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Comment Re: Chrome books are great. (Score 1) 126

They have very limited user interface. Have you browsed for netflix title via Roku? And they all have very limited browser.Chromebook has local storage 320GB. More importantly I can run Apache in my home network and serve movies and photos from other machines. And I disconnect take it with me while traveling.

Comment Chrome books are great. (Score 2) 126

It is basically a iPad minus all the sexy touch screen things. Built on solid reliable technology using well understood tested input devices and formats. And more open too. No wonder it is growing. I am actually thinking of getting a second and a bluetooth keyboard+thumbwheel to serve as the streaming device for the home theater. It has HDMI out and works with Amazon videos, Netflix.

Comment He is supposed to be nice guy. But ... (Score 1) 240

My relative who works for Microsoft and she and her husband use the company gym. They say they routinely run into Steve Ballmer working out. No fuss, no special privileges or anything. Quite polite apparently. So under all those layers of caricatures and perceptions there could be a nice guy hidden somewhere.

But if he a great salesman but has not made any great products, but still continues to make great sales, what does it make him? A con man? The Great Snake Oil salesman?

They also say nice things about Bill Gates as a person. Apparently his assistants contested the property tax assessment from the city and Bill ordered it be withdrawn and paid the assessed tax quietly without fuss. Also both Bill and Melinda were very nice and polite to the parents of playmates and friends of their children.

Sorry no citations.

Comment You still risk jail time if you look at the files. (Score 3, Insightful) 25

The way most official secrets acts are written, it has some boilerplate language with a whole bunch of "whereas" and "notwithstandings" and eventually boil down to making it a crime to access government secrets, no matter how trivial or non-existent the protections were nor how clueless and braindead the officials were. Usually it has no due-diligence requirements on the part of the government to protect the secret data. It is usually a crime to look at what the government considers secret even if it was done accidentally, inadvertently.

Laws are actually drafted by government officials and they insert enough language to protect their tails.

Comment Re: Now I get it! (Score 1) 211

You are redeploying the weapons developed by the industry for the climate change discussions very well. These are great poll tested gems developed by the best minds in the advertising industry designed to put the other side on the defensive while claiming the mantle of being "reasonable and prudent". I will expect you friends to complete advance on the other fronts.

Well played. Democracies stand no chance against well funded misinformation campaigns using the very best mass psychology.

So the score is Democracy: 0, Special Interests 1, nah, make it infinity.

Comment Now I get it! (Score 4, Insightful) 211

When the oil and natural gas companies were talking about fracking being the ground breaking research and earth shaking breakthrough this is what they were talking about it looks like.

This is a great opportunity for any one with a PhD in seismology wanting to make some money. All you have to do is to say, "these earthquakes did not come from fracking" or "these small earthquakes release the stress energy being built up in these faults. Relieving the strain in numerous small quakes actually ease the faults and make the possibility of large quakes less not more". That is it, a whole sister industry to climate-change-denial industgry will spring up around such people. The miniquake deniers will hang on to the public pronouncement in front of TV cameras by a few people in labcoats as gospel and shrug off peer reviewed research by every one else.

Comment Re:EE productivity is very high. (Score 1) 401

Did the BLS predict the 24% decline in 2002? Did they have a forecast that said, "EE jobs might decline by 24% over the next decade."? If they did not, they there is no reason to believe their prediction of lower job growth rate for EE in the coming days. BLS uses extrapolation of existing conditions and they are wildly off at or approaching the maxima and minima where the slope of the tangent becomes zero and changes signs.

Comment Re:EE productivity is very high. (Score 1) 401

Looks like you started with cable design, and worked mostly in testing and in test equipment based design. Near the end you mention simulation for RF communications. What tools did you use for this? The prototype building and testing has been on steady decline for a decade or two now. Simulation software is giving a far more bang for the buck, gives much fine grain results that helps with optimization. Now a days even connector makers like Molex or Tyco have gone almost completely to software and use the test equipment only at the end as a final sanity check. Their design process is not driven by cycles of prototype building and testing.

One consequence of the rise of computers and simulation is that there are more testing side engineers than jobs for them, while there is a shortage of simulation based design engineers. Also some serious amount of electronic design work has shifted to Asia. Japan/Korea/Taiwan/China make most of our electronics and there is a steady shift of outsourcing EE jobs to India by companies like GE. GE Bangalore does so much of the design work for GE now a days. So I kind of see why you are in a tough situation. I know it is stupid for a random stranger like me to provide career advice to 32 year veterans. Just wishing you the best, hope the situation turns around for you soon.

Comment EE productivity is very high. (Score 2) 401

It is possible there are odd pockets of relatively higher unemployment among the electrical engineers in USA. But over all, engineering candidates in general and electrical engineers in USA have very good job prospects.

In the recent years the productivity of electrical engineering tools have gone up several fold due to the ubiquitous cheap multi core workstations. The companies buying ECAD tools have demanded, and got, better use of these multi-core machines from the vendors of the ECAD tools. It has become cheap enough and easy enough to do electrical engineering simulations of hundreds or even thousands of variations of a basic design to refine it. Companies like Ansys have taken serving the high performance computing market as a priority. They are dishing out products that allow a single engineering work station to launch and analyze hundreds of simulations. This high productivity coincided with global economic downturn due to the financial systemic collapse of 2008, followed by tsunami in Japan, floods in Taiwan, economic turmoil in Europe and large scale civil uprisings in the middle east. So there are more electrical engineers than jobs in some parts of the field and some parts of the country. But this situation is temporary and the electrical engineers are going to see very good pay rise and job opportunities soon.


Video IT Analyst Dan Kusnetzky Talks about Cloud Computing and Cloud Hype (Video) 27

Dan Kusnetzky and I started out talking about cloud computing; what it is and isn't, how "cloud" is often more of a marketing term than a technical one, and then gradually drifted to the topic of how IT managers, CIOs, and their various bosses make decisions and how those decisions are not necessarily rational. What you have here is an 18-minute seminar about IT decision-making featuring one of the world's most experienced IT industry analysts, who also writes a blog, Virtually Speaking, for ZDnet.

Comment How will he do it? (Score 3, Insightful) 387

Word Star had more users than the population of Bangladesh, Word Perfect was loved by the secretaries and Lotus 1-2-3 was worshiped by the accountants. Still Microsoft won them all, by hook or crook. Even if it is mostly by crook, it won. It needed employees with intense competitive focus to achieve that. All the people in the early days who had the fire in the belly to make their company succeed have all either burnt out, cashed out, shut out.

People who are left behind all came of age when Microsoft had almost mythical powers. It could squelch competition by FUD, All it took was an announcement of vaporware and the funding for start-ups who could compete would just evaporate. These guys simply are not capable of competing on a level playing field. And the playing field is tilted against Microsoft now. The earlier era minions of Gates have earned the enmity of vast sections of the computer professionals. And so many of their partners fear them and do not trust them.

Unless it is something radical like splitting the company into an OS division, a consumer products division, corporate server products division and all competing at full throttle it is not going to work.

Comment Conflict of interest? (Score 1) 76

So this flaw affects mostly app stores competing with Google marketplace. Not fixing this bug would give an edge to Google's marketplace. Though it is orders of magnitude different, this was similar to a situation early in the days of IE-vs-Netscape fights in the early days.( IIS and IE would work around each other's bugs making other web servers and browsers appear to be broken). How is Google handling it?

In some strange way Google is having the cake (open and competing app stores, instead of the total lock down on the Apple-iOS side of things) and is eating it too (its app store is less vulnerable than its competition due to its own bugs).

In the long run, having reliable and competent competition is what going to create lasting value to the customers, keep Google on its toes and keep it nimble. So if Google is really not evil and if it is interested in long term success, it should not take short cuts to maintain an edge over competing app stores. Hope it does.

Comment Cost of fiunding bugs != cost of fixing them. (Score 5, Insightful) 95

Browsers have very large installed base. There are enough bug spotters even if a very small fraction of them actually hunt and report bugs. Even then, the bounty is for finding the bugs, not fixing the bugs that includes the cost of coming up with a fix, verifying it fixes the problem, testing to make sure it does not create new problems and rolling out the fix.

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