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How Relevant is C in 2014?

ClayDowling Re:Embedded Systems (641 comments)

You -can- use Object Pascal to do systems level programming, but the language wasn't designed for it and it won't be a lot of fun. I've done it, but after about a year of maintaining the code I rewrote it in C to get around some of the uncomfortable compromises that made the Pascal version hard to maintain.

about two weeks ago
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How One Man Changed the Ecology of the Great Lakes With Salmon

ClayDowling Re:News for nerds (118 comments)

Some of us nerds enjoy fishing the very waters discussed in this article. If you think folks don't nerd out about fishing, you haven't spent much time around fishermen.

about two weeks ago
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How One Man Changed the Ecology of the Great Lakes With Salmon

ClayDowling Re:Fear the Asian carp (118 comments)

If the Asian Carp shares the same fate as the rest of the invasive species that have infiltrated the lakes, expect walleye to start eating them sooner rather than later. Already walleye are eating zebra mussels and brown gobies. The downside is that the walleye fishery has changed a lot, because they're no longer interested in the bait that fishermen have to offer.

about two weeks ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

ClayDowling Re:So close, so far (561 comments)

Alternative interpretation of what happened: the people involved didn't actually know what a software engineer does. Because I read that book as offensive to software engineers of all genders, not just women.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Anti-Theft Products For the Over-Equipped Household?

ClayDowling Re:Don't. (408 comments)

It's possible that you haven't met a lot of gun owners, or don't realize that you have. It's possible, for instance, that the gun was taken from the home of a single woman living in a bad neighborhood, who felt that it was more responsible to leave the gun locked up at home than to bring it to the medical clinic where she works.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Anti-Theft Products For the Over-Equipped Household?

ClayDowling Re:Don't. (408 comments)

The glock sticker might not be a swell idea. Weapons are a particular target of theives. A friend bought a gun for personal protection. Guess what the thieves stole when they broke in?

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Anti-Theft Products For the Over-Equipped Household?

ClayDowling Dog (408 comments)

A dog would be a fine choice. Not only will the dog provide companionship, but assuming you acquire a canine of some size, most burglars will try to find other places to rob. Any of the bulldog breeds are generally friendly and sociable dogs, and intimidate the heck out of would be intruders. As a bonus, there are lots in the shelters and they can often be adopted at a discount. Just know that this alarm system requires a significant amount of daily maintenance: you have to play with your dog if you want a good dog.

about 7 months ago
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Consumers Not Impressed With 3D Printing

ClayDowling Fashion (302 comments)

What a home printer can print out the latest fashions, then it will take off. Like a designer's new suit? Pay the designer directly, download, print and now you've got the latest fashion. If I can print the suit for what it costs me to go to a tailor, or a little more, this is a viable model for home adoption, and you'll see the fashion conscious adopt it early, and fairly quick trickle down to the rest of the population.

about 8 months ago
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Anonymous' Airchat Aim: Communication Without Need For Phone Or Internet

ClayDowling Re:Be careful (180 comments)

Don't be giving it away man. Anonymous has always been a good way to identify the anarchists who aren't fit to continue being anarchists. LOIC was great for pinpointing the gullible and getting them off the internet.

about 8 months ago
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Anonymous' Airchat Aim: Communication Without Need For Phone Or Internet

ClayDowling Kids These Days (180 comments)

See, when I was a kid, we had this thing called the postal service. It was great. If you had a piece of paper, a writing implement, and a stamp, you could communicate without even needing a computer, let alone a phone or internet. It was even possible to encrypt your communication using a variety of methods so that even if intercepted it wouldn't be obvious that it was some form of secure communication, let alone actually be read by the man in the middle. There were even good methods of detecting if communication had been intercepted, which this new-fangled method lacks. And yeah, there were even people who played chess via this method.

If these kids are gonna reinvent the wheel, they should at least make it work as well as the old wheel.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Can We Create a Culture of Secure Behavior?

ClayDowling Reduce Complexity (169 comments)

The first step would be to reduce the number of separate passwords that have to be used. That means minimizing/eliminating the use of outside vendors that interact with your users via the web. If there's some vital human resource service that is needed (testing, training, employee reviews, whatever), bring it in house rather than contracting it out to an outside vendor. Because every single outside vendor you use means another set of credentials to be maintained.

