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+ - The frustrations of supporting users in remote offices, and what to do about 'em

Submitted by Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler (16185) writes "You're not alone in your struggle against people who think a shell is something you hold to your ear," writes Carol Pinchefsky. "Other techies are out there supporting users in remote offices, fighting the good fight against computer- and user-related mishaps – or at least tolerating user frustration with a modicum of grace."

You can laugh at their pain — and she gives you plenty of opportunity to do so, in The Joys of Remote Tech Support (for Low Values of Joy). Like the tech support person whose systems in Brazil went down — during Carnival:

...We had to wait more than a week for the locals to sober up enough to reconnect the line.

In the end, I had to walk a tech (who did not know the system) through the process step by step via an interpreter. Of course, the interpreter was not technical. So it was kind of like explaining to your mom to tell your grandfather (who is hard of hearing) how to do something while she is on the phone and he is across the room from her.

And maybe you can even learn from their advice."

+ - That fresh lunar regolith smell

Submitted by Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler (16185) writes "The moon has a distinctive smell. Ask any Apollo moonwalker about the odiferous nature of the lunar dirt and you'll get the same answer: the moon smells like gunpowder.

Or something like that:

"When the entire subject of the dust smell came up several years ago, I put forth that what the astronauts were smelling, that is, what their mucus membrane sensed, was highly activated dust particles with 'dangling bonds,'" [Larry Taylor, director of the Planetary Geosciences Institute at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville,] said.

"

+ - Some raindrops exceed their terminal velocity->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "New research reveals that some raindrops are “super-terminal” (they travel more than 30% faster than their terminal velocity, at which air resistance prevents further acceleration due to gravity). The drops are the result of natural processes—and they make up a substantial fraction of rainfall. Whereas all drops the team studied that were 0.8 millimeters and larger fell at expected speeds, between 30% and 60% of those measuring 0.3 mm dropped at super-terminal speeds. It’s not yet clear why these drops are falling faster than expected, the researchers say. But according to one notion, the speedy drops are fragments of larger drops that have broken apart in midair but have yet to slow down. If that is indeed the case, the researchers note, then raindrop disintegration happens normally in the atmosphere and more often than previously presumed—possibly when drops collide midair or become unstable as they fall through the atmosphere. Further study could improve estimates of the total amount of rainfall a storm will produce or the amount of erosion that it can generate."
Link to Original Source
Programming

The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video) 120

Posted by Roblimo
from the hey-kids-get-off-my-code dept.
Bob Pendleton calls his blog "The Grumpy Programmer" because he's both grumpy and a programmer. He's also over 60 years old and has been programming since he was in his teens. This pair of videos is a break from our recent spate of conference panels and corporate people. It's an old programmer sharing his career experiences with younger programmers so they (you?) can avoid making his mistakes and possibly avoid becoming as grumpy as he is -- which is kind of a joke, since Bob is not nearly as grumpy as he is light-hearted. (Transcript covers both videos. Alternate Video Link One; Alternate Video Link Two)

+ - Understanding Self-Healing Storage

Submitted by Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler (16185) writes "The primary objective of data storage systems is to persist data permanently (or at least until specifically destroyed). But hardware is imperfect, disks fail, servers crash, which leads to inconsistencies in the file-system metadata. The traditional ways to deal with errors require the system to go offline – not a pleasant scenario. Here's one way to get around the problems."

+ - Feds creating database to track hate speech on Twitter->

Submitted by walterbyrd
walterbyrd (182728) writes "The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter.

The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online.

The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”

The university has received $919,917 so far for the project."

Link to Original Source

+ - Object Storage versus Block Storage: Understanding the Technology Differences 2

Submitted by Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler (16185) writes "Even very technical people scratch their heads over the business value of object storage. In other words, what problems does it solve? What are its drawbacks and limitations? Which types of applications run better, what breaks, and what do you need to completely redesign to take advantage of the storage technology?

Ultimately every IT admin wants to know if object storage is a good fit for certain workloads. This article defines object storage, compares it to alternatives, and gives an overview of where it can make a performance difference for enterprise computing."

+ - How Developers and IT Think Differently about Security -- and Why It Matters

Submitted by Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler (16185) writes "Despite the number of application security breaches that find their way into the news, most developers care passionately about writing secure code. However, developers’ top priorities for protecting the company’s assets aren’t necessarily the same items that the IT department cares about."

+ - Spain's Link Tax Taxes My Patience->

Submitted by rsmiller510
rsmiller510 (1051940) writes "Spain's new tax on linking to Spanish newspaper articles is ill defined and short sighted and ends up protecting a dying industry, while undermining a vibrant one. In another case of disrupted industries turning to lawmakers to solve their problems, this one makes no sense at all, especially given the state of the Spanish economy and the fact that it comes 15 years too late to even matter."
Link to Original Source

+ - The five greatest space hacks of all time

Submitted by Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler (16185) writes "Space missions are amazingly well-prepared affairs, every action and procedure is followed, right down to the most minute detail. But sometimes mishaps and emergencies occur. Some can be dealt with by sophisticated sensors and equipment. Some can be dealt with on Earth from Mission Control. But sometimes the only option is for an astronaut to get their hands dirty, using whatever comes to hand and a bit of DIY know-how. It’s amazing what has been grabbed, bent and improvised to save red faces – or, indeed, the lives of astronauts."

+ - Business Lessons from Mario and Donkey Kong

Submitted by Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler (16185) writes "As of July 9, it’s been 23 years since Mario and the bellicose King Kong clone appeared in gaming arcades and then spread to our home consoles like kudzu. Since Donkey Kong (the first Mario game) appeared, writes Carol Pinschefsky, we’ve go-carted, golfed, and liberated oppressed princesses in over 250 games. You know what else we did when were saving a damsel in distress from a large, barrel-tossing ape? We learned some honest-to-goodness business lessons.

Yes, it's silly and funny. And then you think, "Wait. That's good advice!""

+ - What (not) to wear on an IT job interview: 6 real-life examples

Submitted by Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler (16185) writes "For a lot of slashdot denizens, the fashion choice for a job interview is, "What's clean?"

But still: Some of us give more thought to it than that. We know that how we dress conveys something, even if it's "proof that I'm a techie who is above such things." And — among women more than men, I think — some of us care about that image. And want to look pretty. (I do.)

So, in this article, with the help of a few brave volunteers, we examine how that dress or suit really comes across to the people who might ask, "When can you start?" You see six real-world people in real-world outfits, and hear what our esteemed judges think is the best choice for that IT job interview. Plus, you can vote on the outfits you think are best for each individual, and compare your opinion to those of the fashionistas and hiring managers. It's IT meets career meets fashion police – practical and, I hope, also fun."

Comment: Re:How Would the Author Know? (Score 1) 255

Um, no.

I have had lots of projects fail. Some were my fault. Some were management. Some were external. Plenty of reasons.

My point is that the existence of the team being ever-so-awesome does not necessarily have a correlation with its success. Just as actors can tell you about working on a movie with other actors where everyone felt creative and warm-and-fuzzy towards each other, and it has no influence on whether the movie is a commercial success.

The Universe is populated by stable things. -- Richard Dawkins

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