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Watching the Nova program this past week, the installment was called "The Rise of the Hackers" ,the program addressed the current security vulnerabilities of our binary digital based computers as occurred with so many large retailers, the stuxnet virus which no nation claims nor denies responsibility for that originally targeted system process controllers in Iran and has now found its way into the "cyber wild" and other aspects.

One portion of the program addressing average technology users over dependence on various synced electronic devices in effort to stay up to date and go paperless/cashless and hackers increasing abilities to totally erase those users digital presence and account access across a wide range of services such as Google, Facebook, Twitter , email accounts etc. was also discussed.

While watching the program I kept feeling there was something that seemed out of place like one of those "find the difference between the two "identical" pictures " puzzles and as the program progressed to discussing computing's progression from the current binary digital environment on into the realm of multiple state / perspective quantum processing, it leaped right off the screen at me.

All of the tech geniuses being interviewed although having their WIFI connected devices close at hand also had paper notebooks . pens and pencils just as close at hand.

One of the physicist mathematicians who didn't look to be that old, appeared to have an analog slide rule on his desk as he discussed the evolving computer advancements.

I found it both interesting and ironic that a program touting the great advances of computing and computer security and going paperless showed so many of the great mind gurus still relying on use of composition notebooks and pencil.
 

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When I was doing a lot of programming in laying out my software, almost all of the original core code got written out on yellow legal pads. I found that I was much faster and far more accurate with pen and paper than when I tried to create the code within the editor. Once the structure was written, editing on the computer was fine.

I suspect that the brain/hand/eye combination that is used in writing is much stronger than when the end product is more removed through typing and existing on a flickering computer screen.
 

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Voice of Reason
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When I was doing a lot of programming in laying out my software, almost all of the original core code got written out on yellow legal pads. I found that I was much faster and far more accurate with pen and paper than when I tried to create the code within the editor. Once the structure was written, editing on the computer was fine.

I suspect that the brain/hand/eye combination that is used in writing is much stronger than when the end product is more removed through typing and existing on a flickering computer screen.
But a slide rule? That's really odd.
 

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A lot of engineers keep momentos of the pre computer age. I have a slide rule which was my grand fathers, my very first mechanical pencil from grade school and a compass on my desk. I can't tell you the last time I used them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
He also had a printout of the largest prime number to date that was over 600 pages long.

One of the semantec gurus was concerned about that stuxnet virus having escaped into the wild as it seeks and takes over a wide array of embedded PLCs and could affect various grids , mass transit, PCs with processor fans or the cooling fans on newer vehicles that are constantly jacked into the wireless data stream.

One of the guys working the quantum qubit perspective had his tablet PC on his desk while he was using chalk on a black slate board to work out his algorithm while referring to his legal pad.

These guys still are working out their thought processes old school and regular Joes go paydays in debt often to get the latest and greatest tech that is less than 6 months away of obsolescence downgrade.

When it all crashes I think I saw a group other than homesteaders who may fare better than the average zombie :shrug:
 

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Another thought on slide rules is that there are a variety of them for different purposes. Mine old one was a Dietzgen log log deci-trig, but there are others for odd relationships that may be linear or otherwise regular but not logarithmic. Although the aluminum in mine corroded and made it unusable, I still keep the manual with its conversions and hints handy.
 

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My name is not Alice
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When I was doing a lot of programming in laying out my software, almost all of the original core code got written out on yellow legal pads. I found that I was much faster and far more accurate with pen and paper than when I tried to create the code within the editor. Once the structure was written, editing on the computer was fine.

I suspect that the brain/hand/eye combination that is used in writing is much stronger than when the end product is more removed through typing and existing on a flickering computer screen.
I still write code on a whiteboard before sitting down at keyboard. In extreme shorthand, of course. DS and I were talking about how we like to read stories in a digital medium like a kindle, but we must read technical material in print. Something about he way our brain processes it.

On the topic of tech giants and computer use, I was listening to a podcast recently where the broadcaster made reference that Steve Jobs had very strict and limited computer use rules for his kids. Apparently that is common amongst the digital elite, which I think is both surprising and telling.
 

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I still write code on a whiteboard before sitting down at keyboard. In extreme shorthand, of course. DS and I were talking about how we like to read stories in a digital medium like a kindle, but we must read technical material in print. Something about he way our brain processes it.

On the topic of tech giants and computer use, I was listening to a podcast recently where the broadcaster made reference that Steve Jobs had very strict and limited computer use rules for his kids. Apparently that is common amongst the digital elite, which I think is both surprising and telling.
Many who use computer technology on a regular basis or as part of their work limit their and their families recreational exposure to it.

When my step son got hooked on online gaming his mother asked me to set his network line to route through our main household server and to timeout after an hour and she or I had to establish his connection because we didn't want him trading out real life experience for online vegging out.

I still try to limit my online sessions to about 30 minutes or so maximum unless I am loading or debugging a system using online resources or other online work and if doing that I try to keep the time that I am online in autopilot mode as much as possible only checking in on it between doing other interests that don't require my being online to do.
 

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just a question - did they talk about the ultimate anti-hacker measure that their trying to get rid of - plug in modems. That's what I use and I want to see the hacker that can hack a computer attached to no networks which my computer is any time I'm away from it - so quite a bit of the time.
 

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just a question - did they talk about the ultimate anti-hacker measure that their trying to get rid of - plug in modems. That's what I use and I want to see the hacker that can hack a computer attached to no networks which my computer is any time I'm away from it - so quite a bit of the time.
Doncha know the hacker can just plug in a thumbdrive and download the entire contents of a hard drive in ten seconds? :D I see it on "Leverage" all the time. :D :D

Hacking has a lot of definitions and variations. A "virgin" computer that is unconnected to a network is far safer, but one form of hacking intercepts the signals put out by the monitor, allowing the hacker to see exactly what is going on. Other forms might simply wait until the computer was connected to call home. Most automatic updates to Windows programs are like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The program indicated that some of the worse viruses get spread by use of innocent looking thumb drives , downloads or video DVDs just as they did in the ancient days at the last two decades of the 20th century using 3 1/2 diskettes or CDs .

Then as now the hackers most dependable mule was the addicted user willing to compromise their computer security for some free information, game etc.
 

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My name is not Alice
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Insiders (ie. employees) are the most vulnerable spot for a leak.

Imagine how easy it would be to infect a company just by leaving a thumb drive behind in their lobby...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
One of the security specialists said thumb drives with the logo of the company they were hired to evaluate if left outside the intranet secured site had a 70% or so chance of being carried in and plugged in by an employee.

But hat was really scary was when he said a DVD marked with a sharpie marker with a label like "proposed salary tiers for the upcoming fiscal year" and left outside a site to be evaluated as if an employee had accidentally dropped as they walked in infected secured intranet networked systems 100% of the time in tests with his firms white hat hack tracker virus.
 
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