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Comment Personalized Web Crawler... (Score 1) 325

Back in the day we were used to time-shifting our collection of information, and the viewing of information. This was accomplished on BBSs - such as FIDONET - by up and down loading content for later viewing with offline viewers. You would just set up some automation to run during off times (while you were asleep for example). Back in those days -- even as slow as things were, your time didn't seem to be wasted as much as today.

I don't have a bad connection - I stream videos no problem - so I can only assume the problem is the advertising cruft layered on top. As a result, I'm in the early stages of putting together a web crawler of my own...basically I go to the same sites day after day -- so most of what I read comes from the same sources - so why not crawl those sites and draw down what I want to read at my leisure? I can also automagically separate the multimedia from the text, and deal with that as I want to - rather than how a standard browser decides to do for you.

Website owners and ad people have gotten lazy - and disrespectful of users; time to claim back our time.

Comment Re: Doing it wrong? (Score 1) 600

I think the real issue here is 'access to' versus 'elimination'.

If you are your own boss, or you are a hobbyist, then this question is irrelevant. You can and should have access to every capability - it is up to you to manage based upon your own capabilities.

In a business with a gaggle of programmers that is evolving over time, it is a different story. In that situation, you have developers of all different skill levels potentially, coming into and leaving the business if you are growing, and you have to take into consideration the risks associated with allowing poor code to impact your paying customers. In that case, I think it would make sense to create access limits for different programmers based upon their skill levels and areas of responsibility. You could also cross train and provide options for people without this access to prove they can be trusted to get higher level access to more of the 'shoot yourself in the foot' tools/constructs - which would expand your cadre without risking your business in the process.

Comment Re: Doing it wrong? (Score 1) 600

It's not a simple as that. If you are on a team of developers who are building applications on top of clearly defined APIs, all the heavy lifting from a systems perspective should already be done for you. This is to ensure the company doesn't end up with 15 different versions of the same code in each release that needs to be maintained in the future. I think mostly it comes down to the bottom line: a business doesn't want to spend money on building the same library over and over again.

There are instances when low level systems programming is needed, and whoever is assigned that task should have the freedom to do what is needed to ensure the systems provided can perform at the desired level and provided whatever is necessary for security and so on. There is nothing canned that can do that, so you better have your best developers on that given the potential impacts to your customers and therefore to your bottom line.

If you work for yourself - then do what you want since you're calling the shots.

Policy choice is relative to your business risk/exposure. Ultimately whatever you choose to do with your own programming (if you work for yourself or you're just a hobbyist) will be proved out by your clients/users when they use (break) your software and systems. On the other hand, if you work for someone else as an employee, then you are bound to follow their rules, regardless of your views. You can try to change it, or you can find another job elsewhere.

It's not simply a matter of these things being beyond anyone's ability, but it is also true that there are different levels of skills and experience that exist in a business environment. A good choice would be to partner your systems developer with your brightest applications developer to cross pollinate. Unfortunately, my experience also suggests that many companies don't do a good job of mentoring and growing talent within the company. People get assigned to silos and languish unless explicitly transfered to the group with a different focus. It really comes down to the philosophy of your employer.

Comment Arrogant maybe? (Score 1) 229

At first, when I read the title I thought to myself, "how arrogant." What about people who are primarily verbal - and don't do math, or don't care to do math? Are they not equally fulfilled in their lives? How rich - a scientist who makes sweeping generalizations in a scientific journal.

If he had prefaced it with, "I have observed in some people that...blah blah blah," then yeah, that would be defensible.

Comment Sheer Volume of Cruft (Score 1) 333

Imagine if you will, a haystack. That haystack represents all the 'information' flowing from various 'news' sources on the Internet. Inside of that haystack are needles - that represent stories about the Trump administration: several gold needles - real news stories, several silver needles - bona fide comedic satire, and rusty needles which appear to be real news stories - but are fake...click bait and possible propaganda.

People are so overloaded with the cruft coming inbound from so many sources, some of this being retweeted or relinked stories (facebook) - they are losing track of what is real and what is not. It becomes even more difficult when news outlets that are ostensibly real, end up addressing the fake stories as well - either through mistakes and presenting as real news, or to debunk. Ultimately it is a news blitz caused by the confluence of a number of things: Trump's propensity to tweet and countertweet, his administration's rate of deployment of changes, confusion about sharing information from the administration (mixed messages), overlayed with all the satire and click bait.

Clearly indicating what is and is not satire will go a long way to avoiding satire bubbling up through multiple layers as true news stories.

Comment Second Video Game I ever played (Score 1) 39

Pac Man was the second video game I played, the first being Pong.  It was the first console video game I played outside of the home.  A friend of mine came to me and said, "I gotta show you something that's going to blow your mind."  So off we rode on our bikes to the local Target store.  They had two arcade machines: Pac Man, and Asteroids. Thus began 30+ years, many thousands of hours, and thousands of dollars invested in video games.
Galaxian still haunts my memories...

RIP Masaya Nakamura

Comment Re:Good for them! (Score 5, Insightful) 858

Because this information is being used as a witch hunt to identify low level employees for removal. These low level employees may not have been the decision maker when it came to selection of who would go or not, and as a result, the questions in the questionaire may incorrectly represent actual responsibility or functionality of the employee beyond that single question. Additionally, you can't arbitrarily remove government employees from their jobs without a substantive reason - as opposed to an ideological one (last time I can think of was the air traffic controller's strike during Reagan years - which directly impacted public safety)

As a result, the responsible leadership is saying "this is my responsibility; we can get into details at my level." This is the right thing to do, and also serves the people at the same time.

Comment Re:Nonsense. (Score 1) 406

There's research that shows that there's a point where your salary desire is sated, and more money while nice ceases to be the primary reason you work. In other words, once people are compensated at 100k/year they are more likely to be motivated by ping-pong tables and free soda type perks than 101k/year, even if the 1k is worth more.

Obviously, the majority of people have not hit that level yet.

That number for me would need to be $150,000 - as that would allow me to set aside a rainy day fund without having to cut basic things to the bone. My current problem is year over year - I end up with cash flow problems due to unplanned breakdowns that require significant outlay beyond what I've set aside - including dogs and cats getting older and costing more when they need to go to doctor, breakdown of home appliances and integrated components, and automotive repairs (I don't have a car payment - but things are breaking down on my car that require outlays), realestate tax increases, etc. On top of that - health care cost increases, and need to continue feeding 401K also takes a hit. I think this is releative to regional differences in standard of living. In California - that number may be significantly higher than that I think is appropriate.

Comment Here is what I would do with $5 Million (Score 1) 406

1. pay off the bills & repair everything -= $200,000 would do it (close out mortgage, student loans, and a few long term odds and ends and pending maintenance).

2. fund for children to finish college -= $100,000 ($50,000 per child - 2 children)

3. fund for wife and myself to further our educations -= $100,000 ($50,000 each) (education is very important - never stop learning)

4. diversified investment fund: $2,000,000 --- stocks, bonds, money market

5. entreprenurial fund: $2,600,000 -- would retire from current job early, and use these funds to start my own businesses. I would continue to work every day until I run out of these funds, or die - whichever comes first. Profits would pay our annual bills (food, taxes, maintenance/replacement etc), and otherwise be rolled back into the fund. This would be frugally managed.

Can't imagine not having something valuable to contribute. If I was insanely rich (billions of dollars) I would definitely be investing in organizations and businesses that I believe in - and probably could justify upgrading some things to make that easier to accomplish.

Would there be some parties, vacations, and trips abroad in there? You betcha. However, I can't see just partying or wandering aimlessly. Life has to have meaning, and meaning comes from within.

Comment Re:the paradox of reporting self-serving statement (Score 1) 376

Not switching because:

Windows --> Linux (Complete) - tired of 'flaky' stability and features from one Windows release to the next. Linux is good enough to game on now - and that's about all I was holding onto windows for. Tried gaming on Mac a long long time ago - and gave up as was prohibitively expensive. Code, game, and surf on Linux.

Macs --> ? No reason to upgrade hardware at this time because I can't afford it for a number of reasons, and the 'new' tech isn't compelling enough to go into debt for new hardware anyway. Existing systems do what I need, and have the integration that I need for creative endeavors (graphics, sound, writing).

Comment Re:Never going back... (Score 1) 376

This traffic wasn't a couple of UDP packets. It was a significant amount of TCP packets (unencrypted HTTP protocol) and other things I couldn't identify (presumably encrypted?). With 3 Windows machines on the network sending to the same targets across a single NAT'd IP address (what most residential customers have available to them) after a week to a few days (depending on the volume of activty) -- the network would slow down to a crawl. From the NAT article on Wikipedia:

With NAT, all communications sent to external hosts actually contain the external IP address and port information of the NAT device instead of internal host IP addresses or port numbers.

When a computer on the private (internal) network sends an IPv4 packet to the external network, the NAT device replaces the internal IP address in the source field of the packet header (sender's address) with the external IP address of the NAT device. PAT may then assign the connection a port number from a pool of available ports, inserting this port number in the source port field (much like the post office box number), and forwards the packet to the external network. The NAT device then makes an entry in a translation table containing the internal IP address, original source port, and the translated source port. Subsequent packets from the same connection are translated to the same port number. [PAT (Port Address Translation) resolves conflicts that would arise through two different hosts using the same source port number to establish unique connections at the same time. This is the case with my Windows machines, so even more levels of translation per packet] - Lod.]

The computer receiving a packet that has undergone NAT establishes a connection to the port and IP address specified in the altered packet, oblivious to the fact that the supplied address is being translated (analogous to using a post office box number). A packet coming from the external network is mapped to a corresponding internal IP address and port number from the translation table, replacing the external IP address and port number in the incoming packet header (similar to the translation from post office box number to street address). The packet is then forwarded over the inside network. Otherwise, if the destination port number of the incoming packet is not found in the translation table, the packet is dropped or rejected because the PAT device doesn't know where to send it.

As you can see - there is a lot of overhead to alter the outgoing and return packets - and all of that information needs to be kept up by the router/firewall in the residential gateway. Also note: including cellphones, tablets/pads, and other machines (Linux and Mac) - I have about 14 machines on the network - in addition to the 3 Windows machines - so the gateway is already overloaded. While there were some problems that manifested over the course of a year, and a reboot of the gateway would clear up, the installation of Windows 10 on the network caused this to accellerate to an unusable state immediately. If Windows were a dog, I would be tapping it on the nose with a rolled up newspaper for going on the floor.

The key problem for me was time. I don't have the time to learn how or even if these communications can be turned off in Windows, which is basically a blacklist solution. What is needed is a opt-in or whitelist solution, which is essentially what Linux offers out of the box (if you discount systemd - but that's a whole other thread).

My internal network is GigE around the house with a wifi device for the handheld devices - and I have no problems routing packets internally all day long. The issue is the gateway of the service provider, so you're partially right in that the service provider's residential network offering is a 'shitty network' solution. I expect they would only support 2 to 4 devices based upon their edge device and engineering. If I had the cash to spend monthly for commercial service with multiple internet routable IP addresses that could set up to load share, I would. It was far more cost effective, and simpler just to remove Windows from the network instead.

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