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Comment: Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (Score 1) 789

Yes, I am aware of them, and they have their own brand of cliches.

I just enjoy the perspective that Slashdot readers provide because it is insightful yet different enough from the hackneyed responses I see elsewhere.

And besides, we both value different things from the insights, because I enjoy the insights here for the unique perspective rather than the value. I am less interested in right vs. wrong and more interested in new ways to look at an old problem, and new factors and interesting tidbits to consider.

Comment: Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (Score 5, Insightful) 789

I come to Slashdot for a certain type of view point, and sometimes, I am indeed interested in what Slashdotters have to say on topics of political and economic interest.

In that sense, I am often delighted when Slashdot carries such articles because it gives me an opportunity to understand a particular issue in a new light.

The signal to noise ratio here is significantly better than, say, CNN (i.e., imagine siphoning through thousands of comments on R vs. D debates). In contrast, I find that there is more rational discussion, and new insights here on Slashdot than elsewhere. Obviously, YMMV.

Comment: Re:customer-centric (Score 1) 419

by metlin (#47794105) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Also, this is not tangible personal property. It is a bunch of electrons.

Are you serious? Are you that much of an idiot?

There is a reason there is *intellectual* property law.

Property laws exist immaterial of what form the property takes -- trademarks and patents are all nothing more than ideas in our heads put to paper, and they are protected for a reason.

I can see this reasoning on another site, but I'd think the readers of Slashdot would have an understanding of what digital property entails.

Comment: Re:"Great minds think alike"... apk (Score 1) 179

by metlin (#47722387) Attached to: Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year

I would characterize those areas as IT and software engineering, and not necessarily Computer Science.

I would perhaps state that some areas of computing (e.g., systems design, architecture) are better grouped under software engineering, given their nature.

I almost feel that there needs a distinction between software engineering and computer science. To paraphrase David Parnas, computer science studies the properties of computation in general while software engineering is the design of specific computations to achieve practical goals.

Muddling the two disciplines causes heartache because you have people who are great at designing software, but cannot grok advanced math; and on the other hand, you potentially limit your solutions to what's within the realm of current applicability, without exploring other possibilities (e..g, reinventing new algorithms for quantum computation).

Comment: Re:"Great minds think alike"... apk (Score 1) 179

by metlin (#47722065) Attached to: Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year

I would add a nuance to your point and state that real world experience matters in IT, but not in CS.

Computer Science is more about algorithms, systems architecture, and a lot of math. I did very little programming when I did CS in grad school and a whole lot of pretty awesome math (computational complexity, graphics, optimizations etc). Not sure about undergrad, since I did ECE, which, once again, was a whole lot of math (DSP, control systems, engineering electromagnetics, circuit theory, VLSI etc).

In any event, real-world relevance is more important to IT than it is to CS. I would say that it is however somewhat important in engineering, which, once again, is a professional degree.

Comment: Re:Is he a scientist? (Score 3, Informative) 179

by metlin (#47719907) Attached to: Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year

B-schools often hire people who are not in academia per se, but have rich real world experience in solving business problems.

For instance, you will often find senior partners from top consulting firms teaching classes, because they bring to bear not just academic knowledge but also practical experience.

People who do their MBA are not there to just learn the latest and greatest management technique from academia -- they also seek to apply that to the real world.

And this is not just true for MBAs -- it is also true for law schools, medical schools, and many other professional degrees. You'll find former judges and lawyers teaching classes, and you'll find doctors and surgeons with real world experience tempering your academic knowledge with their real world experience.

Public policy is another area where you former civil servants often teaching classes.

Comment: Ãs Free Career Advice/Pet Theory (Score 1) 127

by sonamchauhan (#47684179) Attached to: Switching Game Engines Halfway Through Development

Principle 1. Create something you own

Spend time and energy making something that: (1) you own fully (2) is of value to others (3) you can exchange for value
This is because you can only ever give what you own. Examples: a mobile app, personal skills, bookshelf. Even raising poultry/vegetables in your backyard counts - you exchange these with yourself for money (a.k.a. 'saving cash').

Note, 'Writing code for cash' fails on point (1), but 'Honing C++ skills' ticks all three points. A life devoted tohelping others is the best deal of all - you exchange your life for treasure in heaven.

Principle 2. If you cannot work for yourself, search for a workplace like how long term investors search for stock.

Consider the most famous one of them all - Warren Buffet. He uses 'intrinsic value' to value stock. Companies with price to intrinsic value ratio (lets call it 'P/V' for this post) lower than 1 are more likely well-managed but undervalued -- and hungry to be valued higher -- so Warren 'buys' those companies.

My pet theory: unlike Warren, you want to 'buy into' workplaces that are consistently profitable and whose P/V ratio is as close to 1 as possible. This is because such companies are typically profitable, well run and will treat you fairly -- leaving you enough time and energy for Principle 1.

Let take a look at Netflix (NFLX) -- a well regarded company with a demanding work environment -- their ratio 1.85
  http://www.gurufocus.com/term/...
(To check others, replace 'NFLX' in the URL with another stock ticker - remember, its the median ratio we're looking for)

NFLX (1.8) , AMZN (4), and EA (2.5) for instance, have high 'stock price/intrinsic value' ratios. So, while these are very successful companies, these are more likely high-pressure work environments with little time to yourself outside of work. Even GOOG (1.6) and APPL (1.5) are getting a bit up there.

Going lower: SPLS (1.3), MSFT, WMT (Walmart), BA (Boeing) (all 1.2), and INTL (1.1).

Now the magic unity figure -- BRK.A (Warren's Berkshire Hathaway itself), BAC (Bank of America), PFE (Pfizer) - all around 1. Strangely, so is ODP (Office Depot - 0.97).

Further down seems to be the domain of banks -- FNF (Fidelity National -- 0.9), PRU (Prudential - 0.28), MS (Morgan Stanley - 0.26), JPM (JP Morgan - 0.27)

Comment: Re:It's tinfoil time! (Score 2) 232

by sonamchauhan (#47668355) Attached to: Fugitive Child Sex Abuser Caught By Face-Recognition Technology

Correct - lets hamstring the police. Information technology, image recognition, automation, are only permissible for use by mobsters, etc.

*Private* data should not be accessible without a warrant. Image recognition on data already presented to the government (a passport photo in this case) is perfectly permissible.

Vax Vobiscum

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