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Comment Location, Location, Location, specialty, specialty (Score 1) 483

Not all engineering shops have the same culture and these tend to vary by engineering specialty. Many engineers have little to do with tech. Structural, civil, environmental, chemical, even most mechanicals engineers may use software tools and electronic instruments, but many don't write code or develop electronics. If you walk into a shop full of PEs who serve the construction industry you will find a very different culture from some web shop. You will see much more muscular environment with far fewer lego wookies and far more sports banners, scripture quotes and military stickers. High tech development is not spread evenly over the planet or even across the US. The number of ratio of jobs that require a PE in say San Jose or Seattle would be much lower than say Idaho or Mississippi. Same would go for countries with little tech development. It is of course dangerous to over generalize,....

Comment Re:The real worry should be Kessler Syndrome (Score 2) 98

The problem with throwing sand for spacefaring nations is that it denies space to you too. Now, a nation just on the edge of becoming a spacefarer, such as a North Korea or Iran, might see value in denying space access to other more powerful nations. Getting a sand payload to just hit leo and fly apart seems to be a much simpler proposition than putting a long term functioning surveillance satellite or weapon into a predictable orbit.

Comment Re:To Slashdot Resident Statists... (Score 2) 93

Some corporations have indded been granted amazing powers; The Hudson's Bay Company had these powers and more granted by their corporate charter:

"AND MOREOVER, Our Will and Pleasure is, and by these Presents, for Us, Our Heirs and Successors, WE DO GIVE and grant unto the said Governor and Company, and their Successors, free Liberty and Licence, in case they conceive it necessary, to send either Ships of War, Men or Ammunition, unto any their Plantations, Forts, Factories, or Places of Trade aforesaid, for the Security and Defence of the same, and to choose Commanders and Officers over them, and to give them Power and Authority, by Commission under their Common Seal or otherwise, to continue or make Peace or War with any Prince or People whatsoever, that are not Christians, in any Places where the said Company shall have any Plantations, Forts or Factories, or adjacent thereunto, as shall be most for the Advantage and Benefit of the said Governor and Company, and of their Trade; and also to right and recompense themselves upon the Goods, Estates or People of those Parts, by whom the said Governor and Company shall sustain any Injury, Loss, or Damage, or upon any other People whatsoever that shall any Way, contrary to the Intent of these Presents, interrupt, wrong or injure them in their said Trade, within the said Places, Territories, and Limits, granted by this Charter. And that it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Governor and Company, and their Successors, from time to time, and at all Times from henceforth, to erect and build such Castles, Fortifications, Forts, Garrisons, Colonies or Plantations, Towns or Villages, in any Parts or Places within the Limits and Bounds granted before in these Presents, unto the said Governor and Company, as they in their Discretion shall think fit and requisite, and for the Supply of such as shall be needful and convenient, to keep and be in the same, to send out of this Kingdom, to the said Castles, Forts, Fortifications, Garrisons, Colonies, Plantations, Towns or Villages, all Kinds of Cloathing, Provision of Victuals, Ammunition, and Implements, necessary for such Purpose, paying the Duties and Customs for the same, as also to transport and carry over such Number of Men being willing thereunto, or not prohibited, as they shall think fit, and also to govern them in such legal and reasonable Manner as the said Governor and Company shall think best, and to inflict Punishment for Misdemeanors, or impose such Fines upon them for Breach of their Orders, as in these Presents are formerly expressed."

I'd think twice about posting a bad review of the HBC if I lived in Canada. There is also the apocryphal story about every HBC store having two elk and two beavers hidden in the basement ready to pay the pelt tax included in their charter....

Comment Re:Frequency Hopping vs Direct Sequence (Score 1) 67

As the above AC notes, the Lemar patent really seemed to be aimed at a slightly different type of application than current cell phones. Besides it being a frequency hopper and not direct sequence, the intent of the frequency hopping was intended to evade detection while modern cells phone use spread spectrum for better bandwidth utilization.

Comment Re:Not all H1B positions are equal (Score 1) 331

The statement, "get swooped up by the big names" suggest to me that you are not making competitive offers. Yes, working for a sexy brand my get folks to accept a slightly lower salary offer, but as part of a total compensation package includes intangible such as brand and interesting projects. This sounds like you are not paying prevailing wages to match the work.

Comment C's current place in the world (Score 3, Interesting) 185

As the legend has it, C was created to support operating system development. As time has gone by C++ has slipped into OS development on larger platforms. It seems that much of the current core use of mother C is centering on embedded processors (all the way down to 8 bit micros with 256 bytes of RAM) and drivers in larger systems. For current use what design choices in C do you see as wise and what would you change given the current usage of C.
PS: Thanks you for co-authoring the most wonderful, perfect, clear and concise technology document ever.

Comment The longer view (Score 4, Insightful) 177

Please excuse someone from outside of IT as I work on embedded systems (who could possibly need more than 640 bytes of RAM), but at some point IT really needs to mature and stop making every application one off in-house prototypes. Some applications have stabilized and are expected to be delivered as COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) products, for example word processors and spreadsheets. Far too many business products have to be (or needlessly are) customized to death. ERP, HR, accounting, etc. Seriously, does a HR program have to be more flexible than a spreadsheet? Should an ERP program require more expertise to setup than a workprocessor? Someday someone in charge is going to catch on that all of this flexibility and customization if far more expensive than any promised gain and just work with a cloud product out of the box. Sure there will always be a super user in every dept/company who is the goto person, but that person really should not be in the the IT department. Everyplace I've worked the most knowledgeable Excel folks are the MBAs, not dev engineers or IT. When this happens you can expect to see a quick death to many IT departments. At one time every factory had an electrical engineer to run an engine to make electricity. With very few exceptions, those practicing EE jobs are now at utilities, architects or electronics companies. It is not that folks working in IT departments may not be doing good work, the problem is that the same problem is being solved in a thousand different companies. At one time IT excellence was a competitive advantage, for example Fed Ex, but now it is a common commodity base utility line like water or power. Why can't it be a something bought as a commodity?

Comment Re:TiddlyWiki (Score 1) 227

I used TiddlyWiki with the GTD/GSD/MonkeyGTD as a PM on and off for years. As a local organizing tool it has a lot to recommend it. When coupled with an auto back up tool such as dropbox, etc. it can be very helpful. I would also like to see a sister "lab notebook" plug in to make it more useful than a pure GTD system. The problem with GTD for engineers is that by design it tries to be nearly stateless and to forget everything you have done.

"I've finally learned what `upward compatible' means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes." -- Dennie van Tassel