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Comment Just wondering about the tags.. (Score 4, Insightful) 179

..but HP?

Is the new printer lineup Lovecraftian? Has Meg Whitman been conducting dark rituals? Is Itanium powered by the souls of the innocent?

Wouldn't MS be more appropriate? I'm pretty sure IE is *actually* powered by the souls of the innocent, and there certainly is something evil about the entire OS lineup.

Comment Re:What about U.S.Citizens (Score 4, Insightful) 108

It isn't that unreasonable to be upset at what the article is about; there are abuses of the OPT visa, and those abuses ought be fixed.

At the same time, it is important to understand what letting foreign students and giving them a shot at employment does. A lot of the US's economic lead comes from the fact that we basically imported the best of Europe's population just prior to and after WWII. The current programs extend this: essentially steal the best and most talented people from around the world by providing them with good opportunities.

I did my graduate work at a large & relatively prestigious state school; I was the only US citizen in my research group. Everyone else was an immigrant. Except for one person who got lucky and won the green card lottery (literally a lottery) while still a student, every single one of them used the OPT visa at some point. They've all gone on to make valuable contributions to the US, as research scientists, faculty, and founders of a start up. The US is better off for them immigrating, and becoming permanent residents.

So you should be angry when there are abuses of these sorts of visa programs. If there's too much abuse, these programs will be cut back, or even cancelled, and we'll stop getting the benefit of stealing the world's most talented people.

Comment Re:Why would anyone be interested in this? (Score 1) 108

Lots of people who really are 'the best and brightest" take OPT; when used correctly it is a "bridge" visa to something more permanent. E.g. a student graduates, takes 90 days (or less) to find a job, starts at an employer under OPT, the employer starts the H-1B application process, and within 6-9 months the students qualifies for H-1B. This is especially useful for people who graduate after the current year's H-1B allotment has run out; they can't possibly successfully apply until the next year, so the extra time OPT provides is critical. Then, from H-1B status, you can apply for a green card, which while it may take a few years depending on your country of origin.

OPT is also one of the visas used for foreign students to do summer internships. It is fairly common for graduate students in the tech industry to do at least one summer internship, which can be done either with an OPT visa or a CPT visa; however, the time limits between the two are somewhat linked, & CPT visa time can eat into one's eligible time for an OPT visa. This is probably the rationale for the extensions.

However, it does seem like the schools listed are abusing the extensions; any employer with a competent HR department can get H-1B approval in a short enough time that the standard 17 month OPT is sufficient. Using the 29 month extended time indicates that the students likely aren't "good enough" to bother with the expense of the H-1B process. I think that many of those taking the extensions aren't good enough to easily qualify for permanent status, but 29 months is better than nothing.

Comment HP EliteBook 8560w (Score 1) 300

It's a business-class laptop with a 15.6" screen, 1920 x 1080 resolution available, decent battery (75 Wh standard), option for an extra detachable extension battery (the BB09 adds an additional 100 Wh), keyboard "feel" reminds me of my IBM model M (although shorter travel), and it has a full numeric keypad.

Comment Re:Nothing to prosecute here - Statute of Limitati (Score 1) 948

20.04(a)(2) is referring to what the attack caused to her. A beating at age 16, no matter how bad, cannot cause cerebral palsy. That she started disabled is relevant to 20.04(c)(3), meaning she meets the prerequisite to be covered under 20.04, but the attack only caused further bodily injury, which is 20.04(a)(3).

As an aside, that brings up an interesting possibility (completely unrelated to the judge here). Suppose Alice beat Bob so badly that Bob became disabled; would the clause in 20.04(c)(3) be relevant? That would probably not be what the legislature intended, but a creative prosecutor and permissive judge could twist it to be so, maybe.

Comment Re:Nothing to prosecute here - Statute of Limitati (Score 1) 948

Yes, she was disabled, per 22.04(c)(3). That makes the offence covered by 22.04, and therefore we can potentially consider the 2 longer SOL terms (longer as in not the default 3 year). However, being disabled does not in and of itself make it a 10 year SOL. The 10 year SOL requires a 1st degree felony (the most serious level); all other offenses under 22.04 are covered by the 5 year SOL.

22.04(e) makes the standard for a 1st degree felony be that it was serious injury (it references only those offenses under 22.04(a) and 22.04(a-1) which have the serious modifier). The standard for serious injury is really high, aka sent to the hospital & crippled for life; it wasn't a serious injury. (e) is the only part of 22.04 that makes anything a 1st degree felony; no other part of 22.04 makes anything higher than a 2nd degree felony. 22.04(f) makes what he did a 3rd degree felony; that is less serious than 1st degree. The longer stature of limitations requires it be 1st degree under 22.04. No serious injury implies not 1st degree under 22.04, implies 5 years is the longest SOL.

I notice you did reference some sections of Texas family statute, and you implied that they had bearings on the penalty. I looked, but those just seemed to be definitions; if you still consider them relevant could you re-cite, including year?

Another possibility is that you believe that the offense is indeed covered by 22.04(a)(1) or 22.04(a)(2), rather than 22.04(a)(3). (a)(2) seems most likely, since the legislature does not seem to have crisply defined serious mental injury. However, in comparison to the difference between bodily injury and serious bodily injury, a "serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury" would have to be pretty bad, and claiming there was one would seem to be quite a stretch.

Another possibility is that you looking at a different version of the SOL statute; I'm looking at the summary of it that you linked too at under the presumption it is what you're using.

Finally, it could be a different version of the Texas penal code; I'm using which seems to be updated for at least as far as 2009. Note that the (a) subheadings are included immediately under the main section heading; bad formatting on the part of whoever assembled the statutes.

Comment Re:Nothing to prosecute here - Statute of Limitati (Score 1) 948

Khyber has posted that the statute of limitations is not up multiple times, and done so in highly rated comments. While what the judge did was wrong, the statute of limitations does seem to be up under a careful reading of the statutes. Khyber is pointing out the 10 year limitation for injury to a disabled individual, but is ignoring the specific requirements.

From the statute of limitations link Khyber posted, we have a 10 year and a 5 year term for injury to a disabled individual:

Ten Years- theft of any estate by an executor/administrator. Theft by a public servant of government property, Forgery. Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual punishable as a felony of the first degree under Section 22.04, Penal Code; Sexual assault, unless there is DNA evidence or if the victim is under 18. Arson;

Five Years
Theft, burglary, robbery; kidnapping; injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual that is not punishable as a felony of the first degree under Section 22.04, Penal Code; abandoning or endangering a child; or insurance fraud;

So, it is only 10 years if is a felony of the first degree under 22.04. Any other felony (under 22.04) would have a 5 year statute of limitations. From the part of section of 22.04 that talks about what sort of felony various things are:

(e) An offense under Subsection (a)(1) or (2) or (a-1)(1) or (2) is a felony of the first degree when the conduct is committed intentionally or knowingly. When the conduct is engaged in recklessly, the offense is a felony of the second degree.
(f) An offense under Subsection (a)(3) or (a-1)(3) or (4) is a felony of the third degree when the conduct is committed intentionally or knowingly, except that an offense under Subsection (a)(3) is a felony of the second degree when the conduct is committed intentionally or knowingly and the victim is a disabled individual residing in a center, as defined by Section 555.001, Health and Safety Code, or in a facility licensed under Chapter 252, Health and Safety Code, and the actor is an employee of the center or facility whose employment involved providing direct care for the victim. When the conduct is engaged in recklessly, the offense is a state jail felony.
(g) An offense under Subsection (a) is a state jail felony when the person acts with criminal negligence. An offense under Subsection (a-1) is a state jail felony when the person, with criminal negligence and by omission, causes a condition described by Subsection (a-1)(1), (2), (3), or (4).

So it is only a felony of the first degree if it is 22.04(a)(1) or (a)(2) (section (a-1) is about caregivers in institutions, and so doesn't apply). What does 22.04(a) say?

Sec. 22.04. INJURY TO A CHILD, ELDERLY INDIVIDUAL, OR DISABLED INDIVIDUAL. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, by act or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly by omission, causes to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual:
(1) serious bodily injury;
(2) serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury; or
(3) bodily injury.

The difference between (a)(1), (a)(2), and (a)(3) is "serious". Many jurisdictions would use "grievous", but its the same thing: a pretty nasty injury. What specifically does Texas mean, though? For that, we look to Chapter 1 of the penal code, specifically 1.07, "Definitions":

(46) "Serious bodily injury" means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

Nobody is alleging that the beating required a trip to the hospital, medical care, permanent disfigurement, or anything else that would indicate it was serious bodily injury, rather than bodily injury. This is, at worst, an offence under 22.04(a)(3). It could also be an offence under 22.01(a)(1) (that is, assault), which is a class A misdemeanor. There are a lot of ways to upgrade your assault listed, but none of them to first degree, and regardless the statute of limitations boost requires that it be specifically for an offence in 22.04. None of the boosts seem to apply, anyway. 22.01(b)(2), dealing with family relationships, has the requirement of a previous conviction under subsection (A), or that there be choking, per subsection (B). 22.01(b-1) could also apply, but it requires all 3 conditions of family, previous conviction, and choking (the legislature having specifically included the and as the last bit of 22.01(b-1)(2)).

And that is probably enough detail for now...

In short, statutes of limitations are typically very short. If someone beat you to within an inch of your life and crippled you forever, unless you were a protected class, the limit is only 3 years in Texas. It is a pity this didn't come out 2 years ago. But since there wasn't serious bodily injury, it looks like only a 3rd degree felony, and the limit is only 5 years.

Comment Re:The legal system at it's finest. (Score 1) 948

It is only a 1st degree felony if it causes "serious" injury (as per 22,04(e), referring to offenses (a)1 and (a)2). Since nobody went to the hospital or required medical care, it probably falls under 22.04(a)3, which is not a 1st degree felony, per 22.04(f), but only a 2nd degree (if in a care institution) or 3rd degree (otherwise) felony. Injury to a disabled person which is not a 1st degree felony has a 5 year statute of limitations (per your original statute of limitations link).

Regardless or the injury to a disabled person, it is not injury to a child, since the cutoff there is 14 years of age.

There doesn't seem to be anything he did criminally which hasn't expired. On the other hand, there is no statute of limitations for pissing off your electorate...

Comment A list (Score 1) 314

Firefox came from mozilla, which came from netscape, which came from NCSA Mosiac; done by Marc Andreessen at UIUC.

The LLVM compiler & runtime are both university projects from Vikram Adve @ UIUC.

VMWare came from SimOS, via Mendel Rosenblum of Stanford.

Coverity come from the work of Dawson Engler's students at Stanford.

BerkeleyDB started from work by Margo Seltzer at Berkeley.

Kerberos was done by Steve Miller and Clifford Neuman at MIT.

The Lustre filesystem is due to Peter Braam at CMU.

For a long time a lot of OSes used TCP/IP implementations out of academia (either Stanford, Berkeley, or University College London, depending).

Apache started as a series of patches against NCSA's HTTPd code (UIUC again).

PostgreSQL started from Ingres, which is from Micheal Stonebraker's group at Berkeley.

And now I'm bored looking these up. Let's just say there is a LOT of software that came out of academia.

Comment Re:I am attending Western Washington University as (Score 5, Interesting) 298

Speaking as somebody who has seen what sort of things can happen in campus politics, I see three reasons for what is going on.

1) The department of CS has become... clogged... with under-performing faculty..
2) The administration is playing a brinkmanship game with those above them.
3) The administration is incompetent.

Now, I've listed these in order of most likely to least likely. The administration could be incompetent, but do you really believe anyone could be that stupid? There may be a lot of liberal arts majors, but those are the money sinks; the smart money on alumni donations is still engineers, doctors, and lawyers. Rather than the administration being stupid, there are other explanations, which are far more likely.

They could be playing a political brinkmanship game. I wouldn't be surprised if the plan to close the CS department is just a threat, and nothing more. It would make sense; in a time of mild to moderate budget crisis, it is not uncommon to threaten to cut something popular in order to garner more money for other things. If the threat was to cancel the history department, would there be a big stink? Absolutely not (unless there are a bunch of history buffs in the state senate... who knows? Maybe sports psychology, or sociology, or some other useles.... I meant, less practical... major).

It is very unfortunate, but I think that the most likely reason for this is that the faculty in the CS department are not up to snuff. It could well be that they are, collectively, getting older and tireder, and just not putting the effort into teaching that they could be. It could also be that they just weren't that good to begin with. But, what I think may be the case, is that the CS department is populated by... faculty from an older time. Faculty who, when they were hired, it was a rock solid CV if they had a single top-tier publication. When they got tenure, a solid case had 1 top tier publication plus a smattering of lesser accomplishments. WWU's faculty could think a wonderful accomplishment is a single pub a year.

That is to say, WWU could possibly be staffed by professors who would be laughed out of the room if they tried to defend a thesis today. It isn't that they weren't worthy when they were hired; it is just that standards have gone way up. I personally have a better publication record now than Randy Pausch (famous for "The Last Lecture") had when he was made a full prof; I don't even rate an interview at top schools today. WWU may simply be looking at what they have, and then looking at what the supply of desperate fresh grads are, and deciding that the logical thing to do is to wipe the slate clean, keep maybe one or two of the old faculty, but to otherwise start fresh with, talented, sharp, bright-eyed, and coincidentally desperately eager, newly minted faculty. I've seen it happen at much more prestigious institutions.

Classic Games (Games)

M.U.L.E. Is Back 110

jmp_nyc writes "The developers at Turborilla have remade the 1983 classic game M.U.L.E. The game is free, and has slightly updated graphics, but more or less the same gameplay as the original version. As with the original game, up to four players can play against each other (or fewer than four with AI players taking the other spots). Unlike the original version, the four players can play against each other online. For those of you not familiar with M.U.L.E., it was one of the earliest economic simulation games, revolving around the colonization of the fictitious planet Irata (Atari spelled backwards). I have fond memories of spending what seemed like days at a time playing the game, as it's quite addictive, with the gameplay seeming simpler than it turns out to be. I'm sure I'm not the only Slashdotter who had a nasty M.U.L.E. addiction back in the day and would like a dose of nostalgia every now and then."

Comment Re:Interesting Geographical reference (Score 4, Informative) 582

Cost is a factor, but not really the dominant one.

In the midwest, the big deal is insulation. Wood-frame cavity walls are better at insulating than brick. 4 inches of brick has an r-value of .44 while 3/4 inch plywood uninsulated by itself is .93; try looking it up if you don't believe it. A typical modern wood frame exterior wall has an r-value of 12, when the air barrier, sheathing, air gaps, cavity insulation, etc. are all considered. Hence in the midwest, with the extreme continental weather, nobody builds in brick (although you'll see brick facade). As for tornado proofing, standard masonry is insufficient. Some people pay gobs of money for a single tornado proof room, which involves steel reinforced cinder-block construction; most people just dig a basement.

On the west coast, building code typically requires either steel frame or sheathed wood structure (wood frame covered entirely by plywood or oriented strand board). You do not want to be in or near a traditional masonry structure in an earthquake. Sheathed wood frame has far better quake resistance, and is considered highly survivable for high-magnitude quakes up to 3 stories tall without anything more than paying attention to making sure it is sheathed all the way around and tie down to the foundation & between floors.

That wood frame happens to be quite inexpensive is nice bonus, but not the whole reason.

Comment Summary is factually wrong; daily limit is 4000mg (Score 2, Informative) 631

2000mg is not the daily limit for acetaminophen; 4000mg is. 2000-3000 is the limit for "at risk" populations (e.g. existing liver disease). The linked article doesn't even mention a dosage limit. You can take your 2 Percocets and 2 extra strength Tylenol and still be under the dose limit; that's only 2300 mg even with the high-dose Percocets.

It's one thing to be concerned about an overdose and set a dose limit; it's a completely different thing to arbitrarily lop the max dose in half to cause hysteria.

Comment Not quite as impressive as it sounds (Score 4, Informative) 139

Google's sorting results from last yeat (link) are much faster; they did a petabyte in 362 minutes, or 2.8 TB/sec. They minute sort didn't exist last year, but Google did 1TB in 68 seconds last year, so I think it may be safe to assume that they could do 1 TB in under a minute this year. Google just hasn't submitted any of their runs to the competition.

From the sort benchmark page, the list the winning run as Yahoo's 100TB run, leaving out the 1PB run; that implies the 1PB run didn't conform to the rules, or was late, or something.

People have commented that this is a "who has the biggest cluster" competition; the sort benchmark also includes the 'penny' sort, which is how much can you sort for 1 penny of computer time (assuming your machine lasts 3 years), and 'Joule' sort, how much energy does it take you to sort a set amount of data. Not surprisingly, the big clusters appear to be neither cost efficient nor energy efficient.

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