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Comment: I'm never leaving AT&T's grandfathered unlimit (Score 1) 209

I bought an iPhone 3G back in 2008 with the AT&T unlimited data plan along and a dirt cheap voice plan. I don't have to worry about going over my data limit, and voice calling time is a non-issue. I am NEVER going to give up this combination. With a corporate discount, I pay $65 with tax each month.

I don't know about Verizon, but AT&T takes care of its long-term customers. There has not been any indication that they will end the grandfathered plans.

Comment: I have a CS PhD and can suggest the following (Score 2) 479

by jmcbain (#47976331) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?
I graduated with a CS PhD degree about 10 years ago and also had a hard time finding a first job. After several months I had to take an industry postdoc position for only $95K. The climate is totally different now in 2014, but here are some thoughts.

If you have a PhD, you can play that off in one of two ways: (1) either you are generally very smart, or (2) you have expertise in a specific and valuable field.

For (2), if your field is in high demand, e.g. machine learning, computer vision, numerical optimization, etc., then just look for a job for this specific area. Big or small companies will want your talent if their business revolves around that field. Interviewers will drill you on that topic.

For (1), this is more difficult particularly if your PhD topic is general, e.g. programming language semantics or operating systems. Interviewers will drill you on hardcore programming questions because they think the number of years doing your PhD equates to professional software programming experience. I fell into this category and was drilled mercilessly by Google, Microsoft, and the like when I graduated. I also got the feeling that the interviewers were especially hard because they wanted to prove they were smarter than a PhD. Don't let that get you down, though. You worked hard for your PhD, and there is no reason you can't work as hard preparing for software engineering positions. Later in my career I landed such a job, and I owe it to focused preparation. Study the algorithms books (e.g. Cormen, et al.), master at least one programming language inside out (C++ or Java), read interview programming books (I recommend the one by Mongan, et al. as a starter), and know how to think on your feet at a whiteboard.

+ - How Bomb Gaza Remained on Google Play Store Undetected For a Week-> 2

Submitted by DavidGilbert99
DavidGilbert99 (2607235) writes "Bomb Gaza was a game that challenged players to drop bombs on people and buildings in Gaza. It was only removed from Google's Play Store a week after it was first published. David Gilbert at IBTimes UK looks at how Google's policy of publish first, ask questions later leads to inappropriate content appearing on the platform."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Oklahoma: new land of the earthquakes (Score 1) 49

by jmcbain (#47479377) Attached to: New Map Fingers Future Hot Spots For U.S. Earthquakes
Oklahoma has recently had a spate of earthquakes. From the LA Times:

The state had 109 temblors measuring 3.0 or greater in 2013 — more than 5,000% above normal. There have already been more than 200 earthquakes this year, Holland said.

There is controversy in that the quakes have occurred after the start of fracking (and the disposal of wastewater), and the oil companies refuse to acknowledge the connection. However, I find this stance akin to the cigarette companies refusing to acknowledge a direction connection between smoking and lung cancer.

+ - Apple and IBM announce partnership to bring iOS + Cloud services to enterprises

Submitted by jmcbain
jmcbain (1233044) writes "According to an article on Recode, Apple and IBM have announced a major partnership to bring mobile services to enterprise customers. "The deal calls for IBM and Apple to develop more than 100 industry-specific applications that will run on the iPhone and iPad. Apple will add a new class of service to its AppleCare program and support aimed at enterprise customers. IBM will also begin to sell iPhones and iPads to its corporate customers and will devote more than 100,000 people, including consultants and software developers, to the effort. Enterprise applications will in many cases run on IBM’s cloud infrastructure or on private clouds that it has built for its customers. Data for those applications will co-exist with personal data like photos and personal email that will run on Apple’s iCloud and other cloud services.""

+ - Apple announces new programming language called Swift

Submitted by jmcbain
jmcbain (1233044) writes "At WWDC 2014 today, Apple announced Swift, a new programming language. According to a report by Ars Technica: "Swift seems to get rid of Objective C's reliance on defined pointers; instead, the compiler infers the variable type, just as many scripting languages do. ... The new language will rely on the automatic reference counting that Apple introduced to replace its garbage-collected version of Objective C. It will also be able to leverage the compiler technologies developed in LLVM for current development, such as autovectorization. ... Apple showed off a couple of cases where implementing the same algorithm in Swift provided a speedup of about 1.3X compared to the same code implemented in Objective C.""

Comment: Re:Adios MOHAA (Score 1) 329

by jmcbain (#46984621) Attached to: EA Ending Online Support For Dozens of Games
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault was such a good game! I remember playing that back in 2002-2003 when I was in grad school. I can still visualize the Omaha Beach multiplayer level in my mind, like it was an actual physical layout. Land on the beach from the landing craft, use the sniper rifle to take out the machine gunners in the high turrets, storm the base, and make your way to plant the dynamite on the big guns at the back of the map. Good times.

Comment: Lawyers didn't do their job (Score 5, Informative) 215

by jmcbain (#46978997) Attached to: Plaintiff In Tech Hiring Suit Asks Judge To Reject Settlement
From the NY Times article:

Mr. Devine said he told his lawyers that he found the settlement inadequate as it was being negotiated, but they ignored him. Lawyers in the case declined to comment on Sunday. ... As a class representative, he is eligible for an incentive award for the time and effort he put into the case. His lawyers have asked the court to approve a $20,000 payment for each representative from settlements reached last year against three other defendants in the suit — Lucasfilm, Pixar and Intuit. A similar payment might be forthcoming from the settlement with Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe. Even if the case went to trial and the plaintiffs got the full $9 billion, he would not get much more.

Comment: Re:Never forget where you came from (Score 1) 390

by jmcbain (#46797465) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?
I actually do have almost 200 hours in community service, but almost all between high school and grad school. I volunteered at hospitals, homeless shelters, and habitat for humanity. Since becoming a professional, though, I have little time for that now. What's most disturbing is that I've now become more libertarian, i.e. disgusted that I have to pay so much tax for socialist services after having spent the entirety of my 20s in CS degree programs.

Comment: Never forget where you came from (Score 3, Interesting) 390

by jmcbain (#46796485) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

I finished my CS PhD about 10 years ago at a top-20 US university. My first year I was not paid, but after I hooked onto an advisor later, I received an RA or TA position for $23k/year, and in my last few years, I received a fellowship for about $40k/year.

That first year was horrible. I recall eating spaghetti and ketchup, and I distinctly remember having to ask one of my rich friends for a $500 loan just to pay my rent one month. That was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life, and it really shaped my financial planning. Now, 10 years later, although I'm making well over $150k/year, I keep my expenses very low like I'm still a grad student, and I always have at least 6 months' expenses in short-term accounts.

"Well, social relevance is a schtick, like mysteries, social relevance, science fiction..." -- Art Spiegelman