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RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores

claytongulick Re:No place for 'almost', 'not quite' and 'nearly' (423 comments)

I've been encouraged by what I'm seeing in my local Radio Shack. I just dropped a couple hundred bucks in there, bought a Beaglebone Black, some RGB LED strips (with weather proofing), a nice little USB battery/charger that has enough umph to drive the BBB, and some other odds and ends.

Going to run over there today and pick up the "tv be gone" DIY project kit for a buddy of mine for his birthday.

Also lots of Arduino stuff. I also see on their site that they've been making a bit of an effort to have blog posts about controlling some of the stuff they are selling, but it's a far cry from adafruit or the other maker sites.

They still have a long way to go if they want to really compete in that market.

about 9 months ago
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Most Alarming: IETF Draft Proposes "Trusted Proxy" In HTTP/2.0

claytongulick Misleading summary (177 comments)

From the *actual* draft:

This document describes two alternative methods for an user-agent to
            automatically discover and for an user to provide consent for a
            Trusted Proxy to be securely involved when he or she is requesting an
            HTTP URI resource over HTTP2 with TLS. The consent is supposed to be
            per network access. The draft also describes the role of the Trusted
            Proxy in helping the user to fetch HTTP URIs resource when the user
            has provided consent to the Trusted Proxy to be involved.

The entire draft is oriented around user consent and transparency to the user... where is the problem here?

The linked article by Lauren Weinstein is very heavy on sarcasm, scorn and flippant one-liners, but pretty light on technical details. From what I can discern, her primary concern is that ISP's will force all of their users to consent to them acting as a trusted proxy or refuse to serve them.

This is pretty far fetched, imho. First of all, the backlash from the average consumer would be staggering. If, every time they go to their bank's web page, they get a scary security notice "do you want to allow an intermediary at "trustedproxy.verizon.com" to see your private data?" they answer, every time, will be "hell no". And if they are then unable to access their bank account because of this... well, that's not going to be a pretty picture for L1 support.

Second, the *last* thing most ISPs want is to have to deal with yet more PCI concerns. If they end up storing your cc number and ssn in a plain-text cache, that introduces all sorts of potential problems for them.

It seems like the primary use case for this technology is in serving media-heavy content that SSL screws up, like streaming video over ssl etc... so, it would allow caching etc for various media streams that really don't need SSL. And the user could make the decision for whether they want to do it or not.

This seems like a pretty smart thing to me, I'm not sure what all the hand-wringing is about. Maybe I'm missing something obvious?

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should I Get Google Glass?

claytongulick Here were my reasons for waiting (421 comments)

A while ago I was also accepted to the glass explorers program. I was pretty excited at the time, and was planning to go ahead and get one. I'll admit to being a bit of a Google fanboy, though recently they've lost some of their shine in my eyes.

At the time, there were a few compelling reasons why I decided to wait, which I summarized here: Why I'll Wait on Glass

One thing to consider, is that along with the $1,500 price tag, unless you live close to one of the fitting centers, you'll also have to book airfare and hotel, which can be as much as the Glass itself, so that really raises the price a lot. At least, this was the case when I was invited to the program, it may have changed.

For those who don't like clicking G+ links, here's my full original post:

Why I'll Wait on Glass

So, I received my invitation to purchase #googleglass and become a #glassexplorers . Google notified me that I had 14 days to make my purchase and schedule a pickup date.

I've put a lot of thought into this, and decided not to move forward with the purchase. I'm outlining my reasons below, and I hope that the amazing folks on the Glass team can take this post with the spirit that it's intended: as constructive, objective feedback from a developer who is a huge Google fan.

When I first heard about Glass, I was gobsmacked. The notion of having a powerful, wearable computing device with an array of sensors, camera and floating UI always available to the user, with speech recognition and integration with wireless services - well frankly, I had trouble containing my excitement.

At the local bar, I waxed on (to annoying lengths, I'm sure) about how this was a revolution in technology. How it would change the world and the way we interact with it.

I shared my excitement with my family, and when I was selected as a #glassexplorers they had to pull me down out of the clouds.

I was busy planning apps that I was going to develop, I had visions of an app where I could say "ok glass, find my car" and a floating 3d compass arrow would appear and guide me.

