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Comment Re:So that's why it keeps popping up (Score 2) 281

I've noticed over the last ~3 months that whenever I start up Notepad++, it also seems to kick the MS CloudDrive thing on (which I have never set up, and keep shutting off when it asks if I want to, even tho it's not set to ever come on automatically).

Oddly enough I use Visual Studio (community/freebie) to write personal programs and CloudDrive never kicks on when I start that...

I have no plans on using CloudDrive.
Using a free could service to hold important files is rather like asking a street bum to hold your wallet.
Eventually something bad will happen, and they will only shrug and say "hey, waddya want for free?"

Comment It's already outdated (Score 1) 181

This "coating" is already outdated, since bottle companies are working on plastics that basically do this without any additional coatings.
And they're already partly there: if you look at ketchup bottles in (US) stores you can see that the ketchup does all slide to the bottom now.
The sliding doesn't happen real fast but it works. And nobody wants the whole bottle to come gushing out at once anyway.

Comment Opinions is like Assholes, and so- (Score 1) 312

-here is another one.

I am assuming something here:
OP is interested in maybe being more helpful at their current job, by learning "programming" in some regard.

Okay then,
First ask your employer what kinds of computer systems they use for management--what operating system, what word processor, what mail client, what mail server and what data bases (local management may not know this). THAT is what your guidance is on what to study using. You want to be able to do things that they can use with the setup they already have. But having them accept any help like that is kind of a long shot, as they won't be excited about running programs from an unknown source (you) on their business computers. You can ask anyway tho. Heck, email the corporate HQ and ask. They might be interested that you're interested.

If you are curious about learning something to get another/better job, then look in your local newspaper for what is being asked for. You likely won't have the degree required, but it will still be some guidance.
Programming skills are rather localized IME... Where I am most jobs ask for Windows, MS Office and databases, databases, databases. Most Windows coding is done in Visual Studio, which means mostly C# or maybe Visual Basic. A bit of server admin stuff/Python/Linux, but not much.... But that's here. Wherever you are may be a lot different.

If you just want to learn to program as a hobby, then start anywhere. All the common concepts of the major languages are available in all the others, and there's tutorials online for everything.
Console programs get boring pretty fast and making Windows programs is fantastically easy with Visual Studio (that is free for non-professional, non-commercial use) assuming you're using Windows anyway...
If you want to learn the deep-down details of game programming, then look at MS's C#, because the DirectX Library examples are all in that language.

If you want to learn Java, buy a cheap Java tablet and download Android Studio (the software for creating Android apps, free from Google). Android apps on a small portable tablet can either be silly games or useful work programs, so this can fit into either [work] or [play] categories very easily.


And finally,
Everyone else who replied to this topic is WRONG!

Comment Re:Just more lies, nothing new (Score 1) 293

The Nobel prize lost a lot of credibility with me when they gave an award to Al Gore.
I believe in science--but not in scientists that predict cataclysmic doom every few years, and then keep changing their prediction every time it doesn't work out like they said.
That isn't a scientist, it's a con man.

Comment Just more lies, nothing new (Score 0) 293

No, not really. The main thing runaway is the process by which climate change "scientists" are spinning more bullsh*t.
Since the carbon dioxide bit is turning out to be wrong (due to some involved mechanism they did not know of!) the climate change charlatans need to change the story to something else.
As for all the previous times they've been wrong, forget about that, that's in the past. It doesn't matter now. This is the current emergency!

Comment Tempests and Teapots (Score 5, Insightful) 280

Might as well teach US kids to make tennis shoes while you're at it.

US kids don't need more computer science, US companies are already (still) offshoring tech jobs as fast as they can.
The colleges want to keep selling the courses and the big tech guys want to say that they're "doing something" about "the problem" (meanwhile they need more H1Bs, please) but nobody else would benefit.

If US public education gets behind *any* concept, you can bet that it's at least 5 years out of date already, and may be 10+ years out of date.

Comment Re:I met him (Score 1) 182

I wondered what happened to this guy since the 2007 arrest (for smoke alarms)...
He never struck me as especially talented; he seemed to disregard a lot of safety matters with what he was doing, which is not the mark of an intellectual.
The facial sores looked like narcotics use or possibly still more radiation exposure, neither of which would have been good news (for him).

He was on my ship. I was a nuke. He was not, and he was not nearly smart enough to be one. Nor did he have the dedication or discipline to succeed at it. He was obnoxious and racist. And I don't mean pretend racist that everyone like to toss around. He was openly racist and got his ass kicked more than once because of how openly bigoted and belligerent about it he was. There was nothing impressive about him, except for his disregard for common sense.

If the claim of his schizophrenia is true I would hope this would dispel any anger you had for him.
The typical onset of this condition is the late-teens / early 20's, and schizophrenics commonly pose the greatest risk to themselves--exactly by attempting to do things that they don't really know much about.

Comment Re:Holy shit (Score 1) 128

Speechless

Are you reeeeeally, now?
How many big company execs have you seen that don't know that "when Microsoft Word underlines something in red, it means you probably spelled it wrong"?

As for silicon valley, it is what it is.
A 'startup' is what they call a company with people who have no experience, no real assets and no real product.
Old money stays far away. "Pump and dump" is not a viable long-term investment plan.

Comment Re:Don't get too excited about this yet (Score 1) 95

Your friend is a good person but is at once fooled, since many clever countries as the US, Russia, China, India and many others have always hoped to reach the vast wealth and resources of Somalia

(It may have been used by somebody to spy on somebody, but it's probably a totally-local issue)

Comment Re:Walmart greeters (Score 1) 360

Do they have some secondary, "hidden" job, like, looking out for shoplifters or the like?

They don't just greet people.
They can generally direct customers to where stuff is in the store. Which isn't rocket science, but it is nice if one is in a hurry and the store is the size of three soccer pitches (which some are).
Another task they do is when you bring an item in to return it, they put a tag on it so that the people at the returns counter know that you really brought it in from outside.

Last but not least:
It allows Wal-Mart to employ some elderly people in a position that doesn't require much of any physical labor other than standing up. The greeter is usually a senior citizen (pensioner).
Due to US hiring laws companies need to be able to show that they are employing (or attempting to employ) people of all ages... and this is a job that is fairly easy for older people to do.

The door greeters are usually way too frail to attempt to stop any shoplifters. They just call for someone else for that if they see it.

Comment Selective Memory.... (Score 1) 630

This quote seems oddly familiar:
" There's a saying in the auto industry that hydrogen is the future of transportation and always will be."

I distinctly recall reading that Lee Iacocca (or some other big-US-auto-industry maven) said this many years back, but he was speaking about ELECTRIC cars. Not hydrogen.... ?
The time I remember this from was YEARS before fuel cells for cars were even considered a practical thing for cars at all.

I am middle-aged so this could have been quite some years ago. IIRC the person was commenting on the GM Impact program and EVs in general. By 2002 Iacocca was marketing ebikes and NEVs so it would have had to be before then.

Comment Re:Why not just buy arduino clones?? (Score 1) 83

Yea,,,, I hate to rag on people trying to be nice, but this thing doesn't seem to have any advantage over a lot of already-available options.

If we can dream, here is what I would propose:
1. A roughly-credit-card sized board powered by 3v, so they can just hook up a couple 1.5v cells (maybe attach the board to a plastic battery holder--they don't cost much).
2. some capacitive button sensors right on the PCB, so some human-interface input is already present (at least 8 - 10 buttons),
3. an SMD LED next to every button to show when the button is pressed (this could be code-operated, these LEDs don't need to be hard-wired. coding it could be the second assignment, after "hello world")
4. A visual-output display, right on the board. This could be a 2x16 character LCD, or just a matrix of enough SMD LEDs to show some printed characters--maybe 8 x 32 LEDs or whatever....

5. and this is the big one: do something to break the requirement of a PC for programming the thing...
My own suggestion here would be to have two photocells mounted on the face of the board, one is the CLK and one is for DATA input. And then you could write a program/phone app to write your code on, hold the board up to the screen with the photocells over two squares on the screen, and the app blinks the squares white and black to transmit the code to the board optically. This method would work on a PC or a cell phone, as long as you could run the app.

Having a USB connection on there is nice but a lot of people in the world can't afford a PC. A lot of schools in the world can't afford a PC. Most places you can get phones now tho, and there is Android phones that only cost $25. You are way more likely to see a cell phone in the 3rd world that you are to see PCs.

Also--having a few I/O pins on there is nice, but a lot of schools won't be able to use them much due to the cost of obtaining all the pieces. (mail service in many 3rd-world countries is pretty much a combination of 50% crapshoot and 50% extortion. The product needs to come complete if at all possible; you should not assume that they can mail-order anything).

Ultimately it would be best if you didn't need any external hardware (other than power) to program the thing at all. That is a pretty big jump tho, requiring a better display and probably at least 2 processors on there instead of one (assuming you stick to using tiny85-type chips... some little processors can modify their own runtime code--{Propellers can, IIRC. can ARMs do this trick? } ).

Maybe someday: it would have on-board solar cells for power, to finally remove even the battery requirement. I have little doubt this can be done now, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it.

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