Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:It's true (Score 1) 181

When the chip returns, we have to test it and make sure it is correct before we make any last minute changes. So there is a 72 hour bring-up period, most of us work 18 hour shifts and the campus is open around the clock with three meals served a day.

When you're talking about a short-term crunch period, sometimes those really are unavoidable, because of events that could not have been predicted ahead of time. When that happens, what matters is that the period be A. short, B. bounded, and C. rewarded with extra vacation to balance out the crunch. If an employer does that, it isn't a big deal. When an employer drives people to work 18 hours a day all year around, though, that's a much bigger deal.

That said, to some degree, what you're describing is still a failure of management. The final deadline might not be movable, but the milestones on the way to that deadline are movable, and the number of employees you throw at the problem is also adjustable. There are two ways to trivially fix the problem in your case:

  • Move the deadline for the design earlier. This approach will initially mean slightly longer hours during the entire project, but over the long term, will make it worth hiring one or two extra employees to reduce the workload. By doing that, you'll have an entire week or even two weeks at the end of the process for the bring-up period instead of 72 hours.
  • Hire contractors to offload most of the testing during surge periods. I guarantee you can find people who will do short-term contracts for a week if you throw the right amount of money in their direction, and I guarantee there are plenty of other companies that need testers only part-time. Work with those other companies and build up a contractor talent pool. Spend two days preparing for the tests, then three days doing the tests. Make a larger quantity of engineering test samples so that you can parallelize the tests better, and use three times as many people during that week so that everybody works sane hours.

This isn't rocket science. Either approach above would make those crunches completely unnecessary, and the combination would do so in a way that isn't even particularly painful for the company or the employees. However, both approaches require management to A. acknowledge that there's a problem, and B. care enough to fix it.

Comment Re: Cry me a river (Score 2) 181

He wanted the growth, the stock options... and he wasn't cut-out for the demands:

Yes and no. Most startups have the opportunities for growth, stock options that could become valuable, etc., though you always have a decent chance of not getting anything from them other than more work. But there's definitely a point beyond which that extra work qualifies as worker abuse. This is why we need stronger laws on employee work hours.

Don't get me wrong; I'm okay with people hiring "exempt employees" with the understanding that their work hours will vary throughout the year, depending on what is happening. Where that scheme goes off the rails is when that turns into an expectation that you'll work 50+ hours every week—something that is fundamentally unsafe from a psychological perspective, causing serious harm to workers when done over a prolonged period. And from what I've read, Uber is one of "those companies".

Make no mistake, that culture is entirely the fault of Uber's management. Young people tend to think they're invincible, so without managers telling them to do otherwise, they will work themselves into the ground—sometimes literally. They think that by working ridiculous hours, they'll get ahead of their coworkers, and when enough people do that, others start to believe that long hours are required; thus, a work culture forms around that expectation.

What those young people don't realize is that those longer hours invariably lead to bad decision-making and lower quality output. Statistically, for every hour above about thirty hours, productivity falls off, and by about 50 hours or so, productivity actually goes negative; for every hour worked beyond that limit, you end up doing more than an hour of extra work to fix the additional screw-ups caused by the hour of extra work. For this reason, it is crucial for every tech business to have competent managers who strongly encourage employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Managers who do not do this—managers who prioritize short-term gains over worker health—invariably lead to worker burnout, long-term low productivity, and yes, suicides.

Unfortunately, between Uber and video game companies, it is pretty clear that self-regulation by industry isn't working, and that government needs to step in. Exempt shouldn't mean "we own your life". It should mean "40 hours average", i.e. the same as non-exempt workers, but allowing for seasonal variation. It should be illegal for exempt workers to spend more than an average of 40 hours per week spread across a one-year period. Huge fines are quite literally the only thing that companies like Uber will understand.

Comment Re:slashdotters are happy (Score 1) 147

No, actually it's the solution to the abortion false dichotomy. And this isn't by any means the first story on the subject. A team in Japan did early animal testing in an artificial womb at least a decade back. I know this because I remember having a conversation about funding the development of this technology as a way for anti-abortion folks to put their money where their mouths are while on a church choir trip in 2008.

The fact of the matter is that abortion is worse than a wedge issue. It's a false dichotomy. Why would anyone in their right minds not want both a right to life for the fetus and a right to choose for the mother? The nature of birth involves trading the rights of one person for those of another, and that's the only thing that makes the abortion issue challenging for people to navigate. The mere existence of artificial womb technology is a game-changer.

If Republicans were actually serious about ending abortion, they would have jumped on this a decade back, and would have insisted on pouring funding into making this technology viable. We'd see research dollars being poured into that instead of into missile shields and random weapons research, and this technology would be fully viable by now, because with enough people working on it, the advances would happen faster. But they haven't done this, because they would lose most of their seats if abortion actually became illegal in a way that wouldn't get undone in a future power shift.

A truly intelligent, competent candidate for office, then, should be pointing this out, and should be running on a campaign of making artificial wombs available soon, and then making abortion illegal, requiring patients to instead get outpatient transfer surgery to move the fetus to an artificial womb. And the government should massively subsidize the transfer and pay for the incubation in cases where the woman gives up a fetus for adoption in utero so that no one chooses a back alley abortion over saving a life. And the government should require insurance companies to cover the transfer and incubation in cases where the life of the mother or fetus would be in jeopardy if a pregnancy continued, so that women with high-risk pregnancies can keep their kids without risking their own lives and the lives of their kids.

The mind-boggling thing about this, at least in my mind, is that our politicians still haven't thought of it. This should have been obvious to any competent leader at least ten years ago when the first study came out. Arguably, it should have been obvious earlier than that. I've been advocating this as a solution to the abortion debate for so long that I can no longer even remember when I started advocating it. If I ever run for office, I swear I'll run with the promise of being pro-life and pro-choice—no more false dichotomies. The American people deserve at least that much competence from their politicians.

Comment Re:That's the big problem... (Score 1) 58

Hell I use it.
Google drive.
I am in a violently bitter divorce and all the docs are on a google drive so I can pull them up on my phone at a moment's notice, while also being able to actually work on them on my PC.

Risk? yes.
Worth it when I can pull up the latest custody order on a moment's notice to demonstrate I do, in fact, have custody of my kids right now? Priceless (and the cops like it too).

Still keep the oblig hardcopy binder like any court system docs, and an offline copy made weekly or when there are big changes.

Comment Re:Finally a good use for fitness trackers. (Score 1) 119

Well yes...
And actually I already have a system I use.
Like you I have a friend(relative) who is responsible for my primary computer stuff, but there is one machine that requires a ping at least once a week or it goes dark, after a month it wipes its keys and my CA signed private key as well.
I'll notice when it goes dark... and if I don't I have *way* bigger problems.

Comment Re:Retard (Score 1) 98

If the switch happened *after* the ASIC was created then yes.
If the algos are all defined then I just build an asic that does the following:

get input
switch (input.algo){
case Algo1: { foo();break;}
case Algo2: { bar();break;}
case AlgoN: { doN();break;}
default: {awNuts();}
};
put output

Sure the ASIC is bigger (and costlier), but each of those algos is a hardware implementation optimised for nothing else.
An ASIC is (basically) a slice of a RISC that does what you want with nothing else.

In fact you can think of a RISC as an ASIC implementation of CISC.

Comment Re: Standards... (Score 1) 171

no, this is just part of the proof that car makers do not want EVs. Dealers do not want them. Car makers do not want them. And building an adapter to tesla does NOT harm their efforts on their own standards, any more than tesla building a chadmoe and j17772 hurt their standards.
In fact, because tesla DID build those, it was possible to buy a tesla and have full access to chargers all over so that you can move around the nation easily. OTOH, NO other EV has that claim . The bolt is the first none tesla that can drive all over.

Comment Re:Online ? Authors never shopped in real life (Score 1) 242

Go to a site. Log in. Put what you want in the cart. Close your browser. Wait 24 hours for the "you left something behind" email with a 10% off coupon. Log in as a new user, get the new user discount, Add it to the 10% discount.

Their problem is that with all the "tricks", if you find out how to game them, you'll get a lower price than anyone else. And they work, because every sap thinks they got a better deal than most.

They learned this trick from used car dealers. It's an ancient trick.

Comment Re:This is horrible (Score -1) 87

Oh, this is a wonderful comment!

Also I suggest that people who are unusually tall should be shortened at the knees because they can move unfairly faster than others and see further. People with 20/20 vision should have their sight reduced artificially by mandatory cloudy glasses to make it fair for everybody and people who are just too damn pretty should have acid splashed into their faces to make life more equitable on this planet for all.

Comment Re:Who exactly is surprised by this? (Score -1) 149

Those are not necessities. Would you defend rich people being the first to have food and water and shelter?

- of-course I would, most obviously people with more means can get food and water and shelter faster and of higher quality than others. Wealth is a way to set priorities just as well as to do a number of other things, why wouldn't the rich have first access to food, water and shelter?

Comment Re:Did someone say bubble!? (Score 1) 327

Not every cycle is a bubble. A boom followed by a crash is a bubble, but a boom followed by a slow reverse isn't. The housing crisis was a bubble because it was built on banker fraud. The increase in housing prices in the '80s was new plateau, with localized crash in Texas, from a "crisis" identical to the later global housing/lending crisis, just localized to Texas, centered around fraud related to land valuations. If the "crash" is a slowing of housing cost growth, then it was never a bubble.

housing *always* goes up. There are more people tomorrow than there were yesterday, so demand is going up, but there's no new land.

Slashdot Top Deals

Nothing is faster than the speed of light ... To prove this to yourself, try opening the refrigerator door before the light comes on.

Working...