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Comment: Re:The Same Game (Score 1) 439

by Xest (#48457985) Attached to: Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

"But if we shut down undoucmented workers field labor would receive far higher wages and then those jobs might be much more attractive for American workers."

Yeah and then food prices would go up meaning everyone else would expect a pay rise or demand more pay themselves to pay for the increased food costs, or people would just import food from overseas, leading to layoffs in that industry. You end up back at square one.

People expect increasing standards of living, and that means either their salary has to go up faster than their costs like food, mortgages and so forth, or for their salary to stay static but their costs to decline. What you propose increases standards of living for labourers, but squeezes standards of living for everyone else creating a pressure that must also see their salaries increase (leaving the labourers no better off relatively because whilst their salary went up, so did everyone elses and hence so did the cost of everything else) or they will find the goods from a cheaper source - again, by importing food from, say, Mexico. Which is basically not much different from the status quo anyway other than the fact that money is now leaving the country rather than going to immigrants who continue to spend at least some of it in your country.

Comment: Re:Number of interviews... (Score 1) 439

by Xest (#48457843) Attached to: Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

Normally with interview questions like this you're not going to be expected to do it. Just explain how you'd do it, maybe show the first iteration or two if you're suggesting some kind of iterative solution.

I agree they're usually stupid though. I'm not a fan of this sort of questioning or in fact a fan of questions at all that ask you to solve some specific problem right there and then. It's easy for great candidates to have a moment of forgetfulness under the pressure of an interview.

I prefer to ask questions that they're not going to be able to answer from memory alone and throw a browser with Google in front of them to see if they can do the necessary to find out how they'd go about getting an answer and implementing a solution. I find this much more telling. Good developers seem to not be those who just happen to remember the answer to your arbitrary question because it's what they were doing last week but are completely shit otherwise. No, good developers are the ones that can take a problem they know fuck all about and rapidly begin to formulate a plan for attacking and solving it - shit developers just fall flat here and struggle to figure out where to even begin. It's that problem solving instinct I need, if they have that then languages, frameworks and so forth all become irrelevant- I know if they know how to research and find answer that they can adapt to that in quick time. If they don't have that I'm forever going to have to be telling them how to solve everything at which point I might as well fire them and do their job myself.

Comment: Re:How many bozos are screaming that Windows is sa (Score 1) 129

by Xest (#48456499) Attached to: Regin Malware In EU Attack Linked To US and British Intelligence Agencies

"Assuming that NSA/GCHQ are behind this, then they will be targeting what they can and what ppl run."

Why?

"Instead, NSA/GCHQ targeted windows because it is easy."

Again, why?

Why would you target something because it's easy even though it's of absolutely no intelligence value?

Comment: Re:How many bozos are screaming that Windows is sa (Score 1) 129

by Xest (#48456159) Attached to: Regin Malware In EU Attack Linked To US and British Intelligence Agencies

What the fuck?

No. GCHQ/NSA will choose whatever OS their fucking target is using. Ease of exploitation has nothing to do with it. They're not writing malware for shits and giggles or to steal grandmas pension. They're doing it with a specific intelligence gathering goal in mind. If it's Windows malware then it's because their fucking targets were running windows, nothing more, nothing less. It's stupid to try and turn this into a childish OS fanboy battle as the quality of an OS just isn't a factor in choosing what to target here.

I suppose you think Stuxnet targetted Windows and Siemens control systems too because they were just easier to hack too right? Ignoring the fact it was developed specifically to target Iran's nuclear program which used Windows PCs and Siemens control systems.

Comment: Re:AI researcher here (Score 1) 447

by Xest (#48455921) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

What exactly am I "wrong" about?

You still make the assertion regardless that something that's understood isn't intelligent, which is complete nonsense. There's nothing wrong about anything I've said there- the fact you hit on that particular point doesn't change the fact that almost everything else you said is completely false and based on a really poor definition of "intelligence" that is trivially disproven as a worthwhile definition by my examples.

Comment: Re:What's so special about Google? (Score 1) 332

by Xest (#48447977) Attached to: The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

I wondered the same thing for a long while, why Google when it's not even close to the worst tech offender? See my post here for an answer:

http://slashdot.org/comments.p...

Long story short? Lobbying by a combination of the likes of Microsoft and News International.

Of all the things Microsoft gets slagged off for one of the worst things it does is often ignored here and that's the amount of lobbying it engaged in within the EU. Have a Google for Microsoft EU lobbying to see how big a problem it is.

I tend not to hate either Google or Microsoft, I like a lot of what Google does and I think Microsoft has improved a lot, but Microsoft's EU lobbying is one of those things that really concerns me (just as Google's increased lobbying against the European Data Protection Directive does).

Comment: Re:In an unrelated news item... (Score 1) 332

by Xest (#48447913) Attached to: The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

It's also worth pointing out that regardless of China's GDP and population Google still wasn't ever going to make much money there because it would always be second place to indigineous Chinese search like Baidu.

10% market share in a $20 trillion economy is still going to be far less than 70% in an $18 trillion economy.

Google never had enough marketshare to care about China and neither was it making much progress in growing it's marketshare there and that's why it was happy to pull out. If Google had 70%+ marketshare in China what's the bet it would've bowed to the demands of the Chinese anyway?

Comment: Re:Google doesn't have a monopoly on ANYTHING. (Score 1) 332

by Xest (#48447893) Attached to: The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

It's probably worth pointing out that the only reason Europe has it in for Google in the first place is because of extensive lobbying by other US corporation, particularly Microsoft. See here for example:

http://www.lobbyfacts.eu/news/...

Google is being hit from two fronts, Microsoft has been strongly lobbying against it in the EU for many years now and spends more on EU lobbying than every other silicon valley tech company combined.

On the other front is the newspaper industry. Part of this is indigineous like Germany's Bild, but of course there's Murdoch's News International as a major player in the fray too.

So before anyone starts bitching at the EU for targeting American companies, they must bear in mind that the EU is targeting Google largely at the behest of other American corporations, again, most prominently Microsoft.

What's really going on here is that Google just isn't making an equivalent counter-effort to build allies and lobby in it's favour within the EU. It has been doing this in the US where it seems to lobby the US government hard, but for some reason it just doesn't much seem to care how strongly it's losing on this front in the EU.

You're absolutely right, Google has no monopoly but that's not the real actual issue here, lobbying and the consequences of it are the real actual problem here.

Comment: Re:Nope... Nailed It (Score 1) 185

by Xest (#48447839) Attached to: It's Not Developers Slowing Things Down, It's the Process

"You have caught Agilitis. In this case, spend no time doing the architecture up front, do it on the fly."

No this isn't anything to do with agile. Agile does not in any way force or suggest this whatsoever.

You can either do the architecture and design up front in a waterfall style manner and then use agile for development, or you can do architecture as it's own agile process with it's own sprints which then get taken over by development sprints when that design is done.

Agile is a project management methodology, if you're throwing out important parts of the development cycle like design as part of moving to agile then that's nothing to do with agile, that's just you using it as an excuse to be lazy and skip the important stuff and go straight to development.

What you're suggesting is like moving from a country that drives on the left to one that drives on the right but as you do so taking the wheels off the car so you can't actually go anywhere and then declaring that driving on the right obviously doesn't work. About now you should be saying "What the fuck? why would anyone do that". That's what those of us who have seen companies that have actual working high quality successful software developed under some agile process (which is most large companies nowadays FWIW) are currently saying about your understanding of agile.

Don't tell me, "You're doing it wrong! - that's what all Agile defenders say". Well guess what? You are, and you manage to prove it with profoundly stupid comments that prove the god damned point.

Comment: Re:Arm Ukraine (Score 1) 140

by Xest (#48447755) Attached to: Ukraine's IT Brigade Supports the Troops

So what are the odds in your opinion that if the Russian economy keeps suffering from sanctions and the Russian body count keeps increasing that Putin's regime falls that Russia as a nation will turn away from that mindset?

Do you think there's any hope of that from the Russian people or do you think it'd merely buy us another 20 years until they build themselves up and start looking to conquer again?

Comment: Re: who needs them when NATO is there? (Score 1) 140

by Xest (#48447733) Attached to: Ukraine's IT Brigade Supports the Troops

No actually, I think it had something to do with the massacre of 10,000 civilians by the Serbs that after 3 years of indifference finally made the West put an end to yet another evil Russian backed bunch of fascist murderers.

Or were you letting your own anti-Islamic hatred turn a blind eye to the fact that by far the worst atrocities and largest massacres in that conflict were committed by the Serbs you're trying to pass off as innocent victims of the West?

The West helps moderate muslims yes, just like it helps the Kurds and FSA against IS who are themselves muslims.

But if you need it pointing out here, the common factor isn't helping muslims (IS are muslims), the common factor is destroying people who like to commit horrendous atrocities. Saddam, the Serbs, IS, Gaddafi, Osama Bin Laden - all guilty of mass murder etc.

Does the West always get it right? hell no. Sometimes maintaining the regimes of those evil people is unfortunately the least bad option, and sometimes the attempted cure is worse than the disease. But don't try and pretend these sorts of people who have been hit by the Western military weren't people guilty of the worst crimes known to humanity.

The Serbs as victims when you look at things like the Srebrenica massacre is a sick joke.

Comment: Re:Sell them stuff (Score 1) 140

by Xest (#48447695) Attached to: Ukraine's IT Brigade Supports the Troops

"Selling arms to Ukraine (or fast tracking its entry into NATO) would be a major provocation to Russia and would set the stage for a potential full-on NATO vs. Russia regional conflict."

