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Comments

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VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

HuguesT Re:Appre (223 comments)

This is not so insightful.

1- Foreigners who do come to America and then leave after a short period (a few years) do not take long-term jobs away from Americans. Clearly the jobs these undertake are like internships, post docs and other temp positions, these jobs are not meant as career jobs who would be of interest to an American.
2- Foreigners who come to America, get some training and then leave are *good* for America. These people will know and like America, will speak english, will have a network of friends and people they know back in America. If they start companies, maybe these companies will be friendly to America as well: import stuff from there, rely on American technology, and whatnot. The importance of creating goodwill cannot be overestimated.

How people who come on a H1B for a non-training job, and then stay by being sponsored for a green card, this is a different story. But notice that these people eventually become American. This has been a recognised way to extend the power and importance of the USA for a long time, because the best and brightest come to America to the detriment of the country they leave.

In reality the job situation in the USA is not nearly as dire as some people make it, compared with most other countries around the world. What is not so nice is that unemployed people have it very tough, very quickly. Better not fall sick.

5 days ago
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Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

HuguesT Re:Cloudy, chance of rain (175 comments)

Exactly. Also the NSA doesn't even need warrants. How convenient for them that everyone is leaving these fine files in the same place for them to search...

5 days ago
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No RIF'd Employees Need Apply For Microsoft External Staff Jobs For 6 Months

HuguesT Re:I was in the same situation once (282 comments)

Won't work, because most employees would rather use the cash than save it. Then society would have a massive influx of destitute, retirement-age people, which *would be* a problem. It's been done in the past with catastrophic results.

about a week ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

HuguesT Others (701 comments)

1) Roulez p'tit bolide

2) En avant, Guingamp

about two weeks ago
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Math, Programming, and Language Learning

HuguesT Re:I disagree (241 comments)

Your reply is very interesting and outlines the fact that one should not stop learning after school, but instead revisit past and new subjects with a different eye and different tools. Also motivation is the prime mover here.

about two weeks ago
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Math, Programming, and Language Learning

HuguesT No math compiler (241 comments)

Computer programming can be seen as more rigorous than mathematics because if the written program is not correct, the executable will not run; whereas a mathematical proof may contain elements that are not completely described but part of mathematical lore. However we do not possess a compiler for mathematics. Conversely language may be more abstract than mathematics because language, in addition to mathematics, may express information that is not mathematics, e.g. poetry, imagerie, etc. However mathematical abstraction is also very rigorous, which is not the case of poetry or other literary constructs.

Mathematics is unique in requiring both a high level of abstraction and rigour at the same time, yet this must be performed without any artificial help like a debugger or compilers. In addition, creative mathematics require a high level of intuition and the capacity to concentrate on a specific problem for long periods of time (months, sometimes). Altogether, mathematics requires specific talents that are fairly rare and not necessarily found in programmers or writers.

Fortunately we are not all alike.

about two weeks ago
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Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing

HuguesT Side effect of grant structure (123 comments)

Grant money is given preferably to teams that already publish a lot. Even "starting grants" in the EU require a single principal investigator (PI) with a lot of well-cited publication under their belt. This can only be achieved if the PI has done their initial research in a well-heeled lab, with a well-known head of the lab who is well-connected, and so on. This encourages a pyramidal structure with a lot of grunt students at the bottom, supervised by post-docs, supervised by assistant professors, and so on. Success encourages visibility, which encourages grants, which ensures money, which ensures good grunt students can be hired, and so on.

This is not the only possible successful structure, but one of the most common. A single researcher, however brilliant, cannot usually keep up with the outpouring of landmark papers the pyramidal structure can achieve. On the other hand, if everybody does their job, meritocracy in the pyramidal structure ensures that the best grunt students get promoted to post docs, and so on, usually in a different pyramidal structure.

The big drawback of the pyramidal structure is that the prof at the top usually doesn't know exactly what is going on at the bottom, even though they put their name on most of the papers that the structure produces.

Disclaimer: I'm a tenured prof. I do have a reasonable number of students, but I work with them directly. All my students are co-supervised with at least one other prof. Occasionally I do have a few post-docs but the structure is always collaborative. This is not the standard but this works well enough also as long as there isn't any ego-driven fights in the lab. This means choosing your collaborators well. I've made a few mistakes, but so far so good.

about two weeks ago
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NSA Considers Linux Journal Readers, Tor (And Linux?) Users "Extremists"

HuguesT Re:Well, of course (361 comments)

If you look at just about anybody's success story, the first thing that is of utmost importance is being in the right place at the right time. In other words, luck. The American dream has always been a dream. I'm not convinced that anything much has changed in the last 70 years about this, i.e. since about the end of WWII. Sure hard work is a factor but by no means the only one.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Switching From SAS To Python Or R For Data Analysis and Modeling?

HuguesT Re:R... (143 comments)

Not all libraries. OpenCV for instance.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Switching From SAS To Python Or R For Data Analysis and Modeling?

