Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Comment Re:Great experience (Score 1) 171

I buy the "potential" issue. I have enough confidence in the leadership and the culture that I don't worry about it being abused in the near term, but eventually that could change. I actually do have a greater degree of trust in Google than I do other corporations or government agencies, though. I expect that's mostly because of the visibility I have as an employee.

The less they know about me, the better.

In the abstract I see that. But Google Now is useful... and I expect it to become vastly more useful. It's going to be interesting to see how this evolves over the next decade or so, whether most everyone decides that having an excellent personal digital assistant is worth allowing someone to know so much about them. At least it's shaping up that there will be competition... Now, Siri, Cortana, Echo...

And obviously Google is already using information it knows about users to make recruiting decisions so clearly they are using the data for more than just advertising.

Recruiting is advertising.

Suppose that I use an Android phone and I have all my web browsers signed in to a Google account. Google now has access to all my phone data, my contact data, calendar data, search history, and even info about websites that I go to directly w/o the help of google (thanks to Google ads)

Chrome can also tell Google everywhere you go even without the help of ads. It only does that if you turn on web history, though. Same with location. If you turn on location history, Google stores it. If not, Google doesn't get it. As for phone, contacts, calendar, photos, etc., that's true if you turn on backup for everything. If you turn off backup, the data doesn't go to Google. Of course, then you don't get the cross-platform always-updated calendar and contacts list, and if your phone gets run over by a bus it's all gone. Whether or not to use backup isn't a one-time decision, though; if you use it and then later decide not to you can use the privacy dashboard to delete stuff.

And Google does forget the data you ask it to delete. It's a good idea to check the dashboard periodically and wipe out anything you don't want to be there. You should probably do that if you haven't.

Comment Re:Does flipping one electron now flip the other? (Score 1) 149

As I understand it, when you flip the state of one of an entangled pair, you break the entanglement. So site B can do what they like with the second pair, but site A won't know what they did. But IANAP and it's been over two decades since I took physics. Oh, and although my old textbook is on the shelf behind me, I'm too lazy to turn around and look at it :)

Comment Re:Veterans care (Score 1) 22

Anybody who ever served on active duty and handled classified information is just a bit hacked off at Her Majesty's cavalier attitude about, well, everything.

That's true, but comparing Hillary's sending and receiving emails that weren't marked as classified over a non-government server is absolutely NOTHING compared to Petraus' knowingly giving top secret information to someone with neither a need to know nor a security clearance. Remember Mata Hari? (I probably spelled that wrong)

Plus, his adultery is strictly against the USMJ code; people have gotten dishonorable discharges for that alone, and anyone else would have gotten time in Leavenworth for spilling secrets. Petraus got off not with a slap on the wrist, but a stern talking to.

Comment Re:Time Management (Score 2) 171

Person is researching python lambda function list comprehension for a programming project. Gets sidetracked for a couple of hours by popup puzzles.

Yep. This is the employee we want.

You mean the sort of person who is an avid problem solver but bored in their current job? Yes, that's exactly who you want to hire if you're going to put them in an environment rich in productive puzzles to solve. Yes, you do also need them to be able to maintain focus when it really matters, but it's far easier to teach brilliant problem solvers some time management skills than it is to teach plodding, methodical thinkers to be brilliant problem solvers.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Gimpy text and Mars

I use the Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) to design book covers. It's an excellent free open source program that has three weaknesses -- its menu structure is completely illogical (but can be gotten used to), I can't find a full spectrum palette, and its text handling is so poor as to be useless.

Comment Re:Not if you're searching for Maaaaaaatlock... ;- (Score 1) 171

FWIW, I'm a Google engineer. I'm 46. Many members of my previous team were in their 50s and 60s, and the median age there was probably around my age. That team was working on complex internal enterprise systems, where decades of experience with complex business logic was at a premium. My current team is younger... but I'm not the oldest.

Comment Re:Great experience (Score 1) 171

Rumor has it the selection process happens through your Google search history over a long period of time, so you're not going to be able to just spam Python jargon at the search engine and get in tomorrow.

Do you keep yourself logged in with a google account when you search? I specifically try to avoid Google tracking my searches to the extent that I can control. This whole thing is kind of creepy to me, and I never ever log into a google account unless I'm in a VM, though I am sure there are still ways to track me.

Out of curiosity, what are you concerned that Google is going to do with your search history?

FWIW, my approach is that I stay logged in all the time, with web history enabled (so Chrome sends a log of every page I visit to Google for storage, not just my searches) and open an incognito window when I'm doing something I don't want recorded. I try not to do that much, though, because I get a lot of value from being able to search my own web history (web history allows you to search in all the stuff you've looked at, so when you find yourself thinking, "I know I read that on some site..." you can typically find it pretty easily).

While there probably is stuff that I'd rather not share with the world, I really have no concern about sharing it with Google, because no one is ever going to see it. Unless there's a warrant or a subpoena for my information, but that seems pretty unlikely, and even more unlikely that any warrant or subpoena wouldn't get more from my e-mail, bank records, etc.

In the interest of full disclosure I should mention that I'm a Google employee, but this post really isn't about trying to convince you that you're wrong. I'm just curious.

