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Comment: Re:They are trying to get off... (Score 1) 70 70

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)

Comment: Re:They are trying to get off... (Score 4, Insightful) 70 70

Have you ever lived anywhere where there was a significant mob presence?

I haven't, and for good reason.

Your plan is a really great plan if you assume that the mob has absolutely no penetration whatsoever into the local police department.

I don't know why you'd assume such a stupid thing, though.

So here is how your suggestion really goes.

You walk into the local PD. On your way there, some kid recognized your face. He has instructions that say that if he sees a guy who looks like you walking into the police station, he calls a number and gets a bonus.

When you come home, something is different. Either your family is already dead, or, there's a note that makes it clear that your family is vulnerable and that you've fucked up - but there is still a chance to not get your family killed. Who knows what the knob is set at for the "first contact" - but there's a clear indication that you don't want to continue talking to the police.

Now, if someone inside that building is actually connected - and usually, somebody is - maybe they're the person who interviewed you. Maybe they're the person who looks at the signin/signout sheet at the station. Maybe they are somebody who files paperwork or types things up for other people.

Zillions of little people are needed to make the machine of government operate, and the mob targets precisely those people to be their eyes and ears. It uses combinations of carrots and sticks to keep them cooperating with mob goals, without letting them get too familiar with what those goals are or who is executing them.

Point is, if the mob has any power in your city, that includes eyes and ears within, or effectively within, the police department.

Part of the mob's effectiveness is that it destroys trust in the normal functioning institutinos of society. You never know for sure who is and isn't. It effectively isolate frightened individuals from the facets of society that might help or protect them. It always makes it seem like it's 1 person against the entire mob - it paints that same picture to lots of separate people.

Comment: Re:Usually has to be earned (Score 1) 280 280

I doubt there's a company in the land that would recruit an unknown, straight off the street, give them a salaried post and let them work 100% from home.

This is false. A very good friend of mine works exclusively out of his house as a developer. Many of the developers at his company are work-from home types and have always been work-from home employees.

Additionally, there are software jobs that are true work from home positions and are advertised as such. I've had recruiters start to approach me about such jobs.

Finally, I've had a 15 year career at Microsoft. In the last 6 months, I've been given the flexibility to WFH as much as I like to. I'm currently at home for the summer.

When I asked earlier in my career, the answer was no. I'm slightly more valuable than I was then, but, the nature of my team and my work has changed such that a WFH role is more plausible than it once was.

I know a handful of other Microsoft employees who are full time WFH and who have no Microsoft office anywhere. I still have an office and I use it about 50% during the school year.

As far as how you get this arrangement

1) if you're a high value contributor with the right kind of manager on the right kind of team, even in an organization that doesn't really do remote work, you can basically play the card that says, "I am moving. I would like to keep working here, for you, and I understand what that will do to my long term career velocity here, but, whether you keep me or not, I am moving"

Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. If you get a new team or a new manager, you can be let go. "The deal can be altered", so to speak. Of course, the deal can (and is) altered anyway, even for office people. So, it's a matter of priorities and risk tolerance.

2) There are a few organizations that are explicitly pro WFH. If you're prioritizing WFH ahead of other things, look at doing something that isn't your ideal role and not at your ideal salary, but gives you the WFH goodness that you desire. Ideally, you pick an organization that has the sorts of roles (and money) that you'd ideally want, and you grow into that role within that organization.

3) When LinkedIn emails you and says "Bob from Google wants to talk to you", email Bob back and say, "Bob, I would love to chat with you, but I am only considering WFH arrangements. Please let your hiring managers know that there is good, affordable talent available to them, but who are unwilling to relocate."

I do this with every big name brand that contacts me via Linked In. I usually tend to tailor the message to something about how the business in question heavily relies on open source (and I name the pertinent technologies) and how those were developed via distributed engineering mechanisms, proving that such approaches can build world class software.

I hope people like me can create enough data points that eventually more traditional shops hear the "I won't relocate for you" argument often enough that they start entertaining people who demand remote work.

Anyway, my employer gets way more output out of me when I am at home than when I am in the office. I have a nice laptop, and everything is in source control or cloud fileshares, so I can move back and forth between office and home office easily.

