Slashdot: News for Nerds


Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

godrik not sure it is worth it (533 comments)

I am actually thinking about doing lasik. I'll certainly take an appointment this year to ask some questions.

-Is this really permanent?
-I heard that near sightedness helps with Presbyopia at a later age. Isn't fixing near sightedness trading for an earlier Presbyopia?
-What are the actual risks?
-How does it interact with other sight ailment (such as color-blindness)
-I heard of people that still need to wear glasses because their eyes are too dry. Will that happen to me?

3 days ago

For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

godrik Re:Incomplete data (172 comments)

There are lots of missing data from that article. Do we have access to the actual survey? It seems very biaised.

If I become a high school math teacher, I am not holding a STEM position. But clearly I am using my training. Same goes with any kind of teaching job. It is very likely that these people are actually using their training.

If I manage at a non-STEM business, that does not mean that I do not manage STEM workers.

Counting business/finance as non STEM worker is ridiculous. Finance companies have been hiring math and CS PhD for years. Likely they are also hiring college graduates as well.

3 days ago

US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

godrik Re:Not fungible (528 comments)

Well, actually there is already something like that. To hire an H1-B, I believe you have to pay her more than the national average in that category of worker. So I guess there are ways to cheat that a little, but I am not sure how big an impact this has. I recently got a job and have many friend that are looking for jobs or just found one (some H1B's some not). It seems the companies don't care much about the fine details of the salaries once they find the skills they wants.

Here is the exact text from department of labor.
"Employers must attest to the Department of Labor that they will pay wages to the H-1B nonimmigrant workers that are at least equal to the actual wage paid by the employer to other workers with similar experience and qualifications for the job in question, or the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment â" whichever is greater. "

about a week ago

Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

godrik Re:They don't need to do this (383 comments)

It might be much easier to layoff people you don't need and hire people you need rather than trying to be a match-maker. That way you can pick people out of a pool of applicants rrather than out of a pool of people not useful in their current job.

about two weeks ago

Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

godrik Re:h1b going first? (383 comments)

I know this is against the thought-stream, but the H1B are likely to be most recently employed (lifespan of an H1B visa is 3 or 6 years). So I'd say they are more likely to be well aligned with the company strategy. I expect them not to be layed-off because they are probably not in the sections of the company that needs to be shrunk.

about two weeks ago

Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

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

I am a foreign worker under H1B and currently in the process of applying for PERM. I don't know how other places are doing, but where I work (a US university) all these forms are posted on the boards of the building. They are right there for anybody to see AND complain if they think something is wrong or the position is unnecessary.

I know many H1B and they are not underpaid compared to the other people in the same company.

In this story, they are mostly firing assembly line workers from nokia it seems. Do you really believe they will manage to get an H1B to do that kind of job? I hardly think so.

about two weeks ago

The Least They Could Do: Amazon Charges 1 Cent To Meet French Free Shipping Ban

godrik Re:Probably because of French entitlements (309 comments)

You are really clueles aren't you?

France enacted the 35 hours a week policy because data showed that production would go up. And indeed it went up. Because employees are less tired they work better. Here, in NC, I have student working 50 hours a week, except they don't do shit for 20 of these hours becasue they are exhausted. I keep pushing them going home and getting some rest.

Things are expensive in France for two reason. The first one is the cost of living which drives salaries up (otherwise people can not afford rent) and prices up (otherwise the store can not pay its rent).
The second one is the massive unemployment rate. There are 43 million people between 15 and 64, but only 27 millions of these people are actually working. There is an official unemployement rate of 10% because 13 million of these people are not counted as active, mostly because they have been pushed to change their official status. But the real unemployement rate is closer to the 30%.
Now I agree that conservative labor laws are part of that problem. But working time is definitively not the issue. One of the problem is the difficulty to get rid of an employee hired under an "undefined length contract" (CDI). It is so difficult to get rid of them that businesses are very reluctant to employing anybody. This drove short term contracts and lack of retention of skills in businesses.

about two weeks ago

New Snowden Leak: of 160000 Intercepted Messages, Only 10% From Official Targets

godrik How big is the problem really? (201 comments)

How many people are really being unlawfully spied upon? I am not saying that even 1 would be acceptable. But do we have any numbers on that? Because it seems that there was 10,000 unlawful account being spied upon. This is a very small "collateral damage" on the size of the population. There are 313,000,000 people in the US. We are talking about 0.003% which seems "somewhat reasonnable"

Maybe the article was talking about only a single program. But how vast this "mass surveillance" really is?

about three weeks ago

Facebook's Emotion Experiment: Too Far, Or Social Network Norm?

godrik Re:Unethical (219 comments)

I think there is an even larger ethical concern than just using facebooker (?) as test subject. This research is of the kind that ultimately leads to brain washing, emotional control, and more generally population control. Rather than asking whether it is OK to perform this research on unaware subjects, I think it is more important to ask whether it is OK to do this research at all.

about a month ago

Exploiting Wildcards On Linux/Unix

godrik Re:Question... -- ? (215 comments)

Nop, you can not just use --. because many commands do not understand --

Here is an article by dwheeler (a frequent slashdotter; often cited for his technique countering the trusting trust problem) about filenames.

I believe he is mostly right. We should move to file systems that do not allow "stupid" names and be done with it.

about a month ago

Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

godrik Re:LLVM auto-vectorisation (636 comments)

also auto-vectorization is a dream. You can only vectorize code if the memory is properly layed out. Every compilers knows how to vectorize automatically. The quetion is only, is the memory layed out in a way that enables vectorization. And from what I saw, there is nothing smart in Swift to enable that.

What you need is to teach developpers about the vectorizatino problem. Most developpers do not know or care about it. The most basic point is whether you should use Structure of Array or Array of Structure (SoA or AoS). And most don't know what that means.

about 2 months ago

Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

godrik Re:I can never wrap my head around this. (1040 comments)

I grew up in France and have been living in the US for a few years. So I feel like I can answer these questions. But first, the current federal minimum wage is around $7/h, few cities or state have it around $10/h. Also working more than 30 hours a week is sometimes difficult. Overall, it is not possible to convert salaries from one country to another and claim value/lifestyle equivalence.

What is happening is that your gross income in France and in the US are different. In France, it includes "charge patronale" which are various things your employer pays on your behalf: retirement, health insurance. Minimal wage worker in the US have to pay for that out of their income or not get it at all. (Recently obamacare helped on the insurance side by giving minimum wage worker benefits on these which lowers price significantly for them.)

In France, education is pretty much free. In the US, higher education is not, you are going to have to pay for it, which means that people tend to take on large loans.

There is almost no public transportation in the US and the cities are spreads which means that pretty much everybody needs a car. It also incurs insurance and gas. Because gas used to be inexpensive (it rose a lot in the last years), cars in the US have not so good mileage. Also people drive a lot (consequence of the spread of the cities). So car expenses actually get high.

Internet and cell phones aren't really luxury since so many things are done over the internet or over the phone, including searching for job, health insurance policies, taxes, ...

about 2 months ago

How To Prevent the Next Heartbleed

godrik Thanks for this article (231 comments)

Hi dwheeler,

This is a great article. It covers many common software development and testing techniques. But also some "on live system" techniques. It was a pleasure to read, I'll recommend it to various places.

about 3 months ago

Winning Algorithms For Rock, Paper, Scissors

godrik Doesn't everybody knows that already? (65 comments)

(obvisouly I did not RTFA.)

When I took Simulations in gradschool 10 years ago, one of our assignment was to train a markov chain to predict the player next move at rock-paper-scissors. Using simply as state "lastmove, lastoutcome" is enough to learn what humans (read the students of the class) do.

about 3 months ago

Lucas Nussbaum Re-Elected As Debian Project Leader

godrik Re:No complaints here (28 comments)

I worked at the same place as lucas in the past. Clearly he knows his stuff and knows to deal with complex situations. He did a lot for QA in Debian.

about 3 months ago

MIT Researchers Bring JavaScript To Google Glass

godrik Re:MIT researchers? (70 comments)

Welcome to the world of PR and marketing. If there is any kind of involvement from a famous party, no matter how small the involvement, the famous party always gets the credit. MIT is more famous than University of Maryland so they get the credit.

Note that I have no clue how much each person contributed to this particular project. But if it is done by somebody famous (or at a famous entity), it becomes great, if you had done the same thing, nobody would talk about it.

about 4 months ago

More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

godrik Re:'Involve' is the key word.. very deceiving. (367 comments)

Well, there are two issues here. You might not be to blame for the accident in the sense that you are not the one initiating the collision, but you might have been able to avoid it if you weren't distracted. So the information of how "involvement" is still meaningful. Though, as pointed out by many slashdotters, the main problem is that we do not have a point of reference. Is the rate of cell phone use lower or higher than the rate of accidents involving cell phones?

about 4 months ago

More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

godrik Re:Another amazing fact (367 comments)

Well, that statistic is not very useful because it does not take into account many biaises. It is not clear that male and female have the smae driving hours. If male were to drive more during peak hours, it would be logical that they tend to get into more accidents and more fatal accidents.

Not that GP was not a complete douche, but let's not use statistics to say what they do not say.

about 4 months ago

Turing Award Goes To Distributed Computing Wrangler Leslie Lamport

godrik Re:supercilious bastress (40 comments)

The only thing that surprised me is that he did not already have won that award.

about 4 months ago


godrik hasn't submitted any stories.


godrik has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account