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+ - Silicon Valley has created an imaginary staffing shortage->

Submitted by walterbyrd
walterbyrd (182728) writes "As longtime researchers of the STEM workforce and immigration who have separately done in-depth analyses on these issues, and having no self-interest in the outcomes of the legislative debate, we feel compelled to report that none of us has been able to find any credible evidence to support the IT industry's assertions of labor shortages."
Link to Original Source

+ - STEM worker shortage is IT industry fantasy-> 1

Submitted by Tailhook
Tailhook (98486) writes "Ron Hira, professor of public policy at Howard University and Paula Stephan is a professor of economics at Georgia State University; `As longtime researchers of the STEM workforce and immigration who have separately done in-depth analyses on these issues, and having no self-interest in the outcomes of the legislative debate, we feel compelled to report that none of us has been able to find any credible evidence to support the IT industry's assertions of labor shortages.' — `there is a remarkable concurrence among a wide range of researchers that there is an ample supply of American workers (native and immigrant, citizen and permanent resident) who are willing and qualified to fill the high-skill jobs in this country. The only real disagreement is whether supply is two or three times larger than the demand.'"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Cecil Kelley (Score 2) 299

by TopSpin (#47378105) Attached to: Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

As far as I am aware the highest radiation dose

Naturally the `record' must be limited to the subset of known cases. I've been studying the history of Soviet nuclear science and industry for a few years. Things went on in the Soviet Union that beggars the imagination, as they say.

When the waste storage tank blew up in Mayak in 1957, 90% of the high level waste fell in the immediate vicinity. That's 90% of 740 PBq (740E15 decays per second) within about half a kilometer radius, in which there were certainly some number of workers, this being the most urgent period of nuclear weapons development.

There were criticality accidents at Mayak that killed people as well; the Review of Criticality Accidents (2000) mentions seven incidents at Mayak and eight at other Soviet sites.

Then there is Chernobyl. Shortly after the explosion soldiers on the grounds of the plant policed up pieces of graphite and other debris, including fuel, from the reactor core with simple tools, bare hands and no respiratory protection [1]. They were breathing particles of heavy metal isotopes so "hot" that they floated through the air on their own thermal output like little balloons. They were treated as military casualties and their numbers are not publicly known.

The worst case of radiation exposure took place in the Soviet Union. We do not know the circumstances, how severe it was, how many it killed, when or where it happened, but that it did is a metaphysical certitude.

1. The Legacy of Chernobyl, 1992 Medvedev

Comment: Re:coding standards (Score 4, Informative) 664

by TopSpin (#46309173) Attached to: Stack Overflow Could Explain Toyota Vehicles' Unintended Acceleration

This should be rule number one for this type of application.

Perhaps it should be rule number one, but actually it's Rule 16.2 of MISRA-C:2004 (Motor Industry Software Reliability Association, Guidelines for the use of the C language in critical systems):

Functions shall not call themselves, either directly or indirectly.

The rule actually appeared first in MISRA-C:1998. Each rule is accompanied by a detailed rationale that I will not reproduce verbatim here as the standard is not open; one must pay for the privilege. The rationale for 16.2 is that recursion may cause stack overflows. I only cite the rule itself because it appears in public testimony and also on the (first) page linked by this story ...... which you obviously did not read.

Because MISRA also disallows constructs such as function call indirection, self modifying code, etc. a compiler is entirely capable of detecting recursion and reporting the violation as an error. MISRA compliant compilers do exactly that.

Yes Virginia, the largest auto manufacturer on Earth ignores the very thing that was designed to prevent simple, common, easily predictable failures such as stack overflow despite the fact that the cost of compliance is much, much smaller than a rounding error for an outfit like Toyota.

Also, despite the fact that Industry dutifully identified this specific problem in a published standard at least 16 years ago, compliance is apparently not yet a requirement by government regulators. I suspect they're too busy investigating child seat manufacturers or Telsa batteries or whatever other politically high profile crisis that giant, engineer-free gaggle of NTSB lawyers fill their bankers hours with.

+ - Plan 9 from Bell Labs Operating System now GPL2 1

Submitted by TopSpin
TopSpin (753) writes "Alcatel-Lucent has authorized The University of California, Berkeley to `release all Plan 9 software previously governed by the Lucent Public License, Version 1.02 under the GNU General Public License, Version 2.' Plan 9 was developed primarily for research purposes as the successor to Unix by the Computing Sciences Research Center at Bell Labs between the mid-1980s and 2002. Plan 9 has subsequently emerged as Inferno, a commercially supported derivative, and ports to various platforms including a recent port to the Raspberry Pi. In Plan 9, all system interfaces, including those required for networking and the user interface, are represented through the file system rather than specialized interfaces. The system provides a generic protocol, 9P, to perform all communication with the system, among processes and with network resources. Applications compose resources using union file systems to form isolated namespaces."

Comment: Re:Just be honest - it's not for *US* (Score 1) 2219

by TopSpin (#46181547) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

but I'm surprised so many attribute that to malice.

My accusation was limited to a lack of understanding; never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by ... a lack of understanding, as they almost say.

The immutability of reader comments has always been a prized feature

Amen. Accountability. It's always been obvious to me why simply revising comments isn't tolerable and I'm glad that view predominates.

And AC isn't a counterpoint to accountability either, for whomever might want to throw that one back at me; AC elevates attributed comments, on several levels.

Comment: Re:Just be honest - it's not for *US* (Score 4, Insightful) 2219

by TopSpin (#46181089) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

I'm pretty sure contemporary ideas about UX design are inappropriate for Slashdot. The one or two sentences that Twitter/Facebook/WhatsApp accommodate won't work here. This place indulges people that like to write, and people that don't mind lengthy posts.

The beta site shows a serious indifference to that; the amount of wasted space is just amazing. Fully 45% of the comments view is just empty, half of it gone to the infinitely long side bar that Beta fails to wrap into. No one that understands what this site is for could possibly have made that basic mistake for as long as Beta has been in the works.

Bootstrap et al. don't deal with "long form" threaded forums, so that design mentality won't work.

Here is a possibly novel idea that will actually be appreciated by at least this contributor, and probably most others; comment editing with revision control (a la Wikipedia.) It has to be revision controlled or the trolls will abuse editing. Allow readers to punish such trolls with moderation while the rest of us get the benefit of correcting minor mistakes.

There. That wasn't hard. A real improvement that caters to actual contributors, as opposed to hypothetical users that want to scribble a grammatically challenged half sentence 20 times an hour and don't read.

Anyhow, thanks for the step backwards on this and your participation in the conversation. You all could have gone bull-headed and made this situation even worse. So good on your for that.

Comment: Re: Classic Slashdot (Score 4, Insightful) 463

by TopSpin (#46168115) Attached to: Fire Destroys Iron Mountain Data Warehouse, Argentina's Bank Records Lost

None at all.

And yes, beta has serious problems. Regressing to having to bang on the "Load More..." button instead of "Load All Comments" while not logged in is one glaring example. The fact that comments don't flow around the end the right side ad bar is another.

This is not Twitter. People write lengthy comments here; please don't piss away space with huge margins and poor layout.

Comment: Whitehouse petition (Score 5, Informative) 535

by TopSpin (#46153447) Attached to: US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality

A petition of the White House to `Restore Net Neutrality By Directing the FCC to Classify Internet Providers as "Common Carriers" just attained the 100k signatures required for a response.

I'm sure a number of you would have liked to have known about that and signed it at the time... but the story submission was declined. Guess there were too many terribly important climate change stories or something.

+ - Restore Net Neutrality petition-> 1

Submitted by TopSpin
TopSpin (753) writes "A petition of the White House to "direct the FCC to Classify Internet Providers as 'Common Carriers'" and thereby enable FCC Net Neutrality rules to be created and enforced needs about 24,000 additional signatures to reach the threshold of 100,000. Should the goal be reached the Administration will issue an official statement on the matter. The petition deadline is February 14."
Link to Original Source

+ - T-Mobile Writes The Best Press Release You'll Ever See From A Phone Company->

Submitted by Reverand Dave
Reverand Dave (1959652) writes "At the beginning of January, AT&T directly began offering T-Mobile users $450 to switch. Apparently the company has realized that if it can't buy T-Mobile directly, it might as well just buy its customers. Now, most companies when targeted by a larger competitor in this manner might sort through a variety of responses, and I'm sure at some point, perhaps late at night under the influence of an extra alcoholic beverage or two, someone might suggest the following. But to actually go ahead with it... well... that's a bit bold. In short, T-Mobile flips the offer on its head, noting that since it only applies to T-Mobile users, AT&T users now have a "risk free" way to test out T-Mobile — and they throw in hilarious fake quotes from AT&T Mobility's CEO, Ralph de la Vega, mock the "death star" and a variety of other things you don't normally see in a telco press release — such as comparing de la Vega to Darth Vader."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:If MS wrote dart for IE instead (Score 5, Informative) 161

by TopSpin (#45979709) Attached to: Google Releases Dart 1.1

Is Dart an open language spec?

The language spec is CCA 3 and ECMA standards tracked. The source code is BSD.

Javascript was not an immaculate conception of Berners-Lee, Torvalds and Stallman. It was a product of Mozilla, blessed by nobody and foisted on the world via the defacto browser of the day. It is also more than flawed enough to justify some competition.

The <script> tag has a "language" attribute for a reason, the curmudgeons of Slashdot notwithstanding.

Comment: Re:oracle and aquisitions (Score 1) 223

by TopSpin (#45948227) Attached to: James Gosling Grades Oracle's Handling of Sun's Tech

that piece of software/tech tends to perish

Except when it doesn't. VirtualBox hasn't perished.

A colleague of mine speculated that perhaps Oracle had forgotten about VirtualBox and thus it has been spared the obligatory ruining. Perhaps there is a gang of hard core emulator developers quietly slipping in and out of the building each day, carefully avoiding notice.

Netbeans does actually suck less than Eclipse. That's a low bar, to be sure, but it appears to be acquiring more users than it is repulsing, so there's another counterpoint.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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