Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×
User Journal

Journal: Final Thoughts at End of Contract

Journal by Marxist Hacker 42

Things that were not explained adequately upon conversion from CW to ICE.

  1. Bonuses- it was thought by my management that QPB applied to all blue badge employees including ICE. If I had known I wasn't going to get bonuses, I would have asked for higher base pay.
  2. Vacation Time- MUST be taken while still an employee, and unlike what the recruiter who wrote my job offer told me, cannot be used to extend your final week. Any unused vacation time will be lost at end of contract, by policy. In addition, apparently you lose it at the end of the year, I really should have taken WW52 off, then the sting would not be so bad now.
  3. ICE as a stepping stone to full employment at Intel is a lie. I couldn't get anybody, despite spending many hours on networking, to give my resume a second look. I even learned a new tool in this contract that is internal and can only be used at Intel and is completely worthless outside of Intel. No matter, I've had many interviews outside of Intel, and will land well, but I'll keep this in mind the next time I am tempted to take a short term contract at Intel.
  4. Being a blue badge, if you are ICE, still means you're treated more like a resource than like a human by human resources. Many policies are used to reverse decisions that your manager, who is working more closely with you, has made.
     

Software Project Management At Intel in non-software divisions

  1. Brooks Law is almost unheard of at Intel. Hardware Managers think that all software projects can be completed in less than six months, and therefore throw contingent workers at the project. Since software estimates, in general, are 75% engineering and 25% new science, they are wildly inaccurate. When the project inevitably fails to be complete in the first six months, the temptation is to break Brook's Law by adding more contingent workers. The time to ramp up CWs on the project of course exceeds the time to complete the project if you kept software engineers working for more than 18 months at a time.
  2. Agile or Waterfall- Pick one and stick to it. This crazy combination used on software projects in hardware divisions is ridiculous, as is the general lack of written requirements.
  3. It's hard to hit a moving target- input data integrity must be respected. If you don't have input data integrity, then there will be bugs. Bugs add complexity. Bugs make software estimates inaccurate. Lather, rinse, repeat.

On the new diversity initiative

  1. There is no link between surface appearance and how a person thinks, or how capable they are. None at all. While this makes the apparent racism of the past a mistake, this also makes modern affirmative action programs equally racist and invalid.
  2. There is no link between religion, sexual orientation, or disability and how a person thinks, or how capable they are. Such factors should not enter into hiring or promotion decisions at all, and when they do, that is what Intel needs to eliminate from the system.
  3. There IS a link between certain forms of mental illness and the ability to innovate. Since mental illness affects the brain directly, having somebody with a well controlled mental illness on your team increases diversity of thought, which leads to innovation.
  4. I believe that the uncertainty surrounding the diversity initiative was a part of my failure to convert to FTE. Not necessarily outright discrimination against a white male, and due to my autism I fall into one of the protected groups anyway and HR is well aware of that. But I believe the way the diversity initiative was announced, and the weeks of confusion surrounding it before BK finally clarified his position, coming at the same time I was trying to convert to FTE, meant that I had a harder time of trying to get my resume noticed and find open, externally advertised jobs for my skillset.

Final Thought and contact info

While my search to convert to FTE at Intel has failed, my external search has succeeded. I have at least one, maybe two job offers in hand; I will likely be back to work sometime between March 25 to March 30. This posting will be crossposted to Inside Blue before I leave Intel. Comments section below is open.

 

User Journal

Journal: I owe Bill Dog continuation, Prius Hack ideas 10

Journal by Marxist Hacker 42

Bill's last set of answers, and my answers to his answers
 
>>1. The only reason to run the gas engine under 25 miles an hour [â Typical residential speed limit] should be for recharging and generating, period. EV mode only at low speed.

>And Toyota may have started out planning on along those lines, but may have gotten focus group research that indicated people preferred a little more acceleration.

Which is weird, because when you put the two electric motors working together, you have MORE acceleration than the gas engine alone. 104 HP vs 70 HP.

>>2. An expert mode should be available wherein "creep ahead at stop" is disabled

>Having switched to owning only manual transmission cars, I only miss that on a metered freeway onramp, that's uphill. I imagine it's added behavior when in electric-only mode, to simulate a slush box, so not sure how it could be universally defeatable. There's no "neutral" on those smug little cars?

There is, it just doesn't auto-engage. The default is creep ahead (and yes, it's electric- it is quite obvious that your gas engine has stopped and it's in stealth mode- which makes it even more dangerous for say, a pedestrian in the cross walk in front of you, no warning roar of the engine as the car speeds up to 8mph slowly).

>>3. Cruise control should also be able to be set by a numeric keypad, and should be able to handle values lower than 23.

>That's an awesome idea, rather than having to bring the car up to the desired speed manually. But I wouldn't be surprised if it's the government disallowing the latter.

It certainly gets them more speeding ticket revenue in 20mph and 15 mph zones. That, and thanks to the "delayed reaction" in the CAN of the prius, I can never seem to hit the correct speed. Always 1mph off, either above or below. And why does slowing down below 23 erase the register, forcing a manual reset, instead of disengaging alone?

>>4. Sport mode should be available that disengages the traction control and enables all three motors for acceleration (you can get the second half of this in a gen2 by angrily stomping on the accelerator, it takes a second to engage, but you suddenly go from 34 HP to 174 HP as the second electric and the gas motor kick in).

>Why would a Prius owner want this?

Ice, sand, and mud. Thanks to the traction control the way it is, and the standard modes, it is impossible to get more than 34hp to the wheels in the first second of travel; and in addition to that, if there is any wheelspin at all, that 34 goes to 0 hp real quick and a little light blinks on to tell you that your transmission is disengaged. A sport mode would enable both drag racing and off road abilities that the prius currently lacks.

>>5. Finer resolution than 5 minutes on the average MPG consumption graph.

>>6. Ability to download trip data onto an SD card.

>Likely never, directly. Companies want your personal info to go to "the cloud" first, so that they can mine it and monetize you further.

I'd even accept an upload to the cloud if I could get fine resolution consumption and the ability to diagnose my driving habits after the fact. The big change in driving a prius isn't so much the technology, it's the feedback given about your fuel consumption, and it occurs to me more feedback is better.

>>7. If gas tank 20% full and battery 20% full, hibernate mode on computer if accidentally left on and wheels are not moving. Right now if you tried to use a Gen2 prius as a backup house generator, you run the risk of bricking the system, unable to boot computer, unable to add more gas, must drag onto a flatbed and tow to Toyota to use their fancy charging system to bring the car back to life.

>I guess you're saying these cars have no under-hood starter battery like ICE vehicles, that's user-swappable with a replacement from any auto parts shop. And I guess neither can these cars be jump-started, simply by using another vehicle (with a battery of equal or greater cold cranking amps). Wow.

More of an in-the-trunk starter battery that is only good for booting the computer system. If you run out of gas *and* the high voltage battery goes totally flat the most you will be able to do is boot the computer, the high voltage battery is needed to spin M1 to be the starter motor (M1 does triple duty- it's a 34 HP electric motor that does the initial acceleration, serves as a generator, and also serves as the starter motor for the gas engine- and it runs off the high voltage battery; M2 is a 70 HP electric engine that can also double as a generator, and then E1 is the gas engine that can send power to the wheels, to M1, to M2, or to all three- quite a complex computerized transmission runs it all). So there would be good reason to provide a hibernate mode that would allow a Prius to be parked for more than three weeks.
I suspect that a plug-in conversion and/or a Gen4 plug in prius is the answer to that last problem- if you're feeding off the grid regularly, there's no need for the gas engine to generate power to begin with.

User Journal

Journal: Web Dev on the Mac 1

Journal by stoolpigeon

I've been working on a little side project. I would like to have an app where people can read updates that I send out. It seemed like a fun way to learn more about programming mobile apps and it's something I could actually use if I can get it to a decent state.
 
I'm keeping it simple. I decided the app would just be an rss feed reader. And that meant I need a feed. I want it to be very specific to my app so I decided the way to go would be to just create my own back end for creating the feed. I decided to use php and I wrote a simple set up using the codeigniter framework. That gave me a quick way to set up authorization and it was easy to tie in styling from bootstrap so that things can look decent without any effort.
 
I've been doing all the work at my office, on my desktop running Fedora. I have two nice big lcd monitors and developing on Linux is just so easy. I had the environment up and running in no time.
 
Then this week my son got sick. Nothing serious - but enough for him to stay home from school for a few days. I worked from home to keep an eye on him. I've been putting off getting my Macbook set up to do this kind of stuff but now I really needed to tackle it. Ugh - what a pain. The machine itself has grown on me. The hardware is decent and works pretty well. The software isn't horrible. But oh my word - when I want to do anything 'out of the ordinary' and by that I mean any kind of meaningful work with the system, it is pretty bad. I know lots of professional developers use Macs but I'm stunned at what a pain it is to do things that are trivially easy in Linux.
 
Getting Mysql installed and running with Apache was a lot more work. Getting PHP working the way I want took more time than it ever has before. Things are far from ideal even now, but I've got it to a point where it works.
 
And now I have my code in 3 places. So I'll be using github to keep code in sync between them. It's a little more of a challenge because I have the production environment set up a little differently than the dev environment. But not so differently that it is a huge deal. I have ssh access to my hosting environment (Bluehost) so that makes it pretty easy. - Oh and that is the one thing that saves the mac - having bash. If it didn't I'd have given up on it long ago.

User Journal

Journal: Catch 22 6

Journal by stoolpigeon

I got a thing from the IRS and they want me to fill out an on-line form.

To successfully complete the form I have to enter my filing address and it has to match my return. The form fields don't allow me to correctly enter the address.

So the address has to match for the form to validate, but the form wont allow me to enter the address correctly. It's beautiful. There's an email address to send information about the process and it says below the address that you can send an email but they wont respond. Super.

So I go to the page with a phone number to call. It says "You can call between 7 am and 7 pm your local time." I'd wager not.

I've never had a problem with the IRS or filing until this year. Something has put me onto some list with them, which they wont tell me about other than in a general way and now everything is exponentially more difficult. Fantastic.

User Journal

Journal: Youtube Video Editor 2

Journal by stoolpigeon

The video editor built into youtube is surprisingly decent. It lets you cut videos up, add transitions, add photos, add text, put in music, all kinds of stuff.
 
With it running on their side I was able to edit up a bunch of separate videos, and then leave them processing while I did other stuff. It made it possible to do a lot of videos in parallel and not have my machine bogged down with it. Not bad.
 
It's not the greatest but for simple stuff that you just want to get up - it is pretty awesome. And it's really easy to get authenticated (or authorized or whatever) to load longer content than the default. I've been putting up stuff that is over an hour long without any problems.

User Journal

Journal: Tesco Home Delivery 5

Journal by stoolpigeon

We did our first home delivery from Tesco yesterday. My wife ordered on-line and they brought our stuff inside the window we were given for the delivery. The fee for delivery was 299 HUF which is about $1.10 right now.
 
It was a pretty awesome deal. The guy brought everything right in. There was a slight mix up - but that's because when people use GPS to come to our house it always takes them to my neighbor a little down the street. I don't know how it works in other parts of Europe, but in Hungary they seem to change the numbering of streets at a higher frequency than the U.S. So my house number is 6 but that use to be my neighbor Zsolt's house number and a lot of systems still think it is.
 
So the guy called me and after a moment or two of me fumbling around for the right Hungarian words, I realized he was 'here' and went outside to bring him in. A few minutes later we'd checked everything over, paid and we were all set. With gas going for around 400 HUF a liter, I doubt we could drive to the store and get it for less than we paid to have it delivered. On top of that the whole thing took maybe 10 minutes at most. If I go get it all myself I'm gone for over an hour. So we'll be using it again.

User Journal

Journal: Question for any reading this 1

Journal by Marxist Hacker 42

My wife is looking for a Wifi network security camera for the daycare. Ideally, we want one that we can set up an account on a remote server with a username and password that we share with parents.

Anybody have any suggestions?

User Journal

Journal: Lollipop on 2012 Nexus 7 Wi-fi 4

Journal by stoolpigeon

I got a message that the OTA update to Lollipop was available for my Nexus 7 so I installed it.

It made the tablet unusable. Performance was atrocious, battery life could dropped to a couple hours. It couldn't play music. Doing anything took so long (if it worked at all) that it was really not worth it.

I googled around. One suggestion was to clear the cache. I tried to do that but when I tried to boot into recovery that always failed with an error about "No command found."

So finally I just flashed it back to Kit Kat.

I'm wrapping that up now. Google backup is reinstalling my apps and such. Hopefully things will improve. I know it's 3 years old but I really like it and I don't think it's too much to ask for it to still run well.

My son updated his too (he has the 2013 model) and he's been complaining. So this was a good run through if he wants me to do the same for his. I don't think the impact on his was as bad. He may just not like how lollipop looks. I'll talk to him about it this week-end and see what he wants to do.

Fun times.

User Journal

Journal: Compile FFMPEG 1

Journal by stoolpigeon

To get the most out of ffmpeg on Fedora - as far as I can tell - it needs to be compiled, not installed from a package manager. This is the only way I could find to get it with libfdk_aac support. I tried other stuff and then just went ahead and followed the very thorough guide on installing from source, right here: https://trac.ffmpeg.org/wiki/CompilationGuide/Centos

Though there was one thing I needed that they didn't have in the dependencies - libtool. That was quickly rectified. So if you do this - might as well add that on the front end. I noticed the need when there was an error with autoconf for one of the parts.

User Journal

Journal: I logged in. 2

Journal by rdewald

I was doing some research for a project and happened back here. Hello slashdot.

Find me on Twitter, or put dot com after my user name.

User Journal

Journal: SELinux and Web development

Journal by stoolpigeon

I use my Fedora desktop to work on development of all kinds. I love that with a Linux machine I can have a machine that matches my production environment very nicely and all the tools I want are there and work pretty well together.

I appreciate SELinux since it is there to keep me safe.

But sometimes - it is a frigging pain. I'm messing about with Yii, a PHP framework and I kept running into problems with permissions. At first I thought it was regular permissions but quickly realized that wasn't it and google pointed me to SELinux. Apache can't write to stuff in /var/www/html.

I did lots of reading. I found one way to fix it, though that way quit working after I had to log out to get a change to a group setting to go into effect. And I read a lot more and it was hard to understand it all, confusing and finally I setenforce=0 and got to work.

I realize that this is a bad habit and I shouldn't do it - but I just need to finish stuff. I'd like a nice way to manage this. Any of you may feel free to make that happen.

User Journal

Journal: Moving Streams in Kmix 4

Journal by stoolpigeon

I am in the office today. I'm pretty sure I'm the only person in the building. So today I'm doing something I almost never do - I'm listening to music via my speakers rather than using my headphones.
 
When I kicked off Amarok I went to switch the audio from the headphones to the speakers and realized I hadn't installed pavucontrol. I pulled it up in apper and saw that it was a gtk program. Not a big deal in itself. I have other gtk stuff already installed. But it just made me think - KDE must have a way to do this itself. That got me looking at Kmix but I couldn't find anything that would let me switch the audio from one device to another. So I installed pavucontrol, started listening to my musics and thought, this is a situation that should be fixed.
 
It seems like if this were going to happen in KDE it should happen with Kmix. So I looked up the project and got ready to email the maintainer. Then I thought, "There must be a place to put feature requests." I ended up at the KDE bug database and that is when I decided to search and see if this was already something in work. Searching the database was a little tricky - but I did end up seeing a bug report for kmix crashing when a stream was moved to a different device.
 
So I went back to Kmix. Right clicking on a stream brings up a menu that includes "Move" and there it was. I'm glad it already does what I want. I just wish it was easier to know. The Kmix handbook doesn't mention it and opening the Mixer it still works the same way - there's no menu that does the same thing without right clicking on a stream. I have this fear of a future where I just go right clicking all over the ui of everything I use, looking for stuff I need.
 
I love KDE and appreciate all the work that goes into it. Shoot - maybe this is a chance for me to contribute something. This is the kind of easy thing I could probably figure out. Anyway this is a note to myself for when I forget later. Plus it might help someone else.
 
On an unrelated note - when I hear Lorde's Royals - I can't help but hear the Weird Al version. He really nailed that one.

Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.

Working...