HuguesT Re:Python is better overall but R is more like SAS (143 comments)

Inefficient (two interpreters), inelegant (two syntaxes), and there is usually no point to it. Both languages are roughly as capable.

about three weeks ago
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Ikea Sends IkeaHackers Blog a C&D Order

HuguesT Re:I always knew (207 comments)

Only the really cheap stuff is particle board. They also have plenty of real wood stuff. What they really do well is the non-particle, real wood, cheap shelves like the Ivar brand. These are everywhere and there is essentially no alternative.

about a month and a half ago
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Starbucks Offers Workers 2 Years of Free College

HuguesT Re:In civilized countries... (169 comments)

Only of those Europeans that have rich families. The European universities are full of European students too (and very few North Americans), usually the not-so-rich kind.

about a month and a half ago
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Starbucks Offers Workers 2 Years of Free College

HuguesT Re:In civilized countries... (169 comments)

Most prestigious, most awash with money, yes. What befuddles me is why these super-rich universities don't simply select the very best students all over the world (including the US), and don't offer them affordable tuition. They would be even better. As of now, most US universities simply perpetuate a rich class divide.

about a month and a half ago
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Starbucks Offers Workers 2 Years of Free College

HuguesT Re:In civilized countries... (169 comments)

The US to the rescue! the dream of all countries mired in anti-democratic squalor. If you look around the list of recently US-"liberated" countries, even as far back as the 1950s, it could perhaps bring you back to reality.Getting the US attention is more a curse than a blessing.

about a month and a half ago
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One Developer's Experience With Real Life Bitrot Under HFS+

HuguesT Re:Legacy file systems should be illegal (396 comments)

I'm sorry, citation needed. It does have compression and encryption, and you *can* make a RAID 0 or 1 with it, so it has some (weak) redundancy support, but I have never heard about it having deduplication. ZFS is the only filesystem I know that has deduplication.

about a month and a half ago
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Lego To Produce Three Box Sets Featuring Female Scientists

HuguesT Re:Is it a Complete Set? (208 comments)

As long as the US remains attractive for immigrants, you are correct, this is a life choice. However realize that population in any given country needs to be replaced. Having (too) many kids in Uganda do not compensate for the (dramatic) lack of kids in Japan. It's not a simple matter of shifting kids around, which is never simple to begin with.

So in short you may choose not to have children, but somebody will have to pay your pension eventually. It can help if this is someone you now well.

about a month and a half ago
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MIT Used Lobbying, Influence To Restore Nuclear Fusion Dream

HuguesT Re:R & D in America (135 comments)

Quadtree are an approximation technique widely used in imaging and computational geometry. Did you look on Google Scholar/Web of Science or just in patents?

A light search returned these links:

http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/3-540-47789-6_106 (sorry paywalled)

https://diglib.eg.org/EG/DL/Conf/EG2002/short/short90.pdf

I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for. In discrete geometry (construction of a Voronoi tessellation on pixel data), it is often more efficient to used an Euclidean distance function, which is linear. Indeed constructing the quadtree plus using it for the computation takes more time.

about 1 month ago
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MIT Used Lobbying, Influence To Restore Nuclear Fusion Dream

HuguesT Re:MIT sure has fallen far (135 comments)

Is the project poorly managed now? Do you have inside information?

about 1 month ago

Submissions

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French supreme court neutralizes 3-strikes law

HuguesT HuguesT writes  |  more than 5 years ago

HuguesT (84078) writes "The Conseil Constitutionel, the French equivalent to the US Supreme Court, ruled today that a mere "authority" cannot cut Internet access to Internet subscribers within the frame of the new HADOPI law recently voted by French parliament. In the new law, after a warning by email and another by registered mail, French Internet subscribers could have had their access cut off for a duration ranging between 2 months and one year, without possibility of defence or due process of law, if they were accused of illegally sharing copyrighted material. They could only appeal of the decision before a court of law. The CC "sages" or wise men, ruled that this was unconstitutional on two grounds: the presumption of innocence and freedom of communication and expression. Now the laws has basically no point. The French communication minister, Christine Albanel, has vowed to return to parliament with a new law still implementing the 3 strikes in a new, as yet unknown way. For the time being, strike one for democracy and freedom!"
Link to Original Source
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Gates foundation deathly side-effects

HuguesT HuguesT writes  |  more than 6 years ago

HuguesT (84078) writes "An long and detailed article from the L.A. Times points out severe, unintended side effects of the health policies of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. This foundation has given away almost 2 billions US$ to the fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria worldwide. Thanks in no small measure to this effort, the death toll from AIDS in most of Africa are finally levelling off. However, the money from the foundation is earmarked to the fight against these three diseases, to the detriment of global health. Sick people can also be hungry and not able to ingest healing drugs. Doctors in these countries prefer to be well paid working against AIDS than poorly working against all the other health problems, which creates a brain drain. Numerous children also suffer from diarrhea or asphyxia due to lack of basic care. The paradox is that countries where the foundation has invested most have seen their mortality rate increase, whereas it has improved in countries where the foundation was least involved."
Link to Original Source

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