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Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

fhic MUMPS (387 comments)

Or M as it's known these days. It's a horrific mess of a language, but there's still a LOT of legacy code out there and it's nearly impossible to refactor M databases into anything more modern. No matter how much I try to move away from it, I keep getting pulled back in. But hey, it pays the mortgage!

about a month and a half ago

The Hidden Cost of Your New Xfinity Router

fhic Re:Service in exchange for a free modem? (224 comments)

Do you know any cops? Any feds? (I'm speaking of USA-ians; other places might be different, but Comcast doesn't live there.) Subtlety is not their strong point. Arrest everybody and let the courts straighten it out is what they do.

Sure, they're going to get the person who used the credentials to log in. And the address where they logged in from. And then the scenario I just described happens.

about 3 months ago

The Hidden Cost of Your New Xfinity Router

fhic Re:Service in exchange for a free modem? (224 comments)

Not mention the potential liability issues.

I can easily see the cops kicking in my door because somebody used the hotspot in my house to download kiddie porn or copyrighted files.

Does anyone really think the cops are going to differentiate between the public side and private side of the router? No, they're going to call (or subpoena) Comcast for the address where that router lives. My house.

Yeah, it'll probably get straightened out, eventually, after I get dragged away in handcuffs to the amusement of my neighbors, spend a weekend in jail, get branded in the media as a baby-raper, and get fired by my media-phobic employer. And in the meantime, I'm going to have to pay a lawyer, bail myself out, and put back together my ruined life. And Comcast will point to a sentence in their 20,000 line EULA or ToS that says it's not their problem.

And then if I have any money left, some scumbag lawyer will sue me civilly for conspiring with Comcast because I paid for the power for the router that the real kiddy porn collector used.

Not a chance.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Web Language That's Long-Lived, and Not Too Buzzy?

fhic Re:Perl still works, and PHP is fine (536 comments)

Don't piss on Javascript. Sure, the standard library is terrible and poor cross compatibility makes it impossible to do anything interesting in a browser without shims, but

Maybe it's just me, but I find this hilarious. "but"...

I dread being handed someone else's Javascript code. It's nearly always faster for me to refactor it than to try and resolve a subtle bug.

From what I read here on Slashdot, I thank the gods that I don't do Perl. And many of the complaints I read about PHP are surely valid, but I like it and use it anyway, and so far I have not shot myself in the foot.

about 4 months ago

Why No Executive Order To Stop NSA Metadata Collection?

fhic Hope and change... (312 comments)

Once again, this isn't it.

He's had several opportunities to do something about this. He keeps making weaselly attempts to talk about it like he's doing something without actually making any changes. It seems obvious to me that he wants this to continue, much like his equally weasel-ish approach to medical cannabis. And this way, he can blame it on a do-nothing Congress, thus giving his potential successor a talking point.

about 7 months ago

Russian Officials Dump iPads For Samsung Tablets Over Spy Fears

fhic Re:Why Samsung? (198 comments)

I interpret this to mean that they already have good enough assets within Samsung to be confident that they're getting what they want without anything extra.

about 7 months ago

White House To Propose Ending NSA Phone Records Collection

fhic Two hops??? (208 comments)

So, alleged terrorist calls Pizza Hut. I call Pizza Hut. That makes me a legitimate target. Alleged terrorist calls AT&T. You call AT&T. Now you're a legitimate target. Real terrorist calls another real terrorist on a burner cell. Not a legitimate target. This isn't any kind of solution.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations?

fhic Re:Surveillance fatigue? (610 comments)

with a shitty attitude like that, you're damn right there's nothing you can do about it.

I'm curious... it's easy to malign my attitude, but what, specifically, do you recommend *I* do to solve this problem? What do you think *you* can you do to solve it? I am genuinely interested. Give me something to work with and I'll get behind it 110%. But I'm a pretty smart guy and I don't see a damn thing I can do.

I'm not willing to commit any crimes (other than perhaps some mild civil disobedience) to change things. (And that civil disobedience thing didn't work out well for me with the Occupy movement, but that's another story.) One very minor thing I can do is pollute their data, and I do that at every opportunity.

I hear a good many idiots talk about armed revolution. That's not an answer. I'm old now, but I've seen revolution up close with a rifle in my hand. It isn't pretty and it takes generations to come back from it and what you get back isn't any better, just different.

I am politically active, and I vote my conscience. But all too often I have to vote against someone truly awful rather than for someone who supports some of my views. And I know many people feel that way. I have been trying for two decades to get rid of my senior senator, who's bought and paid for, and I can't even seem to manage that.

In reading over some of your past Slashdot comments on this and other related issues, I don't see anything positive. So here's your chance. Give me something I can get behind and I'm game.

1 year,8 days

Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations?

fhic Surveillance fatigue? (610 comments)

Not at all. I think we've just all come to the realization that there's not a damn thing we can do about it. The people who are supposed to be looking out for us are acting like petulant teenagers. The "hope and change" guy hasn't done anything but make the problem worse. The guys in charge of the whole thing just lie about it and nothing is done. What's the answer, other than ignore the new revelations?

1 year,8 days

Obama Admin Says It Won't Fight Looser Marijuana Laws, With Conditions

fhic Weasel words (526 comments)

All of these "conditions" are arbitrary and open to whatever interpretation the feds feel like today. In the meantime, it's still being kept as a Schedule 1 drug. This administration has repeatedly and consistently said one thing and done another. You'll forgive me if I don't believe a word of this, which has no more weight than a touchy-feely press release.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: When Is It OK To Not Give Notice?

fhic PHBs in charge (892 comments)

The last time I left a job, I was going to a competitor and just assumed my current employer wanted me gone. (It was, and still is, their policy in that circumstance to walk the employee out and pay them for the last two weeks.) My boss made a big stink about me planning to leave immediately, brought HR in, and they told me I'd have to sit out the two weeks or I wouldn't get my accrued vacation time. (Which is illegal in my state, but never mind.) So I unpacked my box, and started a new project that afternoon. You know the punch line. My badge didn't work the next morning, security escorted me to my desk and watched gimlet-eyed as I loaded up my box again and they walked me out the door.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: IT Staff Handovers -- How To Take Over From an Outgoing Sys Admin?

fhic I hope that... (195 comments)

... today wasn't your first day at Bluehost.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Hearing Aids That Directly Connect To Smart Phones?

fhic Re:Hearing aids have been discussed before (183 comments)

This is a common problem for hearing aid users as well. The holy grail of hearing aids is an aid that helps the user hear voices in a noisy environment. Sophisticated digital signal processing has helped a lot, but it remains a partially-solved problem.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Hearing Aids That Directly Connect To Smart Phones?

fhic Oticon (183 comments)

I wear an Oticon Chili SP9, which is a high power digital aid, programmable by the audiologist. There's a DAI (direct audio input) boot available, which I use with my low-end MP3 player. There's also a much more sophisticated set of devices called "Connectline" based on a gadget that hangs around your neck or in your pocket. It adds Bluetooth connectivity (and limited control of the aid) from the gadget. It only works with certain Oticon aids using a protocol I haven't been able to decode.

The Connectline gadget seemed like a good idea at the time, and I willingly spent the (lot) of extra money, but I find I mostly use the wired DAI boot. The Bluetooth gadget is more of a pain than a help. The battery doesn't last very long (less than a workday) and has to be shut off to recharge, which it does via a mini-USB connector. And it only links to one or two Bluetooth devices at a time. Also, it interferes with the Bluetooth system in my car.

more than 2 years ago

IT Desktop Support To Be Wiped Out Thanks To Cloud Computing

fhic Re:Survey? (349 comments)

"Hi, this is Bob in accounting, the Help Desk app looks like it's down."

"Hi Bob. Yup, its down. There is no ETR. I can't give you a ticket number because it's down."

And poof! We're back to scribbled notes on paper, and a really bad day for the poor folks on the Help Desk. And in the meantime, there are no tickets coming in, so the folks who can actually fix anything are clueless. Great plan.

more than 2 years ago

Facebook: the Law Says You Can't Have Your Data

fhic Re:I'm really sick of this trend (165 comments)

Yes, need.

My local paper of record (the San Diego Union-Tribune) REQUIRES a valid Facebook account to comment on everything they publish online. Given that I'm not quite willing to forgo my right to comment publicly on what they publish, I need to have a Facebook account.

(I leave the idiocy of their decision for another comment.)

about 3 years ago

Sequencing the Weed Genome

fhic Re:Now all we need is... (315 comments)

People have been doing that for many years with the common hop vine (Humulus lupulus) which is also a member of the Cannabaceae family. Grafting hop vines onto a good Cannabis rootstock yields a scion with strobili that are visually indistinguishable from an ordinary hop flower. Unfortunately, the product is not very potent-- the best outcome is maybe 1.5-2% THC (and only trace amounts of other interesting compounds) which is terrible compared to the 10-20% THC that you can get from a well-managed C. sativa or C. indica flower. Also, the graft process is very finicky, the scion does not grow as well as an ungrafted vine, and your resulting plant is annual (like Cannabis) rather than perennial (like Humulus.) The hops you get are not terribly useful for beer-making, which is pretty much the only use for hops. (Some people like to make a sedative tea from hops, though I doubt that would be a good delivery method for the THC, since it's not water-soluble.) One other major "gotcha" is that the Cannabis plant matures much faster than hops, and the production density is hundreds of times better for Cannabis than Humulus.

Interestingly, there is some published scientific literature (see Crombie) that claims this grafting process does not work. However, I wonder, because Crombie talks about the hops "leaves" even though the only useful part of the plant is the flower (or properly, the "strobile.") The research I mention above has not been published, though the "1.5-2% THC" value I quoted has been measured by GC-MS. And, of course, there are just tons of anecdotal evidence from amateur gardeners that support either opinion.

I'll let someone else do the genetic research, but I think it may eventually be possible to engineer an algae that eats sunlight and poops THC. Wouldn't that be fun!

more than 3 years ago

Oracle Kills Virtual Iron

fhic Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (189 comments)

I suppose it's ironic that I am currently adblocking as much of Slashdot and the associated domains as I'm blocking on Yahoo.

And the really ironic thing is that I keep seeing this stupid message that says something along the lines of "because you are such an excellent Slashdotter, you're eligible to block ads if you click here." Uhhh, what?

more than 5 years ago

Google Updates Chrome's Terms of Service

fhic TOS (318 comments)

Just when I want to start thinking about them as evil, they have an outbreak of common sense and do the right thing.

Oh well. I still think they're too big and have too much of my data stored away, but I'll let go of the paranoia. Until the next time. :-)

more than 6 years ago



Monitoring Software Helps Police Find Laptop

fhic fhic writes  |  about 7 years ago

fhic writes "A father installed monitoring software on his son's laptop. The laptop was stolen and used by the thieves. The monitoring software worked as designed, and emailed the details to dad. Dad called the cops, and they were able to locate the laptop and arrest the thieves."
Link to Original Source


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