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Comment That is why Apple keeps making it harder (Score 1) 238

Apple pretty much has to cooperate with the governments of places where it wants to do business. That is why they keep trying to make a phone that even they can't hack. A government can demand anything it likes, but they can't make Apple do the impossible.

If you are worried about your data getting out, it pays to find out which features to turn off and which to turn on to protect yourself. Apple is just an electronics company.

Comment Taught by who? (Score 1) 313

I don't think there are a lot of qualified programers working as teachers these days. Back in the day, I took a COBOL class in high school, but had to leave the class after two weeks because the instructor only knew the language up to the point of reading data out of a file. Once I wanted to write data to the file, she was over her head.

I think a section of a Math class on programming would be interesting.

Comment Re:Pros and Cons (Score 1) 462

You might think that, but I just discovered that the 5-year-old software that I am working on was converting times from UTC by getting the current offset from UTC. No consideration was made for the actual date being converted. The people who wrote this weren't stupid, they just didn't really think through the problem. That, and the company had no culture of code reviews or even documented designs. The times, they are a changing.

Seriously, though, getting the current time is easy. Converting an arbitrary datetime for an arbitrary location involves a bit of thought. This is especially true when you have to deal with Arizona. And, that is without having to consider the conversion of historical data that occurred during different DST rules.

Comment Re:Is SETI wasting its time? (Score 1) 90

Good point. And if the aliens use digital communication (maybe with a bit of encryption and DRM on top of it :p), it will only show up as noise after analog conversion.

Even digital data uses a carrier wave.

The problem with this idea is that the human brain does not react well to large amounts of negative data. Eventually, the mental "squelch" of the viewer will drop to the point where they will see a pattern whether one exists or not.

I could see sending flagged data to humans, but this project is in "real-time". I think this is just a publicity gimmick.

Comment Victory at Sea (Score 1) 139

I once had a game on my Mac called "Victory at Sea" (pre-OSX days). The game was buggy as hell, but the game was researched by Jim Dunnigan and Albert Nofi. They created a book of the same name from the research they had assembled.

Great research, crappy game (because it was unplayable).

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