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Comment: Re: Why? (Score 2) 106

by metlin (#48193003) Attached to: China Staging a Nationwide Attack On iCloud and Microsoft Accounts

Spying on their citizens - Check

The difference here is that we the people still have the right to question the government, and organizations like the EFF continue to fight for it.

Economic stagnation - Check

You must be joking. American economy is anything but stagnant. Between 2009-2013, the U.S. GDP growth 1.9%, which is pretty good compared to most other OECD countries.

It may be "stagnant" when you compare it to a country like China at 7.7%, but that is simply not sustainable, not without artificial currency manipulation.

Riots - Check

A few days of media blitz over a police shootout is not the same as protesters fighting for democracy.

High unemployment - Check

What on earth are you talking about? The U.S. unemployment is at 5.9% as of September 2014 and China's is estimated at ~4.5%.

Comment: But the ID shouldn't have to be secret (Score 3, Insightful) 59

by Lorens (#48172549) Attached to: South Korean ID System To Be Rebuilt From Scratch After Massive Leaks

Granted it's not good if the IDs are easy to guess, nor if the list of IDs+names gets out, but as long as you're not using the ID to authenticate people, only to identify them, it shouldn't be a terrible problem. Think ID=username, not password. What they say about the credentials seems a bit more worrying, but we'd need a lot more info here . . .

Comment: Re:The Conservative Option (Score 2) 483

by TrekkieGod (#48098051) Attached to: Texas Ebola Patient Dies

An Ebola outbreak in the US is undesirable by pretty much everybody here, except maybe for people with stock in the companies producing cures and vaccines.

An Ebola outbreak in the US is also pretty much impossible. Listen to the experts, people: it's not a highly infectious disease. Lack of first world hygiene standards is the reason it's spreading all over certain parts of Africa. The virus isn't even airborne, you have to come in direct contact with the person who is sick or with their bodily fluids.

If Sgt. Monning caught Ebola, is because we've committed the absolutely stupid act of allowing people to go in to a patient's apartment, where he likely was sweating all over furniture and other items, without any protective gear. It's incredibly unfortunate, and whatever the outcome, hopefully we do the right thing in the future. Once a patient is identified, people only come in contact with them or their stuff while wearing protective gear. And we send in people to disinfect the areas of risk, like the victims apartment. Problem solved, Ebola virus contained. There's no need to do absolutely anything else that we're not already doing (which includes asking people coming to the US from areas of high risk whether they've been in contact with anyone who has had the disease).

Comment: This post is being typed... (Score 1) 304

by dpilot (#48093677) Attached to: The Greatest Keyboard Ever Made

... on a vintage Model-M keyboard purchased years ago at Flea@MIT. Someone had a bunch of unopened boxes of them, brand new 15-year-old keyboards. My only mistake was in not buying more than one. I've picked up a few more an various flea markets and hamfests, but none as good as that one...

That is, except for the 1987-vintage Model-M on my wife's computer upstairs that came an the XT-286.

Comment: Re: Greater Internet F***wad Theory (Score 4, Insightful) 993

by dpilot (#48079405) Attached to: Lennart Poettering: Open Source Community "Quite a Sick Place To Be In"

How would you feel if there were apparent force applied to make you use systemd, regardless of our opinion of it? Some of us perceive that that's the reality. Witness L.P.'s recent rants against Gentoo, which only offers systemd as an option, and not the default option.

I like to be a moderate too, but I don't like coercion.

Comment: Re:Ignobel Material .... (Score 1) 83

by TrekkieGod (#48066375) Attached to: It's Not Just How Smart You Are: Curiosity Is Key To Learning

... Really? This wasn't suspected, hadn't been demonstrated a million times over? Wow, curiousity an important factor in learning?! Who knew? OH, EVERYONE!

Sadly, there are some real researchers who still aren't funded.

I'm seeing a lot of posts like yours, and you're all missing the point. Of course interest and curiosity in a subject helps learning within that field. The interesting part about this study is that when you're brain is in that state, you're better at learning about unrelated subjects that you have no interest in. The point isn't that people remembered the trivia questions they were interested in better, it's that they remembered the unrelated faces better.

I experience this myself in a weird way. I have no better than average memory for day to day things. I don't necessarily remember what I had to eat for lunch two days ago. However, I was always a big movie buff and for some reason I remember details associated with watching every movie I've ever seen in the theater that have nothing to do with the movie itself. I remember which theater I went to, what day of the week it was, what time of day it was, who was there with me, where we sat relative to each other, where we went to eat before or after...I remember this stuff going as far back as when I was 6 years old. For a little window around the movies, I have an increased ability to recall details that simply doesn't exist at any other time.

Comment: Re:Sounds a bit risky (Score 1) 236

by dpilot (#48058219) Attached to: NASA Eyes Crew Deep Sleep Option For Mars Mission

It's going to be interesting for the test subjects. You don't really think that they're first going to use this on the way to Mars, do you? I would suspect that the first many-month tests will be right here on Earth, with continuous monitoring, and they'll probably build time up from the current week until they reach the target.

Then at some point they'll ship the "hibernaculum" up to the ISS for the next layers of testing. They'll probably again ramp the time up, looking for zero-G degradations. By the time anyone ships for Mars this way, it'll be well tested.

But here's the question - I get the impression that you get a better pay scale for being on-orbit. What will be the pay scale for sleeping for 9 months solid? After all it IS hazardous duty. And when someone goes up to the ISS to sleep for long periods will they get on-orbit pay?

Comment: Re:Weber's Honorverse (Score 1) 470

by Lorens (#48014677) Attached to: The Physics of Space Battles

he has much too much of a fascination with the French Revolution

I can't say you're wrong, but at least he does it on purpose. The series was supposed to recreate the life of Horatio Nelson (think "Hornblower in space"), and most of the physics "could be"s are chosen so that the battles and diplomacy resemble life at sea in the early 19th century. Of course, the heroine was supposed to die like Nelson did, but I think the story and fans won that battle. It probably explains why she's less present in the later books!

Comment: Re:So offer a cost effective replacement (Score 1) 185

by Lorens (#48006137) Attached to: Security Collapse In the HTTPS Market

15 years ago I had an MBNA credit card. On their website you could generate a one-time credit card number that was only good for the stated amount. That was a big improvement. I guess not enough people bothered to use it though.

I have this system today, and my "real" card number, while valid, is systematically declined for Internet transactions. It's common enough that Amazon (at least the French Amazon) has an FAQ on the problems it can cause (bigger orders can be split up, and Amazon debits each packet separately). Some sites refuse the virtual card, but I can real-time the on/off switch on my bank's website to use my "real" card number just for the necessary number of seconds. Not ideal, but better than most.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 479

by metlin (#47979911) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

Yes, there are a fair number of social scientists in consulting firms. Usually, they tend to be econ or poli-sci/IR, but you certainly have a smattering of other subjects. I once worked with a partner who had a PhD in Philosophy (not social science per se, but representative of critical thinking ability nevertheless).

I would imagine that there is a preference towards the hard sciences, but I think that is more of a self-selection mechanism than anything else. Management consulting entails a lot of number crunching (financial analysis, demographic segmentation etc), so people with hard science backgrounds tend to gravitate towards these roles.

Most back office analytics and research functions at the big consulting firms have quite an armada of doctorates. In fact, a few months ago, I worked with someone who had a PhD in Geography, which came in handy because he knew how to run geospatial analyses for a distribution problem.

Comment: Re:That totally won't work. (Score 1) 479

by metlin (#47979887) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

This assumes getting hired into a lower level position in a larger consulting firm, rather than consulting on your own.

Did you not read my original comment at all? I mentioned that the major management consulting firms (i.e., MBB) hire PhDs and other Advanced Degree Candidates.

At which point they are back to exactly the same problem that they originally faced, which is getting hired for a job working for someone else. It doesn't matter whether that someone else hires them in order to farm them out to a third party, or hires them to do work in house, they are still facing the problem that they can't get hired in the first place because they are unable to sell themselves to a prospective employer.

Hiring in management consulting firms (at least at the junior levels) is less about selling yourself and more about your analytical skills. Such hiring is not predicated on your technical know-how per se but rather your critical thinking and problem solving abilities.

Comment: Re:That totally won't work. (Score 1) 479

by metlin (#47979303) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

Not all consulting entails selling. In fact, in any good consulting firm, you won't be doing any selling until you're near the top (e.g., Principal/Partner). You may not even get to present anything in front of the client until you have some experience under your belt -- as a new hire, the only client facing activity you'll do is take detailed notes.

Moreover, junior resources (e.g., Associates or Consultants) tend to do a lot more data crunching and slide building than presenting content. And you're put through some pretty rigorous training before you'll ever see a client (in some firms, they call it MBA-light).

No one in their right minds will put someone fresh out of school to do anything client facing without some degree of coaching and experience.

Secondly, not every role in a consulting firm is client facing. Almost all the big consulting firms have a rather large pool of back office and analytics experts who do research, collate materials, perform analysis and so on. These are not client facing at all, and you won't have to do any selling whatsoever.

In any event, there is the perception of consultants thanks to everybody and their brother calling themselves a "consultant" and there is the truth. The truth is that in any good firm, partners will really vet you and groom you before you get to participate actively in any meaningful way.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James