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Comment: Just reading this gives me the creeps ... (Score -1, Offtopic) 280

by Qbertino (#48176805) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Stop PulseAudio From Changing Sound Settings?

Just reading this gives me the creeps and makes me sad.

Note: I've been a FOSS advocate since the 90ies and have used Linux since '99. It's my only OS of choice for Inet facing servers and just recently, after years of x86 Linux neglegt and OS X usage (typing this on my MB Air) have finally again bought a Linux-only computer - a refurbished Thinkpad W510, pimped out with 18GB of memory and a 256GB SSD. With Ubuntu 14.04 LTS installed. I expected it to be a tad of a step backwards.

It was.

What I saying is, that one of the very neat advantages of Apples products is the prime qualtiy integration of hard- and software. With installing Ubuntu I was back to fiddling around with NVidia drivers a la 2003, annoying non-memorised bluetooth settings, praying for my extra Logitech Mousebuttons to work (they do, thanks to manual X-configability) shoddy/broken compiz desktop acceleration and other fussing around. I'm an expert, so I very well know that I would have the same mess on a Windows system and much more so and no way to fix it. And I also do have very good reasons for moving away from Apple (walled garden, non-turing complete iOS computers/devices, etc.) but I also have to say that FOSS utility computing still being stuck with problems we had back in 2002 really depresses me at times.

Timothys post brings up all images that show what's wrong and anoying with FOSS.

I'd so whish for one vendor to say: OK, we're building expert, top-quality utility computing hardware and going fully FOSS with it - 100% HW/SW integration and all. Personally I'm whishing for a MB Air/Ultrabook like device with low-power CPU and 20+hrs of battery life, fully open-speced HW and some neat and bold features like custom non-tiling setups for the UI, special functions supported out of the box and stuff like that. ... But then again, it's 2014 with computers a dime a dozen and such a project just one successful kickstarter campaing away. Maybe I should get of my ass and start one ...?

Anyhow, I'm sick of fiddling with stuff that should be basic comodity in 2014 and having to deal with issues like the one timothy has. Just had to let that out.

My 2 cents.

Comment: Patents are assets. Put them into a company. (Score 1) 224

by Qbertino (#48158567) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

Plain and simple: Patents are assets. Put them into a company. A company that you own 51% in at minimum of course.

Make it clear to any potential employer, that in terms of patents it's
a) ... out of your hands to give your prospective emloyer access to IP owned by [YOUR_PATENT_HOLDING_COMPANY]
and
b) ... whenever they're negotiating about your patents they're talking to you not as an employee but as CEO/Owner of [YOUR_PATENT_HOLDING_COMPANY]

This not just keeps the fronts clear but also opens you up to potentially lucrative deals with you and possible employers.
Hope I could help.

Comment: Proprietary Vendor Lock-In always sucks. Contract? (Score 2) 204

For VPN it's just the same. I've been dealing with Cisco AnyCrap VPN for the last 4 months and our problem - establishing a network-transparent VPN access to a remote share to deploy software without Cisco Malware (TM) hijacking our netconfig - still hasn't gone away. Naturally. The fuss is mostly politics (90%) with 3 parties and 15 individuals involved pushing responsibility around and fussing with bullshit that would be fixed in 30 minutes if they'd actually deliver what we need, but I guess that's the usual problem.

Moral to the story, once again, as has been for the past 2 decades:
Never, ever go with proprietary solutions and vendor/service lock-in for mission critical stuff!

That aside, how does your contract look? Is it Lawyer-time yet? Perhaps you should start playing 'legal-ball' or at least start writing snail-mail solicited letters as to indicate that you're pissed and won't take this much longer. Can actually work wonders.

Good luck. And don't forget to add "OpenVPN Compatible" into your next contracts.

Comment: In two years these will be on par with mine (Score 1) 132

by Qbertino (#48082461) Attached to: Test-Driving a $35 Firefox OS Smartphone

Tech moves fast.

In two years this sort of phone will be on par with mine, an HTC Desire HD. It's 3.5 years old and does all I could ever want from a Phone. Appart from being a little sluggish at times maybe. But that's hardly an issue, given that it is very sturdy and has a replaceable battery - which most modern phones don't.

When robots have advanced far enough into manufacturing, we'll have the equivalent of iPhone 6es come out of vending machines and the likes, for prices simular to that of this model. The predecessor to my current phone was a Blackberry Curve 8310. The superiour keyboard and battery runtime aside, the entire device seems way outdated and strangely anachronistic to me, like from a different era - and it's only 7 years old!

It's actually quite realistic when Google claims that they want to put the second half of humanity on to the internet within the next 5 years.

Comment: Imagine we would find the Solaris lifeform (Score 1) 65

by Qbertino (#48034705) Attached to: Mysterious Feature Appears and Disappears In a Sea On Titan

Imagine we would find a lifeform like in Lems' Solaris. Not many species but one single one occuping a planet.
A Super-Amobea that won the evolutionary race some hundred million years ago or something.
Would it have a conscience? If yes, what kind of conscience?
Would scientists discuss, wether it is ethical to take a probe or not? Would we be hurting a being? Would be deem it ethical (or not) to send probes into it/down there? ...
Interesting questions.

But then again, I'd say it's probably just land exposed and covered by tides.
Meeeh. Boooooring.

Comment: Who makes the most FOSS friendls GFX HW? (Score 1) 192

by Qbertino (#48009513) Attached to: NVIDIA Begins Requiring Signed GPU Firmware Images

With all this hassle nowadays - I remember the times when nVidia was the only company supporting Linux and was something like the darly child of the FOSS community - which company actually *is* the most FOSS friendly today? Intel? AMD/ATI? Some other company?

Educated opinions on this needed.

Comment: Experienced C developer? Isn't that a no-brainer? (Score 1) 316

by Qbertino (#48008243) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

You're an experiecned C developer? Well, sorry, but that's a no-brainer then. Go for Objective-C. Anything else would be really really stupid. You'll have to change some C habits to actually 'get' Obj-C, but you'll live. Obj-C works on every plattform, so you wouldn't be tied to iOS/OS X either. Only upsides to that route for you.

I OTOH also am an experienced developer, but pampered by 15 years of modern scripting language usage. I would want to learn C++ or Objective-C (I've been trying to pick up C++ for the last 2 years but haven't put enough effort into it yet), especially because im a FOSS Linux Geek, but I hate having to deal with anachronistic shit - so for me actually using an easy-to-use lock-in language would actually make sense - especially if I know what I want to build on iOS exclusively, since I would only do something very product and project specific on iOS. And only if I'm paid for it.

Comment: There is no indignation. (Score 0) 236

by Qbertino (#48001067) Attached to: First Shellshock Botnet Attacking Akamai, US DoD Networks

... how the indignation at a major vulnerability like this (2nd in a few months) is so muted when the OS in question doesn't come from Microsoft.

Bugs happen. The bullshit and coverup that comes with many of them needn't happen.

When did shellshock come out? A week ago?
We already have testing routines, fixes, live reports on ongoing exploits, ad-hoc sidetracking fixes for commercial non-FOSS versions (Mac OS X), countless how-tos on how to close up holes, a lively worldwide debate among experts on how to prevent this class of exploit, the bash crew merging the fixes, existing updates for debian, etc.

Seriously, this is a *very* *bad* hole, and yet the cool with which I was able to approach it simply knowing that all my outward facing boxes run a type-a prime FOSS distribution like debian was something you will not see with a windows admin. apt-get upgrade, apt-get update ... bladibla blubdiblub packageA bash someOtherPackage ... bladibla continue? Fuck yeah. Hit Enter. Yawn. Go get some coffee, come back, paste the onliner test. Fixed.

Sorry pal, but even with a bug of this magnitude, the way the FOSS community deals with it is a whole different league than any other camp. Openness beats everything else in this line of work, every time.

My 2 cents.

Comment: The air is thin for PhDs (Score 1) 479

by Qbertino (#47978255) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

That reads both ways:
a) You've gotten the highest formal accreditation anyone in the field can have. That means you're able to get into jobs that others can't.
b) The flipside is, that, all-in-all, those jobs are wide and far between, at least on global scale.

Think of the PhD as the last cog to get the machine working. The other cogs still have to be there. You have to move in to an area where PhDs are sought after and where they have their place. The webshop in a 30000 people town is not where you want to put your rank to use - you have to leave that "comfort-zone" behind. If you haven't built a network yet, you better get starting now. Or maybe you *have* built a network, but aren't aware of it. What are your college buddies doing? Is there no vector there to get into a field?

Mix the C++ experience in when pointing out your PhD. I all honesty, you'd be stupid if you don't combine your pratical C++ skills with your academic PhD-stuff from here on out. There is tons of neat stuff all over the planet. Scientific work, embedded, big data, financial (obscene amounts of money to be made in those last two).

And if you don't know what you want to do and where you want to do it, go apply for an internship at Google or some other famous scary company. No joke. Go there. Who knows, maybe you're a team-lead in 6 months on some new Android lib they're cooking up. If they ask you why you want to intern with a PhD, say you don't know what you want but you'd like to find out. That's how I got my job in the gaming industry. I had my back against the wall and started applying for jobs all over the country. BAM - 4 weeks later inet gamedev paradise with a very neat project that went on for two years and was specifically designed to burn massive sums of money. Or at least so it felt. The reference I got out of that job is worth a masters degree and serves me till this very day.

