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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Wait... what? (Score 2) 228

by dmaul99 (#49339079) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

The Japanese leadership did not see the atomics as significantly worse than what they had already suffered due to the sustained bombings their cities had endured in which many more civilians died than from both the bombs combined. What did it for them was the Soviet Union declaring war on them and rapidly taking Manchuria and able to invade via the relatively undefended north and western borders in very short order, like one or two weeks time instead of the months it would take the Americans to get on with it.

There was no point to a valiant stand against the Americans, they would be slaughtered by the Soviets from the other end. At this point they surrendered and to save face, in a way, they attributed their defeat to the magic bomb against which there was no honor in facing.

The US knew this of course, that neither invasion nor the abomb were necessary to end the war because the Soviets would take care of it, but then it was about who got to dictate the terms of surrender and keeping Japan's resources and conquered territories out of Soviet hands. Not an unreasonable motive, which is hard to say when 150-200 thousand civilians died by the bombs, but many more than that would have died by a Soviet invasion or an American one or both. Some in Hirohito's inner circle wanted to bring it to that, fight till the last man woman and child.

Also, the bombs were punitive. I'm not saying this to express approval or disapproval of this, but after all - it is these civilians who sent their sons to massacre the Chinese, taught them that they were the master race to rule the world, commit atrocities, etc. Nanking, Unit 731 (thought Auschwitz was the worst place you could possibly imagine?), etc etc etc

Lastly, just as the Japanese were able to have a "neat" reason to surrender, the Americans wanted a big final bang to symbolize victory and to take their place as the world's #1 superpower, knowing the Soviet Union was going to be competing with them for that claim.

Comment: Re:Common sense (Score 1) 494

by dmaul99 (#49328311) Attached to: Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds

Disagree. Exercise is of course fantastic for keeping your heart and muscles fit, as well as for your mind, but it makes zero difference to me when the goal is weight loss, only what I eat.

If you start counting calories like "ok, 30 mins on the treadmill will burn off that scoop of ice cream I had last night" nope doesn't work that way. Have to stop eating ice cream, period. Have to eat smaller portions, low fat low carb, just basically reduce calories and make the ones you do consume worthwhile. That's it.

I know this because I've been ~30-40 lbs overweight all my adult life and I've tried the exercise approach, the no carb thing, etc. Nope. It took having an ulcer where I could not eat much without feeling sick for like 6 months to lose 40 lbs with no change in my non-existent exercise regimen. Kind of happy about the body image change (yes, I'm a victim of the culture and what endless torment by my school peers ingrained in me), but pretty darn worried about where this all going.

+ - Financial supporters pull the plug on climate change denier Wei-Hock Soon->

Submitted by MikeChino
MikeChino (1640221) writes "Financial backers are abandoning Dr. Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon after documents were released that proved the prominent U.S. climate change denier accepted $1.2M from oil and gas companies in exchange for lying about the causes of climate change. Exxon Mobil and the American Petroleum Institute were among the sources of funding revealed by the documents, and now companies like that are questioning whether they should continue their relationship with Soon."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Brain drain (Score 1) 167

by dmaul99 (#49172489) Attached to: Marissa Mayer On Turning Around Yahoo

I have first hand experience in this so let me tell you why: because at big companies like Yahoo, 9 out of 10 of full-time telecommuters are unproductive. It's impossible to really coordinate with them. They're never available when you need them. They're always out shuttling their kids or whatever they do. They're not the heroic always-on rock stars like startups have. In other words, it's a privilege that is abused. Yahoo forcing people to come in to work to you know, work, is a good and clever way to get rid of those unproductive people. Right or wrong, doesn't matter, but I reckon the productivity is up over there.

Comment: Recruiter Etiquette (Score 2) 145

by dmaul99 (#49119867) Attached to: Attention, Rockstar Developers: Get a Talent Agent

I've been contacted by recruiters out of the blue on LinkedIn, gone through the interview process for the fabulous job they were peddling, and then not do well enough in the interview to get the job. The recruiter was warm and encouraging and friendly throughout the process... until I didn't get the job. Some dick behavior along with a "They found a substantially more qualified candidate" message. Wtf? Would it not be sufficient to just say "Unfortunately they have decided to move forward with another candidate." Was it really necessary to kick me while I was already down, disappointed I didn't get the job? Word to the wise: a recruiter finds you on Linkedin and is all friendly, it's not going to last. Like used car salesmen these people. Once you're no longer useful to you they'll discard you like you're trash.

Comment: Age difficulties? (Score 2) 210

by dmaul99 (#49075323) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Stephen Wolfram a Question

How would you characterize your college experience? As you were so young it must have been difficult to engage in those crucial interactions with your peers outside of class, eg dinners out, parties where alcohol was involved, etc. Or were you more like the kid in the "Revenge of The Nerds" movie? ;-)

Comment: The interview process has changed (Score 3, Interesting) 323

It used to be that you'd go in and you'd be asked to talk about the projects that are on your CV, talk about what challenges you faced and how you solved them, and you'd be asked some basic technical questions to confirm that you hadn't completely made it all up.

Now, nobody gives a crap about your CV. The last time I went through it, to be a PHP/MySQL developer, the tech lead or whatever came in without my resume in hand, gave a curt look and a limp handshake, and launched into it:

"I have 3 questions."

First off:

"Design a game of blackjack." with no further explanation. A silent stare as I asked for clarification. Okay you want me to give you an object model. Doing that.

Much pain later and condescension and derision later (yet in my opinion done well enough to be functional,) comes the second question with only 10 minutes in the hour remaining:

"Design an algorithm to efficiently sort a list of trillions of elements."

And I barely got off the ground on that one. Bounced some thoughts at him with the same derision and impatience in return. Needless to say I never got to hear what the third question was.

His colleagues were not much nicer. I didn't get the job, but fuck them. I wouldn't want to work with these miserable assholes anyway. As I was walked out I saw their big developer pit or whatever they call it, this nightmarish contraption with no privacy and all this agile frenzy going on. No windows, all artificial light in the middle of the day, these giant monitors mounted on walls showing the build status or whatever the fuck, this cheap synthetic carpet, not a single person smiling. I'm sure they are very productive and God bless em.

OTOH, yup, I'm still looking for full time work.

+ - Ask Slashdot: What can those of us who aren't rock 1

Submitted by dmaul99
dmaul99 (1895836) writes "It seems whenever somebody submits an Ask Slashdot question regarding career paths and what not, they invariably rattle off a fantastic resume of accomplishments and leadership experience. Well I don't have such a terrific resume, and I can't find a job. I've been unemployed for 8 months now and I'm starting to get desperate. I'm a C++ programmer, having worked for some 20 odd years on legacy systems in various industries (I'm 46.) I'm not the best at what I do but I contribute. Sometimes things in life happen (illnesses, family issues) or just plain bad life decisions that get in the way of making your resume so fantastic. Programming is the only thing I know how to do that pays what I need to afford a decent dwelling, and companies with IT departments are usually the only ones that provide good insurance for the whole family. So, besides the patronizing "become a rock star" suggestions, what else can the slashdot community suggest for us not-so-special folks?"

"I think Michael is like litmus paper - he's always trying to learn." -- Elizabeth Taylor, absurd non-sequitir about Michael Jackson