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Comment: Re:Because youre a bunch of cowards (Score 1) 660

by darkshadow88 (#42201373) Attached to: If Tech Is So Important, Why Are IT Wages Flat?

I wonder if you interviewed with the same place I did--it was, likewise, an advertising-related startup in Manhattan. I was interviewing for my first job out of grad school, and right after the phone interview (literally within an hour or two), I had the CEO of the company call me practically begging me to work for them. I saw the offer, which I thought looked alright (having not seen any other offers prior to that one), but then I got the offer from my current employer, which was nearly 50% higher. After I turned down the offer and mentioned that I was accepting the other offer, I got three further emails, exceeding the original offer by $10k, $15k, and then $20k (though still well below the other offer). So not only was the offer cheap, but they knowingly offered me WAY less than they were prepared to pay me, hoping I'd take the bait.

And yes, the position looks to still be open. And not for a lack of qualified applicants--with the way they were fawning over me, I clearly had the right skill set for the job. But you're not going to get an algorithms engineer for cheap.

Comment: Re:tech is a fairly broad category (Score 4, Insightful) 660

by darkshadow88 (#42199973) Attached to: If Tech Is So Important, Why Are IT Wages Flat?

Really, eating restaurant meals 3 times a day? That's part of your problem.

I also make $125k and likewise, my take-home is about $6100. I spend even more on rent for a 1-bedroom than you, and my student loans are higher, and I do just fine:

  • $6100 take-home after taxes/insurance/401k
  • -$1800 rent
  • -$ 250 utilities (soon to be $190 once I'm sure I like the 100min/5GB $30 T-Mobile plan)
  • -$ 400 cost of living ($8 lunch each day, one $20 dinner a week, and about $150 in groceries a month)
  • -$ 900 student loans

Leaves me $2750, much of which I can put toward paying off my loans faster, after which I'll start really focusing on saving. As for transportation, I walk to work. The central location is why my rent is so high, but I offset that by not having the expense of a vehicle. I get free public transit, but even if I paid for it, my transit trips would probably only cost me about $20/month. If I really want to drive somewhere, there's Zipcar.

I grew up in a working poor family, so maybe I just know how to manage money better than some people. As it is, I feel guilty about my $8/day lunches when I could probably pack my own lunch for $1/day. That's ~$150/mo I could be saving, all without any real decrease in quality of life.

And let me emphasize: that $2750 I'm left with is more than most people in this country gross. The median personal gross income in the U.S. as of 2005, among people over 18, was $24,062. Adjusting for inflation (I couldn't find current data), that's $28,500, or $2375 a month. Even if you look at the over 25 numbers (I'm under 25, btw, and I suspect you are, too), my spare cash after all my expenses still exceeds the median net income (though not quite the gross).

TL;DR: We have more disposable income than more than half the people in this country gross. Even with your wasteful spending, you have $1555 a month left, which is far more disposable income than most people in this country have. You have no reason to complain.

Comment: Re:It's only 92% accurate ... (Score 5, Informative) 186

by darkshadow88 (#40548345) Attached to: FDA Approves HIV Home-Use Test Kit

... lest you guys start thinking that this kit is a heavenly sent, that you guys will be 100% protected ...

This test kit is only 92% accurate

While 8% does not seem to be a big number, it still matters in this case for AIDS is still incurable

The test's accuracy is much higher than 92%. The test has 92% recall (it will correctly detect 92% of the true positives). In determining the accuracy, you need to take into account all the people who don't have HIV (which it will correctly detect 99.98% of the time). Based on the CDC's numbers, about 1 in 250 people in the U.S. have HIV, so the accuracy of this test would be (249/250)*99.98% + (1/250)*92% = 99.95%. The precision here (the probability that a positive returned by the test is a true positive) is the probability of a true positive detection over the total probability of a positive test result, or (1/250)*92% / ((1/250)*92% + (249/250)*0.02%) = 95%. In other words, if the test says you have HIV, there's a 95% chance it's correct. Doing the same for a negative result, you'll find that a negative result is correct 99.6% of the time.

Your point that the test fails to correctly detect 8% of the true positives is a reasonable one, but accuracy is not the metric you should be using to evaluate. To better illustrate why accuracy is a terrible metric to use, consider a test that always returns "no". Since 99.6% of people do not have HIV, the test is 99.6% accurate, yet totally useless (0% recall and undefined precision due to no positive results). Precision and recall are what you should care about.


  • Accuracy: 99.95%
  • Precision (positive): 95%
  • Precision (negative): 99.6%
  • Recall: 92%

Comment: Re:What's the useful limit? (Score 1) 293

by darkshadow88 (#40083845) Attached to: 60TB Disk Drives Could Be a Reality In 2016

You're kidding, right? By my reckoning, that's 25 years of high bitrate MP3s.

Now, ripping to FLAC I can understand... But, if you don't have a hojillion dollar speaker system, I can also understand not ripping to FLAC.

Your reckoning is way off. 500GB would be about 145 days of 320kbps MP3s.

Comment: Re:Bandwidth costs (Score 1) 433

by darkshadow88 (#38812369) Attached to: AT&T Caps Netflix Streaming Costs At $68K/Yr

Actually, the wear and tear on a road is proportional to the fourth power of axle weight. Thus, if, as you say, the number of axles is directly proportional to the weight of the vehicle, the axle weight would be the same no matter how many axles there are, and thus the wear and tear on the road would be the same.

Now, assuming that your premise is wrong and larger vehicles really do have more weight per axle, the analogy is still terrible. A doubling of axle weight causes 16x the wear on a road, whereas the doubling of data usage does not cause any damage to or "wear" on the network. If you're worried about bandwidth hogs, the right thing to do is throttle them when a node is congested. Some people will complain about throttling, too, but those people need to recognize that wireless spectrum is a limited resource that needs to be carefully managed to keep the service usable for everybody. Smart throttling (which is already being done to some extent) should obviate the need for usage caps, as the "bandwidth hog" problem will solve itself. When a person tries to download 5GB in the middle of the afternoon, it will get throttled so that other users can have the bandwidth to check their email and stream Pandora. At 3 AM, when the network is not congested, that download would complete quickly, as few other people are using the network.

You can't have it both ways, though. To throttle people when the network is congested and still charge them for data usage is pure greed. The throttling alone manages the network sufficiently to guarantee reliability for the other users, and does not require excessive charges to restrict users' usage of the service.

Comment: Re:The article asks "Why?" (Score 2) 575

by darkshadow88 (#37944692) Attached to: EU Scientists Working On Laser To Rip a Hole In Spacetime

and admittedly it will eat giga-watts of electricity)

Well, yes, it's 200 petawatts, but the amount of energy is less than that of an incandescent lightbulb running for an hour. 200 quadrillion watts * 1 trillionth of a second * (1hr/3600s) * (1 kWh/1000 Wh) = .05556 kWh (in other words, the amount of energy used by about 56 watts over the course of an hour).

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.