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Comment: Re:Response Bias (Score 1) 304

Surely that's the very question they asked, and are not hiding it? I mean that's what the article flat out says, right? People want to both hire and work with the top people regardless of where they're from, and the general US attitude towards issuing foreign visas makes it hard to hire the top foreign guy and practically requires you to hire the mediocre guy just because of where they're from?

Comment: Re:OK, NOW I'm pissed. (Score 1) 304

So, what, I'm supposed to sit back and accept an attitude of 'fuck U.S. workers, they all suck, we'll hire from overseas because they're better'?

That's not what he said. He said the best workers are not ALL from the USA. Guess what? He's dead goddamn right and who the hell are you to get pissed off because someone who runs a business pointed out the obvious, bleeding truth - America does not have a monopoly on software engineering talent, far from it? That means it's totally expected and understandable that given a choice between some American workers and some foreign workers, that employer might legitimately prefer the foreign workers because they are better than you are?

If this makes you mad then you need to learn about anger management. If you think it's all about working cheaper (which US law makes illegal anyway) then you need to get your head out of your ass and realise that foreign workers are hassle, can be expensive, and can still be worth it if they are better than you.

Comment: Re:"Culture in tech is a very meritocratic culture (Score 1) 304

Tech skills are hard to objectively verify. Technical results are hard to objectively verify. We collectively proxy that by having lots of tests, competitions, selection, and other heuristics. But that's not a symptom of us respecting skill more than other jobs(maybe more than other specific office jobs, but not more than lawyers, doctors, manufacturing technicians, similar things), it's a symptom of it being really hard to tell.

How many technical interviews have you done, as an interviewer, in your life?

I have done about 220. Evaluating technical skills is dramatically easier than evaluating many other types of skill, in particular, it's a lot easier than evaluating skills in management, marketing, customer service .... anything with a large component of soft, people skills. You can ask a technical person to achieve a very specific, tightly scoped technical task during an interview and if you know the question well quickly get a feel for how good they really are. I wouldn't want a hiring decision to be made based on just one interview, but in the hands of a good interview it still yields valuable data. For someone without specific technical skills you end up having to rely on much vaguer and more gamaeble questions like "Tell me about a time you overcame a problem of type ", the answers to which are both hard to verify and easily manipulated by people who want to make themselves look good.

I'm afraid I must agree with the original statement. The difference between someone who is merely OK and is great, well, that's huge. Someone who is merely OK will come in to work each day and will (probably) resolve the bugs or implement the features you set them. They will probably not come up with a solution that puts you ahead of the pack. They may waste large amounts of time on trivial things or produce something that sucks because they are only familiar with technology X but that's a poor fit for problem Y. Their technical judgement may be flaky - in the worst case you will have to spend a lot of time double checking what they're doing, yet they will start demanding more responsibility because they've stuck around for a while. The very best will teach you algorithms and techniques you never knew about. They'll come up with the unique feature that makes you stand out from the competition. They'll be fun to work with and help you recruit other great people. The difference is not to be sneered at.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 304

When Google offered me a job, I could not believe how little they wanted to pay me. 67% of what I was making at a megabank

Er, you could probably replace "Google" in that sentence with any company. You're comparing your salary to one at a fucking bank, companies so famous for absurd compensation packages that it triggered street protests ....

Comment: Re:Feeding the PR engine, (Score 1) 304

Beside, best techs from other countries are already in demand at home, no need for them to move. "The best" is not someone US would get from H1B visa program.

Reality check: tech companies hire all sorts of people in all sorts of places for all sorts of reasons.

Back in 2006 I got a job with Google SRE (at the age of 22) and they gave me a choice of locations. I chose California. But it was 2006 and the economy was booming, and that year they hit the H1B visa cap. I wasn't considered important enough to use up one of the last H1Bs they had (fair enough), so ended up moving to Switzerland instead. Over the following years I was promoted several times, invented a major new spam filtering technology they now use on all their biggest products, and earned a hell of a lot of money. Which I spent in Switzerland. I left in January to form my own company, although Google wanted me to stay.

Had I obtained an H1B, I would probably have done substantially similar things in the USA, but thanks to attitudes like yours that wasn't possible. I'm not complaining though. Having spent plenty of time in the Valley I came to appreciate my luck in not ending up there. Why would I want to live in a suburban desert like the bay area, or San Francisco where it seems the local population viscerally hates tech workers, when I can live ten minutes walk from a lake so clean people swim in it every day during summer and the local population still thinks Google is cool?

Looking back, I got lucky that I was denied an H1B. But economically speaking that was Switzerland's gain and America's loss.

Comment: Re:OPSEC (Score 1) 92

by IamTheRealMike (#47730727) Attached to: NSA Agents Leak Tor Bugs To Developers

If you RTFA you'll see that Lewman has zero evidence for this assertion. The headline paints it as a statement of fact but in reality all Lewman knows is there are people who appear to be reading the source code and reporting bugs anonymously. That's it. They could be NSA/GCHQ moles. Or, more likely, they could be anonymity fans who like security audit work. They really have no idea.

Comment: Re:say it again (Score 1) 227

by IamTheRealMike (#47727705) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

Part of this is the much-hated reference requirement -- all facts in a Wikipedia page must have an external source to back them up. This rule alone causes a huge amount of strife among those who don't understand

It causes a huge amount of strife because it's yet another policy that's easily manipulated by people with no common sense.

For a long time the article on Bitcoin stated outright that it was a ponzi scheme, despite that Wikipedia's own article on Ponzi schemes had a list of requirements which Bitcoin obviously did not meet. Attempting to get this fixed was a kafkaesque nightmare due to someone camping on the page and immediately reverting any change that removed or even just qualified this statement. The reason: the statement had "citations" which turned out to be (a) someone's blog, and (b) an article in The Register, that well known bastion of reasoned and careful analysis.

Wikipedia is a project that manages to work in spite of the absurd management and crazy policies, because the idea of a global encyclopedia is such a compelling one. But it badly, badly, badly needs to be forked by people who find a way to run it better.

Comment: Re:Total BS (Score 1) 222

And your father's knowledge is broader and more accurate than this report's ..... because?

There was certainly a time when wage disparities were truly enormous, though not that big. But the entire premise of this story is that what we knew to be true just ten years ago is now out of date.

I suspect your father was giving you information that was once correct but no longer is.

Comment: Re:hilarious (Score 4, Interesting) 267

by IamTheRealMike (#47690895) Attached to: Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

When Bitcoin was launched, Satoshi had only been mining for a day or so. If you had been paying attention to the right forums, you could have started mining more or less at the same time he did and in fact some people (like Hal Finney) did exactly that.

What's more, Satoshi does not appear to have dumped his coins. Nor did he engage in much pumping. Indeed once people started hyperbolically talking about how Bitcoin would bring about world peace, trying to get Wikileaks to accept it and so on he retreated into the background and eventually left. His coins are still there.

Creating something new with no built in advantage for yourself, being totally honest about it, and then when its value soars not selling ..... is pretty much the opposite of a pump and dump scheme.

Comment: Re:End state and private capitalism. (Score 1) 323

by IamTheRealMike (#47689511) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

BI is different to social security in one crucial way - you get it regardless of need. Even rich people get it. That's why it fundamentally can't reduce the divide between rich and poor. The idea is to break the cultural link between receiving income from the state and being a layabout.

Comment: Re:Incentive Bug Finding (Score 3, Funny) 323

by IamTheRealMike (#47688295) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

I guess it's time to start punishing those who are unable or unwilling to keep their computers secure.

But as most people just use the tools they're given and can't control how secure those tools are, in practice that would mean punishing computer programmers.

If you want the usage of C and C++ to be considered equivalent to suicide then this would be a great policy to bring about such a world.

Comment: Re:End state and private capitalism. (Score 1, Offtopic) 323

by IamTheRealMike (#47688293) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

He said universal basic income, which is certainly not high enough to allow anyone to buy anything they want. There would still be a divide between rich and poor with such a policy.

BTW I don't think basic income has ever been tried. Certainly massive nationalisation of all industries a la Soviet communism is not it.

Comment: Re:Only allowed to have civilian firearms ... (Score 1) 264

At the cost of ensuring any attempt to enforce the law results in a massive and relatively even firefight that is likely to result in a whole lot more blood spilled?

Generally, sane countries want police to have a systematic advantage over criminals when it comes to basic things like weaponry and ability to drive fast. The UK is able to have a mostly disarmed police force because the population is also mostly disarmed. So you can solve it in both directions.

Comment: Re:Real Problem (Score 2) 264

It's been well established that the long term fall in violent crime is primarily (or totally?) due to the removal of lead from petrol, not due to changes in any policing policies. Also, the UK has extremely strict and well enforced gun prohibition which makes it very hard to engage in violent crime, gun crimes have been falling for the last 15 years or so.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen