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Comment: Re:Great - suburbs are becoming urbanized (Score 1) 296

by Sangui5 (#49649279) Attached to: A Visual Walk Through Amazon's Impact On One Seattle Neighborhood
I live in the Bay Area.

My boss has told me "you really should be living in a 6-story condo building; if you did then your housing wouldn't so obscenely overpriced". The snarky response would be "well, can I bulldoze your house to build a 6-story condo? Because there aren't any".

I'm not a brogrammer. I'm not a single hipster. I'm married with two young kids. I don't need a trendy city scene; I don't want hip bars; I'm not looking for a luxury condo with all the fancy amenities. I just want a place to live. People who complain about denser development often seem to ask the question "why can't they be happy with what we had back in the day? why do they want so much space?". Well, how much space? In the 1970's, the median household size was 3, and the median house size was 1500 sq. feet. That's 500 sq feet per person.

My family has 350 sq. feet per person, and we pay through the nose for it.

The occasional octogenarian who isn't fit enough to move is a human interest story puff piece; the real political problem is the 55-year-old who simply doesn't want anything to change, and has a "I got mine, what's your problem?" attitude. "Doesn't match the aesthetics of the neighborhood" is code for "we don't want young people here", just as much as "digital native" is code for "people under 40 need not apply". Both attitudes are poisonous.

Comment: Re:My wife likes these kinds of jokes (Score 1) 765

by Sangui5 (#49316059) Attached to: A Software Project Full of "Male Anatomy" Jokes Causes Controversy
Actually, with regards to this whole DICSS thing, I was looking for some help with a web-coding project. You see, all of these "high-level" languages are really wasteful, producing lots of garbage (especially if you use a wrapper), and it takes forever for useful output to come out.

Hence, if you're into the cutting edge, I was hoping you might contribute to my project: automatically translating things like DICSS into plain vanilla C. Yes, the C-STRAIGHT project looks to free eveyone of their useless DICSS, and move to a nice, sleek language, with no hairy bits. Even better, if I can get the help of someone who is truly razor sharp on the javascript type system, I think we can do the whole thing by automatic cast-ing nearly painlessly.

Comment: Re:Not quite comparable (Score 2) 215

by Sangui5 (#49054839) Attached to: Japan Now Has More Car Charging Points Than Gas Stations
Not only that, but basically all gasoline cars have better range than the electric ones, which means a longer time between gas-tank fills vs charge-ups.

So, each chargepoint needs to be used more often, and for far far longer. Calling it "not quite comparable" is quite the understatement.

Comment: Re:How do you fsck NTFS? (Score 2) 345

by Sangui5 (#48124487) Attached to: ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

The developers of the NTFS support for Linux do have a fsck implemented. It does a pretty good job. However, since they've done a black-box re-implementation, they rightfully aren't willing to 100% guarantee they have everything correct. Hence, although it has been almost a decade since I've had trouble with Linux NTFS support causing a problem, the recommendation is still to run the native Windows chkdsk after the Linux one finds a problem, just in case.

So, it isn't that you can't use a pure Linux toolchain to work with NTFS, it's just that the Windows toolchain is a little bit better. All in all, that isn't surprising.

Comment: Ask what makes you a bad candidate (Score 1) 479

by Sangui5 (#47976741) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

The overall unemployment rate among PhDs in computer science is shockingly low. Per the current Taulbee Survey (see pdf here), unemployment among fresh CS PhD graduates from surveyed institutions (266 North American ones; likely comprising the whole top 100 institutions plus 166 others) is .8%. .8% is well below the frictional unemployment rate; a PhD in CS is almost as good as a civil-service union government job in guaranteeing employment for life.

So ask yourself, what are you totally screwing up. Some previous posters have suggested that perhaps you're shooting way too low (intro programming job) for your talents. This could be the case. It could be that your degree is from a less-than-reputable institution (you didn't say, so we can't comment). You may just be messing up the basics of interviewing --- my PhD prepared me for an academic interview, but not so much for a straight industry job. Asking help from your institution's career services department on interviewing skills could help.

Regardless, there are very well collected statistics that reflect that a CS PhD is a strong benefit to gaining employment; don't blame the PhD.

Comment: Re:So how many of them are actually qualified (Score 2) 214

How many of these 100 faculty (or is it 93?) are actually qualified to have an opinion about this?

Conservatives sure are a funny (insane?) bunch nowadays. If you're an actual scientist who is an expert in climate research, and say that climate change is real, that man is causing it, and that it will probably be a bad thing overall then you're just shilling for more of that lucrative research money (and want to destroy America). If you're not a scientist who is an expert in the field, but defer your judgement to those who are experts (of which 97% are in agreement) as most educated people do, then you're not qualified to speak on the matter, so you should just shut up (because you want to destroy America).

