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Comment: Re:Fix is pretty obvious. (Score 1) 114

The content and attack is only served to people OUTSIDE of China accessing Baidu. People from inside of China aren't affected.

China watches external visibility of Chinese sites. A Chinese site serving pro Tibet/Falun Gong info would get flagged very quickly, especially if the text is sensational and purports to be from a Baidu employe, since the press outside of China isn't going to check their sources very closely, any more than they check any of their sources very closely these days.

So it will at least hit some, if not many, mainstream news channels, especially if it's couched as a "Help! I'm trapped in a Chinese fortune cookie factory!" style message. It depends on how good the story ends up being.

This is a matter of using social engineering Judo against the Chinese attack on GitHub. Don't tell me that GitHub is not (also) used by grey and black hat hackers familiar with social engineering techniques.

The point is to make them look bad for doing the attack, and for the attack itself to participate in making them look bad so that the way to remedy looking bad is to desist the attack.

Comment: Re:Disincentivized (Score 1) 404

by tlambert (#49359673) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

I would include all of those, except UTA, in the "and so on".

It's a bit disingenuous to list out the Ivys while only implying the public schools, considering that the point you were trying to make was that going to a good CS school is expensive and the schools you selectively omitted disprove it.

UCB is pretty expensive, if you are paying out of state tuition. Same for the other schools on our combined list. SJSU, as an example, is relatively cheap.

I'm not saying that you should hire somebody who picked the "Intelligence" and "People" threads and took the least-rigorous classes possible (and thus got a glorified psychology degree) to do embedded device programming, but I am saying that even that guy should be competent enough to understand pointers and therefore be employable by the vast majority of Silicon Valley companies that aren't actually writing OS kernel or firmware-level code.

Georgia Tech with some combo of a high GPA, good internships, lots of extracurriculars, would likely get you an interview. Passing the interview is another matter; it would include whiteboard work in algorithms, and changes to base conditions necessitating changes in the algorithms. How well you planned out the code to be portable to other problems in the first place would bear significantly on your ability to pass.

Comment: The unkempt person in the high level meeting... (Score 3, Insightful) 353

"She always dressed in a way that made people respect her."

That's horrifying.

I'm a middle-aged male. I have waist length hair, a huge beard and never iron anything. I definitely don't dress so people respect me, but people respect me because I am an expert. Why should women have to dress so people respect them to be valid people?

The unkempt person in the high level meeting is either the client or a technical expert.

The client is unkempt because, hey, screw you, you want their business, you put up with them.

The technical expert is unkempt because They Can Get Away With It Because They Are The Expert. It's actually part of their robes of office.

In other professions, there are other uniforms. Finance people always have very expensive clothing because they want to exude an aura of money. Do you trust a finance person in a Grateful Dead T-Shirt? Maybe, if you are scoring weed from them at a concert, but in a business meeting, you expect Warren Buffet will be in his suit and tie.

Everyone else "dresses for success".

Comment: Re:Disincentivized (Score 1) 404

by tlambert (#49356197) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

WTF? The very next requirement after your quote says "3. Proficiency in at least one higher-level language. [CS] ."

Generally, that ends up being something like Java. I am more interested in people who know lower level languages, like C/C++ and ssembly. So are most employers in Silicon Valley.

The bad news is that there's only a handful of places that have these programs, such as Brown, Rice, Stanford, MIT, CMU, and so on.[ ... ]

Bullshit. While there are some expensive good CS undergrad programs, there are also good (relatively) cheap ones at public state universities such as University of California - Berkeley, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor and University of Texas - Austin (and those are just schools in the top 10 -- ranked above the Brown and Rice you mentioned!).

I would include all of those, except UTA, in the "and so on".

UCB is primarily responsible for BSD UNIX. IT's CS department is also not strictly a CS department, it's an EECS department.

UIUC Has CS 241 and 242, among others; it counts a a place that teaches the C language specifically. CS 423 covers Linux kernel programming, which is in C. Note that these classes aren't specifically required for a CS degree, unless you pick the appropriate emphasis, so it's still possible to graduate from here as unhirable.

Georgia Tech has 8 tracks. Pretty much the only hirable ones are the "Devices" and "Systems & Architecture" track. If you too CS4210 and CS4220 as electives on the "Theory" track, you might also do OK. I typically don't mention it because of the low percentage of people who opt for these tracks, compared to the other tracks at this school, so you have to be picky.

UMich I am a great fan of. It was their LDAP implementation and my patches which started OpenLDAP, and they've kept up the tradition. They are also not a traditional CS only program, they are an EECS program, which gives them an advantage. However, they have 7 programs, and it's possible to escape through 2 of them without actually learning to code usefully.

It looks like I should add UTA to the list; CS105 appears to be C++ - an actual, honest to god, language class. Again, it's a degree program elective, but it's heartening to see there, given that ABET wouldn't require it for accreditation.

Thanks for pointing me at UTA. I'll give those resumes a bit more weight, depending on degree track.

Comment: Re:And as an employer... (Score 1) 404

by tlambert (#49355941) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

This is the same suggestion I've made in multiple places, and exactly what I would have gone on to suggest in this thread.

Although, I generally peg the number at 10%. :)

Every time I bring it up to Robert Reich, he gets red in the face and incredibly pissed off, because, while he's now an ivory tower teaching type, and wants companies to hire more Americans, and pay for the social good, he was instrumental in the policy decisions, going back to the Carter administration, which have resulted in the current situation where we are offshoring everything.

I happily bring it up every time he speaks at The Commonwealth Club in SF, if I happen to be attending that particular session, and I have cheerily brought it up at other speaking engagements he's had, as well as on his postings on LinkedIn (which he doesn't make that many of, these days).

Comment: Re:Also, about long term unemployment... (Score 1) 404

by tlambert (#49355907) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

Valid complaints would be that the numbers reported don't include the homeless (although those estimates are gathered elsewhere), you don't understand the report, or that it conflicts with your personal opinion.


The numbers are specifically the number of people who are unemployed long term.

If you want to include the people who have simply stopped looking entirely, the percentage of working age people who were engaged, but are no longer, in the workforce in the U.S. who are not working is much higher.

Feel free to try and spin-doctor this:


The Real Unemployment Rate: In 20% Of American Families, Everyone Is Unemployed

Fact Check: No, ‘Actual’ Unemployment Isn’t 37.2 Percent
(it's "only" more than twice the number reported by the government)

Chart: What’s the real unemployment rate?
(This is the "U-6 rate" - "The U-6 rate covers the unemployed, underemployed and those who are not looking but who want a job.")

Real unemployment rate is at least 18 percent

Missing Workers: The Missing Part of the Unemployment Story
(This is the economic policy institute; they have the lowest "real" estimate, slightly less than 2X what the fed is reporting; they have a somewhat vested interest in casting the numbers lower than the others, as they get more than 1/4 of their funding from labor unions)

Feel free to disagree with them, or cite numbers from sources that don't have a political master to which their numbers are subservient (i.e. "someone other than the DOL").

Comment: Fix is pretty obvious. (Score 2) 114

Fix is pretty obvious.

There are two URLs being hit.

Step 1: Put a reverse proxy cache which serves static pages directly out of RAM from a kernel module in front of GitHuB. If there's nothing like this for Linux, there is for FreeBSD, and it's pretty trivial to set up.

Step 2: At the first URL, serve pro Free Tibet information. At the second URL, serve pro Falun Gong information.

Step 3: Wait for someone in China in charge of the attack to call it off in fear for their life from the government for serving this illegal in China content to everyone in China going to one of the affected web sites that has the javascript injected.

Step 4: (optional) Laugh your ass off as they are sent to a reeducation camp.

Comment: Re:finger pointing (Score 1) 404

by tlambert (#49354213) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

On the contrary. When you factor in the launch costs, it doesn't make sense to use low grade materials to save a tiny bit of money. Instead, solar panels in space use the best materials available for highest possible efficiency for a given mass and/or volume.

I think you haven't worked on space systems. I worked on a Satellite in the 1980's which went up on the shuttle.

(1) You never launch anything "cutting edge"

(2) Top end solar cells have the same problem as unshielded top end microelectronics

(3) You have to "build heavy" in order to survive the launch without damage

(4) You have to hang them out in space where they *will* be smacked by micrometeorites

Basically, you build the best you can with 6-8 year old "proven" technology, and then you expect that it will be an addition 3-4 years out of date by the time it makes orbit.

The designs we've done for satellite systems all assume multijunction Gallium Arsenide photovoltaic cells; for SPS, we've relaxed that, and made up for efficiency with surface area. It's a launch vs. repair vs. energy density trade-off (this is why Hubble used Silicon photovoltaic cells).



See also this paper from the NASA Glenn Research Center, SERT (Space Solar Power Exploratory Research and Technology) program team:

Comment: Also, about long term unemployment... (Score 1) 404

by tlambert (#49353993) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

Also, about long term unemployment...


This table shows that U.S. long term unemployment as of 2012 was 29.3%

My understanding is that it was down somewhat, but that was based on preliminary numbers. Not renewing the Unemployment Insurance Extension in the last federal budget moved some people from short term to long term unemployed as they fell of the unemployment insurance rolls. My numbers were pre this event, so it's possible the number has gone back above 30% at this point in time,

Generally, politicians will avoid renewing Unemployment Insurance extensions prior to midterm elections, since it deflates the DOL statistics, and makes it look like the unemployment situation is getting better, when it really means that those who were counted in the prior accounting are now long term and no longer receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits.

In particular, this was intended to make the Democrats look better relative to the unemployment situation going into the midterms; the Republicans won anyway, so expect the benefits to be extended the next time, and potentially going into the presidential election (it really depends on whether it's more important to make the (now Republican Controlled) congress look bad, or it's more important to make a Democratic presidency look good.

If it's renewed going into the 2016 presidential election, it will mean that the Democrats expect to lose the White House to the Republicans, and the Republicans are intentionally eating a potential loss of congressional seats to attain the White House.

It's basically a balancing act by both parties, and I'd vastly prefer we just use the World Bank numbers, and be done with it, rather than playing political games with people's lives, but there you go...

Comment: Re:And as an employer... (Score 1) 404

by tlambert (#49353877) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

BGI = Basic Guaranteed Income

DOL = Department Of Labor

TPP = Trans-Pacific Partnership
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... (See also the WikiLeaks page)

MFN = Most Favored Nation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... (in this context, it means no unfair labor practices or environmentally based tariffs)

Comment: Re:Invest in workers (Score 1) 404

by tlambert (#49353123) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

If you were older than a Millennial you will remember watching the chicken hatch from the dinosaur egg and KNOW that the egg came before the chicken.

It took a few years of MBAs telling companies to regularly abuse employee loyalty before employees learned to have as little loyalty to the company as the company has to them.


Loyalty is a two-way street. Corporate training programs are part of the quid, not job-hopping is part of the quo.

Regardless of who started touching who first in the back seat on the long road trip, both kids are now sitting on their hands until we get to the next rest stop anyway.

Anyone bitching about "invest in their workers" is deluding themselves that it can be done in isolation, and that said investment doesn't have to be part of an ecosystem, rather than something that can happen in isolation.

That ecosystem largely no longer exists, unless you want to go to work for HP Enterprise Services (the former EDS, founded by Ross Perot), and wear your monkey suit to work in exchange for a funded rather than a cash-balance pension plan, and all of the other 1960's/1970's ERA "job for life" exchanges between the worker and the corporation.

Any training you get isn't really going to be portable. Management training at IBM isn't going to buy you a management position at Apple or Google: it's non-transferrable, and therefore useless outside the context of IBM. Unlike a college degree, which could be just as equally worthless, if you just jumped through the hoops to get the sheep-skin, and didn't bother taking advantage of the situation to learn anything beyond how to pass the tests with a high enough GPA to graduate; at least it's transferrable, if your ass ends up in the unemployment line.

Comment: Re:finger pointing (Score 1) 404

by tlambert (#49353069) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

As long as it get launched into space, where the sunlight is 24/7. Otherwise, come up with a storage system for the 75% of the time ground-based solar won't work as a sole source, or piss off.

LOL. The clueless is telling the experts to piss off.

I'm telling an AC that, smart ass. I tell it to everyone who advocates Solar over nuclear. Solar Power Satellites would be a fantastic thing to build, and they would not have to remain geostationary, they could always be in sunlight, with only the downlink stations being geostationary, or relatively so.

Solar on the ground has two problems:

(1) Government subsidies which make it economical compared to grid power are being phased out; this leaves large thermal-electric solar generation stations like the one Apple is building (based on a "Solar One" style boiler design), and other large generation facilities as being economically viable long term

(2) There's a massive shortage, both politically, and in reality, for the solar-grade silicon (polysilicon) used to manufacture higher efficiency photovoltaic cells. If you don't believe that:

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM)announced duties of between 2.4% and 57% on solar grade polysilicon from the U.S. and South Korea, following on the heels of a similar set of duties imposed on the EU:

This is expected to lead to a 2007-style feedstock shortage:

Warning from GCL Leads to Polysilicon Shortage
(While this one is not current, it's an indicator that financial markets make this an extremely volatile commodity)

DumpWatch: Silicon Tariffs Will Change the US Solar Industry in 2015

By contrast solar cells for use in space can use lower grade materials and still achieve higher efficiencies than in-atmosphere photovoltaic cells, even after we consider microwave transmission losses from orbit to rectilinear ground antenna arrays which are unnecessarily spread out in order to keep the Sierra Club from having kittens.

And yes, we should be building more nuclear plants, for desalination in California, if nothing else.

Comment: Re: Congratulations! (Score 1) 404

by tlambert (#49352983) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

The *employer* isn't valuing the degree more than that. The degree holder (usually) worked very hard for it.

And guess which one has more bargaining power in today's job market?

Is it an English degree? Then the answer is obviously Starbucks.

Is it a CS degree from Brown University? Then you have a bidding war between Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google.

Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side. - Han Solo