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Comment Re:Control and management (Score 1) 275

``See if there's anything in the logs that's not what you were expecting, bearing in mind that they'll almost certainly be phoning home to "check for updates" and "backup your data to the cloud" (AKA "monetize your data").''

This could include almost every IP address you find in your logs. Do you know the IP address of every ancillary site that the web sites you visit make connections to while you're browsing their pages? The advertisement servers? Any image servers? The external sites for comments/discussions? Now multiply that by the number of people in your family that use the internet. I haven't seen a single network-aware device that included something in the manual -- or some sort of set of instructions -- that tells you what sites it'll be connecting to on a regular basis. IMHO, we pretty much lost this battle years ago.

Comment No risk to humans so everything's fine. (Score 5, Insightful) 244

It breaks down rapidly and, in the very low doses at which it is prescribed, should not pose a risk to humans.

Uh... did they test it on other, you know, non-mosquito insects? Have they had their fingers in their ears for the past decade and didn't hear about declining bee populations?

This insecticide might not have a direct effect on humans. But the secondary effect of not having any damned food just might turn out to be rather important.

Comment Re:Impressive but useful? (Score 4, Insightful) 95

Yeah, 100-600 hz means we aren't talking about any great amount of data at a time.

Pretty much the first thing I thought of. What baud rate would be possible using this? It couldn't be very high. Each 0-to-1 and 1-to-0 transition would have to wait for the fan speed to stabilize and that would take a variable amount of time depending on the fan size.

Interesting concept in the lab but would this really work in a real life situation? Many work environments have all sorts of ambient noise that might interfere with being able to detect the computer's fan noise.

Comment Mostly self-taught (Score 1) 515

First "formal" attempt to learn how to program was in freshman year of college in Calculus class. The professor spent about five minutes trying to teach the basics of FORTRAN: "This is a DO loop it ...", etc. Then he assigned homework to write programs to numerically integrate the equations in problems 1-10. It was a disaster. (I won't even go into the ancient computing system that everyone had to use for these assignments. The lack of adequate computer resources was another disaster I won't go into.)

I finally ran across a copy of Kemeny and Kurtz's BASIC programming book in the discount bin at the student book store. Bought that, logged onto my computer account, and worked through all the examples in that book one rainy Saturday afternoon. By then we had a brand new system that had been installed the summer before. Still not unlimited access but orders of magnitude better than we had during the learning-programming-during-Calculus debacle of the year before. Yeah it was BASIC but it was a springboard to the other languages I'd wind up learning in the future.

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