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Comment Re:No real place for it (Score 1) 310

I'm always on the hunt for ideal archival formats for digital media.

The ideal archival format has a few properties, ranging from most theoretical to most practical:

- a completely unencumbered specification and a completely unencumbered implementation
- a highly portable, f/oss reference implementation
- excellent quality vs. usability (e.g. lossless quality, but small to store and fast to decode)
- support in popular general purpose computing environments
- supported in popular dedicated hardware devices

FLAC gets the first few of those, but not the last one -- plenty of dedicated hardware audio players don't deal with FLAC.

Because of this, I use MP3 for audio - which theoretically gives up the first few points, but as a practical matter, those points are irrelevant, and MP3 completely dominates the industry on the last few points.

If Vorbis or FLAC or any of the things that get the first few points correct had ubiqoutous device support, I might be willing to re-rip everything into those formats for a great blend of long-term archival and easy-to-consume on any device convenience. But nothing is like that for audio.

Similarly, if I thought there was going to be a fantastic lossless image format that did everything well and was going to be massively supported and was completely unencumbered, i'd want to move everything over to it. I'd want my future digital cameras to start shooting it. I'd want my whole tool stream and whole life to just be about that format.

Comment Re:Sandy Hook (Score 1) 1164

I can only imagine someone saying this after 9/11. "Once America decided that allowing terrorists to kill people was bearable, it was over."

Except that America decided it wasn't acceptable and ended up going to war because of it.

Meanwhile, 10 people die in a school shooting and within a month it'll have been forgotten because the next shooting has come along ... and nothing has changed.

Comment Optional (Score 5, Interesting) 229

As long as the developer of Crystal puts a tickbox in the preferences to allow you to block "acceptable advertising" then I don't see the issue. I understand that Crystal doesn't have a preferences screen right now, but it shouldn't be that hard to add one.

People who are happy to see adverts as long as they meet some sort of "acceptable" criteria can have it turned off - and people who just never want to see an advert again can turn it on.

Please don't let it be a repeat of Adblock Plus where all the nerdrage drowned out the few voices of reason that merely pointed out that all the anger could be resolved with the unchecking of a single tickbox in the preferences.

Comment Re:And by emergency they mean (Score 1) 48

You got it. There has been hardly any wage increases. Shortages always lead to higher prices. If there are no higher prices, the shortage is a lie.

Whats the rate of growth for salaries? A good rule of thumb is that there isn't' a shortage until nominal prices have doubled.

Comment Re:What's Good for Microsoft is Good for K-12 Scho (Score 1) 48

"We need talent [venturebeat.com], we need it now, and we simply cannot find enough."

What they mean is:

We need talent [at a wage we are willing to pay], we need it now [but not so much that we are willing to train people, and spend the time and effort developing corporate training of people with aptitude], and we simply cannot find enough [who are willing to move to our area, fund their own skills development, accept a mediocre wage, put in longer than normal hours, have a lower than average quality of living, and do things which are pretty unimportant].

The reality is that there are plenty of people with talent, they are just working in areas of the country where the economics are better, where they don't have to live like paupers, and they don't have to deal with megalomaniacal personalities like the people running Facebook, Microsoft, and Google.

These are just not good places to work. They are not paying enough to entice otherwise talented people to upset their lives, move to an overpriced bubble driven real estate market, and try to put up with these quacks untested, new age, assine management techniques.

The word is out out about these tech giants.

Microsoft - guess what - you have a toxic culture where co-workers have incentive to back stab and dethrone managers, in order to "make the cut" each year? Why would I move out to a very pricey area and give up superior pay, superior work-life balance, and superior education opportunities for my kids, just so I can be stabbed in the back, shuffled around, re-org'ed, and eventually laid off because I don't have whatever latest skill you want and you aren't willing to invest in workforce development? All for 90k a year starting salary? Pass.

Facebook - why would I want to move to one of the most insanely expensive places in the country to work, ride a bus to work each day, be locked up inside your campus for "free lunches", be part of data mining, spamming, and exploiting users personal habits, relationships, and preferences for money. It's not revolutionary, it's not hip, it's not cool. All for about 95k a year starting salary? Pass.

Google - why would I want to work for the new evil empire, single handily expanding a dark shadow of data collection and kowtowing to authoritarian powers worldwide in order to sell shitty text ads to users, all the while locking out competition and blocking users from knowing whats really going on? Why answer to two silver-spoon billionaires who have delusions of importance for a starting salary of under 100k a year, while moving to yet another bubble driven real estate empire and being forced once again to ride a shitty bus to campus? So I can redirect funds from one or two profitable lines of business into trying to find the next hot thing which won't do anything important or lasting for mankind? Pass.

The problem is not a lack of a talent. It's a lack of talent who wants to work for these shitty companies, doing insignificant projects that will probably never see the light of day, while paying too much to live and having to answer to people who are convinced they are doing something special.

Comment No surprise (Score 1) 236

Marco loves drama. He'll say or do something "controversial", a ton of tech sites will run with it, he gets all the attention and then two days late he expresses regret for saying or doing whatever he said or did. A recent example is here, with backpeddle here.

Peace is no different. Drama for two days followed by backpeddle.

The stupid thing is that the whole "issue" he had could have easily been solved with a pre-loaded whitelist of advertisers. He could have even called it "Acceptance Ads".

But then that wouldn't have generated quite as much drama and attention would it?

Comment TL;DR version (Score 4, Interesting) 75

UK network operators are castigated by the UK Government for not building out mobile coverage in rural areas.

Network Operators respond by pointing out that they don't because of the difficulty in finding locations to provide the required coverage, local planning applications, the availability of power and problems with site access.

UK Government says "amateurs, we can do it better than you" so sets up project to do just that.

Project spectacularly fails to achieve anything and sheepishly admits that the reasons for its failure are due to the difficulty in finding locations to provide the required coverage, local planning applications, the availability of power and problems with site access.

Comment Re:Google did it (Score 3, Informative) 70

Isn't this basically Google Voice? Google records the message, transcribes it to text.

I doubt the people living outside of the USA are going to care about that ... considering it's been 6 years since Google Voice launched and not even a subset of that functionality has made it over the Atlantic Ocean.

As far as we'll be concerned, SpinVox did it first and then (hopefully) Apple did it.

Comment Re:Passed data with a ton of noise? (Score 1) 391

The fact that they even wasted time thinking about doing a listening test is enough data I need to know they don't know WTF they are doing.

That's absurd. If something claims to be awesome at doing X then the best way to disprove it is to test it doing X. You then publish the tests and the results.

Saying "well that's clearly stupid so I'm not going to test it" doesn't prove anything because you haven't actually debunked the claim - however right you might be.

Comment Not so fast ... (Score 5, Informative) 62

Android Police did some digging and (ignoring the fact that the Commodore name is currently owned by the creditors of Asiarim Corp - who created a new company called C= and have done nothing more than make a website for it back in 2013) it looks to be a carbon copy of the Orgtec WaPhone.

On the upside, it does have some Amiga emulators loaded onto the phone - but you can easily get them from Google Play yourself.

TL;DR? It's unlikely to be Commodore, its a heavily marked up skinned phone and uses the MediaTek MT6752 chip - so you should probably keep away.

Comment Re:Undergrad only? (Score 4, Informative) 264

All of the numbers in this article are very believable.

I have a BS degree from the University of Nebraska. And not the prestigious Raikes school, but the normal old pre-Raikes degree program.

After a summer internship, I got an offer from McDonnel Douglas for 48k.

My offer from Microsoft was more like the 60k figure. I took that one, because it didn't involve living in St. Louis.

The year: 2000

So, 60k to start right out of college was a going rate for top-tier companies... fifteen years ago.

Some companies paid much more, and sometimes that was a company decision, and sometimes it was a reality of where the position was located. For instance, before I had even finished my degree, I was recruited for a position with a 99k starting salary. That firm, however, was in NYC. When you adjust for NYC cost of living, it's not such an eye-popping number.

Subsequent to these numbers from 15 years ago, I have been involved in lots of hiring at Microsoft in the years I've been here.

Starting salaries have adjusted upward significantly since I was hired.

If you can score an engineering position with a top software/services company like Microsoft, you will be paid exceptionally well. For someone fresh out of college, there is just an obscene amount of money on the table.

Different companies target different spots in the industry pay curve. Microsoft by no means targets the top of the salary scale, but neither do we target the bottom. At times, Microsoft has been seen as, to put it mildly, "pretty uncool". At times, there has been lots of startup money and equity available for top quality grads to go after.

In those time periods, Microsoft has to offer more money to continue to attract new talent.

If you want to work at a company where lots of people want to work (e.g. a games company, or SpaceX), those organizations don't have to compete as much with offer packages, since their brands have a high intrinsic draw.

While I don't know what a Netflix offer package is like, Netflix states that their policy is to pay very high wages - the wage they'd be willing to pay to keep someone excellent who wanted to leave.

Finally, it's important to consider the type of organization you're looking at joining. Do they do software/IT, or is that a cost of doing business for them? If a company is in the business of selling shoes, but has an unavoidable need for software engineers, they're going to treat software engineers as a cost of doing business.

If a company is in the business of building software, they're going to think differently about compensation and retention.

Finally, companies that aren't well established players in the software space can have difficulty making big offer packages. At times in my career, I've been frustrated and have looked elsewhere, and the smaller, less profitable companies I've spoken with are offering tens of thousands lower than what I was already making.... making the friction of leaving financially tremendous.

(my personal financial plan is to expect a 50% paycut when something happens to my MSFT employment)

In summary, I have no problem believing the numbers. Top quality CS people at top quality organizations are paid outrageously well.

However, I get that lots of people are expressing disbelief. Let's talk about why that may be. The survey data could be skewed by multiple factors:
- the locale of the person responding
- the self-selection bias of the person responding (e.g. are people happy with their comp more likely to fill out a survey?)
- the kind of organization the survey respondants work for...

If you surveyed internal apps developers at regional insurance offices, in the Midwest, you would get a different picture from a survey of facebook engineers...

Comment Re:They are trying to get off... (Score 1) 104

I cannot deny that much of what you've said about the mob is true. I didn't mean to say that the mob never did anything well, never provided benefits to neighborhoods or people, etc.

Everyone understands that the mob can "Get things done". And, what's ironic is that, IIRC, you and I have very different ideas about government, but we apparently agree that in some situations, the mob is more effective and occasionally preferable to local government.

That said, I think you are papering over the intimidation, violence, and property destruction done by the mob.

(I'm not papering over the intimidation, violence, and property destruction done by governments, fwiw)

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan