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Comment: Debian GNOME needs some attention (Score 1) 82

by Bruce Perens (#47979731) Attached to: Debian Switching Back To GNOME As the Default Desktop

After something like 20 years I finally found a system that won't run Debian unstable right now. My Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 magnesium tablet + iKey Jumpseat magnesium keyboard. Systemd and GDM break. Bought (for less than full price) because I am a frequent traveler and speaker and really do need something you can drop from 6 feet and pour coffee over have it keep working.

But because of this bug I have ubuntu at the moment, and am not having fun and am eager to return to Debian.

Comment: Avoid submitting Resumes through the Web (Score 2) 349

by stevew (#47978959) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

I was unemployed for about 6 months at the beginning of the down-turn 3-4 years ago.

I submitted maybe 10 resumes a day through Dice/HotJobs, etc. I live in Silicon Valley and have 30+ years as a chip designer. I learned a few things through the process.
1) Submitting your resume seems pointless. I NEVER received a call from that process.
2) Use your network of friends. I finally DID get a call from someone I'd worked with 15 years before and received a 2 month contract position that got me back into the job market. I maintained these relationships/contacts through LinkedIn.
3) I had kept my resume unsearchable because I was technically "furloughed" and my original company was still paying my family health insurance. I didn't want to loose that. As soon as I had the contractor position I formally terminated my relationship with my previous employer and was free to advertise. I got two interviews and one job offer within about a week of making the resume searchable on Dice.
4) Use/abuse head-hunters.They know where the jobs are!


Comment: Please identify submitter honestly (Score 2) 206

by plcurechax (#47976635) Attached to: Outlining Thin Linux

This submission was made by snydeq who may or may not be Paul Venezia, but certainly appears to have a clear vested interest in frequently promoting Paul Venezia's column and other articles from Info World on a nearly weekly basis.

Considering the overwhelmingly poor quality of the vast majority of Info World's trade rag (slang trade magazine), where most of the better "articles" (i.e. aka "filler," the stuff between the ads) tend to be cribbed from vendor's white papers, don't seem to merit being frequently promoted at Slashdot unless there is a financial arrangement in place, in which case the ethics of journalism would indicate that such a financial arrangement should be disclosed to readers.

Not that I'm suggesting Slashdot considers itself involved in journalism, regardless of the usage of the terms such as: articles, submissions, and editors in the Slashdot vernacular. I will mention that the US FTC publishes March 2013 disclosure guidelines for sponsorship, marketing, and promotions.

Comment: Re:Best to pretend you don't have the PhD... (Score 1) 349

by DoofusOfDeath (#47976499) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

This was my experience as well. I have lots of experience, but I decided to get a PhD both to scratch a personal itch and to maybe open some employment doors.

What I found was that it did open a few particular doors, including for my current job which I'm really enjoying.

However, the number of doors open, compared to if I'd just stopped at a Master's degree, is probably lower. Especially if you consider the years I was working on my PhD rather than keeping up with the latest buzzword-bingo skills.

I guess I had to learn the lesson the hard way, despite some pretty clear warnings: unless you're going for a career in academia or research, you're better off stopping at a masters.

Comment: Re:The sad history of US nuclear weapons. (Score 1) 310

by Animats (#47975529) Attached to: US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

I'm talking about a slightly later period. The third plutonium implosion bomb (Trinity was #1, Nagasaki was #2) was ready to go before the end of the war. Groves decided not to ship it to Tinian. Production rate was about one every 3 weeks.

But that design wasn't suitable for long-term storage. Wikipedia: "The lead-acid batteries that powered the fuzing system remained charged for only 36 hours, after which they needed to be recharged. To do this meant disassembling the bomb, and recharging took 72 hours. The batteries had to be removed in any case after nine days or they corroded. The plutonium core could not be left in for much longer, because its heat damaged the high explosives. Replacing the core also required the bomb to be completely disassembled and reassembled. This required about 40 to 50 men and took between 56 and 72 hours, depending on the skill of the bomb assembly team." It took a few more years to develop a bomb that was suitable for routine storage at an air base.

Comment: Already happened with desktops (Score 1) 234

by Animats (#47975449) Attached to: Do Specs Matter Anymore For the Average Smartphone User?

This already happened with desktop computers. A few years ago, we reached the point where basic desktop machines had a few 3GHz CPUS, a few gigabytes of memory, a terabyte or so of disk, and the capability to talk to a 100MHz Ethernet. There, things stopped. Desktop machines haven't become significantly more powerful since. They still power much of the business world, they work fine, and nobody is "upgrading". Innovation in desktops has become cosmetic - Apple makes one that comes in a round can.

Phones seem to be getting there. The iPhone 6 has no major technical improvements over the iPhone 5. Its specs are comparable to the Nexus 4 of two years ago. We may be approaching that point with phones.

Comment: Re:Why did he lose tenure? (Score 1) 160

by plcurechax (#47974657) Attached to: Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

There's a third, more mundane possibility: he lost his tenure because he quit. When he lost his new job offer, he went back to Wayne State asking for his old job back, and they said no.

Well in fact he did get his old job or position back at Wayne State, Michigan, but at the reduced level of pay, and without the other benefits of tenure. This was most likely simply the administration trying to control their expenses, as they had most likely planned on replacing him with a non-tenured professor.

> Moral: never, ever, quit your current job until the ink is dry on the legal papers for your new one.

Good intent, but often hard to keep in practice while also managing obligations such as the notice period for resignation (14-90 days), and planning (i.e. relocation) - most employers won't continue to pay you while you move away from your place of employment. In terms of selling a house, moving out of state / province, these things are fairly significant events that take time and away from your current job.

I don't know the legally binding nature of a job offer, I suspect it varies by state/ province and by the actual offer, but they do not offer the same protection as a contract of employment, a document that I have normally not been able to sign until the first day of work.

Comment: The sad history of US nuclear weapons. (Score 4, Informative) 310

by Animats (#47971615) Attached to: US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

It's amazing how bad many nuclear weapons were, and perhaps are. The Hiroshima gun bomb wasn't much better than an IED. If the Enola Gay had crashed, it probably would have gone off. (The crew was under orders not to land with the bomb; if they had to return to base, they were to dump it in deep water.)

For a while after WWII, the US didn't actually have any functional nuclear weapons. This was a major secret at the time. The war designs weren't suited for long-term storage. Nobody wanted another gun bomb, and the first generation electronics for triggering implosion didn't store well. A "GI-proof" line of bombs had to be developed.

The first round of Polaris missile warhead wouldn't have worked. This was learned only after there were SSBNs at sea with functional missiles and dud warheads. That took over a year to fix.

In recent years, there was a period for over a decade when the US had lost the ability to make new fusion bombs. The plant to make some obscure material had been shut down, and the proposed, cheaper replacement didn't work.

There was a tritium shortage for years. The old tritium production reactors were shut down years ago, and no replacement was built. The US is now producing tritium using a TVA power reactor loaded with some special fuel rods. Commercial use of tritium (exit signs and such) is way down from previous decades. (Tritium has a half-life of around 11 years, so tritium light sources do run down.)

The US was the last country with a gaseous-diffusion enrichment plant. The huge WWII-vintage plant at Oak Ridge was finally dismantled a few years ago. There's a centrifuge plant in the US, privately run by URENCO, a European company.

The US had a huge buildup of nuclear capability in the 1950s, and most of the plants date from that era. They're worn out and obsolete.

And that's the stuff we know about. Being a nuclear superpower isn't cheap.

Comment: It has to be really cheap to succeed (Score 1) 48

by Animats (#47966675) Attached to: SkyOrbiter UAVs Could Fly For Years and Provide Global Internet Access

This service has to be really cheap and fast to succeed. Iridium and GlobalStar already offer a satellite-based service. Iridium really does cover the entire planetary surface; GlobalStar has most of the planet, but not the polar areas. So it's all about being price-competitive.

Comment: Not distributed (Score 4, Interesting) 76

by Animats (#47962527) Attached to: Researchers Propose a Revocable Identity-Based Encryption Scheme

I'm not qualified to judge whether it's secure, but it's not distributed. "Each user is provided by PKG with a set of private keys corresponding to his/her identity for each node on the path from his/her associated leaf to the root of the tree via a secure channel as in IBE scheme." So there's a tree of all users, maintained by somebody. I think; the paper suffered in translation.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James