Or maybe you want to get more into algorythms and DB stuff - go find a company or scientific project that deals with such problems and ask to join - if only as an intern for a few weeks.

And someone else pointed it out already too:
Get a professional company to write your resume and a recruiter or an agent to help you find a job. That, or just call and ask to talk to the PM of the job for hire because you "want to find out if it makes sense to apply". Your application will most likely end up in the stack or bin with all the others, only it will be on top, because your a PhD. ... People want to see and talk to the people they're supposed to work with - that goes especially if your not a designated expert in a field.

And last but not least - if you are an expert or want to become one, there's another two options:
Freelance or own company. Think about it.

Good luck.

Comment: HTC seemed to manage (Score 1) 408

by Qbertino (#47955075) Attached to: Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

HTC seemed to manage just fine building devices of the quality of Apple or even better. I've dropped my 3.5 year old HTC Desire (solid aluminum body) more times than I can count and it still works as it did the first day. My first tablet - an HTC Flyer, case by apparently the same design team - serves my every day aswell.

I've seen and held my share of iPhones, and IMHO HTCs devices are better.

As far as enclosures go, I'd even say the new iPhone 6 ripps one or two things from the HTC One M8.

Comment: My passion is as high as always ... (Score 3, Insightful) 275

by Qbertino (#47953779) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

My passion is as high as always, only the world has changed and I've become wiser. Mind you, I've still broken my personal record in job-switching in the last 2 years, despite being in my mid-40ies. If anything, with age I've become *more* nimble but less anoyingly eager - at least on the outside.

Here's some advice:
1.) Switch your job. Don't worry, you'll live. And if only it is to find out that you had the best job in the world. Ok them, *now* you know. Look for the next one like that. Sometimes a bit of jobhopping is required to find out what you want and what you don't want. Pratice job-hopping and interviewing. Not to make it a habit, but to get used to looking until you've found a place where you are valued. Going freelance is a variant to that. If you're scared of going freelance even though you'd like to: Go freelance! Again: You'll live. And you'll never look back at your old life with anything other than pitty.

2.) More experienced people in our field - like me - would rather do nothing than work with a shitty team unwilling to learn or toil away on something that can't work or only will work with extreme stress and effort, because someone in sales or PM wasn't listening and didn't do his homework. Contrary to my younger colleagues, I, like most other experienced in our field, smell a projekt doomed to fail from 10 miles away. They might think I'm not passionate or that I'm complacent. Until three weeks later they've wasted 50hrs trying to get something to work that simply can't under the given circumstances. When the project finally runs against the wall and the crew and the problem has everyones attention, the boss turns to me. I say: "We need A,B and C. Otherwise this won't work. End of Story." Optionally, depending on the situation, I add in ".... As I said 3 months ago.". Sidenote: I allways *did* say it 3 months ago, but sometimes it's wiser not to rub it in. Also a thing experieced devs have learned.

Then we get what we need - which usually is simply a phone number of someone who we need to talk to and the mandate to do freely as we will, as long it stays within budget and solves the problem. Then I fix the problem by working a few hours of overtime - which I do gladly, because I, at this point, don't have to deal with any bullshit and I feel like getting something done. Just happened again yesterday, btw. Stayed till half past eight and did all the scaffolding and on monday morning finally everybody is going to hush and listen how we're going to do the last fixes.

3.) There's life beyond computers. I ditched my internet connection at home. Capped mobile data and Inet caffees are enough for regular E-Mail or getting your surfing fix inbetween. I've got enough of that at work, and I try not to spend 12 hours at the keyboard each day as I used to. It's lost its exitement. Mind you, I still pick up new stuff each day and make technology decisions 5 times a week at a minimum - but I've gotten way better and faster at dropping ideas. I try not to run in circles on the web anymore. I'm slowly building my Idea Immune System, and try to avoid getting all worked up within minutes about every new tech-fad that comes along. I've also got other things to do before I grow old. When my joints start aching, then I can go back to surfing and trying new web-toolkits 24/7, until then I want to get better at things I'm not that good at yet. Meeting women, cooking (moving away from fast-food), martial arts, exercising, traveling, dancing and perhaps even going back to playing guitar.

You should think about stuff like that too.

My general advice on this is:
You should at least have one regular thing in your life that fulfills you with deep inner satisfaction that has nothing to do with your job or other parts of your life. That can be a religion, any form or art or some outdoor activity or something along those lines. It should be that you can say to yourself: OK, even if I lose my job tomorrow, go broke, have my wife running away and my house burn to the ground, there's still that thing I can do that is fun and gives my life true meaning.

Hope I could help.
Good luck.

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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