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Comment Programming is a very wide topic indeed (Score 2) 312

Being a programer is not like it used to be. In the early days there were only a handful of languages and it was fairly easy to learn them and the computers were not that powerful by todays standards. Nowadays there are so very many different languages all geared to help solve different problems. That is what programming al all about, solving problems. Add to that all the frameworks and API's out there. The choices boggle the mind. The profession is very wide and stretches from embedded devices to mainframes and everything in between. No one can learn it all, most veteran developers have mastered 5-6 languages but there are deep concepts that are found across languages.

The question one should ask oneself is what sort of programming interests you? Web, Application, Mobile, Systems, etc., etc. There's a new field called DevOps where you are a Developer but you are also an Operations engineer. The DevOps lies between the programmers and the production systems. They help bring the two worlds together. Just because it runs on your laptop doesn't mean it will run on the production system scaled out across a thousand nodes in a giant data center. DevOps also helps setup code repositories, automated testing, how things push to production, how production is orchestrated, etc.

Starting with a scripting language such as Ruby or Python might be up your alley as neither requires compiling and both are pretty easy to read and understand. See if you like the idea of coding for long periods of time and banging your head against the desk in frustration. Jumping feet first into K&C ANSI C is a big leap into a shark tank, same with C++, Java, etc. All languages have a place in the scheme of things. It all depends on where you want to go. Pursuing some traditional college classes in software design can tune you into the big picture. It is a lot to wrap your head around everything.

The world needs more developers, go for it. Just realize it's a whole lot of work and the learning never ever stops. You will write code and look back at it years later and scratch your head wondering how you could have been so stupid. It truly is a non-stop learning experience that most talented people get better at over time.

Comment Re:Losses not at the box office (Score 1) 142

Television is even more messed up. Within an hour after a new show airs, it's been pirated and uploaded, indexed and ready for download. Commercials have been stripped and the quality is 720p or 1080p. Game of Thrones was the most pirated show ever. HBO Now is trying to change that and it's already making HBO some serious money. $15/mo with no contract gains you access to the entire HBO library including old shows like Sopranos and Deadwood. They need to expand international availability of HBO Now and make it available on more devices. There are people who will pay if the price is right and they can get what they want when they want it.

Meanwhile if you want to be legit you need to have a cable or satellite subscription to stream content on most networks. That is just plain dumb. Ex-pats overseas can pirate whatever they want and get it instantly for free. You could get Downton Abby an entire season ahead of time while the USA was watching Season 2 you were already watching Season 3 because someone in the UK ripped it and uploaded it.

People don't watch TV the way they used to. It's now all on demand. There should be no channels just a list of shows and you should be able to stream or download digital copies for offline use across platforms and devices without restriction. There are pirate tools that completely automate the entire process so it feels quite like the entire Internet is your DVR. You tell the tools what you want and they find it and download it automagically. The only way the networks can compete is to do the same and change the way their business model works. Piracy is very much like disruptive technology smashing old barriers. If there is a will there is a way to get what you want when you want it.

The amount of money being lost is stupid, HBO Now proves you can make huge profits if you just accept the new reality and go with the flow. Stop beating your customers up and start serving them.

Comment Losses not at the box office (Score 1) 142

The losses are not the box office but the old fashioned video sales DVD/Bluray/Digital distribution. If the studios would just release their digital versions faster and with no DRM and drop the price to a more reasonable level they would make a lot more money. Right now, it's far easier to pirate and get what you want sooner and for free. This is how music piracy was before Apple iTunes started the turn around. You have to make it easier to be legit.

The movies are released in theaters overseas sometimes months prior to the USA theaters and their DVD/BluRay's are released early as well. All it takes is one guy in Vietnam to rip a movie and upload it and now you have millions downloading copies of it weeks before it hits the stores or even local on demand viewing. The file is high quality and has no DRM. A few months prior there are HD camcorder releases filmed in cinemas overseas. These are still very popular even though the quality is quite low.

The Internet is a global network, stop messing around with borders and distribution deals and start releasing stuff much faster and everywhere at once. There is no excuse to restrict distribution spread out over months to different regions. DRM angers end users who can only play it on certain devices and certain software. e.g. Apple iTunes only works on Apple systems. Digital downloads sell for the same price as DVD/Bluray, that's just wrong.

Plan for success against piracy:

1. Release On Demand and Streaming Rentals for the usual $5 a few short weeks after leaving theaters
2. Release downloads for $10 thirty days after On Demand / Streaming offers
3. Release it globally at the same time on all services all at once
4. Ditch DRM it only angers customers and doesn't stop the pirates at all
5. Release on physical media using same old slow channels, really who cares?
6. Release old classics online as well. Disney is guilty of not distributing some older content except for special release now and then.

Do not release in overseas markets first. You must release in theaters globally at the same time within a few weeks time.

eBooks same problem, try registering for Amazon or iBooks using an overseas credit card and address and you will find a seriously hampered catalog of what is available in the US/UK. It's down right dumb. It's all based on century old rules and regulations that no longer make sense in the age of super fast Internet.

Comment Reality Check (Score 1) 858

This is what will happen to every major government department and agency. Trump will be nominating the cabinet members which require confirmation by Congress. The rest are appointees. Of which there will be about 4,000 of them. This is what happens at every single change in political control. When the agency / department head is replaced that person will then build their team by replacing all their direct reports most of the time. Those people head various groups within the agency / department and will be also replacing their direct reports and building their teams. This goes on and on down the chain of command. It could take a couple years for all that to shake out. We are talking management and middle management positions. The workers pretty much stay the same. The employment protections apply to the worker bees not management. Now you may very well have some disgruntled worker bees but if they raise their profile too high they will be found out and removed one way or another. If that person cannot be fired, they may be transferred, demoted, removed from a position of power, or possibly promoted and given a lot of rope to then make a big enough mistake to be fired. This is exactly what happens at every major corporation when leadership changes. A new CEO, CFO, etc. comes on board and restructures their department moving people around replacing a number of them, etc. It happens all the time. Internal corporate political battles are common. Executives have contracts with golden parachutes and extensive benefits well above the average employee. If they get fired, they likely still get paid until the contract is up and still get large severance package. At the CEO level that could be millions of dollars. In government, you get fired you go find a job in the private sector as a government consultant, etc.

So to think that anyone working in these positions could stealthily run the previous administrations goals without getting caught is pretty silly. At most they need to keep their head down and not attract attention to themselves. If they try to do anything drastic they will get noticed and the hammer will fall. There are protections for them but they are not absolute.

This same thing occurred when Obama took office in 2008 and again in 2012. The same thing happened when Bill Clinton took over and GW Bush, etc., etc. This is how it works. So if they don't cooperate now, they will have no choice when the top brass is installed. Right now, they don't work for Donald Trump but it's only a matter of time. It's also not unusual for transition teams to conduct these early communications. It is a bit unnerving they wanted a list of climate change staffers but it really doesn't matter. The culture of these places is going to go under a rapid 180 degree phase change and there is nothing to stop it. That is what winning looks like.

Comment All it takes... (Score 1) 141

All it takes is one moron to click a phishing email link, executing the malware. Apparently, someone with privileges clicked the link. As in someone with enough access to production systems to infect the entire network. An IT worker got infected and using that IT workers user account the entire system was infected.

This is why those who are serious about security do annoying things like make IT workers use a different account with admin privileges that cannot actually be logged on directly but can execute processes with privilege. Needing to checkout a new password for that account daily and logging all usage of that account. Also removing local admin rights from the IT workers primary logon account. Because outsourced and low paid staff are morons. You know who gets infected the most in corporate America? It's those H1B1 Visa workers who can't afford their own computers so they take the work laptop home and surf sites back in India and Pakistan where many systems are infected.

Serious security means many layers of protection, deep packet analysis, cloud proxy that can decrypt SSL, endpoint analysis, etc., etc. Disaster Recovery is very important, there needs to be a DR SAN/NAS that is mirrored and switchable. Once you get the infection under control and confirm no more ransomware is spreading you flip from production to DR and thereby recover your data instantly. Backup critical systems as well. All this is not enough if you don't train your employees to not do stupid things like click phishing emails, download unapproved software, plug in a USB drive found in the parking lot, and give their password to a total stranger for a chocolate bar.

