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Comment Learning to code in the 70's and 80's (Score 1) 515

So I got into computers early on - having been a technological terror growing up - taking apart everything. My friends dad had gotten a SWTPC 6800 with an SS50 bus and I used that to get my early knowledge on - we were typing in BASIC code on the thing, either adapting games found in issues of Creative Computing magazine, or modifying them to have some fun while figuring out how to do things we wanted. That was early on - later on, when the TRS-80 became more mainstream, the games in the magazine got more platform specific - and Creative Computing printed all the source code for the game in the magazine. Back then there were no "downloads" or "OCR" that could replace simply typing in all the content and trying it. That's what we did. And people weren't perfect - so after typing in 10k lines of code to make a dancing robot, getting random errors at various lines in the code was inevitable - it was that "post entry" debugging where the code education comes in - now you're checking your own work for syntax and other little bits - but to really know what's going on takes time - and then it clicks. The incentive was when the new space shooter was Commodore specific and you had an Apple ][ - this forced you to figure out what they did, convert to Apple, and try your own version. The "programming" nerd switch, for me, took some years before it clicked - around the middle/end of 10th grade before I became dangerously knowledgeable in this stuff - enough to write a game that summer and get hired by a software firm during my Junior year in high school. That was some 6 years of hands on, with 3 of it focused on learning to code in my off-time.

Comment This is why only the qualified should decide. (Score 1) 585

I don't know anyone that supports the US Government on this - at least - I don't know anyone who supports them and knows anything about PKI encryption and what it means - if you really want to support the folks arguing for the US Gov in this case, ask if they'll hand all their passwords and PIN's to the FBI. See what their reaction is then.

Comment Do what Tsutomu did... (Score 1) 265

Back a long time ago, Tsutomu Shimomura (the engineer who ID'd Kevin Mitnick's famous sequence-number attacks), got pissed about Microsoft's FTP server trying to connect on the identd port after he FTP'd into them for any reason. To get back at Microsoft, Tsutomu setup the chargen service on the identd port (port 113) with a rate-limit. When he FTP'd to Microsoft after that, any connections to port 113 would stay open as his computer would stream all ASCII characters out. Seeing as you are likely having ports scanned like 80/443 and so on - why not chargen those? The scans will get stuck, and the data will keep flowing until they die. Even better, if they're collecting all the returns - chargen will ensure they get all the ASCII their disks can hold. Cheers.

Comment This could not be worded any worse (Score 1, Insightful) 91

In the header for this, your last sentence: "This article takes readers from the first Crypto War of the early 1990s to the present-day political battle to keep everyone who uses the Internet safe." The present day battle is not about keeping people safe - it's breaking down people's ability to keep secrets. The cost for this level of protection is way too high.

Comment Why not use Google Apps? (Score 1) 108

Google offers free Google Apps for Business for domains with less than 10 users on them - and it's free. Just gotta setup the MX records - I get DNS control for free from GoDaddy as they are my registrar, but I don't host a site at all on my 3-character domain. With that, I can point my MX records to google, and the domain has multiple email accounts on it, all for free. The trick is that the google hides the "get it for free" link on the setup page.

Comment Our #1 health problem is profit margins (Score 1) 668

Homeopathy may be crap, but there's no doubt that one of our worlds largest problems is the connection between patents, drug development, and commercial interests focused on profiting on new creations, and not actually spending any time or interest on curing diseases and solving problems using what nature gives us.

Examples of this are rife everywhere - from my own experience, any asthmatic can tell you in the 2000's their rescue inhaler only cost them $15 for the generic - however, when the gas inside the inhaler was changed from a CFC-based propellant to nitrogen, they filed new drug status (for the same ancient drug), purely because they changed the propellant - asthmatics now pay $45 for the same inhaler (with insurance, FYI) with the new gas. Who's to say they won't switch to oxygen or CO2 as a propellant when the next round of patents expire and the prices drop to generic levels?

On the opposite side of the spectrum, herbal remedies can for some things be quite helpful - and some of the "herbal cures" in that realm like Slippery Elm for diverticulitis work very well but are not prescribed by any doctor lawfully as these cures are not tested by anyone officially - because doing so won't guarantee the researchers investment in testing will be paid back because they cannot control who sells that herbal cure afterwards. There are cures in nature that are not being directly researched, presented or even considered by the big pharma community because of this. Many cures in nature are being researched so that the potentially patent-able bits are pulled out for testing and potential commercialization. If they found that chewing a certain leaf or making tea of it cured something important, big pharma would never tell us - not until they pulled the active parts out and sold that to us 15 years later at a premium after extensive testing as well.

I suppose the FDA should be doing this on their own, but that's an extra that's not in their charter..

Comment How does your math hold up when it's $3? (Score 1) 480

I don't know about your PowerBall setup - but the payout is when you do the power-play because that engages the multiplier - without it you cannot win the "monster payout" that is advertised. Those are $3 each. When I do play the lotto, I don't even waste my time with PowerBall @ $3 per ticket unless the jackpot is over $250m, and then I know I'm tossing my money away anyway.

Comment Can you guys shorten this to the point? (Score 3, Insightful) 27

This video and it's immediate predecessor might have some cool stuff in it, but frankly, the format, run length, Etc. is 100% totally boring. This could be likely summarized in a viral video with some just animation and summaries - seeing 3 people talk in an overlong video is more boring that reading while on the can.

Comment Keys are not dead! Just ait till your fob dies.. (Score 1) 865

So my first two keyless cars were nice, Nissan, and reliable. However, I must state something here - except for GM's more than obvious mistake, keys don't generally fail that badly. In the case of my Nissan Cube, when it hit 3 years old and around 40k miles, I had a key die on it. This wasn't covered by the warranty, and I had to replace it. Then I had to hit the dealer for them to program it. The only time I have to deal with the dealer on key issues before was when I lost a key and had to re-train a smart-key with the car, and the pricing of the pure-electronic keys is not friendly. My lost Nissan key was replaced for $80 on eBay, plus $50 a the dealer to program it. My co-worker who just lost his 2009 Mazda CX-9 keycard, and who's second key is flaky, is now looking at a combination of smart-key and physical chip-key replacement, times two - that's $500 just for the two keys themselves, plus $100 from the dealer to program it all up. These keycards from the dealer are $450 each, and just like tires, you can't drive without them. Ouch! I like my car's key. It's something that can be replaced and doesn't cost like someone stole all four of your tires.

Comment Wait - if this makes time perception slow down.. (Score 1) 914

The idea of making an evil bastard serve a 1000 year sentence sounds like a clever idea, however, I do believe it falls under the tenants of cruel and unusual punishment. That being said, if a person could serve a 60 or 90-day sentence in 5 days, that would be beneficial to society from a cost perspective if the same level of rehabilitation takes place. On that note, I must ask - if time moves more slowly to the person on this fictional drug, does that mean that learning over time could be ramped up? Could we distort someones internal clock and then feed their brain information that all gets stored? This could be one way to upload someone with all the knowledge they need to complete an education..

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