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Comment: courses not degrees (Score 1) 433

by eagl (#42420269) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: CS Degree While Working Full Time?

If you want to rise in your current company, you might consider finding out what skills you need to rise to the next level on the corporate ladder and then target those skills with individual courses. For example, my Mom was a "senior programming analyst" for about 20 years. She was told that she needed personnel and project management skills to rise to the next level of project or group leader. She decided she was having fun where she was, so her continuing education focused on a couple of courses that let her broaden her personal approach to her tasks. Her decision worked in the sense that since she was at the top of the pay scale for her job, she got the max annual bonus for many years in a row, and the company did not fire her through 3 complete corporate mergers. She did have a bachelors degree in math, but her focus was programming and the courses she took were programming courses.

UCSD has extension courses that may be available for open enrollment. That's where she went. She was a Berkeley alum but I'm not sure that was a pre-req for admission to the extension courses.

For you personally I suggest courses in software engineering, rather than "pure" computer science which will touch on a wide variety of topics that may not apply. Or pick/choose courses from the CS degree program at the university of your choice, on the theory that you can learn stuff that applies to you now and can later on be applied to a degree program. But if you're already a programmer, your next step up may be software engineering and project management.

Comment: Yes and no (Score 1) 601

by eagl (#38430082) Attached to: Do Slashdotters Encrypt Their Email?

I encrypt work email whenever it includes private or sensitive information. But that is only because my company has a global email address book and every single user has published encryption certificates. My company has also mandated that every email gets digitally signed, whether it is encrypted or not.

Which brings me to my no answer, my personal email. I would encrypt all personal email if I could, but the problem is that it is unlikely I could get all of my email recipients (or even most of them) to bother to deal with keys and making sure their email client could decrypt as required. Not only that, I use webmail a lot and it's not easy to get everyone onboard the same scheme that would allow encrypted email via webmail.

If everyone did it, then heck yes I'd encrypt all of my personal email too. If it was as easy as microsoft putting a big button "enable encryption", along with another button "send public key to email correspondent", then everyone would be using encrypted email. But they won't, so I'm pretty much out of luck.

Comment: Yes and no (Score 1) 3

by eagl (#38420868) Attached to: Do Slashdotters encrypt their email?

I encrypt work email whenever it includes private or sensitive information. But that is only because my company has a global email address book and every single user has published encryption certificates.

Which brings me to my no answer, my personal email. I would encrypt all personal email if I could, but the problem is that it is unlikely I could get all of my email recipients (or even most of them) to bother to deal with keys and making sure their email client could decrypt as required. Not only that, I use webmail a lot and it's not easy to get everyone onboard the same scheme that would allow encrypted email via webmail.

If everyone did it, then heck yes I'd encrypt all of my personal email too. If it was as easy as microsoft putting a big button "enable encryption", along with another button "send public key to email correspondent", then everyone would be using encrypted email. But they won't, so I'm pretty much out of luck.

Comment: In other news... (Score 1) 627

by eagl (#37388238) Attached to: "Wi-Fi Refugees" Shelter in West Virginia Mountains

In other tech news, crazy (technophobes,technophiles) found a way to (avoid,misuse) technology found in (your favorite tech here), conducting activities that resulted in (isolating them,harming people) in a surprisingly (ignorant,creepy) fashion.

The world responded with (shock,anger,compassion) for (1,2,5,30) minutes and then returned to their (pathetic lives,regularly scheduled programming).

Space

Saturn's Super Storm 73

Posted by Soulskill
from the jupiter's-had-it-too-good-for-too-long dept.
An anonymous reader sends in a brief writeup about a massive storm that's been visible on Saturn's surface for a few months now. "As it rapidly expanded, the storm's core developed into a giant, powerful thunderstorm, producing a 3,000-mile-wide (5,000-kilometer-wide) dark vortex possibly similar to Jupiter's Great Red Spot." The storm has been photographed by the Cassini probe, Hubble and even amateur astronomers here on Earth. (The Planetary Society Weblog also posted an 8,000-pixel-wide panorama a while back.) "The violence of the storm — the strongest disturbances ever detected in Saturn's stratosphere — took researchers by surprise. What started as an ordinary disturbance deep in Saturn's atmosphere punched through the planet's serene cloud cover to roil the high layer known as the stratosphere." A study on the thermal structure of the storm (abstract) was just published in the journal Science.

Comment: hazmat? (Score 1) 244

by eagl (#35894104) Attached to: Graphene Super Paper Is 10x Stronger Than Steel

Sounds like it has great physical properties, but what about potential hazards? What happens when it burns or is crushed/shredded? Does it burn violently or excessively hot (or cold)? Is the smoke toxic? In mutilated form, does it release toxic or otherwise hazardous particles? Can you handle it with bare hands, and can you handle a torn edge with bare hands? Can it be disposed of normally? What about resistance to solvents and/or petroleum?

If the stuff is hazardous, then it's going to have some severe limits in practical use. The risk of hazardous exposure is going to have to be weighed against the benefits for every application, and hopefully we don't see irresponsible use of a new technology just because it's new. Some of the abuses we see of carbon fiber and li-po batteries in applications that routinely expect to get damaged are examples we shouldn't follow, if this stuff is dangerous when damaged or burned.

Comment: they're right! (Score 5, Funny) 346

by eagl (#35614584) Attached to: Cable Channels Panic Over iPad Streaming App

Good god, if a tv show intended for viewing on a tv inside a home was allowed to be shown on one of those newfangled gadgets that are electronical and have viewing screens that show magical MOVING IMAGES while inside a home, who KNOWS what might happen NEXT! We gotta stop this NOW, before someone thinks of a way to somehow magically store those shows to see them later inside that same house, or, god forbid, see the shows on TWO TVs in the same house at the same time!!!!!111eleventyone

everyone panic and someone for the love of god CALL THE LAWYERS!

