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Comment Re:Can you work with an image? (Score 1) 364

From what I've read they've been willing to do this in the past for law enforcement. There's no secure enclave issue here, it's all software (turtles?) all the way down, so no question whether they can do it or not. Even if there were a secure enclave, it still sounds like they can do it (just would require a different approach).

I suspect it has to do with the way assistance was requested. Quiet and on the DL is probably fine, but making a big loud mess about the All Writs Act and shaking sticks with the intent of setting up legal precedents to force hands in the future seems like an awful idea by some true idiots at FBI.

Comment Re:Swift (Score 1) 365

Yeah, this is ridiculous. Swift is marginally easier to read than Objective-C, sure.

Mostly, thought, it's got some nice modern-language capabilities - functions as first-class types, type inference, generics, arrays and dictionaries as built-ins, less crunky string handling, and better switch statements than Objective C.

None of this speaks to programming for dummies. Just a cleaner, more modern way to write iOS apps for experienced developers. Nothing to see here, moving right along.

Comment Re:Older idea than you might think (Score 1) 452

Putting aside, for the moment, all the Slashdot griping about whether this is or is not a productive use of human time and energy (I agree it's probably not in a macro sense, but hey, that's the world we live in), this is indeed an old idea.

I worked as a consultant on a hardware-based HFT system back in 2007 for a Silicon Valley company called Xambala. They were using reconfigurable logic-style chips of their own design specialized for text processing applications, rather than more general purpose FPGAs, though we discussing chaining their chips with FPGAs for more computationally intensive algorithms.

The edge you are going to get from doing processing in silico is quite limited. You can conceivably cut a few tens of microseconds, maybe even 100 microseconds, out of a computation - you still have to have all the other pieces of the puzzle just right. If you are doing straight news/information driven trades in situ at an exchange and can get the same timing of feed data to respond to, then you'll have a good edge (i.e. "Buy if X>0.2, Sell if X0.1, do nothing otherwise).

If you are trying to do intermarket arb (futures/ETF arb, for example) your edge is smaller, since differences in network route, networking hardware, other infrastructure are generally larger in magnitude than what you gain from cutting a few tens of microseconds out of the picture in hardware - but this edge would probably serve existing players well who already have top tier infrastructure.

For the more sophisticated, "game"-driven trading algorithms out there in equity markets, how much value doing stuff in hardware gives you is variable. There's a lot of decision logic involved in spiking orders around, changing behavior states based on other participants, and so on. A better set of algorithms running on top tier infrastructure in software will probably do better than inferior algorithms running in hardware without top tier infrastructure.

Other than Xambala, I am sure there are other players doing similar things. I've also used CUDA on NVIDIA GPUs for calculating option market prices really fast. These are just tools and other people definitely are using these tools in the right scenarios. What really matters in making money is combining the right tools with good implementation, excellent infrastructure, and testing and adaptiveness to market conditions.

Comment Re:node.js has a very serious issue (Score 1) 304

Python scales pretty well to a medium size codebase (Java scales better to a large codebase than anything I know of - old-school Java may have been painful to develop in, but this it did well).

Javascript doesn't really seem to, at least with most common tools (if you move to using Typescript and the like, it may do a better job). However, Javascript has nowhere near the level of library and tool support for non-web-browser-based tasks that a mature platform like Python has.

If you just need to do very simple processing of data in a fast, asynchronous manner, node.js does it (and it's fast as hell, no doubt, because v8 is the best tuned JITed engine for weak-ish typed languages out there, thank to years of browser competition). But if you want to do anything interesting with that data, I don't know how you are going to accomplish that with node - where are the NLP, vector math, linear algebra, search infrastructure, etc. etc. libraries that Java or Python have in huge volumes? Non-existant or extremely immature.

Also - for anything serious, node.js has changed way too much in way too short a period of time to use as a platform for. Maybe in a few years it will be more stable for some applications, but not quite yet.

Comment Hiring here! (Score 2) 472

Dear smart, grumpy engineers of Slashdot who live elsewhere in the US: here in Silicon Valley it's hard to hire good people.

I am very much trying to hire excellent engineers with experience in search infrastructure/Lucene, recommendation systems, as well as great mobile app developers with experience developing top-tier iOS or Android apps. I will pay well for good talent, offer fair benefits and excellent option package in an early stage startup founded by a guy who has built several successful businesses, including a multi-hundred million dollar company backed by top tier venture firms.

If you can prove to me that you are smart and capable and have relevant experience, I don't care if you have a degree from a top college or not (a degree will affect my baseline expectations, but if you seem smart and competent, I'll give you the opportunity for a phone call to show me how good you are).

If you are a Slashdot regular, that is worth bonus points too (the fewer digits in your UID, the better).

Seriously. If you meet any of the parameters above and think you are a great programmer and would like to come out to the Palo Alto area and work with other top tier people building a product that pushes boundaries in the social space and helps people get more out of their mobile devices, send a resume and cover letter to

Comment Learn from him (Score 5, Insightful) 332

I like working with people who get the job done, quickly and simply, and focus on functional completeness and minimizing defects. People who I can count on to tell them "here's what it needs to do" and I can know that I'll get something out that does what we need.

I don't like working with people who obsess about every line of code they produce and who worry more about documenting things internally than about getting working code out the door.

Sure, given the choice I prefer clean, maintainable code to shitty, sloppy code. But complaining about diagram quality in internal documentation? Unless you are making components for NASA or MRI machines, I think you're obsessing about things that don't matter that much.

The reason the guy in question is senior to you is because management likes people they can count on to get shit done.

Comment Re:A clear example of how lobbying hurts everyone (Score 0) 375

Except that people generally pay more for ethanol in their drinking water - cocktails all around! Seriously though - ethanol may cause engine damage from water content in older engines, but it certainly doesn't create any environmental hazard beyond what gasoline combustion already creates. Comparison to MTBE doesn't make sense. The economics of ethanol production in the US are of course very screwed up by corn industry subsidies, but if you can make the stuff cheaply in real, undistorted terms, it's a fine renewable fuel for use in cars made to tolerate such blends.

Comment Ugh. (Score 1) 123

Why would you post this today? Sometime last week you updated the mobile code and broke scrolling. Seriously. On the Android 4 browser you can now basically no longer properly scroll the site. It's like it's eating touch and/or scroll events for lunch. You clearly tried to fix this, because you can now fling again, but if you are in contact with the touchscreen, the site stops scrolling within a second or so. This problem was not present a week or two ago. Very, horrifically annoying. Showstopper bug. Go fix it, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars.

The other annoying thing - the horrifically slow and error prone paging between stories. And stop trying to intercept swipe events on comments - I'm not trying to switch stories, I'm generally trying to click something to expand/reply/etc. But it's even worse because the story switching is so horribly slow, and has no "loading..." or other user feedback.

Basically, go work on this for another month or so then let us know when it's fixed.

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