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Comment Re:walled gardens don't work (Score 1) 217

When they spend all that money on a TV, they expect it to do cool stuff, out of the box. If you tell them they need to buy something else, they're going to think you're trying to screw them over.

That's right. That's why televisions with integrated cable boxes, VHS, DVD, and CD players have always been such big sellers. Wait...

Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 5, Insightful) 909

After all, Imperial (in the US flavor) is better for computing than metric since it's at least partially base 2.

Which would, potentially, be helpful and useful if the humans who program, enter data into, and use information from, those computers were also in the habit of working in base 2.

And I'm sorry, as long as there are 5280 feet in a mile - that's 2^5 * 3 * 5 * 11(!?) - I'm going to call bullshit on the computing usefulness of a "partially" base 2 system.

Comment Re:Ask him (Score 1) 219

The simple solution here is to have the senior manager in the room WHILE he's interviewing the candidate if that was the case.

I don't see why you've jumped to the conclusion that a senior manager won't be in the room for some or even all of the process, or why you continue to suspect that senior management wouldn't make or be involved in the hiring decision. I get the impression that you haven't been involved in a lot of hiring or interviewing at this level.

That said, there are a lot of reasons why a senior manager wouldn't necessarily want or need to sit in on the entire interview. Depending on the size of the company and the responsibilities of the people involved, a senior manager might not have time to sit through an extended, specialized discussion. Some companies have an interview process that extends over several hours, and may even be spread over multiple rounds on separate days. Management may also want to get a sense of how the candidate performs in one-on-one situations, instead of when faced with an interrogation by the senior manager, the senior manager's assistant, the HR rep, and the technical subordinate all at once. For that matter, the senior manager may not want to make the subordinate nervous.

Comment Re:Ask him (Score 1) 219

Let's think about this, if you're good enough to hire your own boss, you're good enough to be that guy, well betas excluded.

Let's think about this. The original question didn't say anything about hiring, just about interviewing.

I strongly suspect that the final hiring decision will come from a senior manager higher up the chain, based ultimately on that senior manager's own judgement. That decision will, however, be informed - in part - by the input he receives from the underlings who participated in the interview process.

And that's a Good Thing, for everyone involved. Senior management needs to know if prospective management candidates will be able to interact effectively with their technical and non-technical subordinates. One of the ways to assess this is to put them in a room together.

It's also possible that senior management recognizes their own limitations, and want to have someone who is able to assess or test the candidate's claims about his own technical abilities. It's not unusual for a company, when hiring, to carry out several rounds of interviews testing (explicitly or not) different aspects of the candidate's skills and knowledge, and introducing them to different parts of the company's structure and personnel, with each.

Comment Re:Mathematician? (Score 4, Insightful) 203

Isn't making the elevator go faster a job for an engineer? Does one really need to be a mathematician to know that a faster elevator moves people faster?

I suspect that the problem here is a failure on the part of the article writer. The author was probably just looking for any sort of answer to 'What's the most famous building you've ever done any work for?', rather than 'what's the most mathematically-interesting part of your job?'

It's also possible that there's a little bit of complexity being glossed over here. For the Empire State Building, visitors take up to three consecutive elevator rides to get to the observation decks: one to get up to the 80th floor, another from 80 to 86 and the main observation deck (though the hearty can take the stairs), and an optional, extra-charge trip from 86 up to the topmost observation area on 102. Visitors form queues for tickets, security, and each elevator ride (both up and down).

While speeding up any of the elevators might seem like a good thing, it runs the risk of causing crowding and bunching of passengers waiting for the now-overloaded next stage. Making one set of elevators faster could increase wear and tear on those elevators (and increase both energy use and passenger discomfort) without improving overall throughput; I can see how there might be some serious mathematical optimization going on there. As well, it's possible that our mathematician was involved in optimizing all of the building's elevator speeds and timings, and not just the elevators dedicated to observation deck service: a much more difficult optimization problem.

Comment Re:Stop annulling these trades. (Score 2) 136

The way to prevent this kind of mistaken (or even malicious) trade is to stop protecting the trader by canceling the trade as soon as the mistake is realized. If you issue a trade order, you should be liable for paying for it. If you can't, normal bankruptcy laws should apply.

First of all, it's not clear exactly what the trade order even meant. At worst, an offer to buy -6 futures should have been interpreted as an offer to sell 6 futures at the stated price--not as an (underflow-generated) bid for 4 billion futures. Who, exactly, do you hold liable for failing to sanity-check their inputs--the trader, his company, the exchange, their various software subcontractors who themselves may have been bought, sold, and restructured long since...?

Second, insisting that the trade happened and then forcing the trader into bankruptcy (and associated bankruptcy protection) is likely to punish the 'innocent' participants in the market more than anyone else.

Comment Re:Who IS a lawyer here? (Score 2) 208

If you had read the motion (or even the summary) you would know the answers to your first question.