My kids understand that when I am working, they don't come into the basement. I go upstairs and take breaks and hangout with my family, or take advantage of the nice weather. If I don't have scheduled meetings, I can shift weekend/evening tasks (like yardwork) to mid afternoon, when the bugs aren't as bad and the sun is shining. Email and code will be there during peak mosquito hours or when the weather is bad.

I live on an isolated 14 acre farm that is about 25 minutes from my employer's office building. Commuting isn't bad at all, but if I don't have to, why bother?

The Courts

Judge Dismisses Second Conviction of Ex-Goldman Sachs Coder 39 39

itwbennett writes: Back in May, former Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov was convicted by a jury for stealing 32MB of code for Goldman's high-frequency trading system, code that Aleynikov maintained he copied for intellectual pursuits and was, in fact, open-source. On Monday, Judge Daniel P. Conviser of New York's State Supreme Court dismissed the conviction, saying that Aleynikov acted wrongfully by taking the code, but his actions did not meet the standard under the law in which he was charged. "The evidence did not prove he intended to appropriate all or a major portion of the code's economic value," Conviser wrote.

Even the "Idea Person" Should Learn How To Code 181 181

theodp writes: "A few months ago," writes Steph Rhee, "I was at a dinner with a dozen students and a 60-year-old entrepreneur who made himself a fortune on Wall Street. At the time, I was a junior at Yale and the only person at the table studying a computer-related major. We went around saying what our big dreams were. When I said that I'm studying computer science because I want to be a software engineer and hope to start my own company one day, he said, 'Why waste so many years learning how to code? Why not just pay someone else to build your idea?'" But Rhee isn't buying into the idea of the look-Ma-no-tech-skills "idea person." "We must not neglect the merits of technical skills in the conception of the 'idea person,'" she argues. "What the 60-year old entrepreneur and others of his generation — the people in control of the education we receive — don't realize is this: for college students dreaming of becoming unicorns in Silicon Valley, being an 'idea person' is not liberating at all. Being able to design and develop is liberating because that lets you make stuff. This should be a part of what we see in the 'idea person' today and what it means to be 'right' when designing an undergraduate curriculum."

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Find Jobs That Offer Working From Home? 280 280

jez9999 writes: I'm a software developer in the UK, and I've found that it's very rare (maybe 5% of the time) to find an employer that will even consider any working from home, let alone for the majority of the time. I see it as a win-win; you're able to work in the home environment you are most productive in, and you can use the time you would've been commuting to work a bit longer for the employer. Not only that, but you're not adding to road congestion either. Skype, etc. make communication with coworkers a snap these days. So how do you go about finding homeworking jobs? Is it better to demand it from the get-go, or wait a few months and then ask for it? Is it more common than 5% of jobs in the US (in which case I guess it's a cultural thing the UK needs to catch up with)?

Mozilla's Plans For Firefox: More Partnerships, Better Add-ons, Faster Updates 172 172

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla is reexamining and revamping the way it builds, communicates, and decides features for its browser. In short, big changes are coming to Firefox. Dave Camp, Firefox's director of engineering, sent out two lengthy emails, just three minutes apart: Three Pillars and Revisiting how we build Firefox. Both offer a lot more detail into what Mozilla is hoping to achieve.

Extreme Reduction Gearing Device Offers an Amazing Gear Ratio 125 125

ErnieKey writes: The 3D printed extreme reduction gearing device, created by long-time puzzle maker M. Oskar van Deventer, may leave you puzzled for its obvious applications, but the coaxial cranking mechanism offers potential in a variety of real-world applications with multi-colored gears that move in opposite directions at a ratio of 11,373,076 : 1. This 3D printed reduction gearing device is compact and multi-colored, and looks deceivingly simple at first glance. Developed through a complex algorithm, it could possibly offer potential as parts for machines like 3D printers, aerospace and automotive components, as well as perhaps robotics and a variety of motors.

Click-Fraud Trojan Politely Updates Flash On Compromised Computers 63 63

jfruh writes: Kotver is in many ways a typical clickfraud trojan: it hijacks the user's browser process to create false clicks on banner ads, defrauding advertisers and ad networks. But one aspect of it is unusual: it updates the victim's installation of Flash to the most recent version, ensuring that similar malware can't get in.
The Internet

How Bad User Interfaces Can Ruin Lives 255 255

Lauren Weinstein writes: A couple of months ago, in "Seeking Anecdotes Regarding 'Older' Persons' Use of Web Services," I asked for stories and comments regarding experiences that older users have had with modern Web systems, with an emphasis on possible problems and frustrations. I purposely did not define "older" — with the result that responses arrived from users (or regarding users) self-identifying as ages ranging from their 30s to well into their 90s (suggesting that "older" is largely a point of view rather than an absolute). Before I began the survey I had some preconceived notions of how the results would appear. Some of these were proven correct, but overall the responses also contained many surprises, often both depressing and tragic in scope. The frustration of caregivers in these contexts was palpable. They'd teach an older user how to use a key service like Web-based mail to communicate with their loved ones, only to discover that a sudden UI change caused them to give up in frustration and not want to try again. When the caregiver isn't local the situation is even worse. While remote access software has proven a great boon in such situations, they're often too complex for the user to set up or fix by themselves when something goes wrong, remaining cut off until the caregiver is back in their physical presence.
United States

Prototype Wave Energy Device Passes Grid-Connected Pilot Test 50 50

coondoggie writes: A prototype wave energy device advanced with backing from the Energy Department and U.S. Navy has passed its first grid-connected open-sea pilot testing. According to the DOE, the device, called Azura, was recently launched and installed in a 30-meter test berth at the Navy's Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) in Kaneohe Bay, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. This pilot testing is now giving U.S. researchers the opportunity to evaluate the long-term performance of the nation’s first grid-connected 20-kilowatt wave energy converter (WEC) device to be independently tested by a third party—the University of Hawaii—in the open ocean, the DOE said.

Supercomputing Cluster Immersed In Oil Yields Extreme Efficiency 61 61

1sockchuck writes: A new supercomputing cluster immersed in tanks of dielectric fluid has posted extreme efficiency ratings. The Vienna Scientific Cluster 3 combines several efficiency techniques to create a system that is stingy in its use of power, cooling and water. VSC3 recorded a PUE (Power Usage Efficiency) of 1.02, putting it in the realm of data centers run by Google and Facebook. The system avoids the use of chillers and air handlers, and doesn't require any water to cool the fluid in the cooling tanks. Limiting use of water is a growing priority for data center operators, as cooling towers can use large volumes of water resources. The VSC3 system packs 600 teraflops of computing power into 1,000 square feet of floor space.

+ - Supercomputing Cluster Immersed in Oil Yields Extreme Efficiency->

1sockchuck writes: A new supercomputing cluster immersed in tanks of dielectric fluid has posted extreme efficiency ratings. The Vienna Scientific Cluster 3 combines several efficiency techniques to create a system that is stingy in its use of power, cooling and water. VSC3 recorded a PUE (Power Usage Efficiency) of 1.02, putting it in the realm of data centers run by Google and Facebook. The system avoids the use of chiillers and air handlers, and doesn't require any water to cool the fluid in the cooling tanks. Limiting use of water is a growing priority for data center operators, as cooling towers can use large volumes of water resources. The VSC3 system packs 600 teraflops of computing power into 1,000 square feet of floor space.
Link to Original Source

Philips Is Revolutionizing Urban Farming With New GrowWise Indoor Farm 255 255

Kristine Lofgren writes: With arable land dwindling and the cost — both economically and environmentally — of growing and transporting food increasing, it's time to redefine farming. So Philips is creating a revolution with their new GrowWise indoor farm, which uses customized 'light recipes' in high-tech cells to grow plants that don't need pesticides or chlorine washes, and use a fraction of the water that traditional farming requires. The system can churn out 900 pots of basil a year in just one square meter of floor space, and bees keep things humming year-round for farming that is truly local, even in the middle of a city.
Open Source

What Goes Into a Decision To Take Software From Proprietary To Open Source 43 43

Lemeowski writes: It's not often that you get to glimpse behind the curtain and see what led a proprietary software company to open source its software. Last year, the networking software company Midokura made a strategic decision to open source its network virtualization platform MidoNet, to address fragmentation in the networking industry. In this interview, Midokura CEO and CTO Dan Mihai Dumitriu explains the company's decision to give away fours years of engineering to the open source community, how it changed the way its engineers worked, and the lessons learned along the way. Among the challenges was helping engineers overcome the culture change of broadcasting their work to a broader community.

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost