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DNA sequencing of coffee's best use:

NewWorldDan Re:Not quite (228 comments)

Nope. Caffeine. Decaf isn't a problem, but energy drinks are. Caffeine is actually the leading cause of GI problems.

about two weeks ago

DNA sequencing of coffee's best use:

NewWorldDan Re:Not quite (228 comments)

For some of us, caffeine causes horrible gastro-intestinal distress. A naturally decaf bean that tastes more like the regular thing? Sign me up.

about two weeks ago

Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

NewWorldDan Re:Trade school vs College (546 comments)

In terms of hiring, I have yet to see a college or trade school that does an adequate job. Fundamentally, I'm hiring people to develop web apps on the MS MVC stack. That requires a bit of theory, architecture, security, and hands on coding skills. If you can't actually code, you're worthless. I give all applicants a CS101 level coding test. Anyone worth hiring will be done in under 5 minutes. From there, it turns in to an interview about your theoretical knowledge and patterns. Anyone without a basic grasp of security and best practices is a liability. And most recent grads, even if they have all that covered, take 6-12 months to really become useful. At which time, they expect to get paid a boatload of money, except I've got to somehow account for the expense of training them to be useful. It's all kind of frustrating, really,.

about three weeks ago

Why Phone Stores Should Stockpile Replacements

NewWorldDan Re:Bad Advice (253 comments)

His columns aren't always terrible, but this one was particularly dumb. Oh no, I'm so god damn special that I can't wait 2 days to get my phone replaced. If it's that big of a deal, either get better insurance or buy your own spare phone.

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

NewWorldDan Re:Why do CS grads become lowly programmers? (637 comments)

Is it too much to ask that whatever their course of study they take at least one class on the principles of web application security? When I can hack your web app six ways before lunch time, there's a major gap in your education.

about a month and a half ago

A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

NewWorldDan Re:shift of blame. (419 comments)

Fraud is fraud. They aren't going after the banks, just arresting the actual criminal.

This scam is nothing new. I fell for it once 20 years ago when I was 18. The customer told me I needed to use the number printed on the card to get an authorization code. Being 18 and not knowing any better, that's what I did. Everything seemed legit during the phone call, I punched it in to the card system, and the scammer walked away with a very nice laptop.

Now that I know how the scam works, I could easily spot it and have the guy arrested. Asking the typical register jockey to do so? Not likely. I'm actually a little surprised that override codes are still a thing. The last time I worked a register (about 13 years ago), a declined card was a declined card, no exceptions.

about 2 months ago

Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

NewWorldDan Alternate view (354 comments)

Alternately, you could claim that they cut Saturday processing instead of raising prices. I'm hardly outraged about this.

about a month ago

Human Blood Substitute Could Help Meet Donor Blood Shortfall

NewWorldDan Re:I used to donate blood... (172 comments)

By law, all the blood donations in the US have to come from volunteers -- donors are not allowed to sell blood

Then fix the law. I'll give my blood away for free when everyone working at the blood bank and the hospital start working for free as well. Until then, my O-Neg blood is staying where it is. Frankly, it takes balls to ask me to donate when everyone else in the system is in there for the money. Pay people for blood and the shortages will disappear. At least in the US. 3rd world countries may have other institutional problems getting in the way.

about 3 months ago

The Ethics Cloud Over Ballmer's $2 Billion B-Ball Buy

NewWorldDan Re:the summary is a lie (398 comments)

With the long term capital gains tax rate at 15%, I'd just pay the tax. Odds are that rate is going back up at some point in the not too distant future.

about 3 months ago

Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'

NewWorldDan Re:By mistake? (711 comments)

Oh, I've bought a few phones that were, in hindsight, mistakes. I knew what I was buying, I just didn't know it was crap. Android prior to Gingerbread was crap, and even Gingerbread was kind of iffy. Fortunately, smartphones have reached a point where even the cheap phones are pretty nice. My S3 is approaching 2 years old and I may continue to use it for another 2 years.

about 4 months ago

Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

NewWorldDan Re:Already being done in the US (493 comments)

I always fill out the conscientious objector form, even though my kid is vaccinated. It's none of the government's business. Yep, I'm one of those people.

about 4 months ago

Virtual DVDs, Revisited

NewWorldDan Re:Sigh (147 comments)

He's a columnist. He's probably more qualified than the idiots who write for my local newspaper. But his job is to write something even if he doesn't really have anything to say.

And in this case, there's not much to say. Movie streaming, DVD sales, rentals, etc., are tied up in a web of contracts and distribution agreements, and it's entirely possible that a studio couldn't sell streaming on some things even if they wanted to. Also, a lot of movies are available on Amazon Instant Video as 24 hours rentals. Ta Da. The challenge for Amazon, Netflix, and the studios is how do they milk the most money out of consumers while at the same time satisfying all of their existing contractual obligations. They're all smart companies, it's just more complicated than poor Bennett understands.

about 4 months ago

With the Surface Pro, Microsoft Is Trying To Recreate the PC Market

NewWorldDan Re:Surface: the only Hope (379 comments)

They're a fantastic business machine. They really are.

But at the same time, Microsoft is losing a whole generation of users who are learning that they don't need Microsoft. I would argue that a lot of Apple's success today stems from the fact that they were the dominant machine in schools 30 years ago.

Kids today are running around with 7" tablets. Sure, they're infotainment, but they do everything on those tablets. Web, Skype, Netflix, they type up homework, and of course, play games. It is a major strategic mistake to ignore the 7" tablet market.

about 3 months ago

5 Years Later, 'Do Not Track' System Ineffective

NewWorldDan Re:EFF's Privacy Badger (254 comments)

I use a DNS (hosts file) based ad blocker. Works great. Although I'm less concerned about being tracked than I am about someone using ad networks as a vector for malware.

I'm not opposed to advertising, but until ad networks can be trusted, I'm going to leave the blocks in place.

about 3 months ago

Silicon Valley To Get a Cellular Network Just For Things

NewWorldDan Re:Why? (42 comments)

It's called equipment monitoring. I make a monitoring system for stand-by generators. It turns out that there are laws about how often you can run your generator in a non-emergency fashion in some states. My monitoring service costs a tiny fraction of the fine for an incomplete log book. As an added benefit, it can automatically notify your maintenance company that the generator needs repair or fuel.

No one cares about connecting your toaster to the internet. However, there are a lot of monitoring applications that can really benefit from a low cost low bandwidth service.

about 4 months ago

Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

NewWorldDan Re:Just Tack on a Fee (626 comments)

Taxing EVs makes perfect sense. They still need roads to be built and maintained.

Adding an enforcement fee for a car that doesn't need enforcement is just absurd. If the number of tickets being written drops because there are no more speeding cars and reckless drivers, then just reduce the size of the police force. You don't need patrol cops any more and that's a good thing. Instead of employing people as patrol cops, they can instead work as artists or scientists or something that makes the world better instead of being a necessary evil.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Minimum Programming Competence In Order To Get a Job?

NewWorldDan Re:How do I check my level? (466 comments)

How do you check your level? Here's a little test...

Test 1: write a program that loops through the number 1 to 20. If the number is a multiple of 3, write "Fizz", if the number is a multiple of 5, write "Buzz", if the number is a multiple of 3 and 5, write "FizzBuzz". For all other numbers, just write the number.

Test 2: read a text file full of numbers, sort it, and write out the sorted list of numbers back out to a second text file.

If you can do both in under 15 minutes, you're at least a 7/10, and I may have a job for you. Seriously. I hire programmers and 3 out of 4 can't do that. One guy with 5 years experience took almost an hour to produce 2 programs that were almost correct. I rate myself a 9/10, which says less about my skills than it does about 90% of the people working in the industry.

about 4 months ago

A Look at Smart Gun Technology

NewWorldDan Re:Solution without a problem (765 comments)

The problem isn't the lack of market. You develop a smart gun because you think you can get politicians to mandate smart guns. That's why there's all the hate mail and threats from gun nuts. They don't want these guns, it's a dumb idea, and it will probably be forced on them eventually.

about 4 months ago

Ben Starr Answers Your Questions About Sustainability and Kitchen Tech

NewWorldDan Re:Beer with bacon fat and maple syrup (46 comments)

I've tried the Voodoo Maple Bacon beer, and that was enough to halt any thoughts I might have had about brewing with either bacon or maple. Lately, I've been working on making light beers (a very challenging task!) that are still interesting (an even more challenging task!). Ultimately, the problem with home brewing is that it was starting to make me fat.

Still, I make a few full bodied beers to keep me happy and sane during the cold winter months.

about 4 months ago

Comcast: Destroying What Makes a Competitive Internet Possible

NewWorldDan Re:That's why Atlanta (and other cities) ... (227 comments)

Close... What cities actually need is a functioning marketplace for internet service. Right now, the driving cost, the barrier to entry, is putting wires or cables in the ground. If you uncouple the last mile from providing service, it gets really easy for ISPs to get in to the market. Google Fiber is just like any other ISP. They want to run the competition out of town so that they can get top dollar for their service. They want to be a monopoly. I assure you, if they had the same market penetration as Comcast, they would be just as bad. The best way to prevent this is to make the last mile a local utility. The ISP only needs to run fiber to the neighborhood and then cross connect their own customers.

about 4 months ago



How to respond to a fishing expodition

NewWorldDan NewWorldDan writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NewWorldDan (899800) writes "I recently had a phone call from some gentlemen with very thick foreign accents. They claimied to be from Microsoft and had detected a malware infection on my PC and were going to help me fix it. I kept them on the line as long as I could to keep them from bothering anyone else. I'd never received a scam call like this before, much less one so blatant, so I'm wondering what should one do in a situation like this?"


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