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Comment Basic / Pascal (Score 1) 397

I guess my very first programming experience would be Logo sometime in elementary school, but about the same time I was learning GWBasic. My dad got me a book from the library that had programs you could type in and run. I've never forgotten typing in 500 lines (supposed to be some kind of space shooter) and then program didn't work. I never figured it out!

Soon after I started using Qbasic (the version that could compile EXE files).

My next programming language was Pascal through Delphi and then C++ through Borland's C++ Builder. I picked up a copy,of the K&R C book around the same time that today is very well worn!

I was very interested in different languages around high school and so I picked up a smattering of Visual Basic, a senior high school independent study in Visual Studio C / windows API (why?!), x86 assembly, OS/2 REXX scripting, etc. I wrote an ecommerce site for a local business in 1999 using PHP and a perl cgi-bin cart system.

Picked up Java in college, one course with Prolog, etc.

Today I'm not a professional programmer, but I end up using PHP, Python and Perl for text processing, SQL, etc with some regularity.

Comment Weird company... (Score 5, Insightful) 76

I work at a small company (~30 employees) total that's been around for around 35 years. We don't have anyone dedicated to HR, it's just part of the jobs duties for one of the founders. About two years ago I heard bout Zenefits and went through a sales call with them.

The sales guy sounded like he was about 21 years old, didn't know anything, and was a total Bro.

Everything in the call was like "Ohh man, you're still doing it that way, bummer! That sucks man, check this out..."

"Yeah, what we're doing is rethinking HR from the ground up, and we're like Amazon disrupting all those legacy companies out there! We're so innovative you won't believe!!" (no, actually you're just fancy insurance brokers....)

"Yeah man, I hear you, , right man??"

It was an incredible turnoff.

I do think that HR, benefits management, payroll, etc., is totally ready for disruption and a good product, but Zenefits definitely is not it.

Comment Re:Watch my arse (Score 1) 406

I'll consider that POS a "watch" when it can go months between battery charges, costs less than $50, can be used when I'm in whitewater, and has tactile buttons I can find in the dark. (In other words, when it can replace a simple Timex Ironman.)

It goes 2 full days on a charge, works in water, and has tactile buttons. So I guess it just needs a bigger battery :-)

I have an Apple Watch. I like it a lot. Is it worth the money--fuck no. I use it for exactly 3 things:

(1) Telling the time (and checking weather, etc.);
(2) "Hey Siri" integration for controlling HomeKit (outlets, thermostat, locks, lights, etc.); and
(3) Texting / receiving phone notifications.

It's awesome for those 3 things. Can't remember the last time I used an app. The exercise mode is useless as a general activity tacker or heart rate monitor (heart rate monitor is AWFUL). All the gimmick shit is...gimmick shit. As a small extension to my smartphone--awesome.

Government

Washington Post Retracts Story About Russian Hackers Penetrating US Electricity Grid (washingtonpost.com) 574

Those anonymous U.S. officials who reported Russian hacking code had been found "within the system" of a Vermont power utility must've been surprised to learn the code was on a laptop that wasn't actually connected to the grid. The Washington Post has updated their original story, which now reports that "authorities" say there's no indication that Russian hackers have penetrated the U.S. electric grid.

The Post's newly-edited version now appears below (with their original and now-deleted text preseved inside brackets). A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont utility, according to U.S. officials. While the Russians did not actively use the code to disrupt operations of the utility, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a security matter, the discovery underscores the vulnerabilities of the nation's electrical grid... [Was "the penetration of the nation's electrical grid is significant because it represents a potentially serious vulnerability."]

American officials, including one senior administration official, said they are not yet sure what the intentions of the Russians might have been. The incursion [was "penetration"] may have been designed to disrupt the utility's operations or as a test by the Russians to see whether they could penetrate a portion of the grid... According to the report by the FBI and DHS, the hackers involved in the Russian operation used fraudulent emails that tricked their recipients into revealing passwords.

The Vermont utility does report that they'd "detected suspicious Internet traffic" on the laptop, but they believe subsequent news coverage got the story wrong. "It's unfortunate that an official or officials improperly shared inaccurate information with one media outlet, leading to multiple inaccurate reports around the country."

Comment Re:heck of a choice (Score 4, Insightful) 488

I'm always curious about this blame game. The "great recession" was a worldwide phenomenon. Are you suggesting that if Bush hadn't been president of the US (say, Kerry was elected instead), that the entire world would NOT have gone into recession? Or that the world would have, but the US wouldn't have? I'm just curious.

The US is a cog. An oversized and important cog no doubt, but it's just one part of the whole.

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