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Comment Re:Two Models/Rant for students (Score 1) 75

It depends on the country, the US/UK model is "you pay through the node you lazy bastards" including things that they "really need to be the best scientist an thinker for the future" like 0.5 Giga $ for the UCB statium "renovation" ....
Other countries still believe that it's saner if the whole society pays for the education of the next generations...

So yes everybody is part of the society, but it does not mean that everybody has access to something paid by all, or not ...

Comment Two Models/Rant for students (Score 2) 75

There are two models of education, either "society" invests in its future and education is free or close to free (including higher ed.)
because educated people are the ones who are able to builds a long term sustainable economy and pay our retirements.
Or education is an individual choice and you should pay for it, and society just invest to avoid loosing some of the outliers among people without the necessary means...

In the first case it might be argued that "as society pays" they have "some right of supervision" ... although the kind of students who can be "properly supervised" are also the kind of students you do not want as future colleagues...
In the second case, WTF how dare you define "how" I'm supposed to organize my time, ok I'm not allowed to do a strip tease in a restaurant just because I ordered food, but how much I eat, if I eat, and what exactly I choose are the privileges I BUY.

Now our bright politicians supported by armies of idiots are doing their best to give us the worst of both models...

You pay through the nose huge amounts of money, and you have very little say about what you really study, how, at what rythm and now they want to hover over students schoulders to make sure they act "as expected"....

So the only advice I have is : study things you are really interested in, or who are helping you learn things useful for some future goal, find the cheapest place possible to study, at least for the untergrad part (for graduation studies, if you have to pay for it, you probably aren't good enough, work harder ....)
And do no try to study "for work"/"to be adapted to the industry/corporate/business world", what ever that world will be when you start to really look for a job, it has little to do with what your professors know now, and close to nothing to do with the world as it was when the courses where designed ...
So "use" professors for what they might be good at, scientific knowledge and knowing how to learn...

And for the rest, try to find an activity that you really like (well not this one, another additional one :)) and use it to mingle with interesting people, create your own "competing network" to build what "top universities and schools" are offering.

Good luck

Comment Blindness happens to smart people too... (Score 2) 309

It was quite obvious from day one that the people who organize the party have absolutely zero interest in Larry's platform, and that they will make sure that anything like his project gets hidden from the general public.

As soon as he had any chance to be something more than a "decorative" candidate the party would make sure that he is blocked, because the system suits them just fine.

The core issue is that the sheep vote for who ever has the more shiny adverts, so there is no "short term fix", maybe something like a 10 year project starting with a general campaign telling the public to under no circumstance vote for an incumbent candidate, no matter how bad the other guys are the only way you as a citizen can be listened is by showing that you have the power to punish a politician, and you need to punish all of them just for being unable to fix the system.

Then campaign on : look at the tools that enable you to asses you representatives past performance, and future projects, ignore their adverts they are of no value what so ever...

Then maybe, just maybe for the third round people will vote for their candidates because they believe in what they are achieving, or really planning to achieve and not because they have more shiny ads and are not quite as bad as the other guy(gal).

Comment Re:Stupid people are stupid (Score 1) 956

The whole story stinks, and one of the turdiest element is that there are people allowed to vote who still think that "the bad guy" is actually putting a display on the bomb to help the "good guy" to know how much time they've got to "disarm" the doomsday equipment....

In practice the fact that there is a readable timer is quite the proof that this is not a bomb...

All the teachers, administrative staff and cops should be fired without pay and put on trial with various level of punitive damage...

Unfortunately this is not going to happen ....

Comment Don't live in Europe ? so What ? (Score 2) 35

It's interesting to see that 65% of polled people wrote: but I do not live in Europe ... (YIC), but the question was not
Will you go to ...
or Can you go to ...
but would you like to ...

I do not live in Asia but would really like to go to the beaches in Bali (I think) .... doesn't mean I will in the near future ....

So I guess the poll somewhat enabled ./ to find out the "brogrammers" and "pseudo tech hipsters", ... will they be punished ? maybe additional ads for self help books ? and get rich quick schemes ? ...

BTW Fossdem is really cool, but granada in September is still quite warm :) and only one hour from the beach :)

Comment Re:Other reasons (Score 1) 306

And I know a couple of Phil PHDs one is a VC the other a Top executive in charge of Government Affairs another is a very specialized Translator
(lousy pay but no shortage of work) and another one is sharing his time between High School teaching Philosophy and being an elected official.

Come to think of it, I do not know a Philosophy major without a job, but I do know a few CS majors who are not able to find a job, and a huge amount of CS Major who should definitively not work in IT.

Comment Re:oh jeez. (Score 2) 140

In practice blimps would be usefull if they could be run using hydrogen.
Helium is a limited and expensive ressource, hydrogen is comparativelly "free"...

And I suspect that the issues with static electricity, heat, etc... are much better understood today than 80..90 years ago.

The weather forecasts are also much more accurate and the risk of loosing a blimp to the wind are way lower than in the 30s...

The advantage of blimps is that they do not need as much infrastructure as planes, and if you compare the safety records of antique hydrogen blimps to some of the developping world countries airline, ... one might reconsider ....

Comment Re:The Turing Test Itself is a Load of Crap (Score 1) 309

A con man tries to con you out of something, Turing didn't, he also was probably the biggest factor in saving everybody's bacon...
He was probably over optimistic, or just very pessimistic (realistic ?) about the level of intelligence most people use when they believe they are thinking .....

Comment Re:What he's really saying is (Score 3, Insightful) 422

No, what he is saying is that it is easy to "write" sloppy code for excel and hard to write good code.
And even harder to review it.

It's similar to the reason a) people moved away from basic, and b) basic evolved to be (duck, please no flame) almost usable (I still do not like it, but recognize that it is possible to write usable code in visual basic).

If you want to criticizes him, picking on Piketty is VERY political, "excel" errors are galore in neocon publications, but of course the FT did not find anything not to love there, but saying that just maybe having a small group of people siphoning off all the cash from society is not sustainable for ever does make them nervous and very desirous to find some scab to pick at...

Nevertheless he is right, it would be very good if decision makers would be able to "read the numbers" and not just "massage the numbers".
Something like R or ADaMSoft would drive you to test ideas on datasets and learn from them whereas excel (or calc :)) have a tendency to get you to fiddle the numbers until the taxman aherm the reader sees what you would like them to see...

Comment I'm 10 years older than you ... (Score 2) 274

I'm 10 years older than you and worked for a variety of startups in the last 20 years, and am just starting in a "new one" yes they are all 20 years younger than I am, but ... somehow they think I can bring something to the table...
Including BTW a large network of contacts ...

About the "cultural thing", you should probably discuss with your familly and negociate that you will be very late about 4 days in each month (but not necessarely friday night)... then decide what you would like to do there night, it could be going to gothic festivals, play pool or snooker, go bowling, organize Maker's event, go to steampunk events, real time go language programming, what ever ...
Pick stuff you like and could convince "them to do", stuff they like and you could tolerate (or even enjoy) doing... things you find interesting and that you could actually organize and be seen as a kind of leader in .. (think tech oriented meetups at meetup.com or similar stuff)

Then try to find once a month an event you can tolerate and that is organized allready...
Organize once a month or every two monthes a meetup or something similar about something techy you care about and invite the rest of the company to attend
Invite everybody once a month to something you find fun (if they do not come it's their problem, just make sure it is something that they just might be interested in ...)
And think about what the fourth "free pass" in the month could be ...
nb: try to find a baby sitter if necessary for these days so that your wife can do whatever she wants also...

Even if you only organize a subset of this plan you will find out that you will have more than necessary time to "network" with the team, you do not need to go clubbing all night (you allready found your wife, and if you are thinking of cheating on her doing it in front of your colleages would be the worst possible idea...)
In office happy hours are not really a problem if you remember that you can also drink a coke without rhum, just explain if somebody is jocking about it that you are going to drive home, and they both your children and the companies investors would rather see you alive tomorrow ...
And other "week-end", holliday activities can be fun & interesting (burning man !! :)) but are not necessary, particularly if you get to speak to the same people "off road" during pub&pool or bowling or the "meetup.com about " event you organize or help organize ...

And at the end of the day, what people care the most is "code that actually works", and "answers to a couple of hard questions" ...

So don't worry if you stay cool you'll do great ....

Comment Re:So few (Score 1) 199

In reality there are two issues

the first one is that the large US companies know that at some point they'll be able to get a tax holliday to rapatriate the cash they fleeced from foreign countries and stored in some tax haven.
In theory you have to pay taxes somewhere overly simplifying the issues it means you pay where you are or where your customers are, but if you can hide the money from your customers tax authorities and then wait until your own tax authorities tells you fine, bring the cash we'll make you a discount ... it's "kind of legal" but ...
The other issue is that in constructing the European Union we agreed to have an open market but did not (out ouf misguided nationalism) give up national taxing rights...
So a small country is happy to tax a large company for all the business they do in Europe at a discounted rate, and they can afford it because they have smaller needs for their infrastructure.
But it is not a long term sustainable system.

In the specific case of Google the tax office is doing what they should have done a very long time ago to Microsoft, Apple, HP, ....
it is to say: ok the system is broken and you "can" steal the revenu from your french operation to move it to some place where the tax are lower, BUT you have to do it correctly and charge a realistic amount of money for what ever "management services, IP transfert, branding cost, sales operation, ... " you have "abroad"
if not you are cheating ...

Comment Re:So few (Score 2) 199

You confuse taxes on individuals and taxes on companies, BTW the US top tax rate was very close to this until you elected a movie cowboy, I guess all the rich people where fleeing the US in the 60s 70s and early 80s ....

The main reason BTW the government is trying to increase personal taxes is just because international (including very french ones) companies actually manage not to pay any taxes...

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