Honestly, four or five (or ten?) years ago I might have just thought that you didn't have the facts, but in the year 2014 I just find it weird. Why is reducing how much oil we burn such a bad thing? I don't fucking get it.

Conservatives sure are a funny (insane?) bunch nowadays. If you're an actual scientist who is an expert in climate research, and say that climate change is real, that man is causing it, and that it will probably be a bad thing overall then you're just shilling for more of that lucrative research money (and want to destroy America). If you're not a scientist who is an expert in the field, but defer your judgement to those who are experts (of which 97% are in agreement) as most educated people do, then you're not qualified to speak on the matter, so you should just shut up

You seem to have gotten my point backwards

When Joe DiMaggio comes on the radio, and tells you to smoke Winston cigarettes, because they're invigorating and healthful, you should ignore him. When a former playboy bunny goes on television and tells you that vaccines cause autism, you should ignore her. When Rush Limbaugh goes on air and tells you climate change is a conspiracy made up by secret hidden commies working together with Al-Qaeda, you should ignore him.

And when the chair of the divinity department at Harvard tells you climate change is real, you should ignore him too.

If the faculty at a Harvard want to get the administration to not invest in Chevron, that's all well and fine. They want to write a letter, that's all well and fine. But writing a news article about it just because it was Harvard faculty? It deserves a news article just as much as if it was the faculty at the University of Pheonix: not at all. This sort of trash is why the tobacco companies got away with it for so long, why there's an anti-vax movement, and why climate change denial is still around.

Comment: So how many of them are actually qualified (Score 4, Insightful) 214

Not to be cynical..

OK, that's a lie. Cynical mode is *on*.

How many of these 100 faculty (or is it 93?) are actually qualified to have an opinion about this? How many are involved in hard science (physics, chemistry, engineering)? And how many are in fields that deal in arguments and sophistry above all else?

How many of the signers are in fields that would have been duped by the Sokal Affair and how many have done a good job of curating their facts? How many of those 100 are proprietors of horse-caca? You tell me 100 Harvard faculty want to get out of coal/petroleum... which of them do I care about more than if you told me 100 ballet dancers wanted the same?

Comment: Re:In all fairness (Score 1) 237

by Sangui5 (#46107017) Attached to: Hard Drive Reliability Study Flawed?

FYI, a major value-add the server vendors give is validation, burn-in, and firmware tweaks. So that "same" model of Seagate drive sold by HP might be rock solid, while the IBM version of the WD drive might be absolute junk.

Short version is that everyone ships a crap batch occasionally, and direct from the manufacturer has the worst odds.

Comment: re: drive throughput (Score 3, Informative) 237

by Sangui5 (#46106913) Attached to: Hard Drive Reliability Study Flawed?

IIRC Backblaze's workload is write once read maybe once (I mean, they are a backup company). So it's quite likely that they are massively under the specs for throughput.

The truly interesting thing about this study is that they name names; previous work in the area (lke Bianca Schroeder's FAST 07 paper, http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~bianca/... or Google's FAST 07 paper, http://research.google.com/arc..., or NetApp's FAST 08 paper http://www.usenix.org/event/fa...) doesn't give away vendor names. The Backblaze results broadly agree with the previous results.

Comment: I suppose I don't do real electronics (Score 5, Insightful) 215

by Sangui5 (#45479173) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's On Your Hardware Lab Bench?

but that's a fair accusation, because I don't really.

80-90% of things can be shipped off to software where it's delightfully easy to trace/probe/debug things, and you have a functional unit which is infinitely malleable. What you can't do in software most realistically ends up in an FPGA, where really you're just debugging your VHDL/Verilog, and the simulator is your new best friend for 80-90% of the cases. When the simulator is a lying piece of junk, 80-90% of the time all you need is a good logic analyzer...

But there's still that ~1% of the time where software and/or digital logic just didn't behave right. Something analog is either necessary (e.g. maybe you're doing something actually useful, like driving a motor, rather than just flipping bits), or analog is making your life miserable.

Even professionally, I've found a 2-channel 50 MHz analog scope to be a godsend in some cases; of course, I like my 4-channel 1GHz digital scope more :) If you end up interacting with anything real and physical, or if you you move beyond merely debugging black boxes and into building your own stuff, even a crappy scope can give you information you simply can't get any other way. Who cares if it is uncalibrated and wildly inaccurate if a surplus scope will still show you the shape of what is going on, with all of the noise and ringing and transient under-(and over-)voltages and double bounces and cross-talk and odd harmonics and wtf why was that capacitor in the wrong bin this RC constant is borked and yep that part's dead and oh shit bad solder job and all the other crap that makes me happy I get to spend most of my time in nice clean software?

