* Posts by Valerion

313 posts • joined 12 Oct 2009

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UK Scouts database 'flaws' raise concerns

Valerion

Data Aquisition

We recently got sent a form from Cubs that we had to fill in with out son's and our details on it. I presume it was to get the data into this database.

The form itself was ridiculous. Mainly because instead of allowing space to write a Title, they had a list of titles that you had to pick from when frankly "Mr/Mrs/Ms" would have done. I have never seen such a huge list of titles, ever*

For the record, I selected myself as a Rear Admiral and my wife as a Duchess. It will be interesting to see if we get any correspondence addressed as such.

*And yet they missed out Sheik.

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SECRETS of the LOST SCROLLS unlocked by key to HEALTHY BOOBS

Valerion

The Sun

I really hope that, given the equipment involved, the scrolls turn out to contain Roman Page 3 girls.

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Give ALL the EU access to Netflix, says Vince Cable

Valerion

Re: how about all content globally?

I'm tired of UK netflix having so much less than USA. Surely streaming should give everyone the same stuff.

You know that. I know that. The entire general public knows that. The studios, for some reason, don't.

Give everyone in the world access to the same content for a reasonable fee and piracy will pretty much disappear.

For example - my wife and I have long enjoyed The Amazing Race (you may keep your opinions on that to yourself). But there is NO way to watch it legally in the UK. No channel carries it and their online service won't allow anyone from outside the US to watch it. The ONLY option I have is to download it. I am happy to pay. I am willing to pay. But nobody will take my money.

In the meantime the Netflix problem is solved with Hola, or with Unblock-US which works on any device.

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Crap broadband holds back HALF of rural small biz types

Valerion
Facepalm

Re: Here's a solution

Stop whining and move. Sure, it doesn't look as nice and it costs a bit more. That's life. The reality is that high(er) speed broadband costs me the cost of living in a place where it exists.

Good idea. I'll just pick up the farm, or the industrial complex, and put it down in the middle of the nearest large city. I might have to demolish hundreds of millions of pounds worth of buildings, but at least I'll get better Facebook access.

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So, these guys turn up with AK47s and offer me protection ...

Valerion

Close to home

My wife grew up in Johannesburg. The tales of the driving test are not exaggerated. You had a choice: Bribe the examiner and pass, or fail. She, and most others, just didn't bother taking the test and a few rand to the cops if they pulled her over was all that was required. She took her test when she came here and passed straight away with flying colours.

The reason she left? Her dad - who owned a pizza place - was robbed at gunpoint on 3 occasions. The "trick" was to keep cash in 3 or 4 places as they would never believe that was all of it if it was all in the till.

She can reel of names of several people she knew who were murdered, including one fairly well publicised case where they were tied to a tree, shot and their throats cut. Jo'burg is in general worse than Cape Town though, I believe.

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It's 4K-ing big right now, but it's NOT going to save TV

Valerion

I'm holding off upgrading as long as possible

Why? My current TV is a lovely 50" Panasonic plasma. Currently about 4 years old.

And you can't buy plasma anymore. I don't care if it makes me old-fashioned, I think it's a far better picture than the over-bright, over-saturated LED stuff that seems to be pushed everywhere these days.

Will OLED bring decent pictures back?

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The weirdly-synched life of the Google Nest household

Valerion

Re: Smart Thermostats

I ain't arguing.... Welcome to winter in my house, where the heating is on stupidly high. Honestly, half the time I end up in a t-shirt, opening windows as I'm so hot, whilst SWMBO is still shivering in a jumper with a blanket around her.

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Valerion

Re: Smart Thermostats

Try Tado.

It learns how long your house takes to warm, and gets weather details from t'web so it knows if it's going to be a bit colder the next day and therefore comes on earlier. When you configure it you set a temperature/time setting, i.e. from 8am-8pm I want it at 23C. Then it will warm the house so it is ready at 23C for 8am, and then maintain that throughout.

You run an app on your phone and it detects when you leave the house and turns off the heating. When it detects you're coming back it fires up the heating again so it's warm when you get back. Obviously how successful this is depends on how far away you were and how quickly you get back.

I've had it for nearly a year now and like it a lot. They promise 30% savings or your money back (or something like that). I'm not sure I've got that much saving as it's hard to quantify, and they haven't taken into account the fact that my wife can now adjust the temperature up to ridiculous levels without having to get up whereas before laziness might have kept her on the sofa. But overall it's a pretty good bit of kit.

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UK.gov STILL won't pop a cap on stolen mobile bills

Valerion

Proceeds of crime

I came to post exactly this. It is not legal to profit from crime, yet the phone companies are doing exactly that.

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Gaming's driving ambitions: The Crew and Grand Theft Auto V

Valerion

Re: Always online requirement? No sale.

[i]Or if you had been using them too much and they had overheated well past their baking point?[/i]

So what you're saying is, they went past their baking point and therefore reached their breaking point, just as he reached the braking point?

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Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then

Valerion

Dumb

By definition now, a search engine is not allowed (in their eyes) to be "commercial"? So a search engine cannot make money? How does it survive? I've no idea how much it costs Google to run search, but I'd imagine it's in the billions of dollars yearly now.

And I also don't see this is any different to my in-flight magazine. I picked that up the other week to see what was for sale. And don't you know everything was being sold by BA! They had no option to buy anything from Emirates duty free at all! Outrageous!

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All ABOARD! Furious Facebook bus drivers join Teamsters union

Valerion

Re: Sub it out

If you'd bothered to read as far as the article's second paragraph you would know that "the unhappy drivers work for Loop Transportation, which has a contract to ferry Zuck's staff to and from the Facebook campus".

This is a fair point. I blatantly missed that!

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Valerion

Sub it out

I'm seriously surprised that Facebook operate this themselves. Bit of a distraction from core business. Sub-contract it out and forget about it.

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Lights OUT for Philae BUT slumbering probot could phone home again as comet nears Sun

Valerion

4cm pushup?

That's about the same as what I can manage.

And 24 hour battery? They shouldn't have used the battery from an iPhone...

I kid - amazing mission, amazing results, more of the same please!

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Sarong it's right: Coining it in Thailand without a visa

Valerion

The "where does he work" question is interesting

And undoubtedly why he is able to keep renewing his Visa.

He is not employed by a local company and not taking the job of a Thai. He is employed by a US company and working for them whilst living in Thailand. Frankly that's a win-win for Thailand as he gets good money which he can put into the local economy without taking a job from a national. He could be based anywhere and give them the same benefit.

It makes me wonder though - I'm not allowed to work in the US (or anywhere outside the EU I suppose), but if I'm on holiday there and answer a work email, am I now working? Where is the line drawn? Methinks that remote working and the normal concept immigration/visas don't really fit well together, like many laws in this digital age. Seems like there should be a new type of Visa "remote-working migrant" or something, that allows paying of local taxes and flexible staying conditions.

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Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode

Valerion

Oh, FFS!

Why?! I've purposely avoided reading too much about it (mainly to avoid the temptation to buy it pre-release), but I've been looking forward to it. But only as Offline, single-player. Why?

1 - I don't want to play with a bunch of schmucks on the internet. I don't care about interaction. If I want that I'll go out to a nice restaurant with my friends. I'm nearing 40. Talking to teenagers on the internet is not something I want to do, thanks.

2 - I don't want one of aforementioned schmuck teenagers deciding to interfere and blow my shit up just for fun. Whilst putting it on Twitch or making a YouTube video with a title like "Elite n00b gets owned!!??!!" Leave me alone and let me play my damn game.

3 - I want it to stay the way it is when I turn it off. I don't want to turn it back on and find out the entire Universe has changed because I haven't played in 3 months.

4 - Sometimes, games are what I do when the broadband goes down. No Netflix? Fancy a game of something? Oh not, we can't, because that doesn't work either now.

5 - I don't care about beating other players. I care about beating "the game". Beating "the game" is something I can probably do, given time. I am then "the champion". Beating all of Japan's Red Bull addicted, 24-hour gamers just isn't going to happen. I will never be "the champion".

Use an offline thing for my savegames - that's great - but let me play the game alone, dammit.

If I had pre-ordered I would be asking for a refund. If I had backed it, I would be taking them on for not delivering.

Such a shame, was looking forward to reliving some BBC-Micro days.

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The Toyota Aygo is PARKtastic ... but it is very much a City slicker

Valerion

Re: Wonderful little cars

I've got a '56 plate one.

Clutch went after 35,000 miles.

Exhaust has just gone (rusted apart) after 46,000 miles.

Last time I replaced a clutch in a car was at 130,000 miles and that was in a Rover built by a slovenly Midlander. I have literally never had to replace an exhaust.

Parcel shelf is flimsy as hell, aircon switch broke, adjustable wingmirrors no longer adjust, speakers were pathetic (made out of paper, but £25 on some Pioneer replacements improved sound matter a lot). Very uncomfortable to drive and noisy, too.

The Mitsubishi 7-seater I bought a few months before that has done twice the mileage has not had a single thing go wrong. Ever.

It may be convenient and easy to park (strangely my wife who normally drives the MPV which she can park like a pro, can't park it because it's "too small"), and cheap tax/insurance, but I can't see myself buying another on the strength of the one I've got. Fortunately my daughter has just turned 18 so I can palm it off on her and buy something new!

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VINYL is BACK and you can thank Sonos for that

Valerion

Up The Irons!

Iron Maiden just re-issued all of their vinyl. I really really want the set, but I don't think the wife would be approving of a fairly expensive purchase that's realistically just going to gather dust.

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Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title

Valerion

Dawkins

The God Delusion.

If I ran education it'd be mandatory reading.

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My HOUSE used to be a PUB: How to save the UK high street

Valerion

Re: Tesco's problems aren't just economic

Their problems are because they treat their customers like shit.

I bought an Xbox game there for my son a few months back. Turns out when I got it home and he tried to play it that it needed an Xbox Live subscription. Given that the only wording on the box that indicated this was obscured by the sticker-covered opaque case they put the games in to prevent you from nicking them, I thought returning it would be no problem.

But no, this was entirely my fault for not having x-ray vision, and they would not accept a return. I would've happily accepted a voucher or swapped for a different game, but no they were having none of it. I asked the store manager if he would really be happy to lose my custom forever because of it. He said yes. So I handed him my club card and haven't been back to any of their stores since. At £100 per week per average shop that's now about two and a half grand that Sainsurys now have and Tescos don't. I actually sold the game to CEX for what I paid for it.

If I had bought from Amazon, I'd have been protected by Distance Selling Regs, and also Amazon's customer service is actually pretty damn awesome. I had a delivery from a 3rd party not arrive the other day. Instant refund and extended my Prime by a month for the inconvenience. All accomplished in 2 emails.

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The late 2014 Apple Mac Mini: The best (and worst) of both worlds

Valerion

Refurb store

I’m going to get one to keep in the office, to save me carrying a laptop back and forth. I just think I might see if I can find a discounted 2012 model, its initially wobbly HDMI output now long fixed, rather than the current one and grab some extra memory for it. ®

That is precisely what I have done this morning. The Apple Refurb store is selling them, but they are appearing and disappearing VERY quickly. Twice I got as far as adding into the basket, only for it to be taken out again as someone else had nabbed it. You literally need to be F5'ing every couple of minutes and acting immediately.

So I got a nice quad-core I7 with 1TB drive for £479. I've then splurged another £100 on 16GB of RAM from elsewhere. The old base models are in there (when they appear) for £339. Bit of a bargain, really.

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FIFTEEN whole dollars on offer for cranky Pentium 4 buyers

Valerion

Is there a limit?

I definitely recall buying 1,000,000 of these. Can I claim $15m?

I've lost the receipt but you say it isn't needed.

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Kingston's aviation empire: From industry firsts to Airfix heroes

Valerion

Great article

I've worked in Kingston for a few years now and never knew any of this!

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Philip Morris seeks pay-per-puff patent to help you STOP smoking

Valerion
Coat

Bad joke

So does this product actually exist? Or is it just vapourware?

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I'll show you the D next week – billionaire space baron Elon Musk

Valerion

Batteries

Surely D is just the size of batteries (not included) the new model will run on?

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One Windows? How does that work... and WTF is a Universal App?

Valerion

VB6

Any word on whether Win10 will support the VB6 Runtime?

There's a LOT of business stuff out there still written in that.

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Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city

Valerion

>>PS why do the British insist on calling towns and cities in Flanders by their (hated) French names)<<

Stoopid Flanders.

(Need a Homer icon)

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Microsoft's rumoured $2.5bn Minecraft gobble expected on Monday

Valerion

Merchandising

They will make a bomb from merchandising. Minecraft is currently very poorly merchandised compared to other IPs (Moshi Monsters, Angry Birds etc). Every kid 8-12 that I know (and I mean EVERY kid) is Minecraft mad. My son most of all.

Once they sort out the merchandising, make Minecraft: The Movie (and its sequels) and so on, they'll certainly recoup the cost.

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Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume

Valerion

Freudian

>>You can transmit a pre-programmed Watch code that your partner will know means "Fancy a quickie?" But winking remains cheaper.<<

Totally misread that last sentence the first time.

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Hawking: Higgs boson in a BIG particle punisher could DESTROY UNIVERSE

Valerion

Re: Hmm,

Maybe it already has. It then expands outwards at the speed of light. So if happened 200,000 light years away, 200,000 years ago it should be night night time any time now.

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Nevada to host Tesla gigafactory: reports

Valerion

I charged my car in Reno...

....Just to watch it die...

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Dr Dre's crew gets Beats-down from Apple: 200 jobs to go – report

Valerion

We don't have HR

In a company of about 600 people we have no HR department, and not even a single HR person.

Payroll is managed by finance. Hiring is managed by the department that actually needs the staff. Grievances are dealt with by managers/directors. Anyone is free to go and see the CEO about anything if they want to.

Every now and then at a company-wide meeting a newish employee will ask if we can have an HR department. The response from the top is always the same: "If we could come up with a reason why we'd be better off with an HR department, we'd have one."

End result is I work for a company where everyone is happy!

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iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple

Valerion

I already have an NFC iPhone

I made it by keeping my debit card in the back of my iphone case. Every time I want to use the contactless, I just put the phone against the reader. Job done.

Sometimes the proposed solutions are far more complex than the easy way...

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Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

Valerion
Happy

My debut single

"Brake Failure" should be hitting the shelves soon.

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US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account

Valerion

What's the problem?

This is very sensible. Otherwise it'd be like the cops getting a warrant to search a house, but limited only to the kitchen.

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Remember when Google+ outed everyone by their real names? Now Google's sorry

Valerion

I tried to sign up once

Google+ wouldn't believe that my name was real (it's honestly not that weird!) and wanted me to send in actual identification - copies of my drivers license or somesuch.

Instead I closed the browser and got on with my life.

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BitTorrent not to blame for movie revenues, says economist

Valerion

Even when it's free I hardly go

We get 4 free cinema tickets every week with our medical insurance (not sure how encouraging you to sit on your arse for 2 hours whilst stuffing your face with popcorn and Minstrels helps you stay healthy but whatever).

And even though they're free I've only been 3 times this year. There just isn't usually anything worth watching to justify the 30 minutes of adverts and trailers (don't mind the trailers, can't stand the adverts). And sitting in a cinema that's either too hot or too cold, with lots of other people crunching, blocking my view, and just generally being there. And stuck on an uncomfortable seat with not enough leg room.

Better to wait for it on Netflix - or iTunes/BluRay if I really want to see it - and watch it on my own TV, on my own sofa, with no adverts.

When everybody had 20" CRT TVs with a VCR there was a point. Now everyone has a 50" HD TV with full surround sound, the cinema "experience" is not the step up it once was.

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#YO_NO! Messaging app 'Yo' gets hit by hackers

Valerion

Aahm Oot

Would have loved to have seen this try on Dragons Den.

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IPv4 addresses now EXHAUSTED in Latin America and the Caribbean

Valerion

Easy solution

Just allow it to go higher than 255 in any Octet.

I know it's possible because I've seen it in the movies and on TV with addresses like 625.2.54.946

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Everyone can and should learn to code? RUBBISH, says Torvalds

Valerion

Art

At school I had to take Art up until the end of year 3 (year 9 for the current generation).

I was worse than hopeless at it. I am unable to draw a straight line even with a ruler. I have no skill whatsoever in drawing anything at all. I recognise this fact. I have no interest in it either. And yet, I was forced, week after week, to do Art lessons and Art projects. Every term my report card would have an Art-shaped blot on it where the teacher would have to mention I made no effort and was basically just utterly shit at it. Eventually a mutual, unsaid agreement was reached where I would do something rubbish and he'd just pretty much ignore it. Towards the end the report cards stopped being so bad actually as he knew there was just no point in making a fuss about it.

Forcing me to do art - with a complete lack of aptitude for it - was a waste of everyone's time. Teaching coding like this is exactly the same. It won't be valuable for those who don't "get it" in later life any more than Art was for me.

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Quick Q: How many FLOPPIES do I need for 16 MILLION image files?

Valerion

Re: 3.5in floppy

My wife (who was bought up in Seth Efrica) once told me that over there such a device is known as a "Stiffy".

10 years later I still haven't stopped laughing.

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Netflix FREEZES prices for existing UK users to stop them quitting vid-streaming service

Valerion

Refreshingly nice business model

Netflix - Prices for new customers are going up. Loyal customers get to keep it cheaper.

Most other companies - Prices for new customers are heavily discounted. Loyal customers get large price increases.

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Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED

Valerion

>>well when you can take hardware that cost same as everyone else's and sell it at 2-300% mark up, yet people still buy it cause they are idiots. You will have insane profits, google may not have the insane $ but they are seen as a much better company as most their products are FREE.

As per the article:

Google profit margin: 22%

Apple profit margin: 21%

Theory fail.

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Veteran Brit tech distie Chessington HQ to become 28 flats

Valerion

Flats?

I used to work in the old Racal building on Davis Road... I can't imagine anyone wanting to buy a flat there!

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This city's smog is so TERRIBLE, people are told to stay indoors. Beijing? No – PARIS

Valerion

The Devastation Of Smog

Best of the Hobbit movies, I reckon.

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SACRILEGE! Hitchhiker's Guide game's back ... and it TWEETS at you

Valerion
Alien

No mention of his birthday?

He would have been 62 today.

Of course, he's not really dead. He's just spending a few years that way for tax reasons.

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Gamers in a flap as Vietnamese dev pulls Flappy Bird

Valerion

Surely he's still making money?

All the existing users can still play the game. So if he was making $50k per day from them, he will continue to do so. He just won't make any more from new users.

Of course it'll die down in a few weeks anyway as people gradually stop playing. But he gets to stop a lot of hassle immediately, whilst still coining it in. Smart guy.

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Jean Michel Jarre: Je voudrais un MUSIC TAX sur VOTRE MOBE

Valerion

Why smartphones?

Why not other things? I.e. amplifiers and speakers and CD players. Things whose SOLE PURPOSE is playing music.

I think what we should do is just automatically tax babies a one-off payment of £5000 the minute they're born, just in case they decide to listen to some music at some point in their lives.

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Amazon floats 'Prime Air' drone delivery plan

Valerion

Inspiration from Harry Potter

Just replaced the Owl with a Robot.

Rowling should sue!

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What's wrong with Britain's computer scientists?

Valerion

>>Now we need teachers who are both knowledgeable and - most importantly - passionate about computer science. Computer science is all too often taught by people whose first degree, and general interest, lies in another domain. We must attract talented computer scientists into teaching so that they can pass on their excitement about the subject to the next generation.<<

How will this happen? People who are knowledgeable and passionate about computer science will go and get a job actually doing computer science. They won't want a job paying them half what they could get whilst doing some actual, interesting stuff. And they certainly won't be happy teaching FOR loops to disinterested kids who'd rather be Snapchatting.

The only people you will get teaching CS is those who aspire to be teachers, not those who aspire to be programmers.

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