How is invasion of a neutral nation by Russia not already a major provocation of us that deserves proper response? Appeasement of people like Putin has never worked.

But regardless, Putin is on a knife edge as much as he likes to hide it.

Sanctions are beginning to bite and discontent with the Russian leadership amongst the populace is finally growing.

The only reason he started this ceasefire is because there were beginning to be real questions asked about the 400+ dead Russian servicemen that had been quietly buried in Russia with any reports of the funerals hushed and the families threatened at a time when Russia is supposedly not at war with anyone and everyone fighting in Ukraine was meant to be a Ukrainian rebel.

Do you really think if the costs start ramping up in Russia's already crippled economy and the bodies of Russian soldiers start pouring in again that he could really survive? Prior to the Crimea annexation his popularity was at an all time low and protests almost toppled him last time elections came around. The people got caught up in nationalist zeal with the Crimea annexation but they're beginning to realise it wasn't worth the cost.

Supplying arms to Ukraine that result in more Russian regulars crossing back into Russia in bodybags is one of the best things we can do right now because it creates an increasingly politically untenable situation for Putin.

Think back to Georgia 2008, Putin was stopped then not by threats of sanctions, condemnation and so on and so forth, but when Bush finally sent US troops driving around Tbilisi in Humvees on a "training exercise" (one of the few military moves Bush actually did that was reasonable), coupled with lots of Russian bodybags being sent back North. It was a repeat of what happened for even soviet era Russia against Afghanistan in the 80s. Putin knows he can't survive a proper confrontation with the West and like all bullies the only language he understands and that makes him back down is when someone bigger squares up to him.

Russia isn't different to the US in that way- support for the US incursion into Iraq and Afghanistan plummeted when US soldiers started getting killed by the hundreds. The sooner and greater number that happens with Russian troops the sooner Putin will be forced to withdraw.

Comment: Re:Armchair cognitive scientist (Score 1) 447

by Xest (#48447591) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Go away narcc, you're not smart enough to understand this discussion because you think Javascript and PHP are good well designed languages with no flaws.

This isn't a my first website discussion, there's no room for your pre-Comp. Sci. 101 understanding of computing here so stop making more of a fool of yourself than you regularly do already.

Comment: Re:AI researcher here (Score 4, Insightful) 447

by Xest (#48447561) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

You're applying your own arbitrary definition of intelligence, using that to frame the argument and declare yourself right. AI as a subject got past that kind of crap by the 90s with a realisation that it's a little more complex than all that.

You dismiss various AI solutions as just being a bunch of algorithms, well guess what? we still have absolutely no evidence that human beings themselves aren't run by a bunch of algorithms, the only difference is that we just don't understand them well enough to document or reproduce them synthetically yet.

It's stupid to declare something like a neural network or expert system not intelligent just because you understand the details of it because most people who see the actions of a neural network would say "That's pretty intelligent how it can do that".

If you have two closed boxes for classifying say, wine. In one is a person and in the other is a computer with equipment and a neural network trained for wine classification and a wine sample goes in and a classification is displayed on a screen by entering an output and the computer can of course do it better than any person people are pretty much always going to class the computers response as the intelligent one when it gets far more tests right. The Turing test was designed to show the sorts of intelligence we see in strong AI, but modified versions of that display intelligence from weak AI in select circumstances.

So yes, you can absolutely say things like neural nets, and expert systems are not strong AI, but you absolutely cannot say they are not intelligent without framing it on the rather stupid definition that something is not intelligent if we understand how it works. In some circumstances these systems would be deemed to be more intelligent than humans by most people and as we don't have a fixed definition of intelligence that seems a far better way of judging intelligence - getting people's judgement on intelligence in a statistically sound study than coming up with definitions like "Something is intelligent if we don't understand how it works".

If computer algorithms could show no intelligence whatsoever then we'd only be using them to do dumb repetition, like building cars on an assembly line, but we don't, we use them to augment our search capabilities, to correct our grammar and spelling, to figure out an optimal path for data to travel down on a complex network and so on and so forth far better than a human could - we're using them to augment our intelligence every day and many ways, and that's because they can display some intelligence. Not conciousness, not strong AI, but a degree of intelligence all the same.

You're conflating conciousness, intelligence, and strong AI all into one big pot, but it's all far more nuanced than that. You're assuming life works in a binary way, where something is either not intelligent, or something has human level intelligence and artificial would be a strong AI. But god only knows, we have enough evidence of various living things in this world to see that there are varying gradients of conciousness and intelligence for that to be true. Assuming it'd somehow be different with computers makes no sense and guess what? in the last 20 years we've seen progress with AI research with ever increasing levels of intelligence. When that'll escalate to the level of what we deem strong AI, or human intelligence is anyone's guess but we're not suddenly going to go from having no strong AI to having strong AI, we're going to have ever increasingly intelligent stuff that approaches strong AI and eventually becomes good enough to declare as strong AI.

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