Apple argues...that Samsung waived its juror bias argument by failing to make it sooner, but Samsung could not reasonably have ascertained Mr. Hogan’s dishonesty before the jury’s verdicts. As Samsung has made clear and Apple cannot dispute, Mr. Hogan made public statements after the verdicts that so clearly favored Apple that the press speculated about their possible financial ties.... Only by chance did Samsung discover the suit by Seagate against Mr. Hogan while it was investigating these other potential bias issues reported post-verdict; and because the court file no longer exists, it was even later that Samsung discovered Mr. Hogan’s lawsuit against Seagate when Mr. Hogan himself disclosed it in an interview....
Nevertheless, Apple insists that Samsung waived because it “could have” and “should have” discovered the dishonesty before it actually did so by ordering Mr. Hogan’s 1993 bankruptcy file during voir dire.... Even apart from the impracticality of this suggestion (it took a week to receive the file after it was ordered post-verdict[...]), the Court should reject Apple’s untenable suggestion that trial counsel should engage, upon pain of waiver, in scorched-earth, extrajudicial investigations into a sitting juror’s life, absent any reason to believe that they lied on voir dire or otherwise warranted such an intrusion upon their privacy. See Dyer, 151 F.3d at 978 (“While trial is ongoing, lawyers may not conduct the kind of aggressive investigation of jurors they would of other witnesses.”); 6/29/12 Hearing Tr. 63:18-64:13 (Dkt. 1166) (“THE COURT: I’m not going to give you the jury questionnaires that have been filled out long enough in advance for you all to research all these folks.”). The Court asked Mr. Hogan about his prior lawsuits; Samsung was entitled to rely on the truthfulness of his answers.

Samsung argues that when asked, the juror deliberately withheld key information about his own legal history.

It is no answer, as Apple suggests..., that Mr. Hogan revealed another, unrelated lawsuit involving a former employee. To the contrary, a juror is presumptively biased where “she told the part truth that was useless, and held back the other part that had significance and value.” Clark, 289 U.S. at 10-11 (juror “counted off a few [past jobs] and checked herself at the very point where the count, if completed, would be likely to bar her from the box”); see Dyer, 151 F.3d at 983.

Comment Re:my guess (Score 1) 87

My guess is, that despite the cut in GDP, and the long, painful period of high unemployment, the economy hasn't actually been that bad. And that most of us have not had to change our habits much to cope.

My guess is, that despite there being links to both the full journal article and to a lay summary right in the Slashdot blurb, you didn't bother to read either one. And that you instead preferred to offer us all your enlightened wisdom derived from your gut feelings instead of, you know, talking about real data.

I know, I know. This is Slashdot; reading articles is for newbs....

Comment Re:Gerrymandering (Score 1) 215

I live in a so-called "majority-minority" district which was considered a lock for a minority candidate since its creation. The incumbent has done such a poor job that he came fairly close to losing the election in 2010. The response? They adjusted the lines to pull extra minorities into his district to ensure that would never happen again.

Incumbents tend to enjoy advantages in terms of resources and name recognition that can make them inherently more difficult to beat, even in the absence of race politics.

A local challenger can be further hamstrung by platform elements adopted at the presidential, federal, or state level that are unpalatable within a district (or unpalatable to a significant group living within that district).

There's a further vicious circle at work where a party decides that a seat is unwinnable, and therefore doesn't put any resources into recruiting effective candidates or running more than a pro forma campaign, and therefore finds that the seat is unwinnable, and so doesn't put in any effort...

There are at least two routes around the problem. First, find a credible non-minority candidate who can demonstrate an ability to work with groups (majority and minority ethnicities) within the district. Not only does this require time and effort, but it may also require the candidate to butt heads with the state or federal party. Second, the cynical route is for your party to find a minority candidate of its own. You've just told me that the district has lots of them; can't you find any of them who want to represent the (Republican) party locally?

The downside of that second approach is that you can't go blaming race anymore when the party still loses; you might have to start looking at why your policies are so unappealing to the minority population.

Comment Give to the needy and nerdy (Score 4, Insightful) 302

I hope that your school system isn't requiring its students to buy expensive graphing calculators out of their own (or their parents' own) pockets, but that's another diatribe.

If you have more calculators than you need for your own lending program, and the other math teachers (if any) at your school are also adequately equipped, then share them with other schools in your area. There's probably a classroom not too far down the road - perhaps across the tracks? - where they don't have a large number of kids carelessly abandoning valuable electronics.

Comment Re:This is what you get... (Score 1) 585

As opposed to what you get when your official policy is to reject the "invisible friend in the sky".

You seem to be playing some none-too-subtle semantic games.

A theocracy's official policies flow from whatever the government believes are (or can cynically represent as) the wishes of their invisible friend in the sky.

The Soviet Union, on the other hand, simply stated their official position on invisibly sky friends - no one is allowed to worship them - and carried on with the business of governing however the hell they wanted.

In a theocracy, theism guides policy. In the former USSR, policy forbade theism, but their policies weren't a consequence of their religious beliefs.

Comment Re:1.5% from a survey? (Score 1) 158

I'm a little bit concerned that they might not be properly accounting for multiple comparisons. The test involves six fonts, and the correction that they suggest assumes that this means there are six comparisons. Is that really the correct approach?

There are actually fifteen pairwise comparisons possible (A-B, A-C, A-D, A-E, A-F; B-C, B-D, B-E, B-F; C-D, C-E, C-F; D-E, D-F; E-F). Using the - admittedly conservative - Bonferroni correction, the result is no longer significant.

Comment Re:Nitrogen (Score 1) 434

I bought some to hold a 1 gallon gas can where I did not want the gas to possibly leak out and was hoping to prevent any gas fumes. It worked, the bags are completely air-tight.

This may be a workable short-term solution for you, but beware that plastic bags not explicitly designed for exposure to organic solvent (like gasoline) liquid and vapours may be prone to failure, sooner or later. Solvent exposure can do all kinds of aggravating things to plastics, including causing them to fog, to swell and weaken, to become rigid and brittle, or in the worst case to dissolve into sticky goo.

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