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Comment: Re:So far so good. (Score 3, Interesting) 209

When I was in that situation, programmers, engineers, developers - whatever the title was - had a cap of salary. Meaning your senior architect god's gift to the technical couldn't go above a low level manager's salary. If you wanted more, you gotta go management. And what sucked, many times you topped out at your company, but your pay was waayy above every other company's.

This is pretty much why the Peter Principle exists. We have a bizarre notion that management is somehow "better" or "above" technical work, when in many cases managers are in the job they do because they are not actually good at doing technical work, but they are good at the big picture and knowing where resources need to be spent. Similarly technical people, who are usually more concerned with the problem than the solution, often feel they need to jump to management but are not good at that work and do not want to leave the technical work. So you end up with a lot of unqualified positions they don't truly want to be in, but need the money.

I have been doing this for a while now, I'm still not convinced even one very good manager is worth more than one very good engineer, nor are they harder to find if you don't create a reality via pay grades. My present company perhaps encourages people to stay technical, and we have a few people who would be strong managers who are staying technical because that's where the money is at while the managers have far too much risk of being fired. But most of my previous employers were the opposite: good engineers who got promoted up because they were good engineers, but had no particular managerial talent. HR created the reality where you promote them, or watch them leave. So they got promoted.

Comment: Re:Lesson for workers : Keep skills sharp (Score 1) 620

by Austerity Empowers (#49584327) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers

In 15 years and 4 companies I have had 9 different CEOs, that's what makes me say that. None of them believably retired or voluntarily stepped down, and only one or two was an obvious crook. By comparison in 15 years and 4 companies I've had 6 supervisors, only one of whom left the company but in her case she really did retire.

I am not defending what upper management does, they do what I'd do, only they have more power to do it. I personally consider Wall St. the big enemy, not upper management.

Comment: Re:Lesson for workers : Keep skills sharp (Score 2) 620

by Austerity Empowers (#49582641) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers

A) What were you doing you could be replaced that easily?!

Everyone is expendable, from the CEO to the janitor. That's not evil that's just running a good business. Anyone who tries to make himself indispensable is the first person you try to replace, it's not a good behavior and it's not good for anyone.

B) Companies can drop you any time, out of nowhere. Keep some savings, and keep skills up so that if you need another job, you can find one... it's really easy at larger companies to drift into something that lasts years, if not endlessly. Don't let such things trap you.

Yes, that's always good advice. However in this case it should not have happened but for screwed up laws and indentured servitude. If these people were replaced with other citizens or residents who were believably competing on wages, then generally I agree.

Comment: Re:Popularity (Score 1) 53

by Austerity Empowers (#49579039) Attached to: KDE Plasma 5.3 Released

Absolutely untrue. For a fresh Windows 7 install, generally I would agree. But for anyhting over a month old the UI performs miserably, redraws poorly and is generally as bad as Gnome 2.0. And that's just UI performance. It still lacks a proper shell environment without installing 3rd party hacks, is a total memory whore and doesn't scale well with load.

Comment: The 90s all over again... (Score 5, Insightful) 105

by Austerity Empowers (#49573141) Attached to: Why Crypto Backdoors Wouldn't Work

I seem to recall that we went through this in the mid to late 90s, where the government insisted any use of strong cryptography should as a matter of law, have a backdoor for the government. Then suddenly they dropped it, and all of us paying attention knew they got their way by some other means. Now post-Snowden, I guess we know what that was, and they're back to beating this horse all over again.

The answer should be no, with absolutely no further discussion.

Comment: Re:Popularity (Score 4, Interesting) 53

by Austerity Empowers (#49572213) Attached to: KDE Plasma 5.3 Released

Distilling your comment into non-irate hate, my environment is 3 widescreen displays, side by side. Presently I have 13 terminals, 1 "heavy" text editor, two VNC sesions and chrome. I have similar environments on Gnome at home, and KDE at work (minus chrome).

In terms of objectivity:
- I have more usable screen space for me & my apps than I do in Gnome (no backdoor configuration, but a few mainstream mods), significantly more than KDE (running in those VNC sessions). I never bother with Unity anymore.
- In terms of performance, I can drag windows around and do not wait for redraw once. When I drag a window the contents do not disappear, nor do they stop updating (why should they?), they simply move where my mouse puts them and continue playing video or scrolling text or whatever as they move. Gnome is second best. With 13 terminals open that does happen from time to time, but thanks to the magic of Spectacle I can usually avoid the mouse for simple operations. While I rarely sit at KDE directly, it was the worst performer when I last had it installed on my desktop. It works second best to OS X with VNC however. Gnome is terrible in that regard.
- In terms of memory usage, in OS X it is hard to say for certain but "kernel task" is at 1.8GB, which certainly includes non OS things. No other task at this moment is above 600M. So let's call it 1.8GB. Gnome-shell is using 2.2GB, with only one chrome and one terminal open. The particularly old KDE implementation that comes on the company install of RHEL defeated my ability to gauge memory usage, it would appear to be around 500MB.
- I'm not going to debate the facets of the X windowing system and where you feel the problem is, I don't care. I'm not an X developer and will not ever be. It's a package I install, I don't want to spend more than an hour or two configuring it. I understand that Gnome and KDE encompass a lot more than pixels, again that's not relevant for most users. To most of us it's pixels and if it doesn't work the way we want, we throw it out entirely.

While I am an engineer and spend all day with various X's, write a lot of code, stare at a lot of waveforms, and run a lot of heavyweight processes, I don't understand why any sensible person would not want their window system to be smooth and responsive. First and foremost the machines that I use a windowing system are for me to interact with, I should be the priority. When it comes to heavy processing, I have machines that have absolutely no UI on that do the heavy lifting and parallel processing. If I *do* heavy processing on the machine with my window system, the UI needs to get priority, it is a desktop and interactive first and foremost. I'm not sure, beyond a few users with very specific needs, why anyone would not want that behavior out of the box. I've tried XFCE, and didn't like it. I haven't yet tried Mate/Cinnamon.

I do want a good Linux solution it is my preferred OS and religion, but I find that once Canonical gave up the helm in favor of Unity, that Linux returned to it's native state of infighting and bullshit. It is still superior to Windows by lightyears, but there's no reason why the windowing systems continue to resemble angry squirrels wrestling in a canvas sack. I don't know what level of neck beardery suggests that you would prefer to have a sluggish, unresponsive windowing system, or why that helps you with coding or productivity related tasks, but it interferes with mine and my use case seems to resemble what you describe.

Comment: Re:Popularity (Score 0) 53

by Austerity Empowers (#49571669) Attached to: KDE Plasma 5.3 Released

KDE tends to be common "at work" if you have compute farms or whatever for design/engineering tools on RHEL/CentOS. Gnome tends to be more common "at home" for running your favorite distribution. Probably most people have Unity and never change it, but I still find it to be highly dysfunctional and intolerable.

They all have their ups and downs, OS X still has the best & most responsive UI on top of a *nix. It's not entirely clear why Linux can't do that better, at the very least make a much less "heavy" UI that is responsive and smooth. Except that everyone involved seems to be more focused on reinventing the desktop environment to work on tablets which very few people really care about.

Even with proprietary nVidia drivers and a very big video card, Gnome and Unity both seem to have the same handicap as Windows with regards to how the screen is drawn and updated such that you always get this "chugging" effect when you move stuff around. I have no idea why they obsess about icons and open/close buttons when the most important part isn't right.

Comment: Re:So if we redefine STEM... (Score 1) 634

by Austerity Empowers (#49569731) Attached to: How To Increase the Number of Female Engineers

If the university taught them that engineering is all about saving the world, they're going to be in for a pretty rude awakening when they hit the job market and find out that there are very few jobs available that involve world-saving (and the few that do exist are mostly filled by volunteers or pay absolute shit)

Their universities probably lacked imagination. Most engineering activities, including the ones that involve building missiles or jet fighters, are about "saving the world". Perhaps these so-called "feminists" don't appreciate or agree with the programs in question, but every computer chip enables something that would have taken decades to do by hand, every missile protects us from some take over raping/plundering by some lunatic with a bigger gun, every automobile allows more people access to food, medicine, employment than would have been had without. It's always been about improving our situation, it may not be the reason that some men do it (not the reason *I* do it, certainly), but that is why it is done.

That some of these inventions are misused or taken for granted is a shame, but if they're not considered "social" good simply because they're hocked by a for-profit business enterprise then their underlying issue is not with engineering, but with capitalism. That's not something STEM has a solution for, other than by pushing the bar of technology forward we may eventually relieve ourselves of the need of evaluating resources in the way we do now. But until then, women should be considering the utility of the things they work on. We *all* already pan jobs where we're doing something meaningless for an employer who is clearly just out to also-ran, these are also the same employers who insist there's a workforce shortage.

Comment: Re:Not quite (Score 1) 182

I don't know what the laws are on corpse fucking, I've really never looked in to it. If there is scientific value to it, then I really don't see what the concern is. If it were me they were fucking, I'd be well and truly dead and beyond concern. Nonetheless, necrophilia is not socially acceptable, and may in fact be illegal, I would expect scientists to obey the law or at least keep a low profile if there was actual gain (and if caught, accept the consequences of their actions). Kevorkian was put in jail because he overstepped the limit of the law and has to pay the consequences. I personally think the man is absolutely correct, that anyone who wishes to die should be able to do so as quickly and painlessly as possible (*with caveats that are distracting to this discussion). This is, in my mind, an open ethical question and an open legal question.

I don't really think you are interested in having a discussion, just more fear mongering over what might happen based on fear of progress and no doubt a few issues you feel are important that you know many of your contemporaries might not care about. The best one is "what if homosexuality were eradicated", personally I don't see a problem if it were done by say, gene splicing (rather than abortion or outright murder), but I know quite a few who would fight violently. Those are good discussions to have if/when they are real, it's an academic debate until such time that we have the problem to solve.

The same arguments exist about AI, all the terrible things that might happen, some things that may or may not be terrible depending on implementation. Yet entirely ignoring all the good that might also happen. I do not feel science should be handcuffed by committees, not religious ones and not secular ones. We'd still be denying heliocentricity and think stars were pixie dust or some crap if various scientists allowed themselves to be restrained by committee. The facts need to be discovered, what we do with that knowledge is up to us.

Comment: Re:So let me get this straight (Score 3, Insightful) 685

by Austerity Empowers (#49537209) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

I think you can have a negative opinion of him but think he did the right thing, also. I don't think he did the best possible thing, I don't think he tried very hard, I think he was angry, didn't get the response he wanted from the right people quickly enough and acted brashly. I think he could have done more to protect secrets that need to stay secrets (because lives are on the line), while also revealing how incredibly bad our government was acting. But what he did was still better than keeping quiet.

I also suspect that the older you are, the more foreign enemies scare you than domestic ones. That's not a statement that indicates the older crowd is correct in their fears either, if anything the foreign enemy threat is in fact somewhat lower, but the domestic enemy threat has grown tremendously in the past 40 years. Just look at the people funding the republican party? I cannot imagine a scarier group of people with a more frightening ideology.

Comment: Re:Not quite (Score 0) 182

Those aren't questions for scientists, and should have nothing to do with science and not get in the way of science. While I dislike many things China does geopolitically, I think their scientist had the right idea in terms of protecting us from his experiments. I try not to think of all the scary things scientists at the CDC are doing with excellent intentions, this is benign by comparison.

The science should proceed unabated, and we will solve problems as they occur, as we have always done.

1) People are going to genetically engineer bioweapons, it will happen, it may already have happened.
2) Cookie cutter humans will come to exist if they are desirable, we will decide if we think that's a problem and fix the problems.
3) What's wrong with hybrids? What is the problem? Show me what is going wrong first.
4) In American society, the rich and powerful are going to win. In other societies maybe not. You can't stop this, and based on politics as it exists today, probably never will be able to. This is the best example of doing our best to react to something we can't control.
5) Why would you? Why should you? If they have done something that produces undesireable results, then you go find them. We do not monitor every human being for genocidal impulses do we?
6) How do we punish murderers? Rapists? Theives? Who has jurisdiction. Generally, the country in which the crime occurred. War crimes are an exception perhaps. This transcends genetic modification, but I will not answer to the UN nor endorse a system where americans answer to the UN. I suspect others of different nationalities will agree.

All of your concerns are fears over what might happen, what people might do, the millions of movie scenarios where the evil mastermind does something terrible. We do not need to create a system of ethics in advance to address every conceivable scenario, we solve the problems as they arise. I don't even want to enter a scenario where we need to get everyones moral and religious code in alignment with the future when we can't even agree on the present, it's a waste of time. I trust that it is in nobodies best interest to destroy the human race, and that nobody will intentionally do so. Could it happen by accident? Yup, but it will happen if it's legal or not. I trust more people keeping their work out in the open without fear of reprisal to keep them on the straight and narrow, than forcing them to sneak around and avoid detection.

This technology has many incredibly positive possible benefits, in addition to the terrible things. As we have always done, maximize the good, minimize the bad.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get empirical." -- Jon Carroll