Beta
×

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!

Comments

top

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

larwe Re:Read Slashdot (479 comments)

The PhDs I worked with didn't know how to do what they were hired to do, because they lied about their abilities to actually do anything practical. Let me take one really simple example: PhD is tasked with implementing over-the-air firmware downloads for a product (there's complexity there, I know it sounds like an intern job, but there really was work to do). Said PhD was told to verify the CRC of the downloaded file for integrity purposes before attempting to flash the device. How did she do this? She downloaded the file (note: said download included, free of charge, a meta-file including a CRC of the known-good data on the server). She CRC'd the data she'd downloade, then CRC'd it again, and proceeded if those two CRCs matched. This is the kind of bullshit I've had to deal with when working with PhDs. Everything practical is left as an exercise for the reader - the PhD is focused on his/her higher calling, or whatever. As a manager of a team that needs to deliver practical implementations of well-understood technology, I don't need that. See also: Dunning-Kruger effect, which I have seen vigorously at work in the minds of PhDs.

about a month ago
top

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

larwe Re:Read Slashdot (479 comments)

I can't agree more with this commenter. After having to live with bad hiring decisions, and then making a couple of my own, I have made a firm resolution not even to consider a candidate with a PhD. That's an instant decline, right there. *EVERY* single PhD I've worked with has been an insufferably bad organizational fit, and almost all of them have ultimately been terminated (after being on a PIP). The remainder have been moved out into satellite offices to work on sinecure projects. In fact, I was musing about this just the other day after another incident, to the point where I was going to post to my social media accounts a call for someone - anyone - who works in a real job (i.e. making a product for profit, not working at an academic institution) - to pipe up and tell me that they have a PhD on their team who is useful and effective. As for your comment about your PhD being in an esoteric and useless field - this is essentially a tautology.

about a month ago
top

Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

larwe Better yet, store it "nowhere" (502 comments)

Better still, web-based companies with datacenters in many jurisdictions could store your data in a completely distributed fashion, where it isn't possible to retrieve the original without access to all (or at least several) of the servers. So they could subpoena all the data held in the US, and the UK, and Australia, and all the other surveillance states, but without a copy of the complementary data in Switzerland and Belize and on a pirate barge in the middle of the Pacific, they won't be able to reconstruct what you actually have stored up there. Better yet, if they contract with third-party storage providers wholly resident in those other countries, the US (for example) would have zero basis to subpoena those other companies - they are not "doing business" in the United States.

about 3 months ago
top

Wireless Contraception

larwe Re:Read-Only Access to Avoid Paternity (302 comments)

In an ideal world, the same chip would be able to report STD status. It's the 21st century version of toothing.

about 3 months ago
top

Century-Old Drug Reverses Signs of Autism In Mice

larwe Re:Can a company patent it? (207 comments)

And if it causes fearsome rashes and a 50/50 shot of adrenal destruction, would you still feel the same way?

about 4 months ago
top

Century-Old Drug Reverses Signs of Autism In Mice

larwe Re:Can a company patent it? (207 comments)

Off-label use of a drug currently approved for a given clinical use is very easy to achieve. However, looking at the side effects of this pharmafossil, it's looking like the side effects are worse than the condition it is being proposed to treat. I can't see an adult consenting to take it. Parents could force their children to be dosed with it, I guess.

about 4 months ago
top

The Internet Is Now Part of the Crime Scene

larwe Re:Makes forensic avoidance simple (145 comments)

Completely missing my point. Assume that datamining a la NSA, FBI, etc, actually worked to protect the citizenry from thoughtcrime before it becomes realcrime. Thus, the best way to avoid that worm, if you wanted to commit a crime, would be to delete all your social media accounts so they can't even get a network diagram for you, let alone posting bullshit rants about whatever you intend to use as your justification for going crazy and killing people. Of course, the actual fact is that predictive analysis like this is worthless, because humans are non-deterministic creatures.

about 5 months ago
top

The Internet Is Now Part of the Crime Scene

larwe Makes forensic avoidance simple (145 comments)

So what I glean from this is "Step 1 in committing any crime: Delete all social media accounts before posting anything about it".

about 5 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

larwe Re:I work at exactly such a startup (274 comments)

I've wanted to go for a VERY long time. And they're getting close to finishing the final sarcophagus that will go over the NPP. I want to see it before that happens. Of course I'm mainly going for Pripyat - I've seen the awesome pictures, I want to see it in person. I miss the 1980s.

about 5 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

larwe I work at exactly such a startup (274 comments)

I'm working at a similar second-stage startup (has had significant second/third round investment but still very young). I'm turning 40 this year [yay birthday vacation to Chernobyl!], there are a lot of young'ns in the office. I came from a Fortune 500 company full of processes and requirements and paperwork and ... NEWSFLASH: NOBODY CARES. We are a startup. Many of the MVPs are actually remote. They may not be wearing pants on any given day; I'm not sure. One of the reasons I was hired was to add maturity/realworld regulatory-compliant experience to the company. I have about 7 people in the USA reporting to me, and a few more than that in different countries. Average age of my team is probably mid 20s, but it ranges from "just turned 21" to "early 50s". I need all of those people, for different reasons. Be excellent. That's why they're going to hire you.

about 6 months ago
top

SpaceX Looking For Help With "Landing" Video

larwe Re:They're not going to get better results... (110 comments)

There is so much wrong in this I barely know where to begin. Nobody records analog streams for digital TV data, but this is completely irrelevant. Everybody records analog streams for spacecraft telemetry because you can't post-analyze an improperly demodulated digital data recording. Doppler velocity measurement is also performed from the raw signal, for example by mixing with a signal at the original (TXCO-controlled) carrier frequency and observing the beat. The A/D stage is NOT demodulation, it's digitization. A digitized recording of an analog waveform is nothing even remotely akin to recording the binary output of a demodulator stage. (For practical purposes, a modern recording would, indeed, be digital - but it would be a digital recording of the original received waveform, not simply a recording of the realtime output from a demod). Having the original waveform to look at allows different types of filters to be tried and applied, not just the single set of parameters that were in the realtime decoder on board the aircraft. It's absolutely the baseline for data recovery in this type of application. Telemetry = "remote measurement", a term used to refer to data streams downlinked from the vehicle that are not crew communications or control data, which includes still and moving image data.

about 6 months ago
top

SpaceX Looking For Help With "Landing" Video

larwe They're not going to get better results... (110 comments)

... until they post an analog recording of the telemetry. The bitstream *as decoded* is corrupted because of demodulation errors, and you can't reconstruct data that isn't there. If they have an analog recording, then analog filters can be applied to that in an attempt to create a cleaner input signal to the demodulator stage. An analogy: They have taken a picture of a page of text, rather out of focus and dark, and used OCR software on it. All they are giving us is the output of the OCR software. We need to see the original picture so we can apply better filtering/contrast adjustments to it before attempting pattern recognition.

about 6 months ago
top

52 Million Photos In FBI's Face Recognition Database By Next Year

larwe Re:tie that to K'nect camera (108 comments)

I'd love to argue with you... but I can't. Have a very pleasant and conformist day, citizen.

about 6 months ago
top

52 Million Photos In FBI's Face Recognition Database By Next Year

larwe Re:tie that to K'nect camera (108 comments)

Those won't work, there are acceptance standards for those photographs. No headgear (possible religious exemption), no tinted eyeglasses, etc etc. Also, how many women do you know with a full mustache and knee-length beard? (I realize the answer to this may be nonzero, but it's going to be small). When I went to renew my passport a few years ago [Australian], they had additional requirements "neutral expression, no smiling" and they were explicit about the fact that this was to improve facial recognition DB matching. All this is nothing at all compared to the databases in the United Peoples' Democratic Republic of Europistan, of course. Interestingly, all this facial recognition and cross-referencing is a real problem for spies. Passports with biometric information in them that can be cross-referenced to a central database are a serious problem to a guy whose job is to enter Russia as Mr. John Smith, tourist today and enter it again next week as Mr. Alphonse Gambolputty, international financier.

about 6 months ago
top

Ad Tracking: Is Anything Being Done?

larwe Re:Ghostery (303 comments)

fark.com is the one that comes immediately to mind. Of course, I then simply need to block the begging as well. Actually I find adblock indispensable not simply for removing ads, but for removing not-exactly-advertising meaningless UI elements that occupy screen real estate. I'm talking about boxes full of 35 different "share this page on these social media sites" icons, and static headers with flyout menus that stick to the top of the browser window, not to mention those goddamn annoying "toasters" that pop up in the lower right corner once you scroll past a certain spot in an article. And reader comment engines like Disqus, not to mention "recommended related content" IFRAMEs (e.g. Outbrain) on news sites. My Internet experience is completely different from that which would be experienced by someone without adblock, it's a lot more than just the absence of ads.

about 7 months ago
top

Should Patients Have the Option To Not Know Their DNA?

larwe Re:Insurance Premiums (157 comments)

Yeah, this was one of my concerns too - but it would appear with Obamacare no longer allowing charges for preexisting conditions, an increased insurance premium because of DNA screening results isn't CURRENTLY possible. In general, my philosophy is that it should be possible for people to opt out of ALL data collection. Not merely disclosure, but collection. An infinitely large database of information has an infinitely large possibility of abuse. It should be possible for people to opt out of electronic health records, also - or at least have a user controlled kill switch to permanently erase their EHR.

about 7 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: When Is a Better Career Opportunity Worth a Pay Cut?

larwe In a word: Yes [I can relate] (263 comments)

I worked for about eight years for a Fortune 500 (actually its ranking was two digits... and it wasn't #99). Benefits were great, pay was very good since they let me relocate from NYC (cripplingly high taxes) to FL (no state or city taxes) and keep my NYC salary and bonus. Flipside, I'd already had to change career paths entirely within the organization (from engineering to product management) in order to get a promotion, because the peristalsis was just too slow. And on every side, beset by "you can't get there from here" processes and conflicting goals. The analogy I used was that the company was trying to use a standard process built around the nuclear weapons industry in order to make toy dolls, and wondering why it could never get a project finished in time to be relevant. The only turnover to speak of was people who came in, tried to get things done, and were either torpedoed by vested interests, or gave up the struggle and moved on to other pastures where they could satisfy their thirst for meaningful achievement. About a year ago, I happened across a job posting for a small software company close to my new home in FL. Much smaller, but *DOING THINGS* and generally accelerating upwards. I negotiated the same salary, but no bonus, no 401k match, and generally smaller benefits all round. So I took a "pay" cut of perhaps $20-25k, all things considered, but I do not regret the move for one microsecond; I've already had one promotion, of a sort, and I enjoy what I do (when I'm not cursing at it - hey, this is software, after all! :)). Other people in my position might have felt differently - especially those closer to retirement and looking to stick with a dead-end railroad job to harvest benefits. I'm not young, but I'm also not anywhere near an age where retirement will be possible. And a considerable amount of my personal happiness is tied up in the question "what useful thing did I get done today?" TL;DR: this is a personal decision and you have to decide how much risk you're willing to stomach. And yes there is the possibility you'll be screwed, either maliciously or simply because your employer had expectations beyond what any one person can achieve. All of us on the other side of the internets can't make the judgement call for you as to whether this is a possible malice situation - you've spoken to this new employer, we haven't - and as for the expectations-too-high part, the way to manage this is with explicit goals, preferably chopped up into slices no bigger than three months. Check in frequently to make sure management knows how you're progressing and what things are slowing you down.

about 8 months ago
top

Australian Team Working On Engines Without Piston Rings

larwe Re:Nice idea but... (368 comments)

Eyeroll. "In the long term we are all dead". For the lifespan of everyone who is alive to read this today (discounting a war that destroys industrial civilization), the internal combustion engine will be the dominant powerplant for transportation. Deal with it.

about 9 months ago
top

Australian Team Working On Engines Without Piston Rings

larwe This is an old idea (368 comments)

Turbulent obturation rings of this kind (well, technically I guess these are obturation cannelures) have been used in a lot of applications because they have some interesting properties. For instance they are used in mortar shells. When you drop the shell down the mortar barrel, you essentially want it to fall without retardation so the primer gets a good hard strike and the propellant ignites 100% of the time. However you want as much as possible of the propellant gas to do the job of propelling the projectile, without blowing past it in the barrel. You ALSO want it to be as consistent as possible so the CEP of where the projectile lands relative to the target is as small as possible. So this isn't impossible, but it's not easy either.

about 9 months ago

Submissions

larwe hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

larwe has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?