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Google Suggests Separating Students With 'Some CS Knowledge' From Novices

ILongForDarkness Re:Let them eat cake! (304 comments)

My point is more we shouldn't categorize people and then provide advantages or disadvantages based on that group. If people chose to group themselves and then go on a crusade to right a perceived wrong it is, quite literally, their problem. There are laws already to punish those that discriminate because of race, religion etc. Outside of that you're on your own. It shouldn't be government/corporations etc job to try to do the Goldie Locks "just right" amount of reverse discrimination to make things equal.

3 days ago
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Google Suggests Separating Students With 'Some CS Knowledge' From Novices

ILongForDarkness Re:Screw you white boys (304 comments)

Exactly. Kind of like they are saying "most people like you (whatever that means) are well off, so what the hell is your problem?". or "in the past other groups were excluded so it doesn't matter how qualified you might be because of who your ancestors were we want to treat you differently". Hmm where have we heard that thought process before. Treat everyone the same no worst no better. No incentives should your parents be part of a particular group whether is is Nation of Islam or a country club. Only allow scholarships based on merit and financial aid based on financial need.

3 days ago
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Google Suggests Separating Students With 'Some CS Knowledge' From Novices

ILongForDarkness Re:PC Failure? (304 comments)

I don't think they should be called native American at all. They immigrated from Asia, as did others, some from Europe, some from Africa etc. Who cares? IMO anyone actually born in a country is "native", anyone born in another country are immigrants. Regardless discriminating against people because of their race, whether or not it is to right a "wrong" or not is itself wrong to me. If a particular ethnicity has issues with their relative proportion of certain professions let them start their own programs to encourage their kids to go into those fields. Having the government or corporations create university programs that exclude the others to try to help the minorities out is condescending at best "Hey poor little black boy here's an extra scoop of opportunity I sure hope it helps." and encourages discrimination to continue since it reinforces the idea that people should be treated different depending on what their background happens to be.

Anyways find this even worse in some ways in Canada where I live. We don't generally call ourselves American though I have ran into that a fair bit with europeans some of which that call the whole continent the Americas and people from there American. Anyways makes me laugh when I run into a "proud African-American" supporting affirmative action in Canada.

3 days ago
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Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

ILongForDarkness Re:Fucking Hell, Harper needs to go! (122 comments)

Oh and single payer heathcare: yep that is good. Obamacare can work too though. I'm Canadian and lived in Germany. There if you work you have to buy insurance but are free to pick the provider, the provider charges a fixed percentage of your salary (at the time I was there typically 8-10%). If you don't work you are covered by the government. Either way you always have coverage and the "haves" subsidize the cost of the "have nots" just like would happen in a single payer system. Either way I'm happy with: seems kind of silly to have people stuck with a poorly matched job for medical reasons, or loose all their family assets at the same time they lose a family member that they depend on.

4 days ago
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Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

ILongForDarkness Re:Fucking Hell, Harper needs to go! (122 comments)

Of course not everyone is under this program but H-1Bs at least need to be paid the going rate for their job/geographical location. The funny thing is citizens have no such protection, so if you are too easy going, not well informed, desperate to move etc and except a salary that is 50% of what the going rate is that is your problem, but a foreign worker with the situational/personality traits would have some protections by the nature of the H1B system. Canada's Skilled Worker program has the same requirements I think, unless that is another exception that MS bought to the law. It's a part of the free market I suppose but the problem is people often aren't free in the truest sense. Life happens: spouse gets another job and you are forced to change markets, your young and feel forced to accept a ridiculously low salary because everyone is telling you you need 10 years experience to shovel manure, so you buy your way into "gaining experience" by working for poverty level wages etc.

I agree we need more investment in people over abstract concepts like "economy". Funny how the economy can be doing fine while people with full time jobs at Walmart still need welfare to get by. Funneling all the money to a few people or overseas makes the "economy" look very productive but the people aren't really improved very much.

Education: it is a hard one. I have friends in all walks of life. Some simply are not very bright or interested in learning. Making the student bare the cost acts as some filter to at least make sure that they have some interest in what they are doing. People can still study pretty silly things because they want to party for 4 years but it helps and as long as they are paying for it no one else is harmed. An alternative way of funding education might be an education "tax". Say 5% of what you make for the next 15 years or whatever it needs to be. It has to be a long time to prevent people just living with their parents for a couple years till the bill collectors go away. The good thing with this is it would incentivize schools to offer programs where people actually get good jobs. The "basket weaving" programs would also get their appropriate amount of funding.

