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Comment He needs an upgrade. (Score 1) 289

It's truly amazing what having to think before you speak can accomplish.

If I remember correctly he was stuck on some long discontinued TI speech synthesis chip. I remember the initial story when they first did it in particular because I also was playing with a similar part at the time in High School.
Finding parts and people has to be getting difficult.

At the same time I can completely understand him not wanting to upgrade his system, from the GUI he's used very successful for 25 years or Voice that has now become that trademark of Steven Hawking's.

Well I am thinking we should be able to emulate that whole system including the speech syntheses. Worst case it can be done as a series of recordings from the original chip.

Maybe do it as a Kickstarter project or something, do the whole thing open source. Surely there must be others with this problem.

I can imaging upgrading him to AR goggles with eye tracking, that's all off the shelf today. Then in to a little Mini PC or ARM board, and nothing but software.

With something like that we should be good till we get direct brain interfaces and quantum computing wrist watches in another 25 years, if he still even needs it.

Comment Yahoo was working on Something like this. (Score 2) 79

I interviewed with them down in Santa Monica maybe 4 years back. They had hired the WinAmp guys and they were working on a media player with HTML integration in it. It really didn't seem like all that good of an idea.

HTML 5 Makes most of that obsolete and most of what I see people doing like Apps, Flash, download players etc.

To be honest, I only have a Yahoo Account just for IM and have never even looked to see what they are doing with Music these days.

I still think the Original Napster was the best service, if there were such a service for a flat rate I'd be a happy camper.

Comment Here is what's happening. (Score 1) 839

The Tsunami that is the Internet has washed over industry after industry as it's speed and reliability has improved. TV now finds itself the next set of businesses suddenly knee deep in an ocean of rising cheap bandwidth. How will they fair compared to their fellow media companies that lived a little lower down in bandwidth requirements such as the newspapers, music labels, and telephone companies?

Now toss in Moore's law and how I have a camera in my phone that can shoot HD video and edit and distribute and do a better job then I ever could 15 years back with $20K worth of gear.

Change will be coming.

Internet Video has been my life's work.
I write a blog on this


Submission + - Occupy Inside (

John Sokol writes: "(O) It's great that people are sitting outside in the Freezing cold in New York in November, but we are in the Internet age. Then only to get harassed by the authorities. We can do a lot more digitally on the Internet and with Software then we every could outside in a courtyard.

Yes, we needed that to wake more of us up, but we are in 2011 and have better tools at hand.

I propose that we start a campaign where we can post a symbol for the occupy movement that we show support, something we can put on bumper stickers, web sites, blog posts, our facebook page. Something other then the Anonymous Logo. I am proposing the logo I on the site or a somewhat modified version of it. The O surrounding the text is something I like.

Maybe placing an (O) preceding each facebook post, Blog Post and tweet. And share this information with other. Nudge Nudge Pass it on."

Comment Generation of Random Number from PING (Score 1) 189

I have been using the network for a source of randomness for years. Another good source is the Hard Drives internal servo coefficients, or a TV Stations video or radio station in to an Audio card. If people bug me maybe I will write that up too. On a Linux box this is simple. But bash isn't well suited for audio processing. (although it's possible) For the video in you need C code.

Comment Does not compute! (Score 1) 195

You only get one shot with a hardware vendor like this. Most people *besides Microsoft* can't get away with burning hardware vendors.

These guys at Google live in a Google world, they think Google, breath Google, live Google and can't possibly imagine why people outside the Google Sphere aren't as excited about what they are doing as they are.

Someday Google may learn about Memetics and it's not about matching technical specifications and requirments.
You'd think they would because they are in a key position and have no idea how to capitalize on it.

Comment Re:It's organized Cheating!!! (Score 1) 743

You can look at it as Google is, by it's very nature the ultimate cheating engine. The answer to every test and homework assignment right at the tips of your fingers.

Or you could also think of it as Augmented Intelligence, which would also be true. It's an amazingly powerful tool which feels like it's part of my brain at this point. Only limited by bandwidth which is typing speed + modem. Seriously, why do I need to know it if I can just Google it. It's almost as good as knowing it. So I can then focus my mental energy and learning on things I can't look up. This is paraphrasing something Einstein once said.

So it just depends on your definition of cheating.

Where is that line? Is bringing a calculator to the math test cheating or required. I really depends on the class and the teacher rules.

I guess I am of the assumption that if I am going to ask someone a question I want their answer and not the one they looked up a few hours ago. At least if my goal is to assess them.

Otherwise, let them Google for the answers right there in the Interview. That would be kinda cool actually.

Comment Re:Hi John! (Score 1) 743

Hey Terry,

      Great to hear from you. I have tried reaching you several times over the years with no response.

      Come join my band of Pirates sailing the seven seas, we plan to pwn the matrix and all the booty that come with it.

      Seriously I am just around the block in Alviso, we should do lunch, you can bring some other l33t c0d3rs down too.
      We are going to make to exobucks maybe even a googol but you'd have to leave Google.

    Shoot me an E-mail john sokol at gmail dot com.

