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TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

mabu Re:Not so sure it's harmless (247 comments)

Hell.. it takes a good 10 minutes to figure out what web site Sanjay "Shawn" Prakrameshi is trying to direct you to!

2 days ago
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TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

mabu Re:Not so sure it's harmless (247 comments)

I got a call two days ago from these people. I strung them along until they gave me a web address to go to in order to download some software and run it on my computer. Then while they were expecting me to do that, I ran a WHOIS on the host and IP, found out who was hosting them (it turned out to be an American company) and I contacted their abuse team and reported the site as being fradulent. 24 hours later, their web site was shut down.

It also helps when you contact their abuse department, that you tell them you work for an antivirus company and you're going to add the IP address of the site to your blacklist. In many cases, there are hundreds if not thousands of web sites operating from the same IP. They will take quick action rather than have one bad customer cause 900 other customer sites to not be accessible.

2 days ago
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The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

mabu Different ages of development (119 comments)

I am not sure there's much advice us older programmers can give new developers because the industry is a lot different now.

In the old days we were often tasked with solving a problem, and we were more-often free to use whatever tools and technology were best, and we also thought of development environments as tools, which we could switch out if the application required something different. We also did all our own testing. I recently worked with a younger programmer on a project and it was miserable. He couldn't give me 20 lines of code that didn't have a bug in it, because he was dependent upon having some QA person test his work and an IDE that would hilight every mistake.

Nowadays there is so much abstraction going on in programming, people don't really seem like they're programming as much as they're using some sort of GUI development tool and plodding through innumerable amounts of API documentation and going on witch-hunts to try and figure out why something that's documented to work, doesn't actually work. I remember a big Oracle project I was on where my software wouldn't work properly and I couldn't figure out why. It took me several months of bitching on usenet to finally get a rep within Oracle contact me privately and tell me I wasn't crazy, they knew about the bug and just weren't acknowledging it. In the old days, there wasn't as much of that going on. Programming was simpler and less bureaucratic.

2 days ago
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The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

mabu Re:Incredibly wise advice (119 comments)

I think the reason there's no job security in programming is because basically, nobody's really doing any "programming" these days.

Modern programmers know less about machines and languages than they do APIs and UIs. Everything is so object-oriented and encapsulated, and there are so many square pegs developers are asked to fit into round holes, they're not really designing stuff as much as working on an assembly line sticking various parts-pieces together with no real sense of oversight of the big picture.

2 days ago
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Simple Bug Exposed Verizon Users' SMS Histories

mabu Amazing technical incompetence (60 comments)

This really is security 101. Actually it's not even security 101, it's programming 101. You always assume the information fed to you is potentially invalid and qualify it.

How in their right mind could anyone at Verizon not check to see if the account id was legit? This is not a simple oversight. This is gross incompetence, or else it was intentionally left this way.

Don't these companies do security audits?

about 10 months ago
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Pinball: a Resurgence In Retro Gaming From an Unlikely Place

mabu Re:will machines be more common? (107 comments)

The form we know as "pinball" is uniquely American. Bagatelle games are different. Bagatelle is more like gambling and based on chance.

In 1947, when Gottlieb, a Chicago-based company, introduced the first pinball machine with flippers, Humpty Dumpty. Things changed. Thereafter all games soon became flipper-pinball-machines.

about a year ago
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Pinball: a Resurgence In Retro Gaming From an Unlikely Place

mabu Re:will machines be more common? (107 comments)

>I'm glad you think you're informed, but you're wrong in this case.

Reality shows otherwise. If pinballs were popular they'd still be in every bar. There'd still be arcades all over the place. There isn't.

Yea, there are a few retro-arcades and "bar-cades" popping up now, but they're just pandering to a retro audience at a moment when they have disposable income. The same still holds true for the new manufacturers. They're not really breaking into new markets except tapping into an existing market. It may be appearing to grow, but that's because it really doesn't have anywhere else to go. Pinball all but disappeared 10 years ago.

about a year ago
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Pinball: a Resurgence In Retro Gaming From an Unlikely Place

mabu Re:will machines be more common? (107 comments)

The exception does not prove the rule. If pinball were still very profitable, they'd be all over the place.

about a year ago
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Pinball: a Resurgence In Retro Gaming From an Unlikely Place

mabu Re:will machines be more common? (107 comments)

Games now cost in excess of $6500. It's no longer profitable to operate them. They are much higher maintenance than video games and neither bring in the coin-op money they used to. It is unfortunate since pinball really is a uniquely American form, a great combination of technology + mechanical design + art + culture.

about a year ago
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Florida Accused of Concealing Worst Tuberculosis Outbreak In 20 Years

mabu Re:Political correctness in action (409 comments)

Ron Paul is against government regulation. His policies would only make corporate overlords more powerful and have less authority to answer to.

more than 2 years ago
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The US-Soviet Cyber Cold War

mabu spam (117 comments)

I think ground zero in the security war always begins and ends with the spam industry, which seems to be at the forefront of exploitation.

more than 3 years ago
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What Scientists Really Think About Religion

mabu Re:In what Scientific Discipline is Religion relev (1123 comments)

You are confusing history with religion.

