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Comments

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Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

Tony Isaac There will always be stupid lawsuits (99 comments)

Some people will sue McDonalds when they spill hot coffee on themselves. Some people will sue a building owner when they trip and fall. Some people will sue to try to get back their IP that they clearly gave away to the public domain. We can't stop stupid people from being stupid.

Only a (stupid) lawyer could love a copyright loophole like the one described in the article. But we can't live in fear of these people. If somebody dedicates their work to the public domain, we have to trust that they will keep their word. Sometimes they don't, but sometimes people don't honor legally binding contracts, either.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Tony Isaac Ecosystem (488 comments)

It's not the language, it's the ecosystem.

The fact is, I don't want to write every function and class from scratch. With JavaScript, C#, C++, or Java, there are tons of source code snips, classes, and libraries out there to do just about anything you could imagine doing on a computer. This lets me (mostly) focus on what I'm trying to get done, rather than focusing on how to make the tools to get my job done.

After using dozens of languages in my career, I'm pretty language-agnostic. Most of them can do the job. But the ones that make me the most productive, are the ones that are thriving on Stack Overflow and Code Project.

5 days ago
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FCC May Permit Robocalls To Cell Phones -- If They Are Calling a Wrong Number

Tony Isaac Re:Wrong direction (217 comments)

I mostly agree. But there are some kinds of robocalls that are actually helpful. Our kids' school, for example, uses a robo-call system to let parents know when school is canceled due to weather or other reasons.

about two weeks ago
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FCC May Permit Robocalls To Cell Phones -- If They Are Calling a Wrong Number

Tony Isaac Re:Time to abandon normal phones? (217 comments)

Right. Maybe we should all switch to Skype, or Facebook, or email, for all our communication. The telemarketers would never find us there!

about two weeks ago
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Study: Belief That Some Fields Require "Brilliance" May Keep Women Out

Tony Isaac Belief? (218 comments)

The summary, and article, are predicated on the notion that it can't be true that certain occupations require inborn ability.

The truth is, people are born with certain talents and abilities. Some are good at art, some are good at science,, some are good at teaching. Why do we keep trying to force everyone to be equally good at everything?

about two weeks ago
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The Importance of Deleting Old Stuff

Tony Isaac There is no sure way to delete (177 comments)

Once you type words into a computer, whether as email text or documents, you have to assume they will be retrievable by someone at any point in the future. Even if your company has automated retention policies, somebody could easily forward or save whatever you write, an email server somewhere could retain what you sent, a backup system could archive it.

Document retention policies are like school zero-tolerance rules. They are stupid to begin with, and they don't achieve the desired result.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

Tony Isaac You've got mail! (790 comments)

Once upon a time, AOL was king.

about three weeks ago
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Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

Tony Isaac Poker isn't really about math (340 comments)

It's about psychology: guessing what your opponents hold, whether you can beat what you think they hold, or whether you can bluff them into folding.

I'm betting that a good human player could pretty quickly learn how this bot plays, and learn how to react to various scenarios to defeat it...regardless of the math.

about three weeks ago
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The Missing Piece of the Smart Home Revolution: The Operating System

Tony Isaac Advertisers (252 comments)

The only people who want a "smart home revolution" are advertisers. They would love to be able to show you advertisements on your refrigerator, stove, thermostat, and everywhere else.

about a month ago
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If the Programmer Won't Go To Silicon Valley, Should SV Go To the Programmer?

Tony Isaac Programming is NOT helped by isolation (294 comments)

Programming is a creative activity that is greatly enhanced by teams of programmers being present together in one place. Team members feed off each other, and perform far better than they could in isolation. Sure, programming CAN be done remotely, but not at the same level.

This is true not only at the individual level, but at the corporate level. There is a reason software companies congregate in Silicon Valley, why oil companies congregate in Houston, and entertainment companies congregate in Hollywood. The talent pools for these industries has been built up over a long period of time, and establishing similar talent pools elsewhere is no easy task.

It works both ways: a software company in Silicon Valley has a much easier time finding good programmers than software companies elsewhere, and programmers in Silicon Valley have a much easier time finding good jobs there, than elsewhere.

about a month ago
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Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

Tony Isaac Why not use it, if it works? (303 comments)

If programming were strictly about efficiently providing instructions to computers, then anthropomorphism would be wasteful and counter-productive. Think about all of the code and processor cycles devoted to displaying data as windows, folders, icons, or just plain aesthetics. Those metaphors are highly wasteful of computer processing power.

