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Comment Why not hardware, analog and RF (Score 1) 309

It seems to me that lots of engineering focus is on the software side, and hooray that is great that we have experts in everything net related and that side of the problem for product development in Linux, Windows etc and their toolsets for software development, and a great community (sourceforge, freshmeat, etc.)
Yet the missing part is key engineers understanding embedded systems or all else removed from operating system support. Even with FPGAs and a Linux core
it is a wide open window between hardware design and the code.
(opinion ) go with devices at the lowest level if you want to be a standout software guy, learn how to make them function in collaboration with the changing hardware guys.
There are also highly sought after engineering skills at the hardware level:

signal integrity
board design


Submission + - Why is Adobe Flash such an incredibly hard application to write? 1

strangluv2 writes: There is an unending stream of updates, and fixes, yet every place I go, from site to site to just watch video, to the Zynga games my wife and kids enjoy, this application fails, crashes, just stops web browsers cold.
What is in the flash protocol, or the installed application libraries it calls that make everything unstable, and why?

Comment Re:Read the decision (Score 1) 215

A classic is Compaq, and their IBM Compatable computers. The engineering team reversed the IBM BIOS, all calls, and wrote a document defining their function.
These engineers were now 'dirty' and could not write the BIOS, and that task was given to a second group, using only the specification.

The final fix, was IBM software applications peaked into the BIOS for the text string, 'COPYRIGHT IBM' to function, for authentication.

Compaq circumvented this with 'NONE OF THIS CODE IS COPYRIGHT IBM' in their ROM.

I request confirmation of this legend.

Comment It's fundamental to being alone in the universe (Score 1) 456

We don't survive as we are, and no other advanced life in the universe has either. That's why the phone is not ringing, SETI is failure by first principles.

Advancing makes us disappear in one of two ways, either thru the post's implied self destruction by playing with fire that we are incapable of controlling, or Vernor Vinge's Singularity where we simply become something else.

Lets look forward to joining the club!

What could possibly go wrong?

Comment not real time internet, but same content (Score 1) 387

We had lost of internet well before 1990 - as a software development resource, not the web. Usenet was mentioned, and if you could grab sources mailorder and compile (Austin Code Works!) for PCPIP from CMU, ftp and gnu tools you could find a gateway somewhere dialup for your home PC-AT.
You could also send off for tapes of archives of usenet, cant recall but those guys in Falls Church VA...
we had PC unix too, Interactive was sysV.
You could send off for tapes too to all the universities, I got TeX that way and X11 from MIT.

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon on the freeway, loaded with mag tape.

Comment Re:God help these people... (Score 1) 268

...A fair number of the people in anonymous at this point might actually be government operatives posing as allied hackers...

It is engineering strategy to move those less capable into marketing and sales. i.e. (media gadfly's, to NSA, CIA, and political office).
In the trenches we profit, with the increased security and research contracts, and job security that comes our way by this method.

Comment Re:Magnetic field + conductor = Electricity? (Score 1) 153

All electric paths exist, there is no 'path of least resistance'
Currents flow everywhere, through your rubber gloves hanging on HT power lines, make them minimal or isolate the ladder. Your hair will stand up.

Its not a binary thing, a decision point.

We have populated the 'path of least resistance' theme over the years, to make you aware of the potential current that you might find yourself in a situation.

Put one hand in your pocket was the original recommendation for us as we work with high voltage, so as not to cross your chest.

Comment The technical interview is flawed, on both sides (Score 1) 177

I have been on the hiring side, and the job seeker side many times.

I conclude on the job seeker side, just go with the flow, after you have been at it a bit you see the standard questions and puzzles. This tells the employer nothing, as these questions get around and the solutions are well known and on the net. When presented with these, I solve them for the free lunch, dinner, drinks job offer and trip; and then go, decide not to join, and for good reason.

The management speak troubles me more; after you have passed the puzzles, had the lunch with the engineering team and are now on with management for the afternoon and evening, I cringe at the rerun of catch phrases, that show no thinking whatsoever or original thought by leading mangagement, as to who I am and why I am here:

"Give me your 30 second elevator speech"
"What is your worst failure, and what did you do about it?"
"Describe your skillset, and convince me there is a match"

On the hiring side, I have been most successful to get the candidate to open up, and talk about projects and accomplishments. This lets me get into the past work history in a non confrontational way; ask for a story, let me pry into the technical issues with you and see your thought process for their resolution. This also gives me indications about the personality and style of the candidate.

We are going to work together, this is a marriage, we will probably spend more time together per week that with your wife. I need to know that you and I are compatible, and I have a short time to do it.

The current style does not support this idea, yet is far more important and successful than the puzzle interview.


Submission + - Widespread hijacking of search traffic in the US (

Peter Eckersley writes: "The Netalyzr research project from the ICSI networking group has discovered that on a number of US ISPs' networks, search traffic for Bing, Yahoo! and sometimes Google is being redirected to proxy servers operated by a company called Paxfire.

In addition to posing a grave privacy problem, this server impersonation is being used to redirect certain searches away from the user's chosen search engine and to affiliate marketing programs instead. Further analysis in a post at EFF."

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