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Comments

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Metamason: Revolutionizing CPAP Masks With 3D Scanning and 3D Printing

DuckDodgers Re:Lose weight (59 comments)

As others noted elsewhere, not all sleep apnea sufferers are obese. I found it a lot easier to control my appetite and exercise more often after I got my CPAP machine, and I'm starting to lose a little weight without extraordinary effort - of course the first ten pounds is always the easiest. So it's not clear to me whether sleep apnea is caused by my obesity or vice versa.

3 days ago
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Metamason: Revolutionizing CPAP Masks With 3D Scanning and 3D Printing

DuckDodgers Re:How do I get one? (59 comments)

I'm a fat bastard. I have sleep apnea. Maybe it would be fixed if I slimmed down (further). I'm working on it.

My boss has sleep apnea. He's 5'10" and 150 pounds. How slim do you want him to get?

While it's true that most sleep apnea patients are obese and the disease can be caused or made worse by obesity, a significant minority of the sufferers are thin.

3 days ago
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Linux Needs Resource Management For Complex Workloads

DuckDodgers Re:This belongs in the cluster manager (161 comments)

I am familiar with cgroups, not the others. Thanks for letting me know where to continue my research.

about a week ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

DuckDodgers Re:IBM (383 comments)

I was speaking in the general case, where a company is cutting and outsourcing at the bottom end and paying top dollar and providing bonuses for executives. In this case, no matter how much dislike I have for Microsoft, I'm guessing the move is just plain old cutting of dead weight. Satya Nadella can't think of anything useful to do with this particular set of 18,000 employees, so they're being let go - but he has no plans to replace them with cheaper alternatives. Departments and projects they've decided are not part of Microsoft's future are being shut down.

I'm glad an Indian guy made CEO in the US. I think that's great.

about a week ago
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Linux Needs Resource Management For Complex Workloads

DuckDodgers Re:This belongs in the cluster manager (161 comments)

If I understand the situation correctly - and it may be that I don't - this is what projects like Docker and chroot jails (?) were created to handle. You get most of the benefits of virtualization without most of the overhead. In a lot of cases you don't need the features that full virtualization provides over them.

about a week ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

DuckDodgers Re: Translation: Slash 18K jobs, apply for 18K H-1 (383 comments)

I don't have a problem with some man (or woman, whatever) in India getting a good job from a US company. That's fine.

What I dislike is that a US corporation will cut twenty million dollars off their annual payroll, replace it with eight million dollars in foreign workers - some outsourced and some cheaper H1Bs, and then the company divides the other twelve million per year between executives and shareholders. Clearly spending more money to hire, attract, train, and retain good talent is the height of stupidity. Unless of course you're dealing with corporate executives, in which case giving them little bonuses worth more than fifty regular employees earn in a year is the only reasonable way to do business. Long live the oligarchy!

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

DuckDodgers Re:I really really hate (383 comments)

Good point, and good song. But I think Al left out "perfect storm", and even though I'm not hearing that phrase quite as often this year as I was three or four years ago it still deserves a top spot among the worst corporate buzzwords.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

DuckDodgers Re:IBM (383 comments)

I have nothing against people from India, China, Africa, South America, etc... but you will notice that this ruthless drive to keep productivity up while lowering expenses does not extend to top executives. So you and me and the guy down the street and the woman across town take a pay cut or lose our jobs so someone in Indonesia can have a better life, while the person that decided to axe our positions and everyone on the board of directors get a bigger mansion.

I am happy when anyone anywhere gets a better economic opportunity. That's a good thing. But the more important point is that we're heading towards oligarchy - the middle class in the US is seeing their standard of living move more in line with the rest of the world, the average person in the rest of the world is seeing their standard of living inch towards the American middle class, but the great majority of the financial benefit to cutting middle class wages and outsourcing jobs goes to the 1%.

There is a class war, we're in the middle of it, and we're getting beaten badly.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

DuckDodgers Re:IBM (383 comments)

bangular, IBM does almost $100 billion in annual business per year, a solid $20 billion more than Microsoft. Though to be fair their profits are slightly lower. IBM is more than just surviving.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

DuckDodgers Re:I guess they won't need any more foreign Visas? (383 comments)

A person negotiates for compensation once every few years, at best. The people handling hiring at companies negotiate compensation every day. Companies almost universally make it company policy to forbid employees from discussing compensation with each other.

So when you and your employer are trying to agree on what you're paid, they've got more experience at the negotiation and access to much more information than you have. That makes the game field completely uneven.

Or in other words - no, you're not worth only what you can negotiate out of your employer, regardless of what field you work in.

about two weeks ago
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First Release of LibreSSL Portable Is Available

DuckDodgers Re:Donate (101 comments)

I prefer GPL to BSD. But any FSF-approved open source license trumps proprietary, so I'll happily use OpenSSL, OpenSSH, LLVM, etc... I make my arguments in favor of GPL, but if the people giving their free time to open source don't agree, it's no skin off my back. I'll take a full top to bottom OpenBSD stack over a walled garden from Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, or anyone else any day of the week.

about two weeks ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

DuckDodgers Re:Cry Me A River (608 comments)

Agreed.

about three weeks ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

DuckDodgers Re:Professional athletes and "unfair advantage" (608 comments)

I'm familiar with Larry Wall and his virtue of Lazines. That kind of laziness I admire. I'm speaking of the less intelligent form of laziness: doing a half-hearted job because you don't care if it will need to be rewritten later.

about three weeks ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

DuckDodgers Re:Cry Me A River (608 comments)

I am of course only speaking anecdotally, and I have no sense for the correct threshold.

Inventing a quicksort requires a lot of luck and a high intelligence. Learning to apply a quicksort instead of a linear insertion sort is within reach of someone of average intelligence. Inventing a build automation tool, continuous integration servers, a unit testing framework, etc... all requires a great deal of intelligence. Learning how to use them is just patience. I probably wouldn't invite someone with average intelligence to a Google design meeting while you discussed some radical new way of manipulating large data sets. Or I would invite them, but not expect them to provide much input. But for implementation? Why not?

I wouldn't expect an average guy to write a new scheduler for the Linux kernel and get it accepted. But modify some network driver to work with a new piece of hardware very similar to something that already exists? Why not?

about three weeks ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

DuckDodgers Re:Cry Me A River (608 comments)

I think anti-intellectualism is a problem, but I think the bigger problem is teaching people persistence in the face of discomfort and frustration when learning.

I lucked out into the perfect learning environment through my own incompetence and laziness. Early in my career I was laid off, and I wasn't skilled enough to land a good job. I took the best job available as the lone developer at a company too poor to hire anyone better. In that environment, when problems appeared and features needed to built if I couldn't figure out the work it did not get done. In school and in previous jobs I would give up after an hour without progress and hand the problem to someone else. That wasn't an option, I had to keep trying different approaches until I got it right or quit and lose my income. Sometimes it took weeks for me to puzzle out features that required a five line code change. It was the most frustrating and stressful three or four years of my career - and I emerged from the other side somewhere near competent or at least three times more skilled than when I started. Now I seek out that kind of challenge, because every bit of mental anguish is just a small sign I'm broadening my horizons.

It's clear most people in this field - most people in general - don't share this attitude. But I'm at a loss as to how to foster it.

about three weeks ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

DuckDodgers Re:Professional athletes and "unfair advantage" (608 comments)

I say the professional athlete is luckier than you are. There are hundreds of thousands of kids every year working as hard as they can to become professional athletes, and that hard work combines with two big patches of luck - good genetics and the fortune to avoid a career-ending injury - to make success. The ones who get hurt can't do it, no amount of hard work offsets poor genetics, and the pool of available paid athlete positions is relatively small.

In our field, average talent or at most slightly above average talent and a lot of hard work is all you need to succeed. You don't need to be born a genius, average intelligence and a willingness to learn is sufficient. And there are a huge pool of open positions plus the possibility of creating your own niche. The only thing "elite" about most of us is that we learned not to be lazy and in the modern world that appears to less common than it was a century earlier.

about three weeks ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

DuckDodgers Re:Cry Me A River (608 comments)

I think they're right about the problem, but wrong about the solution. They think the solution is to make it easier, but that's just not practical. Most people can drive, few can design engines. Most people can learn to use a blood pressure cuff, few create them. Most people can learn to use a spreadsheet, few know how to create one. Learning how to write software that's more than just user interface tweaks on something that somebody else built is inherently difficult.

But the real problem is this impression that you have to be born 80% as smart as Einstein to get into this field, and that the learning curve is impossible for regular people. That's totally wrong. Average intelligence plus persistence is all you need. You won't be Linus Torvalds tomorrow, you won't be Steve Wozniak next month. But put your time in, try things out, get used to being frustrated as you learn and keep learning anyway, and in a few years you'll understand what's going on and be able to do anything this side of the most advanced work as well as anyone.

That's the lesson we the progressives should be teaching people. And to be clear, it fits all of my original examples too. Few people walk into an automotive engineering program and instantly grasp all of the concepts involved - years of persistence matter more than raw talent if you want to design engines. Few people start building medical equipment and have an instant knack for getting it right - years of persistence matter more than raw talent again. If you were born with an 80 IQ, sorry there's only so far you can go. But the difference between a person with 110 IQ that contributes code to the Linux kernel and one that works at a gas station is their persistence, not raw intellect.

about three weeks ago
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Damian Conway On Perl 6 and the Philosophy of Programming

DuckDodgers Re: "The real problem..." he explained (132 comments)

I think that's a fair point. I hate Java - I work in Java :) - but you can use compatibility flags for the compiler and jave.exe to compile and run Java 1.1 code from 1998 on the latest Java SDK. I think that's one of the big reasons the language is so wildly popular in business.

about three weeks ago
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Former FCC Head: "We Should Be Ashamed of Ourselves" For State of Broadband

DuckDodgers Re:It's a problem... (118 comments)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus was just asking for modern empire builders, not ethical modern empire builders. So I responded with modern empire builders.

Obviously I would much rather see more people like Elon Musk and fewer like Ellison, Bezos, and the Waltons.

My belief is that the world is loaded with people like Elon Musk, but in most industries they get plowed under by people with similar goals and fewer morals. I have no suggestions for fixing that aspect of capitalism, to me it seems to be inherent to the whole system but I can't come up with any better alternative.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Potential database breakthrough

DuckDodgers DuckDodgers writes  |  more than 4 years ago

DuckDodgers writes "The database company Ingres announced a partnership with research firm Vectorwise to bring to market an efficiency breakthrough in databases. They assert that most complex queries run by a database engine can run over 100 times slower than a C++ program hand coded to get the same information from the files on disk. They're working on a database engine that closes the gap dramatically by using several methods, like batching tuples for processing in sizes that fit in the processor on-chip cache, other methods for minimizing back and forth between RAM and processor cache, and structuring the data to be processed in a way to make best use of CPU branch prediction. Their example in the whitepaper (unfortunately, it requires registration) is a moderate complexity aggregate query against 6 million rows of data that takes 16 seconds in the regular database engine, 0.04 seconds with a C++ application built to do the same thing, and about 0.2 seconds with their optimized database engine. The press release is here, and some of the technical details are discussed on this blog (no, not mine): Next Big Future. Is this impossible, impractical, or well within the realm of possibility? If it can be done, why haven't we seen it before?"

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