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Comment Good engineers are hard to find (Score 1) 651

I'm pretty amazed at all of the negative responses here saying that we should just hire our unemployed engineers. I've worked several big-name tech companies including, Microsoft, Apple, and Google, and we couldn't find enough qualified engineers at any of them—US citizens or H1Bs. You'd think that these top companies would be able to easily hire good engineers, but it's really tough to find good people, even when we were in the depths of the recession.

At Apple we would go months without filling some critical positions because we couldn't find anyone qualified. After interviewing 10 or 15 people on site, none of them made the cut. I'm constantly amazed at how poorly the people I interview do—and they're the top 1–5% that make it past the resume screeners.

Maybe we don't need more engineers, but from what I've seen, we definitely need more good engineers.


PS—I've never seen any evidence that the companies I've worked for preferentially hire H1B employees. It's a lot of red tape for the company, and they get paid the same as US-born employees. The fact is that they're often simply more qualified than Americans.

Comment Re:Embarrassment rather than dislike of open sourc (Score 1) 295

I don't think it's so much about embarrassment; it's more about providing a stable target for other developers. Google doesn't want to have to deal with people building software on top of a foundation that they're just going to rip out and replace with a better one in the next version. They don't want to support APIs that aren't solid yet.

--Bruce (who is not speaking for himself, not for Google)

Comment Re:35 years of computer time (Score 1) 309

How about measuring that in actual computer usage? X MHz on Y cores per Z nodes over A hours? Or at least say it would have taken one X MHz processor 35 years to compute it.

Um, they did. From the article:

it would take a good desktop PC (Intel Nehalem, four-core, 2.8GHz) 1.1 billion seconds, or about 35 CPU years, to perform this calculation


VASIMR Ion Engine Could Cut Mars Trip To 39 Days 356

An anonymous reader writes "It would take about 39 days to reach Mars, compared to six months by conventional rocket power. 'This engine is in fact going to be tested on the International Space Station, launched about 2013,' astronaut Chris Hadfield said. The Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR®) system encompasses three linked magnetic cells. The 'Plasma Source' cell involves the main injection of neutral gas (typically hydrogen, or other light gases) to be turned into plasma and the ionization subsystem. The 'RF Booster' cell acts as an amplifier to further energize the plasma to the desired temperature using electromagnetic waves. The 'Magnetic Nozzle' cell converts the energy of the plasma into directed motion and ultimately useful thrust."

Submission + - Google: Apple VP Rejected Google Voice iPhone App ( 1

bruckie writes: "Today Google released the full, unredacted letter that they sent last month in response to an FCC inquiry into the roles of Apple, Google, and AT&T in the reported rejection of Google Voice from the iPhone App Store. In contrast to Apple's statement that it "has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it", the previously-redacted section of Google's letter states that in a phone call in July, "Mr. Schiller [Apple SVP of marketing] informed Mr. Eustace [Google VP of engineering] that Apple was rejecting the Google Voice application"."

Submission + - Our Moon May Hold Coldest Location in the Milky Wa (

tromtone writes: ""The shadowy craters near the south pole of the Moon may be the coldest places in the solar system, colder than even Pluto, NASA scientists reported Thursday as they unveiled some of the first findings from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft.In the newly released data, thermal measurements showed that daytime temperatures over much of the surface reached 220 degrees Fahrenheit â" hotter than boiling water â" before plummeting to frigidness at night.But the bottoms of the craters, which lie in permanent darkness, never warm above minus 400.""

Comment Re:Auto Pilot (Score 1) 203

Heck with the way things are now, the Auto Pilot can nearly land a plane by itself.

Actually, autopilot can land a plane without any human help, and in some cases it's even required to. I was talking to a pilot for United (friend's uncle) a couple years ago, and he said that in high winds or poor visibility, airline regulations prevent the pilot from landing the plan manually. The pilot is required to allow the autopilot to land the plane. Pretty crazy stuff.


Comment Carriers get paid for incoming calls (Score 5, Informative) 383

An interesting, relatively unknown fact that I picked up while working on telephony systems a while back: carriers get paid (by other carriers) for incoming calls.

Not only do you pay more to your carrier to listen to the inane voicemail prompt (since you might use more minutes), but your carrier also pays more to your friend's carrier. For example, if I'm an AT&T customer and I call a Verizon customer to leave a voicemail, AT&T has to pay Verizon for every second that I'm on the phone. This (perverse) incentive makes more sense than charging people for more minutes, since often the company charging for minutes (AT&T in this case) is not the company that controls the recorded message (Verizon).


Comment Not the first time (Score 2, Informative) 495

This sounds a lot like the 40-year-old Carterfone decision, where AT&T argued that allowing people to connect third-party devices to their network could disrupt or degrade service. I'm pretty sure that modems and Panasonic phones didn't ruin the telephone system, and I have a feeling that jailbroken iPhones wouldn't be the end of the world, either.


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