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Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

Dahamma Re:$3500 fine? (276 comments)

Jeez, mods, way too much speculation (much of which is wrong) to be a "+5" post...

First, it was in fact L1 visas for short term inter-company work.

The real problem was that EFI paid their Indian employees their existing wages (plus boarding, per diem, and bonuses) while they were in the US. Since US employment law states otherwise, yes, they screwed up, and it's good that they were forced to pay them more. But it's bullshit to call this "slave labor", etc, because of the wage since these employees went back to India with the same wage they were already getting (and no food/lodging costs during that time).

On the other hand, what *is* disturbing is the claims that they worked 120+ hours a week while in the US. I'm almost skeptical of that number as that is literally less than 7 hours a day off the job which isn't enough time for a good night's sleep - but even more or less forcing 100+ hours for an hourly employee, working in a foreign country with likely little say over their duties or conditions seems borderline criminal to me...

yesterday
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Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

Dahamma Re:$3500 fine? (276 comments)

No, we are approaching a time when the robots *can* do all that for us.

The question is, will they be *cheaper*, which is really all that matters to those having their ditches dug. For $10 per hour, robots may become competitive, but for $1.21 per hour, pretty sure humans will be cheaper for quite a while...

yesterday
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Dahamma Re:The good news (687 comments)

In general you are implying that a end user knowingly bought a counterfeit item; this is far from the truth.

Absolutely not, never said that. Unknowingly buying stolen or counterfeit goods is (almost always) not a criminal act or the buyer's fault, but it also doesn't give them any claims of ownership over the stolen goods. It's a crappy situation, but it happens all the time.

this is in no way analogous to counterfeit currency - there are built in counter measures, there are tools for detecting them, and if you have homeowners insurance you may be covered for some or all of the loss (in the US).

I'd say it's a LOT like counterfeit currency - even more so than something like counterfeit clothes, etc. That currency has value to the owner until it's discovered that it is counterfeit, in which case it loses value. It's up to the owner to go after whoever gave them the counterfeit currency/goods to be recompensed.

And this isn't all that complicated, really. A hardware manufacturer buys chips and builds them into computers and other devices. If they used counterfeit chips, they are liable and will be required to fix the situation, or face a veritable shitstorm of lawsuits, etc. Of course, reputable manufacturers are not going to buy generic chips from a shady supplier, and hospitals and corporations don't buy computers from unknown manufacturers with no warranties, etc either (so the hospital example is totally bogus unless you have an actual citation to the contrary).

When buying stolen or counterfeit goods, it's always been caveat emptor. The fault is in the counterfeiter and the integrator/manufacturer who didn't check their suppliers, of course, but anyone in the chain will be affected, especially the end user left holding the bag.

yesterday
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Dahamma Re:On the other hand... (687 comments)

I agree it totally sucks.. but buying stolen property, no matter how many steps removed from the crime, isn't going to get much sympathy from a legal standpoint.

And have there been "regular devices at retail stores" that have used these chips? If it's a shady unlabeled device from an unknown anonymous manufacturer, sure, you'll be SOL, but if you bought something from a reputable manufacturer you better bet they will be providing refunds, etc if they built hardware with counterfeit chips...
 

yesterday
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Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

Dahamma Re:No. (289 comments)

Let me repeat... You should not EVER have thing think about your bandwidth or how you are using your internet connection. If you ever have to stop and think, "why is this slow", you don't have enough. You should have to micromanage what is ran and when, or who can do what at what times, etc.

I can't even begin to describe how much of a ridiculous "first world problem" this is, let alone how inaccurate...

Despite what the author and many other people seem to pretend, much of the US (and other parts of the world) *does* in fact get 50Mbps+ for under $100 already without FTTH. That's enough bandwidth to stream 3 HD videos and whatever web browsing or game patches you want at the same time.

We have the technology to provide every user so much bandwidth, that it's nearly impossible for them to ever run into an issue of using it all.

