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Comment Remember Microsoft bid $44 for this pile of crap (Score 4, Insightful) 46

Yahoo shareowners are probably angry they didn't accept Microsofts $44 billion bid in 2008. And Microsoft is probably very lucky Yahoo rejected the bid! That might very well have been with the end of Microsoft. This bid of Microsoft back then was to me (a lay person) obviously a full-retard crazy bid for a faltering business. This just proves how incompetence thrives even (or especially actually) at the higher ladders of management. In most companies I have been employed that did well, it seems the success was more despite of management than because of it. Most leaders, CEO's etc. are utterly incompetent, despite of the picture the media often attempts to paint of "great leaders". By the way, note how the tech press has even seemed to "glorify" the supposed value of Yahoo in even the past few years, praising it as a high tech company even though there is nothing noteworthy about the products offered. $3.5 billion is also way too much - but it is small enough the loss can be "covered up" by the acquirer down the line (hidden behind dubious "synergistic effects") so it is plausible it could sell at that price.

Comment Re:The problem of facts vs dogma (Score 0) 1116

I don't mean to take sides in the vaxx debate per se. But consider many other "truths" the medical community have promulgated about the safety or otherwise of various drugs, foods etc. A lot of it has been horribly wrong, and remember this wasn't just some fringe studies, this was study after study in peer-reviewed journals which led to disastrous recommendations by leading international and national health bodies. You can take trans-fats, saturated vs unsaturated fat, the 90's focus on eliminating fat from diets whereas carbs were perfectly okay (about the opposite of current thinking). The trans-fat clusterfuck alone has cost countless of lives lost compared to if those people had just kept eating butter! When the first studies came out showing a link between smoking and lung cancer, this was followed by new studies not showing a link (and these were not studies manipulated by the tobacco industry) to the point that there were news articles saying there weren't a link anyway and people could safely continue to smoke. Today smoking is probably the factor with the strongest link to smoking known at all! So knowing all this, how can we trust the medical community on say the vaccine and autism link? Right now it is very fashionable to be an "informed citizen" and criticize the anti-vaxxers and that seems so right and cool now. But how will it look in 20 years? No one knows.

Comment Re: Refugees (Score 1) 173

Yes for applications maybe but I am talking about the actual numbers of arrivals and never mentioned applications. There is often a month long delay before these get filed and registered. Regarding rejected appl: how many of these actually get deported (I.e. stop costing money) when their application is rejected? All the countries have huge lists of rejected immigrants but they are impossible to send home and end up staying. Yes some of the money are coming from other budgets which the government gets a lot of flag for. But clearly you can only do this so many times. 2016 has already brought thousands of new applications (yes over 2000) and it is not like the expense from the 2015 refugees has stopped, we are just taking on a bigger and bigger annual expense. Soon there won't be more foreign aid budgets to cut. Besides despite of this cut in foreign aid it is still costing billions of kr in new money that's going from the main budget. It is fair enough if you think we should spend this money for moral or other reasons, just don't downplay the actual cost because there is wide agreement among ALL parties that it is a huge cost! Also, many asylum seekers are men entitled to family reunification meaning that the number of actual refugees will triple. The recent toughening of these rules affect only a minority of refugees so won't change this multiplicator effect much. It has been seen time and time again.

Comment Re: About time (Score 1) 173

I definitely see where you are coming from and as you can see I have the same concerns. I have thought about this Plato quote as well. It seems to always come up when the subject of grade/Ph.D./education inflation is discussed. While I will be the first to acknowledge that equivalent concerns may have been voiced since ancient times and that such concerns today may seem to have be unfounded, I also think We should not be bound by whatever observations Plato or others made. It could just as well be this time it is right! I am sure there are many cases in history where someone raised a concern that was dismissed because previous such concerns seemed unfounded. Just think about the financial crisis where the media were full of professors saying the economy was fine and there were no problems in the market etc. I don't know what the world look like at the time of Plato or what I would have thought had I lived then. I can just see that at this very moment I can see grade inflation, degree inflation and a general devaluing of education. I can't "prove" it but I am not writing a journal article so I don't have to. I can only offer my perspective based on my walk of life... then others must see how it matches their experience. I have a nice interesting and well paid job and a happy life not lacking anything... I am not butter or jealous at these Ph.Ds. Still my sort of conservative (not politically more in the sense of old-fashioned values) and practical upbringing can't help being a bit offended and concerned by this devaluing of education where the PH.D. Inflation is just one aspect. I can't help but feel there will be a price to pay down the line both at the society and individual level.

Comment Re:Is this really international news? (Score 1) 173

Exactly... it is almost like children tattleing to the adults when something doesn't go their way. The bad thing is that some people take it seriously. As if the opinion of some foreign media, who haven't spend 5 minutes to figure out what the story is about, is more important than a democratic, informed decision in the country itself!

