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Comment Let your heart lead you to your career (Score 1) 536

Why go into engineering when management or sales pays double for less work?

Because, if you are in a good work environment in a good company, it's a whole lot more fun to follow your heart than to follow your wallet.

For those whose hearts lead them to engineering and who are fortunate enough to have a good work environment in a good company, there's plenty of reasons to stay rather than go with a less-work/higher-paying position in management or sales.

On the other hand, if your heart isn't in engineering, you probably shouldn't be there. If it is in engineering but you are in a lousy work environment or lousy company, change employers, not careers.

Submission + - Congress Will Consider Proposal To Raise H-1B Minimum Wage To $100,000 (

An anonymous reader writes: President-elect Donald Trump is just a week away from taking office. From the start of his campaign, he has promised big changes to the US immigration system. For both Trump's advisers and members of Congress, the H-1B visa program, which allows many foreign workers to fill technology jobs, is a particular focus. One major change to that system is already under discussion: making it harder for companies to use H-1B workers to replace Americans by simply giving the foreign workers a raise. The "Protect and Grow American Jobs Act," introduced last week by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. and Scott Peters, D-Calif., would significantly raise the wages of workers who get H-1B visas. If the bill becomes law, the minimum wage paid to H-1B workers would rise to at least $100,000 annually, and be adjusted it for inflation. Right now, the minimum is $60,000. The sponsors say that would go a long way toward fixing some of the abuses of the H-1B program, which critics say is currently used to simply replace American workers with cheaper, foreign workers. In 2013, the top nine companies acquiring H-1B visas were technology outsourcing firms, according to an analysis by a critic of the H-1B program. (The 10th is Microsoft.) The thinking goes that if minimum H-1B salaries are brought closer to what high-skilled tech employment really pays, the economic incentive to use it as a worker-replacement program will drop off. "We need to ensure we can retain the world’s best and brightest talent," said Issa in a statement about the bill. "At the same time, we also need to make sure programs are not abused to allow companies to outsource and hire cheap foreign labor from abroad to replace American workers." The H-1B program offers 65,000 visas each fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 reserved for foreign workers who have advanced degrees from US colleges and universities. The visas are awarded by lottery each year. Last year, the government received more than 236,000 applications for those visas.

Comment Programming/IT will be automatable in 10 years (Score 3, Insightful) 405

I tell teenagers who want to go into IT or computers for a career to only do it if they really want to. If they are doing it for the high salaries, they are taking a big risk.

You will still have a need for low-level customer-service work and high-level design/research work in 20 years.

The mid-level stuff that your run-of-the-mill programmer and system administrator does today will be largely be automated.

Hopefully, new, fun, decent-paying tech jobs that use similar parts of the brain that we haven't even thought of will fill the void.

Submission + - slashdot blew it

whitroth writes: The fortune at the bottom today reads "

        "Gort, klaatu nikto barada." — The Day the Earth Stood Still"

Duhhh, perhaps whoever typed that in should rewatch it. Short answer: no, it's Gort: Klaatu barada nikto.

Submission + - Carbon nanotube-based memory poised for commercialization in 2018 (

Lucas123 writes: Nano-RAM, which is based on carbon nanotubes and is claimed to have virtually a limitless number of write cycles and can achieve up to 3.2 billion data transfers per second or 2.4Gbps — more than twice as fast as NAND flash — is now being produced in seven fabrication plants around the world. Fujitsu plans to develop a custom embedded storage-class memory module using a DDR4 interface by the end of 2018, with the goal of expanding its product line-up into a stand-alone NRAM product family. A new report from BCC Research states the NRAM will likely challenge all other memory types for market dominance and is expected to be used in everything from IoT sensors to smartphone memory and embedded ASICS for automobiles.

Submission + - Open Source Codec Encodes Voice Into Only 700 Bits Per Second (

Bruce Perens writes: David Rowe VK5DGR has been working on ultra-low-bandwidth digital voice codecs for years, and his latest quest has been to come up with a digital codec that would compete well with single-sideband modulation used by ham contesters to score the longest-distance communications using HF radio. A new codec records clear, but not hi-fi, voice in 700 bits per second, that's 88 bytes per second. Connected to an already-existing Open Source digital modem, it might beat SSB.

Obviously there are other uses for recording voice at ultra-low-bandwidth. Many smartphones could record your voice for your entire life using their existing storage. A single IP packet could carry 15 seconds of speech. Ultra-low-bandwidth codecs don't help conventional VoIP, though. The payload size for low-latency voice is only a few bytes, and the packet overhead will be at least 10 times that size.

Submission + - Slashdot is using terrible ad network (

An anonymous reader writes: You guys are using a terrible ad network.

It redirects iPad users to "You are today's lucky winner." Not a pop up — a full redirect.

New ad network please!

Comment Time for counter-measures (Score 5, Insightful) 88

Browsers should present a "generic" capabilities list to web sites unless the user white-lists that site to receive some or all of the "real" capabilities. An online video-gaming site may need to know if I can play a GPU-intensive online game through the web browser, but very few other sites need to know.

For example, "generic capabilities" would be:

Screen size would be "small" for tablets, phones, and small notebooks, or "normal" for everything else. Pixel density would not be disclosed.
"List of fonts" would be the most common "web fonts" in the main language of the operating system.
As for the rest, they would be shown as "not disclosed."

Submission + - Switzerland Agrees New Data Sharing Pact With the US

Mickeycaskill writes: Switzerland has agreed its own new data transfer agreement with the United States, basing the framework on the deal struck by the European Union (EU) following the invalidation of Safe Harbour.

The previous arrangement was invalidated because of concerns about US mass surveillance but Switzerland says the new Swiss-US Privacy Shield will allow Swiss companies to transfer customer data without the need for additional contractual guarantees.

The Swiss Federal Council, a seven member executive council that is effectively the head of government in Switzerland, claim citizens will benefit from additional protections and the ability to contact an ombudsman about data issues.

Although not part of the EU, Switzerland is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) and has several bilateral agreements with the EU that sees it adopt many of the bigger bloc’s policies. The Federal Council says the alignment between the EU and the Swiss transatlantic data sharing partnerships is good news for multinational organisations.

Submission + - Fark, BoingBoing falsely accused by Google of posting child porn (

bizwriter writes:, BoingBoing, and Skepchick are just three of allegedly many sites that have found themselves accused by Google of posting "indecent" material and seeing their ads completely pulled. But the changes, determined by a combination of algorithms and humans, can be wildly untrue (like claiming that a picture of a clothed adult woman on Fark or an old BoingBoing news story about Pedobear was child porn). Most recently, Fark has found itself on the brink of going out of business as a result.

Submission + - D-Wave releases quantum computing tool as open source (

haruchai writes: Canadian company D-Wave has released their Qbsolv tool on GitHub to help bolster interest and familiarity with quantum computing

"qbsolv is a metaheuristic or partitioning solver that solves a potentially large quadratic unconstrained binary optimization (QUBO) problem by splitting it into pieces that are solved either on a D-Wave system or via a classical tabu solver"

This joins the Qmasm macro assembler for D-Wave systems, a tool written in Python by Scott Pakin of Los Alamos National Labs

D-Wave president Bo Ewald says "D-Wave is driving the hardware forward but we need more smart people thinking about applications, and another set thinking about software tools.”

Submission + - Scientists can now grow a beating human heart from stem cells (

schwit1 writes: A team of scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have used adult skin cells to regenerate functional human heart tissue.

The study, published in the journal Circulation Research , detailed that the team took adult skin cells, using a technique called messenger RNA to turn them into pluripotent stem cells, before inducing them to become two different types of cardiac cells.

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