I had visions of walking into my house and saying "ok, glass turn on the lights, lock the doors, arm security", and seeing an interactive display of all my devices. I would be able to say "ok, glass show front camera" and I would be able to look out of the security camera on my front porch.

I had ideas for interactive augmented reality games, where the user could scan the sky for alien UFO's and see 3d spaceships through the Glass display window.

I eagerly refreshed myself on OpenCV, preparing for all the computer vision awesomeness I would be able to develop (I'd already done some of this work on android tablets, using the native sdk).

With all of these visions in my head, I set out to begin development. Finally the new api was released. I sat down at my main development box, pulling up the docs, expecting to see all of the richness of the Android API plus Glass specific enhancements.

What I got was: Cards. A completely non-interactive API where I had to broker every request through a complex chain of servers where eventually, at some point, some static text or images may or may not popup on the user's screen.

I was actually in disbelief. I was sure I was missing some documentation somewhere. I poured through the docs, trying to understand what I was looking at. I felt that I must be missing something really obvious. From what I could tell, the amazing awesomness that was Glass, was limited by the API to being essentially nothing more than a SMS messaging system, similar to text messages on my cell.

None of my applications were possible. I couldn't talk to the accelerometer or other sensors. All I could do was go through a strange "add my app as a contact" process so that I could post text messages with some limited media to the user's timeline. That's it. Interactivity was limited to glorified hyperlinks that would post a message to Google's servers, then post a message to my servers, where I could eventually reply with a minimalistic message back to the user after who-knows-how-much latency.

Basically, this revolutionary piece of hardware and engineering was being hobbled by an API that was less effective than a twitter feed. It's like having a Lamborghini, but the only way you can drive it is by calling up an operator and saying "Ok, turn left. Where am I? Ok, go straight. Where am I now? Ok, turn right".

I decided to wait a while, certain that the really smart folks at Google were going to announce an additional API, that this was just the early state of things. Soon, there would be a native API that would allow me to do all of the wonderful things I had planned.

So, I've been waiting. Last week I got a message that my Glass was ready for me to pick up. I thought about it, thought about it some more and decided: I'll keep waiting.

about 9 months ago
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Britain's Eastern Coast Yields Oldest Human Footprints Outside Africa

claytongulick Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (120 comments)

That's true, however, there are two really important points here.

1) No one that I know of, no matter how far afield, follows the rules laid down in Leviticus, which was why I was so annoyed with the poster.

2) The fact that old testament rules aren't followed strictly is internally consistent. My understanding is that these old rules were superseded by the teachings of Jesus who was mostly all about not harming others.

Of course, the poster that I originally replied to is either unaware of this, or was specifically misrepresenting these things, which I felt it was necessary to call out.

about 10 months ago
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Britain's Eastern Coast Yields Oldest Human Footprints Outside Africa

claytongulick Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (120 comments)

No, just being revisionist and - once again - misleading.

1. Can I sell my daughter into slavery? Yes! [biblehub.com]
2. Should I avoid all contact with women during her period? Yes! [biblegateway.com]
3. Can I buy slaves from neighbouring nations? Yes! [biblehub.com]
4. Should I kill someone who works on a Sunday? Yes! [biblehub.com]
5. Can I eat shellfish? No! [biblehub.com]
6. I have a lazy eye. Can I go to church? No! [biblehub.com]
7. Can I get a haircut? No! [biblehub.com]

Yup, good book that.

Your phrasing, use of exclamation points, and flippant "Yup, good book that" were all clear indicators of your tone.

But not as a guide for living your life in the 21st century, which, again, is the position the OP took which I took issue with.

Saying something does not make it so. The OP did not take the position you stated. Your post was clearly intended to be derogatory and sarcastic.

Congratulations, the moderators of slashdot agreed with you. You sunk to the level of hipster group think and won karma points. Well done.

You don't need to justify yourself, you "won". I should have never wasted my time trying to help you improve your critical thinking and writing.

Please ignore my points, and carry on as you were.

about 10 months ago
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Britain's Eastern Coast Yields Oldest Human Footprints Outside Africa

claytongulick Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (120 comments)

No, I disagree. It was clear that the purpose of your comment was to score points by sneering at the Bible. It was clear that the OP's post was a joke, and poking fun at creationists. The OP was taking a sarcastic tone to illustrate some of the poorly reasoned arguments that are made by new-earth creationists.

You post, however was not that. You post cherry picked individual lines from the Bible in order to specifically misrepresent them, take them out of context in a sort of elitist, intellectually superior tone by applying current moral standards to a culture of thousands of years ago. By doing that, you treated an important book with total disregard and disrespect.

That was inappropriate.

You post was inaccurate, misleading and childish. It lowered the quality of the discussion.

about 10 months ago
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Britain's Eastern Coast Yields Oldest Human Footprints Outside Africa

claytongulick Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (120 comments)

Well, it depends on what assumptions you are making about me.

I never said I agreed with the things that I mentioned, or suggested that Leviticus contains a list of rules to live by, or what religion, if any, I ascribe to.

What I disagree with is the casual disrespect and misrepresentation that the OP treated the Bible with.

Regardless of religious preference, such an important historical document should be treated with more respect. Also, regardless of religious preference, it is a fool who goes through life believing that there isn't a great deal of wisdom contained in the Bible. Or the Koran (Quran). Or the Bhagavad Gita. I would defend any of those texts with the same fervor.

I know that it is cool to make fun of religions, especially Christians, here. It's a guaranteed way to score yourself some easy Karma (ironic!). In this case, however, I took exception to the condescending, disrespectful tone and willful ignorance of the poster.

Those points were specifically cherry picked in order to make a distorted point and to trash the Bible: "Yup, good book that"

It was done by applying current moral standards, two thousand years later, to a people, civilization and culture that were *vastly* different.

The poster made no attempt at intellectual honesty, and strictly went for "cool points". This sort of thing lowers the quality of the discussion for everyone. Even if slashdot tends to be something of a hip, liberal echo-chamber - most of us here value reasoned, intelligent debate. The poster didn't do that, so I (quite appropriately) called him out on it.

about 10 months ago
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Britain's Eastern Coast Yields Oldest Human Footprints Outside Africa

claytongulick Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (120 comments)

Ok, I try to avoid getting involved in religious conversations like this, but you are coming across as a typical ignorant elitist here, sneering down at things you clearly don't understand. We all get that you aren't religious, but that doesn't give you the right to present skewed information taken out of context. So, I'm going to completely waste my time here and present some *actual* information on each one of your points in the vain hope that in the future you will temper your snark.

Questions like:

1. Can I sell my daughter into slavery? Yes!

What you aren't saying, is that at the time selling children into slavery was a common practice throughout much of the "civilized" world. This 'law' was put in to place to *protect women*. The reason why is that normally when a child was sold into servitude, they would be freed after a period of time. Since (by far) the reason that women were taken as 'servants' or ('hand-maidens' depending on the interpretation) was as second wives or concubines, it was grossly unfair to the woman to then release her from service after she had been used as a sex object for years. No one would want to marry her, and she was essentially screwed. To protect against that, this law was put into place saying essentially, that if you're going to take this woman on, you have to care for her forever, you can't just have sex with her for a few years while she's pretty and then kick her out once she gets older.

2. Should I avoid all contact with women during her period? Yes!

Again, you're totally cherry picking here. Leviticus rules of cleanliness were generally *good* things. At the time, they simply didn't understand biology, and sanitary practices were spotty at best. This was the origin of laying down some rules for sanitary practices, which is a good thing, even if they seem strange to us now. And by the way, Leviticus' admonishments were by no means limited only to women:

Leviticus 1-5:
"Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean. And this shall be his uncleanness in regard to his discharge; whether his body runs with his discharge, or his body is stopped up by his discharge, it is his uncleanness. Every bed is unclean on which he who has the discharge lies, and everything on which he sits shall be unclean. And whoever touches his bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening."

This was relating to abnormal discharge, no one really understood STD's, they were just doing their best at the time. But great job completely misrepresenting Leviticus as anti-female in order to push some sort of agenda.

3. Can I buy slaves from neighbouring nations? Yes!

Again, you're totally misrepresenting the law here. A the time, this was incredibly progressive. Slavery was rampant and commonly accepted, to limit the bounds of slavery and who could be enslaved was a great step in the right direction. Considering that even the U.S. still hadn't worked out slavery issues as of only 140 years ago, applying 21st century morals to a progressive law created to put bounds and limits on slavery thousands of years ago... well, that's just childish.

4. Should I kill someone who works on a Sunday? Yes!

I don't even understand your point here. Are you saying this is still a problem? I mean, I agree - we need to stop the rampant slaughter of all the people who work on Sundays in America. Oh wait... you mean, this doesn't happen? At all? So, clearly it was a law intended for another time - a time that penalties were pretty damn harsh for just about any infraction. There's some question about how tightly this was interpreted and enforced even at that time. To casually insult and discard the bible in it's entirety because of some parts of it are written for a totally different time, culture and moral code is asinine. At the very least, it gives us a stunning historical insight into humanity.

Your other points are similarly cherry picked and disingenuous. You take an insulting an elitist attitude about things that you don't know the first thing about, and I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt by assuming you're just ignorant. If you're actually educated on these subjects, then you're willfully misrepresenting these things, which is much worse.

Yup, good book that.

I get that you're just fishing for cool points with this whole post, but your snide, disrespectful attitude just makes you look childish and uneducated. Religious or not, the Bible in an incredible historical document that should be treated with respect and educated thoughtfulness, not snarky cherry picking and misrepresentation.

about 10 months ago
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Kansas To Nix Expansion of Google Fiber and Municipal Broadband

claytongulick Re:You are ignoring entitlement numbers (430 comments)

This doesn't make any sense to me. Are you telling me that paying SS and Medicare are optional, that I have a choice in it? No? Then they are part of my total tax burden, just like military spending - and as a self-employed developer, I can tell you that the burden of paying both sides of SS is significant.

This sort of viewpoint of "well, those don't count because they have a separate fund" is the sort of thinking that has gotten us into this situation.

about 10 months ago
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Kansas To Nix Expansion of Google Fiber and Municipal Broadband

claytongulick You are ignoring entitlement numbers (430 comments)

Your concluding statement isn't accurate at all.

The "mandatory" spending on entitlement programs dwarfs military spending: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U...

We have a spending problem, but it's not limited just to the military budget, and it is simply not true to say that the military spending "dwarfs" the rest of the debt components. In fact, the truth is quite the opposite.

This has a nice visual breakdown of federal income and outlay: http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
Also, refer to the GAO's citizen's report for FY 2012: http://www.fms.treas.gov/fr/12... chart 3 is a nice pie chart representation of spending, please note that for FY 2012 HHS and SSA together ("entitlement spending") were 45% of the total federal budget, military spending was 21%, 30% if you include the VA.

Yes, we need to cut military spending and reduce our involvement in foreign conflicts, but that's just one part of the work that needs to be done. We need to reduce spending in all of these areas.

about 10 months ago
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Hacker Says He Could Access 70,000 Healthcare.Gov Records In 4 Minutes

claytongulick Re:New job for NSA (351 comments)

Just to escape from the politics for a moment, I actually ran into an interesting injection type attack against mongodb and php. The attack exploits the fact that php auto assigns certain variables to arrays, which when parsed my the mongo driver are interpreted as commands.

From here:

$collection->find(array(
        "username" => $_GET['username'],
        "passwd" => $_GET['passwd']
));

you can inject using something like:

login.php?username=admin&passwd[$ne]=1

I thought this was pretty cool, except for the fact that the project I was involved in was *riddled* with security holes as a result. The devs didn't believe that you could do a sql injection with mongodb until I started logging in with their users in the dev environment using the above trick.

about 10 months ago
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Soviet Union Spent $1 Billion On "Psychotronic" Arms Race With the US

claytongulick Re:It's an "ology"! (230 comments)

Yes, it really would. At one point just about every major piece of technology and science we have today would have been considered supernatural/metaphysical. Given the abundance of anecdotal evidence of "parapsychological" effects, it is completely reasonable to perform controlled experiments in order to evaluate whether those effects can be reproduced. That is the very nature of science.

It is also completely reasonable and scientific to periodically continue to perform those experiments as our tools and understanding grow, and to continue to ensure that the earlier falsification was justified and correct.

. If you're willing to entertain anything more than that then you're dealing with quasi-claims for which no amount of evidence can be used to substantiate or disprove them.

String theory?

about a year ago
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Officials Say HealthCare.gov Site Now Performing Well

claytongulick Re:Here's What I Know (644 comments)

I'm sorry, but you clearly have no idea how taxes on small businesses work. There is no "loss" or any of that nonsense. You can do taxes in two different ways, either cash basis or accrual. Either way, you pay tax on what you actually earned. This is simpler with the cash basis. The thing you may be getting confused with is when business pay tax on accrual, which is where they pay tax based on "booked" revenue, rather than actual revenue. In this case, if the actual revenue doesn't match what the booked revenue was, they are able to make an adjustment so that they only pay tax on what they actually earn.

You seem to have a (fairly typical) liberalish distaste for business - based on your clearly uneducated portrayal of how business operate. If you think that there's some sort of incentive for a small business like a dental office to earn $116 instead of $167, you're very misguided.

Additionally, you also clearly have no idea how insurance billing and negotiation work. Insurance billing and rates are done typically off of ICD9 codes, and are based on UNC (Usual and Customary), which in turn is based of of a multiple of medicare reimbursement. The provider charges a multiple of UNC as a standard practice, and then will go through a fairly difficult and lengthy negotiation process with the insurance company in order to "settle" at an agreed upon reimbursement. In fact, this process is so lengthy and difficult, there is an entire industry in health care that's dedicated to doing nothing but this, and to handle these negotiations. Take a look at a company called NCN (Nation Care Network). They are an example.

Because of the difficulty getting reimbursed in a timely manner from the insurance companies, and the cost involved in these negotiations, the providers will frequently inflate the amount they are billing, with full knowledge that they will not be reimbursed for this amount. They do this as a negotiating tactic for the insurance companies. This is the high "inflated" bill you're referring to.

It is extremely rare that anyone would actually pay that inflated amount. In fact, the providers will normally give you a nice discount off of UNC if you pay directly because it saves them the expense and hassle of getting reimbursed from the insurance companies.

The problems with the healthcare system in this country are not a result of evil money grubbing providers, or even of evil money grubbing insurance companies. The problems with the cost of healthcare are directly attributable to the regulatory environment.

If you doubt this in any way, go do some research. Go look at the cost of healthcare prior to medicare/medicaid, and then the cost of healthcare afterwards. Even a trivial bit of research will show you the huge spikes in costs. These spikes in cost are a direct result of the command economy approach to price setting in healthcare, and the fact that these rate tables are used as a basic for UNC.

The notion that adding even more of a command economy and a harsher regulatory environment is going to somehow make things better is ludicrous. The idea that putting the same people who have demonstrated their willingness to systematically abuse power in almost every scenario where power has been granted... that these people are going to make all of our lives better... this is nonsense and everyone knows it.

This entire healthcare law is about one thing: power. Anyone who is intellectually honest will recognize that. The disagreement is with whether granting these sweeping powers to a bureaucracy will make things better or worse. I don't know for sure, but I have my suspicions. Or we could ask the flood of healthcare workers and doctors that are fleeing the profession what they think about it all.

I suspect we, as a country, are going to get yet another lesson in "the law of unintended consequences".

about a year ago
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Math Advance Suggest RSA Encryption Could Fall Within 5 Years

claytongulick Re:RSA is outdated, but... (282 comments)

The mistake you're making here is failing to understand the difference between constant factor and asymptotic bounds. In computer science, algorithm analysis explicitly ignores constant factors like computer speed, compiler speed, language speed etc... because asymptotically they are irrelevant.

For non math geeks, what I mean by asymptotic bounds is the curve of execution time as the number of inputs increases. When the number of inputs is low, the dominating concern is the constant factor, but as inputs increase this quickly becomes irrelevant.

Consider this: let's calculate every possible permutation of a set of inputs. Starting with two inputs, [1,2] then it's easy - { [1,2], [2,1] }. Still pretty easy when we go to three inputs: { [1,2,3], [1,3,2], [2,1,3],[2,3,1],[3,2,1],[3,1,2] }, but when we go to four it starts to become more annoying, and by the time we go to 15 or 20, we're getting crazy with the possible number of combinations. That's because the number of possible permutations is defined by the factorial n! (a factorial is numbers multiplied in decreasing order, so 5! means 5 * 4 * 3 * 2 * 1).

Therefore calculating the possible number of permutations of a few numbers is easy, but calculating the number of permutations for many numbers takes a long time. It doesn't matter how fast the computer is, I can simply add more numbers and I will quickly outstrip your ability to calculate it.

In fact, this is going to be pretty much true of anything that runs in higher order time ( O(n ^ x) ) because as the number of inputs increases, the time required to calculate it increases exponentially. As long as x > 1, eventually, no matter how fast your computer is, the constant factor improvements gained by your computer speed will be dominated by the exponent x.

Now, when you start talking about P and NP, things get more complex, but for simplicity's sake imagine that the class of algorithms that are P are things we can "put our finger on", or technically, those whose execution times are bounded by a polynomial. NP problems are even more complex than this, in that they can't even be bounded within polynomial time constraints. Factoring numbers is part of the NP problem space, and cryptography relies on this.

The exciting/terrifying thing about this news is the notion that we can take a problem from the NP class and make it P, and if this is the case it has profound implications.

about a year ago
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US IT Worker Files Hiring Lawsuit Against Infosys, Class Action Proposed

claytongulick Re:Basis for discrimination (684 comments)

Is developing in C or asm writing a program?

Is developing in Python writing a program?

Is developing in Java writing a program?

Is developing in Javascript with NodeJS a program?

Is developing in C using NaCL for a web page writing a program?

If I take a program developed in C and port it to Javascript to run in the browser via LLVM/Emscripten does it cease to be a program?

Is this a program?
https://developer.cdn.mozilla.net/media/uploads/demos/a/z/azakai/3baf4ad7e600cbda06ec46efec5ec3b8/bananabread_1373485124_demo_package/index.html

"Web programming" is writing programs on or for the web. "Web design" is something different.

"Web programmers" are people who write software that runs in an amazing cross platform VM: the browser.

I'm one of them.

I know you were just trying to be cute with your comment, but you were legitimately called out on it because it is BS. It's best not to try to defend a bad argument. Just evaluate, learn, adjust your understand and move on.

about a year ago
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US IT Worker Files Hiring Lawsuit Against Infosys, Class Action Proposed

claytongulick Re:Basis for discrimination (684 comments)

Frankly, you're either grossly uneducated, or a troll. Either way you're showing your ignorance.

Just because you might know a little C or ASM does not give you the right to sneer at talented developers who chose different platforms. Go here and tell me these people aren't "real programmers": http://www.chromeexperiments.com/

Guess what: I code in C and asm, I hand solder my own boards. I write cross platform drivers for Windows and Mac. I'm reasonably proficient in probably every language you've ever heard of, from Clipper to RPG (on the AS400) to Java and .Net and I've been doing it for about 17 years now professionally, longer as a hobby. And you know what? I choose to spend 90% of my current development time in Javascript, both in the browser and in NodeJS.

Hopefully one day, if I work really hard and keep trying, maybe I can be considered a "programmer" in your book.

about a year ago
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Real World Stats Show Chromebooks Are Struggling

claytongulick Re:Imagine the day you're booted off Google (250 comments)

There's a mind-numbingly obvious solution to your problem here.

Become a customer.

It's very simple. Sign up and start paying for the services. I'm highly dependent on Google services, I run my whole business off them. It was an unacceptable risk to me to be locked out, or not have customer support, so I simply signed up and started paying for it.

For $5 per month, I have a phone number to call if anything goes wrong, and real customer support: http://contact.googleapps.com/?&rd=1

about a year and a half ago
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President Obama To Nominate Cable and Wireless Lobbyist To Head FCC

claytongulick Re:Third parties (304 comments)

The wonderful thing about a free society is that no one works by force (unlike statist governements).

If a consenting adult chooses to engage in a mutually beneficial contract and sell his time and service to another for an agreed upon compensation, that hardly fits your example of "capitalists have the right to the lions share of the fruits of others' labor".

The fact that a voluntary system of rewards, employment, creation, production and business opportunity is a superior system to leftist/statist "work for the common good" scheme should be obvious to anyone that can read English - because those that can read English should have read Animal Farm at some point.

about a year and a half ago
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President Obama To Nominate Cable and Wireless Lobbyist To Head FCC

claytongulick Re:Third parties (304 comments)

This is a common misunderstanding/misperception. The Libertarians vehemently oppose corporate welfare and public/private partnerships. What you're calling "pro-corporate" is really not true - they believe that in general, the market should be left alone, regulation minimized and clear separation between companies and government should exist. They are deeply suspicious of things like the military-industrial complex.

The Libertarians believe that a person has a right to the fruit of their own labors, and that people should be free from burdensome regulation and oppressive government manipulation of markets. This is not "pro corporate" this is "pro human". They also believe that just as a person should be free to succeed, they should be free to fail. The libertarians are passionately opposed to "bail outs" and "stimulus" government corporate welfare programs.

Any Libertarian who tried to pull the sort of shenanigans that we're seeing here would be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail by his/her own party.

about a year and a half ago
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Google, Apple Lead Massive List of Companies Supporting CISPA

claytongulick Re:Google hates privacy (153 comments)

Hell, have you noticed how Google's advertisements on other sites like Slashdot change based on what you've been recently searching on Google.

Yes indeed, and I'm glad. I'd rather see an ad for something I'm interested in than constant True.com or e-harmony adds.

The Internet as we know it is coming to an end.

The internet as I know it starts with the Google home page. And yes, I was there during the 1200 baud dial-up BBS days. Or are you saying you prefer Bing? Are you honestly going to tell me that we are worse off now that we have a universe of information at our fingertips than we were back in the IRC days? Really?

Everyone sees this but doesn't act. They just let Google steal all of their privacy. Google and CISPA must be stopped and it's your only time to act!

Steal my privacy? Hardly. When I walk into the Home Depot and ask the cashier where I can find a garden hose, he tells me, and also suggests some other products I might be interested in since I'm there looking for a garden hose. I'm really happy he does. Well, damn, I guess he just "stole my privacy". I suppose it would be better for me to have to wander every aisle and manually check every product until I can find it huh?

I can talk to my phone and say "What's the population of Isreal?" and my freaking phone will answer me. With citations. And for this mind blowing ability, the cost I must pay is to see advertisements that I'm interested in? We're living in a unimaginable universe that even the authors of Star Trek couldn't envision - and for that phenomenal access to the collective intelligence of mankind, I get unobtrusive suggestions for products that might help me out. And your answer to this is "Google must be stopped?" What the hell?

How about, "Thanks Google. Thanks for being a large part of making the world into a Sci-Fi fantasy. And by the way, thanks for doing it in a really ethical way. We see you, and we appreciate you."

about a year and a half ago

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City Council Candidate Censors Debate with DMCA

claytongulick claytongulick writes  |  more than 3 years ago

claytongulick (725397) writes "I've become involved in a local city council election in Grapevine, Texas. Normally, these elections are pretty friendly affairs, but this one has turned nasty: one of the city council candidates has been using the DMCA to censor websites that are critical of her.

    The website "comecleankathleen.com" contained information and questions critical of the candidate Kathleen Thompson. The site contained public records information about the funding sources of Kathleen's campaign and questions about her background and organizational affiliation.

    In a chilling example of the censorship powers of the DMCA, this website was taken down only a week before the election. Kathleen's DMCA claims were clearly bogus (she claimed copyright on public records) but according to the DMCA, this doesn't matter — when a DMCA takedown notice is filed, the ISP removes the site, then has fourteen days to notify the owner of the website of the alleged infringment, whereupon the owner can file a counter-notice.

    The problem here, is that the DMCA is clearly being abused — and by the time a counter notice could be filed, the election will be over. The owner of the site has no recourse, and in this way any information that is damaging to a candidate can be censored until after the election.

    The only penalties, according to the DMCA section 512, for filing a fradulent notice are that the filer will have to pay the expense of putting the site back up (and attourney fees, if applicable). Well, in the case of a political election, the filers wouldn't even fight the counter-notice and would be happy to pay the penalty to restore the site — after the election has passed.

    Clearly, this was never the intended purpose of the DMCA — but what she has done doesn't appear to be in any way illegal.

    Is this the future of politics? Will political candidates be able to censor information on the web at any time using bogus copyright claims and the DMCA?

(Disclaimer: as I mentioned, I became involved with this election when I created a campaign site for a different candidate — not the one that was taken town)"

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