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Get a clue, get a job

January 30, 2004

Joel Spolsky vents some of his frustration at clueless job seekers and offers advice on resumes, cover letters, and other excuses to not interview someone.

From my (sometimes endless) days of having to interview and hire countless engineers, I gotta say this is enormously right on…

However, I’d also add “Don’t write a novel”—if you can’t entice someone to interview you in one page (two at the outside), you’re liable to put them to sleep.

The longer I’ve been in this field the shorter the resume has gotten.  Hint—only keep the REALLY REALLY SIGNIFICANT stuff…

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How many megabits per gallon?

January 30, 2004

Remote Cambodian villages have e-mail relayed by motomen—wi-fi toting motorcyclists to the provincial capital where they are uploaded to the ‘net via satellite.

The world is getting smaller…

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Dude, what were you thinking?

January 30, 2004

A blevy of double-URLtendres, from NTK

http://www.analternative.org/

http://www.childrenswear.co.uk/

http://www.cummingfirst.com/organ.html

All sfw, no kididng…

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Mudda knows best?

January 27, 2004

Another week, another round of ranting about where the music industry is going…

BusinessWeek is suggesting that the RIAA’s latest round of lawsuits is their worst move yet, as in addition to pissing off their customers (a strategy that only seems to work well for telcos), they are engaged in a tail-chasing digital arms race—and that they’ll always be on the short (and expensive) end of the stick.  Clay Shirky points out that the RIAA succeeds where the cypherpunks failed by making encryption ever more commonplace among the general public—something all of the cypherpunk’s warnings and big-brother privacy invasions had failed to do to-date.

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Crooked

January 27, 2004

“Ello, ello, ello… what ‘ave we ‘ere then…? You’re living close to the edge and it’s only a matter of time before you’re collared by the Old Bill. You may have fallen on your feet so far, but it won’t last forever. Have you ever thought about a more rewarding pastime? (Emotionally that is…)

Based on your answers, we have calculated the maximum penalty for your crimes*:

Years in prison: 73 Potential fine: 5000”

Maybe a good thing I don’t live in the UK afterall…

So How Dodgy Are You?

Enter Mudda

January 27, 2004

Another week, another round of ranting about where the music industry is going…

BusinessWeek is suggesting that the RIAA’s latest round of lawsuits is their worst move yet, as in addition to pissing off their customers (a strategy that only seems to work well for telcos), they are engaged in a tail-chasing digital arms race — and that they’ll always be on the short (and expensive) end of the stick. Clay Shirky points out that the RIAA succeeds where the cypherpunks failed by making encryption ever more commonplace among the general public — something all of the cypherpunk’s warnings and big-brother privacy invasions had failed to do to-date.
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Martian Core Dump

January 24, 2004

I gotta admit, at least it’s more interesting than if the thing had just gone completely silent.  Apparently Spirit decided to uplink 73 megabits of data at 128 kbits per second yesterday morning, including “power subsystem engineering data” and “several frames of fill data”. 

Since Opportunity (due to land tomorrow) is identical to Spirit, perhaps if they can figure out what the problem is, they can send fresh code to Opportunity before it slips on the same banana peal.

That is, of course, assuming that it lands and starts talking succesfully at all…

NASA warns that even in the best of circumstances, it may be a significant amount of time—perhaps two weeks—before they will be “restoring functionality” to Spirit.

Two weeks?  They must be using the home improvement contractors I always end up with—it’s ALWAYS “two weeks”. 

Is it just me, or is Mars beginning to seem like the planetary equivalent of Charlie Brown’s Kite-Eating Tree?

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Just in case the horse isn’t dead yet…

January 23, 2004

So word is that the survey in December showing that file sharing had slowed down dramatically apparently wasn’t terribly accurate (how about “up 35%” instead?)

It seems that the Pew Internet Project’s survey was a phone survey.  I can’t imagine how that could go astray…

“Hello, is this the ‘Blah Blah’ residence?”

“Yes it is”

“And your address is ‘Blah Blah Blah’?”

“Yes.  What do you want?”

“We want to know if you’re still stealing music online…”

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Just because you’re paranoid…

January 23, 2004

If you’re still looking for helpful tools to get you through this campaign season (think “Tivo”, I say), Orcinus has decided to post this dandy Field Guide to Telling Actual Conspiracies from Conspiracy Theories

What has happened, however, is that as these abuses have occurred and the conspiracies unraveled and were exposed, critics of the government on both right and left have conflated the nuggets of fact involving these incidents into “proof” of much wider-ranging conspiracies — stretching, eventually, into UFO and Protocols of the Seven Elders of Zion territory. These constitute what we commonly call conspiracy theories. The culture of paranoid conspiracism (see, e.g., The X-Files) has now become almost ingrained in popular culture, and it continues to contribute to irrationalism in the national discourse in a significant way.

Anyone who’s read In God’s Country is probably aware that I’ve dealt with conspiracy theories a great deal over the years. I’d estimate that I’ve examined, in the course of research, in excess of 200 different theories and urban legends. My method was consistent: examine the factual content and the analytical structure, assess the logic, and reach a balanced conclusion about its validity.

The bulk of the conspiracy theories I studied originated on the far right, though not always — in addition to far-left theories such as those linking the CIA to every misery in the world, there were also the UFO, phony health care, “contrail,” and various national-disaster theories, which were in most cases also adopted by conspiracy theorists on both right and left and woven into their respective universes. In many cases, there became a distinctive crossover between right- and left-wing extremists in this territory; the far-left conspiracists David Icke and Johnny Liberty (his real name is John Van Hove), for example, traffic in theories that clearly originate with the anti-Semitic far right.

Spirit is willing, but the code is weak…

January 23, 2004

Good news, of a sort anyway—Spirit isn’t entirely dead after all (insert Monty Python clip here).

Apparently it gets part way through its boot sequence, and then reboots… Engineers are talking to it in what seems to amount to “safe mode”, at the blazing speed of 120 bits per second attempting to figure out a way to get it back in operation…

Meanwhile, Mars Express is sending back some amazing pictures.  No word yet on whether they can see a prompt on Spirit reading “Press Any Key To Continue”

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