But the point is, computers are, above all, a tool for people. So why not make them function in a way that is understandable to people? If anthropomorphism helps programmers understand the interconnections of complex software, then by all means, we should use it! If the metaphors break down, fix the metaphor, or use a different one. It's how we think. It's OK if it's not perfect, as long as it gets the job done.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are Progressive Glasses a Mistake For Computer Users?

Tony Isaac Multifocal contact lenses (464 comments)

I don't like progressive glasses, or any glasses for that matter. I love my multifocal contact lenses, Typical multifocals have five focal lengths, and you can't even see where each ring is, your eyes just naturally move to where the text is clear. There is no going back to glasses for me!

about a month ago
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How Amazon's Ebook Subscriptions Are Changing the Writing Industry

Tony Isaac iBooks (250 comments)

This is just iTunes, but for books. The book industry was just a little slower to go digital. They will go, kicking and screaming, but they will go. And the result will be a win for consumers, and even a win for authors (maybe except for the few who are household names).

about a month ago
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Glowing Hobbit Sword Helps You Find Unsecured Wi-Fi

Tony Isaac I knew a guy in college that would have liked this (67 comments)

At the time, he was always running around in a ninja outfit. But this idea would have been just enough to get him to change costumes. Hint: If you're older than 12, you might want to consider wearing this getup strictly in your own house!

about a month ago
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Federal Judge: Facebook Must Face Suit For Scanning Messages

Tony Isaac Is Google next? (48 comments)

Or Yahoo, Microsoft, Twitter...pretty much EVERY email provider scans messages for the purpose of advertising.

I'm not sure whether 1) this judge is stupid, or 2) there are a whole lot of tech companies in a lot of trouble!

about a month ago
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The World of YouTube Bubble Sort Algorithm Dancing

Tony Isaac More useful as a dance... (68 comments)

...than as a sorting algorithm!

about a month ago
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Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford

Tony Isaac Smart kids are usually socially awkward (224 comments)

Face it, smart kids were mercilessly teased in school since a long time before 1994. But being socially awkward, these kids stick to what they ARE good at, like tinkering with computers. This provides an escape for them, since they don't have a clue how to be accepted by others.

Girls tend to mature socially earlier than boys. They DO understand how to relate to others socially, and they don't want any part of the kind of treatment they see their smart male friends enduring. So...they do the smart thing...they stay away.

Is this all a terrible injustice? Probably. But we shouldn't be blaming the men. They are the ones who stuck with their quest despite the pressure. If there is anyone to blame, blame Hollywood, which (at the time) produced movie after movie reinforcing the "nerd" stereotype.

about a month ago
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Schneier Explains How To Protect Yourself From Sony-Style Attacks (You Can't)

Tony Isaac Re:Sure... (343 comments)

Air gaps aren't what they used to be. These days, even desktop computers have WiFi and Bluetooth. I guess you'd need to work in a Faraday cage as well...nice.

about a month and a half ago
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In IT, Beware of Fad Versus Functional

Tony Isaac Author doesn't understand agile (153 comments)

Nor do many people who profess to use it.

In 25 years, I have yet to see a type of project that couldn't benefit from an agile approach...done correctly, of course. At its core, Agile is about breaking down a big project into manageable pieces. This process can be done logically, and it can be done nonsensically.

about a month and a half ago
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How Identifiable Are You On the Web?

Tony Isaac Not impressed (160 comments)

Below are the results I got. Really? So I'm the only person who speaks English, running Chrome on Windows 7, in the Central time zone? If that's enough to identify me, then I'm feeling pretty exposed.

Google, on the other hand, can probably tell me my life history, with all the data they have on me.

Yes! (You can be tracked!)
34.59 % of observed browsers are Chrome, as yours.
22.54 % of observed browsers are Chrome 39.0, as yours.
58.71 % of observed browsers run Windows, as yours.
40.04 % of observed browsers run Windows 7, as yours.
26.96 % of observed browsers have set "en"as their primary language, as yours.
1.09 % of observed browsers have UTC-6 as their timezone, as yours.
You have the only browser out of 11099 with this fingerprint.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Newsweek will go all-digital in 2013

Tony Isaac Tony Isaac writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Tony Isaac writes "Newsweek has announced that it will cease print publication at the end of the year, going all-digital. The new digital edition will still be based on a subscription model. Who will be next?"
Link to Original Source

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