Sure, obviously the technology exists, but why would anyone assume it should be free? We could give everyone 10Gbps+ to their home if we were willing to spend a few hundred billion dollars in infrastructure and even more in monthly fees/maintenance to keep it running. We could similarly give everyone in the world a Ferrari if they were willing to pay for it.

It's all an issue of cost. And obviously people are willing to compromise and wait a bit longer for their downloads to save money.

2 days ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Dahamma Re:The good news (687 comments)

"Terroristic"? You have got to be kidding me.

The user bought a counterfeit chip and the company who actually made the chip figured it out and disabled it. Sucks for the poor consumer who bought it, but that doesn't mean they have any right to use the counterfeit chip. They need to take it up with the company who counterfeited and/or sold it to them.

You disagree? Well, I'm SURE if you took counterfeit $100 bills from someone the government would say "oh, man that sucks, we're so sorry, we'll take those anyway because we don't want to inconvenience you or anyone else for accepting counterfeit currency!"

2 days ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Dahamma Re:On the other hand... (687 comments)

Just don't see the problem with this. The USB device claimed it was a FTDI device to the driver, so it was pretty obviously counterfeit.

Sure, it totally sucks for the consumer but come on, where are these counterfeit devices coming from? You buy a shady cut rate USB device from a shady manufacturer and you deserve what you get. Doesn't matter what the industry is, that's ALWAYS been the case...

2 days ago
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Ubisoft Claims CPU Specs a Limiting Factor In Assassin's Creed Unity On Consoles

Dahamma Re:clockspeed really? (338 comments)

Well, CISC machines are generally RISC on the inside, but yes, blindly comparing clock-rates is almost always inappropriate.

Yes, obviously anyone who knows anything about CPU architectures already knows that, but the relevant semantics is that x86 is CISC to the compiler, which is really the relevant bit.

2 days ago
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The Great Robocoin Rip-off

Dahamma Re:Visible douchebag (117 comments)

Yeah, but looking at Wilkinson's photo, his douchiness quotient may not be far behind. Their combined daily hair product emissions alone could probably power a small town.

One overprivileged hipster screws another. Oh, the humanity! And it's so sad to see, since in another world they could have been bros, sharing some PBRs on a Sunday morning at the beer garden while talking over each other about their new iPhone apps.

about two weeks ago
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Tesla Announces Dual Motors, 'Autopilot' For the Model S

Dahamma Re:Performance (283 comments)

There is definitely something about intuiting manual shifts (or blipping downshifts) by the sound of the engine alone or mastering the art of the shift/gas/brake/clutch on twisting roads with only two feet for the 3 pedals.

If you are *racing* (and VERY few people really actually do this) sure, it's all about speed and handling, who cares how you get it. But as you said for most auto "enthusiasts" it's about *driving*. Really, most of the fun is in the learning, same with many hobbies - if you just want to "be perfect", you can let a computer decide your next chess move, play the baseline on your keyboard, or shift for you. But what's the point?

about two weeks ago
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Tesla Announces Dual Motors, 'Autopilot' For the Model S

Dahamma Re:Performance (283 comments)

No, electric will NOT "win" (where win is become the predominant form of vehicle propulsion) with performance. Electric will be an awesome but tiny niche with performance.

Electric will win with price, utility, and reliability, just like all car models that "win" ie. are hugely popular (e.g. the Prius). Once electric cars start winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans, can be purchased for $30k and can get ~300 miles per charge and go cross country in a few days, I think absolutely they will win...

about two weeks ago
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Tesla Announces Dual Motors, 'Autopilot' For the Model S

Dahamma Re:Read speed limit signs (283 comments)

Reminds me of a high school drivers ed session years back (I was sitting in the back seat):

teacher: "What's the speed limit on this road?"
student: "64?"
teacher: "64!? This is Route 64 you nitwit! Well, at least we didn't take Route 83. Or I-355!"

about two weeks ago
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Ubisoft Claims CPU Specs a Limiting Factor In Assassin's Creed Unity On Consoles

Dahamma Re:Cell (338 comments)

It's a reasonably modern ATI GPU, and it can be used as a "compute shader".

Though of course GPU compute functions are pretty complex to do, and they directly take away from graphics functions. I'm guessing Ubisoft's claim that the platforms are CPU bound does not really mean they are not using as much of the GPU as they can - otherwise seems a little disingenuous that they are also limiting the rendering resolution to 900p.

about two weeks ago
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Ubisoft Claims CPU Specs a Limiting Factor In Assassin's Creed Unity On Consoles

Dahamma Re:Hey Ubisoft, maybe you should stop shitting on (338 comments)

Windows would run just fine on a Pentium computer with a decent amount of RAM. Try running a java applet on it, though, and you may as well go for a long coffee break...

Hah. No.

Windows 7+ does a shit-ton of graphic eye candy and multi-threaded background tasks, etc. Without a couple of reasonable (not Pentium) cores and a decent GPU it's unusable. The extra RAM just keeps it from crashing entirely.

about two weeks ago
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Ubisoft Claims CPU Specs a Limiting Factor In Assassin's Creed Unity On Consoles

Dahamma Re:clock speed is not the right comparison (338 comments)

Maybe you didn't target your game properly.

Many Nintendo games run in 1080p and 60 frames/second on the Wii U which is much less powerful...because Nintendo makes that their target when deciding how much AI and graphics detail to put on the screen at once.

Ugh, give me a break. If everyone targeted their games to "Nintendo standards" instead of games actually trying to push the envelope with performance and features, Mario, Pokemon, and their ilk would have taken over the world by now.

And I have developed for the Wii U. Compared to the XB360/XB1/PS3/PS4 It's a HORRIBLE platform with a worse OS. It still requires cooperative multitasking (hello Yield()!) which if custom-designed for the platform form the start would be fine, but it makes porting later from a *real* platform that actually sells games a PITA. If you wondered why the Wii U is not getting the quality ports of the other platforms - it's because Nintendo's development tools and OS are stuck in 1995.

about two weeks ago
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Ubisoft Claims CPU Specs a Limiting Factor In Assassin's Creed Unity On Consoles

Dahamma Re:clockspeed really? (338 comments)

Yeah, it is helpful to call it a PPC because that was the basic architecture that the OS and main app ran on.

And in terms of the PS3 Cell/SPUs, it was an even bigger architecture change, of course.

But the point is: the fact that the PS3 PPU/SPU and the XB360 CPU ran at twice the clock speed of the PS4/XB1 X86 cores is totally irrelevant, since they are completely different architectures. The point of RISC is it runs simpler instructions in fewer cycles at a higher clock rate. Which of course means any clock rate comparison with a CISC architecture is mostly irrelevant.

about two weeks ago
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Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

Dahamma Re:I'm confused, shortage or glut (283 comments)

True - that and actually having a personality capable of working with others. Interviews are 1/2 proving your competence and 1/2 proving you can work with your interviewers. Based on said /. commenters' posts, no way in hell I'd hire them ;)

about two weeks ago
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Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

Dahamma Re:I'm confused, shortage or glut (283 comments)

Except the point of this article is most of the time it's fairly useless and doesn't result in them getting a *career* in said research. So they did research, but they were a STUDENT, not a RESEARCHER.

about two weeks ago
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Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

Dahamma Re:I'm confused, shortage or glut (283 comments)

Easily. Before bonuses and options. I keep seeing all of this whining on /. this week about how SW engineers are under appreciated and underpaid, but in the Bay Area right now, there is a huge shortage and salaries and bonuses are getting almost ridiculous (especially how many horrible programmers I see getting paid as much as they are as well).

about two weeks ago
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Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

Dahamma Re:Group of supremely well educated (283 comments)

So you are saying the problem isn't subsidizing grad students, it's overpaying the faculty ;)

about two weeks ago

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