavior pattern.

Comment Re:If he gets busted... (Score 2) 80

It is unfortunate that retribution type attacks are not considered "appropriate".

Self-defense is not retribution. Third-party defense is always considered valid when a threat is imminent.

All the data we have shows that devices that are vulnerable to Mirai, et. al. will become Mirai bots in a short amount of time, and will begin attacking third-party Internet infrastructure.

If somebody can show the above claim to be false, please do so, showing reason and evidence.

Comment Re:So the maths (Score 0) 302

This, my friends, is a Democrat emergency.

Is that who's in charge now?

I vacationed on the Gulf Coast there and read the signs at the tourist rest area about this very issue. In April of 2000.

It's a manufactured and necessarily perpetual emergency, if it even qualifies as one. What good is a State of Emergency that never goes away? More syntactic destruction from an Executive Branch.

If the issue has merit, this is exactly the opposite of the way for it to garner respect.

Comment Re:No it isn't. (Score 1) 137

No, copyright is for promot[ing] the progress of science and the useful arts.

Copyright is a form of social engineering. Once you get away from protecting life, liberty, and [real] property, everything goes to hell where the government is concerned.

There are winners and there are losers. Almost always, due to concentrated benefits and diffuse costs the winners are small interests and the losers are the rest of the People. This subbing case is a clear example of that.

But until those People mature and realize that they can't get something for nothing, this kind of nonsense is guaranteed to continue. Even if they realize the problem in this case, they are unlikely to generalize the principle to broader contexts. It's special-pleading turtles all the way down.

Comment Re:Anybody have the exact quote? (Score 1) 356

How do you figure that? Sessions always struck me as a LAW IS THE LAW kind of guy. You may not like him, but if you're pattern matching him to Jean Valjean rather than Inspector Javert then I think your pattern matcher needs recalibration.

This is very true. He's a Reefer Madness kind of moron but he's even said that if Congress doesn't want him prosecuting potsmokers then it needs to change the law.

He seems to get off on being a conduit for power but his ethics seem to constrain him to channeling his power in a coherent way.

That he swears by the stars!

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