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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

ciurana Re:Let the conference organizers pay for you to at (182 comments)

Agreed 100% with this advise.

I view speaking engagements the same way I view my publications: they by themselves don't pay much, even for an "on demand" speaker. The upside is in the prestige that translates into better job offers or better consulting opportunities.

You can write something in your resume like "I have excellent communication skills" or you can just list your management experience, speaking engagements, and publications. At that point people can be pretty sure that you can communicate better than a majority of people.

Prep time == fun time too. The creative work that goes into condensing a 6- or 12-month project into 28 slides without making them too busy is great. Judicious use of animation effects to help you make your point (e.g. making the layers of a system appear on the screen as you talk about them) is also fun. Last, don't change your topic every time you go out! Instead, figure out a topic that different audiences will find interesting, create the presentation, and then tweak only one or two slides when the time comes. A good presentation has a 6-months shelf life (or 3-4 conferences if you have a busy schedule).

Cheers!

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

ciurana Let the conference organizers pay for you to atten (182 comments)

Greetings!

I'm a frequent speaker at Java, Python, and other conferences. I love to travel, and I use the conferences to scout for talent for the various ventures in which I'm involved. Since I love the travel, the conference participation, etc. but lack the budget to go everywhere I want to go on my own, I instead focus on writing articles for various publications. Several of my write ups resonate with the audiences for the publications with whom I work (e.g. DZone, InfoQ, etc.) and I get invited to present at various conferences. Problem solved! I let the conference organizers cover all or part of my expenses.

My rules of thumb are:

* Conference organized by volunteers/non-profits? Cover something like lodging or a domestic flight.
* Conference organized by a company or for-profit organization? Cover lodging + travel.

This way I get to share on cool things on which we work, get to meet interesting people, scout for talent, and otherwise have a great time (and 99% of the time, a great trip!). This year so far I've spoken at conferences in Beijing, Tokyo, Krakow, and London. Moscow and Zürich are in the immediate future. All conference organizers almost always throw an attendance pass to all presentations for free. Since I travel with my girlfriend, she tends to attend for free as well (I cover her travel expenses, though).

I hope this helps -- cheers!

about a week ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?

ciurana Earthquake preparedness kit (191 comments)

Here you go: http://eugeneciurana.com/fotki... -- that's a photo of the stashes we have in our home in Acapulco and in San Francisco. Both are in active seismic zones, and likely to get hit by some disaster at some point.

Since you can see most of the contents, I rather tell you about our guidelines for disaster preparedness:

* Have enough supplies to subsist for up to 7 days, normal calorie intake, for everyone in the family
* Ditto for water
* Tool box with emergency tools (wrench for gas and water valves, pliers, screw drivers, a couple of Leatherman tools), matches, and
* Solid alcohol stove and several refills
* Full first aid kit including gauze, ice packs, antiseptics, anti-diarrhea pills, etc. and a sewing kit
* Crank radios and flashlights
* Battery operated perimeter lamps
* Assorted Cyalume sticks in green, white, blue, and red colors
* Deck of cards, puzzles, etc. to kill the time

The food is all either canned or dehydrated, and it works way better than MREs. The only thing we'd miss are fresh fruits; we even have powdered milk. Every year around Dec/Jan I consciously cook with all the things in the food stash that are within ~6 months of recommended use by date. All those things are replenished and ready to go. We found that most cans and dehydrated food have an approximate 18-24 months duration, so we don't go on the Spam and etc. diet more than every other year for more than 2 or 3 days. Plus it's fun readying everything and testing, etc.

Last night -- the earthquake woke my g/f up (we were in our SF home). The bookshelves rattled a bit, and I was wondering if the quake had been strong enough to knock my motorcycle off the center stand, but the toddler was fine and slept through it, power never faltered, and otherwise it was a nice and uneventful evening.

I lived through several earthquakes in my life (in fact, all my life I lived in seismic zones) so I'll be happy to address questions, if any.

Cheers!

about a month ago
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Despite Project's Demise, Amazon Web Services Continues To Use TrueCrypt

ciurana Re:TCnext - the TrueCrypt fork (75 comments)

We don't - beyond peer reviewed code, and they're on board with continuing the independent audits and such.

Contribute to the project and find out -- let's weed them feds out!

Cheers!

about 3 months ago
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Despite Project's Demise, Amazon Web Services Continues To Use TrueCrypt

ciurana Re:TCnext - the TrueCrypt fork (75 comments)

Sorry - one more thing: there are also known (based on pre-existing signatures) binaries ready for download, if that's your cup 'o tea. So, given where the audit is (to which I'm also a financial supporter) and what we know... OKi for now, let's keep the project alive.

"You can't stop the signal, Mal."

about 3 months ago
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Despite Project's Demise, Amazon Web Services Continues To Use TrueCrypt

ciurana TCnext - the TrueCrypt fork (75 comments)

You guys are aware that TCnext exists, a new effort to keep the software alive based in Switzerland.

You can get there via truecrypt .ch

The source code for TrueCrypt 7.1a is available for download, and there are various forums where we're discussing the implementation, how to proceed, where to take the project, future audits, and so on.

Last, the general consensus is that 7.1a is "safe enough for our current needs based on what we know". Many of us in that community also feel the 7.2 shutdown in a hurry was a canary in the mine situation.

Anyway -- we can argue until the cows come home, or we can just get busy with breathing new life into TrueCrypt / TCnext.

Cheers!

about 3 months ago
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Let Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders Work In US, Says White House

ciurana What I see happening in the world (H1B etc.) (566 comments)

How long does it take to get a US Green Card? Well, it depends. It will take at least 2 years these days. That's two years that a spouse is sitting at home, doing nothing, because she or he are unable to work. That's a stupid waste of resources because that person could contribute to the economy and tax base instead of just "burning time" until the green cards arrive.

In the Bay Area, if you're from India, it can take up to 7 years. My friends and I, from Mexico, got it in an average of 2.5 years (mine took just a smidge less than 18 months, back in 1991-1993).

I worked for a major Internet company last year; a large number of people from France, Israel, India, etc. await their green cards; their average time is about 5 years.

All of us have advanced degrees or are highly specialized in some in-demand technology area (or both); outside of this one-year employment gap (golden handcuffs), I spend about 50% of my time now advising for other companies in Europe and Asia, the other 50% advising US companies. The common denominator I see across all countries where I work is that qualified people who know their stuff are very hard to find and to hire if you're looking for a business and technology advantage. In the last three years I got the equivalent to Russian green card (high technology worker), and have provided services to the Ministry of Economy, Technology, and Industry in Japan, among several other gits. I see the same demand for talent all over the world, not only here in the US.

This isn't a situation unique to the US. I just got back from scouting business in China and (surprise!) I found that start ups and established companies alike are willing to find and hire whoever they can that will give them the tech and business advantage that they need, from whatever country they come from.

Thinking that H1B visas are only filled to keep wages down is naïve. While there are many instances of companies like InfoSys and Wipro abusing the system, most tech companies are trying whatever they can to hire the top talent they can find and will use H1B, E, L, or O visas to make it happen (at least in the Bay Area). There's a real need for people who are qualified in cutting edge science and technology fields. And many of those people have life partners, who could also be productive members of society. Why hinder the spouses ability to contribute, if they are qualified?

Cheers!

about 5 months ago
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Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

ciurana Re:Take pictures, press charges. (921 comments)

If it's going up, you've got some serious issues.

Shit always floats!

about 7 months ago
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Apple Fixes Dangerous SSL Authentication Flaw In iOS

ciurana Re:What about iOS 6? (101 comments)

Apple also released iOS 6.1.6 in response to the bug.

If your iPhone is jailbroken, there's ongoing discussion to release a patch via Cydia and Evasi0n.

Cheers!

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should I Get Google Glass?

ciurana Invest the money in attending Google I/O instead (421 comments)

Howdy.

As a fellow developer (and someone who doesn't care much for Google's products like Android and Glass), my advise would be to invest the $1,500 toward attending the Google I/O conference instead. You will get a chance to meet all kinds of cool, smart people with whom you can share/bounce ideas. They may offer discounted or flat out hand Glass to attendees (they have some nice toys every year), and the presentations are some of the best in the industry. There'll be plenty of sessions covering Glass there, and the conference will give you a great chance to learn about the device, dev tools, potential future ecosystem, etc. far better than what you're getting from the responses here on Slashdot.

Cheers!

E

about 7 months ago
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Edward Snowden's Lawyer Claims Harassment From Heathrow Border Agent

ciurana Pro Tip: Take the train (261 comments)

Greetings.

After having been harassed a few times during business trips to London after having worked for two London-based companies, I decided to never fly into London again if I can help it. Instead, I fly into Paris from either Moscow or the US, have a nice lunch somewhere near Gare du Nord, then take the Eurostar into London (about a 2-hour ride). The UK immigration officials at the rail station are way nicer and more polite, the process is much faster, and in general the suckage is much lower.

Cheers!

pr3d

about 7 months ago
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DEA Presentation Shows How Agency Hides Investigative Methods From Trial Review

ciurana Complete deck, without reader (266 comments)

Hi.

Here's the complete presentation deck without the annoying reader:


for ((n = 1;n <= 276;n++))
do
        wget "https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1011382/pages/responsive-documents-p$n-normal.gif"
done

Cheers!

about 8 months ago
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BlackBerry Sues iPhone Keyboard Maker Typo

ciurana Patent? (226 comments)

The article doesn't clarify if BlackBerry patented the keyboard layout and set up, and whether the patent is still in effect.

If so, they are well within their rights to enforce it. Typo Products can probably work out a deal with them, et tutti contenti.

If the patent has expired, or if it was never granted/never filed... suck it, BlackBerry. You should know better.

Cheers!

about 9 months ago
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FBI's Secret Interrogation Manual: Now At the Library of Congress

ciurana Re:What a waste of time. (102 comments)

Howdy.

Works in the Library of Congress may be reviewed but not copied. The person(s) who reviewed this manual, and found the discrepancies, noted them and made them public. The original copyright holder must give permission for this work to be reproduced. That's why there are no copies, just mentions of the discrepancies.

Not sure without checking with my IP attorney how to get around this, since it's unlikely that the copyright holder will grant further copying permission. Perhaps a FOIA request to the Library of Congress will allow them to release the document?

Cheers!

about 9 months ago
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Skydiving Accident Leaves Security Guru Cedric 'Sid' Blancher Dead At 37

ciurana Re:Hook turn maneuver: Apparently wrong (332 comments)

Cool - thanks for the link.

I suspect that the French parachuting federation issues incident reports, analysis, and corrective measures bulletins just like the USPA does. We'll find out the whole story when that happens; if it's like here, give it 90 days or so.

Cheers!

about 10 months ago
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Skydiving Accident Leaves Security Guru Cedric 'Sid' Blancher Dead At 37

ciurana Hook turn maneuver (332 comments)

From the report, it sounds like Cédric performed a maneuver called "hook turn" -- it's a high speed turn in your final approach, 100' or less from the ground, considered deadly and stupid by USPA, the French Federation of Parachutism, and pretty much anyone who's been jumping for a while.

The rate of descent increased as a parachute (square, ram air canopy) banks. The sharper the turn, the faster the descent. The hook turn swings the jumper fast, like a pendulum, and an experienced jumper will guesstimate ending the swing at about the same time as his or her feet would touch the ground. The margin of error for a hook turn, by an experienced jumper riding a small canopy (the more experience the smaller the canopy), is between 5' and 10'.

Start the turn too soon, and you'll end up 3' to 10' above the ground, with a stalled parachute, falling straight down. On a good day, a few bruises or a parachute landing fall, a dirty jump suit, and teasing from your pals. On a bad day, a twisted or broken ankle, yet survivable.

Start the turn too late, and you'll slam the ground with enough force to kill you. And remember: too late is a difference of only about 5'.

Even if the turn starts fine, and the jumper is the king of experienced up jumpers, other factors may come into play. A little thermal near the ground may force the canopy up or sideways near the ground. Or a cold air pocket (e.g. flying over a small puddle, or a dark patch on the ground) may drop the canopy a few feet faster.

Most if not all drop zones since at least 1994 ban people caught doing hook turns because of the danger they present to the jumpers doing them and others around them. Every once in a while some hot shot with a few thousand jumps thinks he's above physics and chance, and does a bandit turn if nobody is watching.

Maybe Cédric ran out of air on final and thought that hooking the turn would help him land into the wind. Maybe he was just hot dogging. Regardless, if he was an up jumper and he did a hook turn, he should've known better and performed a different maneuver. Sad to loose him, but not feeling sorry about the accident itself. Stuff like this is what gives a bad reputation to skydiving in the eyes of people with little or no knowledge of the sport.

