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


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Who eats doughnuts with the doughnut men? (Score 4, Insightful) 290

by Moof123 (#48909647) Attached to: Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

Speeding laws and their enforcement are corrosive to our sense of justice. Think of it as a gateway law to break.

Drive the speed limit and you get angry people tailgating you and angrily making unsafe passes even when you are in the slow lane. Clearly in most places the speed limits are too low. So most folks in decent highway conditions drive 10-15 mph over the limit, which makes them all law breakers.

Cops don't clearly state at what point they will pull someone over, or what cup size allows you to talk your way out of a ticket, which really erodes our sense of equal justice for all (and violates our constitutionally guaranteed right to equal protection under the law). In fact we all violate the law several times a day just to live like a normal citizens, and much of the time we are pretty unaware something was even against the law (a sure sign our legal system has gotten out of hand). Cops get to choose when to apply esoteric laws and when to ignore pretty basic ones (depends highly on skin color or the presence of a badge).

Comment: Interference pattern (Score 3, Insightful) 139

by Moof123 (#48886465) Attached to: Scientists Slow the Speed of Light

If they indeed can do this, I would have like to have seen a demonstrate interference pattern showing the beat note between the normal beam and the "slowed" beam. It should be roughly as simply as using a beam splitter, one though their mask, then back into a beam combiner. If coherent laser light is pump in the slower photons should create an interference pattern along the length of the beam that any crummy detector should be able to pick up.

Instead they compared time of arrival over a single distance (as best I can tell from TFA), which is subject to systematic offsets, such as the fixed delay to get through the mask.

Comment: Re:Hidden Implications (Score 1) 139

by Moof123 (#48886427) Attached to: Scientists Slow the Speed of Light

Heisenberg's uncertainty limit does not say you can't know the speed and location at the same time, but rather there is a limit to the overall accuracy. So the more precisely you measure the speed, necessarily the amount of uncertainty on your measurement of location goes up. Heisenberg's limit it pretty damn small, FYI.

Comment: Re:Physics 101? (Score 4, Insightful) 139

by Moof123 (#48886217) Attached to: Scientists Slow the Speed of Light

I read TFA and could not specifically find where they showed they adjusted the speed and not just added an initial delay. They ran it through a mask, then onto a ~1 meter long "race track" to compare. I really wanted a clear explanation that they ran the test over 2 lengths to factor out any static delay caused by the propagation through the mask itself.

Comment: Re:I've been trying to hire a Senior EE for a YEAR (Score 1) 508

by Moof123 (#48881227) Attached to: Senator Who Calls STEM Shortage a Hoax Appointed To Head Immigration

Once you have been out of school for a decade a lot of the fluff, like Diffy-Q, dissipates from severe lack of use. The main utility of having taken differential equations is to know that there is some good math to back up the shenanigans you are doing, but none of the experienced engineers I know can solve anything but the most trivial differential equations if they have been out of school for more than 5 years.

Frankly there was a lot of crap in college that was a wast of time in retrospect. Numerical Analysis would be a better class to have most EE's take rather than the third semester of Calculus for example. These days most hard problems are solved with burly simulators and simply cannot be solved directly with math, yet most folks with a EE degree never took a Numerical Analysis class that would help them understand the underlying engine in their Spice or FEM solver.

Comment: Re:I've been trying to hire a Senior EE for a YEAR (Score 2) 508

by Moof123 (#48881177) Attached to: Senator Who Calls STEM Shortage a Hoax Appointed To Head Immigration

When you have interviewed that many people without success I would really encourage you to look in the mirror, something isn't right about your story. At the very least you need to do more phone screening (unless that is what you are calling an interview?).

My only thought is that it sounds like you are doing power electronics of some flavor, which at the moment is in a big upswing thanks to solar, EV's, and so on. Lots of converters and inverters are getting designed into things at the moment. As such, demand is going to outstrip supply for a bit.

In general, engineering has gotten much more specialized than when I started 17 years ago. It is harder to get any old EE and ask them to quickly go from analog circuits to switching power supplies than it used to be. So don't be surprised if you have to either train someone up, or throw money at someone to poach them.

Comment: Re:its nothing new really. (Score 1) 799

by Moof123 (#48877767) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

Thanks for the insight.

I have long laughed at fake hood scoops (especially aftermarket adhesive attached ones), spinny wheels, Harley's, monster front grills that are more than half fake (physically blocked as part of the molding process), and so much more. Having fake engine sounds piped in just adds icing to the cake.

Car buyers are strangely aspirational, much more so than for other goods. There are tons of 4x4's that will NEVER be off road running around fair weather states depreciating like mad, and 500 hp Mustang's that will never see over 80 mph for almost any of their life time. People pay a ton either for "just in case", and for "I could if I would".

There is also a huge market for turning your Civic into some winged contraption (shopping carts as my friend calls them). I see 10 year old cars owned by 20 year olds who are clearly spending half their Target paycheck on throaty exhaust, race style hood clips, and fancy looking rims. Throwing a munch of money at an economy car to get it to look like a race car is the height of putting lip stick on a pig.

Comment: Re:Hmm, Adobe changed course in 2005, so the tech (Score 1) 263

by Moof123 (#48867009) Attached to: The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees

Agreed. I have been laid just once, but have left two companies who had done a couple rounds of layoffs. I've rather spend a couple months interviewing while I still have a salary than risk having to burn through my savings if it takes a while to find something after I get laid off. In the case of my one layoff, I volunteered because the place had become so toxic inside, so I don't know which category to put that one in really.

The last place I left seemed honestly hurt that I would leave. However they had done nothing like offer retention bonuses for their key people while they slashed people left and right. It turns out that the last round or two were merely to cook the books as they prepared for a secret merger, which actually made it worse in my mind. A decent number of folks got rehired after only a quarter once things got announced. Messing up peoples lives to goose perceived "shareholder value" is pretty nonredeemable.

Comment: Re:Time for a UNION! (Score 4, Interesting) 263

by Moof123 (#48866905) Attached to: The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees

In other developed countries (France, Germany, Japan, etc) there are a lot more hoops to jump through to lay someone off, and the layoff packages are legally set to be much greater. After that the safety net is much stronger while you look for more work. On the upswings companies hire less than a company in the US might, but layoffs are pretty small for even pretty big downturns. It ends up much better for the workers, though it can tie the hands of the companies when they are competing against the rapacious capitalists in the US or China.

I see such protections as an alternative to a union for workers who are very specialized.

Instead most workers are "At Will" employees. You can quit anytime, and can be cut loose at any time. Most full-time employees don't realize that they have less actual job security than the contractors they might be working with.

Comment: Re:Turn about's fair play (Score 3, Informative) 263

by Moof123 (#48866765) Attached to: The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees

Sadly there is a double standard. If you have only been at your last couple jobs a couple years you get a lot of inquiry and scrutiny to justify yourself. Companies seem oblivious to the fact that they get rid of folks like tissue paper, while demanding the new employee act like they want to join for life.

The truly awful part of the shift mentality to "we are all temporary employees" is that it has infected companies well outside tech hubs. In Silicon Valley it is pretty easy to leave one collapsed startup and find something else to pay the bills, or for companies to scoop up extra people as you expand. Cost of living, as well as cost of hiring are a bit insane, but it allows workers lots of backup options, and companies a near sure fire way to expand simply by throwing money at the problem.

Tech companies elsewhere have joined the crowd in using layoffs as a way to cut the training budget and goose the stock price at will, but the laid off workers often find they are in a desert of opportunity leading to very long stretches of unemployment. Likewise, those left inside the company cannot often get enough decent local talent on the next up swing, making rehiring and rebuilding a group a long and painful process, only to have it all undone the next time there is a bad quarter.

Comment: Re:Microsoft needs to undercut the competition (Score 3, Interesting) 489

by Moof123 (#48851291) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

To quote Frozen, "Let it go! Let it go!'

Android and Apple have sewn up the smartphone market pretty well. Android fully raced to the bottom, so there is almost no chance to ever undercut short of paying people to use their phone OS. At best you will have a news funky OS on the same cheap junky hardware. How will that make the OS any better? I'd argue that MS's desperate attempt to get some toehold in mobile is just good money being thrown after bad.

Worse yet they screwed over their flagship Windows OS trying to chase mobile.

I would argue that they need to concentrate on keeping their cash cows going and stop sacrificing them on the altar of mobile/touch. The OS needs to be leaner and meaner. The interface should be streamline rather than abandoned for something new and shiny. Apple did not throw away the interface when they totally overhauled their OS with OSX, nor did they wholesale force the iOS interface onto the desktop (yes, some sharing has occurred, but it has been gradual). MS has does a good job pissing off its core customers needlessly over and over, and that is what needs to stop ASAP.

Until MS rebuilds their reputation to be a net positive, just being as cheap as Android will not be enough to get mobile market share. Instead people currently are cranky about the end of support for XP, still remember Vista, mostly like their Windows 7 box, are either avoiding or hating a new Windows 8 box, and are cautiously hoping they will just be able to get work done one whatever POS version 10 MS ships next. Oh yeah, and still despising the ribbon interface (WTF?!).

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie