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Comment: Re:Cause, or effect? (Score 1) 321

by vanye (#49376517) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

I think there's probably more it it than that.

When we grew up (rural England in the early 70s) we had what would now be called a highly nutrious diet - we grew all our own "organic" vegetables (we got cow shit for free, pesticides cost money) and had chickens (fresh eggs daily). Ended up only buying meat and milk...

So did my cousins next door.

They were certainly richer than us - it seemed a lot, but it probably wasn't...

Only my sister and I went to university (the only people to have done in any generation), they took low level white collar jobs (bank teller/hairdresser)

Nature certainly has a hand in it, but I think its more likely nurture that has the bigger hand.

Comment: Lets all congratulate Oisin Tymon (Score 1) 660

by vanye (#49348195) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

For taking one for the team. He single handedly managed to do what India, Argentina, Mexico, the British Labour party couldn't.

And all he had to do was be incompetent at his job - his job, quite simply is to get the best from the show.

Congratulations Oison.

Or should it be Judas ?

Seriously, I'm torn - I love the show, but obviously the BBC had to fire him. I'm hoping that the boys take their antics to a new channel where they have more freedom to give the viewers the show they want - not what the BBC allows them to do in its pitifully correct public broadcaster role. I don't think that would be ITV or even Sky.

I'd really like to see them move to Netflix - they have the money and "freedom" to do what they want with less political climate since its not a broadcaster in the traditional sense (public service requirements).

It might also be an interesting avenue for the the intellectual challenge of "can we do this"... Its never too late to do a start-up...

Comment: Re: Or maybe it's because (Score 2) 114

by vanye (#49288797) Attached to: Stanford Study Credits Lack of Non-Competes For Silicon Valley's Success

Yes its a two edged sword - you can leave, but you can also be fired for no reason.

I know prefer to work in a free environment than an English manufacturing company where the union was in control....

But that's me... others maybe are lazy/stupid and prefer to work somewhere that has no risks and no gains and expect others to look after them...

Comment: Re:Why Choose? Run linux on a mac (Score 2) 385

by vanye (#49288727) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Laptop To Support Physics Research?

Third (with caveat) this.

I'd suggest a (retina) Mac Book Pro - not an Air.

Since its not upgradable - get the most CPU/memory/disk you can afford.

I have the 15inch - but only because I wanted quad core (I expected to run VMs). In the end I don't run VMs - so the 13" would have been better for me with hindsight.

If I want to work on Linux (all my code runs on Linux) I just ssh into the build machine, MacVim runs local over SMB to the Linux host. Works well for me. I've ported the Linux code to Mac as an exercise - but still use the Linux version everyday.

Check the talking heads physicists on TV - you'll often see a Mac and I bet its not running Linux.

Anything that gets between you and your end-game (physics) is adding an inefficiency. If you're end-game is FOSS, then install Linux, if its leaning physics do you really want to waste time on in-efficienies - just run OS X.

Comment: Re:How do you Determine if you are rich? (Score 2) 760

I agree. Who gets to decide - the majority.

Why don't we pick on the top 2% - not just the top 1%, that's fair, they almost as rich...

Hang on, we can get the top 10%, no - the top 49%.

That's it - those rich 49% bastards.... They're all morally bankrupt...make them pay...

Here's my rule - if you don't pay the tax/fine you don't get to vote on it.

How is it fair to vote on a tax that you don't have to pay ?

Everyone thinks that of course it will be different for them (everyone is of course above average morally) - bullshit it isn't. Just try writing a (extra) cheque to CA for $40k and see how you feel about it...its your hard-earned money that you have to hand over to the state because the majority thought it would be great to have a tax they don't have to pay... Obviously the issue isn't important enough that everyone should contribute towards it...

Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 1) 734

by vanye (#49194473) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

I agree, it's what I'd do for my kids.

It' seems to be a lot cheaper and easier to renounce citizenship that to get it the hard way - h1b +5 years.

Taxes only become an issue when you have investments, if you just have employment income filing a 1040 is easy - no state taxes...

It's their life, the best you can do for them is to give them opportunities, I'd say that giving your kid the right to work in the US at any point in their life is is a worth a bit of paperwork...if they want to give up that right it's their call...

Richard - originally UK citizen, then added USA, married USA citizen, now living in UK but working in USA. Trying to coordinate UK and US taxes makes my accountants bill probably higher than most people's tax bill :-(

Comment: Re:How about using a whiteboard? (Score 3, Informative) 164

by vanye (#49154761) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Whiteboard Substitutes For Distributed Teams?

We use two E-Beam Edges, one in the US (with projector) and one in the UK (large TV).

I'm pretty happy with them - I'd recommend them.

Coupled with video-conferencing using TelyHD gives use an effective remote office presence in the UK.

It means I can still participate in interactive design meetings while I'm in the UK.

Comment: Re:It's a vast field.... (Score 1) 809

by vanye (#49049317) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?

As a hiring manager I see this all the time.

If you put something on your resume that you consider a "skill", we will ask questions on it. If the interviewee then doesn't know the answer on something that they have declared they think they are good at - what confidence would I have about things that I might assume I don't need to ask questions on (i.e. can you handle command line build systems)

One of the last people put HTTP as a skill and then didn't know/explain how one might architect handling a long running request with HTTP....

Part of me wonders if open source and now apps, while democracizing software development has harmed the profession.

After working for two years, I had a software engineer that didn't even know where in the system to start looking for a given filename.

20years ago with a couple of years experience I could recognize where I was in each of the files in the Motif source tree - just by its line indentation. Why ? because I was interested in all software - not just my little bit....

And no - Motif isn't on my resume anymore :-(

Comment: What is a "software shop" ? (Score 1) 176

by vanye (#48442099) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Practices For Starting and Running a Software Shop?

Sounds like thats a consultancy company.

I've only ever founded product companies.

Here's how we did it.

  1. Socialize, find other people around you that have complementary skills and who also are interested in doing their own company (our first company had an general business person, a PhD and an engineer)
  2. brainstorm, find gap in the market, find new product idea.
  3. make big decision to quit current job
  4. form company to hold IP and who owns what - this requires an initial set of capital - $20k. No IP - then what is your value ?
  5. Develop prototype. I (engineer) started working on prototype full time (using my savings to pay expenses), business person started building product contacts/approaching customers...
  6. As prototype develops consider external funding (VC) (until now we were self funded, CEO funded lawyers, I funded my own time - compensated in additional stock). Additional part-time developers were brought for stock. There should be people you know (and trust) - they will be the seed of the engineering organization. We had 2-3 - more and I would spend too much time managing.
  7. Once we had funding, bring on existing developers full time, start looking for additional engineers.
  8. Release initial product (4months after funding - 15 months after initial line of code written)

Key take away - a start-up is hard, you need to work with people you trust. If you're an engineer by inclination, stay in engineering, your start-up is not the time to be experimenting with new roles, you'll have enough to do just making sure your piece works since you're in charge... Remember that you're responsible for others giving up their secure jobs and committing to work for your idea, treat them with respect and share the wealth unequally but fairly (yes, unequally you've taken additional risk, they haven't).

Second followed a similar route

The actual tools are just details, you should be spending all your time working out how do we make this successful - not should we force highly motivated developers to use EMACS...or vi or

Its not important unless your product is EMACS....

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein