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Comment Re: AT&T (Score 4, Interesting) 205

Full disclosure: I work for Google. Regardless, Google Fi is a no-brainer, IMO. My wife and daughter do not agree, and have iPhones with Verison. We pay about $160/mo combined for their plans, while my son and I get by with typically $40/mo combined. My son and I have at least as good service as Verizon, because of the switching between Sprint and T-Mobile.

My daughter had to have an iPhone, and not an Android device, because her friends hang out on iMessage. Her Android messages were shown in the wrong color on iMessage, which offended some teens to the point of excluding her from conversations. So... I pay a $60/month premium so she can be the right color. Evil!

Comment Re:Xenophobia (Score 1) 271

Providing foreign students with the world's best education, and then sending them back to their country to compete with us is asinine. I think that for skills in demand, we should staple green-cards to their diplomas.

I don't have to read the study to know it is full of crap. Without the talent we imported from the whole world, Silicon Valley would not have been nearly as successful. They created more startup companies, employing more white American-born programmers like me, than could have happened otherwise. I know there are counter-examples of companies expoiting foreign workers, but on the whole, we owe the talent we've imported thanks. They've increased our salarys... duh.

Comment Runtime = CPU frequency * clocks/instruction (Score 1) 615

We used to easily count how many clock cycles an assembly code program would take to execute. This has led to a lot of problems, because modern CPUs are not like this at all, yet our programming languages were designed for these old CPUs.

In particular, there used to be no cache. The C language had no reason to organize data in any particular order, so it used C structs, which is about the worst possible memory layout now days. We typically use about 2 fields in a struct in an inner loop, yet we blow away a whole cache line, filling the cache mostly with data that the loop will never use. Simply by avoiding C structs, or C++ classes, memory-intensive applications I've tested speed up by 20%. Some speed up by 6X.

This wrong C memory layout was inherited by C++, Java, D, Go, Rust... pretty much every new language.

Comment Re:Google can tell me the definition of hypocrisy (Score 4, Interesting) 350

Yep. It isn't so bad in Mountain View, but have you been to SF lately? It isn't just Google. The entire SF hipster startup culture in SF is highly youth-oriented, and I worry that the culture may be more sexist than what we've seen in the Bay Area since the 1960s. What happens when you give a bunch of 20-year-old men a lot of money, and a great dating scene with far more single women then men?

In any case, there are some good reasons for Google's preference for hiring people right out of college. I am still recovering from culture-shock. It would have been far easier for me to have gone to work for Google without having worked for startups for 25 years. When I see stupid stuff that I can fix, I feel compelled to fix it. That works well in small companies, but it will only piss off people at Google, and ensure you get a poor review. I advise nooglers with experience like me to try and ignore what that they learned before.

Comment Re:Google can tell me the definition of hypocrisy (Score 1) 350

NSA offers roughly the same message only they claim collecting data doesn't actually count as "collecting" until it has been used.

This is slashdot, so I should not get worked up, but are you kidding me? The NSA tapped our data cables between data centers, and since we backup data between data centers, that gave them nearly everything, without a warrant or any kind of legal right to steal America's data. They used that data to figure out who was having affairs with whom, among other invasive programs they wrote. The NSA's problem is they don't have enough humans to examine all the data they take illegally, while even as a quite nosy employee at Google, I've not seen one byte of private data other than some HTTP headers I needed for debugging (with the rest of the requests redacted).

I do think the NSA as an organization believes in fighting the good fight, but without strong leadership, they've helped prove my theory that organizations without strong leadership will behave as badly as the sum of their worst parts.

Comment Re:Google can tell me the definition of hypocrisy (Score 1) 350

s/AMS Semiconductor/AMI Semiconductor/. AMS is a great company - Austria Micro Systems, IIRC. AMI Semiconductor, or AMIS, was the company that screwed VASIC big-time. Chris King was CEO at the time. I've found that weak leadership leads to companies that behave as the combination of their worst elements.

Comment Re:Google can tell me the definition of hypocrisy (Score 1) 350

I started ViASIC in 2000, and I am proud to have had the Air Force Reasarch Labs and Sandia as two of my favorite clients, as well as the smaller Mission Reserch (MRDC) that does some outstanding R&D. In short, I've had a lot of government contracts, and sure, the super-long forms we all have to sign include all kinds of rights for the government. They're worse than the worst EULA you ever did not read and then clicked "I have read and agree to the terms and conditions."

Here's one that really pissed me off. AMS Semiconductor faxed me the terms and conditions, which I signed and faxed back. Later, they stole ViASIC's technology lock-stock-and-barrel. Their lawyer said that we agreed not to sue them for patent violation in the terms and conditions we signed. That language was in their T&Cs, but on the back... they only faxed us the front.

Anyway, I'm confident that the issue here is not Google refusing to let people know how many women and minorities we hire. Few companies have been as open about this as Google. There is something else going on...

Comment Re:Google can tell me the definition of hypocrisy (Score 2, Interesting) 350

I seriously doubt it is that simple. Google lawyers don't talk generally to anyone outside Google, but when I get upset at them for something that seems incredibly stupid to me (most recently, their rejection of software with a CC0 license), I get an earful of detail and justifications that would make your head spin. AFAIK, it's not Google lawyers that are messed up, but the system in which they have to do their jobs. From what I can tell, most of them are trying to fight the good fight, and not be evil.