Comment: And this is different from...? (Score 1) 391

by eagl (#35301890) Attached to: Army Psy Ops Units Targeted American Senators

How is this any different from a commander including a room full of water-damaged equipment during a congressional visit, to highlight the need for funding roof repairs in a critical facility that is too old to get maintenance/upkeep funding through normal procedures?

Really, the military can't fund or equip itself so whenever the people who DO fund and equip the military come by for a visit, you can bet your ass that the military commander will attempt to tell his story to the visitors. This is the way it is in an all-volunteer military that gets its orders from a chain of command that has no ability to actually provide money to accomplish those orders. The military takes its lawful orders, and does what it can to get funding to carry them out.

If anyone has a problem with this, they need to take it up with the SecDef, Commander in Chief, and chairmen of the military oversight committees in congress. Those people need to get their crap straight before anyone goes pointing fingers at the military folks who are stuck with orders to accomplish unfunded missions without enough personnel.

Comment: keeping them charged with solar (Score 1) 155

by eagl (#35270542) Attached to: Would the Developing World Use E-Readers More Than Laptops?

A kindle or equivalent book reader would also be a lot easier to keep charged with a small solar panel than most other tiny computers or tablets. Charge both a small light and the kindle with solar during the day, read/study a bit after sunset until the light batteries start to fade. I've read about lots of remote villages becoming much more productive due to having a few hours of light before sunrise and after sunset because of relatively cheap solar charged lights, and a kindle (or a ruggedized stripped down equivalent) wouldn't take much power to keep charged. Keep the whispernet and wifi options though. That could be the only way to get new content since remote locations may not have any network other than cellphones.

Comment: Secure erase option (Score 1) 376

by eagl (#35236510) Attached to: Confidential Data Not Safe On Solid State Disks

A couple whacks with a hammer still works great. Remove the circuit board from the case, give each chip a little love tap with a ball peen hammer. Problem solved without waiting hours for the thing to "secure erase".

Concerned about losing resale value? Security costs money, period. If you want real security, sometimes you have to take some financial responsibility and accept the loss of resale value in exchange for real security. Price of doing business.

Comment: Re:Awaiting next revolution (Score 1) 314

by eagl (#34734420) Attached to: Has the Industrialized World Reached Peak Travel?

By excessive govt regulation I am talking about the mounds of paperwork required by a variety of different government agencies, none of whom coordinate with each other, in order to get approval to do anything.

Don't take this as being anti-environment, but the example of environmental impact assessments alone is enough to kill most projects that take up only a single location, let alone a rail or road project that will cut through maybe hundreds of different environmental regions. Likewise, other govt agencies will require certification of this or that before the project can move forward. As another example, if the project goes near any sort of school, park, or any area where children may be present, the project will probably need a mountain of documentation proving that the children will not be affected as well as having every employee who may come across children go through a thorough security background check.

By themselves many of these requirements seem like a good idea, but taken together they are a massive barrier to getting anything done at all, due to the federal government trying to babysit and nitpick everything at all times. What happened to the responsibilities of state and local governments to do this stuff? Why is the federal govt putting up so many barriers to any sort of industry or improvements? Under the current regulatory environment, our federal highway system would never have been built, period. It would have taken too long and cost too much just to file the paperwork for approval, and by then the economic situation would have changed enough to make the project impossible to continue.

We're doing it to ourselves. We demand so many restrictions on activities that nothing can ever get done. This restricts YOUR ability to travel just as it restricts the economy as a whole. For more examples, research the phenomena of the "shovel ready" projects and the recent US economic stimulus packages. There were a TON of projects that needed funding, but the paperwork would have taken years to accomplish. So the stimulus money only went to projects that could be started immediately, and some of those projects were frankly pretty stupid compared to the projects that couldn't be funded due to govt red tape. Look it up, since it isn't a problem related to any particular political party even though both major parties try to blame it on the other one. It's a problem with our entire fed govt, especially the non-elected policymakers (cue segue to bitching about the non-elected FCC board that decided to try to regulate the internet against the specific direction of congress and the courts).

Comment: Awaiting next revolution (Score 4, Interesting) 314

by eagl (#34731802) Attached to: Has the Industrialized World Reached Peak Travel?

Peak travel is an interesting concept but it applies only to a given technology level. My own situation is an example. I live in Texas and have family on both the East and West coast of the US. I would also like to vacation in Florida, Maine, and Northern California. But with 2 small children and the TSA increasingly repressive, I simply don't travel much beyond a one-day driving distance.

That would change instantly if fast, harassment-free transportation were available. That used to be the airlines, and it could be fast rail if it weren't for the fact that excessive govt regulation and problems getting right-of-way means that it will never happen. But we're one transportation revolution away from me making coast to coast travel plans fairly often, because that is where I would want to go if there were reasonable transportation options.

I can't be the only one who doesn't go anywhere beyond a 1-day drive anymore, either. If we're at a transportation peak, it is because of artificial suppression of travel due to airport harassment and because of other concerns that could be addressed by the availability of fast and easy transportation. Note that I don't mention cost - I'd be willing to pay quite a bit for quick and hassle free transportation around the country, but it simply can't be done right now.

As a nation, we're quickly heading towards loserville when we can't even manage to use available technology to let people travel freely without harassment. Car, train, and aircraft technology are all available to allow for reasonably rapid transportation, but our car speed limits are where they were 30 years ago, there is still very limited train service in most central and western states, and the govt is doing its best to harass people out of flying commercial air. We suck, and we're doing it to ourselves.

A continuing flow of paper is sufficient to continue the flow of paper. -- Dyer

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