The educational institution that I work for has an IT staff of 5 to support a faculty/staff of 500 and about 3,000 students. Counting auxiliary IT bits (web folks, information systems and other non-support IT roles), we have a total of 10.
maynard writes: "Slashdot musicians: Wouldn't it be cool to use video/audio conferencing software for online collaborative jam sessions? The idea isn't as ridiculous as it sounds. For folks who focus on lessor known sub-genres of music, like Renaissance classical, 20s dance jazz, or Country Blues, it can be pretty tough to find local playing partners. And there's always scheduling hassles with playing in meat-space. So, why not?
Everything seems almost ready for this. For example, VRVS offers free java based video/audio/whiteboard conferencing. And we've all seen commercial versions which run on both Windows and Macintosh. Unfortunately, none of these tools offer quality stereo audio, nor do they synchronize the streams well enough for musicians to jam in time.
This is definitely within the realm of the possible, at least for those with low latency connections. But can musicians really create good music thousands of miles away from one another? And would jam-conferencing really be as fun as playing with a bunch of friends?"
jonfromspace writes: We are going through the process of selling our company to an entity from out of the country. We have made it through the majority of the negotiations and are now awaiting the due diligence process. We will be meeting with an independent reviewer over the coming weeks and are just not sure as to what we should expect, or how best to prepare. Our application is built on a LAMP platform, and one of the areas we are slightly concerned about are pre-conceived notions regarding scalability (Especially when it comes to MySQL.) Have any slashdotters out there gone through this kind of review process? What advice / input can you offer?
Tokimasa writes: "Should students be able to publish their own solutions to past (completed and past the due date/submission date) Computer Science projects and labs on a website, especially as part of a code portfolio intended to demonstrate their solutions to problems to potential employers?
At the university I currently attend as an undergraduate, even though the university-wide Intellectual Property rules state that unless (a) the student signs an agreement prior to the start of work, (b) the work is done under employment of a division of the university, or (c) the student is paid for the work, the work belongs to the student. However, the Computer Science department does not allow past solutions to any project or laboratory assignment be posted on the Internet and, in the past, requested that posted solutions be removed."
sabre86 writes: I'm researching using Linux as the operating system for a (preferably hard) real-time, distributed (with approximately ten nodes) environment running on multicore commodity — not embedded — x86 hardware. What Linux and/or open source solutions exist for real-time applications and how do they compare with commercial offerings such as VxWare, RTLinux and QNX?
tinpan writes: I've got a communication problem. When non-technical managers ask me to explain technical choices, they often make choices I recommend against and they later regret. I can tell that they do not understand their choice because of how they are explaining things to each other, but they usually refuse further explanation.
So it's time for some education. I want to get better at communicating technical subjects to non-technical people. More accurately, I want to get better at helping non-technical people make better technical decisions and I'm willing to accept it may include some understanding of "selling your idea."
What books, online courses and/or seminars do you recommend and why?
SlashSquatch writes: My sister is getting screened for a programming position with a financial firm. I was alarmed to hear she'll be getting fingerprinted at the sheriff's office as part of the screening process. Instantly I conjure up scenes of frame-ups and corporate scandals. I want to know, should this raise a flag? Would you submit to fingerprinting, blood tests and who knows what else (genetic code screening etc), for a programming position?
Wyrd01 writes: I got my degree in Computer Science several years ago. One of my related passions has always been Artificial Intelligence, and while I've read a lot of books on the subject I've never done much with it. I've been thinking about going to back school lately and wanted to get some feedback from the wise and very blunt crowd here at Slashdot. I've heard many times that if you love something you shouldn't make it your job, lest you become burned out. On the other hand I've heard doing what you love for a living makes getting up a pleasure every morning. I doubt that debate will be resolved here.
So I've looked into a few schools and UAT's (http://www.uat.edu/) new Artificial Life program (http://www.artificiallifedegree.com/) caught my eye. Does anyone know anything about this school/program? For all I know it's just a fancier looking ITT Tech, Devry, or other such school that might not garner a lot of respect in the field. Then again it could be "The Next Big Thing".
Another factor here is that I will likely need to move in the next 2 or 3 years, so a place where I could do an online degree might be helpful. Would people strongly recommend I wait until I can physically attend a Grad School, or is an online degree a valid alternative? Are one of these "tech" schools a valid option, or should I stick to the traditional Universities?
And finally, does anyone in the field of Artificial Intelligence/Life have any words of wisom (or warning) for those of us aspiring to join your ranks?
An anonymous reader writes: Imagine a scenario where a person has found a flaw in a system their government relies on. This person has no direct association with this system. This flaw can allow them to access information for which they do not have clearance or any other legal excuse to access. Assume this information, if made public, would be damaging to certain government representatives and would expose previous illegal activities of the company for which this person has worked for the last seven years. Does this person immediately tell the operators of this system of the security issue despite this person's moral obligation or does this person exploit this flaw if there is plausible deniability?
bheer writes: "Salon's Since You Asked column is carrying an interesting question right now — what do you say in interviews after getting fired as a fall guy at your last job? Cary Tennis, who writes the column, admits he may not be the best person for this sort of question. So I thought I'd ask Slashdotters what they thought about this. Software developers are sometimes able to get away blaming the business requirements/analysis process, but anyone with any experience in this business probably has had nightmares about being the fall guy and may even have a strategy or two up their sleeve. How would deal with being in such a crummy position?"
bugg_tb writes: "I am a programmer based in England and after a few years in the same job have finally got itchy feet. I don't want to leave the industry but I would like a change in scenery. So my question is, if the destination really isn't an issue(I've done some contract work in Afghanistan), which countries have an IT skill shortage where I could put my skills to good use?"
JoeLinux writes: "I just had what I thought was going to be a boring meeting with a friend of the family.
It turns out this person is a Senior VP in charge of Rights and Title Administration for Sony Pictures. (Translation: She is in charge of preventing piracy).
Over the course of a half hour, we had a conversation discussing the best way to combat online piracy. This person has obviously been seeing things from the point of view of the movie industry. (I.E. the movie industry exists on a 4-5% profit margin, Canada is to blame for most of the movie piracy, etc.)
They were surprised to learn about some of the indiscriminate lawyering practices of the RI- and MP-AA., but then quickly rallied with, "Well, if the ISPs have the logs, doesn't that prove they were downloading?" They also had no clue as to what DRM is, or its implications (I.E. they are not very geek-oriented).
While I could have argued with them for a good long time, the particulars of the evening did not allow for me to hash it out.
What I am asking for is a concise, non-trollish, "Joe Six-Pack-friendly" explanation of DRM, piracy, with plenty of numbers to back up the claims (No brown numbers please). This is our chance to educate someone in the upper ranks of Sony Pictures with our concerns regarding DRM, why we think its a bad idea, and, most importantly, propose an alternate solution.
Any geek references will have to be explained thoroughly. We are talking to someone of a more upper-management point of view. However, knowing their personally, this person does listen.
Once again, this is for someone who is willing to hear us out. Please do not troll, grief, etc."