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Comment: Re:You'd be better served at a Community College (Score 4, Interesting) 309

by C_L_Lk (#41759729) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Going To a Technical College Worth It?

Alternatively, you could follow the path I did (and several others I know, some of whom encouraged me to follow the path) - completed my 4 year in Computer Engineering with a minor in EE. Worked for a few years but really disliked the work I was doing (IT infrastructure), took a little time off, and signed up and went to a 2 year community college trades program in Industrial Electrician... What that did was introduce me to many people working for various companies and hugely expanded my "network" of industry contacts. I had 0 problem landing a 6 figure job as an EE specializing in industrial control systems before I even finished the trade program. My employer thought my background of both "practical electrician" training on top of my CmpEn/EE background made me an unmatchable asset - I know the theory and the practical applications.

For the OP - perhaps going to a traditional Comp Sci program would be the best place to start - and then follow it up with a technical program afterwards where they have exposure to people in industry, and can "shine" as a well educated, brilliant programmer with sharp CS skills. They could even end up like I did getting several offers to teach courses at the community college level after I graduated. I am doing that now part time in the evenings in addition to my full time job.

Comment: Re:Largest I've found so far. (Score 1) 142

by C_L_Lk (#40105695) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hobbyist-Ready LCD Touch Panel For Embedded Projects?

Not sure how "industrial" OP wants to go but we use these in all of our control panels - the prices are size dependent, but the smaller ones are well under $100, the larger ones can run upwards of $400. There are several other lines they offer if this one doesn't do what you need:
http://www.kinco.cn/category.aspx?NodeID=108

Comment: Re:Clevo (Score 1) 300

This is the laptop they got me for work - it's got great processing power, video, battery life, they keyboard is comfortable, etc -- the touch pad sucks something awful however. The "mouse buttons" are part of the touch pad, and touching them to click inevitably moves the mouse. Not great for me considering I'm using it for Zuken E3 - always dropping my nodes in the wrong place.

Comment: Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (Score 3, Insightful) 278

by C_L_Lk (#39198271) Attached to: What The DHS Is Looking For In Your Posts

Yes and no. With today's population all having handheld devices that can twitter, facebook, etc. it's often the case that the local population to an event gets the message out often substantially before the official channels do. Take for example tornadoes - while the NWS may have radar that shows where a tornado might be occurring, and people calling 911 might set off official responses to a tornado, someone who's sitting in their house tweeting that the house next door just flew away in a twister is more immediate and more eyewitness - which is what DHS is looking for - they want to know if something is going on before the official channels can process it. After RTFA and the document related, it appears they have a "trust order relationship" - first off - major news media (CNN, etc.) - second is "local media" - third is things like well known websites and news aggregate sites, fourth is blogs and social media, etc... things that are 3rd and 4th level need "confirmation" from a first level source before it becomes official. This just sets off the warning bells that something might be happening and everyone needs to pay more attention that something could be up.... makes sense if you ask me.

Comment: Re:Bureaucrats (Score 1) 487

by C_L_Lk (#35980146) Attached to: Department of Justice: FBI Too Focused On Child Porn

Correlation is NOT causation. If you are already a child molester, chances are you'll probably view some CP during your down time. So - does viewing that CP make them a child molester? No - it's just a correlation. Do you see hundreds of FBI agents running out becoming Chester the Molester? Nope... but they are plainly viewing hundreds or thousands of hours of CP. There are millions of porn viewers out there watch things they know they can't, or won't EVER get to do with a significant other as well (bondage, anal, rape fantasy, s&m, DP, menage, etc.) - You don't see them all running off to pay for an S&M prostitute - it's a chance to explore something they find curious or interesting. There are probably millions of actual CP viewers out there who have checked it out due to curiousity, perversion, or a side interest -- but they check it out there because they know it's wrong to act on it in reality. Child molestation existed LONG before CP - and will exist long after all these efforts to ban CP - just the way it is.

Comment: Re:Uh. (Score 3, Interesting) 298

by C_L_Lk (#35495922) Attached to: Apple Handcuffs Web Apps On iPhone Home Screen

Actually you can - quite easily. All you have to do is go to a carrier and buy the cheapest dumbphone with SIM that you can (AT&T is good for this) and get it on a "no contract length" plan (so.. a dumbphone will probably be about $100 - you'll have to pay that) - get the voice service you want on it with no data plan. Take the SIM out and put it in your android or blackberry phone. Your data services will not work, your voice services will.

I live in Canada and have an unlocked Blackberry Bold 9700 on Rogers with a normal blackberry data/voice/etc. plan for around $60/mo. I travel to the US regularly - many weeks a year. I went to an AT&T store and bought a $129 dumbphone with a $24/mo voice plan, no data, etc. I have that service automatically charged to my credit card each month so I just ignore its existence for the most part. When I travel to the US I pop my Rogers SIM out, pop my AT&T SIM in, and I'm good to go - I'm on a US phone number for making and receiving calls, and I have no data or blackberry service, but whenever I'm around WIFI I can use that for any data apps / web browsing.

Previously I had been paying around $600/yr in roaming costs when in the US. (typically ~$50 per week I was there). I now pay $300/yr for my US phone service and I get more minutes than I'll ever use while there and I use the Blackberry just fine with no data plan. My wife does the same with her Android phone using my SIM when she has to go to the US as well.

Comment: Re:Beat me to it. (Score 1) 467

by C_L_Lk (#34903930) Attached to: Advice On Teaching Linux To CS Freshmen?

To be more accurate, it depends on the environment you work in, but there are software engineers who *are* engineers and differ from programmers and developers.

In the last company I worked for (a large well known much hated (but not as much as MS) software firm) - there were software engineers who never wrote a line of code -- that wasn't what they did. To use the old automotive analogy, they were to software what the guy in a studio with modelling clay is to the car design and building industry (the guy who never touches a part of the finished car in his job). They simply worked on design and architecture - how should the UI feel, how should this software work with other software, how should this software work with the OS and file system, how should this software accept incoming data, how should this software present its completed data, etc. These engineers took the fields of mathematics, philosophy, psychology, and information systems and tried to design frameworks for the software that the developers and programmers could then implement.

Luckily I worked as a network admin so I got to avoid all of them as long as I kept my stuff running.

Comment: Re:Not just them... (Score 1) 424

by C_L_Lk (#34744852) Attached to: Android vs. iPhone — Who Wins In 2011?

Not to mention "texting heavy" teens (2500 and up texts per month - sometimes 25000 per month) LOVE the physical keyboard. Most of my nieces, nephews, and cousin's kids all have BB's - they use Blackberry Messenger heavily amongst themselves and their friends with BB's, and standard SMS with their non "BB" companions. My nephew (age 17) just got a BB Bold 9780 for $99 on a 2 year contract, and in the first day he had it he said he sent around 500 BBM messages and another 150 or so SMS messages.

There's just no replacement for a good physical keyboard when you are texting 500 - 1000 times a day from what I've heard from these kids. And most of them say that they can use Opera or the BB Browser fine on pretty much any website, the phones do videos and mp3s just fine, there's facebook and twitter apps, and that's really all they need in their phones. Several of them have iPod touch on the side for gaming - but won't go for an iPhone because of the expense of all the plans (especially here in Canada - you can't get an iPhone serviced for under $100 a month really... but these kids get BB plans for $50/mo that takes care of all their needs). Have only seen one Android phone so far - my niece has the Galaxy S - she likes the phone, but says it took her a long time to get quick at typing using Swype, and she still can't keep up with the BB kids.

Comment: Re:Please let me use the same password (Score 1) 497

by C_L_Lk (#31837286) Attached to: Please Do Not Change Your Password

As sad, convoluted, and unusual as the IT field has become, my manager (the director of IT) at my previous employer told everyone in the IT department to put all their critical passwords and important passwords and any other passwords that we regularly use onto an Excel spreadsheet including what the password was for, when it was implemented, and when it would expire if it would expire. Then print that spreadsheet, delete and BCwipe the file off the computer, and lock the printed spreadsheet in one of our desk drawers. The passwords were utterly complex and hard (our policy was 12-16 digit passwords, at least 2 digits, 2 capital letters, 2 lower case letters, and 2 symbols) but none of them ever had to be memorized - take the spreadsheet out, look up the password, re-file the spreadsheet.

Now this won't work for people who have to travel around - but a highly encrypted file (or Truecrypt file system) on a USB key with the same basic premise and only one long password memorized to access the key would make it relatively possible and secure. Lose the key - who cares - its content is useless - by the time someone could break the encryption on the key you would have had time to go back to your office (or safe at your home office), get out the hard copy, log in and change your password on every system involved, and build yourself a new USB key.

Not that complex... relatively friendly to newb's and other people who aren't super technically adept... and does a nice job. If you need more security, it's time to switch to SecurID and give everyone a token.

Comment: Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (Score 1) 232

by C_L_Lk (#30676930) Attached to: Blu-ray Capacity Increase Via Firmware

Where are you shopping that you can build a decent HTPC that can play 1080p video files over HDMI output in a nice small form factor for under $250? Just the motherboard, processor, RAM, case, hard drive, power supply, and video card (I'm assuming a stand alone video card, but if you go for a motherboard with integrated video add the appropriate cost to the board) for pretty much anything you can build will be $300 - and I didn't include any optical drive there. And as for TVs that can do it - the price premium is generally several hundred dollars as well - and would require most everyone to trade their recently purchased $700-$2000 LCD or Plasma TV for one with the capability. At this point the PS3 at the $249 sale price point that is now regularly being seen is a steal in what its capabilities are - web browser, web video and audio player, DLNA player, blu-ray player, not to mention you can actually play a game or two on it if you feel like it sometime (many free demos on PS3 store, etc. so you don't even have to spend a cent to get dozens or hundreds of hours of casual games).

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.

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