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Comment: Re:Are you an engineer? (Score 5, Interesting) 333

by gunnk (#41947087) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Developer Or Software Engineer? Can It Influence Your Work?

Then again... the work I do is what universities currently consider "IT Systems Engineering". My work integrates Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, OS X, NetApp, VMware and Citrix platforms as well as covering security, development, data archiving, and a host of other tasks. My skills extend beyond those areas, but those are the ones I use in my day job.

My degree, however, is physics.

Well, that's typical of systems engineers/whatever-the-heck-you-want-to-call-us for those of us who remember 300 baud, FidoNet and (later) Bitnet email accounts. Ever typed an assembler into an Apple //c by hand from a magazine? No? GET OFF MY LAWN!

When I started in IT there was NO SUCH THING as a degree in IT Systems Engineering. Does that mean I'm not an IT Systems Engineer? We don't have an official job title of "systems engineer". My job title is "Advanced Systems Specialist" at my workplace. There's not an official "Systems Engineer" title at all. Does that mean this HUGE university infrastructure was built without any engineers/engineering? Really?

My point: I find there are plenty of people that have titles they are "allowed" to use but to which they fall far, far short. I also know brilliant people that run circles around those folks who have no "official" title (some have no degree at all). My feeling: use whatever title *actually* describes what you do and are capable of doing (and I'm sorry if the law prevents you from doing so where you live). Using a lesser title is selling yourself short. Using a greater title is setting yourself up for failure, firing, and ridicule.

Be honest and accurate about your capabilities. No more. No less.

Comment: Re:time to fork the project (Score 5, Insightful) 182

by gunnk (#41398701) Attached to: MakerBot Going Closed Source?

There are competing groups, but MakerBot was a sweet spot on openness, cost and ease of construction. That made the MakerBot Cupcake extremely popular. I have a Cupcake derivative that I built. I sourced some parts from MakerBot, others elsewhere, and fabricated some myself.

You can now buy a closed-source 3D printer much cheaper elsewhere. You can build a completely open source printer (see the RepRap project) and customize it exactly to your needs.

MakerBot is now offering a nice 3D printer (the Replicator 2) at much higher cost than its original sweet spot, but with all the disadvantages of a purely commercial product (no longer open and eminently hackable). Previous designs are still open, so they are free to go this way with their new printer if they like.

Now, however, they're alienating their best buyers/contributors at the same time they are pricing themselves too expensively for folks that want a low-end turnkey system. When they took venture capital I think they backed themselves into this corner. Too bad... I think they approached open source 3D printing honestly and enthusiastically and contributed greatly to its progress. The venture capital forces them to become much more commercial, but their open yet accessible approach is what made them so popular to begin with. It's a no-win situation.

Comment: Re:Bla Bla Bla.... (Score 2) 181

by gunnk (#40775737) Attached to: The Rise of the Junkweb and Why It's So Awesome

Agreed! I'm spending less and less time on Facebook because of the rise of the "junkweb". I still go there to catch up on the activities of a few friends, but I'm filtering my stream more and more every day. Fewer and fewer people seem to be contributing original content.

Google+ also tends to be a big "repost-fest", but the reposted material is sometimes a bit more interesting. Even so, I'm not really interested in re-posts - they are a mediocre substitute for sharing *your own* thoughts, beliefs and ideas.

Comment: Re:Or just maybe... (Score 1) 798

by gunnk (#37907218) Attached to: Are Power Users Too Cool For Ubuntu Unity?

That's what happened to me! After installing Natty I tried and tried and tried to get used to Unity, but it always seemed to be in my way. After a couple of months I noticed that I had starting doing 90% of my work on my Windows workstation rather than my Linux workstation (they sit side-by-side on my desk). That's when I switched to Mint and have been happily back on Linux ever since.

Comment: Re:Of course... (Score 5, Insightful) 486

by gunnk (#33799238) Attached to: Should ISPs Cut Off Bot-infected Users?

No. You have a DOCTOR cut it out. The question here is whether or not most ISP's are competent in determining what really is bot activity. A bunch of false positives will be miserable -- as will having to prove to some first-tier customer support person that your system is not infected (as in never was) or that it is actually cleaned and should be allowed back online.

And pity the person that has their ISP connection blocked that uses voice over IP to call customer support. If the ISP blocks the MODEM life is going to be interesting.

Oh, and you won't need to look up that phone number, will you?

Overall, getting infected systems of the net is a wonderful idea, but one that could be a complete mess if done poorly.

Government

State of Virginia Technology Centers Down 190

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-tax-dollars-at-work dept.
bswooden writes "Some rather important departments (DMV, Social Services, Taxation) in the state of Virginia are currently without access to documents and information as a technology meltdown has caused much of their infrastructure to be offline for over 24 hours now. State CIO Sam Nixon said, 'A failure occurred in one memory card in what is known as a "storage area network," or SAN, at Virginia's Information Technologies Agency (VITA) suburban Richmond computing center, one of several data storage systems across Virginia.' How does the IT for some of the largest departments in a state come to a screeching halt over a single memory card? Oh, and also, the state is paying Northrup Grumman $2.4 billion over 10 years to manage the state's IT infrastructure." Reader miller60 adds, "Virginia's IT systems drew scrutiny last fall when state agencies reported rolling outages due to the lack of network redundancy."

Comment: Re:Get ready to Bend over America (Score 1) 410

by gunnk (#33149540) Attached to: Google and Verizon In Talks To Prioritize Traffic (Updated)

In your example the towing company partners with AAA (so AAA directs customers to them) and the towing company guarantees quick service.

Up to now on the net the idea has been that all packets are delivered by your ISP to you as quickly as possible. The new model will be about throttling/delaying packets from companies that don't pay up.

It's as if AAA partnered with the towing company to get normal service for their customers, and in return the towing company would agree to show up late for everyone else.

Note also that Google already pays for all it's bandwidth to the net. You also pay for your bandwidth. Verizon is just acting to extract an extra tariff. Google is partnering with them to keep potential startups (without money to pay for normal service) in the slow lane so that they are unable to ever compete with Google's services.

This is evil through-and-through.

Comment: Re:The first planned spam... (Score 5, Insightful) 397

by gunnk (#32601142) Attached to: HP and Yahoo To Spam Your Printer

"Whooosh" is a good summary of the whole article... does anyone actual read the articles that get submitted?

HP is NOT going to spam printers.

HP is planning to partner with Yahoo so that you can subscribe to content that would automatically be printed out for you. In other words, the idea is that you can wake up, grab your morning paper off the printer, and sit down to read it with your cup of coffee. The ads IN THE PAPER would be targeted using geolocation from the IP address of your printer so that you would get locally appropriate ads. No ads for department stores that don't exist within a hundred miles of you. Those are the ads they're talking about. Not spam!

On the other hand... the idea of printing off your morning paper may have made sense in the science fiction of the 1950's, but HP is crazy if they think people actually want to print out content that they are going to read once and recycle.

Comment: Re:Make (Score 5, Interesting) 327

by gunnk (#32583336) Attached to: Modern Day Equivalent of Byte/Compute! Magazine?

Wow... I'm going to disagree with you in a big way. The current issue (Make 22) has an in-depth article on converting your lawnmower to RC control. Circuit boards, wiring, assembly... it's a big project but with LOTS of good info to get you there. NOT an overview or a news article. The same is true for the article on hacking wireless power outlets. Then there is the Arduino-powered tweeting cat toy. The physics and construction of double pendulums. How about a sun tracker for solar projects?

There's a ridiculous amount of great material in that single issue! Not news articles but full, in-depth how-to's. There are some light mods (to borrow your phrase) as well, but many of the projects require a significant investment of time and energy.

I think Make is a great source for projects. No dumbing down that I see, at least not in the latest issue!

Data Storage

WD, Intel, Corsair, Kingston, Plextor SSDs Collide 56

Posted by timothy
from the will-it-collide dept.
J. Dzhugashvili writes "New SSDs just keep coming out from all corners of the market, and keeping track of all of them isn't the easiest job in the world. Good thing SSD roundups pop up every once in a while. This time, Western Digital's recently launched SiliconEdge Blue solid-state drive has been compared against new entrants from Corsair, Kingston, and Plextor. The newcomers faced off against not just each other, but also Intel's famous X25-M G2, WD's new VelociRaptor VR200M mechanical hard drive, and a plain-old WD Caviar Black 2TB thrown in for good measure. Who came out on top? Priced at about the same level, the WD and Plextor drives each seem to have deal-breaking performance weaknesses. The Kingston drive is more affordable than the rest, but it yielded poor IOMeter results. In the end, the winner appeared to be Corsair's Nova V128, which had similar all-around performance as Intel's 160GB X25-M G2 but with a slightly lower capacity and a more attractive price." Thanks to that summary, you might not need to wade through all 10 of the pages into which the linked article's been split.

Comment: Re:RTP, NC has one too (Score 1) 36

by gunnk (#31817222) Attached to: NYTimes Visits Menlo Park's TechShop

I'm a member at TechShop RDU as well. It's going through some growing pains, but I'm hoping the model works. The laser is definitely the most popular tool, with the ShopBot probably being second. I was able to knock out a retro-styled cocktail table for my living room in short order on it.

I'm also one of the folks building 3D printers. The group of us are building about 10 printers -- some of us to keep, some to sell to defray our costs, and maybe one or two to stay at TechShop. The original (purchased) 3D printer is a monster -- a Dimension dual-extrusion system.

TS RDU is currently closed for a move to a new location. Looks like it will be open again for anyone interested in the Triangle area sometime in May.

Windows

+ - Windows 7 service pack leaked to torrent sites-> 1

Submitted by superapecommando
superapecommando (1667063) writes "An early build of Windows 7's first service pack has been leaked, leading to thousands of downloads on a whole host of various torrent websites.
As with every Windows operating system (OS) release, improvements and fixes often arrive in the form of a service pack, and only last month the Windows team discussed the upcoming Windows 7 SP1 release in a blog post. The team detailed that the first service pack would feature a number of minor updates for the popular OS. However, it is worth noting that the Windows team did not mention a final release date for the completed service pack."

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