Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Not law yet (Score 1) 46

by Jesrad (#49627367) Attached to: French Version of 'Patriot Act' Becomes Law

In any case, the french hosting company has announced it is definitely moving to Norway.

Their CEO left this message on their main page, here it is translated:

Altern shuts its doors... again

Following the voting of the secret services law in the National Assembly yesterday #PJLRenseignement, the webhosting company Altern closes its services while moving abroad.

For twenty years helped make free speech rights a reality for citizens and residents of this country. During these years political leaders, corporate representatives and assorted top brass of any kind never ceased their efforts at ending this happy period of liberty that the Internet had started.

We did get plenty of laughs as they scrambled around trying to roll back the sea with Maginot lines of the likes of the Hadopi.
But today they got the upper hand by forcing us, by law, to install at the heart of our infrastructures "black box" analysers under the sole control of secret services.
This grip on telecom services induces self-censorship of our public expression and annihilates our privacy on the Internet.

For us just one day under global surveillance is one day too many. refuses these secret services black boxes, shuts its doors immediately, and will reopen them in a few days from another country that is more respective of individual liberties.

Comment: Re:Auction off the H1B slots to highest bidder (Score 1) 631

by Copid (#49587661) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers
Just make the H1B slot an expiring license (say 5 years). Auction it off at the beginning and allow it to be resold on the open market until it expires. Then you can stop bothering with questions about pay gaps and other nonsense. If there's a $10K per year arbitrage opportunity, the market will quickly sort it out.

We could use the spot price of visas at different maturities as a "yield curve" to see what the predictions are for future technical labor demand and as an indicator for how tight labor demand is right now. Best of all, the visas will be used on rock stars who are actually worth importing rather than being doled out more or less at random.

Comment: Re:Any wage? (Score 1) 631

by Copid (#49587601) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers

H1B fees and legal expenses are not cheap, nor is paying international relocation expenses for a candidate and his/her family, so we're certainly not saving money by hiring H1B's.

You just described the alternative of paying enough to make your total package competitive as being too expensive. It sounds like you're saving money by that any reasonable definition, even after the government and lawyers take their share. If it wasn't cheaper than raising your pay rates, you wouldn't be doing it.

That being said, I'm willing to grant that a company that hires PhD level people is much more likely to run into a real hard limit when it comes to finding subject matter experts, and they're the types of operations that the H1B system is supposed to work for on paper. If we did the sensible thing and auctioned off H1B slots and allowed them to be resold on an open market, those are probably the types of companies that would buy them.

Comment: Re:The correct decision (Score 1) 355

by Copid (#49573383) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class
I'd agree with this, but for better or worse, going to a university provides not just an education but a credential. What other people do may not really affect my education as long as they're not being disruptive, but if my university graduates a bunch of people who clearly didn't learn anything, it erodes the value of the credential. Having an engineering degree from a school that has a reputation for graduating engineers who can't do basic algebra is barely better than having no degree at all when it comes to getting your resume noticed. Allowing a university with a decent reputation to turn into a diploma mill does a major disservice to all of your alumni.

Comment: Re:The correct decision (Score 4, Insightful) 355

by Copid (#49570671) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class
It's really too bad he didn't hang in there until the end and give legitimate supportable F grades to most of the class while showing good faith by giving appropriate grades to decent students. Getting an F that sticks stings a lot more than making news while your professor melts down and having your grade adjusted by the university.

I'd love to see a world where professors hand out failing grades more liberally. I got really sick of seeing cheaters and whiners get their way when I was in college.

Comment: Re:You're not willing to pay (Score 1) 285

I'm wondering what percentage of the price of a basket of strawberries is the labor to pick them. Assume that a good picker can pick, say, an average of 30 strawberries a minute if you include the time it takes to empty baskets and walk around to different rows of plants. What does that work out to in human touch time per basket? I'm thinking the cost of that basket is land, shipping, fertilizer, varous capital, and various labor. It seems like far too much is made of the harvesting effort just because it's the most visible and probably the most physically taxing.

Comment: Re:Google's projects aren't afterthoughts (mostly) (Score 1) 359

by Copid (#49564533) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed
How does it fit with Facebook's business model? Not sure. But if I were facebook, I'd be very concerned about my business model going away if there's an unpredictable shift in peoples' preferences WRT social networking. It seems like a lot of eggs to have in that one basket even though network effects are on their side right now. If I was sitting on a ridiculous amount of money with that one narrow business model, I'd be diversifying left and right. Maybe not at the $2B for Oculus pricepoint, but I'd be doing something like it.

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 629

by Copid (#49564457) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame
I've converted over to diet for the same reason. I used to hate diet soda as a kid, but as I've gotten older the slightly lighter finish without the lingering sugar glaze in my mouth is something I prefer. I drink soda rarely enough that it wouldn't matter from a calorie count perspective.

The Diet Coke / Mentos guys said that after much research on which sodas produced the best fountain for the dollar, they went with the diet version for the easy cleanup because the regular stuff left a lot more residue.

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 629

by Copid (#49564431) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame
As a friend of mine who lost a ton of weight says when anybody asks, "It's all just math." They start going into types of foods an this and that and he cuts them of. "Just math. The hard parts are knowing how many calories you need and actually knowing how many calories are in what you're eating. Once you've done that it's just a daily budget."

I think a lot of people seem to see diet drinks as negative calories instead of zero and it throws off their whole estimate. But the biggest problem is that they're eyeballing it and estimating how many calories they've eaten rather than really getting good numbers and keeping track. Study after study shows that people who estimate their calorie intake for the day are way off. You can't figure out calorie intake by using how guilty you feel about the whole pacakge as your metric.

Comment: The widening divide (Score 2) 230

by Jesrad (#49526397) Attached to: UK Police Chief: Some Tech Companies Are 'Friendly To Terrorists'

So now "terrorism" basically means any kind of activity that might undermine the state's supremacy of power. Mark Rowley's candid admittance is perfectly in line with how, for instance, Missouri's police forces refer to protesters as "enemy forces". And of course, if you're not helping with enforcing this supremacy, actively betraying your own principles in the process (and, no Mr officer, saying 'Some days, I hate my job' while you break into an innocent's home and plunder their stuff, does not exonerate you in any way) then you are with THEM.

Comment: Re: Sigh. (Score 1) 114

by Copid (#49506911) Attached to: DIA Polygraph Countermeasure Case Files Leaked
Add to that the percentage of the population that actuall is a spy is incredibly small and the percentage of the population that gets squeamish under interrogation is really high and you have a total classification disaster on your hands. I mean, of the thousands of NSA or CIA or FBI employees, how many of them are spies? Sure, some of them probably are. But I'm guessing it's single digits in each agency.

We are experiencing system trouble -- do not adjust your terminal.