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Comment: Re:What does the comment about "Noble" mean? (Score 3, Informative) 110

by DoctorChestburster79 (#45695115) Attached to: No Longer "Noble"; Argon Compound Found In Space

I don't get the connection between the title and the summary.

That far right side of the Periodic Table...where Helium, Neon, Xenon, Argon, and Radon live. Those elements have always been taught as being chemically inert (i.e. not able to be combined with any other elements), hence why they are called "noble" gases. This apparently is the first instance where that rule isn't necessarily true.

Comment: 2001 (Score 3, Informative) 438

by DoctorChestburster79 (#45125403) Attached to: <em>Gravity</em>: Can Film Ever Get the Science Right?
Seriously? Nobody is going to cite 2001 as being probably the most accurate film for space travel...ever?

No noise in the vacuum of space?

Bowman's head not exploding when he has to blast himself into Discovery's airlock?

The fact Discovery has an area that rotates fast enough to simulate 1G for the sleeping crew as well as Bowman and Poole to keep from losing bone mass?

The trip from Earth to the space station (the latter of which had to rotate to also simulate 1G)?

Lensed in England by Stanley Kubrick, and still pretty damned accurate, especially since this was Arthur C. Clarke's work we're talking about here.

Comment: Re:We called 'em "Boozers" (Score 1) 501

by DoctorChestburster79 (#45125269) Attached to: Lessons From the Healthcare.gov Fiasco
In my past experience with Booz, I really haven't been impressed. Much like every other big contractor that's gone public within the past decade (and even some places that haven't), everybody's more beholden to the bottom line (and the stock price) or rested on their laurels than actually doing the work. Every current BAH person I've dealt with on recent projects have been sanctimonious blowhards that do more harm than good. And coming from an FFRDC, hearing that they want in on that area is laughable, especially the part where federal law states the company operating any FFRDC must be not-for-profit. Looks like that IPO was a bad idea, guys.

Of course, I'm now working with a smaller firm, and one of my colleagues is a former BAH guy. He started there right when they made their IPO. Guy was literally sleeping at his work site (overnight) because there was too much to do and not a lot of support. If he's working where I am now, it's pretty obvious he didn't stay there long. Had another colleague that also had a short stint at BAH, and he was actively looking pretty much the day he got there (took him about 15 months to move on).

Also, to call some of these guys systems engineers is a joke. Literally. You're right about the whole requirements gathering crap. Even folks that bought into the BAH philosophy and are long gone still don't have a clue wherever they end up. It's embarrassing.

Comment: Re:Who cares about the polygraph? (Score 1) 213

by DoctorChestburster79 (#44768385) Attached to: Amazon Hiring More Than a 100 Who Can Get Top Secret Clearances

The real question is why would anyone want a Top Secret clearance? Is the pay really so great to be worth the trouble?

... Is it a wonder that people will go through security clearance to get a cushy government [contractor] job where pay is not dependent upon performance?

Ah, now you're just being a jackass because you're either lying, or you've never been in the environment to know anything about government contract work. If you believe contract work isn't competitive, you're a complete idiot.

And you've hit the nail on the head. It's constantly what I was running into when I was out this time around. I did have a really good gig lined up (w/ salary to boot), but they rescinded the offer precisely because I only had the clearance, and not accesses or polys (those needed to be in place, and they weren't willing to wait). Part of that I believe was due to the HR guy not really comprehending that those parts weren't active, and it really sucked.

They were looking for skills, clearances/accesses, or a preferred combination of the two. That's the nature of this whole thing. I'm just curious as to how Amazon is going to successfully navigate this whole thing for those still at the collateral level or fresh into the SCI realm. Boy, are they going to be in for some surprises should some of their candidates get caught in an administrative limbo.

Ultimately, you're right on the performance part. It would be nice for the sponsors to get with the program and acknowledge accomplishments and attention by their contractor staff, since having that type of performance supporting the government folks helps boost their performance, as well. Sadly, once you've got that GS/GG position, that's never really the case.

