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Comment Re:Tradition (Score 1) 312

we used to get some of the worst coders in some places that started their career with VB 5.0/6.0. So many bad coding habits. Although is infinitely better, the very word "VB" sends shivers down my spine. For Ms, C# all the way. :D (sorry VB guys, I had to rewrite too much of your code..). Three cheers for "option explicit"!

Comment Like everything else start with the basics (Score 3, Insightful) 312

I feel your confusion. This may be "old school" but I feel it's solid (or has been for me). Start with learning the basic rules.

A lot of people like Python but because most languages use certain characters to enclose blocks of code (and python only uses indents) I would suggest starting with Java or C/C++. Many here will say Python is easier (ruby is probably easiest for many), but your goal will be to have room to grow. You'll find more languages conform to the C/C++ or Java syntax style rules than Python or Ruby. I find it easier to ready than Python myself.

Do yourself a favor and skip If you want pure Microsoft (and I would advise against that, would have saved me much grief early in my career) you can do C# and you'll be better prepared for languages with more platforms.

Java, for example you can use in many enterprise system and embedded systems, including Android. C/C++ you can use for robotic controllers, IPhones (objective-c), real-time critical applications (and gaming!!).

Some may suggest starting with scripting languages like PHP, Python or Ruby. there is faster "joy", but I'd sooner suggest starting with MIT's Scratch (GUI language for teaching children basic of programming). It's a great teaching tool for anyone I think. Hey, it's still valid basics which converts the GUI instructs into 'C'. the reason

I'm so "hung up" on starting with C/C++ or Java is most newer languages take a lot of their cues from the concepts widely used in C/C++/Java. once you learn one of these (especially C++/Java) you can step into any other language out there with relative ease. Some good sites to start would include:
Note: These are all free or have free options (real university level courses, a little intimidating at first, but worth it)

For python:

For Ruby:

the courses as udemy are a little light so I'd only go there for review.

I've given many options here although I've stated my preference. The other advantage to using C/C++ or Java is they make using these invaluable books easier to read:

Writing Solid Code: Microsoft Techniques for Developing Bug-free C. Programs (Microsoft Programming Series) by Maguire, Steve
Code Complete by Steve McConnell

Yes, these books are from MS and old, but I found them invaluable (and I wish MS had actually practice what came from their own publishing companies when writing the code for W2K and XP). Was required reading at one workplace. You'll want to learn about Object-Oriented approaches as well as syntax. It's a lot to take in and this is just the beginning, but it's fun journey. Oh, I would agree, don't bother with Basic. You are better off with Python or Ruby. :D Again, to reduce your learning curve later on, I'd start with C/C++/Java. You'll be glad you did.

Comment Systems from the 1960's (Score 2) 141

Wow, if they are so economical (cheap) they use reservation tech from that era, maybe they'd consider hiring contractors from India to give the system an overhaul. Of course the contracting firm will probably just hand it over to a bunch of juniors who will then use techniques/tech/flaws from the 1990's, but that's still an improvement, right?

Comment Re:Not news (Score 1) 503

Be careful what you wish for. The spy stuff in Windows 10 can be inserted into Windows 7 with an update "enhancement" The spy transmission components are apart of windows 10 internals after all. :D Oh, I recommend you turn off auto updates on Windows 7 (while you still can) as MS has made clear they will push ANYTHING into their updates, no matter how unstable, untested or unethical. The trend towards android boxes, tables and phones is pushing OS's into a less open direction and more towards a black box. (like XBox or Wii). The answer to the stablility/trust vs security updates is simply, wait for professionals to test the updates (at least 1 months, but I'd say 2) and when reports come back, then and only then install a new update into windows 7. (those saying that Windows is a lower cost of ownership compared to linux may want to take concerns like this into account)

Comment With file scans and private data transmissions (Score 2) 503

Okay, seriously. What do you expect MS to say. "Windows 7 is more private so stick with that?". Right. Recently MS released an update that have the option of "send less of your data". but no option to turn it off completely. And it's VERY difficult to turn automatic updates off (you have to basically hack it to bring that to a stop but telling it your network is metered. Would you trust anyone who puts in such lack of user controls and extraction of metadata from every file the OS sees? Those who want to lower cost in maintenance in setting up traps to stop leaking data and stopping auto updates from adding even more stuff you don't want, go to Linix (Mint Linux is the easiest). It's an easy choice world. Ms pushing people so they can collect more data for themselves (and the NSA) is creepy. We all need to say a simple word to MS: "No".

Comment Good for "the industry"? Meaning higher fees (Score 1) 158

The whole point of net neutrality is to keep people from sabotaging or blacking companies for faster transmission than "preferred" individuals. Communications love it when you can add fees for "preferred" data rates. Companies were "negotiating" with NetFlix and one if their tactics if I remember correctly was slowing their traffic down. When Netflix caved on an issue I cannot recall, their speed when up. Coincidence, I think not.

Comment Re:So...who owns the car...? (Score 1) 368

There is a flaw here I believe: If the registered owner and ONLY the registered owner an remotely control the item in question, it's theirs. What you may not be taking into account is the corporations have the remote control access and they alone have final say, NOT the registered/verified person who purchased the car. So under this system, the company still owns the car because they control it and can override anything you do regardless of whether or how much you paid for it. And they can revoke that ownership at anytime for any reason. don't control your own product, you don't own it. IT can be stolen from you without anyone entering your car. So the stealing gun comparison isn't applicable here. Plus in this instance, the item can steal YOU. ;-)

Comment Censorship it's purest form/motives (Score 1) 262

So basically, we are starting to implement China's form of censorship. Want to protest? Top visiting sites that censor this way. Facebook, for example, is hardly a necessity. Part of free speech is figuring out phoney from fact. Besides, what's to say that what they label as "true" isn't approved propaganda? It's always easy to invent justifications for censorship. In the USA, there is one against it the NSA continues to ignore: The Constitution.

Comment So...who owns the car...? (Score 2) 368

This is a classic example of how even when you pay for a car, you don't really own it. (kind of like iPhones) Anyone could give any reason for "hijacking" the car. If the OWNER of the car could do this, okay. But this had to be done by BMW CORPORATE. Bit of a difference. Cars today should be scaring us. One has to assume any car with a remote lock can remotely imprison you. It's like that scene in the movie "Minority Report": you can be locked in your own car and "kidnapped" to whereever "big brother" (or smarter hacker using big brothers back doors) says you should be taken and that could create a LOT of havoc. We should seriously be rethinking this. You can say "big win against thieves" this is really a side effect, not the primary purpose. The real purpose, is to keep complete ownership of the vehicles and you in the hands of big brother + corporate. The obvious ability to be abused by government agencies and hackers alike don't matter to the creators or the governments that promote them. I wonder if Russian cars are implementing this feature yet. (Putin would LOVE it I'm sure). It's like that NSA information dragnet;it was never designed to protect the common citizen, just the common interests of those who already have perhaps a bit too much power already.

Comment And why are they doing that after all this time..? (Score 2, Interesting) 89

MS is funny. That application has been so outdated compared to half a dozen open source apps or even relatively simple javascript apps, it was embarrassing. I went to GIMP/GIMPshop awhile back. If they had done this 10 years ago, I might have been impressed. Now, I'll stick to my GIMP or perhaps Blender if I want serious 3D "painting". (A 7 year old taught himself to use this program a couple years ago, he'll never go to MS Paint again. LOL)

Comment The final use for the information is obvious (Score 1) 41

This info was never for the student, teacher or school benefit as a whole. It's true purposes was political thought policing. Kind of obvious when you think about it. What is chilling, is that sp,e school voluntarily tried this out. Wonder of parents were asked for consent before putting the students on it....

Comment Re:..and the rest (Score 1) 194

I'm not sure Chomski or Snowden or even myself would agree with you there. While people have foolishly given a LOT of information to these companies, do not forget that these companies claimed openly verbally and in writing that they would not sell your information to third parties in an identifiable form. Now I suspect that is still true as the info to my knowledge wasn't sold, it was GIVEN to the NSA without any specific cause against any individual or even group of individual, because they were taking it ALL for use later to lookup anyone who challenged the status quo. It was never about selling data (as you put it), it was about giving (paid or unpaid) information it it's raw form, which identifies individuals which the public was assured in various ways would not happen. Of course they sell collective data, and most assumed this was going on.

The type of tyranny this represents is monumental and completely undermines the idea of any sort of democracy. Reason being, they can interfere with your opinion far more easily (and they already are) and target key individuals who might lead a group with a specific set of opinions those "upstairs" don't want expressed. An example of how this could be used can be seen in Watergate, where the Republican party did "rat fucking", sabotaging the political opposition, which destroys not only democracy, but in spirit a free market and certainly free speech.

If these companies did "all they could" to protect privacy, they would have told the agencies "no", possibly shut down the company and destroyed the data (not necessarily in that order). Sure, the NSA would have retaliated but given the huge public attention this would have gotten worldwide plus these companies are to this day contributing lots of money to various politicians, it probably would have gone the way it did with Clinton with her illegal email server: a public scolding, but nothing more. But the added benefit to the public would have been the NSA would have brought this project to a halt for fear of PR and economic repercussions. However, their only concern (as Greenwald pointed out) was their wallets and public perception. TrueCrypt people DID do everything they could to protect privacy by shutting down rather then building in backdoors and by doing so, told the public what was going on (without saying so, so they were gagged under threat). Of course a law was introduced later saying that you can't shut your company down if you get certain requests, which is basically exercising eminent domain on private enterprises; in essence, government slavery removing the very concept of private property or enterprise. Basically, a government state where the government owns everything. The true test of a company being prepared to do "everything it could" to protect privacy or anything, is it's demonstrated willingness to sacrifice itself (like a soldier in essence) to protect something important to it. No company listed on Snowden's chart (and certainly not yahoo) has shown it's willingness to do this. Apple so far, has come the closest of any worldwide corporation in recent history. It's not enough, but a step in the right direction even if it's stance was in the name of self interest.

Comment Alternatives to Yahoo (Score 1) 194

Okay, I listed this before and I'll do it again, because...this is important. There are alternatives to yahoo, MS and Google and we need to hold the to a higher standard. Checkout these web mail alternatives

(not encrypted but smaller country + company appeals to me ;-) ) there are others listed in this article:

we need to use alternatives to show there are choices and to make companies aware they need to work in OUR best interests if they want us to use them.

Comment Re:..and the rest (Score 2) 194

See Snowden's chart on video below. Google has been in bed with the NSA for at least 3 years. Apple for 2. Microsoft was one of the first way before Google as far back as 1999 I believe. See this video: Again, see how Microsoft is at the bottom left of this chart, meaning they were in "bed" the longest. And notice how MS got more and more aggressive since the WGA was introduced, and people didn't understand what it truly represented and didn't raise any objections. That was when I went full blown to Linux. was the best decision I ever made in IT.

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