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Comment python or (i guess) javascript first (Score 1) 370

Do you think Apple could encourage young programmers more by also shipping their Macs with BASIC?


I think coders should start with something like Python (and I *guess* Javascript but I wouldn't advise it) then move down to C, then progress from there depending on their interest.

Most coders know only one method of learning to code: excruciating brute force trial and error

There's no *rational* reason for learning to code to be annoying at all, but we do this to ourselves because it reinforces difficulties we overcame in the past.

One example, this Star Wars Javascript tutorial:

It's perfect...also there are a few great "getting started with programming Python/Javascript" books by No Starch Press I would recommend.

Comment technical person shouldn't be surprised (Score 1) 103

built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information

So basically they wrote a function to search for certain words. A text search.

This is not news, we've known for awhile now that the Feds can search our email.

The fact that they wrote "a custom software program" is not some new revelation. It's always software that searches.

While we're on this topic, let's remember that in Snowden's info was released in 2006:

The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.
The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime.

Comment Let's not (Score 4, Insightful) 410

What if all of Slashdot refused to ask this guy any serious questions?

I think we should refuse...he priced-gouged lifesaving medicines...he's not some fun trickster he's a villain pure and simple.

I think what he did should be criminal.

Let's ask him things like, "When do you think you'll finally go to jail?"

or, "Have you been examined by a mental health professional for narcissistic personality disorder?"

Comment Re:We don't need slimmer phones (Score 1) 446

It's a bullshit marketing excuse for removing a 25 cent part, then selling you something to replace it to make another $5 in profit. Same with the water resistant BS - it's no harder to make a waterproof 3.5 jack than it is to make a waterproof USB one.

yes, this is it exactly, you nailed it...don't heed anyone telling you otherwise

this is *exactly* what is happening

and no, we don't need slimmer phones, no one is clamoring for it

Comment it is a data port that also does audio (Score 1) 446

40 year old analog technology


it is a *data port* that is *also* a ridiculously backwards compatible audio port

look at Square credit card readers and dozens of other port, one devices, which works on all smartphones (and tablets!)

Apple did this because that's how they pump up their profits...they remove data ports, say "innovation!" and reap millions on's awful but it's not completely unprecidented (Microsoft is worse but that's no comfort)...

Samsung is worse than Apple...they *copied* an anti-user design choice purely because another company did it

Apple designers are stupid for thinking this is a good idea, and Samsung is stupider for copying it mindlessly.

Comment IT'S A DATA PORT (Score 3, Informative) 446

It's not *just* a "headphone jack"

Here's what we're removing: a universally compatible **data port** that is also a backwards compatible audio only port that will connect to devices over 100 years old in some cases.

It works really well and allows device manufacturers like Square to make one smartphone add-on that works with all smartphones.

Comment from a design perspective (Score 1) 495

I have bluetooth headphones.

Just because *you* personally own bluetooth headphones means nothing to this discussion.

Bluetooth is not a permanent replacement for wired audio. It has a quality limit, and people need to be able to use their headphones longer than 5 hours without charging.

Removing compatibility and functionality is not 'innovation' nor is it good design.

Comment Why removing 1/8" port was wrong (Score 1) 217

Here's why the whole "headphone ports are obsolete" concept is wrong (I will address the 'just use a dongle' retort after):

1. It is a data port. Yes, it can be used for headphones, but it is very often used as a data port for all manner of key add-ons like a Square card reader. To force companies to make an Apple only version instead of a 1/8 port version compatable with everything, Apple is guaranteeing more cost and annoyance for consumers.

Also, they just removed a port without replacing it with a device with two data ports now only has one.

2. 100 years of backwards compatibility. Backward compatibility is a major feature that makes people's lives and jobs easier. Having a universal port shouldn't need to be defended in such a's clearly one of the most usable features of a device: being able to use it easily with other devices.

3. Bluetooth audio is lower quality No matter what, even if Bluetooth were 2x its current quality, it won't be as good as wired audio. Bluetooth reduces audio quality and power.

4. Bluetooth headphones are not a replacement for wired Many, many people in a number of different jobs use headphones for much, much longer than the 5 hour advertised batter life. Just the people who use it for phone calls alone is severely underrepresented in these discussions. Everyone from attorneys to field workers use headphones 8+ hours per day or more and *cannot recharge them during the day*

"just get a dongle" - This is not a valid response. It is half a valid response...much like "lower taxes" is not an actual tax policy. Inherently, using adapters reduces functionality for several reasons, and everyone understands this fact. Responding to critics of Apple's 'jackpocalypse' by saying "Just get a dongle" is inherently disingenuous because it ignores the truth we all agree upon: Using adapters/dongles is not a permanent solution.

Removing a feature is not evolutionary or courageous; it is doltish and stupid, revealing a marketing-driven design process that guarantees bad design. You'd think Apple would learn from Microsoft and Sony's failures....

Comment general poll suggestion (Score 2) 239

whipslash, thanks for keeping the flame...

so, I don't have a specific suggestion for a poll, but I am always interested in polls about what types of software, OS, and just general tech tools people use

I like hearing about what other /.'ers use for work and such...always get good ideas in the comments too

Comment Re:How does the algorithm decide? (Score 2) 76

Bias in algorithms is from human action...conscious or not.

There is no debate on the point above. All software is made by humans, even software generated by other software...humans originated the commands and instructions.

Let's just repeat that last part for you, guy: *humans originated the commands and instructions*

Here's an example you can understand: Which 'fact checking site' will you use? - which is bullshit but has some factual information

or - not as flashy as Politifact and not quite as quickly updated but it's actual fact checking (Trump as melted their faces off).

So you make the call.

No matter what you do, someone will be able to rationally accuse you of "bias"

Comment Re:Humans still do it (Score 1) 76

as much as is technologically possible is automated gets "automated" by humans choosing methods and processes which define every aspect of what the automation produces

it boggles my mind that some people cannot comprehend this...humans made everything about this system including defining every aspect of how the system decides and learns

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Base 8 is just like base 10, if you are missing two fingers. -- Tom Lehrer