      Say it ain't so, the Googletologists got you too.
      Novel, Apple and now Google, you've always been part of that group think. (Jesse says Hi, he pointed that out)

> This whole thread has been pretty bogus.
Not at all. It's just a matter of perspective, you just can't see if from inside the Googlesphere.

> Google doesn't use brain teasers in interviews
I have had it and a number of commenters have also, there are numerous articles on the listing these "brain teasers" from Google Interview. So your own search engine will testify to the non bogarity of this thread. Maybe it's not company wide, or has stopped in the past few years.

> tell whether or not you have critical thinking skills.
Critical thinking is overrated. ;)

> learn anything about memory layout or how pointers work, and without understanding that, you have no hope of understanding what it is your compiler is doing to your source code,
Very true, but it's nearly impossible for me to be sociable at an interview and be the introverted super hacker at the same time, it's take some mental preparation for me to change hats. Meditation, etc. When I am in full tilt programming mode, I am unable to communicate with people with little more then gestures and guttural sounds. I am sure it freaks people out. Which is why I am best left to a dark cave or more recently a desolate beach while I am VooDoo'ing like that.

> just to get a warm body to fill a cubicle
Yup 100 watts each, they should use them for powering the servers, like in the Matrix movies.

> are heading back to school to get the paper
And it that papers is going to make then better programmers?

You and I know, either your brain is wired for it or not. Then it's just a matter of the having the data stored in ones biological neural network to be able orient ones self in the problem space. If you can do that you don't need logic, it's more like looking under the sink and seeing "Oh there is your leaky pipe" It's just obvious how how to solve it. Logic has got to be hardwired in to your brain or your hopelessly lost.

> a demonstration of actual problem solving skills
> any good technical interview
Again it's hard to demonstrate the full Monty on demand.
For one I am very used to working in a specific way, on screen and CLI, I am antisocial when in that mindspace.
As soon as an Interviewer makes me nervous it's over for me. Blood sugar goes to hell and room starts spinning. It's one of the reason's we are computer people. Because we suck at human interaction.

You want a fair test of skill then send someone a puzzle to work on over a few days via E-mail. Or have then write up some explanations.
  After all in the real situation your testing them for it's long hours alone in a Cubical staring at a screen, E-mail tech docs, and code.

So why test them under an academic classroom setting, with someone breathing down on them and in front of a white board?

Would you test the performance of a server in completely unrealistic scenarios and think that test data provides a good indication of how it will perform in production? Ok, Bad question as we have seen that all too often too.

Let me phrase, if you were interviewing a chef, would you have him write on a whiteboard about technical details pan temperatures and baking temperatures and times for different recipes. Things available in cook books that in a real situation he'd plan and look up before he starts cooking and would never try to memorize.
Because most Internet companies do that including Google do that.

A real Chef does it by feel, a pinch and a dash.
    "The proof of the pudding is in the eating" as they say. Wouldn't you want to having him make a few dishes and taste them?

Lets face it, the best programmers all suffer from Aspergers, ADD, ADHD, and other spectrums of psychological and social dysfunctions.
Why else would anyone spend more time working on a computer then any rational intelligent human would ever consider.

> Oh, and for any company where it's possible to get the interview questions ahead of time, well, I have to say they deserve the employees they get.
Wow, You really can't see it, can you. Wow, frightening. Wow...

You said you had 1.8M sockets on a BSD box way way back 99? when I was talking about Afterburner doing 4K sockets at once.
    The best I was able to do in a production situation is around 200K sockets on Redhat last year . We'd have to run at 1/2 that because if the load balancers glitched we get hammers with 2x the connections, Old ones still lingering while clients pour in to reconnect. We had massive ram to achive this. Way more then we ever could have dreamed of back then.


Comment Re:It's organized Cheating!!! (Score 1) 743

That's great for junior positions, for green kids.

But do people randomly fire resumes at Google?

> is actually a pretty strong signal of the applicant's motivation
So if your really motivated you'll cheat. Is that what I am hearing?

It's like trying to read over the K&R book before an Interview, if you haven't learned it by now, skimming the book one last time isn't going to help.

Do you really want someone who will cram? Or needs to cram?
If you can learn something in 1 DAY that will increase your odds of getting hired at Google, well I say that's a major defect in the hiring process.
I mean getting computer skills and programming takes years, I mean most people don't get good at till they've been at it 5 - 10 years or more in my opinion.
This isn't a test where you pass then forget all you learned.

This isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. Day in Day out coding, maintaining code, debugging code. It's about long term performance of the developer, about long term performance of the code they create. It's about the code lifecycle, the product lifecycle.

I keep seeing disposable code in major products. I have even heard not to long ago "don't focus on making it perfect, just get it working so we can ship"
It's cost more resources to maintain code like that then doing it cleanly and right the first time.

Of course by the time someone makes a statement like that it's almost too late. It results from a long term history of abused code that is poorly architected.

"If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter." - Mark Twain

"I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short" (Je n'ai fait celle-ci plus longue parceque je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte) - Blaise Pascal, Lettres Provinciales (1656-1657), no. 16.

"Anyone can make something complex, but it takes a genius to make it simple" - Albert Einstein


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