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Comment: Re:Let the conference organizers pay for you to at (Score 1) 182

by ciurana (#47968077) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

Agreed 100% with this advise.

I view speaking engagements the same way I view my publications: they by themselves don't pay much, even for an "on demand" speaker. The upside is in the prestige that translates into better job offers or better consulting opportunities.

You can write something in your resume like "I have excellent communication skills" or you can just list your management experience, speaking engagements, and publications. At that point people can be pretty sure that you can communicate better than a majority of people.

Prep time == fun time too. The creative work that goes into condensing a 6- or 12-month project into 28 slides without making them too busy is great. Judicious use of animation effects to help you make your point (e.g. making the layers of a system appear on the screen as you talk about them) is also fun. Last, don't change your topic every time you go out! Instead, figure out a topic that different audiences will find interesting, create the presentation, and then tweak only one or two slides when the time comes. A good presentation has a 6-months shelf life (or 3-4 conferences if you have a busy schedule).

Cheers!

Comment: Let the conference organizers pay for you to atten (Score 1) 182

by ciurana (#47965161) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

Greetings!

I'm a frequent speaker at Java, Python, and other conferences. I love to travel, and I use the conferences to scout for talent for the various ventures in which I'm involved. Since I love the travel, the conference participation, etc. but lack the budget to go everywhere I want to go on my own, I instead focus on writing articles for various publications. Several of my write ups resonate with the audiences for the publications with whom I work (e.g. DZone, InfoQ, etc.) and I get invited to present at various conferences. Problem solved! I let the conference organizers cover all or part of my expenses.

My rules of thumb are:

* Conference organized by volunteers/non-profits? Cover something like lodging or a domestic flight.
* Conference organized by a company or for-profit organization? Cover lodging + travel.

This way I get to share on cool things on which we work, get to meet interesting people, scout for talent, and otherwise have a great time (and 99% of the time, a great trip!). This year so far I've spoken at conferences in Beijing, Tokyo, Krakow, and London. Moscow and Zürich are in the immediate future. All conference organizers almost always throw an attendance pass to all presentations for free. Since I travel with my girlfriend, she tends to attend for free as well (I cover her travel expenses, though).

I hope this helps -- cheers!

Comment: Earthquake preparedness kit (Score 4, Informative) 191

by ciurana (#47743853) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?

Here you go: http://eugeneciurana.com/fotki... -- that's a photo of the stashes we have in our home in Acapulco and in San Francisco. Both are in active seismic zones, and likely to get hit by some disaster at some point.

Since you can see most of the contents, I rather tell you about our guidelines for disaster preparedness:

* Have enough supplies to subsist for up to 7 days, normal calorie intake, for everyone in the family
* Ditto for water
* Tool box with emergency tools (wrench for gas and water valves, pliers, screw drivers, a couple of Leatherman tools), matches, and
* Solid alcohol stove and several refills
* Full first aid kit including gauze, ice packs, antiseptics, anti-diarrhea pills, etc. and a sewing kit
* Crank radios and flashlights
* Battery operated perimeter lamps
* Assorted Cyalume sticks in green, white, blue, and red colors
* Deck of cards, puzzles, etc. to kill the time

The food is all either canned or dehydrated, and it works way better than MREs. The only thing we'd miss are fresh fruits; we even have powdered milk. Every year around Dec/Jan I consciously cook with all the things in the food stash that are within ~6 months of recommended use by date. All those things are replenished and ready to go. We found that most cans and dehydrated food have an approximate 18-24 months duration, so we don't go on the Spam and etc. diet more than every other year for more than 2 or 3 days. Plus it's fun readying everything and testing, etc.

Last night -- the earthquake woke my g/f up (we were in our SF home). The bookshelves rattled a bit, and I was wondering if the quake had been strong enough to knock my motorcycle off the center stand, but the toddler was fine and slept through it, power never faltered, and otherwise it was a nice and uneventful evening.

I lived through several earthquakes in my life (in fact, all my life I lived in seismic zones) so I'll be happy to address questions, if any.

Cheers!

Comment: Re:TCnext - the TrueCrypt fork (Score 1) 75

Sorry - one more thing: there are also known (based on pre-existing signatures) binaries ready for download, if that's your cup 'o tea. So, given where the audit is (to which I'm also a financial supporter) and what we know... OKi for now, let's keep the project alive.

"You can't stop the signal, Mal."

Comment: TCnext - the TrueCrypt fork (Score 1) 75

You guys are aware that TCnext exists, a new effort to keep the software alive based in Switzerland.

You can get there via truecrypt .ch

The source code for TrueCrypt 7.1a is available for download, and there are various forums where we're discussing the implementation, how to proceed, where to take the project, future audits, and so on.

Last, the general consensus is that 7.1a is "safe enough for our current needs based on what we know". Many of us in that community also feel the 7.2 shutdown in a hurry was a canary in the mine situation.

Anyway -- we can argue until the cows come home, or we can just get busy with breathing new life into TrueCrypt / TCnext.

Cheers!

Comment: What I see happening in the world (H1B etc.) (Score 1) 566

by ciurana (#46948305) Attached to: Let Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders Work In US, Says White House

How long does it take to get a US Green Card? Well, it depends. It will take at least 2 years these days. That's two years that a spouse is sitting at home, doing nothing, because she or he are unable to work. That's a stupid waste of resources because that person could contribute to the economy and tax base instead of just "burning time" until the green cards arrive.

In the Bay Area, if you're from India, it can take up to 7 years. My friends and I, from Mexico, got it in an average of 2.5 years (mine took just a smidge less than 18 months, back in 1991-1993).

I worked for a major Internet company last year; a large number of people from France, Israel, India, etc. await their green cards; their average time is about 5 years.

All of us have advanced degrees or are highly specialized in some in-demand technology area (or both); outside of this one-year employment gap (golden handcuffs), I spend about 50% of my time now advising for other companies in Europe and Asia, the other 50% advising US companies. The common denominator I see across all countries where I work is that qualified people who know their stuff are very hard to find and to hire if you're looking for a business and technology advantage. In the last three years I got the equivalent to Russian green card (high technology worker), and have provided services to the Ministry of Economy, Technology, and Industry in Japan, among several other gits. I see the same demand for talent all over the world, not only here in the US.

This isn't a situation unique to the US. I just got back from scouting business in China and (surprise!) I found that start ups and established companies alike are willing to find and hire whoever they can that will give them the tech and business advantage that they need, from whatever country they come from.

Thinking that H1B visas are only filled to keep wages down is naïve. While there are many instances of companies like InfoSys and Wipro abusing the system, most tech companies are trying whatever they can to hire the top talent they can find and will use H1B, E, L, or O visas to make it happen (at least in the Bay Area). There's a real need for people who are qualified in cutting edge science and technology fields. And many of those people have life partners, who could also be productive members of society. Why hinder the spouses ability to contribute, if they are qualified?

Cheers!

Comment: Invest the money in attending Google I/O instead (Score 1) 421

by ciurana (#46302055) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Get Google Glass?

Howdy.

As a fellow developer (and someone who doesn't care much for Google's products like Android and Glass), my advise would be to invest the $1,500 toward attending the Google I/O conference instead. You will get a chance to meet all kinds of cool, smart people with whom you can share/bounce ideas. They may offer discounted or flat out hand Glass to attendees (they have some nice toys every year), and the presentations are some of the best in the industry. There'll be plenty of sessions covering Glass there, and the conference will give you a great chance to learn about the device, dev tools, potential future ecosystem, etc. far better than what you're getting from the responses here on Slashdot.

Cheers!

E

Comment: Pro Tip: Take the train (Score 5, Informative) 261

by ciurana (#46268573) Attached to: Edward Snowden's Lawyer Claims Harassment From Heathrow Border Agent

Greetings.

After having been harassed a few times during business trips to London after having worked for two London-based companies, I decided to never fly into London again if I can help it. Instead, I fly into Paris from either Moscow or the US, have a nice lunch somewhere near Gare du Nord, then take the Eurostar into London (about a 2-hour ride). The UK immigration officials at the rail station are way nicer and more polite, the process is much faster, and in general the suckage is much lower.

Cheers!

pr3d

Comment: Patent? (Score 3, Insightful) 226

by ciurana (#45878683) Attached to: BlackBerry Sues iPhone Keyboard Maker Typo

The article doesn't clarify if BlackBerry patented the keyboard layout and set up, and whether the patent is still in effect.

If so, they are well within their rights to enforce it. Typo Products can probably work out a deal with them, et tutti contenti.

If the patent has expired, or if it was never granted/never filed... suck it, BlackBerry. You should know better.

Cheers!

Comment: Re:What a waste of time. (Score 2) 102

by ciurana (#45763443) Attached to: FBI's Secret Interrogation Manual: Now At the Library of Congress

Howdy.

Works in the Library of Congress may be reviewed but not copied. The person(s) who reviewed this manual, and found the discrepancies, noted them and made them public. The original copyright holder must give permission for this work to be reproduced. That's why there are no copies, just mentions of the discrepancies.

Not sure without checking with my IP attorney how to get around this, since it's unlikely that the copyright holder will grant further copying permission. Perhaps a FOIA request to the Library of Congress will allow them to release the document?

Cheers!

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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