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+ - Where to volunteer in an IT capacity in Michigan?

Submitted by Jazz-Masta
Jazz-Masta (240659) writes "I’ll be moving from Canada to the US (Lansing, Michigan) in a few months. My wife will be going over on a TN Visa, which means I can get TD status but cannot work. I can volunteer though. I was a sysadmin (Windows and Unix) for 5 years, and have been an IT manager for 1 (latest). The NAFTA list won’t get me anywhere (should have been an ‘analyst’), nor will an H1-B, and according to the immigration people, the specialist category typically requires 10 years experience in a field (which I don’t have). I would like to stay active in IT even if I cannot work. My question is: where should I start looking for volunteer opportunities in the Lansing/Detroit area in relation to IT? Anyone part of a volunteer organization that is looking for IT help? Thanks for your help!"

Comment: Reminds me of Spaceballs... (Score 1) 181

by Jazz-Masta (#34973846) Attached to: Wikileaks Movie Coming To the Big Screen

I'm surprised at how quickly movies about people's lives and current events make it to the big screen. Biographies out when a person is only 25...soon they will start releasing movies before they're even done...reminds me of Spaceballs.

[Watching "Spaceballs: The Movie". They reach "now" in the movie.]
Dark Helmet: What the hell am I looking at? When does this happen in the movie?
Colonel Sandurz: You're looking at now, sir. Everything that happens now is happening now.
Dark Helmet: What happened to then?
Colonel Sandurz: We passed then.
Dark Helmet: When?
Colonel Sandurz: Just now. We're at now now.
Dark Helmet: Go back to then.
Colonel Sandurz: When?
Dark Helmet: Now!
Colonel Sandurz: Now?
Dark Helmet: Now!
Colonel Sandurz: I can't.
Dark Helmet: Why?
Colonel Sandurz: We missed it.
Dark Helmet: When?
Colonel Sandurz: Just now.
Dark Helmet: When will then be now?
Colonel Sandurz: Soon.

Comment: Re:Julian Assange (Score 2) 317

by Jazz-Masta (#34561402) Attached to: TIME Names Mark Zuckerberg Person of Year

I see Wikileaks and Facebook as the two ends of this generation's tug of war over where power rests in the next phase of the information age. Wikileaks is taking the data of large organizations and putting it in the hands of the public. Facebook is taking the data of details of the public's lives and putting it into the hands of private organizations.

True, but both are driving towards complete transparency. Facebook is doing to people (on a small level, to their friends) what Wikileaks is doing to corporations. I have seen many people break-up, lose their jobs, or get seriously reprimanded for things found on Facebook.

Facebook wasn't the first social network, but it was the one that "stuck" with the general public. For that reason, Facebook has changed the way people use the Internet, much like Youtube and Google did in the past. That is why Mark is the person of the year. 2010 was a huge year for social networking - it exploded from teens/young adults and techies, to mainstream, middle-aged and older. Of course, having a movie out about you also keeps things fresh in people's minds. Like many other awards ceremonies, it's usually the last, or freshest movies that win all the awards.

Comment: Re:Sounds like another pipe dream (Score 1) 320

by Jazz-Masta (#34437120) Attached to: A Mind Made From Memristors

This is nothing like the cognitive human brain. This is only a variable memory device.

My hope is that these artificial brains come with an easy way to back up their memory. Since no one does computer backups, I can imagine it would be the same with their brains...

I can imagine it now...in 2025...

Kid: What's wrong with dad?
Mom: He crashed last night.
Kid: Did you do a full restore?
Mom: Yes, but we haven't done a backup since 2012. So he thinks he's 25, doesn't remember you, and he keeps talking about President Palin.

Comment: Common knowledge for admins (Score 1) 446

by Jazz-Masta (#34324492) Attached to: When Your Company Remote-Wipes Your Personal Phone

This is common knowledge for most System Administrators (or should be).

With Blackberry, you can remote wipe, or just lock the device and change the password. The iPhone can be wiped.

By default, whenever you connect your iPhone to your computer it does a backup/sync. Blackberry does not.

Most companies I know first lock the device with a new password, and give the user a chance to bring the phone in (or a # of days before it is remote wiped).

If a company is unwilling to provide you with a phone for work, then you should not have your work email on it. If there is some form of bill reimbursement, there should also be clear terms as to who owns the device, and what can be done to it in the event of quitting/firing.

Employees should be made aware of what is possible, including the ability to remote backup user data (so they know not to store questionable content on the phone).

Comment: In Canada... (Score 1) 360

by Jazz-Masta (#34255416) Attached to: Is the Number Up For the Residential Phone Book?

The white pages (residential) are only available upon request starting this year in the following cities: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, the Ottawa-Gatineau area and Quebec City. Before that they were on a 24-month cycle starting in 2005.

If you want to request a phone book, go here: http://delivery.ypg.com/delivery/

Comment: Re:Slashdot -- proudly Luddite (Score 1) 120

by Jazz-Masta (#34216258) Attached to: Replacing Sports Bloggers With an Algorithm

At least we know that Slashdot isn't generated by robots. A robot wouldn't make the idiotic mistakes that the current human (for want of a better word) editors do. E.g. "one dedicated to each Division 1 college basketball tam in the US." Robots don't suffer from dyslexia, and aren't too lazy to use a spell check.

Robots wouldn't have so many dupes either (as they are the easiest thing to check for). As soon as /. goes a week without a duplicate story, then we know the robots have taken over.

Comment: Not bad... (Score 4, Interesting) 120

by Jazz-Masta (#34215936) Attached to: Replacing Sports Bloggers With an Algorithm

I've read a couple articles and they are no worse than the SEO-targeted content written by freelancers odesk for $2/hr (and english as a second or third language).

Seems as though the "algorithm" is quite elaborate - taking into account odds of winning as well. Lines such as "The [team] was not supposed to win this game, but made it happen" and combined player statistics "Coming off a poorly put together team last year, this year, the [team] looks to have greater talent."

It reminds me of how someone in Junior high would write. Impressive. Similar to MIT's paper generator: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2005/paper.html

PHP + MySQL + Mad Libs for Sports.

Comment: Re:Whenever you... (Score 1) 233

by Jazz-Masta (#34197156) Attached to: How Often Should You Change Your Password?

...lose the post-it note on the bottom of your keyboard that you wrote it on, of course.

Not even. I've had users go through the trash in order to find the post-it note they had on their monitor that fell off when the cleaners went through the office.

It's also crucial to change passwords (for websites) using the forgot password function whenever they "accidentally" delete their cache/forms/passwords in IE.

Comment: Re:UEFI has been around for years. (Score 1) 216

by Jazz-Masta (#34130658) Attached to: Swedes Show Intel Sandy Bridge Running BIOS-Successor UEFI

I have a three year old "Intel Desktop Board" that can boot via UEFI, boot to 2TB+ drives, etc.

It's not exactly new. (And I have a server from 2001

It was common on Intel's high-end server boards, then it came to their entry level boards a few years ago. Now it is making it into the mainstream desktop boards. However, what Intel had on their server boards was quite slow to boot.

Comment: Re:Its rather Ironic (Score 0) 415

by Jazz-Masta (#34101242) Attached to: Google Bans Sale of Android Spying App

Its rather Ironic that a company who's business relies on spying (cough) tracking what other people do should ban an app designed to track what people are doing.

They are obviously upset over the possibility that the program's maker is getting very close to finding out that Google already has this function built-in, except that it forwards the user's text messages to Google for advertising purposes (or insert your own evil institution - FBI, CIA, etc).

They figure forwarding twice may causes some raised eyebrows at the user's telecom provider.

Or perhaps it's just a really bad idea. I would guess this program would be used >90% of the time for evil. This is in the same moral grey area as installing keyloggers and monitoring programs on corporate computers. It only works because the corporation owns the computer and monitoring was a condition of employment.

Comment: Re:Purpose? (Score 1) 313

by Jazz-Masta (#34015766) Attached to: Inside a Full-Body-Scanning X-Ray Van

Come on, tell me, what's the real purpose of this stuff? 8 million flights without a successful terrorist attack since 9/11. All attempts either simply failed or were prevented using pre-9/11 technology, yet we still get these naked body scanners.

Now we also need them roaming the streets? "Hey Joe, hottie on your six, make a turn and flip the switch boy, let's see what she's got!". Anything else doesn't come near a justification.

Next there will be a $5 Bear Patrol tax...

Comment: Re:Usable by humans (Score 1) 243

by Jazz-Masta (#34011406) Attached to: The World's Smallest Full HD Display

New tech is all good, but if this is now (supposedly) even more higher res than the human eye compared to Retina, is there any point?

Can you tell the difference?

Probably not. But guess what *magical, revolutionary* feature will make it into iPhone 5, TBA at the 2011 (or 2012) World Wide Developer Conference?

Comment: Re:Not exactly a revelation (Score 1) 417

by Jazz-Masta (#33946372) Attached to: Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley Dishes On Steve Jobs

What I find interesting is that his followers are materialistic, light-handed, lazy, status-obsessed pricks.

Ah, the whine of someone who can't afford something.

I couldn't give a damn about status or materialism. I don't buy designer labels or expensive watches, and don't even own a car any more. But when it comes to computing, I want the best tool for the job, and because I haven't been lazy, I can afford it. For about 7 years now, that's meant buying Apple.

Actually, it was meant as a joke. Perhaps my subtle sarcasm about the "professional assessment" and "turtleneck" wasn't enough. I actually own an iPhone 4, iPod, and have a Mac mini at home. I also own a few Windows machines. Both machines have their strengths, but Apple is the #1 pusher of their products as a status symbol.

The reason why I purchased an iPhone 4 after my Blackberry was the email support. As a sysadmin, I push Blackberry at work because of the exchange, vpn, and admin functions. The reason why I purchased the Mac mini was for a small form-factor machine I could hook up to my TV, but also as something I could develop and learn Mac applications and sysadmin stuff on.

I also purchase the best tools for the job, which in my experience has been a mix of Windows-based PCs and servers, Unix/Linux servers, and Macs.

I'm sorry if I have offended you, but it was all in good jest!

Comment: Re:Not exactly a revelation (Score 1, Insightful) 417

by Jazz-Masta (#33945664) Attached to: Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley Dishes On Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is a minimalist, heavy-handed, hard-driving, design-obsessed prick?!? Not exactly news

In your professional assessment, you forgot "turtleneck-wearing"...

What I find interesting is that his followers are materialistic, light-handed, lazy, status-obsessed pricks.

Not quite the opposite, but tangential in some ways.

"Oh dear, I think you'll find reality's on the blink again." -- Marvin The Paranoid Android

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