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Topics - I D Shukhov

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Was 41,882, now 61,311 -- 46% growth in 2 months. 






2
When I last looked at in-demand skills on Indeed in March, I found that DevOps was mentioned 13,251 times.  Two months later I find it mentioned 15,725 times, for an astonishing 18.7% growth in 2 months.





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Discussions - Public / Washington Post article on Amazon review gaming
« on: April 24, 2018, 07:20:24 am »
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/how-merchants-secretly-use-facebook-to-flood-amazon-with-fake-reviews/2018/04/23/5dad1e30-4392-11e8-8569-26fda6b404c7_story.html

Quote
Amazon rankings are the new “battlefield” for online manipulation, said Renee DiResta, policy lead for the nonprofit Data for Democracy, a group of technology researchers dedicated to promoting integrity online. She has conducted research on paid Amazon reviews by joining some of the Facebook groups. “There’s a dark side to the race for the stars,” she said.

Quote
In February, there were nearly 100 Facebook groups, split up by geographic region and by product categories, in which Amazon merchants actively solicited consumers to write paid reviews. One such group had over 50,000 Facebook members until Facebook deleted it after The Post’s inquiry. There are also Reddit boards and YouTube tutorials that coach people on how to write reviews. Websites with names such as Slickdeals and JumpSend let merchants give out discounted products, using a loophole to get around Amazon’s ban.

Merchants seeking to defraud Amazon have flocked to Facebook in particular, DiResta said.


Quote
Last year, DiResta began studying and joining Amazon reviewer groups on Facebook. Her first act in the groups was to write “interested” next to a post describing a pair of Bluetooth headphones for $35.99. Almost immediately, a Facebook user purportedly named SC Li sent her a direct message, calling her “dear” and asking for a link to her Amazon profile. If she reviewed the headphones, SC Li said, he would reimburse her via her PayPal account.

Within an hour of getting SC Li’s message, DiResta got a slew of direct messages from other sellers, asking her to review tea lights, containers, shower caddies, badge holders, sanding discs, rain ponchos, pocket-size vanity mirrors and butterfly knives. The messages came in so quickly, she said, she barely had time to respond.

Quote
DiResta found that many of the Facebook accounts had no friends on the social network. Their only Facebook posts were about cheap products, and their profile pictures included stock photos. A reverse image search on SC Li’s profile photo, of a man on a beach, for example, revealed a stock photo called “seaside man” that appeared on various Chinese-language lifestyle websites, an indication of a fake profile.

Reviewers “just see it as a way to make extra money,” DiResta said. “The question is why doesn’t Amazon crack down more? These communities are not a secret.”

4
http://doyoutrustthiscomputer.org/watch

I read somewhere that Musk is bankrolling the free viewing.

There are clips from Robocop to drive home the point of what could happen when autonomous weapon systems that are under development by the military turn rogue.  That would include drones, pilotless aircraft and all the scary robots that Boston Dynamics keeps rolling out.

Tai, the Microsoft Twitter chatbot which turned into a misanthropic racist monster after 24 hours is mentioned.

Around 21:00 a strong Luddite pitch starts.  Robots and AI-based information systems are going to take away jobs from both blue and white collar workers.

At 29:44 there is a VERY WEIRD AND SCARY  Japanese (who else) android named Erica.  If there was ever an uncanny valley effect, Erica demonstrates it.  The uncanny valley effect is that to the degree an android looks and acts human we will become repelled by it.

Erica looks friendly enough most of the time, but every so often there is an unnatural jerk or psychopathic look in her eyes which is truly terrifying.

The Facebook/Cambridge Analytics fiasco came about apparently while the documentation was in production and they gleefully incorporated it.

Facebook is said to be just the sort of thing of how AI will destroy humanity.  It's not that AI has anything personal against humans, it's just that AI is goal-directed and if humans get in the way, then bye bye humans.   Facebook's example is that the goal is to enhance social interaction.  One interviewee described a resonance effect with people being fed self-affirming information feeds from like-minded people and fake news so that eventually a mirror is built for them by Facebook in which they figuratively gaze into and ask “Who is the fairest of them all?" and you get back,  "You, you after all!” 

Thus, Facebook purportedly diminishes people while manipulating them into yielding to Facebook (a symbol for all its AI algorithms) information so that they can be commercially exploited.

An interesting take on personality characterization is described by https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/faculty/michal-kosinski who said that in the old days psychometric analysis was done with questionnaires.  Nowadays it's much more effective to gather online posting, searching, buying and browsing data and analyze it with a neural network to gain personality insights.  https://www.ibm.com/watson/services/personality-insights/ does this and it accurately described some my personality based on my postings on this board. 

At the end of video Musk apparently gives up trying to stop or regulate AI and says the only answer is to merge with it, as in if can't fight 'em, join 'em.  Not sure what he has in mind, though.  It was kind of left as a hanging, open question.   Everything Musk said before is that AI will attain superintelligence and that it will be impossible to get it to play nice.



