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Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

godrik Re:Maybe we should actually penalize companies (280 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.

2 days ago
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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 two weeks ago
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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 three weeks ago
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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 three weeks ago
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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 a month ago
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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 a month ago
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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 a month ago
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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 a month and a half ago
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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 a month and a half ago
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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 a month and a half ago
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Direct Sales OK Baked Into Nevada's $1.3 Billion Incentive Deal With Tesla

godrik Re:I never liked those state/city incentives (149 comments)

There is a similar law (in spirit) in North Carolina about public universities trying to hire a university professor from another public university. You can not make an offer more than xx% over what they currently have (I think it is 10%). The reasonning is similar, it cost more money to the state to get the same person they were already having at a similar position.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

godrik Essentially a smartphone replacement (471 comments)

I already carry a tablet around. So if I need to have a watch AND a phone, then it is useless to me. I want it to replace my smartphone to keep only a watch and a tablet.

I want to be able to make a phone call with it. Not dick tracy style, but I could slide the watch to my hand and use it as a phone.
I want email/text message notification. (I don't care about composing if speech to text works fine.)
Appointment and todo list and reminders. (Once again modification using speech to text)
Time travel estimate to my next appointment (or home, work google now style)
Giving direction like a GPS.
Weather forecast.

ideally, battery life of more than 2 days. and something much smaller than what all smartwatch are. I don't want a half phone on my wrist. With modern screen resolution a quarter credit card is probably big enough.

about a month and a half ago
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Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

godrik Re:Dear God, no (368 comments)

Let's be honnest here. If anybody is willing to buy anything I did for $2B, I'd sell it without thinking about it (even if it is a cure for cancer). Cash in your $2B and go explore some other crazy ideas you have that you release for free (you'll probably find a second way to cure cancer). You no longer need money at that point: you can live with $10M/y for 200 years...

about a month and a half ago
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To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

godrik Re:container ships and bulk transport -- (491 comments)

We once had world trade based on sail. Much/ most of that cargo does not need to get to it's destination quickly..

That is something I actually wondered. If you go slower then you need more boats and more crews. Also you'll need to store more food on the boat. (I guess you could fish, but let's not go there...) So there is a fixed overhead which prevents you from going arbitrarily slow.

According to [1], it takes about 10 days to cargo from the UK to the US (east coast). That boils to to roughly 26Km/h. I don't know much about boats, but that seems fairly slow to me.

Anybody knows more?

[1] http://www.searates.com/refere...

about a month and a half ago
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To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

godrik Re:if you really want to cut emissions (491 comments)

Well, that might be a little bit extreme. I am all for promoting local economies. But we need to make a good cost/reward analysis. Quite frankly, the cost of bringing an smartphone (or whatever electronic) from overseas is actually fairly small compared to the cost of producing that smartphone. (Even assuming you bundle in the cost of phone all derivative ecological cost.)

I am not an expert, but if you distribute the production line all over the world, then you might lose a significant economy of scale when producing the devices. Also I don't you might still need to transport prime (or refined) materials: you might need chip foobar, which is not produced in the USA and need to be brought from overseas. Producing everything everywhere is never a reasonnable choice.

Also shipping from california to florida might actually be worse than shipping from brazil. So you might want to produce in florida. But clearly putting one production site per state is certainly ridiculous. Some things might have to be transported over long distances. Producing mangos or strawberries in New York, might not be so easy...

about a month and a half ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

godrik Re:Torvalds is true to form.... (727 comments)

I thi nk that what you are seeing is the difference between fat packages and slim packages. What I mean is that in your typical gnu/linux distribution, libs are installed on the system and applications depends on teh libs. That makes dependency issues a real nightmare.

But all other succesfull operating system take a different approaches. on windows, application typically deploy their own libraries. On macosX everything is typically in a fat binary. On android, all libraries are shipped in the APK. I assume IOS works the same. They all depend on a slim "operating system" and on shipping "complex" libraries when needed.

I wonder if that is the main problem with application deployement?

about 2 months ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

godrik Re:Infrastructure? (727 comments)

I'm working on building a multiseat box at home

Wow! There are still people doing that? I was doing it 10 years ago and found it useful at the time. I no longer need that configuration, but I'll be glad to hear bout it. Could you tell more? Did you blog anything on that topic?

about 2 months ago
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C++14 Is Set In Stone

godrik Re:Why do we need Auto? (193 comments)

I use auto a lot. auto (or equivalent syntax) are used a lot in functional programming languages. Mostly in short functions where I do not really care what the proper typename is. It is clear how the variable behaves and that is I care about it. Often, I know I get some kind of iterator, but the actual type might not be easy to find. In particular, it might depend on a template parameter. So I guess I could add plenty of typedefs to get an easy to write type. But what is the point really?

about 2 months ago

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