Comment Re:Garbage what? (Score 2) 69

Without really knowing the answers

Without knowing the answers one conducts research to find out the details to know the answers. There already have been some studies about how plastic trash accumulates metals, although not of the ocean's more valuable metals. In the above-linked articles, some very rough calculations are run for different potential recovery rates of different metals and what their market value would be. There's lots of caveats, though.

Comment Re:Comparison? (Score 4, Interesting) 230

It's interesting nonetheless seeing what studies come up as bunk and which get confirmed. For example, I opened up their data file and started pulling up random entries about gender differences for fun:

"Sex differences in mate preferences revisited: Do people know what they initially desire in a romantic partner?" - The original study claimed that while men often self-report having their selection criteria for a partner being a lot more hinged around appearance than women do, that in practice this isn't the case, and more to the point, people's self-reporting for what they want most in a partner has little bearing on what they actually find most important in partner selection in practice.

The re-analysis confirmed this study.

"Perceptual mechanisms that characterize gender differences in decoding women's sexual intent" - This was a followup study to an earlier study that claimed that women often perceive men's sexual interest as friendliness while men often perceive women's friendliness as sexual interest. This study found, by contrast, that while men often misperceive friendliness as sexual interest, they also often misperceive sexual interest as friendliness - that they're just worse in general than reading sexual interest than women.

The re-analaysis was thus in a way responding to both the original and the followup. And found neither to be true. They found no difference between men and women in ability to read sexual interest vs. friendliness.

"Loving those who justify inequality: the effects of system threat on attraction to women who embody benevolent sexist ideals." - this study was to test - and reported confirmation - of the hypothesis that men who don't trust the government will also tend to find attractive women who embody "benevolent sexist" stereotypes - that is, that women are vulnerable, need to be saved, belong in the house, are there to complete men, etc, vs. women who have interest in careers or activities outside of the family, expect to be seen as equals, etc.

The reanalysis showed no correlation at all.

"The Best Men Are (Not Always) Already Taken: Female Preference for Single Versus Attached Males Depends on Conception Risk" - this study claimed that women in relationships find single men more attractive when they're ovulating and partnered men when they're not, but that single women show no preference. They argued that this result is expected given selective factors.

The reanalysis showed no correlation at all in any of the above cases.

Comment Re:Architect != sysadmin (Score 4, Interesting) 182

Agreed. The architect should not be touching the operational system except for acquiring profiling data and layout information, which they should be able to work with the system administrator to get. They should not have "full access" like the person wants. The architect should be working in a testbed with simulated data or a copy of the live data, depending on the task at hand. Just the same as how an actual architect doesn't go onside and start welding things, they work in simulated models.

Comment Re:Garbage what? (Score 4, Interesting) 69

Ironically, there's the possibility that removing the trash could pay for itself and then some. Plastics floating in the ocean tend to slowly intercalate metals - the types and quantities depending on the plastic and the rate depending on the surface area to volume ratio (very high for most pacific garbage patch trash). Plastic trash that's been floating around for a long time tends to become quite contaminated by these metals (as well as some types of persistent biological toxins), making it much more toxic to sea life than new plastic. But these same metal "contamination" problems could make the waste a potential resource back on land. Intercalated metals can be stripped out by a soak in a strong acid bath. And the ratios of metals found in the oceans are very different than those found on land, with some, such as uranium and lithium, being orders of magnitude more common than they are on land.

Comment Re:webp? (Score 4, Informative) 171

Yes webp is a google creation. It's basically a single still frame from the vp8 video codec (as used by webm). Being based on modern techniques it gives a better quality for a given size (or smaller size for a given quality) than JPEG and if you have support for webm then implementing webp as well requires very little extra code.

However it has failed to catch on more widely. Afaict chrome is the only major browser that supports it. There is a bug requesting supporting in firefox but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. IE and safari seem even less likely to adopt it.

Comment Re:Time investment (Score 1) 171

Dude got nerd sniped. I wouldn't be able to resist. An interesting puzzle mysteriously shows up? Yes please. Basically how I got into programming and math in general.

Of course all they're going to get are people who aren't savvy enough to use ad/tracking blockers and duckduckgo...

Heh. Google Foobar popped up for me last week. I blew two hours solving problems before I pulled myself away and got back to work.

Comment Re:Time investment (Score 2) 171

I set to work and solved the first problem in a couple hours. Each time I submitted a solution, foo.bar tested my code against five hidden test cases." After solving another five problems the page gave Rossett the option to submit his contact information

Curious: what prompted Max Rossett to spend hours solving programming puzzles before being even given the opportunity to submit contact information for a job consideration?

The same thing that prompts people to spend hours solving Project Euler or Top Coder or similar puzzles, with absolutely no expectation of return beyond the joy and satisfaction they derive from solving the problems.

Whether or not the sort of person who does is what Google needs is an open question, but it's definitely the sort of person Google hires. The interview process is composed of a series of programming puzzles, and one of the things interviewers look for is people who not only handle that sort of challenge, but who clearly enjoy it -- largely because the interviewers and all of their co-workers like such puzzles, and anyone else who does is very likely to fit in.

It makes perfect sense; the recruiting tool selects for exactly the sort of person who is likely to get hired, and to fit into the culture.

"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape." - Ellyn Mustard

Working...