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Comment Re:Cambridge, England (Score 1, Interesting) 266

Wish I had mod points.

I would point out though that Apple were one of the original investors in ARM. They even helped with the early (though not the initial) silicon design.

The article is also wrong on other points. I've had two companies in the UK, the first failed (and I didn't really feel any "stigma". It just didn't work out); the second (which contained mainly the same people as the first) was bought up, which is why I'm over in Sunny CA now rather than back in London...

The social net is actually a lot stronger in the UK I feel (as someone who's lived in the US for the last decade), so having a company fail on you isn't the enormous burden that it is in the USA. There's a lot of ways/government help to get back on your feet in the UK that still don't really exist in the USA; and, of course, there's things like government-sponsored healthcare so you don't *need* to be employed just to cover your arse on essential things like that.

Just my $0.02/£0.01 (rounding up)

Simon.

Comment Re:what will be more interesting (Score 1) 662

Fortunately the comment history is preserved. Not 5 posts up you state, and I quote:

"Most Americans don't understand just how restricted speech is in the UK by comparison to the US"

Restriction of free speech pertains to government restriction. We don't care what companies / institutions do. The BBC isn't the government.

So, I guess the gp was correct.

Comment Perspective (Score 4, Informative) 338

I'm one of said H1B visas, now with a green card. Been here almost exactly 10 years now, after Apple bought my company. I came here for the money and the weather, not for anything else. Frankly I don't think the US society is as "free" as people here seem to believe.

I've mentioned this here before, and (understandably, no-one likes bad news) I tend to get down voted for it, but the simple honest truth of the matter is that the USA isn't geared for looking after people, it's geared towards controlling people. There's things I like about it (the job is great, the weather is excellent, the people (as individuals who I meet day-to-day) are generally wonderful unless driving, the money is still good, I like my house and I met my wife here - my son is dual American/British).

There's things I don't like too, (the militarisation of the police, the lack of any reasonable healthcare, the "I'm alright Jack, screw you" attitude of a *lot* of people - weirdly enough those who often really *aren't* alright, the schooling system, and for lack of any better term, the country's soul). As time passes, and I get older, these seem to be more important. I can't see myself retiring here, and in fact I can't see myself here in another 10 years. That's not the attitude I came to the US with, it's something I've developed while I've been here.

Let's be frank here, I'm not trying to boast, but I'm one of the 'have's - I have a million dollar house (which sounds a lot more impressive than it really is in this neighbourhood) which is almost paid off, I have a high six-figure income, and I've money in the bank. I'm not a "1%er" but I'm up there with the rest... however, even with all of this, I'm not happy with the way the country is going. There's little-to-no safety net for joe public, and seemingly (*both* houses Republican, seriously ?) no desire for that. I think the USA is far closer to oligarchy than democracy, and the long-term trend just looks like it gets worse from here on out.

[sigh]

Simon.

Comment Not always about the money... (Score 5, Insightful) 161

Nice to see breakthrough research like this coming from a single-payer healthcare system like the UK. When people start saying that the only places that can afford groundbreaking medical research are the ones where the "customers" pay a fortune, it'll be good to be able to point them to things like this.

Simon

Comment Apple = cash cow for scumbags (Score 4, Insightful) 304

As is the case a lot (not all) of the time with Apple. They're worth a lot in click-bait, so what you do is try to find something outrageous to say about a popular product, put adverts on the page to generate you cash, and try and profit from the massive public interest in yet another Apple product...

Or maybe I'm getting too cynical in my old age.

Simon

User Journal

Journal Journal: Chances of being killed by police in the USA

So 104 people were killed by police in the USA during August, 2014. To my eyes, that's an absolutely enormous figure. As a Brit, I compare it to the 1 person killed over 3 years by the UK police. Yes, they're two different countries, yes there's a lot more people in the US, yes they have different cultures, yadda yadda yadda; people are dying here.

Let's do some maths:

Comment Re:Everyone loses (Score 5, Interesting) 474

I live in CA too, and pay similar taxes. I don't have a problem with the taxes.

When I came to the USA, I was taken aback by just how money-orientated the churches are. I'm irreligious, but I attended church as a kid, and it was actually about the message, about community, and definitely not about the money. Church officials (rectors and curates) are pretty poor in the UK, at least where I grew up - they have housing provided for them, and they live on a meagre salary. They are expected to work long hours for low pay. I don't get that sense when I drive past a church in San Jose that has acres (literally) of parking space, flashy electronic signs, and is located in prime real-estate area. It's very different, trust me.

I've lived here in CA for almost a decade, as I said, it's been great. There's been a couple of local school-shootings in the last year or so. Understand that from a Brit's point of view *anyone* getting shot *ever* is big news. National, prime-time TV news, possibly for days. For it to be sufficiently commonplace that it doesn't even make it past local headlines is ... disturbing.

Your point about talking to people is a good one: if I talk to people from outside the US, our views tend to resonate, but if I talk to people who are US-born, there's way less agreement. I'm not sure if it's because this is "normal" to those born here, that they just haven't experienced anything else, that they think somehow "it couldn't happen to me", or what (sometimes it's definitely a case of USA! USA! USA!). Definitely there is a difference in outlook between natives and foreigners.

One more thing: I'm not trying to paint the UK as some sort of panacea - it's not, by a long chalk. Neither am I US-bashing for the sake of it - the above is just my observations over time. The UK has it's own issues no doubt, but bottom line: even as a white male living in an affluent area in the USA, I feel safer in the UK. And I definitely feel my son would be safer at school there. This is the fact that's weighing on me more and more.

Simon

Comment Re:Everyone loses (Score 5, Insightful) 474

Having lived in the US for a decade now, I'm missing the UK more and more.

  - A real non-half-assed health service, that provides long-term care without exception
  - A dearth of mass-murders, especially school-shootings
  - A police service which uses policing-by-consent rather than by-fear
  - A university system that doesn't do its best to keep you in debt for life
  - A foreign policy that doesn't make them hated around the world
  - An attitude that doesn't revolve around "why should my taxes pay for you, just because you desperately need help" ?
  - A church that isn't entirely based around making money for the "reverend" and isn't overwhelmingly politicised.
  - Sensible views on evolution, science in general, abortion, gay marriage, and womens rights.
  - And of course, the marked lack of guns in the general populace. An armed society is a polite society my arse. It's a *fearful* society.

As I said, I've been here for a decade now, and I work for a big company with great perks. It's been good for me, but now that I have a kid, the school-shootings thing is getting more and more worrisome. There's literally nothing I can do to prevent some moron raiding his mother's arsenal and killing my kid if that's how he wants to end his life.

The money is good, the people I meet are friendly, the weather is nice, and that used to be sufficient. But as time goes by, it's seeming more and more like a Faustian bargain.

Simon.

Comment Crawl, *then* walk (Score 4, Insightful) 122

Yeah, I could do with one of those office-space meme's right now.

If all the nay-sayers faux-gasping at the extreme length of 2.5m could shut up, that'd be great.

I'm not sure what people expect these days - this is a major achievement - whether it *can* be extended, or whether it *will* be extended would be different achievements. You could almost apply Jackson's rules of optimisation to this (refresher below) - in that first you *do* it, and only then (if you're an expert) do you try to do it *well*.

Simon

Jackson's rules of optimisation: "The First Rule of Program Optimization: Don't do it. The Second Rule of Program Optimization (for experts only!): Don't do it yet."

Comment Re:Chess (Score 1) 274

When you play a bridge tournament, you play as part of a 4-person team. All the cards are dealt and placed in boards such that once they're played, they're replaced back as the North, South, East, or West hand.

Now your team of 4 is split into two partnerships, one playing all the N/S hands, one playing all the E/W hands. For any given hand of N,S,E,W, what counts isn't what your partnership does on your cards (either N/S or E/W), it's the delta between what your other partnership scored and what you scored. So, if you and X are playing North/South, and your other team members are playing E/W, then for every hand its your score - their score becomes your team score for that deck of cards.

In this way, there is no element of luck. Every team plays the same cards, every team plays both pairings (N/S and E/W), and only the difference matters. It's pure skill, both in bidding what you will make, and then playing the cards to actually make your bid. You can "win" the deck by causing someone who bid a grand-slam to lose a trick, and get the maximum points for that deck to your team.

Bridge is a truly excellent game. Simple rules, but incredibly challenging to execute correctly every time.

Simon

Comment Re:Legitimate concerns (Score 1) 282

I think you're proving my point about the black-and-white nature of how people regard free speech in the USA. See, I'm very much in favour of free speech, it's been a fundamental right of UK society now for longer than the USA has existed in its current form, and pretty much any UK citizen would be equally for it.

Where we differ is in nuance. The UK approach is a shades-of-gray one, where the right to speak whatever you want, no matter how hurtful to others, is actually counter-balanced by how much what you say hurts the target of your invective; and this in turn is counter-balanced by the importance of what it is that you're saying to society as a whole. There's a whole spectrum of things to consider when making a judgement, which is why the UK position is that if a free-speech issue comes up, it ought to be decided by a judge rather than a black/white hard-and-fast rule.

Now does this matter, in day-to-day life ? No. People say and do pretty much the same thing on both sides of the pond; but when a big issue comes up and a judgement has to be rendered, the courts take a more reasoned view than "Is this free speech ? Yes ? Ok then, feel free to ".

I'll ignore the idiotic purposeful misreading of the Fire thing...

We want to create puppets that pull their own strings. - Ann Marion

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