If you're just putzing around, sure, a DMM will do ya. But if you're actually building something new (even something simple), you need a scope.

Comment: Re:If you can't innovate . . . (Score 2) 91

by Sangui5 (#45265857) Attached to: HP Sues Seven Optical Drive Makers Over Price-Fixing

Except that HP did innovate; HP developed core standards essential IP for everything DVD+R and on. You can't build a BluRay burner without using HP's innovations. HP didn't decide to go it alone and build a whole optical drive ecosystem by themselves, but instead licensed their innovations to others.

Of course, since the IP is standards essential, it is 99% certain to be licensed on fixed-fee-per-unit FRAND terms. So if a monopolist or a cartel decide to sell fewer units at a higher price, the people who actually did the hard development work get shafted. Nevermind that the HP is also one of the biggest sellers of optical drives to end users.

So, yeah, if you can't innovate, go ahead and litigate. But if you do innovate, give a fair license, and then get cheated, well, I'd advise litigation in that case as well.

Comment: Just wondering about the tags.. (Score 4, Insightful) 179

by Sangui5 (#41837247) Attached to: Physicist Explains Cthulhu's "Non-Euclidean Geometry"

..but HP?

Is the new printer lineup Lovecraftian? Has Meg Whitman been conducting dark rituals? Is Itanium powered by the souls of the innocent?

Wouldn't MS be more appropriate? I'm pretty sure IE is *actually* powered by the souls of the innocent, and there certainly is something evil about the entire OS lineup.

Comment: Re:What about U.S.Citizens (Score 4, Insightful) 108

by Sangui5 (#40218495) Attached to: DHS Best-and-Brightest STEM Program Under Fire

It isn't that unreasonable to be upset at what the article is about; there are abuses of the OPT visa, and those abuses ought be fixed.

At the same time, it is important to understand what letting foreign students and giving them a shot at employment does. A lot of the US's economic lead comes from the fact that we basically imported the best of Europe's population just prior to and after WWII. The current programs extend this: essentially steal the best and most talented people from around the world by providing them with good opportunities.

I did my graduate work at a large & relatively prestigious state school; I was the only US citizen in my research group. Everyone else was an immigrant. Except for one person who got lucky and won the green card lottery (literally a lottery) while still a student, every single one of them used the OPT visa at some point. They've all gone on to make valuable contributions to the US, as research scientists, faculty, and founders of a start up. The US is better off for them immigrating, and becoming permanent residents.

So you should be angry when there are abuses of these sorts of visa programs. If there's too much abuse, these programs will be cut back, or even cancelled, and we'll stop getting the benefit of stealing the world's most talented people.

Comment: Re:Why would anyone be interested in this? (Score 1) 108

by Sangui5 (#40218345) Attached to: DHS Best-and-Brightest STEM Program Under Fire

Lots of people who really are 'the best and brightest" take OPT; when used correctly it is a "bridge" visa to something more permanent. E.g. a student graduates, takes 90 days (or less) to find a job, starts at an employer under OPT, the employer starts the H-1B application process, and within 6-9 months the students qualifies for H-1B. This is especially useful for people who graduate after the current year's H-1B allotment has run out; they can't possibly successfully apply until the next year, so the extra time OPT provides is critical. Then, from H-1B status, you can apply for a green card, which while it may take a few years depending on your country of origin.

OPT is also one of the visas used for foreign students to do summer internships. It is fairly common for graduate students in the tech industry to do at least one summer internship, which can be done either with an OPT visa or a CPT visa; however, the time limits between the two are somewhat linked, & CPT visa time can eat into one's eligible time for an OPT visa. This is probably the rationale for the extensions.

However, it does seem like the schools listed are abusing the extensions; any employer with a competent HR department can get H-1B approval in a short enough time that the standard 17 month OPT is sufficient. Using the 29 month extended time indicates that the students likely aren't "good enough" to bother with the expense of the H-1B process. I think that many of those taking the extensions aren't good enough to easily qualify for permanent status, but 29 months is better than nothing.

Comment: HP EliteBook 8560w (Score 1) 300

It's a business-class laptop with a 15.6" screen, 1920 x 1080 resolution available, decent battery (75 Wh standard), option for an extra detachable extension battery (the BB09 adds an additional 100 Wh), keyboard "feel" reminds me of my IBM model M (although shorter travel), and it has a full numeric keypad.

HEAD CRASH!! FILES LOST!! Details at 11.