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Comment: Re:Nothing new - Always had tech jobs (Score 1) 326

by swillden (#46789551) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

Top two cities with the highest density of engineers are Huntsville Alabama and Palm Bay/Melbourne Florida for what should be obvious reasons.

I'm sure that's true if you're counting traditional engineering fields, meaning not including software engineers. I'm not sure it would still be true if you included software. Of course many would argue that software engineering isn't yet mature enough to be a real engineering discipline, but it definitely is a big part of "tech", which is the subject of discussion.

Comment: Re:do they have a progressive view? (Score 1) 326

by swillden (#46789411) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

I've spent about half of my life in Texas. I've lived in Houston, Dallas, and Austin. I've also lived in Silicon Valley, Seattle, and Southern California.

Every conversation about living in Texas I've had with a West Coaster: "How can you stand living in Texas. Everyone is so bigoted and prejudicial?" "Oh really, have you ever been there?" "No." "..."

And, of course, they completely miss the irony in their own statements.

Comment: Re:Security compiler? (Score 1) 232

by swillden (#46788775) Attached to: Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

Why not a security compiler? Seems some clever, creative hackers could work up something which would take raw code, subject it to some scrutiny and give output/feedback. Perhaps even a security switch to the standard compilers or even a security test suite. Shouldn't be that hard to do.

Shouldn't be too hard... in the sense that solving the Halting Problem shouldn't be too difficult. I conjecture that with an appropriate set of assumptions it's possible to use Rice's Theorem to prove that security analysis is equivalent to the Halting Problem.

Of course, static analysis can catch some vulnerabilities, and can highlight potential vulnerabilities. That's what Coverity does. But I don't think any mechanical process can defeat a creative attacker.

Comment: Inductive Fallacy (Score 1) 232

by swillden (#46788645) Attached to: Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

This analysis is based on an erroneous assumption which is derived from an inductive fallacy. Specifically, the author assumes that because one researcher who found one bug believes he could have found a second for roughly the same level of effort means that the researcher believes this process could be repeated indefinitely. I'm certain that if Kohno were asked he would deny the validity of this assumption. I'm sure he would say that his team could find a handful of similar bugs for similar level of effort, but once the pool of low-hanging fruit bugs was exhausted, the cost and difficulty would rise.

Comment: Re:I switched from sitting to standing. (Score 1) 310

by swillden (#46786967) Attached to: Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk
The desk I have is motorized. Push a button, takes about five seconds. Another option is to get a desk that is always positioned at standing level and a tall chair. That seems cheaper and more convenient but there are some downsides. One is that you have far fewer options in chairs than if you're getting normal-height chairs. Another is that changing the level of the desk is difficult, which is particularly problematic if the seating gets rearranged regularly.

Comment: Re:I switched from sitting to standing. (Score 4, Interesting) 310

by swillden (#46778589) Attached to: Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

I'd recommend a standing desk to anyone with the willpower to make it through the transition.

And I'd recommend a sit-stand desk to anyone at all. Even if you don't stand all the time (I don't), being able to spend part of your day standing will make you feel better without discomfort, in fact being able to switch back and forth is more comfortable than sitting.

Comment: Re:Information = Wealth = Power (Score 1) 98

by swillden (#46778561) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

Then it's not the same as mine. I've also followed the company from the beginning... and I have the benefit of the insider view.

Unless your insider view involved board meetings making top-level executive decisions, I'm not impressed.

Obviously not, but you may not realize how open the company is internally. Larry Page stands up in front of the entire company every week, for example, and takes -- and answers -- live questions. There are no negative consequences for asking hard questions, and hard questions do get asked. Sometimes the executives duck or dance around them, but not very often, and questions that aren't really answered continue getting asked until they do get answered.

In addition to that, other than things like acquisitions there are very few "top-level executive decisions" at Google. Most decisionmaking is driven from the bottom up.

You're probably still not impressed. Whatever. I'm just giving you my perspective and opinion. I would think that an intelligent insider's viewpoint would be of use to you; you're certainly free to dismiss it, whether or not that makes any sense. Time will tell, and I'm quite confident that the future will bear out my statements.

YouTube was a very obvious acquisition. What YouTube needed to survive and grow was low-cost scalability and a way to monetize the views it was getting. What Google had was massive data centers and network connectivity, plus a proven revenue model.

YouTube managed to grow to epic proportions before Google had to "save" them, as you imply. They also good have slapped ads onto their service at any time without Google buying them out.

Not according to YouTube employees who made the transition.

Comment: Re:Not sure how standing up would solve anything.. (Score 2) 310

by swillden (#46778219) Attached to: Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

...when the main problem isn't really sitting down, but being STILL in the same position hour after hour.

This is why it's not a "standing desk" but a "sit-stand desk". The idea is that you alternate between sitting and standing, changing position every hour or two.

Comment: Re:Information = Wealth = Power (Score 1) 98

by swillden (#46778179) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

My basis is the same as yours, except not from the inside, and not from just three years.

Then it's not the same as mine. I've also followed the company from the beginning... and I have the benefit of the insider view.

The tipping point came when they bought YouTube for an obscene amount of money (at the time). You don't spread your tendrils in such fashion throughout the industry just because you like technology.

YouTube was a very obvious acquisition. What YouTube needed to survive and grow was low-cost scalability and a way to monetize the views it was getting. What Google had was massive data centers and network connectivity, plus a proven revenue model. YouTube also needed a better search engine, and Google was interested in finding ways to index and search non-textual content. It was an ideal match, technologically.

Comment: Re:Information = Wealth = Power (Score 1) 98

by swillden (#46776627) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

Google's primary goal is the technology, the profits and competitive advantage are a means to that end, not the other way around.

They are empire building. The technology is a means to that end.

The basis for your claim is?

The basis for my claim is three years of seeing how the company operates and what decisions it makes, and how, from the inside.

Comment: Won't everyone be a millionaire? (Score 1) 457

by swillden (#46773349) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

At least, won't everyone who's paid a middle to upper middle class wage, buys a house and saves for retirement eventually be a millionaire?

If you want to retire at 65 and have enough money to live a decent life for 30 years after that, you need pretty close to a million dollars plus a paid-off house. And, frankly, it's not that hard to accumulate a million dollars of net worth over a ~40-year career, assuming reasonable returns on your retirement account and modest appreciation on your home. I'm actually targeting net assets of two million for retirement, given that it's still 20 years away and I expect that inflation will roughly halve the value of the dollar between now and then.

Comment: Re:Simple problem, simple solution (Score 1) 357

by swillden (#46773097) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained
Regardless of the number of exclamation points you use, Mountain View and SF housing do affect one another. I know several people who have lived in both areas and who have opted for one over the other based on questions of price and convenience. Said (insane, IMO) prefer to live in SF, but some choose MTV because SF is too expensive. Lowering the cost of housing in MTV further -- and making it more convenient to the Google campus -- would induce some more to leave SF.

Comment: Re:It's crap (Score 1) 1574

by swillden (#46770231) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Except that's bullshit, because if people really cared about using their guns to defend our freedoms, there would already be a gallows set up on Capitol Hill with half of congress swinging from it.

Utter nonsense.

There are problems -- lots of them -- but peaceful civilian control of our government has not yet failed. Things aren't bad enough to justify civil war, but that doesn't mean it will never get to that point.

"If you want to eat hippopatomus, you've got to pay the freight." -- attributed to an IBM guy, about why IBM software uses so much memory

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