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Comment: Re:No way! (Score 2) 508

The enlightened self interest angle is that I don't want corporations treating H-1Bs like crap, because it enables the companies to get them for cheap, which depresses salaries in my career path. I want companies to have to treat H-1B visa holders well because 1) it's the right thing to do, and 2) so that I'm not competing against guys who'll work for 2/3 my salary for fear of being deported.

Comment: Re:No way! (Score 5, Insightful) 508

by Just Some Guy (#48881053) Attached to: Senator Who Calls STEM Shortage a Hoax Appointed To Head Immigration

LOL that's precious. Meanwhile, the H-1B employees I know - my personal friends, people I hang out with and trust - describe a legal hellscape that's pretty much exactly indentured servitude. One of them managed to escape a bad situation by hooking up with a major corporation who could expedite the process to have the transfer done within a couple of months. That's two months of walking on eggshells so that they didn't get fired and deported. Another wasn't quite as lucky and had to ship out to the European branch of their new employer so that they can come back to America in a year or so, presuming everything is in order by then.

You're on crack if you think an H-1B isn't a recipe for suckishness. Regardless of what it hypothetically sounds like on paper, the situations I witnessed firsthand were terrible for the workers involved.

Biotech

New Advance Confines GMOs To the Lab Instead of Living In the Wild 128

Posted by timothy
from the we've-decided-to-put-this-in-everyone dept.
BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes In Jurassic Park, scientists tweak dinosaur DNA so that the dinosaurs were lysine-deficient in order to keep them from spreading in the wild. Scientists have taken this one step further as a way to keep genetically modified E. coli from surviving outside the lab. In modifying the bacteria's DNA to thwart escape, two teams altered the genetic code to require amino acids not found in nature. One team modified the genes that coded for proteins crucial to cell functions so that that produced proteins required the presence of the synthetic amino acid in the protein itself. The other team focused on 22 genes deemed essential to a bacterial cell's functions and tied the genes' expression to the presence of synthetic amino acids. For the bacteria to survive, these synthetic amino acids had to be present in the medium on which the bacteria fed. In both cases, the number of escapees was so small as to be undetectable."

Comment: Re:Wirthian syntax ... (Score 1) 637

by Just Some Guy (#48868773) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

Python has a PEP (think RFC) for that. It says:

Use 4 spaces per indentation level. [...] Spaces are the preferred indentation method. Tabs should be used solely to remain consistent with code that is already indented with tabs.

That's the the near-universal style almost everyone used anyway, so it was more of a hypothetical than practical issue anyway.

Comment: Re:So not Python, but VB? (Score 1) 637

by Just Some Guy (#48868739) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

I also disagree about C being "incredibly complex for a beginner".

One of the things I disliked about a data structures class using C was that you had to learn a fair amount of boilerplate and memory management to get up and running. Those are important things, but it's a frustratingly steep learning curve when you're more interested in a structure or an algorithm than you in the language. For example, here's a complete, working linked list in Python:

.class Node(object):
. value = None
. next = None
.
.head = Node(); head.value = 123
.second = Node(); second.value = 456; head.next = second
.tail = Node(); tail.value = 789; second.next = tail
.
.node = head
.while node:
. print node.value
. node = node.next

I don't mind C, but it's way too easy to get distracted by coordinating all the moving parts, so that you lose focus on the problem you're trying to solve.

Comment: Re: 8.1 better than 7? (Score 1) 488

by Just Some Guy (#48851687) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

Yeah, I'm not keen on relying on a proprietary overlay to a proprietary OS. What happens when backward-incompatible service pack X arrives and breaks the overlay, and then you have to decide between learning the defaults or not upgrading? I'm not a fan of such things on general principle: if the OS really wants me to do things a certain way, I try to either adapt to it or not use that OS at all. Continually fighting against the current makes me tired.

Comment: That's a shame. I'll miss it. (Score 1) 314

by Just Some Guy (#48821391) Attached to: Radio Shack Reported To Be Ready for Bankruptcy Filing

I also submitted the story but got scooped. I wrote this:

Our favorite source of resistors, odd batteries, and cell phone accessories is preparing to file for bankruptcy, according to the Wall Street Journal. Millenials won't remember a time when it was a legitimately geeky place to go with lots of new at the time computers on display, tons of electronic kits and DIY gear, and a Free Battery Of The Month club card. Sadly, Radio Shack never found a clear way forward from those roots and swung between emphasizing several categories of small consumer goods.

It's really too bad. Radio Shack was a great place when I was growing up, but floundered about from one market experiment to the next and never found its footing. I really hope I'm wrong and I wish them well, but I can't imagine how they could possible make it through this.

+ - WSJ says RadioShack is preparing for bankruptcy->

Submitted by Just Some Guy
Just Some Guy (3352) writes "Our favorite source of resistors, odd batteries, and cell phone accessories is preparing to file for bankruptcy, according to the Wall Street Journal (link is to a different source because of the WSJ paywall). Millenials won't remember a time when it was a legitimately geeky place to go with lots of new at the time computers on display, tons of electronic kits and DIY gear, and a Free Battery Of The Month club card. Sadly, Radio Shack never found a clear way forward from those roots and swung between emphasizing several categories of small consumer goods."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:But (Score 4, Interesting) 633

by Just Some Guy (#48803895) Attached to: Microsoft Ends Mainstream Support For Windows 7

We bought a laptop for my then-12-year-old son so he could play Minecraft without using ours. It shipped with Windows 8 and he is young and unexperienced enough to not have any prior opinions. And above all else, it was his beloved Christmas laptop, not some random beige box that an employer shoved onto his desk. In other words, this was the best possible scenario for someone to like Windows 8.

Two years later, he despises the desktop with a passion. Sure, his programs run well once he launches them, but everything else is a hassle. It looks weird. Nothing works like the lab computers at school. His friends don't have anything like it. It's obnoxious for the sake of being obnoxious, and I've heard plenty of complaints about Windows itself since we got it. They're good natured and he isn't ungrateful: when I asked him if he liked his laptop, he told me he loves it and it runs great, "but is the next Windows going to be less stupid?"

If you make a UI change and Retirement Joe in the office pool doesn't like it, well, that's probably just Joe being crotchety and close-minded. But what's it say when a malleable early teen who didn't have preconceived notions also thinks it's illogical and weird? I think it says you've done something very, very wrong.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang

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