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Comment: Re:Still no decent source browser integration (Score 1) 156

by Magnus Pym (#48207967) Attached to: GNU Emacs 24.4 Released Today

ECB has not been updated since 2009... and it was very slow & buggy when I used it last. It is based on cscope which has little support for C++/Java.

What I don't get is: commercial text editors like Visual Slickedit have had fabulous source browsing capabilities for more than 15 years. Another example is sublime text. Why is this not a priority for the emacs devs, whom I would assume are hardcore programmers?

Comment: Re:Feminism in 1st world, equals self-victimizatio (Score 1) 590

by Magnus Pym (#47988953) Attached to: Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

I used to work as a dev manager at a software company a few years ago. A young Asian woman was hired as a developer, fresh out of school. She did not seem to have any idea of the dress norms in the US and would come to work dressed in cocktail dresses and high heels. During the first 3 months, she reported two of our long-time developers for sexual harassment. Top management was so sensitive to the issue that they fired the guys pretty much immediately. This despite the fact that there had been no complaints about them from anybody till then, and the one other woman in the group claimed that they had never said or done anything that was even remotely questionable in her presence.

The woman in question resigned about 6 months after she had been hired; she had an offer at another company for a 50% bump in salary which we could not match.

We don't know whether the two guys really did anything bad or whether she was over-sensitive. But look at the cost to the company; over the period of 6 months, she contributed nothing to the company (was mostly ramping up) and was at least indirectly responsible for us losing two valuable developers who had a blemish-less record until then.

Comment: Re:Not sure what the "secrecy" fuss is (Score 5, Insightful) 222

by Magnus Pym (#47294007) Attached to: WikiLeaks Publishes Secret International Trade Agreement

You say that as if this is a good thing. Care to elaborate why it is a great idea why trade treaties (as opposed to defense & military) should be negotiated in secret? Seems to me (and many others who are experts on this subject matter) is that secrecy is a wonderful thing for the lobbyists and other corrupt bureaucrats and sucks for the people whom it would ultimately affect (i.e., all of us).

As for it being debated on the senate floor... what a joke. By the time it gets to the senate, the issue has already been framed, and the range of acceptable options narrowly defined. The fact is that many of the ideas should never be allowed to even get that level of legitimacy.

Comment: Completely violates Jack Welch's 20-70-10 ideas (Score 1) 255

by Magnus Pym (#47150769) Attached to: A Measure of Your Team's Health: How You Treat Your "Idiot"

Most organizations run by disciples of Jack Welch practice the 20-70-10 philosophy, where the `bottom' 10% are sacked each year.

Microsoft, Google, Amazon and most other high-tech companies adhere closely to this principle. Of course they have large amounts of eager applicants, so they can afford to do this.

There are two sides to this issue. On the one hand, it is callous and heartless. On the other hand, it is hard to argue that replacing poor performers with better ones does not improve the team's productivity.

Here is something I've found: most team members do not like under-performers. They have to work harder to compensate. Also, if the poor performer is not penalized somehow, it destroys the motivation of excellent performers. "He gets away with doing nothing, why should I kill myself?"

Comment: Re:RIAA/MPAA should top the list (Score 1) 255

The phrase Media Distribution Mafia is somewhat redundant.

If you look closely at the executives of the movie/music industries, you will find a surprisingly large percentage of Italian/Sicilian descent, or folks who are very closely affiliated with such. If you look a bit more closely, you'll find that those are the sons, grandsons or great grandsons of folks who ran around exterminating their competition with Tommy guns, or guys who hid out in the mountains of Sicily, attacked travelers and raped their daughters.

It is no surprise that such individuals bring their psychopathic sensibilities to their `legitimate' businesses.

Comment: Re:Um. (Score 1) 62

by Magnus Pym (#46908563) Attached to: VHS-Era Privacy Law Still Causing Headaches For Streaming Video

No. Originally the Netflix' intent of a "like" button was that they could assess the sort of movies you like and provide better recommendations.

Like == sharing is a new concept in world of video rentals. I absolutely positively do not want the likes and positive reviews I've written on my account at Neflix or Imdb to be associated with the real me, used to catalog me and sold to possibly hostile third parties.

The original article sounds like an industry shill trying to spin a good, useful law as something that `harms innovation'.

Comment: Re:Drink more. (Score 1) 218

by Magnus Pym (#46555851) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Re-Learning How To Interview As a Developer?

Sorry, I did not make a clear distinction in my post. I was not suggesting that Google did behavioral interviewing, merely that the candidate should familiarize himself/herself with the particular interviewing philosophies of the organizations that they are targeting.

