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Comment Re:even stopping it won't stop it. (Score 1) 305

I've never seen a successful software project where the entire application was written overseas.

It's because you've never looked for any:

HP's OpenView has been developed in India and it continues being a pretty lucrative piece of SW for HP

The Big Game Hunter series has been developed for Activision in Slovakia for over a decade now and seems to be pretty successful in its niche

Battlestations: Pacific was developed by Eidos Hungary and again seemed to be successful with its target crowd

The super successful indie FTL game was developed in China by a team of former 2K China employees

Comment Warnings (Score 3, Insightful) 345

There is no single one thing to look for, because what you really want is EXPERIENCE with C++ programming and that encompasses a lot of things. But if you want an easy test to see if somebody has got enough experience, get some code sample that produces a lot of different warnings at compilation time and have them explain what the warnings mean and how one should get rid of them.

Submission + - Russian troops traced to Ukrainian battlefields through social media

wienerschnizzel writes: Vice News released a report on how they were able to trace a member of the regular russian army from his base near the Ukriainian border towards the battlefields in the contested territory in eastern Ukraine and back to his home in Siberia using the pictures he uploaded on his social media profile.

The methodology used is based on a report by the Atlantic Council think tank released earlier this year, that asserts that information on the movement and operations of the regular russian troops can be easily gathered from publicly available sources (such as the social media).

The russian government still denies any involvement of russian troops in the fights in Ukraine.

Comment Re:Assets valuation? (Score 1) 335

And it's not only about intellectual properties. I find that the value of a company lies in large part in the capabilities of its employees, in their productivity, in the ability to adapt to new conditions, in the efficiency of management and the expediency of making decisions and so on. None of these can be readily evaluated. But the stock market still looks for these values to a degree.

For instance, Apple's stock value fell when Steve Jobs died as the shareholders probably fellt that an important manager/designer/marketer left the company for good. But did Jobs count in the proclaimed "actual assets value" of the company in the "Q-value"? Don't think so...

The fact that the Q-Value is so close to 1 would indicate that either the companies are undervalued or that they are inefficient poorly managed monstrosities worth only their liquidation value.

Comment Not impressed (Score 2) 287

I have read the article and I don't see the connection. A 1980's IBM PC without an operating system is just a noisy and expensive room heater. A 2000's Toyota without "general purpose platform software" will still get you any place you want safely and efficiently. What kind of added value is such an automotive software platform supposed to offer?

Well, the author provides a list:

- Keeping drivers consistently and happily surprised with new services.
- Taking advantage of usage patterns to help customers become better drivers.
- Offering reasonable, consumption-based insurance and maintenance packages.
- Treating their dealerships like genius bars, not check-out counters.
- Making cars that can talk intelligently with your home and your office.

None of those sound too compelling for me and they certainly can't beat the operating system's pitch of "being able to use the friggin machine at all".

Comment Re:lol, Rand sucking up to the dorks (Score 4, Informative) 206

You are grossly misrepresenting the problem. The fact is that Schwartz was facing 13 federal felony counts in the indictment. That's nothing you can just wave off as a minor inconvenience.

Even if he had pleaded guilty and the prosecutor only sought a two year sentence overall, the sentencing would be at the discretion of the judge - the prosecutor can only recommend things. And judges have proven to a) be prone to displays of political show-offs of being "hard on crime" and b) have a poor understanding of the real severity of technology-related crimes. That means to a judge without tech understanding (which is most of them) a one year sentence pro federal felony served consecutively might seem lenient and 2-5 years pro felony might seem as a "good message to digital criminals"

Aaron Schwartz was facing a threat much more serious than you make it out to be

Comment Re:A first: We should follow Germany's lead (Score 1) 700

As a programmer, how would you write a function that returns a boolean value: "is this church a legitimate non-profit?"

There actually is a simple function - do the recipients of your charitable work have to pay for the charitable things you provide them? If yes, then you are not a non-profit. If your charity is providing shelter for the homeless, but they have to pay 10 bucks per night for the bunk-bed, you are not non-profit. If your mega-church is providing "healing for the sick", but they have to pay $200 to enter, you are not a non-profit. Or in the least - this part of your income should be taxed, even though independent voluntary donations should not. Thinly veiled "voluntary" donations that are actually mandatory should be dealt with as any other tax evasion practices.

Comment Re:A first: We should follow Germany's lead (Score 1) 700

* A large national charity with a well-paid CEO who effectively uses their resources to do amazing things: True * A large national charity with a well-paid CEO who isn't very effective, but everyone agrees means well: True? * A large national charity with a well-paid CEO who doesn't effectively uses their resources: Um...

AFAIK, non profits still have to pay employee taxes such as medicare and social security and the CEO himself is subject to income taxes, because you can't be a 'non profit person'. So the amount of pay the CEO is getting should not be an issue.

* A large national charity with a well-paid CEO who doesn't effectively uses their resources: Um...

That would mean that they are paying some third parties too much money for stuff. Such as for overpriced cleaning service. In that case though, the income of the cleaning service is taxed, so it's no issue for the tax payer - just for the people who donate to the charity that does not do enough charitable work with their money.

Comment Re:Way too many humanities majors (Score 1) 397

I don't think you understand what engineers do

Solving equations and applying them to a requirement isn't "critical thinking".

Solving equations and applying them to a requirement? How is that even suppose to work? That's not how scientists or engineers work.

Critical thinking is knowing when and when not to apply those equations where there are no scientific theories to fall back on.

When there are no scientific theories to fall back on? Again, this is not how science or engineering works. It just does not happen that a researcher or a techie would find herself in a scientific-theory-less void with an equation on her hand considering whether to apply it or not. If you find yourself in that position you are not doing STEM.

The study of humanities can provide something called "perspective", which I find lacking in a lot of otherwise intelligent people who happen to be engineers. You can be excellent at engineering and make a product that no one wants to use and have your job shipped off to someone who is equally good at logic and solving equations, but whose education is limited to rote learning of STEM with hilarious results when they are faced with a requirement that necessitates the least bit of critical thinking.

Sorry, but this is just all wrong. First of all - studying humanities will not give you that kind of perspective, as in - understanding what kind of product will be successful. Paul Graham, for instance, studied philosophy and arts before switching to programming and his first big project - online galleries still ended up not being used by anyone.

You see, there are different kind of "perspectives". In humanities, you might learn the "historical", "philosophical", "anthropological", etc. perspective and none of them will help you understand much what products people want to use. That kind of understanding comes with experience in the business.

Second, don't assume people overseas are dumb and incapable of critical thinking. That's really arrogant.

Steve Jobs famously dropped out of college, but dropped in to take things like calligraphy courses. You needed good engineers at Apple to make a product, but you needed good designers and people willing to think... uh... differently about problems to make their product valuable to humans above and beyond their immediate technical capabilities. There are people who will buy an iPhone over a more modern and capable Android device because Apple is actually looking at more than pure engineering in making a device.

So where are all the other tech leaders with humanities degrees giving them the extra advantage? Bill Gates does not have one, nor does Elon Musk. Hewlett and Packard? Page and Brin? Lee Kun-hee? Jeff Bezos? None of them have one. I'm not saying that you can't have a humanities degree in order to be successful, it's just if you care to apply your precious critical thinking on your own statements you'll find that Jobs is kind of an outlier in the top tier of tech innovation.

I like solving problems that have clear answers and applying those answers. However, I derive a whole lot more satisfaction in what I do by being able to put it into the perspective of history and the human condition.

That sounds like hubris. I don't know who you are and what you do in real life but judging by your prose here, you don't seem like a person who needs to have his work put into the perspective of history and the human condition just yet. Don't sweat it - if it's good enough, other people are going to do that for you.

Comment Re:Consider the alternative question (Score 1) 496

Not sure how you can make this conclusion based on the Vermont study. I haven't seen the video but looked at the study itself - here it is.

The study was never designed to determine how much calorie intake is going to result in a fixed amount of weight gain or to determine whether there is a limit to weight gain. It didn't do appropriate controls in order to research that (such as control the anxiety levels, activity etc.). It was designed to study the mechanisms in by which the body stores new weight and also how it gets rid of excess weight (their weight loss was controlled as well.)

Their input was rigorously controlled (being prisoners), and their exercise regimen was pretty easy to monitor and control. Most of them gained weight, but almost none of them nearly as much as the standard "3500 kCal is a pound of fat" Standard Model would predict. Several plateaued on weight gain, and a few lucky (?) prisoners were *never* able gain 10% of their body weight when eating nearly 10,000 Calories a day. Simply couldn't do it.

Wrong! Pretty much all of what you write here:
- all 5 subjects gained weight just fine as expected
- the amount of weight gain per calorie intake was never measured
- nobody "plateaud"

Go read the study for yourself!

Comment Re:Really? .. it comes with the job (Score 1) 772

Torture is useless as an intelligence tool.

There have been instances in the history where torture has proven to be a helpful intelligence tool. The most notorious one has been that of General Jacques Massu using torture to completely uproot the leadership of the National Liberation Front in the Battle of Algiers. Massu has attributed his success to his technique of using torture hand in hand with extensive classic intelligence work.

The problem there was not that torture wouldn't work - it did, but it had some unpleasant side effects. You would inescapably end up torturing innocent people - but even torturing just the 'guilty' destroys your PR. The French ended up alienating the general population of Algiers (even more than before the incidents) and eventually had to leave the country. Meaning that torture helped them to win the battle but it had cost them the war.

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly

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