I disagree with the author that the XKCD method isn't a good one. The XKCD comic presented the idea of using 4 completely unrelated words, but the author used a four word example using a sentence. His main issue seems to be that people are too stupid to remember multiple username/password combinations for multiple sites.
It's easy to come in at a much smaller amount when you're not dealing with the rampant corruption in US government contracts. If the Indian government was willing to spend $900 on toilet seats and hammers then the Indian contractors would be screwing their government like our contractors screw us and our tax payers.
This has been going on since the 90's with the huge influx of H1B visas for tech positions when we had enough American tech workers to fill the need. In 1997 I worked for a very large payroll company (although not in their payroll division), and my VP told me he was instructed to fill future computer programmer/analyst positions with Indian workers that needed their green cards sponsored. This allowed them to lock in someone to two years minimum at a low wage. It was bad for the person being hired because they didn't know any better, then they were trapped (unless they wanted to start process all over again at another company willing to sponsor them). It was a way of screwing over citizens and current green card holders, by bringing indentured servants on the promise of a green card two years down the road.
Agreed. I started when I was 25 and this August will be my 20th year in the business. I've been steadily employed in various industries in WV, MD(DC Metro area) and Northern VA (DC Metro area) since 1992. I've never been layed off, although luck plays into that since I was at WorldCom through about 6 or 7 rounds of layoffs.I started out in C/C++ which was mostly us using C++ compilers to compile C code. Eventually I got into Visual Basic, then VB.Net and finally settled into C# about 5 years ago. I know quite a few people my age or older that are still SE's. Contrary to what was written in the article I've seen a lot more people flame out after going into management versus staying a programmer. It's been my experience if you're good at what you do there will be a place for you in your company as an SE but if you go into management you're a lot more likely to get fired as a scapegoat as much as anything else. As to what the writers are smoking, they're writers. A friend of mine that has an MBA in Finance (but works as an SE) pointed out to me years ago that financial columnists for most news organizations are making a lot less than us. They aren't necessarily more in the know just because they're writing an article published by Bloomsberg, CNN, etc. Every time I see a moronic article with glaringly obvious interview tips, etc I think about his comments. Should you really be taking interview advice from a jr. writer? Even if for what ever reason my job goes away or I'm replaced by someone younger, I won't be answering to an English major unless I take a temp job at McDonalds.
kube00 writes "Split-screen co-op and local multiplayer are becoming things of the past. What happened to cramming a bunch of gamers into a room with two TVs and doing a system link match in Halo? Where have the all-night GoldenEye matches gone? Like the arcades of gamers' youth, the local multiplayer and co-op bonding experience has been replaced with individual gamers and a network."
dotarray writes "From the article: 'Rockstar Games are no strangers to legal action, but it doesn't come stranger than this. An American model, Michael Washington (known as "Shagg") is suing the publisher — as well as parent company Take Two Interactive — because they based Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on his life.'" It's a good thing Washington never learned the infinite ammo cheat.
Meshach writes "A study out of Canada claims that seeing meat actually calms a person down. From the article: 'Contrary to expectations, a McGill University researcher has discovered that seeing meat makes people significantly less aggressive. Frank Kachanoff, who studies evolution at the university’s department of psychology, had initially thought the presence of meat would provoke bloodlust, believing the response would have helped our primate ancestors hunt. But in fact, his research showed the reverse is true.'" I can see all the "Make Steak, Not War!" protest signs already.
An anonymous reader writes with this intriguing snippet: "Older Americans are less healthy than their English counterparts, but they live as long or even longer than their English peers, according to a new study by researchers from the RAND Corporation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London. Researchers found that while Americans aged 55 to 64 have higher rates of chronic diseases than their peers in England, they died at about the same rate. And Americans age 65 and older — while still sicker than their English peers — had a lower death rate than similar people in England, according to findings published in the journal Demography."
Many of you have submitted a story about Irish filmmaker George Clarke, who claims to have found a person using a cellphone in the "unused footage" section of the DVD The Circus, a Charlie Chaplin movie filmed in 1928. To me the bigger mystery is how someone who appears to be the offspring of Ram-Man and The Penguin got into a movie in the first place, especially if they were talking to a little metal box on set. Watch the video and decide for yourself.
The board of Bible.com claims that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than to make money on the domain name, but an angry shareholder disagrees. From the article: "James Solakian filed the lawsuit in Delaware's Chancery Court against the board of Bible.com for breaching their duty by refusing to sell the site or run the company in a profitable way. The lawsuit cites a valuation done by a potential purchaser that estimated bible.com could be worth more than dictionary.com, which recently sold for more than $100 million."
scottbomb sends in this feel-good story of an engineer-hero, calling it "one of the coolest stories I've read in a long time." "A manager of Boeing's F22 fighter-jet program, Innes dodged the truck, then looked back to see that the driver was slumped over the wheel. He knew a busy intersection was just ahead, and he had to act fast. Without consulting the passengers in his minivan — 'there was no time to take a vote' — Innes kicked into engineer mode. 'Basic physics: If I could get in front of him and let him hit me, the delta difference in speed would just be a few miles an hour, and we could slow down together,' Innes explained."
Esther Schindler writes "In 1986, Susan Lammers did a series of interviews with 19 prominent programmers in a Microsoft Press book, Programmers at Work. These interviews give a unique view into the shared perceptions of accomplished programmers, the people who invented the tools you use today. In Programmers Who Defined The Technology Industry: Where Are They Now?, I tracked down the fate of these prominent developers — from Robert Carr (Framework) to Dan Bricklin (VisiCalc) to Toru Iwatani (author of Pac Man, I'm glad you asked). The article quotes the developers' 1986 views on programming, the business, and the future of computing. In two cases (Bricklin and Jonathan Sachs, author of Lotus 1-2-3) I spoke with them to learn if, and how, their views had changed. One meaty example: In 1986, Bill Gates said, on Microsoft's future: 'Even though there'll be more and more machines, our present thinking is that we won't have to increase the size of our development groups, because we'll simply be making programs that sell in larger quantities. We can get a very large amount of software revenue and still keep the company not dramatically larger than what we have today. That means we can know everybody and talk and share tools and maintain a high level of quality.' At the time, Microsoft had 160 programmers."
Pope Benedict XVI has warned that people are in danger of being unable to discern reality from fiction because of new technologies, and not old books. "New technologies and the progress they bring can make it impossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead to confusion between reality and virtual reality. The image can also become independent from reality, it can give birth to a virtual world, with various consequences -- above all the risk of indifference towards real life," he said.
An anonymous reader writes "Caught in a disaster with harmful airborne particles? You'd better hope you're wearing the Emergency Bra. Simply unsnap the bright red bra, separate the cups, and slip it over your head — one cup for you, and one for your friend. Dr. Elena Bodnar won an Ig Nobel Award for the invention last year, an annual tribute to scientific research that on the surface seems goofy but is often surprisingly practical. And now Bodnar has brought the eBra to the public; purchase one online for just $29.95."
Dave Moorhouse was elated when he was informed that a microchip provider had information on the whereabouts of his stolen dog. This joy soon faded when the company informed him that it could not divulge the Jack Russell terrier's location because it would breach the Data Protection Act. Last week a court agreed with the chip company and refused Mr Moorhouse's request for a court order compelling them to reveal the name and address of the new owners. Steven Wildridge, managing director of the chip company said: “This is not a choice, it’s an obligation under the Data Protection Act. If the individuals involved do not want us to pass on their details to the original owner then we cannot do so unless compelled to following a criminal or civil proceeding."