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Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

machineghost Avirea (www.free-av.com) Is Great (467 comments)

I've used Avira (free-av.com) for years (since Windows XP at least), both on my computers and my friends' and family's, and I've never gotten a virus despite visiting Bit Torrent and other questionable sites.

It's 100% free and it doesn't install malware (though it might optionally install some crapware, I forget). The only downside is that they pop an alert maybe once a day or so with different messages (the point of which is clearly to prod you to purchase the paid version). I strongly recommend getting the paid version to make those alerts go away ... but I'm embarrassed to admit that I haven't actually done as much myself (sorry Avira!).

3 days ago
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Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

machineghost Re:Just hire a CPA (450 comments)

Damn you socialist bureaucratic hellspawn and your vastly superior tax system!

Seriously though, how many nuclear weapons and/or wildly over-priced military aircraft can your silly little country pay for with that easy to use tax system?

That's what I thought!

about two weeks ago
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Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

machineghost Re:Just hire a CPA (450 comments)

"The dishonesty of this is what's killing them."

On Slashdot, but Slashdot users are what, 0.001% of their customers? Then there's the fraction of people who decide their tax preparation software purchases based on Amazon.com reviews. That leaves PLENTY of other customers who might have balked at a price increase, but who will now happily go pay $40 ... and then realize they need an upgrade and pay $40 more. They won't be happy about it, but they're probably not going to switch tax preparation software in the middle of the process. And then they'll use the TurboTax again next year, because it already has their info ...

This whole Amazon low ratings thing is great, but from a cold calculating corporate standpoint TurboTax will still (sadly) make more money going this route than being honest and raising prices.

about two weeks ago
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The One Mistake Google Keeps Making

machineghost How is it a mistake? (386 comments)

From the blurb:

"the company continues to make the same mistake over and over. Google's mistake, ..."

"But rest assured – Google knows this. They're not looking for short term profits"

So, it's a mistake ... but they know exactly what they're doing and they're not trying to make short term profits, which means it's not a mistake?

about a month ago
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Russia Plans To Build World First DNA Databank of All Living Things

machineghost Kinda Like Cryogenesis for Humans ... (83 comments)

"It will enable us to cryogenically freeze and store various cellular materials, which can then reproduce."

But they don't actually have the technology to do that, right? So isn't this the same thing as humans cryogenicaly freezing themselves now, blindly assuming that future scientists will be able to remove anti-freeze from their veins?

In other words, isn't this giant expensive project entirely predicated on the the development of future technology that can actually use these samples, without any guarantee whatsoever that that technology will materialize?

about a month ago
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Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford

machineghost True, But It Goes Back Way Farther (224 comments)

It's not just "Tech's Gender Gap" that started at Stanford; Silicon Valley itself started at Stanford (see Francis Terman, William Shockley, Fairchild Eight, etc.). So while it's technically accurate to say the gender gap started at Stanford, it's just as accurate to say CD-ROMs or Pets.com or anything else Silicon Valley-related started there. Silicon Valley is the genesis of digital technology, and Stanford is the genesis of Silicon Valley.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

machineghost Wow, So Much Hate ... I've Been There, Ignore Them (280 comments)

I know that people who worked hard for their Engineering degrees will naturally be suspicious of anyone who seems to have done less work than them, but even so I was rather amazed at the amount of ignorance and hatred in the responses here. As a Literature major who now makes six figures programming, please do ignore them.

My advice would be to enroll at Hack Reactor or a similar coding boot camp. We've hired two programmers from them: one was a Biology PhD, the other just had a Chinese Literature undergraduate degree. In both cases we didn't really care what their degree was, we cared about their abilities. Based on what I've seen, the best of the graduates of Hack Reactor are WAY better hires than an average CS graduate (and they're a lot easier to hire; the Googles of the world snatch up the top CS graduates before smaller companies like ours even have a chance).

Of course, I personally didn't take the boot camp approach. I graduated, spent a year unemployed, then managed to get a position as a web designer for a small company. It was a terrible company: they wouldn't even pay for water for employees! But as annoying as their cheapness was, it was that very cheapness that got me hired. Because I was willing to work for $15/hour and could do the work (I'd taught myself web development) I was able to get that crucial first job. You may have to hold your nose in a similar way to get your first job, if you don't take the boot camp approach.

Once I got my foot in the door by working their a year I moved on to a junior programming job, worked my way up to being a team lead, and then moved on to my current company (a start-up). I'd imagine you could do something similar, but going through a boot camp will give you that "foot in the door", which is really the hardest part for someone in your position. After the boot camp gets you your first job, that job will get you all your future jobs.

So, ignore the negativity here. Silicon Valley really is, at least to a large extent, a meritocracy: what matters is being good at your craft, not where you came from.

about a month ago
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Firefox Signs Five-Year Deal With Yahoo, Drops Google as Default Search Engine

machineghost Re:XSS - Google in a Frame (400 comments)

I don't think Yahoo actually wants to be a search engine. I think they just want people to look at their ads.

Yup, which is why they've licensed someone else's tech to power the searches for most of the company's history.

By partnering with a browser: they can run searches through Google's servers but strip the Google Adword adds and replace them with Yahoo Ads.

Wait, what? You think Yahoo is going to use Google to power their search engine, without paying them? And you think Google's lawyers (let alone their technical team) would really let that fly?

about 2 months ago
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Coding Bootcamps Presented As "College Alternative"

machineghost Re:Like the world needs more web monkeys ... (226 comments)

... because learning skills at a bootcamp makes you incapable of learning skills on your own in the real world? Or because computer science degrees somehow teach you to read blogs and subscribe to RSS feeds?

about 2 months ago
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Coding Bootcamps Presented As "College Alternative"

machineghost Re: Like the world needs more web monkeys ... (226 comments)

... and what do any of the things you just mentioned have to do with typical JavaScript programming? Just because someone wouldn't be good at doing your particular job doesn't mean they're bad at other programming jobs: you could just as easily dismiss any Java programmer, no matter what their skill level, for not knowing how to manage memory.

about 2 months ago
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Coding Bootcamps Presented As "College Alternative"

machineghost Re:Like the world needs more web monkeys ... (226 comments)

I'd say at least 80% (maybe 90+%) of the stuff you listed has no applicability for a front-end JavaScript programmer. Which isn't to say JavaScript programming is easy: there's a whole lot of art and craft to being a good JavaScript programmer, and a boot camp won't teach it all. But as for all the traditional CS bits you listed, almost none of them contribute to being a good JavaScript programmer.

What a good front-end programmer needs is understanding of the JavaScript language, of how the DOM works, of how browsers render pages, etc. And for serious JavaScript programming you need to know object-oriented programming and all that good stuff too ... but you don't need "database theory", "microprocessor systems", or "artificial intelligence".

about 2 months ago
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Coding Bootcamps Presented As "College Alternative"

machineghost Re:Lovin' that smell of BIAS (226 comments)

Self-taught programmers are motivated by curiosity; webmonkeys are motivated by "oh shiny" - which is why they concentrate so much on "oh shiny". And when they get stYuck because they're way out of their depth, who do you think they call ... (hint - not another web monkey).

I'm sure that's based on lots of empirical evidence from your experience working with bootcamp graduates, and not just you spouting your own prejudices, right? Because I would think that someone who's worked with a boot camp graduate for 6+ months and is about to hire another one *might* just know more than someone who's never even met a bootcamp graduate ...

Of course, we never recognize paradigm shifts until they're almost over.

People are moving away from browsers without even noticing it

So, what are they going to do? Take another boot camp to learn XCode? Java? C/C++ (yes, back-end services use c and c++).

You're completely right: the web is just a fad, JavaScript is going away soon and there will be no more jobs for JavaScript programmers in a few years.

about 2 months ago
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Coding Bootcamps Presented As "College Alternative"

machineghost Re:Like the world needs more web monkeys ... (226 comments)

You're assuming such boot camps only produce "monkeys", which is false. These people work twelve hour days, seven days a week, for three months: compare that to your typical CS graduate who's maybe had a month total of relevant programming experience.

In fact, we hired a boot camp graduate about half a year ago, and she's been awesome. WAY more knowledgeable about programming than other candidates we considered, including CS graduates.

about 2 months ago
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Coding Bootcamps Presented As "College Alternative"

machineghost Re:yaaaaaaay... (226 comments)

Actually, we're a serious thick-client shop with a single-page all-Javascript application powered by Backbone, and we've had great success hiring a Boot Camp graduate. She definitely does *not* just copy/paste code snippets without understanding how things work. To the contrary, she knows far more about the language and basic theory than most other applicants we've seen (including ones with CS degrees), and we've in fact had so much success with her that we're planning to hire another boot camp graduate shortly.

about 2 months ago
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Mozilla Launches Browser Built For Developers

machineghost Re:I like the idea.. (74 comments)

This, except the part about giving it a try. Firebug revolutionized everything when it first came out, but it's failed to improve in the way Chrome Developer Tools ... and Firefox's own developer tools have remained far behind both the entire time.

After ignoring the web development community for so long, I have a hard time seeing myself ever going back to Firefox unless they get some *seriously* rave reviews.

about 3 months ago
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Virginia Court: LEOs Can Force You To Provide Fingerprint To Unlock Your Phone

machineghost Duh (328 comments)

Police have been collecting finger prints for decades, and they have caught thousands, if not millions, of criminals they otherwise wouldn't have caught as a result.

All this judge said was that you using your fingerprint on your phone doesn't give you a "get out of fingerprinting free" card when you get arrested. If it did every criminal in America would lock their phone with a fingerprint so they didn't have to get fingerprinted.

about 3 months ago
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Lava Flow In Hawaii Gains Speed, Triggers Methane Explosions

machineghost Re:OOOOooo "dozens warned they MAY need to flee" (64 comments)

I care and I don't even have an uninsured house ... though to be fair my uncle and aunt do :-( Pahoa is so remote you can't even get cellphone coverage there, but it's a beautiful area (it's on the island's rainy side so everything is lush and green). Houses cost in the 100-200k range, and while that is pretty cheap it still sucks to see it all melt away.

about 3 months ago
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Lava Flow In Hawaii Gains Speed, Triggers Methane Explosions

machineghost Re:needs rebranding (64 comments)

No rebranding needed. The Big Island has never exactly been the key to Hawaii's tourism industry (most of the island, especially on the volcano side, doesn't even have sandy beaches.) Plus, just about everything tourist-y on that island already is lava-themed anyway. They've got a lava forest, lava tubes, steam vents powered by underground lava, the giant volcano itself ... heck they even had a highway that got overrun with lava and instead of fixing it they turned that in to a tourist attraction!

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Bookies Predict the Future of Tech

machineghost machineghost writes  |  about 9 months ago

machineghost (622031) writes "It's one thing to make predictions about the future of tech; that happens all the time on Slashdot. But it's quite a different thing to put money on the line to back up those predictions, which is exactly what this British bookie has done. Think you know whether Google Glass will beat the iPhone, or whether we'll be ready to go to Mars and back by 2020? Now's your chance to capitalize on those predictions!"

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