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Comment Hate on H1Bs misplaced (Score 1) 239

Few facts to know:
- Cisco is laying off 20% of the global workforce. Not US workforce.
- A lot of my friends are at Cisco. Their teams have around 90% people on H1Bs.. the case was similar for other teams. Any layoffs in Cisco will affect H1Bs disproportionately.
- During layoffs, the first people to go are the contractors (which Cisco and any other company has lots of).
- Typically Cisco lays off the product team that is not performing well (remember flip) or doesn't fit in their long term roadmap. The folks being laid off are given a fair chance to interview with other teams (and preferred over external candidates), just as other companies.
Let's get the facts on the actual jobs lost and demographics of the layoffs before making any blanket statements.

Regarding retraining the employees, well, that is a pipe dream. Cisco is primarily a hardware company, that is getting cannibalized by software. In the days of white box switching, SDN, NFV and IoT, the need for custom asic is much less than what it was. There are tons of startups that can put together a networking device with just off the shelf components and networking/netconf stacks from tons of other providers. If Cisco has to stay relevant, it needs to cut down dead weight. They are going through the same phase that IBM went through few years ago.

Comment Re:Jingoism and Nativism (Score 0) 242

Kickbacks are illegal in India.. so when kickbacks are given, the government is labelled as corrupt.
Superpacs and lobbyists do the same thing here in US. Just because it is legal, it doesn't make it any less corrupt.

One can aspire to become a government official in India and demand bribes, or can aspire to be a CEO of a multinational bank, cause a global economy collapse, and still make a fat check.

People are corrupt, it has been like that for thousands of years, and it will be so in the future, in every part of the world. The policy of local investment have served India very well in the past (Just look at the automotive industry in India). There is no reason, whatsoever, to change it.

Comment Why all the hate? (Score 2) 238

I code for a living, and I love my mac book air to death. I use it mainly as a thin client to connect to servers/build servers to do actual heavy lifting.. and the usual presentation/writing work for which this is more than enough. This is connected to an external keyboard and display.
The battery lasts for around 6 hours, which is good enough to last a conference. I would rather have a thin *nix machine than a heavy one. If you'd rather have a heavy box that you don't want to move, get a desktop.

Comment Difficult problem to solve on private email server (Score 1) 244

It is a tough nut to crack unless you have access to the complete mailboxes for the following reason:
- Any sort of AI/neural net/bayesian net is going to be only as good as the sample you train the system on. In most cases, it is easy to accumulate spam mails (honeypots etc), but it is hard to get hams (good mails). No enterprise customer would donate his "good mails" for research purposes.
- Running any sort of optimized neural network on customer box (via some sort of toolbar etc) doesn't help, because that is the first thing they disable.
- People are more likely to delete a mail rather than report a spam mail. Without access to usability data from their mail client, this causes more spam to more or less leak through.
- Spams are generally targeted regionally. A spam received by a person in USA is very different from the spam received by a person in China. This further restricts the accuracy of spam filters.
(Now these are not a problem for Google/Microsoft etc who have access to all these data)

Which leaves only secondary ways of detection:
- Black list/pink lists/grey lists .. these are reactive rather than predictive, so some spams will always get through.
- Rule based (regex/strings): Needs to be updated constantly, is less scalable, and needs a lot of multilingual people to stay up to date. Not very scalable.
- Reliance on the likes of libspf, which is still not as widespread as we'd like it to be.

Most email spam engines to my knowledge can easily catch upto 95% of spam.. may be 99% on a good day, but that remaining 1-5% earns them the ire of their customers. It seems to be just a labor intensive job, which is just not as rewarding as we'd like.

Comment Faster evolution a trait? (Score 1) 208

Couldn't faster evolution develop as a trait, to evolve out of certain situations? If so, it is entirely possible that the earlier rate of evolutionary growth was correct and what we should be looking at is rate of rate of evolution.. but maybe rate of rate of evolution is also changing, in which case we should be looking at rate of rate of rate of evolution.. but maybe....

Comment Look at the bigger picture (Score 1) 621

While what the kid did is not an "invention" by any sense of word, it servers as a beacon of hope to all the young kids out there that their need to scratch that DIY itch will be rewarded. The kid was on the right path, and that is what needs to be blown out of proportion, to give everyone else an idea to aspire too. The kid probably doesn't deserve all the attention, but we need people like him getting attention, to at least have more role models to aspire to other than Kardashians.

Comment Eh! (Score 1) 246

Doesn't this just mean something like "3% of Windows users upgraded to the latest OS".. why is this a news article exactly?

Now, if as a whole the Windows market share dropped below mac+linux or if it rose above them or through some luck had 100% of the share, then yes it would be news. News need to be edge triggered not level triggered.

Comment Factor in cost of living (Score 2) 264

$100K in California, equates to around $5.5k in hand (for a single person) per month. 1 BHK apartments are going around $2.5K per month in Mountain view.. much much higher in SF. $500 goes for your car payments. A new grad would probably try to pay off his education loan off, so can take around $1k per month out for that.
Since bay area has a higher population of immigrants, you can assume that he is sending some share of the remaining money to his parents in his home country.

$100K is not a lot in SF Bay area.

Comment C++ is great if you don't abuse it. (Score 2) 296

As a systems programmer, I have used both C and C++. When using C, I (and my team) needs to expressly have the discipline to embrace the tenets of C++ vis-a-vis encapsulation, maybe some facade dp thrown in. Most of the rookie mistakes are easier to spot in C, but there is a lot more code to be written in C to achieve the same effect (writing & using an object agnostic linked list for example).
When using C++, things are hidden in plain sight, and rookie mistakes are easily overlooked, because someone found a "smarter" way to use the language. I've pulled my hair out in cases when people had overloaded operators in nonsensical ways. People would just compare a string with constant, without knowing that it is invoking a copy constructor and equals operator, which in turn is doing some form of strcmp to get the job done. C++ is great for system software if people know the ins and out of it and performance isn't of a great concern. It will give you the same performance as C if you know how to use it well.
Also if performance is important, you'd probably need to use DPDK on intel boxes for networking, squirrel away huge pages for your memory allocator or do something like jemalloc etc, so your choices might be limited.
If performance is not THAT important, then most of the modern libraries build on top of any high level language will give you all the tools that you need to build your project. Personally I'd try to look at Go. I don't know much about it, but it seems to have taken care of a lot of pain points in systems design (specially queuing, async processing, threads etc).

Comment Useless.. (Score 1) 244

Most programmers are not writers and will never write truly great documentation, but something they or someone at their level of familiarity can get. Most OSS is written by programmers who actually have a day job doing non OSS work. In closed source world (unless your product ofcourse is an api), documentation is often sacrificed in the name of "time to market". Those habits carry over to the open source projects too.

Unless there are more volunteers who want to write documentation for OSS, good documentation will not be written.

Comment Mesh network (Score 1) 52

IMHO, if Anonymous creates a big enough network of compromised routers, they could create a meshed voip service or something like firechat where they can communicate using the mesh, without being monitored. If they are "cracking" home routers, it wouldn't be to use the wifi router's measly 1G port and cpu for DDOS attacks, it'd be for something more ambitious.

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