Comment Re:Google can tell me the definition of hypocrisy (Score 5, Interesting) 350

I've work for Google for 2 years now. Without a court order, why does the government get to have my name, contact info, salary history, and God knows what else? Google fights harder than any company I know of against government over-reach and invasion of privacy (though kudos to Apple recently, other than that NYT app in China thing). I don't know any details, and IANAL, but this feels to me like Google is looking out for our privacy rather than trying to hide hiring practices. Do you want to give your details to these investigators? Why not anonymize the data? I see almost zero non-anonymous data at Google. The government should learn a few of these tricks.

As for "all-pervasive surveillance", Google does collect huge amounts of data, but after two years of trying pretty hard to test Google's defenses against internal employee hacking, I have to give Google an A+. I can't help but to poke at every weakness I see - it's a personality flaw. I personally have not seen 1 byte of user data that I did not need to do my job, and I am easily in the top 1% of nosy Googlers. My son told me once, "You love to be evil for good". That's how I feel about testing defenses. There is always room for improvement, and I think we're trying hard to improve, but no other company on earth comes close to protecting user data like Google does today.

As for discriminating against women, older folks, etc... well, we're a company made up of humans, just like the rest. There's room for improvement. Before working here, I worked primarily in FPGA place and route algorithms, which is a field with AFAIK exactly zero women. Please let me know if I'm wrong, and managers don't count, I mean the actual algorithms geeks. I read somewhere that we only employ something close to 15% women in engineering/software jobs, but when I look around, I see closer to 30% women. It might just be my group, but I think we try pretty hard to expunge 1960's Star Trek inspired sexist attitudes. As a 53-year-old, I have to try pretty hard to try and eliminate unconscious biases - which is hard! I don't know of any other company that demands this of older engineers like me. It's a very good thing.

Anyway, I'm guessing you don't really know what goes on at Google, but this is Slashdot. Stating strong opinions about that which we know nothing about is what we do here...

Comment Re:You get what you pay for (Score 4, Interesting) 77

Here's a nice warm thought to keep everyone up at night: What is to keep hackers who enjoy this sort of thing from buying devices at BestBuy, hacking them to insert remote back doors, and then returning them to BestBuy the next day? If they put it back in the packaging, possibly with new shrink-wrap, they could claim they never even opened it, and it would go right back on the shelf for some unsuspecting victim to buy.

Would it matter if the device were a $20 webcam, a $2,000 desktop PC, a $50 Wifi router, or a $100 HP printer?

Comment Re:community 'crime' watch organizations (Score 1) 238

Maybe 4-ish years ago, I called my local police department to see if they would want to work with crime watch organizations that installed cheap FOSS license plate readers to monitor traffic into various neighborhoods. At the time, they were only interested in using that technology to monitor the neighborhoods where most of the crimes occur, rather than worrying about the mostly sleepy suburbs.

FOSS license plate readers are here. Just wait for the facial recognition software to complement it. We'll know the car _and_ the driver. With enough of these cameras, it will become impossible to be anywhere without both the government and public knowing about it. Given that my movements and online browsing are already tracked through my phone and computer by both governments and corporations, I don't know if there's much privacy left to lose.

Imagine the whole world is watching, and act accordingly.

Comment Re:Yo dawg, I heard you like keychains... (Score 2) 278

No keys in my pocket, but I do carry a gold-plated stainless-steel Klarus MiX6 AAA LED flashlight. The company is not reputable, IMO, but this is one great light. Too bad they don't make them anymore...

I also carry a Moto-X cell-phone with Republic Wireless, and an Infinite Noise Multiplier. Never know when you might need some true randomness :-)

Comment Re:The barrier has been there all along ! (Score 1) 63

One more point... this patent pool thing is all bad, in that it keeps out new players, reducing innovation. Also, it does nothing to stop trolls, who have no product to protect. You can't counter-sue a troll, since they don't do anything, making it impossible for them to violate patents. Billions of dollars are being flushed down the toilet in this anti-innovation patent-lawyer shake-down.

Comment Re:The barrier has been there all along ! (Score 3, Interesting) 63

Patents back in the 1970s were only slightly broken compared to today. I've met several inventors or their relatives who invented things like milk cartons and every-day items we now take for granted. Up through the 1970s, "inventor" was a potential career path.

That all changed rapidly starting in 1982, when Congress voted to give all patent appeal cases to a single appeals court in Washington DC. This court basically created the patent troll industry. Before 1982, trolls would have been thrown out of court. Since then, this court has become a puppet to the patent troll industry through something called regulatory capture.

I wont go into the evils of software patents here. It is a regular flame topic on slashdot. However, we can blame this appeals court for them. Most recently, I was shocked when they changed long standing precident and declared that APIs are copyrightable, which if upheld, has potential to end software development as we know it.

I have several software patents. We are required to get them for defensive purposes. This is essentially a lawyer's tax on the software industry, with zero benefit to non-lawyers, so far as I can tell.

Comment Re:Many DDR3 modules? (Score 1) 138

It sounds like you know a bit about modern DRAM architecture. Data sheets now days are not avalable to the public, so it's hard to figure out basic things, like how much power is burned in the DRAM in a simple loop. Do you have a simple rule of thumb for modern DRAM power loss? If I understand correctly, static power is minimal, but dynamic power can generate several watts of power.

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