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Comment: Re:Engineers have no future. (Score 5, Insightful) 148

by silentbozo (#48174729) Attached to: Cisco Exec: Turnover In Engineering No Problem
Agreed. A manager who says that turnover is not a problem is a manager that has no inkling of what engineers do, what exactly their company produces, or how badly they are in trouble when knowledge and experience walk out the door. Either that, or they're lying to your face.

There's that tipping point when the work gets harder, the code is even more rotted, the "process" is even more constricting, because they know something is wrong but they need to "measure" everything to figure out why. That's when people are running, not walking out the door.

Comment: Re:Sound waves as quantum particles? (Score 2) 64

by rjh (#48132861) Attached to: Hawking Radiation Mimicked In the Lab

You can thank wave-particle duality. In the quantum world, if something has an existence as a wave, it must also have an existence as a particle. Sound waves have a particle analogue: phonons.

Also remember: in quantum mechanics there's no such thing as a vacuum. Virtual particles spring into existence constantly, making it possible to interact with vacuum in a number of really surprising ways.

+ - Details of iOS and Android Device Encryption

Submitted by swillden
swillden (191260) writes "There's been a lot of discussion of what, exactly, is meant by the Apple announcement about iOS8 device encryption, and the subsequent announcement by Google that Android L will enable encryption by default. Two security researchers tackled these questions in blog posts:

Matthew Green tackled iOS encryption, concluding that at bottom the change really boils down to applying the existing iOS encryption methods to more data. He also reviews the iOS approach, which uses Apple's "Secure Enclave" chip as the basis for the encryption and guesses at how it is that Apple can say it's unable to decrypt the devices. He concludes, with some clarification from a commenter, that Apple really can't (unless you use a weak password which can be brute-forced, and even then it's hard).

Nikolay Elenkov looks into the preview release of Android "L". He finds that not only has Google turned encryption on by default, but appears to have incorporated hardware-based security as well, to make it impossible (or at least much more difficult) to perform brute force password searches off-device."

Comment: Re:Inverse Wi-fi law (Score 1) 278

by silentbozo (#48057907) Attached to: Marriott Fined $600,000 For Jamming Guest Hotspots
My observation has been that resort hotels (the ones with restaurants in them) charge an arm and a leg because they are targeting two type of customers:

1. Tourists/Vacationers
2. Convention/Conference goers

In the case of #1, you're probably not a repeat customer (or at least, repeat often enough for them to care). They want to wring every last dollar out of you while they can.

In the case of #2, you're a captive customer (the con is nearby or in this hotel, unless you have a car you're not going to wander far), and you might possibly be able to expense things.

If you were a high-roller that stayed regularly, I'll bet you they wouldn't nickle and dime you, not unless they were morons and wanted to drive you into the hands of the competition. The rest of us are just sheep to be fleeced.

For the lower cost hotels (like the Holiday Inn Expresses), where there is no built in restaurant, and they offer amenities like free wifi and free continental breakfast, they're targeting repeat business and price sensitive travelers. They often don't have the best location compared to the resort hotels (you *will* need a car), but as a consequence their expenses are probably lower. The more extreme version of this are the Extended Stay type hotels, which have kitchens and refrigerators.

The really dumpy hotels have no choice. Their plant is run down, and they may be a no-name. Unless they offer free amenities, nobody in their right mind is going to stay at their place (assuming similar nightly rents) unless there's no choice.

Comment: My story with Epic (Score 1) 240

by rjh (#48041475) Attached to: Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records

Some years ago after being laid off from one programming job, my old CS prof from college suggested I stop by to interview with the Epic recruiter who was visiting the campus. I was told to block out about four hours time, and that it would be a very in-depth technical interview. It turned out to be nothing of the sort: it was maybe ten minutes of talk with a human being, and hours and hours of filling out a badly-written "technical exam". Allegedly it involved seeing how well the taker could think about programming languages and programming language concepts by giving us a toy language to write a parser and compiler for, but ... holy toledo, was it a stinker.

First, the language was defined in plain English. There was no BNF. When ambiguities of English occurred (as they always do), the Epic rep was unable to give any resolution as to what the language was supposed to do. My protest of, "Well, if you don't know what it's supposed to do, how can you expect me to write a parser or compiler for it?" fell on deaf ears.

Second, certain mathematical operations were supposed to be supported ... but the language was vague: they were supposed to have their "conventional" meanings. But some mathematical operators are defined sort of vaguely: for instance, it's not really well-defined mathematically what the modulo of two negative numbers are. As a result, different programming languages tend to implement it differently. (For instance, C++03 says it's implementation-dependent, while C++11 has a strict policy on it.) How did they want the modulus operator implemented? They had no idea.

Ultimately, when it came to writing a parser and compiler for their toy language I decided to do it the right way as opposed to their way. Instead of having an ad-hoc thing, I turned the exam over and started writing a formal BNF and lex/yacc rules on the back of the pages. I took the full four hours to do the technical exam, turned it in, told them that my work was on the *back* of the exam and not the front, and walked out.

Six weeks later, not having heard a thing from Epic, I sent them a politely-worded email saying, "If I'm going to spend four hours on a Saturday on an interview for Epic, I would appreciate the courtesy of being told whether I would be receiving a job offer or not."

A week after that I received a one-line email: "We regret to say that we're going with other candidates."

Anyway. That's my experience with Epic. Take it for whatever it's worth. I didn't think much of their interview process, and they sure didn't think much of me.

"Show business is just like high school, except you get paid." - Martin Mull