Comment: Re:My Interview and Polygraph Experience (Score 1) 213

by DoctorChestburster79 (#44765921) Attached to: Amazon Hiring More Than a 100 Who Can Get Top Secret Clearances
It's the content of what I've seen that matters, not that I can access it. I've listed it on my resume, so various sites have it out there. It's easier to generate interest from potential employers because it's just one less thing they have to do on their on-boarding list, and it's halfway to the SCI arena, as well.

No big secret in that. The details on when, where, and who adjudicated it is probably the bigger secret, and to be honest, I really don't know all of that particular information.

Comment: Re:Polygraph Tests (Score 3, Interesting) 213

by DoctorChestburster79 (#44764331) Attached to: Amazon Hiring More Than a 100 Who Can Get Top Secret Clearances

They always accuse you of using drugs. Always. They also try to beat you into a confession. Always.

I got up and walked out of my polygraph at the CIA when I interviewed. I didn't want to come close to finding out how an organization treated its employees when it treated its prospects like that.

My uncle worked for a major defense contractor in the '80s (he left that position right before one of the major mergers occurred in the '90s), and had to take a poly as part of his program's requirements. When asked about drugs, he said no, to which the examiner accused him of lying on the spot. The excuse the examiner gave was EVERYBODY my uncle's age had tried something, to which my uncle replied that he was probably the first person that HADN'T tried anything, willingly or otherwise.

At the end of the exam, the examiner said this to my uncle: "Well, you passed, but I question your integrity."

My uncle's internal response: he wanted to deck the SOB. I don't blame him for thinking that.

Comment: Re:Who cares about the polygraph? (Score 1) 213

by DoctorChestburster79 (#44762969) Attached to: Amazon Hiring More Than a 100 Who Can Get Top Secret Clearances
Was laid off, but starting a new position on Monday. As with the main article on this thread, Amazon is looking for anybody with at least a TS that is SCI Eligible. Problem is one of two things:

1) Dealing with an uber-techie out in Seattle that doesn't quite understand the nuances of dealing with a government contract, or

2) Not wanting to deal with the backlog of getting the SCI and/or polygraph (I've heard that unless you can get fast tracked, it's back up to 18 mos on any polygraph).

Much of what I've fallen into has been the latter. I even put on the resume that I needed to redo my CI, and that it had been 5 years since I was read off of anything SCI (meaning I'd have to redo the process all over again). If you can get into something that doesn't require a poly, go for it. I'd just like a shot to get back into that realm because there is some actual, relevant work that goes on that isn't involved in tradecraft or any moral gray areas.

Comment: Re:Who cares about the polygraph? (Score 1) 213

by DoctorChestburster79 (#44762607) Attached to: Amazon Hiring More Than a 100 Who Can Get Top Secret Clearances
Wow, make an offhanded comment, and get called a slimeball. Wow. Do you think I actually WANTED to be on the dole? At least I got my ass out there and pounded the pavement, and in the end got interest from a company I hadn't even thought of nor solicited for my services. In short, they wanted me. Before then, I had numerous offers, but most of them hinged on contingencies beyond anyone's control (thank you, budget sequester). So my apologies for not getting my facts straight, because I was too busy trying to find a position than sit at a keyboard and play "Internet Tough Guy".

Look, rightly or wrongly, the guy did what he did. I don't disagree with it, but at the same time, there could have been a better way to handle it (but obviously there wasn't). I don't see him as a hero or as a villain. At best, he's an opportunist.

Also, posting AC just proves that you are exactly that: a coward.

Comment: Re:My Interview and Polygraph Experience (Score 1) 213

by DoctorChestburster79 (#44762333) Attached to: Amazon Hiring More Than a 100 Who Can Get Top Secret Clearances
I've already got the TS, and have had an SCI w/ CI poly in the past (my previous employer was trying to get me in on a YW, but my previous PR hadn't been completed when they submitted the paperwork). I had a MD-based company contact me out of the blue for some work at the Fort, but they couldn't do the upgrade. From the talk with one of the heads of the firm I start with next week, there could be an opportunity to upgrade (they'll at least keep the TS in place), but I'm just happy that I don't have to rely on UI or draining any more savings for the foreseeable future.

Comment: Re:My Interview and Polygraph Experience (Score 2) 213

by DoctorChestburster79 (#44762229) Attached to: Amazon Hiring More Than a 100 Who Can Get Top Secret Clearances
I, too, interviewed with Amazon back in June. Probably had the same guy you did, because he sure as hell didn't seem all that interested in any of the softer skills you'd need to do certain aspects of the job, especially with your spook counterparts. And this was for a systems engineer position.

My feeling on any poly is meh. As long as you're up front with your security folks and asking questions about certain things (remember, the onus is also on you to keep things up and make the investigator and security team's lives easier), you shouldn't have any problems.

Fortunately, I'm starting with a smaller defense contracting firm on Monday. Commute's not bad, and I can get into a position closer to home should some opportunities show up. At least it's not a big firm like what I've worked for previously.

Comment: Re:Who cares about the polygraph? (Score 5, Informative) 213

by DoctorChestburster79 (#44762159) Attached to: Amazon Hiring More Than a 100 Who Can Get Top Secret Clearances

Of all of the things involved in securing top-secret clearance, I'm willing to be the polygraph is the least invasive. Interesting that it would be the only one called out by name.

It's not that. It depends on the type of investigation you initially undergo to get said clearance in the first place. The big one for anyone holding a TS is a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI). That goes through pretty much everything for (to start) the previous ten years. The next piece of the SSBI is the periodic review (PR), which should occur no later than five years after the previous investigation. Having been on the job market for almost 5 months, it was at least a relief to have the PR taken care of prior to my layoff.

Next step up is clearing for Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI). Having the TS-SSBI (and PR) makes you ELIGIBLE to gain compartmented access, but that all falls under the umbrella of need to know. From what I recall back when I first became eligible, I was asked a few questions by the OPM investigator assigned to my case (really heavy on foreign interactions, etc.). Based on that info, along with the info in the SSBI, is what gets you into SCI.

The poly only comes into play whenever a specific SCI program requires it, and even then, it's a little more involved. The big one that we're all familiar with is the Full Scope/Lifestyle, which is what most of the three letter agencies require for the really involved work. Some programs are only interested in counterintelligence (CI), while other programs don't need a poly at all. The main difference between a FS/LS and a CI poly is pretty simple: FS/LS look at anything you can possibly fess up to in your entire lifestyle (money habits, sexual inclinations, drug experiences, etc.), while CI looks at whether or not you'd be the type of guy (like Snowden) who'd sell US secrets to someone that wasn't an American.

Having personally gone through the CI poly process, it's more tedious than anything else.

Comment: Re:Not concerned (Score 1) 459

by DoctorChestburster79 (#44740771) Attached to: How Gen Y Should Talk To Old People At Work
Summer of '78 here, and my younger sister is Spring of '80. We both also wonder how things got to where they did. For her, she was very good at a position she had been in for the better part of a year, and had even gotten accolades at the company holiday party because of her skills and work ethic.

Of course, the following Monday, her superior fired her because she felt my sister was a threat. Difference is my sister didn't whine about it, she just picked up and kept moving.

For me, I've had a habit of getting into situations where I do show some level of ability, but the problem is all of the political crap I have to go through being a major turn-off. That's gotten me in trouble on a few occasions.

Comment: Location, Location, Location (Score 1) 743

by DoctorChestburster79 (#44711103) Attached to: Snowden Spoofed Top Officials' Identity To Mine NSA Secrets
Another thing you have to consider here is where Snowden was accessing NSANet (and other compartmented systems, for that matter). The further out you get from where the majority of the systems security regimes live (like NSA/CSS in MD), the less emphasis there is on actually following the rules. Sure, the Hawaii site probably did have a dedicated asset to ensure things were in line with the home office, but I guarantee you that it's a bigger pain in the ass to ensure that the rules are being followed at such a remote site, especially since said security auditors/investigators HAVE to be GGs (Excepted Service civilians), and with the allure of a place like Hawaii to begin with, lots of upper management isn't too keen on signing off on a travel order, regardless of whether an inspection needs to be performed.

If the breach happened here, Snowden would have been surrounded by NSA security the second he changed his identity. Being out in Hawaii was probably the best place for him to be, given the atmosphere the site probably operates under. Some of that has been my impression, anyways, since most times the Hawaii guys show up for meetings here in Hawaiian shirts.

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