The bible also describes pi as being 3.0 - does that make it a math book? It also gives instruction on how to beat slaves. Does that mean it's a medical text? It provides details on what the fine one must pay if they kick a pregnant woman and cause her to lose her fetus. Does that make it helpful to economics?

more than 4 years ago
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What Scientists Really Think About Religion

mabu Re:And (1123 comments)

God = Psychology
Religion = Economics

more than 4 years ago
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What Scientists Really Think About Religion

mabu Re:religion is just stories about life (1123 comments)

Your argument is analogous to suggesting people call themselves a vegetarian and still eat meat. Most religions are mutually-exclusive of each other. Why attach a label to yourself that for thousands of years has been used as the impetus to oppress others?

more than 4 years ago
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What Scientists Really Think About Religion

mabu Re:Science != Anti Religion (1123 comments)

The reason science cannot disprove religion such as Christianity is because most believers only selfishly care about what God gives to their life, instead of whether the environment/universe is created by God.

You just employed a Begging the Question fallacy. Science can and does routinely disprove religion, from the origins of life in the Book of Genesis to the ancestry of Native Americans in the Book of Mormon. Almost every religion has some material claim that can be tested and thus far, there's been no non-circumstantial, material evidence to indicate any supernatural claims are true. The onus is on those who believe to prove their claims are legitimate. Not the other way around. We don't have to "disprove religion", you have to prove, for example, that prayer makes a difference, and numerous scientific studies have shown that claim to be false. So science can and does disprove numerous religious claims. Can science prove god doesn't exist? No, and it's not our responsibility to do so, and regardless of whether or not we prove you wrong, that still doesn't mean your beliefs or supernatural claims about the origin of the universe are correct. That's a burden you must back up instead of trying to shift it upon the skeptics.

more than 4 years ago
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What Scientists Really Think About Religion

mabu Re:False arguments (1123 comments)

the word 'faith' and correct me if I am wrong, but if something has no ontological status, you cannot argue for or against it.

Correct... until someone's faith-based beliefs intersect with the material world in the form of specific claims. Then their beliefs can be tested and proven or disproven, including:

* The power of prayer - Disproven by the Harvard Prayer Experiment.

* The creation myth of Genesis, disproven by numerous areas of science

* The origin of native Americans as dictated in the Book of Mormon, disproven by genetic science

* The claims of scientology, disproven by analysis of their e-meters other science fields

Religion has never been content with merely residing in a metaphysical realm, and that's when problems arise.

more than 4 years ago
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What Scientists Really Think About Religion

mabu Re:Pretty straight forward... (1123 comments)

Everyone believes in science; not everyone believes in religion.

So technically, "science" is everyone's "religion."

Science centers around making decisions based on observation, testable and repeatable practices. 99.9% of what you do every day is dependent upon these constructs. If this were not the case, then people would try to jump off buildings instead of taking an elevator down; they would assume any substance could cure any illness, etc.

more than 4 years ago
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What Scientists Really Think About Religion

mabu Re:Albert Einstein on Religion and Science... (1123 comments)

Letter to Eric Gutkind (partial) Albert Einstein (1954) Translated from the German by Joan Stambaugh...

... The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them.

In general I find it painful that you claim a privileged position and try to defend it by two walls of pride, an external one as a man and an internal one as a Jew. As a man you claim, so to speak, a dispensation from causality otherwise accepted, as a Jew the priviliege of monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a causality at all, as our wonderful Spinoza recognized with all incision, probably as the first one. And the animistic interpretations of the religions of nature are in principle not annulled by monopolisation. With such walls we can only attain a certain self-deception, but our moral efforts are not furthered by them. On the contrary.

Now that I have quite openly stated our differences in intellectual convictions it is still clear to me that we are quite close to each other in essential things, ie in our evalutations of human behaviour. What separates us are only intellectual 'props' and `rationalisation' in Freud's language. Therefore I think that we would understand each other quite well if we talked about concrete things.

With friendly thanks and best wishes
Yours, A. Einstein.

Ref: http://freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Image:Einstein_letter.jpg

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Cause and effect of the financial crisis

mabu mabu writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mabu (178417) writes "There are a lot of e-mails flooding peoples' inboxes blaming the current financial problem on one politician or another, but is there really a clear cause-and-effect? Pile over at BSAlert.com outlines his take on the issue in a clear and to-the-point manner, identifying a few key laws passed in the last decade which led the way for the massive irresponsible activities on the part of the financial community. Can the finger actually be pointed at a specific person or group? You may be surprised."
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Top 10 arguments for the existence of God

mabu mabu writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mabu (178417) writes "Since the dawn of civilization there have been many arguments for the existence of God. Surprisingly, the vast majority of these arguments fall into ten or so categories. Not much has changed in the last 300+ years in terms of new claims or evidence. The same core arguments turn up again and again, often dressed in new clothes (such as "Intelligent Design" or invoking bits and pieces of "Quantum Theory" but they're still the same arguments). How familiar are you with these?"
Link to Original Source

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