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Ask Slashdot: Am I Too Old To Learn New Programming Languages?

bb5ch39t young man ... (772 comments)

I'm 58. Am I'm still learning "new" languages. In college, many years ago, I learned COBOL, Fortran, PL/I, S/370 assembler, APL, and SNOBOL. Over the years, I've added BASH shell scripting, Python, PHP, Java, JavaScript, ICON, Delphi, Turbo Pascal, Modula II, Erlang, Haskell. I'm not even bothering to mention Groovy and Scala as they are just basically Java variants. If I can learn new stuff, you can too. The hard part of programming is figuring out what is really required and attention to detail.

more than 3 years ago
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Chief NSA Lawyer Hints That NSA May Be Tracking US Citizens

bb5ch39t I pity anyone monitoring me (213 comments)

They will die of boredom. M-F - go to work/go home. Sat: go grocery shopping, go home. Sunday: go to church, go home. At home: surf Internet, mainly technology sites. This site is one of the "extremist" sites I go to. Damn, I'm boring.

more than 3 years ago
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Share Links, Become Extradited To the US

bb5ch39t How a city can use the same tactics to raise money (244 comments)

If someone in the UK can be brought to the US for violating an US law in the UK, then I suggest that all cities pass a law stating that the maximum speed limit on all public roads in their state be set at 30 MPH. That way, for instance, the city of Dallas can ticket all highway drivers in Ft. Worth for violating the law. PROFIT!!

more than 3 years ago
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The world will end ...

bb5ch39t Re:Long time (585 comments)

"Mutineer's Moon" posited that humanity on Earth is composed of the descendants of a abortive mutiny upon a star ship. So, for all we know, we are only one planet of humanity in a galaxy of planets with human variants who have all technically degenerated. Or were spread via DNA "seeding" as I seen one scientist recommend. He says not to send people, but automated ships which can then engineer a new human race on a compatible planet via genetic engineering. "Intelligent evolution" some might label it.

more than 3 years ago
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Favorite Sony Gaffe?

bb5ch39t Re:The Build Quality Of Their Notebooks (329 comments)

Linux causes the letters to rub off because it remains useful longer, thus extending the life of the hardware, leading to more keyboard usage, leading to greater friction on the keys, leading to the letters to become more worn. QED.

more than 3 years ago
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For Security, My Wi-Fi Access Point Relies On:

bb5ch39t Re:Missing option... (458 comments)

Bitter Apple on the cable? Usually works with puppies. I don't know about cats. They're so perverse that they'd probably enjoy it.

more than 3 years ago
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For Security, My Wi-Fi Access Point Relies On:

bb5ch39t Re:WEP + MAC filtering (458 comments)

I have about 6 or so which broadcast and SSID. The SSIDs are 2WIREnnn where nnn is a 3 digit number. Most are WPA encrypted. One is WEP. I am not sure, but I'd bet these are AT&T wireless customers. I currently use WPA-PSK. I'm going to install DD-WRT and FreeRADIUS to go to WPA-Enterprise. Unless I go with that OpenVPN solution which I've been reading about here. I can connect the router to the 2nd eth on my main Linux box. Sounds interesting.

more than 3 years ago
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For Security, My Wi-Fi Access Point Relies On:

bb5ch39t Re:Missing Option (458 comments)

Hum, I wonder how difficult this would be to use with my Android phone and tablet?

more than 3 years ago
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The Importance of Lunch

bb5ch39t Re:Lunchbreaks (475 comments)

Agree. The head of the IT department had a grand idea: "Let's all take the afternoon off and go to the bowling alley." When response was anaemic, I was told he exploded in fury that his "kindness" was unappreciated. For me, this would have lengthened my work day and forced me to drive an extra 10 miles to get home. Not to mention that I have such bad arthritis that I can't pick up a bowling ball or even walk well any more (old fart, here).

more than 3 years ago
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The Importance of Lunch

bb5ch39t Lunch? (475 comments)

I don't usually eat lunch when I'm at work. I occasionally get a bag of cookies and a cola around noon. Not that I could. I'm just not hungry. The thought of actually driving somewhere during lunch hour is terrifying. "At least I'm not deliberately aiming for you!" is the attitude of most drivers around here. And $4.00/gallon gas doesn't help.

more than 3 years ago
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For Security, My Wi-Fi Access Point Relies On:

bb5ch39t Re:Multiple? (458 comments)

I generally agree with you. But, unless I am specifically targeted, I only need to be more difficult than average to discourage most thieves. Like one person said: "I don't need to out run the cheetah! I only need to out run YOU!"

more than 3 years ago
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The Tablet Debate: 3G Or Wi-Fi?

bb5ch39t Re:Too pricey. (395 comments)

I agree. I have a WiFi-only Motorola XOOM. I use is mainly at home on my WiFi. I also take it to my doctor's office and the hospital. And they have free WiFi on their premises. As do most other places that I go. I don't need to use my tablet in my actual car, so 3G is an expensive and unnecessary option for me. If I do ever need it in a no-Wifi place with any regularity, I can buy a 3G mobile WiFi hotspot device from my cell provider. Or try to tether to my cell phone.

more than 3 years ago
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MS Wants Laws To Block Products Made By Software Pirates

bb5ch39t Re:Good for US economy (617 comments)

Remember the Coke vs. Coke Zero ads? OK, that was "in fun" and not serious.

more than 3 years ago
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MS Wants Laws To Block Products Made By Software Pirates

bb5ch39t Re:Good for US economy (617 comments)

A problem my boss talked about was a software product produced in Quebec. The technical spoke very poor English, being very fluent in French as you might expect. My boss doesn't speak French. Only English and Spanish (Mexican version). There was nobody in the office, other than in marketing, who spoke English well. Never did get the problem resolved due to this language barrier. Not their technician's fault. Not our fault. It was their marketing for selling the product in the US without bothering to tell us that support was in French only.

My point: Your support people need to fluently speak the customer's language. Not the other way around. If I want to sell software in France, I'd better learn to speak French intelligibly. Likewise for Germany, Italy, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, ... . If I can't, I need to contract with somebody who can. Again, intelligibly. Not just some low cost provider who won't be a true partner with me.

more than 3 years ago
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Why the AT&T and T-Mobile Merger Is Bad For Consumers

bb5ch39t Re:This sucks (367 comments)

Same here. I deliberately did NOT go with ATT. I guess I should have gone with Sprint or Verizon.

more than 3 years ago
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I'd rather my paycheck be denominated in ...

bb5ch39t Re:Obvious Missing - GOLD (868 comments)

To me, inherent value is something that I can use directly. Such as food and clothing. Petroleum, at least unrefined, is not much direct use. So, if society is to collapse as some have said, I think MREs would be a good idea. They keep basically forever and can be used to say alive. Or maybe guns and ammo. Can't be used directly, but can be used to get what is needed - if you're that type of person. "Gold won't get you good mercenaries. But good mercenaries will get you gold!"

more than 3 years ago
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Should Employees Buy Their Own Computers?

bb5ch39t No. (498 comments)

My machines belong to me. The stuff on them is mine, not the company's. And I don't want any confusion about that. I have VPN access from home to the corporate LAN. We also have a Windows "work at home" server which is accessible via MS's mstsc. I use that, not the VPN/LAN. I use Linux at home and rdesktop to access that server. Once on that server, I use mstsc to access my work desktop. Why? it makes my home machine safer. My home machine is more of a "dumb terminal" which cannot be infected by or infect anything at work. Or at least it is significantly less likely. I'm not aware of any virus which can spread over an mstsc link. Which means little, given my ignorance. My home system is behind a firewall/router, so hopefully it is too much trouble to crack. I don't need "impossible", just need "harder than average" to discourage most. Running Linux and no Windows also helps.

more than 3 years ago
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Is Linux At the End of Its Life Cycle?

bb5ch39t Re:And Windows is? (676 comments)

maybe so. But that's one reason I like Linux for my desktop. It makes me a smaller target. Even though, in my heart of hearts, I believe that a "as distributed" good Linux distro is more resistant than a "standard" MS version of Windows (with no add on security, virus scanners, et al). But, in this case, both sides simply are opinion because a true test (i.e. using real hackers attacking a real user's system) is simply not possible.

more than 3 years ago
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Desktop Linux Is Dead

bb5ch39t Re:wrong OS? (1348 comments)

Though I personally prefer my Linux/KDE to my Mac Mini, I have a friend who __used to be__ a Windows partisan. Until he was forced to get a Mac laptop. Now he is in love with the Mac instead of Windows. It is a nice system. And nowhere near as vulnerable as an average Windows system.

more than 3 years ago

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