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Comment Re:Not true (Score 2) 274

My city does this every few years, and they still charge $20 for 28" and down, $35 for over. I got rid of the last one we had -- a color-corrected display my son had used for graphics design -- at one of their events maybe five years ago. It was an awesome sort of sight seeing all the pallets full of old TVs and monitors. If you had one of those 1960s fine-wood consoles they sent you to a special line -- there is apparently a market for those with the old electronics and display replaced with new.

Comment Community college (Score 1) 312

Got a community college in your area? Almost all of them will have some sort of intro to programming class that deals with the hardest problem for newbies: finding bite-sized problems to start on. Also there's someone who can help you figure out your question as well as answer it.

With any luck they'll let you audit for almost nothing.

Comment Re:one liner (Score 1) 497

Years back, a telephone switch company made a three-line change in some exception-handling code and pushed it without testing. Somewhat later the exception happened, was handled improperly, and the problem propagated from one switch to another, eventually taking down long-distance phone service for most of the East Coast. Ultimately put the company out of business.

Absolutely one of the hardest programming problems is in distributed real-time systems, making sure that errors are caught and damp out rather than propagating.

Comment Re:Why only east of the Mississippi? (Score 3, Informative) 101

Texas and California are two of the four states with the most "action-level" lead test results. Some Oklahoma cities have among the highest lead levels in the country.

The map shows cities in all of EPA regions 1-5, and none in regions 6-10. It seems likely that the Guardian staff simply started working their way through audit results, and stopped when they had enough material for a story.

Comment Re:I would expect that to be somewhere in China. (Score 4, Informative) 151

As I mentioned in another comment, out of date. 25 years ago the Brown Cloud was a real problem. Today, Denver doesn't even make the 25 worst cities in the country for overall air pollution. Having lived here while it happened, it's just absolutely amazing how much cleaner the air is now.

Comment Behind the times (Score 3, Informative) 151

The OP's observation is really behind the times.

I moved to the Denver area 28+ years ago. Since I got here, the state's population has gone from 3.3M to 5.5M, almost all in the Front Range urban corridor. Much of that growth has been driven by tech, it's just been quiet. The state is consistently in the top several for VC money spent. There's also a long history of Colorado companies reaching a certain size and then being acquired by the giant coastal firms.

Comment Blaming the wrong organization (Score 1) 217

The article, like so many others, is blaming the wrong organization. (1) Agency budgets are micro-managed by Congress. There's no money to spend on system replacement unless Congress says so. (2) Congress, like legislatures in general, is extremely reluctant to appropriate money to replace something that works, even if it is just barely limping along. Shiny new toys for killing people a possible exception. (3) When procurement does finally happen, it's done under rules set by Congress that work reasonably well for paper clips and snowplows. Not so well for software.

I spent three years on staff trying to explain IT things to a state legislature. Educational. Frustrating as hell.

Comment Re:They tried it before with Cablecards (Score 2) 167

This year for the holidays I bought myself an HDHomeRun Prime by SiliconDust. Comcast gave me an M-card with no questions, and the tech support number in the documents (a call center that does only Cablecard activations) handled the activation fine. It would have been somewhat easier if there were a decent online description of exactly what numbers the call center needed. Three independent tuners, DLNA compliant, and delivers the HD streams over our household LAN (some wired, some wireless). Works fine to my Mac and my Android phone. There are issues with my old Android tablet, but those involve the limited hardware there, not the delivery.

Comment APL... (Score 2) 414

...back in the fairly early days. Branch (of various forms) as the only flow control. Odd scoping rules. Often faster to rewrite a line of code from scratch than to figure out what you had written the previous time. OTOH, having a full symbolic debugger really spoiled me.

Comment Writers v. aggregators (Score 1) 311

I'm perfectly happy to pay writers for well-researched well-written content. I'm not happy paying an aggregator for access to what they think is good writing. Good writers are rare; the internet has made aggregation cheap and easy, with the expected outcome that there are lots of terrible aggregation sites out there.

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