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Comment: be wary (Score 5, Interesting) 189

by alx (#44595095) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Experiences Working At a High-Profile Game Studio?

I had an offer from Bioware that I ended up passing on because I had another offer from another company to do full time iOS development which is what I really wanted to do. A friend of mine ended up taking the same job at Bioware that I had been offered. I left a year later. His experiences can best be summed up in a single line from a chat he and I had one time -- "they cancelled Christmas" ... he had been working 80hr weeks for almost a year by that point. I felt like I dodged a bullet.

If writing games is your passion, and you can't live without it, and you don't mind doing it ALL the time, then that is the only time I would say it's okay to work for a games company. If you do, try to find an indy shop that works a sustainable pace. The other downside is that the people working there were very grouchy and mean. Not a happy place.

Comment: I've got a better idea -- no delivery at all (Score 1) 867

by alx (#44377169) Attached to: Door-To-Door Mail Delivery To End Under New Plan

How about providing a service like outboxmail.com. Don't deliver my mail at all. Instead scan it and hold it and let me pick the stuff I actually want delivered. Most of what comes to my snail mailbox is junk anyway so 90% of the time nobody would have to come to my mailbox. The only downside is it's just more stuff the NSA can get their hands on.

Comment: no demand? (Score 1) 573

by alx (#43034517) Attached to: Time Warner Cable: No Consumer Demand For Gigabit Internet

Funny I tried to upgrade to TWCs top tier internet through their account portal. When I went to upgrade, it said I was not an internet customer. Even though I've had the 20Mbit option for a few years now. After getting frustrated I gave up. Why haven't I called? Because I absolutely LOATHE talking to TWC on the phone. Someday I might, but not yet. Also, their higher tiers are stupid expensive.

Comment: mandatory code reviews (Score 5, Insightful) 683

by alx (#42466635) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can I Explain To a Coworker That He Writes Bad Code?

Make code reviews mandatory for everyone. If he can't deal with that, he knows where the door is. On my team we use git, and contributors are not allowed to push their own code to the main branch. They must submit a pull request which gets reviewed and pulled by another member of the team.

Nintendo

+ - Wii U Jailbroken, Homebrewers Claim->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Nintendo made its next-gen Wii U console available just before a few days and homebrewers are already claiming that they have hacked their way through anti-piracy measures implemented by Nintendo to jailbreak the gaming console. The hack allows users to play pirated copies of games as well as run unauthorized software on the Wii U. The hack is the one that worked on old Wii systems and is claimed to be working on the Wii U when it is run in legacy Wii mode."
Link to Original Source
Blackberry

+ - NTSB Dumps BlackBerry in Favor of iPhone 5->

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) plans on replacing its existing stock of BlackBerry devices with Apple’s iPhone 5. Research In Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones, the government entity wrote in a Nov. 13 notice of intent, “have been failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate.” The NTSB’s use of iPads means it has the operational support for iOS; consequently, the decision was made to go with Apple. “The iPhone 5 has been determined to be the only device that meets the dual requirement of availability from the existing wireless vendor and is currently supportable by existing staff resources,” the notice added. RIM is fighting to retain the government and enterprise contracts that originally made it such a mobile powerhouse. If agencies and boards such as the NTSB begin to embrace alternative platforms, however, that could critically weaken RIM’s business model just as the company attempts a comeback behind the upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform."
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Google

+ - How the Android 4.2 Grinch Stole Christmas!

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Did you ever notice, asks a Google+ commenter, that the Android mascot and The Grinch are both green? TechCrunch reports that Google’s latest version of Android shipped with a rather embarrassing oversight: December is missing from the date picker in the People app, making it rather hard to enter birthdays and other dates. 'We discovered a bug in the Android 4.2 update,' Google explained, 'which makes it impossible to enter December events in optional fields of the People app (this bug did not affect Calendar). Rest assured, this will be fixed soon so that those of you with December birthdays and anniversaries won’t be forgotten by your friends and family.' Sorry 'bout that, Baby Jesus!"
EU

+ - Climate change evident across Europe, says report->

Submitted by Dupple
Dupple (1016592) writes "Following on from a world bank report of 4 degree C warmer world, comes this story from the BBC

The effects of climate change are already evident in Europe and the situation is set to get worse, the European Environment Agency has warned.

"Every indicator we have in terms of giving us an early warning of climate change and increasing vulnerability is giving us a very strong signal," observed EEA executive director Jacqueline McGlade."

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Iphone

+ - AT&T enables FaceTime over cellular for all, including unlimited data users->

Submitted by zacharye
zacharye (2330148) writes "When AT&T announced earlier this year that it would support FaceTime video calling on Apple’s iPhone over cellular data connections only for those customers who switched to new shared data plans, people were not happy. The backlash came fast and furious, and some advocacy groups questioned whether or not the new policy was legal. AT&T eventually buckled under the pressure and said users with any tiered data plan and an LTE-enabled device would be able to use FaceTime over cellular. The move was seen as a big step in the right direction, but AT&T confirmed that the many iPhone users with grandfathered unlimited data plans still would not be able to make FaceTime calls over cellular connections. As it turns out, however, AT&T may have quietly reversed that decision as well..."
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Patents

+ - Form1 3D printer and Kickstarter get sued for patent infringment->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "3D Systems, one of the big fish in 3D printer manufacturing files a suit against Formlabs's hugely polular Form1 printer put forth on Kickstarter. The crowdfunding effort has ammassed close to 3M US Dollars, of an initial 100K requested. 3D Systems accuses Formlabs and Kickstarter of knowingly infringing one of it's still valid blanket patents on stereolythography and cross-sectional printing of 3D objects. The company is probably going to go for the kill, as one can deduct from the demands on their complaint: http://news.priorsmart.com/3d-systems-v-formlabs-l77v/#Complaint"
Link to Original Source
Google

+ - Google releases raw election polling results->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Last week, Nate Silver ranked Google Consumer Surveys as one of the most accurate polling firms of the 2012 US election. This week, Google has released the raw data that went into its election-day prediction, and is running a contest for interesting visualizations of that data. They provide a few examples of their own, including a WebGL globe view."
Link to Original Source
Transportation

+ - With Pot Legal, Scientists Study Detection of Impaired Drivers

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "A recent assessment by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, based on random roadside checks, found that 16.3% of all drivers nationwide at night were on various legal and illegal impairing drugs, half them high on marijuana. Now AP reports that with marijuana soon legal under state laws in Washington and Colorado, setting a standard comparable to blood-alcohol limits has sparked intense disagreement because unlike portable breath tests for alcohol, there's no easily available way to determine whether someone is impaired from recent pot use and if scientists can't tell someone how much marijuana it will take for him or her to test over the threshold, how is the average pot user supposed to know? "We've had decades of studies and experience with alcohol," says Washington State Patrol spokesman Dan Coon. "Marijuana is new, so it's going to take some time to figure out how the courts and prosecutors are going to handle it." Driving within three hours of smoking pot is associated with a near doubling of the risk of fatal crashes. However, THC can remain in blood and saliva for highly variable times after the last use of the drug. Although the marijuana “high” only lasts three to five hours, studies of heavy users in a locked hospital ward showed THC can be detected in the blood up to a week after they are abstinent, and the outer limit of detection time in saliva tests is not known. "A lot of effort has gone into the study of drugged driving and marijuana, because that is the most prevalent drug, but we are not nearly to the point where we are with alcohol," says Jeffrey P. Michael, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's impaired-driving director. "We don't know what level of marijuana impairs a driver.""

Comment: Re:This is real (Score 1) 795

by alx (#41846565) Attached to: Cringley: H-1B Visa Abuse Limits Wages and Steals US Jobs

This happened in TX. At the time I had thought about seeing if there was something I could do to fight it, but ultimately felt that a) didn't want to expend the energy on a legal fight, b) I probably would not want to work for such a company anyway, and c) it took me only like 1-2 weeks to find a different job.

Comment: This is real (Score 3, Informative) 795

by alx (#41783645) Attached to: Cringley: H-1B Visa Abuse Limits Wages and Steals US Jobs

This is a real problem. My anecdote:

Several years ago I interviewed for a job with a software company that specialized in analytics. At the time I had almost ten years of enterprise java development experience. I sailed through all the interviews and was told I was by far the strongest candidate and they were about to make me a job offer. At final phase, HR director calls and says they want to send me an offer, they just want to know what my degree was in. I told them that while I went to school for computer science, I dropped out before completing (dot com bubble era) so I never finished my degree. After hearing that HR lady was like, "oh... lemme call you back" ... called back a few minutes later saying they were not able to extend the offer, even though I was the strongest candidate, because if they hired someone without a degree it would jeopardize their ability to hire H1-B workers. When I asked why, I was told it was because they use degrees as the primary indicator of qualified workers. If they hired someone who didn't have a degree, it would demonstrate that there really are more qualified workers in the US than they claim, and they would no longer be able to hire H1-B.

So, while it may not be that my job was directly taken by an H1-B worker (I don't know for sure if this was the case), my job went to someone less qualified because of H1-B bureaucracy.

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