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Comment: lol (Score 1) 751

by IamTheRealMike (#47750827) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

I don't use Linux anymore and couldn't care less about systemd - if it helps drag desktop Linux further out of the UNIX stone age then I'm all for it - but this article is the most pathetic attempt to seem neutral I've encountered all day.

It indicates that no matter how reasonable a change may seem, if enough established and learned folks disagree with the change, then perhaps it bears further inspection before going to production. Clearly, that hasn't happened with systemd.

The "established, learned old guard" are the main reason Linux has gained a reputation for being hard to use. They're the reason that basic things like hardware drivers constantly break and the only reliable way to get the latest version of an app is to compile the source code. If the old guard are upset about systemd, that probably means it's a good thing.

Comment: Re:Storm in a teacup (Score 2) 74

If you remember a little device from 2007 called iPhone - it introduced a "novel" idea: Let's find out where we are based on the nearby cell towers

Minor correction. This technique was not introduced by the iPhone. Google Maps was doing this on Nokia/SonyEricsson J2ME candybar phones for years beforehand. When Apple licensed Google Maps they got access to the same technology. As far as I know Google invented this, although it's one of those ideas that's obvious enough to anyone who explores the problem that I'm not sure "invent" is a useful word to deploy.

Comment: Re:Okay... and? (Score 1) 314

by IamTheRealMike (#47741043) Attached to: For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

Actually citizens of other countries can vote without paying taxes there, if they moved abroad. And the USA will actually refuse to let you renounce citizenship if they suspect you're doing it for tax purposes.

Stop attempting to make this seem reasonable. The brutal truth is that the Land Of The Free enslaves its own people and demands tribute from them no matter where they run, no matter how they try to hide. Washington will steamroller anyone who gets in the way of it extracting money from people who in many cases have only vague or non-existent connections to America.

Not only is this morally wrong and in blatant violation of common sense (US taxpayers abroad get no benefits for that tax), but it endangers everyone else because in the eyes of America anyone who isn't an unpaid voluntary agent of the IRS is a "helping people evade tax". And worse it might give other countries bad ideas - they're all just as broke as the US.

Comment: Re:Okay... and? (Score 4, Interesting) 314

by IamTheRealMike (#47739017) Attached to: For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

Despite the URL, that page only talks about individuals, not companies. Can you show me I'm clearly wrong for companies? Additionally it says the states do their own thing as well and some simply ignore tax treaties.

That said, I might well be wrong! The US tax code is notorious for being amongst the worlds most complicated, in fact it probably is the most complicated tax code in the developed world at least. So if I'm wrong that would not be surprising, although even if your statement is correct for companies too it still amounts to paying tax on the same income twice. Even if it's at a lower rate than US income, this is nonetheless double taxation.

Comment: Re:Okay... and? (Score 5, Informative) 314

by IamTheRealMike (#47738349) Attached to: For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

The USA is unique in considering all income earned anywhere to be taxable in the USA, even if that money never actually touches America. No other country has a tax system that works like this, perhaps because it's stupid. Instead they have double taxation treaties so if money is earned abroad and you pay taxes there, you can spend the money back home at your HQ without it being taxed a second time. America doesn't, so companies that earn a lot of money abroad simply don't spend it on their HQ. They find things to spend it on in other countries instead.

Comment: Re:Response Bias (Score 1) 441

Surely that's the very question they asked, and are not hiding it? I mean that's what the article flat out says, right? People want to both hire and work with the top people regardless of where they're from, and the general US attitude towards issuing foreign visas makes it hard to hire the top foreign guy and practically requires you to hire the mediocre guy just because of where they're from?

Comment: Re:OK, NOW I'm pissed. (Score 1) 441

So, what, I'm supposed to sit back and accept an attitude of 'fuck U.S. workers, they all suck, we'll hire from overseas because they're better'?

That's not what he said. He said the best workers are not ALL from the USA. Guess what? He's dead goddamn right and who the hell are you to get pissed off because someone who runs a business pointed out the obvious, bleeding truth - America does not have a monopoly on software engineering talent, far from it? That means it's totally expected and understandable that given a choice between some American workers and some foreign workers, that employer might legitimately prefer the foreign workers because they are better than you are?

If this makes you mad then you need to learn about anger management. If you think it's all about working cheaper (which US law makes illegal anyway) then you need to get your head out of your ass and realise that foreign workers are hassle, can be expensive, and can still be worth it if they are better than you.

Comment: Re:"Culture in tech is a very meritocratic culture (Score 1) 441

Tech skills are hard to objectively verify. Technical results are hard to objectively verify. We collectively proxy that by having lots of tests, competitions, selection, and other heuristics. But that's not a symptom of us respecting skill more than other jobs(maybe more than other specific office jobs, but not more than lawyers, doctors, manufacturing technicians, similar things), it's a symptom of it being really hard to tell.

How many technical interviews have you done, as an interviewer, in your life?

I have done about 220. Evaluating technical skills is dramatically easier than evaluating many other types of skill, in particular, it's a lot easier than evaluating skills in management, marketing, customer service .... anything with a large component of soft, people skills. You can ask a technical person to achieve a very specific, tightly scoped technical task during an interview and if you know the question well quickly get a feel for how good they really are. I wouldn't want a hiring decision to be made based on just one interview, but in the hands of a good interview it still yields valuable data. For someone without specific technical skills you end up having to rely on much vaguer and more gamaeble questions like "Tell me about a time you overcame a problem of type ", the answers to which are both hard to verify and easily manipulated by people who want to make themselves look good.

I'm afraid I must agree with the original statement. The difference between someone who is merely OK and is great, well, that's huge. Someone who is merely OK will come in to work each day and will (probably) resolve the bugs or implement the features you set them. They will probably not come up with a solution that puts you ahead of the pack. They may waste large amounts of time on trivial things or produce something that sucks because they are only familiar with technology X but that's a poor fit for problem Y. Their technical judgement may be flaky - in the worst case you will have to spend a lot of time double checking what they're doing, yet they will start demanding more responsibility because they've stuck around for a while. The very best will teach you algorithms and techniques you never knew about. They'll come up with the unique feature that makes you stand out from the competition. They'll be fun to work with and help you recruit other great people. The difference is not to be sneered at.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 441

When Google offered me a job, I could not believe how little they wanted to pay me. 67% of what I was making at a megabank

Er, you could probably replace "Google" in that sentence with any company. You're comparing your salary to one at a fucking bank, companies so famous for absurd compensation packages that it triggered street protests ....

Comment: Re:Feeding the PR engine, (Score 0) 441

Beside, best techs from other countries are already in demand at home, no need for them to move. "The best" is not someone US would get from H1B visa program.

Reality check: tech companies hire all sorts of people in all sorts of places for all sorts of reasons.

Back in 2006 I got a job with Google SRE (at the age of 22) and they gave me a choice of locations. I chose California. But it was 2006 and the economy was booming, and that year they hit the H1B visa cap. I wasn't considered important enough to use up one of the last H1Bs they had (fair enough), so ended up moving to Switzerland instead. Over the following years I was promoted several times, invented a major new spam filtering technology they now use on all their biggest products, and earned a hell of a lot of money. Which I spent in Switzerland. I left in January to form my own company, although Google wanted me to stay.

Had I obtained an H1B, I would probably have done substantially similar things in the USA, but thanks to attitudes like yours that wasn't possible. I'm not complaining though. Having spent plenty of time in the Valley I came to appreciate my luck in not ending up there. Why would I want to live in a suburban desert like the bay area, or San Francisco where it seems the local population viscerally hates tech workers, when I can live ten minutes walk from a lake so clean people swim in it every day during summer and the local population still thinks Google is cool?

Looking back, I got lucky that I was denied an H1B. But economically speaking that was Switzerland's gain and America's loss.

Comment: Re:OPSEC (Score 2) 116

by IamTheRealMike (#47730727) Attached to: NSA Agents Leak Tor Bugs To Developers

If you RTFA you'll see that Lewman has zero evidence for this assertion. The headline paints it as a statement of fact but in reality all Lewman knows is there are people who appear to be reading the source code and reporting bugs anonymously. That's it. They could be NSA/GCHQ moles. Or, more likely, they could be anonymity fans who like security audit work. They really have no idea.

Comment: Re:say it again (Score 1) 239

by IamTheRealMike (#47727705) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

Part of this is the much-hated reference requirement -- all facts in a Wikipedia page must have an external source to back them up. This rule alone causes a huge amount of strife among those who don't understand

It causes a huge amount of strife because it's yet another policy that's easily manipulated by people with no common sense.

For a long time the article on Bitcoin stated outright that it was a ponzi scheme, despite that Wikipedia's own article on Ponzi schemes had a list of requirements which Bitcoin obviously did not meet. Attempting to get this fixed was a kafkaesque nightmare due to someone camping on the page and immediately reverting any change that removed or even just qualified this statement. The reason: the statement had "citations" which turned out to be (a) someone's blog, and (b) an article in The Register, that well known bastion of reasoned and careful analysis.

Wikipedia is a project that manages to work in spite of the absurd management and crazy policies, because the idea of a global encyclopedia is such a compelling one. But it badly, badly, badly needs to be forked by people who find a way to run it better.

Comment: THE SPAMMER - EPISODE ONE (Score 1) 44

by MillionthMonkey (#47722763) Attached to: Couchsurfing Hacked, Sends Airbnb Prank Spam

The police kicked down the door, breaking the glass and maneuvering through the room with guns drawn. The living room was empty. They searched the kitchen. Nothing. One of them kicked in the bedroom door and swung his assault rifle in a wide angle as he crashed through.

Immediately he saw that the floor was covered with spam. A computer's hard drive had exploded under pressure and was oozing a liquid discharge of strange attachments and cryptic URLs across the desk and onto the floor. " Couchsurfing sucks... here's a better couch!" they yelled, one after another. Then the fumes struck him.

Overwhelmed, he stumbled backward, spraying vomit across the living room as he fell. He lay on the spammy floor unconscious, convulsing, muttering the same thing over and over. "Delete... delete... delete... delete..." The other officers quickly ran out of the front door, dragging him along by the legs as they struggled to cover their eyes which were lachrymating upon exposure to the spam. One of the units outside called for backup and unwound a yellow tape labeled "POLICE LINE - DO NOT EMAIL" around the residence. A forensics van pulled up, and several officers strapped rubber gloves onto their hands and Pentagon-surplus armored spam filters on their faces. They reentered the building, treading lightly, taking flash photographs, and laboriously stuffing individual spam emails into each of 10,000,000 Ziploc bags.

About twenty minutes later, Detective Protagoniste and the Commissioner arrived at the scene in their unmarked car.

"Well, what do you make of this mess, Detective?" asked the Commissioner, as they approached the building. Protagoniste picked up one of the bags, and held it up to the light, and replied, "Commissioner, as of now, the spam's been caught... but not the Spammer!"

Comment: Re:Total BS (Score 1) 232

And your father's knowledge is broader and more accurate than this report's ..... because?

There was certainly a time when wage disparities were truly enormous, though not that big. But the entire premise of this story is that what we knew to be true just ten years ago is now out of date.

I suspect your father was giving you information that was once correct but no longer is.

Comment: Re:hilarious (Score 4, Interesting) 267

by IamTheRealMike (#47690895) Attached to: Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

When Bitcoin was launched, Satoshi had only been mining for a day or so. If you had been paying attention to the right forums, you could have started mining more or less at the same time he did and in fact some people (like Hal Finney) did exactly that.

What's more, Satoshi does not appear to have dumped his coins. Nor did he engage in much pumping. Indeed once people started hyperbolically talking about how Bitcoin would bring about world peace, trying to get Wikileaks to accept it and so on he retreated into the background and eventually left. His coins are still there.

Creating something new with no built in advantage for yourself, being totally honest about it, and then when its value soars not selling ..... is pretty much the opposite of a pump and dump scheme.

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