Comment Re: About time (Score 2) 173

When I started in University I thought PhD was way out of reach. After all those who got it were all straight "13" students or close to it and when talking to them you could immediately tell they are not just smart... More like geniuses or something close to it. That's how it was in math and comp sci circa 2000. I gave up on the ph d thought when I got my first bad grade. Well 5 years later I got my masters. By them Ph.D.s were already much easier to get and I even got offered one. Turned it down due to lack of interest. Here a further 10 years later I see that from my class even some of the lazy and stupid ones with bad grades got a PhD! Now I am hiring software engineers and many come with PhDs but don't in any way seem brigther/smarter/wiser/better than the graduates. Happy I didn't spend 3 years on something that ended up being so devalued.

Comment Re: Refugees (Score 1) 173

You are clearly living in fantasy land. As even studies from the most left wing institutions show it has up to now been a huge drag on the economy. The majority of them can't even read or write let alone speak either Danish or English. Yes it seems some of them did start own businesses especially from the generations around 20 years ago. Interestingly there's very little tax revenue from those businesses so they probably don't even pay for themselves let alone the vast majority who are unemployed and not running businesses

Comment Re:About time (Score 1) 173

Scary... this robot/AI revolution better come fast, allowing governments to truly paper over these trends. That, or what these graphs show will soon become a major, visible problem. I suspect the same trend exists in most western/development economies, and it matches what I see myself.

Comment Re:Refugees (Score 4, Insightful) 173

The refuguees number for 2015 is more like 30.000. And at least the same amount to come in 2016. Besides, it is expensive for a country to take in 0.75% or even 0.25% of citizens who do not produce but will live off the produce of the existing population (many of which are not productive either). Compare the ratio to other countries and their population size. I don't think the U.S. would have an appetite for taking in millions of people annually that would have to get free housing, food, healthcare etc. But this is what it would amount to should the U.S. take the same amount of refugees on a per capita basis. While good education system is a necessity for society to prosper, it doesn't mean that no cut backs are ever possible in education, just as society shouldn't spend an infinite amount of money on education. Giving people degrees that either lead to unemployment or only employment as PhD's teachers, etc within said field, or as administrative staff in the government in positions where the subject matter of the degree has no relevance, certainly won't benefit Denmark as a society. For instance, people take a 5 year degree in History and then people just an office worker in the government. But because of their degree they are now entitled to a salary as an acdemic even though their degree is not doing anything good in the position! If the same position had been filled by someone without a degree, the pay would have been about half. That's just crazy! Can't imagine it being like that anywhere else. That's just one of many, many things that will have to change in the coming years because it is costing a shit-ton of money and is outright counterproductive in terms of actually making people seek productive careers. Maybe the people you know who left in 2010 were just angry that there was starting to be a limit on the hand-outs (in terms of either welfare or "easy" public sector jobs). They better watch out, it seems suchs hand-outs are shrinking in just about all countries.

Comment Re:Is this really international news? (Score 0) 173

Exactly, and the people complaining the most about these cuts are the same people who think Denmark should take even more refugees. Also, it is disgraceful to see how people who work at University of Copenhagen now launches one Facebook campaign after the other about how this is is horrible because Denmark is supposed to live off our knowledge and research etc. That may well be true, but we certainly aren't going to get rich by employing tons of administrative personel and handing PhD degrees to people who hardly should have gotten a masters! Education may well enable a person to create value but it is by no means a sufficient or necesasry condition for it.

Comment Re:About time (Score 5, Interesting) 173

This! It used to be only the brightest of a class that got offered PhD's but thanks to the more than tripling of PhD's over the past 10 years you routinely see very "ordinary" students who study PhD. In fact, it seems to even be an attraction to some of the lazy ones so they can hang around with their friends at uni at 3-4x the income they had as students, compared to - say - going to the private sector where the salary might be higher, but the actual productivity requirements even more so. The Danish PhD instutition is a disaster - having a PhD in Denmark is at best a neutral indicator of ability, and probably bordering on the negative.

Comment Is this really international news? (Score 4, Insightful) 173

A 7% reduction (where over half are voluntary meaning only 3% actually get sacked) doesn't seem so unusual and by no means massive. In all companies I've been there has been cuts that were both bigger in absolute and percentage terms, hardly raised a headline. But now it's the public sector so it is somehow a disaster not only nationally but also news-worthy internationally?!
It seems in the past year, some danes have figured out that whenever the government does something they disagree with they can run to the international media with "Oh look how evil they are!" stories and easily have them printed. Even though the actual news content is utterly trivial, and in fact many other countries have been doing the same "evil" thing.
There has been a massive upsurge in hiring at University of Copenhagen in recent years. A tripling of PhD students over 10 years. Any half-decent grad student gets routinely offered 2-3 PhD positions if they finish, and can easily get research assistant and PostDoc positions after they finish, and then teachers, asisstant professors and what not after that. Everyone knows they are not all top scientists - quite far from it. In fact many of them couldn't make the cut at a private company, but yet consider themselves superior just because they got a trivial PhD degree.
So on balance, it seems only in order with a little clean-up - just as many other companies have to from time to time. By the way, the actual cut in funding was only 2% so it can't explain why they now have to fire 7%.

Comment Re:Pao = Sexist (Score 1) 892

I completely agree. I think it might not be as much that women lack the "core skill" og negotiation. Women are generally perceived as good in social situations.
I think it is much like a choice of attitude. I think it is generally agreed that overall women are not as risk-taking as men. Negotiating pay involves risk - it involves the risk of being turned down, og giving a bad impression of yourself. Of course it also involves benefits, namely a higher pay. This is of course especially true if done wrong. At any rate its an extra effort compared to just blindly accepting the deal you get.
For this reason, I don't think there's any wrong in people negotiating potentially getting a higher pay - be it men or women. It's a personal choice whether you want to run that risk or not. Given the nature of markets, there's nothing strange about individuals being able to earn more by taking on more risk or doing an extra effort. In fact it seems unavoidable.
Given my experience with HR departments etc. I think it is pretty obvious that the "offer" Reddit is going to give is highly unlikely to match the individuals skills. IT is an area where higher skills can give extreme multiples in added productivity, even though this is never shown at the pay slip. So it is notoriously difficult to value someone based on just average tables based on years of eduction, experience etc. Often the true value of an employee can only be assessed some time after hiring. This is where negotiation comes in (and here I'm also talking about post-hiring salary adjustments) , because it allows the higher skilled workers to try and get some compensation for the greatly added productivity they bring, beyond what the "averages" indicate. If Reddit eliminates this aspect, they will either have to give up hiring from this pool (because their initial offers are only around average and everyone knows negotiation isn't possible) or they will have to give very high initial offers, meaning they will overpay a lot of people.
Of the two alternatives, the latter is the safest since you can always get rid of those who you turned out to be overpaying, whereas if the initial offer is too low, you are never going to see the top talent at all.
But besides from that - isn't Reddit just a trivial news web site? It's hardly a technological marvel, any semi-skilled person could quickly code up something like that. I suspect it was done only by a few people initially. Then a few truly skilled people are required to scale it up to handle the high load, but that's it. 5-6 good developers ought to be enough. I don't know how many employees they have, wouldn't be surprised it's in thousands given they have poor enough owners/mangement to higher Ellen Pao as CEO.

Comment Same old story (Score 3, Informative) 266

This story comes up every few years. They are all written off the same template, like how this new generation of tools will allow everyone to write their own apps, and you don't need professional programmers, and here's an example of an 8-year old who made an app in two minutes etc. These stories are written by people who don't have a clue what the working day of a programmer looks like, and imagines something sitting isolated at his desk typing in code all day
The programmer's job is to translate the requirements from other humans into requirements that a machine can understand. For very well-defined domains of applications, it is indeed possible for non-programmers to use tools that can achieve the same thing. That was the same with VB 1.0 or equivalents prior to that. I don't think the scope of possible applications that can be written in this way has broadened much in the decades after. Applications that is just a dialog with very simple logic can be written by drawing the dialog and copy-pasting and adapting small statements etc.
Beyond that there's not been much progress in "auto-writing" applications. The reason is, that the current programming languages are actually fairly efficient and precise ways of explaining to a computer what it should do. The job of the programmer is to translate the "business" requirements into that specification.
Even for a fairly trivial stand-alone program computers can't do this today. Even if that were to happen, consider that much of the programmer's time is not spent writing code within some confined, well-defined environment, just writing line after line. Rather, it is spent understanding the customer-specific requirements, realizing if they are impossible/inconsistent and working out a solution together with the customer, integrating multiple systems and many different levels in those systems using completely different interfaces and paradigms, and figuring out how it is all going to work together.
My experience is that most automatic code-writing and analysis tool stop working when you add this layer of complexity. They may work well for a completely stand-alone Java application with a main() method, but how does it work when you have client code, native code, server code, 10 diff. frameworks, 3rd party libraries some written in other languages, external web services, legacy systems, end-users who think about things in different ways than the internal data models etc, implicit contracts/conventions, leaky abstractions, unspecified time-out conditions, workarounds required due to bug in other systems and difference in end-user setups? The complexity and bugs here is always resolved by human programmers and I suspect it will be that way for a long, long time even if computers manage to be able to write stand-alone programs themselves (which IMHO will be the point where we have something approaching general AI). While you can take individual aspects of these problems and formalize them, the amount of combinations and the diversity in scenarios is so big, that it becomes impractical.
If you have competent programmers, most of the bugs are going to be in these areas, since it is also easy for a competent human programmer to write a stand-alone program that works well on one machine.

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