The second step would be to eliminate password expiration. This may mean eliminating people in your organizatoin who think that password expiration is necessary. Depending on that person's position within the company, that might be as simple as telling them to knock it off, or might involve a complicated scheme to convince another company to recruit them away. When all else fails, compromising photographs are always effective.

But as the situation stands, I have to maintain half a dozen passwords, many of which I only use once or twice a year. So they are written on a post it note in my desk drawer. Sure, that pisses off the data security people. But before they steal that they'll nip the $200 backup drive sitting on my desk.

about 8 months ago
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Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

ClayDowling Re:FLYOVER (336 comments)

And the GM/Nissan assembly facility in Flint. And the absolutely gigantic number of parts suppliers that feed all of these assembly plants.

about 8 months ago
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Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

ClayDowling Re:FLYOVER (336 comments)

Let's not forget Toyota's engineering facility outside of Ann Arbor. I haven't been there, but the vehicles their engineers drive are popular in the local used car market. Trucks with like-new milage but used prices.

about 8 months ago
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Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

ClayDowling Re:FLYOVER (336 comments)

>Nope, articles like this are just the dying gasps of the marketing company hired to try and attract new business to a sinking ship. They desperately need tax payers and at this point are willing to do ANYTHING (including outright lying) to attract them. DON'T go, it's a trap.

If you're interested in high tech manufacturing with a skilled workforce, it would be hard to find a better place than the automation alley counties. What you'll spend in wages will be more than made up in productivity. And you won't be spending a fortune in recruiting costs. If you build a factory your staffing problem won't be finding qualified workers, engineers or tradesmen, but getting a big enough HR department to hire them.

about 8 months ago
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Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

ClayDowling Re:FLYOVER (336 comments)

Let's not forget the world class symphony, an excellent opera company, a first rate art museum, three major sports teams, nearby excellent college teams (some people may have heard of Michigan and Michigan State), and amazing outdoor recreation opportunities. Some of the best kayaking in the midwest is a quarter mile from my back door. You can also forget wasting money on Carribean beach vacations: if you want beautiful beaches, there's nothing in the Carribean that can touch the beaches on Lake Michigan.

about 8 months ago
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Heartbleed Sparks 'Responsible' Disclosure Debate

ClayDowling As bad ideas go... (188 comments)

This notion ranks right up there. Manufacturer was told. Everybody else was then told. That's how it's supposed to work. This notion of "let's just tell our close friends and leave everybody else in the dark" is silly. You'd only wind up leaving most people open to exploit, because if you think your secret squirrel society of researchers doesn't have leaks, you're deluding yourself.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

ClayDowling Fine Woodworking, Popular Woodworking (285 comments)

Woodworking is just as geeky as the computer field, just with different materials. Both of those magazines publish an excellent print edition, combined with print ads that are still relevant and generally not annoying. In both cases they have also done an excellent job of melding their print operation with the Internet. They feature relevant columnists online who can go into greater detail about subjects in the print magazine, including a lot of excellent how-to video.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

ClayDowling Re:WHAT? (737 comments)

Running on what feul?

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Fastest, Cheapest Path To a Bachelor's Degree?

ClayDowling State Schools (370 comments)

Apply to a local state funded university. Talk with an admissions counselor about your goals and how well your associates will transfer (10 years old, the answer is usually Not At All). State schools provide the best bang for the buck. It also helps that their programs tend to be quite good. You also have to accept the fact that this isn't going to be convenient or easy. If it was easy to get a degree worth the paper it was printed on, everybody would have one.

If you just want to throw money at the problem and don't care about the quality of the degree, find the online program with the biggest advertising budget. Ideally somebody who can advertise on broadcast channels during prime time. The degree won't be well respected, but if you're doing this as a checkbox item it hardly matters. Just avoid taking on debt to do it. The private programs are expensive, and have a terrible track record for defaults on student loans (probably because of the expense).

about 9 months ago
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Facebook Introduces Hack: Statically Typed PHP

ClayDowling So many bugs (230 comments)

So many of the bugs that have tripped me up over the years would have been solved by simply having static typing.

about 9 months ago

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