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Comment Re:PHD is over kill for most IT jobs and one can b (Score 1) 207

I've had one month off since July 2010, plus two weeks this Festive season just past.

For the first year I averaged 50 hours a week, since September 2011 I've done a straight 37.5 hours per week and no more.

I have however worked in IT in one way or another for over 20 years, any many of those was as a corporate slave.

Comment Re:PHD is over kill for most IT jobs and one can b (Score 5, Insightful) 207

It's not a job, it's not employment, it's business. I sincerely doubt HR even know he's done work there.

I'm a contractor, I go in to solve their problems, US $90 an hour, when I'm done, I'm done. The Invoice is in the post.

I never have to interface with HR, I'm not looking for Health Insurance, Gym membership or any of that stuff, leave that too the employees.

If I had a PhD then it would probably go quite a way for me, might not get a potential employee too far, but then that's not what PhDs are for!

Comment The ISP view (Score 2) 219

As someone who has worked for an ISP this comes as no surprise.

At the end of the day we know what the customers want - they want free films, free music and pirated software. The Pirate Bay provides the means to locate such stuff.

While the most prolific users are a problem, ISPs provide access to this medium - if we block the P2P sharing sites then our customers will go elsewhere, and in a market which is highly competitive we cannot afford to lose such a large section of our market.

Comment University won't automatically get you there. (Score 1) 433

I dropped out of University and eventually persued vocational and on-the-job training. I now earn the equivalent of US $175,000 a year and consider myself reasonably comfortable.
While getting a degree could be considered a nice 'lift' up the ladder early on, graduates are often considered rather green in industry and often the type of people who won't like to get their hands dirty - to be honest, in these economic times, that isn't what employers want!

Comment Re:More like pararell supercomuting... (Score 1) 103

Yes, but if you check out the - the list of the 500 known fastest 'supercomputers' you'll see that they all achieve their benchmark through parallelizing their tasks across multiple cores.

I think it is safe to say that all modern supercomputers achieve their 'power' in this way - I've not seen any terahertz single-core/processor systems on the horizon, and don't expect to see them.

Comment The worst I've seen (Score 3, Funny) 256

Our CEO at a company I used to work for sent out an all-employee mail detailing a salary freeze for all employees and voluntary redundancies. Moments later the CFO sent out an email to his accounts team detailing that their pay-rise would not be affected and that they should not consider redundancy... needless to say, the hapless git hit reply-all...

Comment Hotspot Wirelesses will have to change (Score 2, Interesting) 152

I happen to be typing this from a Dutch Hotel.

This particular one has free wireless, and there is no way to identify a particular system accessing the net to a room. In fact, without staying here I could still probably sit in the car park or hotel lobby and access the internet from there. There's even a PC in the lobby with anonymous access from it.

Granted it does use a "Hotspot" login page (just need to check a checkbox and click login), so I suppose that could be modified to have someone provide a room number or PIN etc...

Changing the way things work though will invariably be a pain though, especially if you need to access the Internet over the weekends and the authentication system breaks down or something else goes wrong... (as seems to be quite common with the systems in many hotels). Reception tend to look at you with rather blank faces when this happens, and it usually isn't fixed until a weekday.


Submission + - Multi-core CPUs Can Match GPU Performance

An anonymous reader writes: In this work, we evaluate performance of a real-world image processing application that uses a cross-correlation algorithm to compare a given image with a reference one. The algorithm processes individual images represented as 2-dimensional matrices of single-precision floating-point values using O(n^4) operations involving dot-products and additions. We implement this algorithm on a nVidia GTX 285 GPU using CUDA, and also parallelize it for the Intel Xeon (Nehalem) and IBM Power7 processors, using both manual and automatic techniques. Pthreads and OpenMP with SSE and VSX vector intrinsics are used for the manually parallelized version, while a state-of-the-art optimization framework based on the polyhedral model is used for automatic compiler parallelization and optimization. The performance of this algorithm on the nVidia GPU suffers from: (1) a smaller shared memory, (2) unaligned device memory access patterns, (3) expensive atomic operations, and (4) weaker single-thread performance. On commodity multi-core processors, the application dataset is small enough to fit in caches, and when parallelized using a combination of task and short-vector data parallelism (via SSE/VSX) or through fully automatic optimization from the compiler, the application matches or beats the performance of the GPU version. The primary reasons for better multi-core performance include larger and faster caches, higher clock frequency, higher on-chip memory bandwidth, and better compiler optimization and support for parallelization. The best performing versions on the Power7, Nehalem, and GTX 285 run in 1.02s, 1.82s, and 1.75s, respectively. These results conclusively demonstrate that, under certain conditions, it is possible for a FLOP-intensive structured application running on a multi-core processor to match or even beat the performance of an equivalent GPU version.

(Rajesh Bordawekar and Uday Bondhugula and Ravi Rao: Believe It or Not! Multi-core CPUs Can Match GPU Performance for FLOP-intensive Application!. Technical Report RC24982, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Apr. 2010.)

Submission + - twitter is censoring #flotilla hashtag? (

An anonymous reader writes: Because although the convoy has been dubbed a “flotilla” by Twitter users and a large number of people were using the #flotilla hashtag, this disappeared from after trending briefly. The only remaining related trend topic was Israil, the Turkish word for Israel.

As a result, a large number of of people are calling out Twitter for “censoring” the #flotilla hashtag.

In addition #flotilla was not appearing on Twitter’s trending list despite the fact that it is pretty prominent on Google trends. It’s causing a huge wave of controversy right now.

So what can be found out about what happened to the #flotilla hashtag?

Submission + - Quit Facebook Day is Today (

Kilrah_il writes: Well, some people just had enough of the privacy issues surrounding Facebook and now they have called May 31 the Leaving Facebook Day. "For a lot of people, quitting Facebook revolves around privacy. This is a legitimate concern, but we also think the privacy issue is just the symptom of a larger set of issues. The cumulative effects of what Facebook does now will not play out well in the future, and we care deeply about the future of the web as an open, safe and human place. We just can't see Facebook's current direction being aligned with any positive future for the web, so we're leaving."
The site for the project has links about the reasons for leaving Facebook and tips on how to quit the "addiction" and find a replacement. Currently, 26,469 people have confirmed that they are leaving Facebook, which doesn't look like it could put much of a dent in Facebook's user statistics.

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington