Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Generally? You don't. (Score 4, Insightful) 144 144

Generally? You don't.

The trend is away from this for software developer positions, unless you are willing to do contract work. There are several major things driving this right now:

(1) The employer doesn't have to allow it in order to be able to recruit talent, so they don't. A lot of managers engage in "management by walking around", and you are unlikely to get one of these types to sign off.

(2) Stacked ranking. If you're not in the office, and not "seen as being a strong contributor by your nominal coworkers, you'll get ranked poorly, and you will be the first person "PIP'ed" (Performance Improvement Program), and, if there are layoffs, you get to be near the top of the list.

(3) If they don't care where you are working from, be pretty sure that the job isn't going to be landing in a country with expensive labor, like the U.K., the U.S., and so on; if they are going to take on a remote worker, it's not going to be from your neck of the woods.

(4) Employer culture is considered important; if you want to have an employer, expect to come into the office so that they can culturally indoctrinate you. Yahoo laid off all their remote employees over this, and it's been the trend at Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and so on. This is somewhat part and parcel with the stacked ranking, but it's the other side of the coin.

Comment: Ubuntu Support plans? (Score 1) 107 107

While we're talking about monoliths, I don't usually build my Linuxes from scratch - I either use Ubuntu, or occasionally a Red Hat version, or sometime soon one of those cloud-vm-thingies. (I also run Raspberry Pi, but I don't expect it to have a full-sized kernel.) So when will Ubuntu start supporting the newer kernels? 15.10, or some updates to 15.04?

Comment: Fun, But Useless (Score 3, Funny) 99 99

This is a fun device that can show you what can be done with 3D printed plastic. That said, it's useless. It would be really cool if I could apply 1 pound of force to the crank, turn it a Million times, and have it apply a Million pounds of rotational force at the other end. But it's made of plastic, so it won't do that. Indeed, the fast-rotating parts would wear out before the slow-rotating part made a single turn. So it's not even good as a kind of clock.

All that said, it's a good conversation piece, and probably worth the price for that.

Comment: JailBreakMe.com (Score 4, Interesting) 52 52

JailBreakMe.com did a similar thing on iPhones: patched the tiff library exploit that it used to get on the phones in the first place, making it impossible to re-exploit.

I did the same thing with the Commodore Amiga in 1985, modifying a boot virus to include a payload that would patch the MOVE from processor SR. This let me install a 68010, which let me run SVR3 on the thing, without breaking a lot of popular software like Magic Sack and Transformer, both of which used the privileged version of the instruction for no good reason.

Comment: Also continuous lipstick application. (Score 2) 194 194

I've worked for two companies where "agile" methodology applied company-wide meant point releases every one or two weeks and minor UI changes with every point release to "get better with each version." This floated mgmt's boat and kept the UX/UI people busy and excited, but it was a nightmare for customer support and (evidently, by extension) for customers who could never quite feel as though they'd "learned" to use the software.

Every time they logged in they struggled to figure out how to repeat the workflows they'd struggled to get ahold of the previous time. Of course, the widgets, labels, views, etc. tended to change between logins. Kind of like a maze with moving walls.

I argued for UI changes to be batched for major versions, but this supposedly wasn't "agile."

Comment: Re:I hereby ascertain the bankruptcy of Greece. (Score 1) 1228 1228

lol. The entire Swiss financial sector is only about 7-10% of the GDP and that includes things like pensions and insurance, both of which are huge. The idea that Switzerland is floated by money laundering is propaganda distributed by other western governments who have a weaker or non-existent commitment to financial privacy (normally we like privacy here on slashdot, right?). Mostly the USA and UK because they think, without evidence, that you can catch terrorists by reading their bank statements.

Additionally, it requires some extreme doublethink to claim that a country which is famously neutral and hasn't been at war for over 150 years has "long profited from plunder, war and genocide". Normally it's the countries doing the fighting that plunder!

Comment: Re:Citizen of Belgium here (Score 1) 1228 1228

You know why Germany wanted everyone in on the Euro? Because sans Euro, German exports drive the Deutschmark through the roof, German exports promptly tank, and everyone else has a fair shot of attracting investment

They could also attract those exports by simply lowering their own prices. Greece has not done that because it preferred to borrow the money than lower its standards of living. One way or another the result is the same: there's nothing magical about a floating currency.

Comment: Re: Good (Score 3, Informative) 1228 1228

Obviously the austerity measures that have already been implemented had a negative impact, making it impossible for the country to grow economically

At the time Syriza came to power the Greek economy had started growing again, albeit slowly, and the government had a primary budget surplus. This was despite that many of the obvious reforms Europe wanted hadn't been done.

Yes, the economy had shrunk a lot. No surprise - a big chunk of the Greek economy was simply jobs programs created by the state in order to buy votes. No way to fix Greece without jettisoning that part. But the reforms are mostly common sense and if Greece had stuck with them, the turnaround that was underway could probably have continued. But - they voted for Syriza instead. Syriza immediately started undoing the reforms of the previous government and, guess what, pushed Greece further under water.

Comment: Re:Good deal! (Score 4, Interesting) 1228 1228

We'll soon see how well they do without either.

Very badly, without a doubt. A humanitarian crisis is now looking not just thinkable but downright likely. The EU will pay vastly greater sums before the Greek crisis is over, if only because a failed state within the Schengen zone would make the current EU migrant problems look like a Sunday picnic in comparison.

Waves of starving Greek refugees who cannot afford food fleeing a country beset by blackouts and riots is something that Europe cannot afford, and thus, there is really no option but to continue massive wealth transfers into Greece. The only question is how the EU will ensure the Greek government is replaced with a proxy government, without triggering even greater problems.

One thing is for sure. All the people who voted OXI in the referendum thinking they would be taking control of their own destiny are deluded. Greece is about to fall apart. They will end up grabbing any lifelines the EU gives them regardless of how they voted.

Comment: Re:Good for greece (Score 5, Insightful) 1228 1228

They have demonstrated perfectly why democracy is a failure, even while being a shining beacon of it.

Democracy is not a failure, don't be silly. There are lots of democratic countries that have managed to get a grip on public spending. Most obviously, Germany. Less obviously, the UK just went through an election where the party promising more austerity won a clear victory. California went through a massive crisis where they took their state to the brink due to referendums allowing the creation of unfunded mandates, but last I heard they had learned their lesson and got that problem under control. And so on, and so on.

What's more, it's not like dictatorships are all paragons of budgetary discipline. Far from it.

So whilst undoubtably there will be many further spending crises in advanced nations, democracy is not the problem - it just means a society has to learn to control their borrowing impulses as a group.

Comment: Re: Drop the hammer on them. (Score 4, Interesting) 1228 1228

Second, in Greece there have been traffic budget cuts, and everything was fine according to what was asked, it's just that the European plan was futile

The European plan wasn't actually implemented. Basic things like, hey guyz, why don't you put together a land registry so people know who owns what? Yeah, that didn't happen. Ever. Been talked about since the 90s. Every other modern economy has one, Greece doesn't.

What about relaxing the labour rules? In most parts of the world it's possible to fire people for incompetence. In Greece, it's so hard to fire a civil servant that there is a case of a man who literally murdered the town mayor with an Uzi, went to prison ....... and wasn't fired, in fact, he continued to draw a salary whilst locked up! This is so absurd it's unreal yet, this is Greece.

There are tons of reforms that would actually be good for Greece in the long run, but Syriza seems to think every single reform is a bargaining chip.

Comment: Range and Price (Score 1) 654 654

Until recently, production electric cars cost way too much, even when you figure you're saving most of the cost of gasoline over the lifetime of the car. (A 50-mpg Prius will use about $20k in gas over 200-250k miles; a 20mpg minivan will use about $50k, so I guess you can justify that Tesla if you were going to buy a gas-guzzler and didn't need the space.) Hobbyist electric cars can cost a lot less, if you want to do all the labor to retrofit a very used car with electric motors and batteries, but I don't.

But even now that prices are coming down, the range on the lower-cost cars isn't enough for me. It's fine for going to the grocery store, but my office is 40 miles away, and so is The City, so on the days I'm not telecommuting or want to go into the city for something, I need a guaranteed range of over 100 miles so I'm not worried about having to coast home on electron vapors or stop for half an hour at a charging station if there wasn't one near my destination. Battery range declines as the batteries get older, so that means I'd probably need a 150-mile range when it's new to be sure I can get to work when it's older.

Maybe a couple of years from now it'll make sense to buy an electric car; we'll see how long my wife's car lasts, and whether it's worth getting an electric when we need to replace it. The real cost includes adding an extra electric meter and 240v power to my garage space and the cost of storing the stuff that's currently in my garage, because Silicon Valley real estate is too expensive to actually use a garage for putting cars in...

Unfortunately, most lower-cost electric today talk about monthly lease prices, and hide all the other costs; one of the ones that was advertised on the radio did mention something around $5K up-front and 25 cents a mile if you drive over 10,000 miles a year - the reason I'd be buying an electric car is to make my commuting cheaper, and my gasoline car currently costs about 25 cents a mile (10 cents amortizing the purchase price over 200k miles, 15 cents for gas.)

Comment: Sadly, gas is cheaper than electricity in CA (Score 3, Interesting) 654 654

I just bought a Ford C-Max Energi; but I bought it strictly for the green carpool-lane sticker.

In California, if you live in a big house, your marginal cost of electricity is shockingly high. For me, it's $0.33/kilowatt-hour.

My Energi goes 20 miles with a 8 kWh charge. That's $2.64 On gas, it gets about 35 mpg. If gas is $3.50 (current price) that's $2.20.

Now, during mid-day on a sunny day, I can charge it much cheaper on our solar panels (currently we are selling power back to PG&E, but at $0.11/kWh) and I do that. I also charge it at work, where it's 'free'; but I live 50 miles from work so I can't keep the car charged just at work. The 'free' power at work won't last forever, either.

You may ask "why not get a Tesla?" Good question. It turns out that there are (at my company) 3x the number of electric-ish cars as there are charging stations, so we have to swap them out after just a few hours. The Tesla would take all day to charge. Also, the Tesla is such a lumbering overpowered beast that it gets substantially less miles-per-kilowatt-hour.


Staff meeting in the conference room in %d minutes.