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Comment: How to totally screw up my ability to code: (Score 1) 167

by tlambert (#49194083) Attached to: Musician Releases Album of Music To Code By

How to totally screw up my ability to code:

(1) Play music
(2) There is no step 2

I find that code is processed through the same part of my brain that processes music. If you play music, my code will go to crap, since I'm trying to do two things with the same set of neurons.

I totally can not understand how people can produce code while listening to music.

OK, I lied; what I can't understand is how people can produce GOOD code while listening to music.

Comment: Apple has been talking about this for a long time. (Score 5, Interesting) 91

by tlambert (#49193889) Attached to: Apple, Google, Bringing Low-Pay Support Employees In-House

Apple has been talking about this for a long time.

You really don't want your security people to be contract workers; they have access, at least at the supervisory level, to all sorts of sensitive areas of your building, including Jony Ive's office in the design wing, where they could happily use their phones to photograph prototypes.

Google began talking about doing this about three years ago, when they switched to the same contract security firm Apple used, and the Apple/Google relationship started to become more and more adversarial on top of that (I knew the supervisory staff, and many of the individual contractors at Apple, and recognized them when they came to work for Google.

I think this is being done more to prevent industrial espionage, than anything else.

At both Apple and Google, we moved our trash outside explicitly sensitive secure areas at night, so that the janitorial staff avoided entry. For a lot of it, it was honor system (if you count being on camera but not having a lurking linebacker ready to take you out if you make a wrong move, as "honor system"), where the secure offices without physical electronic security locks has a red sticky dot placed above the room doorknob to prevent people trying to go in.

This also has dick-all to do with any kind of "gentrification" issues that the article claims, since most of the people I know who worked security lived East Bay, and many of them owned their own houses.

Comment: Not old enough, apparently. (Score 1) 149

by tlambert (#49192597) Attached to: Developers Race To Develop VR Headsets That Won't Make Users Nauseous

I know you're right. It's the fairly-contemporary definition of the word "nauseous" now, due to the length of time it has been used improperly.

I'm just being an old fart.

Not old enough, apparently. If you were a pre-2007 revisionist history "old fart", you'd have two spaces after your period, like the older version of the Chicago Manual of Style demanded, before they pretended that we have always had proportional fonts.

Comment: Dual passports is usually a win. (Score 1) 665

by tlambert (#49192523) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Dual passports is usually a win.

Not only are there some countries that won't like one or the other of your kids citizenships (solution: travel there on the other passport), some countries will give you a really hard time if you try to go there, but have a stamp from another country they don't like.

In addition, if you have a stamp from some countries, other countries won't let you work there. For example, it used to be that if you had an Israeli stamp in your passport, you were barred from Egyptian archeology.

Note that your kids need to do this before they are 18; after 18, they can be required to renounce U.S. citizenship to obtain alternate citizenship, and vice versa; a lot of children of Irish immigrants to the U.S. have found this out the hard way, for example, when they decided after age 18 to claim their Irish heritage, and use that to take advantage of opportunities to study in Europe, rather than going to a U.S. university.

Finally, they can always renounce later, if they become Internet billionaires, like Eduardo Saverin, who the U.S. effectively paid $700M to renounce his citizenship, although there's a 15% "exit tax", so if they go this route, they should do it *before*, rather than *after* the IPO - he'd have been another ~$300M richer if he'd done that and left the country before the actual IPO.

Comment: Re:Custom ... nipples? Actual custom nipples? (Score 1) 60

by tlambert (#49191015) Attached to: Inside the Weird World of 3D Printed Body Parts

TeVido, which aims to 3D print custom nipples

Hmmm ... apparently I am unversed in the realm of custom nipples, as I've never conceived of it before. Is this a thing I've been missing?

Why don't you find a breast cancer survivor who has had a mastectomy and ask her about the subject?

At the same time, you may want to ask why they would be willing to go to a company that can't even spell correctly, to get body parts, given that they've demonstrated poor quality control already.

From the front page of the TeVido web site:

"Our first product is targeted to improve nipple reconstruction and later fill lumpectomies and other fat grating needs."

I suppose that this is supposed to be "fat grafting", unless they plan on pulling a full-on "Dr. Lector", or they are 3D printing parmesan cheese.

Comment: Re:I'm dying of curiousity (Score 1) 170

by tlambert (#49190933) Attached to: Software Freedom Conservancy Funds GPL Suit Against VMWare

So binary only drivers violate the GPL?

No, but they really piss off people who disagree with Linus' interpretation of the GPL when it comes to binary only drivers.

I imagine this case actually hinges on an EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL symbol that VMWare uses, or an API underneath one of those as an API aggregator, to which the aggregator would like to force all sub-APIs to reverse-inherit the label. Which is more or less similar to const-poisoning all the way down.

My expectation is that (1) If there is not explicit user, or (2) it's possible to recompile the drivers, which is what's really in question, that if VMWare themselves don't do the compilation, it's going to be fine.

One of the reasons for bringing this action in the venue where it's being brought is that it's extremely unlikely to get a sympathetic hearing elsewhere, as people will quote Linux ad infinitum, and Helwig would almost certainly lose his case. He may lose anyway, as a matter of "standing", before they even make it to any other arguments.

Comment: Re:I agree. (Score 1) 127

by tlambert (#49183217) Attached to: Physicists Gear Up To Catch a Gravitational Wave

Assuming gravity propagates at the speed of light as a force, rather than being an artifact of space-time, which would mean you don't get any waves. Which we've so far not been able to detect, probably because they don't exist. 8-).

Except for still having to explain the orbital decay of complex objects matching predictions based on GR involving loss of energy due to gravity waves and gravity traveling at the speed of light.

And you don't need a tetrahedron of space craft, just three space craft to confirm or deny the quadrupole nature of gravity waves.

It's a fun gedanken experiment, but I'm not sure the Lisa Pathfinder will be successful; the quadrupole formula requires that the plane of polarization be distinct, and that the orbit be an ellipse. The Lisa experiment has some fundamental assumptions about a collision being the wave source, rather than an orbital source.

It'd totally be a bummer to spend all that money and not see anything because the detector happens to be in a 2D plane coinciding with a detectable event, and the lack of additional planes made it invisible.

Personally, I have to believe that we have a fundamental misunderstanding of something, because we otherwise should have seen them in one of our existing detectors, if they were there to be seen. I don't think the longer baseline Lisa gives us is going to help detect something that we are fundamentally getting wrong somehow.

I used to joke with some of my friends that there's be two great reasons Michelson-Morely might not have shown anything:

(1) The reference frame is sufficiently pinned by the gravity well of the Earth that we don't see any drift through the "luminiferous aether" because we are frame-dragging at a higher degree than the equipment is capable of distinguishing.

(2) The Earth *really is the center of the Universe*, so also: no drift relative to the universe's inertial frame.

It may be that we won't see gravity waves (if any exist) until we get a device pretty far out into interstellar space.

Comment: Re:Yahoo! (Score 1) 106

If Google doesn't want me to be found, then nobody who uses Google will find me on the net.

I shall put a big "Use Yahoo! if you want to find my website" banner on my webstore, that will teach them with their 97% market share!

Alternately... your site could be more relevant, then it would have a higher ranking.

Comment: Re:Yes? (Score 1) 106

The problem he mentioned was that actual phone operators are for example required to build all kind of gouvernment required bells and whistles into their network (emergency calls, independant power supply, wiretapping access...) while Skype don't have to spend that money and therefore can undercut them.

Apparently, you are unaware that German police are already tapping Skype calls...

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington