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Obama's Immigration Order To Give Tech Industry Some, Leave 'Em Wanting More

godrik Re:IT industry has no use of the illegal immigrant (186 comments)

The summary mention an extension of the OPT visa which are essentially granted to foreign students after completion of a degree in the US. This extension of OPT will certainly benefit these students as the length of OPT typically leaves little margin of error to move to a different status.

I don't know whether it is a good thing or not for the tech industry, but there are lots of STEM student directly affected by that.

4 days ago

"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

godrik Re:holy crap (555 comments)

What makes it even worse is that Barbie is meant to be an image of a women that girl want to achieve.

about a week ago

Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

godrik Re:500KPH - but what is the average *journey* spee (418 comments)

It really is a matter of infrastructure. When I was living in france, I never drove a car. It was not useful. Driving was typically not much faster than taking the train. I could go to my university in 45 minutes while driving took about 35 minutes. But that gave me the opportunity to read in the train and to take a daily walk.
Later I was studying in Grenoble and my parents were living in Paris. To go and see my parents, public transportation (bus+train_tgv+train_city+bus) was taking about 4 hours and a half, 3 of them were in the "main train" which gave me time to do homework, read a book, whatever. The total cost was under 100 euros round trip. The same trip driving would have taken me 6 hours of actual driving (plus pauses) and cost at least 60 euros of gas.

Now, in the US, it is much more difficult becasue even if you had a good train, there would still be no public infrastructure one you arrive. But I guess you could rent a car.

about two weeks ago

What Happens When Nobody Proofreads an Academic Paper

godrik Re:Error: They did not use LaTeX (170 comments)

exactly, if my student writes the paper, I might not read the latex file myself. What I typically do is that all things that are not meant to be part of the article is either a \note{} or a \todo{} which resolve to write in bold, red, and change background color to yellow (or green). That way, it is impossible for me to miss it before it is sent to the reviewers.

about two weeks ago

Duke: No Mercy For CS 201 Cheaters Who Don't Turn Selves In By Wednesday

godrik Re:type of assignment (320 comments)

I am teaching one of these classes right now (but in a different institution). And I can tell you that there is a lot of variability in students submissions even for very simple algorithms. When I accuse a student of cheating (which happens unfortunately quite often), I usually have NO DOUBT that the code was copied from somewhere else.
You find groups of functions which match exactly code found online and which are written in a style completely different from the rest of the assignment.
You find functions with variable name different from an online template and that group of function is not indented at all, while the rest of the code is. Soon after you realize that copy pasting from that website screws up formating. No student would write it that way.
Sometimes you find comments in the code from a language the student does not speak.

In my opinion, we (whoever teaches computer science) are typically VERY conservative before saying that a code stems from plagiarism.

about two weeks ago

It's Time To Revive Hypercard

godrik Re:No, it's not time to do that. (299 comments)

CS grads seem to need a professor, hand-holding and a cookie in order to learn anything new.

AH! Maybe that's what I need! Bringing cookies to my class. That's smart!

about three weeks ago

16-Teraflops, £97m Cray To Replace IBM At UK Meteorological Office

godrik Re:Can this stuff be farmed out? (125 comments)

Actually, this is misconception. The cloud can probably deliver 16Pflops. The problem with the cloud is not computation power. It is communication bandwidth and latency.

What makes a supercomputer is the balance between processing capability, communication capability and IO speed. For many applications, you need to be able to synchronize the processors with very little overhead. Many scientific application work under the following patterns: do a small computation, make a small communication with your neighbors, rince repeat for 10 hours. If you do not have balance capabilities, you are wasting lots of ressources. This is the type of computation the cloud can not really help you with.

Now if your application is: get 1MB of data, compute for 2 week, send 1MB of data. Then the cloud will be fine. Unfortunately, not many scientific applications follow that model.

about a month ago

Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

godrik Re:Maybe we should actually penalize companies (286 comments)

I am not too familiar with US laws and regulations. But I assume that if the same company get caught twice or if DoL start catching one company like that every week, then the fines will become higher.

about a month ago

Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

godrik Re:Awesome! (774 comments)

This should not be tagged funny! This should be tagged depressing.
What I really don't understand is "why is this part of systemd and not a separate program?" I can only see two answers:

-Because it has to be tightly integrated with systemd. In this case, I would rather we do not clutter a critical system component with more unnecessary code such as a console implementation.

-Because it is a tactic to get it deployed as part of the systemd package. In which case, systemd really starts looking like a attempt at conquering the world. I feel like that is exactly what it is here.

about a month and a half ago

Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?

godrik Re:Nuclear power--the no carbon solution (652 comments)

Not sure if it is true or not. But I had read there was probably not enough nuclear material (see how much I know by my proper use of vocabulary?) in the world to power the world using nuclear power plants for a significant portion of time.

We certainly need a mix of energy and should certainly not disregard nuclear. But I am a NIMBY too. There is not enough room in my back yard to build a nuclear power plant! :)

about 1 month ago

Hong Kong Protesters Use Mesh Networks To Organize

godrik How does mesh network works? (85 comments)

I am no expert in mesh networking, but I was under the impression that addressing in them does not scale well. The best technique seems to be BATMAN [1]. AFAIU it requires everynode to perform a full broadcast regularly and that each device stores a complete routing table to each other device. That will not scale to build a city wide network.

Somebody knows more?

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B....

about 2 months ago

Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

godrik Re:Is it just me... (365 comments)

Indeed, I am fairly disappointed by this video. This is pure BS. There is no actaul fact presented. Statements are not facts. You can do lots of that.

MYTH: the little girl droped the ice cream on the floor
FACT: In reality the cat made it fall.

Maybe it is a fact, but without any proof it is just a statement in the air.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

godrik Re:are you sure there is no practical application (479 comments)

This is spot on! I do not believe there are parts of computer science with NO industrial applications. I work as a assistant professor and I saw hundreds of PhD students. All of what they were doing had some form of practical relevance.

Even if what you do is not directly applicable (yet), you have to have a wide knowledge of a chunk of the discipline. Even the most theoretical chunks have practical relevance. A friend of mine was researching complexity theory (some weird complexity classes that appeared since the PCP theorem came). And he works designing algorithms for planning (of both, nurses, schools, ...) He did not find anybody interested in complexity, but his understanding of complexity made him very useful to design models and build algorithms.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

godrik Depends what you mean by "in tech?" (392 comments)

Would I give my heart surgery to a guy that does not have an MD, but has a bachelor in poetry? Absolutely not!

Does a bachelor in poetry have a place in a hospital? Yes absolutely!

In particular, liberal art graduate tends to be good communicators. And that is something pretty much all tech field need. We need lots of people to help the tech field communicate.

I am working in a university in a CS department, and I strongly believe that having people to help us "publicize" our work is very important. I'd love to have a youtube channel full of interviews of different members of the department. Maybe short videos explaining a particular paper I wrote. That would be cool and would fulfil our job to explain what we are doing to the public.

We had a couple of artist in our college last year who essentialyl tried to make a piece of art by taking a marionette and coupling it with a few camera to build an "interactive automaton".

about 2 months ago

Early iPhone 6 Benchmark Results Show Only Modest Gains For A8

godrik Re:power consumption? (208 comments)

Well, I'd suggest the right question is, how much does this one benchmark matter?

Well, the article does not even convince me that the benchmark was properly executed. When going from a 32-bit to a 64-bit architecture, you certainly need the code to be properly optimized for the new target architecture. For instance, if you do not use the new instructions, it is unlikely you will see a major performance improvement. If you normalize the benchmark result to clock speed and number of cores there is not much difference between the 2 processors.

So my guess is: they did not properly compile the benchmark.

about 2 months ago

Net Neutrality Comments Surge Past 1.7M, an All-Time Record For the FCC

godrik Re:The issue isn't really net neutrality. (81 comments)

I disagree with that. What we want is to have net neutrality in practice. Now competition in the ISP market is a tool that could lead to net neutrality. It is an indirect way of getting net neutrality. But I strongly believe that net neutrality is important enough that we want to have a direct regulation about it.

Now, more competition in the ISP market woud not hurt :)

about 2 months ago

German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

godrik Re:well done mods. (290 comments)

This is slashdot. Nobody RTFA anyway (even the editors).

about 2 months ago


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