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Comment Re:Antitrust? (Score 1) 224

Absolute not-hire. Even if the employee came to the company on their own, they couldn't extend an offer.

Correct. At one point I was told that I would have to quit my current job before I could be interviewed for a position at another of these companies. Naturally, applying for a position while newly unemployed would handicap my salary negotiating ability. The businesses viewed the anti-poaching deals as convenient for their HR operation and containing payroll costs. No pesky counter-offers...

Comment Hazards of P=NP (Score 1) 222

I'm pretty sure that if you prove P=NP, that there may be consequences. It you are very, very lucky, Bob from the Laundry will pop by and arrange for a new career for you, or at least keep your brain from being eaten.

If you're not so lucky, well, pointing a loaded theorem at the ... things ... that cast shadows on the walls of Plato's cave may make them pay attention. This is, however, a dangerous process, because many of the shadow-casters are unclear on the distinction between pay attention and free lunch buffet here. [1]

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Stross#The_.22Bob_Howard_.E2.80.94_Laundry.22_series

Comment Re:OMG big brother... (Score 1) 353

...Big Deal

So you are of the opinion that it is ok to have a database; whose existence appears to be a mystery to about 90% of the public; that keeps detailed location data for an indefinite period of time (ref: years); that is unencrypted; that can be accessed not only by thieves, but Law Enforcement as well; that can be used to provide a detailed time-line map of where you have been; is not a big deal?

Ah, you should probably be aware that the phone company does this already for all cell phones. The database can be queries by any 'authenticated agent', a person with an account and password, such as a law enforcement officer. Social engineering works well, too. The US Justice Department classifies this information as 'routine business documents', not requiring a warrant.

If you don't want your location history known to others. do not carry a cell phone.

Comment Yes! Faster bubble sorts! (Score 1) 166

Ah, I remember looking at the sorting algorithm in a low level graphics library. Tightly hand coded, packed to keep every pipeline stage filled and make optimal use of all the parallel units in a VLIW graphics processor, it was probably the most efficient bubble sort I'd ever seen.

I coded up a quicksort to about the same degree of tightness in a couple days, and, golly gee, a whole bunch of code suddenly got faster. Some MUCH faster... That was Lesson 1 for me. Optimize algorithms before optimizing implementations.

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Survey Shows That Fox News Makes You Less Informed 1352

A survey of American voters by World Public Opinion shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. One of the most interesting questions was about President Obama's birthplace. 63 percent of Fox viewers believe Obama was not born in the US (or that it is unclear). In 2003 a similar study about the Iraq war showed that Fox viewers were once again less knowledgeable on the subject than average. Let the flame war begin!
Patents

Red Hat Settles Patent Case 76

darthcamaro writes "Red Hat has settled another patent case with patent holding firm Acacia. This time the patent is US Patent #6,163,776, 'System and method for exchanging data and commands between an object oriented system and relational system.' While it's great that Red Hat has ended this particular patent threat, it's not yet clear how they've settled this case. The last time Red Hat tangled with Acacia they won in an Texas jury trial. 'Red Hat routinely addresses attempts to impede the innovative forces of open source via allegations of patent infringement,' Red Hat said in a statement. 'We can confirm that Red Hat, Inc and Software Tree LLC have settled patent litigation that was pending in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas.'"
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White House Correspondent Tweets His Heart Attack 77

Tommy Christopher, who writes for mediate.com, has reporting in his blood, so much so that he livetweeted every part of his recent heart attack. "I gotta be me. Livetweeting my heart attack. Beat that!" and "This is not like the movies. Most deadpan heart attack evar. Still hurts even after the morphine," were among his updates as he was rushed to the hospital. Christopher is now in stable condition after recovering from emergency surgery.

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