Comment It's True! (Score 1) 302

People are stupid... This happens at many employers. People still reply to all, it's really annoying. You simply cannot rely on people to not reply all, be smart. When sending out email to a large number of people you absolutely MUST USE the BCC line instead of TO. That way they can't reply all to everyone on distribution. Just leave that TO line blank...

Comment Ye Gods... (Score 1) 535

I am so sick of the platform wars... Every time Apple comes out with something, there are a crap ton of articles such as the one saying Microsoft is more Apple than Apple and Linux is the answer, etc., etc., etc. Some are click bait and some are trying to restart the Microsoft / Apple / Linux wars. Well here's some information from someone who runs or ran just about every top tier OS ever made.

1. Apple Macs are more than just tech specs. You cannot compare hardware chipsets and revisions between a Mac and anything else. The OS varies. It is the combination of elegant hardware, drivers and operating system that work together to provide a very nice overall user experience. You simply have fewer problems overall. If you are a programmer it is the best platform. You get all the developer tools for free and anything open source runs on it. Plus you get Microsoft Office and Adobe apps, etc. that won't run on Linux. Mac's are fantastic for anyone managing a Unix/Linux data center or doing DevOps, etc. It's not just for those graphic artist weenies and photographers. It's a great family home machine as it will less likely get hacked and abused by malware (if properly setup). TimeMachine backups work, it's saved my bacon many times to the point of having a dead hard disk and being back in business a couple hours later with a new drive. Is it the right choice for everyone? Hell no!

2. Linux is great, absolutely amazing; on servers. It sucks badly on laptops. Disclaimer: it is getting better and with System76 and Dell providing very nice Linux hardware platforms. But the GUI is nowhere near consistent with way too many choices. For me it's all command line all the time. Meanwhile, Microsoft is embracing Linux because of the Cloud. They are porting SQL Server to Linux, running Linux in Azure, bringing some Linux/GNU goodness to the command line in Win10, etc. Most everything that runs on Linux runs on Mac. I think the Linux and Open Source guys are winning!

3. You want to buy a Dell XPS Developer Edition with Linux or maybe a System76, go right ahead. You want to strip out Ubuntu and run ArchLinux, more power to you! Just don't go claiming it is a viable replacement for a Mac cause it's not even close. I know all about Linux, been using it prior to the kernel 1.0 release, back when you had to rewrite two boot floppies to get the CDROM to install and there was no broadband. I know how to tweak it and make it sing. I've spent a million hours tweaking it. This is the reason I didn't buy an Android phone. It's a tool an appliance, I don't want to spend all my spare time tweaking it. I want it to work out of the box and I want the OS to get the hell out of my way. Open bag, pull out Mac, flip open lid, unlock, do work, close lid, slide back into the bag, rinse and repeat day after day after day. Plug it in to charge when it needs it. Reboot when you have to. Backups? Make sure TimeMachine or CrashPlan is working, done.

4. Windows has actually improved quite a bit but it's still frustrating. There are still a lot of problems. I don't run Windows at home except for a few virtual machines because I fix computers all day long at work, I don't want to do battle with malware at home on my wife's PC. I converted her to Mac a long time ago and she never has issues. She brings her friends laptops home for me to fix running Vista on a PoS ancient laptop. I now charge $500 to even look at it cause it will consume the next 72 hours of my life fixing it.

I've got 5 Mac's at home, a few iPads and iPhones it all works nice together. I have a SmartOS private cloud with 24TB's of storage at home as well. It's running about 50+ virtual machines many of which are Linux servers. A few Win7/Win10 VMs for when I need them. I run Plex and stream video to AppleTV's and iOS devices. I rarely have problems of any kind. Would I give my wife a Linux laptop to use as her primary computer? Nope, not gonna happen. Have I run Linux as my main system, most definitely yes but lately they hum away in the private cloud with zero GUI and I manage them from SSH and Chef.

You know what? Use what works for you man. Build it yourself but for crying out loud stop fighting about it. People who like Apple are the same kind of people who like BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. They like their computers to look good to the eye, perform well, and be slick. Others will buy an old Toyota Supra juice it up and smoke Ferrari's and Lambo's on the weekends. Or they will take a Honda and juice it up and drag race those luxury cars. Top performance in computers is silly, in three months there is always something faster and better. Of course you can build a tower that will stop a Mac Pro but it's not gonna be as small and fit on the top of your desk and it won't be as quiet, etc.

These new MacBook Pro's with USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 ports and the Touch Bar with TouchID are fascinating but I am no hurry to jump on the bandwagon. Maybe some time down the road it will make sense in a year or two. But there is no reason for me to run out and buy one right now. I do know they have an Esc button so that's good but for me I will wait for iTerm2 to support the TouchBar and some other things to kick in and be compatible, like a 3rd party dock or that LG monitor to be available. Meh... just not that impressed other than it's a major overall improvement.

Flame on my Slashdotter brothers and sisters, Flame on...

Comment Ya Know... (Score 1) 1042

I bet it's the same damn billionaires who fear A.I. -- These guys are way too deep in tech, they believe the movie The Matrix. Perhaps it was this simulation concept that inspired the movie... Course both directors of The Matrix have transitioned into women so that makes a lot sense. Women who were into Kung Fu, Anime, Comics, and Sci-Fi. Yep it's possible I guess. Women trapped both in a male body but they are really little boys who never became men. Oof, brain popper that one.

Comment Re:What would you do if malware tried to break out (Score 1) 1042

Agent Smith: I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.

Comment Fibonacci Sequence in Nature (Score 0) 1042

Take a look at the Fibonacci sequence in nature, it's absolutely everywhere. So if not a simulation than it clearly is intelligent design. So either we are living in the movie The Matrix or the Christian God really did create the heavens and the earth. Mankind is still no closer to the perfection of nature. You can't look at these details and say some random proteins and amino acids coalesced and sprung into life spontaneously of it's own accord after a lightning strike.

Comment Re:Many believe that we live in a computer simulat (Score 1) 1042

No business man with multiple ventures wins all the time. Losing 4 times in 20 years is not bad at all. Rockefeller went bankrupt several times. Clearly you don't know anything about what makes a good business man. They have all had failures and triumphs, but they didn't give up and that is what Trump has done. Meanwhile Obama has failed at every single agenda item in 8 years. Not a single thing could be considered a success and Hillary has accomplished absolute zero.

List their successes I bet you can't. Don't say Obamacare cause it's literally crashing and burning. It's not reduced costs and its a huge failure, just as Bill Clinton who said so.

Comment Re: Many believe that we live in a computer simula (Score 0) 1042

Bwahahahaha! Yeah that VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY line...

1. Bill is full of $hit but Hillary is just a bad liar
2. Maybe she's been lying for 30 years so it looks like she is being persecuted, she's Teflon nothing sticks
3. She should be wearing an orange jump suit in a federal prison
4. The foundation is a well oiled money laundering operation and a semi-legal way to take kickbacks (Slush Fund)
5. Hillary will say anything to any group if they want to hear it to get elected (Super power = FlipFlop)
6. Hillary doesn't give a crap about anyone but herself and her money
7. She's a moron who cannot even work a fax machine or email outside a BlackBerry, she is just really good at lying
8. She's a man hater who would put your balls in a lockbox
9. Her health is extremely questionable, do you really want Kaine to be president in a year?
- Seizures, Blackouts, Falls, Head bob, eyes drifting... Come on she's having micro strokes or it's Parkinson's, and early onset Dementia/Alzheimers. You want someone like that to be the most powerful leader in the world?

Yeah you researched it alright, not objectively and not using critical thinking. Truth is the choice is between a giant douche (Trump) and a turd sandwich (Hillary).

Comment I don't think so... (Score 1) 173

Sure, I'll be glad to upload my entire video collection of 20TB's which will take approximately 180 days of continuous uploading to Amazon's cloud drive (take longer with data caps because I'll have to restart it each month until it actually completes the 20TB uploads) where it is not encrypted nor well protected and whose contents will be completely indistinguishable from pirated content versus a ripped personal use copy. I am sure the MPAA would love to go after this data. I will gladly give over my hard earned money to Amazon to pay for this privilege. I'll give up my private server which I carefully created to consume less than 40 watts (currently running a 20W Atom 8 Core processor with 8 4TB drives in a ZFS array), offset with my use of many solar panels, to shift to a cloud data center consuming considerably more than 1.21 gigawatts of electricity.

Yeah that's about as smart as buying a Tesla and thinking I am saving the environment by driving around with highly toxic batteries all getting their power from the grid, disregarding the fact that the grid is completely powered by burning coal, oil, and natural gas! Hey, maybe I can put the Tesla in Autodrive and watch my Plex cloud videos on the Tesla display panel using a cellular data plan and decapitate myself at 60Mph when a tractor trailer makes a u-turn in front of my Tesla.

Yeah, 20TB's is no joke. I go through the data now and then and transcode the video to more efficient smaller files to save space and prune data I really don't need to keep long term. But the Internet is my DVR and it's fully automated. Plex helped me realize the joys of cord cutting. I ripped a considerable library of content and yeah some of that content is downloaded and consumed and typically discarded. Love me some Plex.

I think I'll just stick to my personal server and sync connect to the iPad for offline viewing on the planes and trains as I have been doing. It makes zero sense for me to download content re-upload that content to a Plex server in the cloud unless I want to more easily share that content with friends which I am already doing with little trouble as its easy with a standalone server in my home. I do not trust cloud providers with my data and you shouldn't either.

Comment Quite a Dilemma... (Score 1) 343

Snowden alerted the world to unprecedented civilian surveillance by not only the NSA but also American allies surveillance This Orwellian surveillance of Americans is supposed to be illegal. Smartphones and social media are a god send to intelligence operators. They had full reign of every single smartphone on the planet. Every human carried a microphone, GPS, and camera and everything they sent or received could be intercepted. Talk about the holy grail of intelligence gathering! The insight revealed in the WikiLeaks published by Snowden have led to new security and encryption to be implemented everywhere. On the one hand I don't like the government spying on civilians so I like the idea that tech companies up their game as a result.

At the same time, he revealed this secret surveillance, methods, and abilities to our enemies who are now able to adapt and avoid detection and surveillance. That is a clear example of aiding the enemy and is downright treasonous. I would much prefer not to be under surveillance but the enemy is literally among us within the civilian population and that has not changed, in fact it's greatly increased in the last eight years.

So what to do about Snowden... Well I do not agree he should be pardoned, quite the opposite. He has blown wide open the biggest of classified top secret intelligence documenting just about all of the intelligence communities abilities and methods. It is the biggest leak in history. The damage done is enormous to the safety and security of the US and our allies to defend against enemies foreign and domestic. Even today he is being allowed to video conference and be paid for speaking to various groups as a privacy advocate. The man should be assassinated even in Russia. If he is ever captured he should be just made to disappear. Yes, I mean shoot him in the head and dump him in the sea like Osama Bin Laden. He is a treasonous bastard of epic proportions. He has betrayed everyone with a security clearance. He has betrayed his country. He has put many lives at risk and he has destroyed valuable methods of intelligence by revealing their existence. The damage done is absolutely enormous. If anyone deserves to die for treason it is Snowden.

FYI, I also agree that Hillary Clinton should be charged with high crimes and misdemeanors and imprisoned for no less than 15 years. She should have her security clearance revoked immediately and she should be ineligible to run for the presidency. I also know that Obama's birth certificate is fake, it was released in PDF format and was clearly doctored. I don't believe Hawaii even has a real microfiche copy of his birth certificate on file, I believe they took another one and doctored it and released the PDF but they were stupid enough to not merge the layers first. I believe that Obama was not born in the US but overseas. I believe that he is a Marxist and he has done more damage to the USA than even Snowden's treason. He has cut the military dramatically, reduced our nuclear weapons, alienated our allies, embraced and emboldened our enemies, caused the Arab Spring which has destabilized the entire middle east, pulled troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan which has allowed ISIS to grow, released Guantanamo Bay terrorists who re-took the battlefield, kept the US economy strangled to prevent recovery, enabled riots in the streets and increased racism and hate groups such as the New Black Panthers and BLK, etc. I do not believe he is incompetent I believe this is all intentional. No president has ever done so much damage in history except for perhaps Nero of Rome.

God Help Us All... It's either build a bunker, stockpile weapons and food or ready onesself for the Rapture and Armageddon. We are so close to WWIII it is not funny. China and Russia have been ramping up their militaries at a very rapid pace while we downsize our own. Threats against the USA continue to mount.

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