4 days ago
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Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

ILongForDarkness Re:Fucking Hell, Harper needs to go! (122 comments)

I kind of ignored that comment in the article I'm not really clear who the source is and lets face it immigration issues will always have people interested in looking at the worst possible outcome and explaining it that way. It isn't Mexican farm workers doing jobs Americans don't want to do, it is Mexicans, some with cartel ties ... Yeah some do but the vast majority.

Not going to happen but the least they could do is since they are immigrating to work for a foreign companies benefit force MS to pay for their healthcare not BC. The other problem is MS will get 1 employee but that employee will likely bring their whole family. So yeah Canada might get taxes paid on an $80k salary but it will also have likely 2-4 people all coming from places with less than stellar healthcare coming over for a year to get themselves a tune up. That is why I'm not a fan of the skilled workers visa allowing you to bring your family. MS saves doubly: they likely get foreign workers willing to work for under market rate and they save on healthcare expenses because they can just ride the Canadian system for them.

Skilled labor immigration: IMO everyone of working age should have to qualify on their own merits not just one person with an in need job (or the need should be really desperate because a family will likely cost $40k a year or so to the system for the first couple years what with outstanding medical issues to sort out, english training, etc). Often we get a doctor and wife/husband, plus 3-4 kids, an uncle, their parents in a few years etc. But we don't recognize the doctors training so he ends up driving a cab and his family have no interest in integrating so they move to a suburb where they can hangout with everyone who's the same nationality just like they never left home. Lots of reforms to be made like: if you get in under skilled workers you should actually be qualified to work in Canada from day 1: its not a fair trade for either party otherwise, false promise to the immigrant, false promise to the citizens footing the social programs bills. If you can't work in your field when you get here then you don't get in (without going through the normal slower process). Also even if you yourself do qualify then we should still weigh the benefits you bring working in your skilled profession versus the social costs you bring by bringing lesser qualified workers and dependents along for the ride.

4 days ago
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Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

ILongForDarkness Re:The real issue is... (265 comments)

Usually it is major improvements for me. I buy shinny but I use the hell out of them. My current computer is a late 2008 iMac. The one before that was a 1998 PIII 450. I'm thinking about a new computer earlier than normal now because: a) I started a few months working from home 2 days a week and having comparable hardware would mean I could clone the code base and compile locally rather than use VPN, and b) I'm making crap loads of money that I'm not otherwise doing anything with. Even this "early" upgrade will be about a 2X speed improvement in the CPU, 5-10X on my usb devices, and about a 10X on the disk performance (my disk has always sucked not sure why but I get 30-40MBps out of the 1TB drive in my box, SSDs are easily in the 500MBps range).

Anyways I buy fairly high end when I buy but not very frequently and can live with the same hardware for a long time. I get my new gadget fix every 1-2 years from work and sometimes get a laptop from them to take home too (though not for the last 6 years). Since I buy high end generally their isn't support for more RAM on the mobo, the GPU slot is filled with a fairly high speced card for its generation and new generation cards will need a new bus (ex my PIII 450 had a AGP if I remember correctly which went away before (in my mind) the computer became "slow") etc. So closed but fairly maxed out box works just fine for my uses.

4 days ago
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Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

ILongForDarkness Re:Fucking Hell, Harper needs to go! (122 comments)

Agreed. People quickly specialize just like any profession. I think I'm pretty comfortable learning new stuff but my experience and expertise lies with C# and tsql development. So for example going with a recent posting I've looked at: when Google posts a job wanting a javascript and Python coder with 5 years experience with each I'm not that guy. I might be able to talk myself into a shot but it isn't exactly like the recruiter is going to be jumping up and down saying "obviously that guy will figure it out quickly". I need a great resume, have good real world (if not directly related) experience, and solid references to get an interview. Then I need to sell myself like hell to convince the hiring manager to give me a chance. Similar with MS: a lot of people don't have C/C++ experience any more. Some areas of the company that might be fine, others it won't be it all depends on what they want you for.

Most commenters seemed to be missing the point of the linked article though: these are for trainee positions. MS might be using it as a way to weasle around HB-1 requirements (people getting foreign subsidary experience to get around limits) but it might be that it is a training centre to ultimately send people back to their home countries. It could be hard to scatter around say Office development and have the true experts with the code base mentor junior devs in each of the countries MS operates in. Easier to have them nearby Redmond for a couple years then push them out already relatively up to speed back to India, Ireland, wherever.

It really depends what MS's intent is with the workers that are "trainees". If they are meant to go back "home" then they probably weren't jobs Canadians were qualified for anyways: language/culture reasons, presumably their home countries have similar hire local first rules, or are otherwise unappealing to most Canadians: earning $10,000 a year in India for example. Similar to H1-B rules if I understand them correctly (I'm Canadian not American) for those workers that MS is allowed to bring in they should mandate that they get comparable wages compared to Canadian workers so as not to drop the market price for "IT" workers in Vancouver down to Indian wage levels. Vancouver is one of the most expensive cities in the world, I moved away from there because of it: earning a programmers salary there is about equivalent to being a college student elsewhere in the country: ie one bedroom apartment and enough money left over at the end of the week to order a pizza. Not my thing, but I guess people make equivalent choices when they live in San Fran or whatever.

4 days ago
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Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

ILongForDarkness Re:Fucking Hell, Harper needs to go! (122 comments)

Canadians own the land and infrastructure that MS wants to use because it is close to Redmond and not as limited for immigration. It seems only reasonable if MS wants to hire thousands of people and base them out of Vancouver or whatever that Canadians should at least get a shot at those jobs. Canada doesn't need to create jobs for Indians or whatever. If we need immigrants to fill jobs we can't with the local labor supply that is one thing, but to create situations that are pretty much by designed to have non-Canadian workers brought in to Canada to fill jobs for an US company because the US company can't get their own government to allow them to bring them in is an entirely different thing.

That said at least for now it sounds like it is meant for training not for doing "real work". It does seem kind of silly to expect Canadians to fill the trainee spots for what will end up being say a technical sales position in the Philippines. By it's nature Filipino's are better suited for that position but might need to go elsewhere to get up to speed. So my only remaining problem with the situation is when people are based out of Canada but for the sole purpose of being able to travel a couple times a month over to the "real" office. From my understanding that is a lot of what MS does in Vancouver. They'd have you in Redmond full time if they could but they can't so instead they get you through Canada's easy immigration but then try to get you to come across the border as often as you can without losing residency.

4 days ago
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Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

ILongForDarkness Re:The real issue is... (265 comments)

But "throw away" != "commodity". Jewelery, cars for the vast majority of people, etc are rarely upgraded after purchase. You keep them as long as they meet your needs with the occasional and often professional assistance to keep it in working order. Not being able to get into the iPod doesn't mean it can't be fixed, it just means you have to pay Apple or someone that knows what they are doing to do the work for you. But a lot of people because of the nature of tech will by the time the device starts having problems be already wishing they had the latest and greatest so a lot will chose to spend the $200 towards the next laptop or whatever rather than repair the existing obsolete one. It is the same thing with luxury cars, with the exception of the person that likes to play with them as a hobby generally you don't upgrade major parts (engine, transmission, suspension etc) because next years model will likely have other parts that are upgraded that you can't easily replace (like better seats, new dash layout, better controls for the power windows etc).

You can have brand loyalty and a premium price even if your product is consumable. It is like that with most luxury goods. Take fine wine it generally won't get you any drunker, still is single use etc, or people buying Gillette disposable razors rather than their grocery stores brand. But people will still pay a premium for a nice Bordeaux because of the real or imagined qualitative difference between a generic. Apple is that company in electronics. Someone might just pay an extra $1000 for a retina screen iMac versus a "lesser" brand (without as good of a screen at the moment) and be willing to toss it out (or more likely gift it, repurpose it as a media server etc) in 3-5 years without ever trying to upgrade it. If that 3-5 years of "premium product" is worth the price difference to me I don't care that the device is landfill afterwards where as I could have ecked out another couple years with upgrades on a generic ugly product.

Another part where Apple often wins is in how simple their product line is. You go to the PC market and you start having to compare things like: is another front USB3 port worth not having wireless ac support? How about 8GB of ram, 512GB SSD and win home vs 16GB Ram 3TB HDD and win pro? etc. you end up in an acrynonoum soup that most people don't care about. With Apple it is basically: do you want a decent device for a fair bit of money, or a pretty decent device for a crap load of money all in a pretty package. It is an A or B decision versus drawing out the decision process which with electronics generally means: I'll wait a bit because new thing X (say Broadwell) is just around the corner.

4 days ago
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Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

ILongForDarkness Re:The real issue is... (265 comments)

A device can be innovative but that doesn't mean that it won't be improved upon with the next version, or have knockoffs that are just as good a couple years later.

You might have replaced the watch batteries yourself I suppose but would you replace the watch stem? As long, and this might be a big if, Apple continues to offer battery and other repairs, just that you have to get a tech do it for you, what does it matter if the ram is soldered in, or you need special tools to get at the battery etc? It is part of the cost of owning the device, you want to do things yourself by something else. You want a one piece screwless gadget then that is what you get whether Apple or someone else. Personally I can't stand laptops so I don't suffer from the battery issue. But I also can't stand doing computer upgrades so I don't care I can't get into the box either. Generally by the point that I start thinking I'd like more ram or what not the CPU socket has changed, SSDs have came out, etc: some major hardware advance that I'd still not be able to take advantage of with my current motherboard. I'd rather spend the money towards a new box that has USB 3, SSD, higher clocked system bus (insert whatever new coolness is out in the few years between when I got the box and I start feeling it is slow) etc than piss it away adding another 8GB of slow ram to my old piece of crap. Especially since my labor is worth a lot and I don't otherwise enjoy the process of shopping for computer parts and installing them.

4 days ago
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Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

ILongForDarkness Re:Unix philosophy (265 comments)

I agree. I'm a bit of a gadget boy too. I use my phone just for a phone and maybe 5 texts a month. I have an iPod, iPad for watching shows on my train commute, Kindle etc. I lost my kindle and tried reading on my phone and iPad: lasted a couple months and then I just had to get another eReader. When gadgets do one things they have to do them well or people will just stick with their phone/computer.

5 days ago
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Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

ILongForDarkness Re:Have there been any useful improvements? (265 comments)

Not as big but the nanos get 30hrs battery life. I find them great for vacations. Lasts me two transatlantic flights and a bit more for any down periods. That plus a Kindle and I'm good for all the boring bits that are part of travel for a couple weeks I don't need to bother bringing international plugs etc.

5 days ago
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Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

ILongForDarkness Re:Vinyl refuses to die too (265 comments)

Or university frat parties, oh how I miss those days. Nothing quite like flogging demos from girls you've just met.

5 days ago
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Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

ILongForDarkness Re:My iPod Classic has 160GB of capacity... (265 comments)

Each to their own I guess but I have a 16GB nano and don't really see the need for more. I get about 2 days straight of battery life and about the same amount of music on the device. I'm never very far from a computer so swapping out the songs isn't a big deal. I'd trade battery life and size or the small amount of convenience of having most/all my music on the device all the time. I suspect that is what is doing in the classic: If people are going to go for a bigger heavy device they'll just use their smartphone. If they want a built for purpose thing they'll probably want it as small as possible. I use it because I don't care too much if I lose it versus my phone and it is small for the gym so I don't need any of those dorky looking arm straps for a cellphone.

5 days ago
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Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

ILongForDarkness Re:The real issue is... (265 comments)

When was the last time you upgraded a mechanical watch? Computers are different I admit because performance and other features change frequently but the idea is kind of the same: the thing can be effectively locked down but as long as you get enough value out of it over the course of its life you don't care that you can't upgrade it. If you are willing to spend $1000 a year on gadgets say then you might be willing to spend that on a Mac every few years. Throw away the old one (more realistically hand it down to a family member or sell on eBay) for all you care. It isn't very environmental which Apple likes to hype up all the time but there it is. Most people don't know how or couldn't be bothered to do upgrades. They want to buy the latest shinny within their budget and use it till they no longer want it.

5 days ago
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NASA Gets 2% Boost To Science Budget

ILongForDarkness Re: 2% is nothing (121 comments)

Oh also I think it is totally rediculous that a law can be pasted and then congress can turn around and refuse to fund it or approve the managers for the department etc. Now you don't like the law after you got all the good karma in an election year from passing it? Okay fine then get rid of the bill, modify it to fix its flaws etc. But as long as it is the law congress should have to fund it. IMO only discretionary spending (ie expenditures not already tied to a law/required to enforce/implement an already approved program) should be controlled by the budget committee. Anything else they want to touch should go through a normal bill process.

about a week ago
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NASA Gets 2% Boost To Science Budget

ILongForDarkness Re: 2% is nothing (121 comments)

Sort of. My understanding it is it more of: 1) by votes by creating loopholes or wide spanning tax reductions 2) As a matter of principle be against tax increases including closing loopholes without also reducing revenue from somewhere else. Those two oscillate back and forth till the government is no longer able to meet its legal obligations.

about a week ago
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NASA Gets 2% Boost To Science Budget

ILongForDarkness Re: 2% is nothing (121 comments)

Not being at war anymore?

about a week ago
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NASA Gets 2% Boost To Science Budget

ILongForDarkness Re: 2% is nothing (121 comments)

Now now. Don't you know that failure to give planned increases in military budget = defense cutbacks?

To the point: money/tanks aren't going to compensate for a) the lack of humint and b) the lack of willingness to take American casualties/cause large numbers of civilian "enemy" causalities.

about a week ago

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