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Comment: Benefits ? What benefits (Score 4, Interesting) 196

by Foske (#47572737) Attached to: Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

Most of these organizations and associations completely fail to understand how they would be able to create added value for their potential members. As an electronic engineer I'm supposed to be a member of IEEE. I can't think of a single reason why I would subscribe, and the people and letters of IEEE didn't make things better. On the contrary.

Comment: A better world starts at yourself, but... (Score 1) 710

by Foske (#47455083) Attached to: People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

* Replacing five lightbulbs with fluorescent lights which cost more energy to produce and contain way more toxic materials will not save the world. Especially because many of them do not last longer for the simple reason that we switch on and off the lights way too often.

* If you reduce the power consumption of 10% of the users with 50%, you still only won 5%.

* Solve the real problem: The fact that I switch off one TV won't save the world. Samsung should make TVs with ultra-low stand-by power. They make millions.

Don't get me wrong, I am very worried about the future of our planet. I just don't think that environmentalists shouting at people that they should replace their lightbulbs get the whole picture. With 7 billion people, you will never be able to shout at everyone. Shout at the CEO of General Electric, Samsung, Philips, LG. THEY can make a difference.

Comment: Re:Because peers aren't magical (Score 4, Interesting) 109

by Foske (#47382013) Attached to: How Did Those STAP Stem Cell Papers Get Accepted In the First Place?

As a former reviewer working for a very renowned research institute in Europe I can say: Peers typically don't get/take the time to do their job right, and often outsource the job to less experienced people. Reproducing results is a very expensive and time consuming job, which means: unless it is it won't happen. You must be lucky if the reviewers have at least read the paper till the end. Quite often the review happens by people who are "no experts" in the field of the paper. For many conferences, papers with a bad rating still pass because there are not sufficient good papers, or if it is easy to guess the institute the authors work for, the paper passes without proper review.

Once our institute had a paper rejected, but my boss -who was in the review team- managed to get the paper accepted anyway. High profile conference in Electronic Engineering.

As a former paper author I can say: If your paper is rejected for one conference, you simply resubmit to another until it is accepted. Publish or perish is the holy grail of research, something many bosses will make very clear to you, and quality is less important. You don't write a paper because you have results, you write a paper because this or that major conference has a deadline in two weeks. I have a few paper on my name I am ashamed of: Omitting the bad results in the measurements, compare with competitors only on the features you know you would win because the comparison doesn't make sense at all, bragging about results which are very bad, but you hide that by not comparing to (avoiding any reference to) competitors which are better.

As you might understand, I quit the job. I left research and never ever want to have anything to do with it anymore.

Comment: Parking in tight spaces ? (Score 1) 233

by Foske (#45089181) Attached to: Ford Showcases Self-Parking Car Technology

This is ideal for both parking in tight spaces (i.e., you don't have to squeeze your way out of your vehicle while trying not to bang the next car's door)

True, except that the driver of the other car still might have to do exactly that (or hit other cars from the front or rear) because some asshole with FAP-Aid parked his car too close to the others.

Comment: For me it's easy... (Score 1) 191

by Foske (#44885621) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When Is Patent License Trading Not Trolling?

A company should only be allowed to use a patent in court when it is active in the field the patent describes and the use of the patent by other organizations reduces the market potential of this company. Exception are research organizations of course, for which market value must somehow be redefined. A very effective troll-be-gone method.

+ - Google: Don't Expect Privacy When Sending Emails To Gmail-> 3

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "People sending email to any of Google's 425 million Gmail users have no "reasonable expectation" that their communications are confidential, the internet giant has said in a court filing. Consumer Watchdog, the advocacy group that uncovered the filing, called the revelation a "stunning admission." It comes as Google and its peers are under pressure to explain their role in the National Security Agency's (NSA) mass surveillance of US citizens and foreign nationals. "Google has finally admitted they don't respect privacy," said John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's privacy project director. "People should take them at their word; if you care about your email correspondents' privacy, don't use Gmail." Google set out its case last month in an attempt to dismiss a class action lawsuit that accuses the tech giant of breaking wire tap laws when it scans emails sent from non-Google accounts in order to target ads to Gmail users. That suit, filed in May, claims Google "unlawfully opens up, reads, and acquires the content of people's private email messages". It quotes Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman: "Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it." The suit claims: "Unbeknown to millions of people, on a daily basis and for years, Google has systematically and intentionally crossed the 'creepy line' to read private email messages containing information you don't want anyone to know, and to acquire, collect, or mine valuable information from that mail." In its motion to dismiss the case, Google said the plaintiffs were making "an attempt to criminalise ordinary business practices" that have been part of Gmail's service since its introduction. Google said "all users of email must necessarily expect that their emails will be subject to automated processing.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: My advice to make a company profitable again: (Score 1) 165

by Foske (#44275333) Attached to: Say What? Wading Through the Nonsense In Microsoft's Re-Org Memo

Fire the managers. 90% of them are overhead with no added value for the organization.They cost a lot of money and quite often are clueless about whatever division they are managing. They lack communication skills towards the working men, and therefore are unaware of the real problems of the organization. Also, their drive to "manage" typically means that problems aren't solved, but managed, which are two completely orthogonal things. I now for the first time in my life work in a company where management appears to work (kind of), basically because there are so few managers, and the managers are skilled and know the (technical!) ins and outs of the product we make.

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin

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