Also, behavioral interviewing does not have to be touchy-feely/non-technical at all. It can in fact be the opposite. The style can be very different though.

Typical programming question: how do you traverse a binary tree?

Behavioral question: Describe a situation when you had to deal with and organize a large volume of data. What was the strategy you adopted? Why?

Note that the whys don't stop. The interviewer keeps asking why? why? why? until the candidate's technical limits are reached.

Comment: Re:Drink more. (Score 4, Interesting) 218

by Magnus Pym (#46551911) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Re-Learning How To Interview As a Developer?

Likeable is good, but complaining about past employers is a TERRIBLE idea. It is very very hard to do this without coming across as a whiner. Most interviewers immediately pick up on the implied negativity. `You are complaining about them today, you will surely complain about us tomorrow'.

Project positivity. You are not running away from anything. You are running towards something... the new job. Employers don't necessarily want to pick up and be saddled with orphans, refugees or the weak. They want healthy, well-adjusted individuals who can stand on their own feet and be productive.

Also, note that interviewing has changed over the past few years. Behavioral interviewing is all the rage, led by a few large, successful companies. In this situation, candidates are asked to describe specific things that happened to them in past jobs (or specific problems they have worked on), and the interviewer tries to get a feel for how the candidate behaved in that situation (overcoming adversity, dealing with ambiguity, working on seemingly intractable problems), and to extrapolate to how the candidate would behave in similar situations in future. If you really are experienced, you probably have a number of examples like this from your past. Research a few large companies (Google, MSFT, Amazon), they are very open about their interviewing strategies and the qualities they expect from an employee. Keep a few examples of behavior polished and ready.

And good luck!

Comment: Re:Really? Where's Sex on the list? (Score 1) 197

by Magnus Pym (#46255279) Attached to: Best Valentine's Day gift (as recipient):

My friend, I hate to have to be the one to tell you, but this is a classic case of a woman using sex as a tool to control & manipulate.

She may love you, she may not. But one thing is absolutely sure... no woman who really likes sex will use `withholding' as a way to punish or otherwise change the behaviour of her partner. Your wife thinks of sex as a tool. Trust me on this one. I am not a professional shrink, but am in a relationship with one. This comes up all the time.

This may be learned behavior... or something that she inherited from a long line of her female ancestors who used sex as a way to gain power & respect in society. Either way, she is not going to change, and in fact will get worse. I strongly suggest you find a way to extricate yourself while you are still relatively young and have some bargaining power in the sexual market.

Comment: Re:This is the AP Comp Sci exam (Score 1) 489

by Magnus Pym (#45934093) Attached to: Tech's Gender and Race Gap Starts In High School

More than in Sports?

Women obsess over sports and sports stars, but American sports in particular is steeped in outright, overt, blatant sexism and hostility to women at at a level that is unimaginable in tech circles.

Do you know what the average college jock/NFL athelete thinks about and how they treat women?

Do you know what the term `fuck truck' means?

What about the entire concept of cheerleading, where women in skimpy outfits parade and cheer the achievements of male atheletes?

Do you really think tech is more sexist than all this?

Yet women as a whole seem to have no problem with organized sports; so I have to conclude that whatever is keeping them away from tech, it is not sexism.

And BTW, this is purely an American phenomenon. Asian/Indian and European women don't seem to be fazed by tech.

Comment: Re:Keep the phone ban (Score 2) 221

by Magnus Pym (#45292525) Attached to: FAA To Allow Use of Most Electronic Devices Throughout Flights

Actually, the speed is very much an issue. Most traditional CDMA/3G phones cannot service objects moving at high speeds (more than 128 Kmph) because their receivers cannot keep track; read up on finger tracking on rake receivers. A call may last for a few seconds (if that) before getting dropped. I understand a few cell towers designed in the past few years can support high speeds, but they are mostly deployed in Japan and are not in common use. 2G systems will almost surely not be able to support high speeds.

The other issue is handoff, a particular tower serves a relatively small area (maybe a few km in urban areas). Assuming a 10 kilometer cell diameter, a plane traveling at 500 Mph would be switching between cells at a rate of one switch every 45 seconds. [10/ (500*1.6) ) * 3600. ] Now it is theoretically possible for CDMA & 3G systems to support this rate, but it is somewhat hard to imagine such handoffs happening reliably while the plane is moving so fast.

I've worked in the cellular industry and I'm still not sure of how the calls from the 9/11 planes worked. In fact, many of the 9/11 truthers point to this inconsistency as support of their claims that the calls never happened :)

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?