Cheers!

about 10 months ago
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Marriages Spawned From Online Dating As Satisfying As From Traditional Dating

ciurana Re:Agreed - my story (313 comments)

One more thing I thought about:

OkCupid, Match.com and everyone else go to painful lengths to do the questionnaire and focus on "relationship" -- that's a huge barrier to entry for new people. It's just too annoying and boring. Newer services like Badoo, Kizzle, Twoo, etc. focus more on "meeting new people" and letting things evolve from there. Post a couple of photos, say a little about yourself, and you're off using the system. I always found Match et. al. a pain in the ass.

Cheers!

about a year ago
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Marriages Spawned From Online Dating As Satisfying As From Traditional Dating

ciurana Re:Agreed - my story (313 comments)

Depends to a greater extent if you are male or female. The ratio of men to women is often 40:1 or thereabouts, so for women they can pick and choose but men not so much.

True - that was another interesting thing about Badoo in Russia - the ratio of men to women is closer to 5:1 (or was at the time). Other services in Russia/Ukraine/etc. had lower ratios. It seemed that women are more adept at on-line dating in those countries. Badoo in the US, at the same time, was a total ghetto. It had evolved only from minority groups, lots more men than women, and we had to winnow out quite a few "professionals" all the time. The kinds of women who used the service in Russia was very different from the US peeps: many university-educated girls, good jobs, nice people. There were pros, sure, like in all dating services. But I was always surprised at how good a demographic we had there compared to other markets -- the contrast was astounding.

From Badoo I had a chance to date a plastic surgeon, a nuclear scientist (no shit -- went to the university in Obninsk), several business women, and my fiancée who has a very nice for a major luxury firm there. The number of nice girls was very high. I have no idea what it's like now -- I haven't had a need for the service since I met my fiancée and left the company.

Cheers!

about a year ago
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Marriages Spawned From Online Dating As Satisfying As From Traditional Dating

ciurana Agreed - my story (313 comments)

Dang it - I wasn't logged on last time and my post ended in Anonymous Coward limbo...

My girlfriend and I met through a dating service when I was living in Russia. We've lived happily for two years, have a child, and I wouldn't change anything in how we met, or the wonderful times we've spent all over the world since (we've lived in Russia, the Ukraine, Mexico, Switzerland and San Francisco since). The best part about the on-line dating aspect was that we could spend lots and lots of time discussing various topics of interest to both of us, comparing our values, and otherwise communicating in a cool way that would've taken a lot longer in-person.

Another great aspect of on-line dating is that you aren't limited to one person at a time. You can screen (and be screened) much faster, and you can then cherry pick with whom you'll invest time for the in-person dates and so on.

Disclaimer: at the time I was the VP of technology for Badoo, so I was in a position to use the service as much as I could or wanted. I didn't have to pay for the additional services (e.g. gifts, Super Powers, etc.) so it was easy for us to spend as much time on the service as we wished. My opinions on the subject are biased because of this -- but I'd still recommend anyone looking for a mate to try the on-line dating service that better works for their tastes.

Cheers!

E

about a year ago

Submissions

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ciurana ciurana writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ciurana writes "Rob Savoye is a contributor to the OLPC project. He talks about OLPC in this video interview, and tells us how to contribute code and ideas. The article and video cover the hardware specs, a system overview, and a photo gallery showing the OLPCs features. Rob Savoye is a long-time member of the GNU project and is the CTO of lulu.tv. If you have ever used Red Hat, Debian, or Cygwin, chances are good that you've used his software."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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ciurana ciurana writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Well, today I changed my .sig to something useful: A link to The Sushi Eating HOWTO. It's not like I expected the spamoff message to work anyway (it didn't). After 4 years, it was finally time to move on.

For anybody who reads the HOWTO: Itadakemazu!

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ciurana ciurana writes  |  more than 12 years ago

I have 50 karma points and contribute to /. often. Today I decided to pitch in with my first $5.00 to keep the service alive. I use JunkBuster in all my systems, so it's not like I was going to be bothered by the advertisements. I believe contributing with this small amount of $$$ is a good way to keep the system going for a long time.

I don't plan on writing on this journal very often. This is something of a test. I will sporadically update it, when something relevant happens.

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