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Comment I telecommute 3/5 days each week (Score 2) 275

I have telecommuted 3/5 days each week for almost 6 years at the same company, here are a few observations:

- be in the office the same days each week so that people know where/when to find your face
- make your work visible, send status reports in even if they are not asked for
- speak up on a call, if you have nothing to contribute then make jokes, use humor but make sure your voice is heard
- when you are in the office, work hard
- make sure folks see you online in instant messenger when your are at home

Comment Let History be your guide to free markets (Score 2, Funny) 530

As western civilization has grown through the industrial revolution we have found that as technology replaces skill sets and workers it typically frees them up for more profitable work. A specific set of jobs is replaced, but those workers are then put to work on something that is ultimately more productive. In a command economy this would be a problem, in a capitalist economy those workers will be employed in the next role until that one is replaced as well.

Science

Submission + - Five reasons the U.S. tech lead is in danger (computerworld.com) 3

dcblogs writes: The U.S. has yet to put in place a plan for building exascale systems, as Europe, China, Japan race ahead. The Europeans are prepared to commit up to 3.5 billion Euros to their effort and believe the race is wide open. "The U.S., Europe, China and Japan all have the potential to realize the first exascale system," concluded the European Exascale Software Initiative, the group that's leading Europe's effort, in a report last month. But in the U.S.: "The bottom line is that the US appears stalled and the EU, China, and Japan are gearing up for the next generation,” said Jack Dongarra, a professor of computer science at University of Tennessee, and one of the organizers of the Top 500. In 2008, China had 15 systems on the Top 500 list; it now has 74.

Comment Re:tough to be unbiased (Score 1) 585

I agree that science should NOT be done that way, however as a matter of fact some researchers DO start with a conclusion. Read your history books, there are plenty of ideas that were the result of "science", were widely accepted by the culture only to be disproved later. Some of the best examples come from the 20th century - look up eugenics for a start.

Anyone who has worked with statistics knows that nearly every set of numbers that represent a non-trivial set of data MUST rely on their experience and training to interpret the data. Numbers are only useful when interpreted with an understanding of causal relationships and background.

You are being naive if you think that scientists are infallible, superhuman or don't have their own predispositions. The important thing is for them to recognize their own bias and to balance their work against it.

These "scientists" have a clear bias and are making every effort to hide that bias - this draws their research into question.

Comment Re:tough to be unbiased (Score 0) 585

I think you have confused documented historical fact with theory.

The history of the holocaust is a document historical fact with eye witnesses.

The "theory" of evolution is exactly that - a theory, not a fact. Natural selection lends itself a little more closely to being labeled fact, evolution as the origin of the species has far too many problems to be elevated beyond theory.

The moon shot is a documented historical fact, again with eye witnesses.

The question of anthropogenic global climate change is not a question of whether people are rational, rather it is a question of whether we have a theory or a set of facts. The facts may suggest their theory, however the facts fail to prove the theory.

Comment tough to be unbiased (Score 2, Insightful) 585

This event helps highlight the difficulty in approaching any non-trivial problem in an unbiased way. The problem is less about the science than it is that the researches were clearly biased and pursuing specific results. The fact that others have claimed to reproduce the results does not lend credibility as long as they fail to acknowledge their bias and operate in a fully transparent way.

Whether you agree or disagree with the question of human affected climate change you really can't deny the fact that these folks are heavily biased toward a specific outcome for their research.

Businesses

Submission + - 88 Year Old Scientist Hassled by DEA (mercurynews.com) 1

Calibax writes: 30 years ago Bob Wallace and his partner came up with a product to help hikers, flood victims and others purify water. Wallace, now 88 years old, packs his product by hand in his garage, stores it in his backyard shed and sells it for $6.50.

Recently, the DEA has been hassling him because his product uses crystalline iodine. He has been refused a license to purchase the iodine because it can be used in the production of crystal meth, and as a result he is now out of business.

A DEA spokesman describes this as "collateral damage" not resulting from DEA regulations but from the selfish actions of criminals.

Power

Why Is Linux Notebook Battery Life Still Poor? 907

Ganty writes "I recently purchased a Lenovo W500 notebook, and after 'downgrading' to XP and creating a dual partition, I found that I had a battery life of nearly three hours using the long-life battery, at this point I was a happy camper because it means that I can watch a DVD during a flight. I then tried various Linux distributions and found the battery life under FOS to be very disappointing, with an average of 45 minutes before a warning message. After settling on Ubuntu I then spent three days trying various hardware tweaks but I only managed to increase the battery life to one and a half hours. Unwanted services have been disabled, laptop mode has been enabled, the dual core CPU reduces speed when idle and the hard drive spins down when not needed. Obviously Apple with their X86 hardware and BSD based OS have got it right because the MacBooks last for hours, and a stock install of MS Windows XP gives me three hours of life. Why is battery life on notebooks so poor when using Linux? Some have suggested disabling various hardware items such as bluetooth and running the screen at half brightness but XP doesn't require me to do this and still gives a reasonable battery life."

Comment masters in CS mostly useless (Score 1) 834

After more than 20 years in the industry (13 or so as a software engineer/programmer, a few years manager, a few more as a systems architect) I can unequivocally say that a Masters Degree is nearly useless.

A post-graduate degree means nothing compared to another candidate with a few years more of meaningful experience related to the job. Even if the experience is not directly related, if they can demonstrate their problem solving skills and ability to adapt through that experience I am going to be far more interested in them.

I realize that this is anecdotal, however it seems to me that there is a huge representation of non-post graduate degrees in the higher paid levels of jobs related to computer science.

Other disciplines may make sense, but post graduate (and in some cases baccalaureate) degrees are a waste of time and money.

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