5
All Technology & Tech Help / Chrome Browser not respecting Hosts File?
« on: March 27, 2018, 09:45:28 am »

(Browsers: So figure out where Chrome or whatever obtains extra DNS information from, if it's not the hosts file. That's a surprise to me because the internet and routing stuff is the layer beneath the app layer, which would be Chrome or other browser.)
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/42636711/google-chrome-ignoring-hosts-file

Also, notice:

Quote
Try clearing the DNS Cache:

1) run cmd.exe as administrator

2) type: ipconfig /flushdns

jfatal
.....
Sorry, missed that one. I had already tried that too. I just tried again though, but no luck. I'll add that to my original post. – Nick Petrie Mar 7 '1

6


https://www.soundstrue.com/store/mindfulness-teacher-certification

Quote
Tuition is $6,700, inclusive of a $300 refundable deposit due at the time of application

7
FTE, Job and Career Discussion / Unique Selling Proposition
« on: March 19, 2018, 11:56:00 am »
According to the Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unique_selling_proposition) it's "one's 'personal brand' in the marketplace"  and a "unique benefit exhibited by a company, service, product or brand that enables it to stand out from competitors".

The need for a USP seems particularly necessary in the crowded IT field.  Lack of a USP is exactly the reason people here have been discouraged from learning some skill and then attempting to get hired as a "commodity programmer".

I suppose we might think back on our careers to see if we can find a USP, or if one cannot satisfactorily be found, think about what one might look like for the future.

Thoughts?




8
All Technology & Tech Help / Brother-in-law's computer got hacked
« on: March 06, 2018, 09:09:04 pm »
My wife and I both got emails that were suspicious in that there wasn't much content to the message except to say that this person has shared a secure message with you and to click on a link that would purportedly take you to Dropbox to retrieve it.  My wife forwarded the message to Dropbox and they verified it had a malware payload.

What do you do in such a case if you don't have backups?  Is it even possible to disinfect a compromised computer?


9
I've been reading the 2017 edition.  The author, Nelson Bolles, died that same year of a stroke at age 90.  The book was published annually and has a 2018 edition.  Maybe Bolles finished it before his death.

In Chapter 1, "It's a Whole New World for Job-Hunters" Bolles presents statistics about how the length of an average job is continually decreasing (according to him the Great Recession exacerbated this).  Because of this he says that job-hunting is now a "survival skill" that one has to master.

Chapter 2, "Google Is Your New Resume"  discusses how employers first go to Google to gain intel on you if they are interested, so it behooves someone to be able to be found on the web and to put something there to build your credibility.

Much of his writing is of a "go hire yourself an employer" ilk and in order to do that you have to be confident about yourself and your skills.  For that reason, a full 87 pages is devoted to a Self-Inventory, which is about a 1/4 of the book.

Actually, the book is structured this way:

The first 110 pages of the book is about practical skills for getting a job now -- as in Rumsfeld's   "go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time".

The next 89 pages is the self-inventory.

The next 74 pages are for dealing with handicaps, changing careers and starting your own business.

Finally, there are morale-boosting appendices for  "Finding Your Mission in Life" and "A Guide to Dealing with Your Feelings While Out of Work".



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The search criteria were: nationwide and employer job postings only



I notice these things:

1) Cloud skills are much in demand
2) Enterprise Java jobs are less in demand than the JavaScript technologies
3) You would do well to put Linux on your resume rather than Unix (2x the number of mentions)
4) Some of the fun graphics tools and VR aren't that widely advertised
5) I typed in R Python, because R itself was confusing Indeed and a lot of R jobs also called for Python.  The combination did better than any of the enterprise Java jobs.

I left out quite a few technologies, like .Net and C##.  If anyone has any favorites, I'll collect them and add them to my little field survey


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FTE, Job and Career Discussion / What is DevOps?
« on: March 02, 2018, 05:48:12 pm »
It has a Wikipedia definition, but I was wondering if anyone has actually done that kind of work or is thinking about doing it.

In my last position, which is becoming a distant memory, we checked software out of a version control system named Subversion (which in today's world is probably Git) and when we checked it in everything related to the  file(s) got built with Hudson, which is now called Jenkins.

There was quite a bit of work done with automated testing also, although I didn't always have the time to keep the automated tests up to date.

I think that is an example of DevOps:  automated builds, version control and tests all bundled together in software development.

This may be enlightening:  https://virtualizationreview.com/articles/2016/07/06/3-devops-tools-you-should-start-with.aspx

12
I asked her why she had a barcode sticker on her hand and she said that's what they all had to have for credentials.  Didn't go to the front of the store to see if the non-pharmacy clerks had them also.

I guess it beats having a chip implanted.  I suppose I shouldn't be disconcerted by this, but I guess I am.   :-X




13
All Technology & Tech Help / Musk introduces the Tesla Semi
« on: November 17, 2017, 06:42:17 am »
This has to go in the humor section.

Musk introduces the Tesla semi:   https://news.google.com/news/video/fQvGSkTYJSE

A semi accelerating from 0-60 in 5 seconds (2:20) has to be one of most frightening highway driving scenarios I can think of.


14
Discussions - Public / List of Colorado school and public places shootings
« on: November 02, 2017, 01:20:14 pm »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_shootings_in_Colorado

9 have occurred including and since Columbine. 

6 years before Columbine, in 1993, things got started off (not counting the 1914 Ludlow Massacre):
Quote
Nathan Dunlap, 18, who was fired from a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant as a cook, opened fire, killing four employees and wounding another.

15
Discussions - Public / Carole King's Wasn't Born to Follow
« on: October 04, 2017, 12:10:23 pm »
The Byrds'version we're familiar with:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/3hEfcawx6Fc" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/3hEfcawx6Fc</a>


Carole King's original:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/568W3Nkq3DI" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/568W3Nkq3DI</a>


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