Reader Mail – 02/10/2013 To 02/16/2013

Nek commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.
>> All these languages are just wrappers for C/C++ libraries and given a marketing name anyway.

I do know the exact part of programming you have been all those 25 years and it's dark down there.

Nek commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.

>> I’ll stick with my PHP/LAMP for now. I am open to new things...

Am I the only one to see a bit of contradiction here?

My conclusion was "Node.js is not better than PHP." That isn't the same as "I'm not open to new things."

abc commented on Only Idiots Use Java For High Frequency Trading.
It's too naive to say that high-frequency trading has to be done with a specific language... it depends on what your needs are:

- pure arbitrage strategies: these are often simple and well understood strategies and only the fastest player will win a given opportunity. These solutions are increasingly implemented directly in hardware ( C++ may be lower latency than Java but will stand little chance against pure hardware solutions. Pure hardware strategies can be as fast as single-digit microseconds between receiving a tick and placing an order against it. Downside: high cost, low turnaround time

- complex trading strategies that still require very low latency: these are typically done in c++. Just search the job boards. It may only be 1/2 or 1/3rd as productive as java but the improvement in latency makes it a requirement. And C++ is still way more productive than a hardware solution. I am not sure if it's possible to get C++ into single-digit microseconds but you can probably get pretty close for a very simple trading algo

- and finally you have a whole slew of other types of "higher-frequency" models that are simply less latency sensitive. Perhaps it's mostly using passive orders. Perhaps it's trading with banks instead of open exchanges. Perhaps holding times are measured in minutes instead of seconds or milliseconds. For apps like these, java is a very good choice. But you can't run arbitrage strategies on open exchanges with apps like these, you just can't compete. For for most firms, that's ok. I think a carefully written java app could probably go as low as 50 microseconds for a full round-trip between receiving a tick and placing an order against that tick. Of course, that will be an average of 50 microseconds, but the latency-variance for java tends to be much higher than for compiled languages. Benefits: lower cost, quick turnaround time, easier to develop stable software, etc

So I say: it depends on what your needs are. But most high-frequency firms use C++ as it tends to strike a happy medium between latency and development time

Juan Daugherty commented on Offensive Interview Programming Tests And Assignments.
I too used to take them and stopped a long time ago. It seems to have become a master slave thing where the employer is trying to weed out any but the most abject slaves. Just got an email from one inviting me to spend like 6 or 7 hours in such a process where they were very explicit that there was no compensation and they wanted you to show ... what? I guess it's a split between that and just utter cluelessness of the irrationality of spending that kind of the time, the degraded state of this particular market, class relations generally whatever.

In any case it's not by any means the case that all or even most employers are presenting these and they're certainly the exception for contract work.

Also I think when markets are glutted with labor, this comes back, it seems to be less a few years ago but seeing more now.

For me with an unusual amount of experience, I've found from bitter experience it's utterly futile to humor this. If you have decades of experience and they are testing you it just means they think you're a fraud and it's unlikely you'll change that opinion because even if you pass an objective test, it will be followed by the subjective tech out where they'll "show" you're incompetent. After recently telling an internal recruiter for a silicon valley startup I don't do tests, I relented because he pressed me. After doing well I was flown out there for just such a tech out.

I think almost at any stage if you have a degree, at least a few years of experience, you should reject this, but what will drives it (the rejection of taking tests) is people see it's a waste of time, doing well on the test seldom means you're going to get the job.

Anybody working on a contract basis that wastes like a days labor on this is rapidly going come to the point where they refuse them so it's naturally self limiting to a large extent, forming hard core sweat shops and the like in a certain segment of the industry.

It certainly is a jumping-through-hoops exercise more than evaluating someone's ability. It's "better" to hire someone who's totally desperate for the job.

On the other hand, for one interview a few years ago, the headhunter talked me into doing their (only 2 hour) test, and they did wind up hiring me. I'll do tests, provided it isn't too long.

The other negative of working as a programmer is that your experience has a very short half-life. Most of my experience is in C/C++, and I get zero credit for that experience for interviews for .NET or Java or other languages. Even if I get a couple years of .NET experience, a couple years from now there'll be another new thing. Most experience is transferable to other languages, especially the experience for understanding requirements and working with legacy systems, but I've seen almost no headhunter/HR, recruiter, or hiring manager who understands this.

187um commented on Christopher Dorner - Criminal Or Victim?.
Weeding out a corrupt system. Nothing wrong with that

Dorner isn't going to accomplish much. He's going to get at most a few more people before the police get him.

If everyone who received State abuse retaliated violently, it would rapidly end. If you're the only one doing it, you're throwing your life away for nothing.

In the late 19th century, some anarchists tried assassinating politicians. It didn't work. There's always another State criminal eager for a promotion, so getting rid of some corrupt leaders accomplishes nothing. Also, the media spin led it to create more sympathy for the State. Violence is pointless when you're outnumbered.

I've been unfairly fired plenty of times. I let it go and move on to the next opportunity. Dorner could have gotten a job as a security guard or bodyguard, even though he was unfairly fired from the LAPD.

However, in a non-corrupt system, Dorner probably would have had a successful career as a policeman. His "problem" was that he was honest and intelligent. He was bothered by the bad things policemen are frequently forced to do. The criminals noticed that, and decided to come up with an excuse for firing him. (When policemen are recruited, they are given an intelligence test. If you score too highly, you are rejected!)

d erikson commented on Christopher Dorner - Criminal Or Victim?.

dorner praised obama in his manifesto, then went on a killing spree of white people. a general absence of this fact in the press though. imagine a white man praising mitt romney in a manifesto then killing 3 black people. it would be front & center in boldface type with the biased liberals in the media! the media in this country truly suks!

The bit may not have been in the original manifesto. It might have been edited. The stuff on the assault weapons ban and the shout-out to celebrities may have been added later by someone else. That was already discussed previously in the comments above.

If you ever decide to post a "manifesto", don't do it on a site like Facebook! Do it on your own personal website, so at least it's in Google's cache or the wayback machine! (Facebook is not crawled by Google. Also, Facebook has strict censorship rules.)

Don't trust the mainstream media! If they claim it's an "unedited" copy of Dorner's writing, you can't be sure!

Christopher Dorner is dead. There were a couple of other interesting points, but not enough for a separate post.

The news said "The cabin he was hiding in mysteriously caught fire." Why not say "The police set fire to the cabin!"? Who do they think they're fooling? The police decided to go all Janet Reno Waco on the cabin. Given that he had shot two more policemen, that probably was justified.

That also shows the fallacy of trying to hold off a siege by State police. If necessary, they will gas you, burn down your home, or even bomb you.

Another interesting point is the police bodyguards for Dorner's target list. If a criminal targeted 40 non-policemen, they would not have gotten such protection. In that case, it would have been "Too bad, you're on you're own, we don't have the resources to protect you." Police are the violence arm of the State, and that's why it was so important to protect them.

commented on Nemo Naming Controversy?.
My take on 'freedom of the press,' is it's freedom, period. The Weather Channel is a private company.

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