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Ask Slashdot: Best Book For 11-Year-Old Who Wants To Teach Himself To Program?

amasiancrasian K&R Text (525 comments)

I am not sure if your 11-year old is ready for the K&R text, but if he wants a full stack education, the K&R book will give him in-depth knowledge of how low level languages work. It's clearly written, succinct, and arguably one of the best technical manuals ever written. I will caution that It will require more maturity and self motivation to finish, but he'll go through the book understanding how almost all software works. If he is truly motivated, I would even go lower level to leading him to computer organization and have him play around with assembly using a MIPS emulator. Things like caller or callee saved conventions will make more sense to him, as well as pointers and such. Knowing C opens the doors to all programming languages, and if he's more pragmatic he'll probably pick an interpreted language to learn next, or if he's more math-minded, a language like Haskell will follow.

more than 2 years ago
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Woz Fears Stifling of Startups Due to Patent Wars

amasiancrasian Creative energy gone from Apple (300 comments)

If you looked at the recent Apple store front displays, or even their recent TV advertisements, they're horrible. They're nowhere as good as the Steve Jobs era TV ads (the Siri ad was very robotic, and the iPad ad didn't put the human using the iPad in the limelight, but the iPad itself and how wonderful its screen is: the narration made me think it was a bank commercial when I didn't look towards the TV). Instead, the Apple storefront displays feature some preprinted image of their latest product, instead of the crazy floating balloons.

more than 2 years ago
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The Risk of a Meltdown In the Cloud

amasiancrasian When it rains, it pours (154 comments)

When it rains, it pours. I've noticed there's a lot of aversion to cloud based software, due to not having control over the platform and pricing at the pleasure of the vendors.

more than 2 years ago
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Explaining Oracle's Sun Takeover — "For the Hardware"

amasiancrasian Re:Sun vs Apple's margins on hardware (154 comments)

To build on a point that you are making, though, Oracle would like to be Apple for the business world. Steve Job is known to be a close friend of Larry Ellison. Larry Ellison also takes business very personally--to him, if he has a grudge against you, it's not enough to just crush you. He wants to see you suffer.

I'm not surprised Oracle wants to provide an entire database stack like Apple systems and Apple's software, in the manner of how they are sold. I don't think it will be too long before we will see Oracle taking many of Apple's steps, such as supporting their software on only their equipment, as that is part of their "systems" strategy. Rather, they're not in it for the hardware business, but in order for you to have an Oracle database, you might just be forced to buy Oracle hardware to run it. Fortunately, Oracle cannot afford to do it just yet. If they can convince a significant number to do it, you may just be required to be running Oracle DB on an Oracle server with Oracle OS.

It's not much different with Apple's software such as Logic Studio or Final Cut. If you want to run either of those packages, you'd have to buy a Mac system. I can see why such a business model seems so attractive to Larry.

more than 4 years ago
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iPhone OS 4.0 Brings Multitasking, Ad Framework For Apps

amasiancrasian Re:Multitasking (983 comments)

How I wish I had mod points for you! Steve Jobs also jokes that he's God:

Q: Why have you veered away from widgets on the iPad? A: We just shipped it on Saturday. And then we rested on Sunday. Q: So widgets are possible? A: Everything is possible.

Although some aren't so sure he's joking...

more than 4 years ago
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Could Colorblindness Cure Be Morally Wrong?

amasiancrasian Re:What the... I don't even... (981 comments)

Exactly! There is also the "moral" question on whether or not doctors should treat diabetes or any genetic condition, because essentially what "survival of the fittest" would normally take care of is being artificially perpetuated by human beings. I personally think that's a load of BS, but the argument is valid. But that's what differentiates humans from animals is that the "survival of the fittest" also includes using your head.

more than 4 years ago
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Dell To Leave China For India

amasiancrasian Re:Wow (352 comments)

Taiwan is a part of the Republic of China. Theoretically, there are two Chinas (PRC and ROC). KMT and DPP have been wrangling on renaming ROC to just Taiwan, but the threat of missiles being deployed to Taiwan upon renaming has all but stopped the debate.

more than 4 years ago
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Dell To Leave China For India

amasiancrasian Re:Cultural revolution (352 comments)

He is correct. When China was celebrating its 60th anniversary, it was a sore point for many in Taiwan (Republic of China). 1949 was the year that the Communists moved the capital of China back to Beijing (closer to Mao's power base). Nanjing was the capital of Taiwan (Republic of China) until last year (2009, hence PRC's 60th anniversary).

more than 4 years ago
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Dell To Leave China For India

amasiancrasian Re:Wow (352 comments)

I thought it was interesting that it was only last year that the Republic of China (Taiwan) Legislative Yuan changed the official capital from Nanjing to Taipei. The reasoning was quite sound, given that ROC doesn't of yet have much a chance of winning Nanjing back, so the provisional capital might as well become the permanent capital.

more than 4 years ago
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Oracle Shuttering OpenSSO

amasiancrasian Jasig CAS - OpenSSO Alternative (128 comments)

Why not use Jasig CAS instead? Not that it will be any consolation that Oracle is trying to profit off its expensive SSO solution, but CAS is easy to implement with a Java and Ruby version available, and hundreds of universities are using them. We're a private business and we use CAS easily with phpCAS and RubyCAS-client. It's easy to use and implement, and systems such as PeopleSoft can easily be CASified. While it's sad OpenSSO is being discontinued, CAS is not an option likely to disappear any time soon. We strong recommend those considering replacing their OpenSSO system to move to CAS.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Sends Flowers To Internet Explorer 6 Funeral

amasiancrasian Re:Hate to speak ill of the dead, but... (151 comments)

No worries, IE6 will come back from the dead. It's not truly dead. It just wants you to think it is. Ever see the movie I Am Legend?

more than 4 years ago
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Hollywood Treats Hackers Pretty Well

amasiancrasian Re:Yes, but (216 comments)

Trinity used nmap and a tool called `sshnuke,' a tool that presumably exploited the SSH1 CRC32 exploit. If you want to talk about realism, nothing really gets more real than this in the movies. Here's a picture of this Hollywood anomaly.

more than 4 years ago
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Xerox Sues Google, Yahoo Over Search Patents

amasiancrasian Re:Xerox Gets a Pass (202 comments)

Oh, and let's not forget the beginnings of PDF, via InterScript, later PostScript, where former Xerox employees later founded a small start-up called Adobe...

more than 4 years ago
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Malware Found Hidden In Screensaver On Gnome-Look

amasiancrasian Re:Not more safe (611 comments)

I would like to clarify that when I mean "not any more secure," I mean the current version of Windows 7 that implements a good permissions framework along with UAC. Mac OS X/*nix have a leg up with a strong permissions-based system from the very get-go.

more than 4 years ago
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Malware Found Hidden In Screensaver On Gnome-Look

amasiancrasian Re:Not more safe (611 comments)

I've been telling many the same thing, but with one exception; Mac and *nix have started out with a better permissions system and therefore users who have downloaded an app from the Internet have been trained to be doubly sure about whatever it is that requires sudo power (e.g, the Mac sudo GUI prompt). Microsoft UAC, on the other hand, has had to deal with transitioning software developers to not write in "Program Files" and other public areas and to save data to personal home folders.

While I'll agree with you that Mac/*nix are not any more secure than Windows, the Mac/*nix users have been taught to take a sudo prompt seriously, while in the early stages and growing pains of UAC, Windows users were easily annoyed by UAC prompts and therefore took the UAC prompts less seriously, because UAC prompted were being triggered by transitioning software developers that did not save data in the user's home folder.

In the end, the security of any system relies on the ability for the user to authenticate and verify software downloaded. But making it more difficult, such as requiring an administrator password to be entered for elevated privileges, makes users more cautious of software requiring a sudo prompt. And while that's not inherently any more secure, at least users think twice before entering their password.

more than 4 years ago
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Iron Mountain's Experimental Room 48

amasiancrasian Re:iron mountain facility (87 comments)

I actually like the office that the Vice President of Engineering has. Wouldn't it be much fun to walk into an underground lair to work every day?

more than 4 years ago
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US No Longer Leading the World In Spam

amasiancrasian Re:What? (96 comments)

U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A!!

more than 4 years ago
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US Government Using PS3s To Break Encryption

amasiancrasian Re:Trust me. (570 comments)

Well, how else are government employees going to convince purchasers to buy PS3s so they can play games? They can now "crack" passwords AND play Dragon Age: Origins! Win-win!

about 5 years ago
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PayPal Introduces Open API

amasiancrasian Re:redirect is better (128 comments)

+1 post; allowing website owners to directly process user/pass info for PayPal is potentially a dangerous move if all sorts of security audits/nefarious site owners are processing login info. There's definitely potential for abuse because the redirect kept the user/pass separate from the app processing. We implemented SSO handling via CAS because we could train users never to type in their user/pass on any site except for sso.bigcompany.com.

Further, even banks require all sorts of audits if a website is handling credit card info directly. We have to undergo all sorts of security audits (e.g are you storing cc numbers? who has access to your code? who has access to your database?) before we were even allowed to touch a cc gateway.

about 5 years ago

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