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Comment: Re:If you can get a devkit, that is (Score 1) 336

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47523667) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

I don't disagree in general, but please remember the original context here was whether going it alone as a start-up might be a liability if Big Players declined to let you into those programmes, i.e., we are talking about precisely the situation where the platform maintainer might not have that implicit interest in your success.

The key difference IMHO is that I don't need Microsoft to care about me. I can write Windows-based software and sell it to Windows-using customers with no help from Microsoft except selling us Windows and any related tools in the first place, and all three parties win on the deal. If I want to sell an iPhone app, my entire revenue stream is entirely dependent on Apple, and Apple are not known in these parts for the care with which they examine new apps or the caution or neutrality they exhibit when banning something they decide they don't like.

Comment: Re:STEM is the new liberal arts degree (Score 3, Informative) 103

by rk (#47523061) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

Let's match anecdote for anecdote: I've been in the industry for nearly 25 years, and I've used calculus quite a few times and statistics (beyond just mean/stddev type stuff) fairly regularly. Also a wild FFT and/or DCT has appeared a few times here and there. I'll readily admit my career has been a little different than most, including a near decade long stint at a NASA-funded research lab, but I've also had some of that stuff rear its head in odd places you might not expect, like doing predictive analysis programs for a manufacturing company, or programs to optimize course scheduling for college students. These tasks could not have been completed without at least exposure to more advanced mathematics.

Comment: Might that still benefit the US another way? (Score 1) 203

No... The H1-B program is a way of making people more successful in their home country not to bring that knowledge and talent into the U.S. on a permanent basis.

As an outsider with no bias here, it occurs to me that the above is probably in the long-term interests of the US as well. India is a big place, with lots of people, many of whom today are struggling with things we take for granted in the West. Helping to improve things like education standards and technological advancement potentially develops a vast export market for US products and services in the future and/or a mutually advantageous trading partner.

People often look at international aid schemes as charity, and support them on that basis, but the truth is that there is often a level of "enlightened self-interest" behind government support for those schemes, because things like global security and having stable economies in your trading partners are in everyone's interest. Much the same arguments could be made, as I understand it, for the US H1-B programme.

Comment: Nice job (Score 1) 52

by Animats (#47520503) Attached to: Raspberry Pi Gameboy

That's a nice job. Of course, the only original part is the case. Coneniently, there's someone who sells a board with buttons designed to fit in a GameBoy case and bring out the buttons for emulation purposes.

If you 3D printed a new case, you would't need a Game Boy at all. I wonder if there's a decal set for that.

Comment: iDrive has the same problem (Score 4, Interesting) 139

by Animats (#47520455) Attached to: Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

iDrive, which is supposed to be a remote backup service, has a similar problem. They used to be a honest remote backup service, with client-side encryption. (They didn't protect the client password very well on the client machine, but at least the server didn't have it.) File contents were encrypted, but filenames were not, so you could look at logs and the directory tree on line. Then they came out with a "new version" of the service, one that is "web based" and offers "sharing".

For "sharing" to work, of course, they need to know your encryption key. They suggest using the "default encryption key". Even if you're not "sharing", when you want to recover a copy of a file, you're prompted to enter your encryption key onto a web page. The web page immediately sends the encryption key to the server as plain text, as can be seen from a browser log. Asked about this, they first denied the problem, then, when presented with a browser log, refused to answer further questions.

They try real hard to get their hands on your encryption key. After you log into their web site, a huge pop-up demands your encryption key. Without it, some of the menu items at the top of the page still work, and with some difficulty, you can actually find logs of what you backed up. You can't browse your directory tree, though.

It's possible to use the service securely (maybe), but you have to run only the application for recovery, and never use the web-based service. They don't tell you that.

This isn't a free service. I pay them $150 a year.

Comment: NSA and FBI and local cops already do (Score 1) 69

by WillAffleckUW (#47519709) Attached to: Verizon's Offer: Let Us Track You, Get Free Stuff

There are specific holes designed into all iPhones and iPads that show up in iOS allowing them to bypass any locking.

They're not "published" per se, but they're there and many suppliers of law enforcement software provide them, which work either over wireless or the data/power connection ports.

What warrants? They're already quartering troops in your pocket and purse.

I mention the iPhone and iPad angle, since more than 60 percent of all adult US citizens use those. You'd think Droids would be more popular, but that's not showing up in the government metrics.

Comment: Re:Same lies told about Canadian TFWP (Score 1) 203

by WillAffleckUW (#47519603) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

Happened this summer, mostly May and June. Details in Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Province and Georgia Straight, and Globe and Mail.

Comrade Harper had to "suspend" the TFWP because it meant his Conservative Party was not going to be reelected, and was going to lose half it's seats.

Comment: Re:Highly Skilled? (Score 1) 203

by WillAffleckUW (#47519389) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

That's a sop to allow corporations to bring in H1-B to fill our community colleges.

Probably about half of the students in my math classes in Seattle Central are not American. Or Canadian.

Nothing wrong with that, but it's not helping with retraining when you outsource the jobs overseas.

Comment: Same lies told about Canadian TFWP (Score 3, Informative) 203

by WillAffleckUW (#47519369) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

They said that they needed Temporary Foreign Workers and it would lead to full time jobs in Canada too.

And then the media got off their butts and figured out that it was really being used to provide cheap labour in Canadian restaurants instead of hiring local teens.

H1-B is a giant sucking sound of jobs being outsourced to India, and I don't mean native tribal lands here in North America.

Comment: Re: Just let me do brain surgery! (Score 3, Insightful) 336

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47519129) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

Programmers are just cogs in a machine nowadays.

Code monkeys are, and that's the way that managers who hire code monkeys like it.

There are plenty of programmers out there creating interesting and useful new software, and plenty of customers/clients willing to pay serious money for the value that software offers them without all the unnecessary bureaucratic overheads and middle management crap.

If you are a good programmer and professional in your general conduct, you owe it to yourself not to be a code monkey for anyone, IMHO. You have to be really, really unlucky with the time and place when your current gig(s) run out not to have better options in 2014.

Comment: Re:If you can get a devkit, that is (Score 2) 336

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47519099) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

If you're developing on a platform as developer-hostile as that and you're locked into it so your business can't port to other platforms if necessary, I would submit that you have bigger strategic problems and long-term risks than merely being a small company. An arrangement like that is an axe hanging over the head of almost any size of company and you have absolutely no control over when it might fall.

(No, I don't develop iOS apps or write console games, despite occasionally getting enquiries in those fields, and this is why.)

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