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Comment Re:News at 5... (Score 1) 451

Speaking of snow: In graduate school, I was driving through campus in a major snow storm (almost no traffic, almost no people out). I saw a woman exit a building up ahead and start walking down the sidewalk away from me (so her back was turned to me). She got to a diagonal crosswalk, and without any warning, stepped out into the road in front of me without looking first. There had been no indication she wanted to cross the road until the stepped off the sidewalk and into the road. I braked as fast as I could, anti-lock kicked in. I came to a stop just in front of the crosswalk with her glaring at me like it was my fault. She didn't stop before entering the crosswalk to make sure that 1) any oncoming cars saw that she wanted to cross the street and 2) they had time to come to a stop (especially considering there was accumulated snow in the road). I was the only car out there, so maybe she assumed there was no one around. I was driving a small off-road pickup (think toyota tacoma type truck with off-road suspension and aggressive on/offroad tires) -- my aggressive treads may have saved her ass. I was SURE I was going to kill this woman, but I stopped just in time. If I had been going any faster, it would not have ended well.

Comment Re:slippery slope (Score 1) 822

Lots of public open air places around me, like town parks, are designated 'smoke-free'. This has been the case for a long time. When I was in grad school slightly over a decade ago they designated the entire campus as 'smoke free'. This included all outside space, of course some people ignored it -- especially visitors to campus. It wasn't uncommon to see a couple people finishing their cigarette outside the hockey arena before heading in to watch the game. Maybe 5 years prior to that they had eliminated smoking dorms (they had a couple dorms that had designated smoking wings). I'm in a New England State so it isn't just the U.K.

Comment Re:Times and tech are changing (Score 1) 238

Most of the PhD CS profs. (tenured) I know (at local State school, def. not a tier-1 CS program) are making in the $85-120K range, although in some cases they have decades of experience. At least at this school the CS profs make more than a history or philosophy professor (that might max out the 80s).

Comment have a life outside work... (Score 1) 220

The campus of my company literally abuts Acadia National Park. I can be out my office door and hiking or running on park trails in 10 minutes. There are plenty of cities with awesome outdoor recreation opportunities. Your job might not keep you active, but that doesn't mean you have to sit on the couch and play video games when you get home either.

Comment we hire 40+ year old developers all the time. (Score 1) 708

I work in computational biology at a large research laboratory located in a rural area in Maine. We are the only game in town, and the people we hire are often more senior developers that either want to move to a small town on the coast, or were originally from the state and left to pursue their career. I can only think of one recent hire straight out of college, and in that case the person grew up in the town with our flagship state university and chose to go to school out of state. If you want to avoid managerial work and focus on software engineering, think about leaving the financial industry and look towards other domains -- some of your knowledge will translate. We basically have two types of developers -- those writing research/analysis software and those writing large enterprise systems (like laboratory information management systems).

Comment Genomics (Score 1) 559

I used to work at a University doing research sponsored by the US Army, my area of expertise was high performance computing. I left to go work at a genetics research laboratory, which is becoming increasingly computationally driven. Historically a lot of our work is what one would consider "embarrassingly parallel", but the rate at which we can produce genetic data is growing exponentially. New approaches to storing and analyzing this data are needed. I've recently been dabbling in CUDA programming, and we are already using FPGAs.

Comment Re:Apple is losing it's hold (Score 4, Insightful) 122

$150 million, not $5 billion. Microsoft bought 150 million dollars worth of non-voting shares as part of a patent licensing agreement, and also agreed to produce MS Office for OS X for at least 5 years (this was the important part, since many big software vendors had not yet committed to port their code to the new OS), and Internet explorer would be bundled as the default browser for 5 years (I think it was 5 years).

Apple was a multi-billion dollar company with 1.2 billion in cash at the time. It was in trouble financially, but it probably could have survived without that $150 million.

Comment Re:Her Defense Was Pretty Good Too (Score 2) 699

I was brought up Catholic, my parents were involved in the church choir, but we almost never talked about god or religion outside of church. We were never taught to give god thanks for everyday things. All success or failure was attributed to us. My parents would have considered themselves very spiritual, in her later years my Mother loved to read books about saints, and she made a pilgrimage to France. But I never felt like religion was part of our day to day lives. As a kid it was an hour a week, maybe two if we were doing "CCD" (religious education). I think they would be pretty upset to know I don't really believe, but they never mentioned having my son baptized, or the fact that we did not attend church.

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